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Case, Power Supply, Fan Reviews
  Product:     Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center  
  Price:     $44 (CAN) / $33 (U.S) 
  Supplied By:     Xoxide
  Author:     Shennon
  Date:     June 9th, 2004
  Rating:     star star star star star star star star

MODTHEBOX would like to thank Jeff from Xoxide for sending the Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center for review.

Introduction:

When people purchase a new computer system, most are designed with a basic form of cooling without the ability to monitor internal temperatures. A computer which does not have the ability to properly circulate air can lead to a dramatically shorter life span of system components. While there are several different approaches to dealing with heat issues, having a onboard temperature display can simplify the process of identifying hot spot problem areas where cooling can be added as required. Kingwin based out of Walnut, CA has recently developed a new line of consumer based fan controlling devices marketed under the brand name of the Thermal Center. Today in the MTB Labs, we will be evaluating the Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center, an all-in-one cooling solution with an integrated LCD display.

Specifications:

The TC-02S Thermal Center is one of two different models available on the Kingwin website. Consumers have the option of selecting from silver (TC-02S) or the black (TC-02BK) based versions. Both products have been designed to be all-in-one solutions for fan and temperature management. Here are some of the specifications taken directly from the Kingwin website:

Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center - Key Specifications:
Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center: Manufactured by Kingwin
Dimension: 2 11/16"(69mm) D x 5 13/16"(148mm) W x 1 5/8"(42mm) H
Input: DC 12V + DC 5V
Output: DC 12V + 5V x 3 set
Heat point detector length: 33 7/16"(850mm) L
Extension fan wire length: 20 7/8" (530mm) L
LCD visual area: 13/16"(18mm) H x 2 9/16" (64mm) L
Three high sensitive thermal detectors
Automatically control the speed of 3 ventilation fans
Whole aluminum chassis and bracket
Time, HDD and power indicator icons
Three 3-pin ventilator extension wires
One Y-type 4-pin DC input wire
 
Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center
Click image for larger view
Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center
Click image for larger view
 

The Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center comes packaged in a black cardboard box with the features and specifications printed on the back. The front offers a clear window that allows the consumer a look at the actual product to see if it fits the style or theme of the case. Once out of the box, my initial impressions were positive. I noted the components were arranged in a clear tray with a lid that keeps all the components together.

Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center
Click image for larger view
Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center
Click image for larger view
 
The Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center is made from extruded aluminum with a bottom plate attached and it is meant to fit into any free 5.25" drive bay. There are four screws on the front, two per side and that hold the LCD unit securely to the aluminum front. In the center of the unit lies the LCD unit. Below the LCD screen are four clearly labeled buttons that control the various functions.

Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center
Click image for larger view
Kingwin TC-02S Thermal Center
Click image for larger view
 
From the back, there are two PCB boards that make up the Kingwin Thermal Center. One PCB is for the controller chip, and the other for attaching connectors. Both the PCB's are separated by four motherboard brass stand-offs. The unit uses the Holtek 8 bit HT49R50A-1 controller, which features an 8 bit high performance RISC micro controller that can handle up to 63 instructions. The controller has been designed for a wide range of LCD applications. More information on the HT49R50A-1 controller chip can be found here.
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