I am building my own heat exchange ventilator and trying to figure out the best control board options.

The first part is simple. I want to enter custom parameters for fan speed based on a temperature probe's values. I need to be able to customize the temperatures.

The second (and more complex part) is a defrost cycle. Triggered by a temperature reading of 23*F or below, the defrost cycle would run for 10 mins as follows:

Fan 1 off Fan 2 100%

After 10 mins, the program would return to the normal temperature based fan speeds. After 50 mins of this cycle, the temp probe checks again for 23*F or below reading, either triggering or bypassing the second (defrost) cycle depending on reading.

I was planning to use PWM computer fans (4 pin).

What would be the most user friendly controller for someone with very little programming knowledge?

One option I was considering was using a series of 12v timers and small dedicated PC fan temperature controllers (like this)? This would be a very clunky solution, but would avoid getting in too deep with programming.

Thank you very much for the help and let me know where I can clarify further!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi @ztrain727 you may have difficulty getting a response to this question here as "best controller" will be subjective. Try to ask something specific when posting and avoid opinion based questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Blargian
    Feb 11, 2021 at 9:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you @Blargian! I updated the question to ask what the most user friendly option would be. Perhaps that is more specific? I am looking for a solution that requires only rudimentary programming knowledge, and ideally where I could pull from existing circuitry and programs. Thank you for the help! \$\endgroup\$
    – ztrain727
    Feb 12, 2021 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


I believe that an Arduino Uno is probably the most "user-friendly" microcontroller out there. They are quite cheap, can connect to your computer via USB, and all they need to be programmed is the Arduino IDE (free download from arduino.cc). Another plus is that they have a huge forum and lots of documentation (forum at forum.arduino.cc). They can be set up in minutes and sound perfect for your application because they have more than 4 PWM-capabile pins.

Hope this helps and have a great day!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much! That is exactly the type of response I was hoping for! It sounds like my best bet now would be to head over the arduino forum and ask about assembling the code for this program. \$\endgroup\$
    – ztrain727
    Feb 12, 2021 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ You could do that, or probably a better idea is to try and learn a little about Arduino before you do that. \$\endgroup\$
    – JD12
    Feb 14, 2021 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I think that is wise advice. I'm reading some of their how to guides now... \$\endgroup\$
    – ztrain727
    Feb 14, 2021 at 20:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good luck :) I hope your project works out! \$\endgroup\$
    – JD12
    Feb 15, 2021 at 13:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks so much! I'm sure it will work out somehow! \$\endgroup\$
    – ztrain727
    Feb 18, 2021 at 1:00

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