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A fan for the Valve Index? Consider it an essential upgrade purchase

By - | Views: 18,114

It's Summer here in the UK, it's bloody hot and that has meant that playing VR has turned into a very sweaty experience.

There will be jokes of course from plenty of people about the UK, because of course many countries are hotter and a lot of them have that heat all of the time. However, the UK and houses / offices here really aren't built for it. Pretty much anything other than a little rain and cloud or a tiny bit of sun and we're just not prepared.

So we come to my moaning and groaning about playing VR in the hot temperatures we've had recently. I was not ready for it — not at all. Hilariously underprepared you might say. I don't think I've ever sweat that much doing anything. When you're in a room that's already around 27C and you add the heat from a VR HMD right on top of you're head - you're just turning yourself into a sweat machine.

Instead of complaining though, I went shopping to try and improve the situation.

For those that don't know, the Valve Index HMD has a USB slot on the front of it. The face panel just pops off nice and easily, which hides a nice little slot for you to add something into the HMD:

Here then, you have space to put in a fan (or whatever else). So that's exactly what I did!

Luckily there's a few of them around and for £37.99 I picked up the KIWI design Q19 USB Radiator Fan that was made just for the Valve Index (Amazon). It's absolutely tiny, hilariously so but it's quite a nice little unit. With a single button on the front to turn it on and off, there's absolutely no fussing around. Installation is ridiculously simple too. You plug it into the USB port on the front of the Index HMD, then slot the KIWI design Q19 into the Index and that's it - done. The design near-perfectly matches the Valve Index too so you once you've had it for a few days, you just don't really notice that it's an added extra on the unit.

It sticks out a little sure, but we're talking a really small amount. The whole thing is small at only about 16MM / 1.6CM thick and about 110MM / 11CM long. Considering it's something you put on your face so you don't see it, that just doesn't matter. It weighs absolutely nothing too, so it's unnoticeable while wearing it.

How's the build quality? So far, great. No issues there. The fans are of course tiny but they do the job. Easy to clean too, since the KIWI design Q19 just pops back off, and the back is left open for you to properly clean it when you need to. The casing feels sturdy enough too.

Does it actually work well though? Considering the size, I was absolutely ready to write it off and look at something bigger. Sure enough though, it does as advertised quite well. Not incredibly so though but enough that you can tell the difference between having it and not during warmer days. I went from being a complete sweat machine to a small dribble here and there - so yeah, very happy with the unit overall.

Something else to think about is not just your own comfort but the life of the Valve Index HMD. It gets hot, and over time that heat can damage it like heat can damage any other piece high-priced equipment. Keeping it cooler with some fans blowing away a bit of the heat can extend the life of the HMD too and hopefully save your bank balance.

How is the noise though? Those little fans are right up on your face, close to your ears. They're audible when you turn them on for sure. However, the Valve Index speakers being as fantastic as they are, you don't hear a damn thing from them while playing. Even on a real low volume you would need to really concentrate to hear them.

The main downside is that it has only one speed setting: on. For people who perhaps need some heavier heat lifting, you might want to look at another. However, it does the job nicely in my many VR sessions.

If you're a Valve Index user and find yourself getting hot and bothered, go buy it a fan, your head will thank you.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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31 comments
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tuubi 4 Aug
Quoting: antisol
Quoting: tuubiI don't think you've earned the right to use the word. Let's call it summer lite or something.

Haha, nah that's totally winter. I was looking at my thermometer the other night at about 2am and it was down to 10 degrees! Ten! I think we can all agree that's just intolerable ;)
Damn whingers with their fake winters...

Talk to me when you go below -30c.
antisol 4 Aug
Quoting: F.UltraNah winter is -30°C and 20h darkness for 3 months straight, you should try that sometime ;)

I'd really love to, actually: Arctic winter is very high on my list of things I want to see. That's pretty far north, right? Norway Or sweden, perhaps? Canada or Alaska maybe?

I can't even conceive of that kind of cold.

Quoting: F.UltraNow during the heatwave I've had about 32°C at my computer desk, now that was horrible.

I once rode my motorbike from Uluru to Alice Springs on a particularly warm day. I was wearing full bike leathers and the air temp guage on the bike was reading 49. That was a bit hotter than the actual air temp that day because I was getting more heat from the road - the official temp in Alice was "only" 46 that day.

THAT was warm.
mirv 4 Aug
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Quoting: antisol
Quoting: F.UltraNah winter is -30°C and 20h darkness for 3 months straight, you should try that sometime ;)

I'd really love to, actually: Arctic winter is very high on my list of things I want to see. That's pretty far north, right? Norway Or sweden, perhaps? Canada or Alaska maybe?

I can't even conceive of that kind of cold.

Quoting: F.UltraNow during the heatwave I've had about 32°C at my computer desk, now that was horrible.

I once rode my motorbike from Uluru to Alice Springs on a particularly warm day. I was wearing full bike leathers and the air temp guage on the bike was reading 49. That was a bit hotter than the actual air temp that day because I was getting more heat from the road - the official temp in Alice was "only" 46 that day.

THAT was warm.

I recall a particularly pleasant day of about 45, but a strong wind, so pretty much my entire outer layer of skin on face, arms, and legs was cooked. And I had stuck to the shade the whole day.

On a different continent I've had a winter of -26. Step outside, take a breath, nope, straight back indoors.

Next for VR headsets: water cooling!
Lofty 4 Aug
Quoting: antisolBloody whinging pommies - 27 degrees is "hot", Lol. That's winter temperatures mate!

When it's hot in the UK it is an uncomfortable experience. People no matter where they come from are astounded at how horrible it is. If it's reported at 27deg it's more like 32-34deg(feels like 90-94F), and 32deg is more again.. especially cities like London which contain the heat and act like a giant (humid) concrete oven. People from hot countries who are used to intense dry heats can't even stand it lol. UK houses are (apart from being not very good) are also designed to keep the heat in for a start with most houses having mountains of loft insulation, carpet & thick curtains everywhere and opening the typical smallish windows does almost nothing for airflow. Where as in upsidedownland the houses are more likely to have wood/laminate flooring to allow for airflow throughout the building which in turn are built for better heat management. Not to mention the soft furnishing levels are different.. ohh and the buildings in hotter countries are often painted white to reflect heat. Then there is the air condition systems which most UK houses do not have.

You can't truly appreciate the phrase 'only mad dogs and English men' until you experience the special kind of hell sitting in traffic in a UK summer can deliver.


Last edited by Lofty on 4 August 2021 at 5:55 pm UTC
yep I was checking my weather forecast and tomorrow it will be 25C and it's winter
but last week we had below 0C temperatures... global warming sucks
sounds like we are having an indian summer


Last edited by The_Aquabat on 4 August 2021 at 6:21 pm UTC
Quoting: Loftyespecially cities like London which contain the heat and act like a giant (humid) concrete oven.
nothing like here for humidity.. the rainforest of the Amazonas dwarfs Missisipi weather by far.
I say like 37C of temperature with 80% of humidity... now that's hot.


Last edited by The_Aquabat on 4 August 2021 at 6:14 pm UTC
Quoting: The_Aquabatyep I was checking my weather forecast and tomorrow it will be 25C and it's winter
but last week we had below 0C temperatures... global warming sucks
Yes, well, for a little while a few weeks ago, here in British Columbia there were places with the third highest temperatures on Earth. That is not supposed to happen in Canada. One town beat its previous climate record by 4-5 degrees C for days on end, hitting mid-40s, and then spontaneously combusted and burned to the ground. Really, WTF?!
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: The_Aquabatyep I was checking my weather forecast and tomorrow it will be 25C and it's winter
but last week we had below 0C temperatures... global warming sucks
Yes, well, for a little while a few weeks ago, here in British Columbia there were places with the third highest temperatures on Earth. That is not supposed to happen in Canada. One town beat its previous climate record by 4-5 degrees C for days on end, hitting mid-40s, and then spontaneously combusted and burned to the ground. Really, WTF?!
we had those days too, I say that nowadays the summer that we don't hit 45C are abnormal.
And lets not forget than a few months ago (I think last year) there was temperature record in Siberia... we had that too in our deep South near the antartic where near some glaciers temperature was 35C, which is really worrying glaciers could melt really fast.

https://www.heraldo.es/noticias/internacional/2019/02/05/record-grados-temperatura-famoso-glaciar-argentino-perito-moreno-1291066-306.html


Last edited by The_Aquabat on 4 August 2021 at 7:31 pm UTC
F.Ultra 4 Aug
Quoting: antisol
Quoting: F.UltraNah winter is -30°C and 20h darkness for 3 months straight, you should try that sometime ;)

I'd really love to, actually: Arctic winter is very high on my list of things I want to see. That's pretty far north, right? Norway Or sweden, perhaps? Canada or Alaska maybe?

I can't even conceive of that kind of cold.

Quoting: F.UltraNow during the heatwave I've had about 32°C at my computer desk, now that was horrible.

I once rode my motorbike from Uluru to Alice Springs on a particularly warm day. I was wearing full bike leathers and the air temp guage on the bike was reading 49. That was a bit hotter than the actual air temp that day because I was getting more heat from the road - the official temp in Alice was "only" 46 that day.

THAT was warm.

Sweden. Had a shop keeper in a local store when I lived in a different part of town that had escaped from Iran back in the day and he told me that when they travelled through Iraq it was so hot that they had to keep the windows of the car closed as to not get burned by the wind. They had then stopped at a store to buy some water but found the store empty except for a huge bucket in the middle of the store filled with water, out of the bucket a man sprung up and told them "no more water left in store" :-) That kind of heat would have instakilled me.
Cybolic 4 Aug
Do you get whine when you move your head up or down?
I have the Chilldex in my Index, but I've had to turn it off several times because the buzzing noise it makes in certain games is just too annoying; curious whether this is a general problem with all these fans or I just picked the wrong option.
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