Cooler Master Aerogate II and Musketeer Multi-function Control Panels
The Aerogate II
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.The Cooler Master Aerogate II arrived securely nestled in foam packing material inside a small, attractively labeled cardboard box. The complete contents included the following items.
- Aerogate II thermal controller
- (4) thermal probes
- (3) fan extension cables
- 4-pin power cable
- Mounting screws
- User’s Manual
The Aerogate II has three notable features on its front panel. On the left side is a small fan, which draws cool outside air into the PC. In the middle of the panel is an easy to read LCD display. Both the temperature and fan speed are clearly displayed for the selected channel but there is no auto-scan feature to display all channels in a continuous loop.
On the right side is a single control knob surrounded by six function selector buttons. The control knob adjusts the fan speed for the channel selected. It requires two full turns to go from minimum speed to maximum speed. The top button allows selecting from seven different colors for the backlight surrounding the control knob. The bottom button toggles the temperature readings between ºC and ºF. The remaining four buttons correspond to the four channels or zones.
Channel #1 CPU (Temp. sensor 1)
Channel #2 VGA (Temp. sensor 2)
Channel #3 HDD (Temp. sensor 3)
Channel #4 Case (Temp. sensor 4)
For those of you with doors on the front of your cases, the Aerogate II control knob sticks out approximately 7mm (~1/4”) from the front panel face. I found this also made the knob a little difficult for my clumsy fingers to get a good hold on.
The Aerogate II is factory set to have each temperature sensor correspond to one of the four fan channels. The CPU and VGA fans (channel 1 & 2) will activate (increase to full speed) when their corresponding sensor detects a temperature of 65º C (149º F) or higher. The HDD and Case fans (channel 3 & 4) will speed up when the corresponding sensor detects a temperature of 55º C (131º F) or higher. Unfortunately the end user cannot change these settings.
There is also an audible alarm that will sound if the Aerogate II does not detect an RPM signal from each of the four connected fans. This feature is provided to warn the user if a fan should fail during normal operation. It requires connecting a fan that produces an RPM signal to all four channels. This feature cannot be re-programmed or turned off. It could be a slight disadvantage for people using case fans that do not provide RPM sensing (like most of the very popular Panaflo fans). However, it is quite easy to silence the alarm with a simple push of the main control knob.
There are five connectors along the backside of the Aerogate II for attaching the power supply cable and four fans. The Aerogate II’s internal fan is already plugged into channel #3. You can connect more than one fan to each channel (using Y-adapter cables) as long as the total power draw does not exceed 18 watts. When two or more fans are connected together, only one fan speed will be monitored.
The four temperature probe cables all plug into an 8-pin header located beside the fan. Each pair of pins is labeled and it is important to keep track of which probe goes where. The thermistor packaging on the end of each cable is flat with long leads, which makes mounting the probes quite easy, even when inserting the probe between the heatsink base and CPU package.
Note: NEVER install a thermal probe between the actual CPU core (or heat spreader) and the base of the heatsink. The probe must go beside the core and not interfere with the CPU to heatsink interface.
Once the Aerogate II is installed with fans connected and temperature probes mounted in position, you are ready to sit back and enjoy the show.