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Corsair PWM Repeater Fire - Help!


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Hi all,

 

I'm trying to get to the bottom of what exactly happened today with one of my Carbide 678C 6-port PWM repeaters.

 

I am waiting on a GPU block to arrive tomorrow, but my build is mostly complete. So I decided to test the fans and RGB on my current components. I didn't provide any power to my water pumps or the mobo, but powered the fans, their RGB controllers, and a commander pro. Well, immediately as I powered on, smoke (didn't see actual flame) appeared and I quickly cut the power. It turns out of the repeaters SATA power cord just completely went up in smoke (see photos). Can you help me figure out why?

 

A bit more about my setup. I have 22 fans in a Phanteks enthoo elite. I have 4 of the Carbide 678C PWM repeaters, with 6 ports each. I have a couple of them with 6 fans attached and the other ones are not saturated. Each of these repeaters has its own SATA power supply, which I attached to a corsair SATA cable with 5 ports itself on it, which then is attached to a corsair PSU (RM1000i). 4 of the 5 ports on the SATA power cable were hooked up to these repeaters. The 5th port was free... I think, maybe had something else on it. The PWM cable coming from each PWM repeater goes to a single commander pro. That same commander pro has 2 of its 2 USB ports used by Lighting Node Cores. Both LED ports on the copro are used (1 for a XC7 CPU block RGB, and 1 for a corsair RGB fan hub). The PWM repeater that got cooked was not the first or the last in the SATA cable ports, and all the other components on the other ports were just fine.

 

After the incident, I replaced the fried PWM repeater with a spare I had. I also used 3 total SATA cables instead of 2 to distribute the power draw. After doing this, I had no issues. I am not sure if I 1.) had a bad PWM repeater, 2.) had a bad SATA cable, 3.) overloaded the SATA cable I had with too many PWM repeaters on it.

 

I think connecting 6 QL140 fans to each repeater is fine... since that's what it's marketed to do, but nonetheless I cannot find any information on how many amps the entire repeater can handle itself. I doubt there's a power draw issue at the commander pro since each of the repeaters are themselves powered.

 

I'm sort of leaning toward #3 above. 0.3A per fan... multiplied by 6 fans = 1.8A. Can a single SATA connecter handle 1.8A? Can a SATA cable handle powering a certain amount of fans (I seem to vaguely remember that each SATA cable is rated for 4.5A)? I don't remember how many fans via repeaters I had connected to the SATA cable in question at the time but maybe 15 plus an RGB hub, which is definitely over 4.5A.

 

Can someone smarter than me help a dude out?

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IMG_9032.jpg.6ca0b5e85335e436e869b9ba7975ede6.jpg

Edited by Alex B
forgot to attach photos.
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to smoke this fast it has to be a short circuit, not your normal overload.

Maybe the board was touching the case somewhere? you could probe around the PCB see if there's a short between 12V and ground wires. Maybe look where the hub was mounted if there's no damage signs on the case like a small dent on the paint where contact may have been made.

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