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Thermaltake XTunner Radio Controlled Rheobus

Manufacturer: Thermaltake Technology
Supplied by: Thermaltake Technology
Street Price: TBA

by Dean Barker (5/31/2004)



Fan controllers come in all shapes and sizes.  Be that a simple knob rheostat all the way up to the fully automatic digital unit such as the Thermaltake Hardcano 12.  Thinking outside the box, Thermaltake has gone in an entirely new direction with their newest fan controller, dubbed the XTunner.  You have wireless mice, keyboards, NICs and printers so why not a rheobus?  Thermaltake's press release cites the XTunner's extra "n" in its name, is for innovation.  To come up with an idea like a radio controlled rheobus, I have to agree. 

My thoughts on seeing the XTunner was it was going to be a fun but a novelty gadget.  I was way off base.  Inside of half an hour of use, I got spoiled on being able to manually control my fan speed (and noise) by picking up the remote laying at my fingertips.  Convenience is measured in small degrees.  A wireless mouse for instance differs from the standard in that it only lacks a cord to pull while you work but what a difference we found when we eliminated that cord by going wireless.  The same utility value can be found in the XTunner.  Let's take a closer look at the XTunner and you can see what I mean.

What you get

Included with the XTunner you get three 4-pin to 3-pin power adapters.  These are the good adapters where the standard Molex plug can accept a female Molex on one side and a male on the other.  A 7" long Molex extender cable in also included.  For those of you who have battled with pulling power lines every which way to plug into a short 5.25" bay device will recognize the value of this extension right off the bat.  The radio controller has a small hole on one corner so you can use the keychain seen below to help you from misplacing the device.  Finally, the instruction manual was well written and easy to understand.

The unit

The remote is about the size of a credit card and only 7mm thick.  It is powered off a small 3 volt Lithium battery located in the base of the device.  Two buttons, a '+' and a '-' control the XTunner's speed. 

Looking a bit closer at the XTunner unit; it is silver colored with a grey and black sticker covering the face.  Six indicator lights are on the left side providing you a visual reference to the current speed setting of your fans.  Just to the right of center is a wide angle infrared sensor with a power on indicator next to this.  The unit mounts nicely in an open 5.25" bay.  With its coloring, it would look just as at home in a silver as it would a black case.



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