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Sep 29, 2022 1 min read

dbrand's Steam Deck accessory kit 'Project Killswitch' runs into issues, delayed into 2023

dbrand's Project Killswitch for Steam Deck

The notorious "delta fan" of earlier Steam Deck models has caused some issues for dbrand's upcoming accessory kit.

Accessory-maker dbrand has halted the release of their Steam Deck accessory kit, dubbed Project Killswitch, due to an incompatibility issue.

First discovered in review units seen by The Verge, dbrand explained on their subreddit that the magnets used in the kickstand of the upcoming product interact negatively with one of the two fans used in the Steam Deck — as it slows down the spinning of the infamous "delta fan".

Earlier this year Valve was sourcing the main fan for the Steam Deck from two manufacturers, with one of these — the so-called "delta fan" — notoriously known for having different issues, including producing a "whiney" noise.

Unfortunately, dbrand tested Project Killswitch only with the newer "Huaying fan", as it seems Valve stopped using the "delta fan" in newer devices.

As per dbrand:

Word on the grapevine is that Valve no longer uses the “whiney” Delta fan in the production of Steam Decks, switching exclusively to the Huaying component. This doesn't change the fact that there's an indeterminable number of Steam Decks out there that are going to have issues with the magnetic kickstand. It also doesn’t change the fact that there’s no certain way for either us or end-users to determine which version of the fan they have without cracking open their Steam Deck.

To solve this issue, dbrand decided to pivot "from a magnetic mount to a mechanical interlock system for the kickstand (and all future accessories)."

This change will require re-tooling their existing production lines, pushing all current purchases into early 2023.

Buyers who have already ordered their Project Killswitch will get a replacement of the case and the kickstand free of charge.

dbrand also clarified that everything but the kickstand is still safe to use. So if your Project Killswitch is on its way, you don't need to worry too much.

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