What fan header is on my passively cooled PFsense router from China

I bought this 4 2.5Gbps mini pc from aliexpress and it seems like it may come with a non-standard fan header. My older unit (I have two) came with a standard fan header so I’m not exactly sure. Have any of you seen this type of connector before?

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The same fan pin-out is used on eg. CPU fan control units of motherboards. The 4th pin is used controlling the fan speed.
Am personally always happy when I have those, as it allows better control over fan speed.

You can however connect a simple 3pin fan to a 4pin connector :slight_smile: (only caveat being it is always running on full throttle)

See Motherboard (CPU) 4 Pin Fan · AllPinouts

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Just because it’s hard to make out. Normally a fa n header has a latching post, on a single side, that clips on the 3- or 4 pin fan connector.
The pictures on, looks to have 3 closed sides surrounding the 4 pins?

So a standard fan connector would be physically too large to plug into the connector?

I don’t suppose it came with a fan, to compare the wires leadin into the non-standsrd connector at all?

I am sure I have seen connectors like that, but can’t remember if the pin order was different.

I would NOT just file/sand a normal connector to fit, I would Google around to check first. Amube find pics of a fan that is supposed to pukgin, to get the wire colours?

Coworker built an itx system last year, the motherboard has the same fan connector but he was supplied an adapter with the board. Pin layout was the same for him, so should be here. If we can determine a name for that style fan header we could probably find an adapter


Maybe this’ll work

If that works then they used a GPU header to save space on the board (gigabyte does the same on some of their boards)

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The regular fan header is much to large. Also I tried the recommenation above about the CRJ to fan header but it fits the connector on the left of the photo HD_PWR but not the one labeled as FAN 1. The CRJ header was way too large as you can tell the connector on the right is much small than the one on the left.

Also the HD_PWR wasn’t working or spinning up the fan so I am not sure if I have to turn it on in the motherboard because both of those header types weren’t working. (That’s the only problem with the Chinese motherboards you have to look everywhere yourself because obviously support isn’t given which I knew going into this project)

Yep that’s not a CRJ-series connector - I’ve seen these before but can’t remember what the product line was off the top of my head, pretty sure it was one of Molex’s and not a JST product. I’ll take a look when I get back to a PC.

I think Molex PicoBlade is what I was looking for, this look familiar?

Don’t know what the pinout is of that thing, but I’d imagine you can get a pre-terminated 4p cable at least, probably from Mouser or Digikey.

Yeah I think that’s it. Thanks @NorthernWing

I have been scouring the internet for the past 2 hours looking for an answer to this. Just purchased a pfsense box from AliExpress and I was looking for a fan. I came across this thread. Did you manage to find a compatible fan?

From what I searched there is no molex picoblade to standard 4pin fans.

A 4010 internal fan is referenced in the product page but I don’t know which one is compatible as those come in 5V, 12V and 24V variants.

Another option I am examining is just getting a USB fan and using that for cooling bypassing that damn internal connector entirely.

Buy this and solder to a fan or a pwm female contact. Sell the nine others on ebay.