PC Case fans mirrored with splitter?

Greetings, all.

I have build an esp32-based led controller for my home PC for fans, light strips, etc. The plan was to control the case fans all from the same header using a basic signal splitter so they’re mirroring the same signal. This has not been an issue with the previous proprietary software controller I’ve been using.

If I plug in a single fan, then it works beautifully. However, when I employ the splitter, everything locks up. LED control freezes up, WLED itself locks and will not respond on the network the second I plug in a 2nd fan to the splitter. As soon as I unplug either of the two fans, everything starts working again.

I am powering the LEDs via a dedicated power rail directly to a SATA plug to the PC’s power supply. Config is using WS2812x. The same splitter hardware works fine on other controllers, and multiple fans work if individually plugged into multiple outputs on the esp32.

Process of elimination is pointing the finger at WLED. Help?

Edit: forgot to mention that my setup includes 3.3v to 5v conversion for the data signal.

Have you got any type of a schematic for your setup?

Diagram here:

Datasheet for TXS0108E here.
Note: There is conflicting information for the OE pin on the TXS0108E. I have tried linking this pin to +3.3, GND, and +5, without any discernible difference in behavior. Currently set to +5 as shown in diagram.

I am wondering if the bidirectional nature of this level shifter may be causing the problem.

Edit: After playing around with my multimeter a bit, I’ve found something odd. If I measure an unused output on the high side of the TXS0108E, each time I measure it alternates between 4.8v and 2.1v. For example, if I touch probe to the output i’ll get a 2.1v measurement. Pull and reconnect, then 4.8v. Repeat, and again back to 2.1. Something is causing the output to toggle every time I measure. Maybe i just need to find a different level shifter…

hi , is the level shifter really needed , what happens if it is removed ?

all unused input pins on level shifter should be grounded

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