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Most people that have been modding computers for a while, know that rheostat's are variable resistors with a wattage rating. There are a lot of schematics on the internet that will show you how to use a rheostat to control the current going to a fan. There is a downside to resisting the current directly by the rheostat and that is HEAT!
When a rheostat resists current (Amperage), it will convert the current into heat causing the rheostat to get very hot, often too hot to touch directly. Although this isn't necessarily bad, there are better methods of variable resistance fan control, such as using a voltage regulator with heat sinks and potentiometers like Sunbeam has with this Rheobus. Here is a shot of the voltage regulators and heatsinks.
The next component I would like to show you are the connectors on the back of the Rheobus. Sunbeam has moved to 3 pin connectors from spring clips or screw downs to aid in installation.
Note: There is no RPM monitoring from this unit so I would recommend buying another set of 3 pin connectors so you can connect your fans to the Motherboard RPM sensors and power your fans from the Rheobus. You will also need to do this is you have 4 pin fans.
This version of the Rheobus has dual color LED's, where the color is red from 0-7volts and blue from 7-12volts. The nice thing about Sunbeam's approach is to use socket LED holders so that you could change the color of the LED's to suit your tastes or match your case scheme.
Here is a shot of the back of the potentiometer.
This next shot shows the relationship of the led to the pot. There are definitely a few modding opportunities with this Rheobus, such as relocating the LED's behind larger knobs or adding a few switches to control lighting.