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Review of Zalman ZM-MFC3 Fan Controller




Fan controllers have been around for ages it seems. These are products intended for true PC hardware enthusiasts who enjoy optimizing their systems to the max. Zalman was one of the pioneers in this sector with its famous ZM-MFC1, a device that only allowed us to control fan rotating speed. The concept of a 5.25″ panel from which you could control all your fans directly was very well received by modders and PC builders. The unit which I will be taking a closer look at today is a much more evolved product compared to Zalman’s first attempt. The average score for the Zalman ZM-MFC3 is currently 76% but the voices are somewhat inkoherent.

Zalman ZM-MFC3 is the natural evolution of the ZM-MFC2. Both have the same functionality, the only real changes are the design of the unit and how the data is displayed on the screen.

Here are the specifications of the ZM-MFC3:


– Visualization of real time power usage

– Alarm system in case a fan stops

– Timer: it indicates the time of use of the computer

Dimensions: 147 x 87 x 42 mm (fits in a 5,25″ bay)

Supported fans: 4 altogether, 3 with 3 pin connectors and 1 with a 4 pin (PWM) connector

Method of regulation of the fans: Voltage for the 3 pin fans and PWM for the 4 pin fans

Voltage scale: Measures from 10W to 999W


The Rehobus ZM-MFC3 comes in a cardboard box of rather small dimensions with a quite sober design. Already from viewing the box we can get a preview of the most important functions of the ZM-MFC3. I like that Zalman has included a detailed showcase of the main functions on the backside of the box.

When I opened the box I found the unit itself in an antistatic plastic bag. All the accessories were located in a white box and there was also a rather extensive manual which was located under the fan controller. The accessories that Zalman has included are; 4 cables for connecting to the fans (3 with 3 pin connectors and one with a 4 pin PWM connector); 4 temperature sensors; a PCI bracket with a CVS connector for measuring the power and some screws for the installation of the unit.


Zalman ZM-MFC3 is a quite small device (147 x 87 x 42 mm) which fits perfectly into a 5.25″ expansion bay. The depth of the unit is not even half of a normal DVD drive. It has a rather sober and elegant design I think.

There are two stickers on the top side of the ZM-MFC3. They hold information about of the serial number and model of the unit.

The front of the ZM-MFC3 is very simple. The only two elements of interest are the screen and the button/wheel.

All the connections are located in the back of the unit. From left to right there are 3 connectors for 3 pin fans and a 4 pin PWM connector. To the right of the fan connectors there are 4 connectors for the temperature sensors. Then there’s a CVS connector for the voltage measurements. Farthest to the right, there’s a DC power connector.


In spite of my first impression, the installation of the ZM-MFC3 wasn’t too complicated since the connectors are easy to identify and the corresponding cables couldn’t be fitted anywhere else.

The most problematic thing I had to confront was the connection of the power consumption meter which involved several steps. First I connected the CVS cable to the ZM-MFC3 and then I installed the PCI bracket in my case, then I connected the watt meter to the power supply and finally I connected the USB connector from the watt meter to the PCI bracket.

Yes, they are many connections, but with a little patience the installation is fairly easy. Once the installation was finished I turned on my PC and directly there was o ton of information on the Rheobus panel. It was really refreshing that I didn’t have to install any software on my PC to get the readings.

The presentation of the information is fairly clear and as Zalman says; the visualization of the panel is excellent from any angle which is great because you are rarely directly in front of you PC. With the clear display a swift glance at the panel is enough to register the readouts from it.

Now you might be asking; what about controlling the speed of the fans? It’s truly a piece of cake, just push and hold the wheel in for three seconds to enter the correct mode. Then you choose fan by pushing the wheel button until you have selected the one you which to alter. Finally, to change the speed of the fan, you turn the wheel in the desired direction.


Zalman has yet again proved why their products are so popular amongst consumers in the PC hardware segment. The ZM-MFC3 is an excellent product. It excels in terms of design, function, connectivity, presentation of the information and its relative simplicity.

The functions that Zalman ZM-MFC3 offers are quite extensive and very useful. I would have loved to be able to read out some more interesting info from it like the CPU and memory frequency etc. The display is really clear, both in terms of the visibility and how the information is arranged.

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Codependency – Do You Need to Be Needed?




Maybe you grew up in a dysfunctional home in a codependent relationship. In the bestselling book, The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls tells of her hardscrabble childhood. Her father was an alcoholic, her mother abdicated her role as caregiver, and the children had to fend for themselves. Walls’ parents made their children serve them, not the other way around. Perhaps your situation is not so deeply dysfunctional, but it doesn’t have to be to grow up codependent.

What does it mean to be codependent?

Basically, you are codependent when you are in a relationship in which someone who is pathological, possibly with an addiction, controls you. The dysfunctional relationship puts you in a position to help or enable someone else to be immature, irresponsible or incompetent in some way.

Children who grew up with a tenuous bond with their parents, as Walls did, were in a constant state of anxiety. They had to forget their own needs, let alone what they wanted. They even had to forget who they were at their core in order to survive. You don’t have to be a child of an alcoholic to feel that you’re not good enough, and that your own feelings are unworthy. Children with parents suffering from narcissism, borderline personality disorders and other problems can feel equally insecure.

What happens when codependent children grow up?

As children, they learned to sublimate their needs, and most continue in that pattern. Their self-esteem has been eroded, so they need the approval of others, just as in their childhood. They pay more attention to others’ feelings and needs than their own and cater to others so they won’t be abandoned or rejected, as they fear they would have been as children. They have no ability to assert their own needs in a relationship, and often end up with a partner who continues the pattern of codependency.

Yet, having learned in childhood how to manage others, they can appear completely confident and competent. Because they are the person others depend on, they appear mentally and emotionally strong. They understand from experience that they shouldn’t depend on anyone else. They are the problem-solver, the caretaker, the decision-maker and the rescuer. They are driven by the need to be loved and accepted, as they never were by their parents or original caretakers.

Codependents need to be needed.

So they seek out someone who they can ‘help,’ and therefore feel good about themselves. But what often happens as the relationship evolves, is they support the other person’s negative behavior, whether it be incompetency, immaturity, irresponsibility or poor mental and physical health. If they end up with an alcoholic, for example, they enable the behavior by covering for their partner. They continue to rescue their partner-all the while feeling very needed-from problems. In actuality, they are accommodating unhealthy behavior. Unfortunately, the result is they prolong that behavior the longer they enable it.

More about codependency next time.

Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch.

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Amendoim – What is it and How Does it Stack Up to Other Exotic Hardwoods?




As exotic hardwood floors continue to gain in popularity, Amendoim is sprouting up as a popular hardwood flooring option. But what is it exactly, and where does it come from?

Amendoim is commonly referred to as Brazilian Oak, although another species, Tauari, is also called Brazilian Oak, which has lead to a great deal of confusion among the flooring industry. It is grown in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, and is also used to make fine furniture because it sands and shapes very well compared to other hardwoods.

Much like Brazilian Cherry, Amendoim has a reddish hue, but it has a more golden cast, particularly the sapwood. Amendoim Hardwood Floors have more swirls and rings than seen with Brazilian Cherry, but much like its sister specie, its soft brush strokes look as though they were painted on with watercolor. It will darken with sunlight, also like Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Floors, but it’s a much more subtle difference.

Also like Brazilian Cherry and other exotics, Amendoim is very, very strong, showing top ratings on the Janka hardness scale – 1912, which is above maple and red oak, and equivalent to Santos Mahogany. Brazilian Walnut is considered the strongest at 3680.

Amedoim is available in both solid and engineered hardwoods, with some engineered collections offering very inexpensive options. Engineered products range from $2.89 per square foot to $6.69 depending on the finish, distressing techniques, plank width, and thickness.

You can find solid Amendoim floors ranging from $4.09 per square foot for smaller spaces up to $7.70 for 5 ½ inch wide planks, which are typically the best sellers in all wood flooring products.

Price-wise, Amendoim is somewhat similar to Brazilian Cherry, perhaps a little more expensive, but much of that depends on what you’re looking to do. Handscraped floors will cost more than smoother finishes regardless of the specie. Brazilian Cherry seems to have more engineered options on the market with cheaper prices, but if you’re set on something solid, Amendoim is cheaper.

If you’re still exploring your options for a floor, have a free hardwood floor sample sent to your home so you can actually see the product and cut of the wood. This is particularly important with Amendoim because you could either be getting the tan sapwood or the reddish heartwood. Some cuts have lots of swirls and others don’t. You just want to be sure that you’re getting what you pay for.

A reputable exotic flooring retailer can walk you through the selection process and help you figure out if Amendoim is right for your home.

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How to Clean and Fix Your Oscillating Fan




When cleaning the fan, you will need the following things:

-a screwdriver, to open the fan

-detergent and some warm water to clean it

-dry cloth or a towel to wipe off the remaining water

Not really a lot of things, right? Well, that’s one more benefit of oscillating fans-they are really easy to open and clean. An oscillating fan cools down more air than a regular fan, so it’s more likely to get dirty faster and more often. That’s why it’s design must allow easy cleaning.

So, the first thing you have to do in order to clean the fan safely is to unplug it from the electricity. After that wipe off the surface dust from the fan. When you have done that, you can begin disassembling it. Remove the grill by unscrewing the screws that keep it together. Some grills don’t have crews but clips and that makes the process even easier. Remove the blades by taking off the screws that keep them attached to the fan. Now you can use detergent to clean the grill and the blades. Be very careful with this because you don’t want any electrical components to get wet. After that use a dry towel or a cloth to dry the washed parts. Before reassembling, the grill and the blades should be left for some minutes to dry a bit more. That way, you will avoid getting injured or breaking down your fan. Reassemble the fan in the reversed order in which the parts were removed. Tightly screw in all the screws, plug it in and test it. Your crispy clean fan should now work perfectly, the ticking is probably gone, and the air is better because you stopped the accumulated dust from spreading around the room.

If you can hear the clicking noise while the head of the fan moves it could be just dirt. However, it could be that the gears are worn or loose. You will have to open it anyway so unplug it and to that.

– Take a screw driver and unscrew the grill of the fan. Take off the blades and clean them altogether with the grill, the shaft and the motor housing. For the grill and the blades you can use only water and detergent but for the shaft and the motor housing vacuum cleaning wouldn’t be such a bad idea. While you are there inspect the motor. If the gears look OK put everything back together again in the reverse order and plug the fan in the electricity. The fan should be running quietly now.

– If the gears look like they need a replacement or tightening up, then your work is not done yet. First check the set screw. If it’s loose tighten it up because this screw balances the blades and when it gets loose they are not balanced correctly and that may cause the buzzing and clicking sound.

– Also inspect the gear assembly and the motor housing. Try tightening them up. If you can then all should be good. But, if they can’t be tightened that means that they are worn and you have to replace them. After they are tightened or replaced lubricate the shaft and reassemble your fan.

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