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Old 25th Jan 2012, 05:05   #1
Furball Zen
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How to: Modular PSU (or, 'How to void your PSU's 5 year warranty')

First off i want to say that i looked for a Guide or Tute section and i couldnt find one. Navigation on this site leaves a bit to be desired.


NOTE: I assume no responsibility for any harm or breakage due to this tutorial. Making your PSU modular will not make you more popular with the opposite sex. It will not make hair grow on your chest, however failure to follow EXPLICITLY this tutorial can cause hair loss which is not popular with the opposite sex.

Rough (but minimum) list of tools and items needed:
1. PSU (duh)
2. Soldering iron and .032 dia. rosin core solder (Radio Shack has good stuff for this)
3. Screwdriver, usually #2 Phillips
4. Multimeter (just in case)
5. Wire strippers, the blue and yellow ones are available different places and work great for all sizes of wire
6. Side or diagonal wire cutters
7. Heatshrink tubing (HST), you want the matte finish or MIL SPEC kind, the shiny finish stuff sucks (also at the Shack) and electrical tape
8. Heat gun
9. As many jacks and plugs as you be doing dongles for (2 in this case) Also found at Universal Radio
10. Dremel with normal sized sanding drum
11. 1/8" metal or bi-metal drill bit
12. 9/16" boring bit for wood or metal, doesnt matter here as it wont dull enough to be ruined
13. Piece of 1'" x 2" wood, at least 8-10" long
14. Optional, switch for shorting PSU to turn on, LED to show PSU is on (not done in this installment), fans to replace boring stock ones



Sticker of doom! We are doomed! If you are ballsy enough, go ahead and ruin your brand new 5 year warranty and do this mod! Again I assume no responsibility for any harm or breakage due to this tutorial.



5 screws later and the top is off, man im tired...(NObody gets that joke?)




Isolate the wiring you want to modify, untangle and set aside



I opted to place the plugs above the main wiring outlet, due to the dual fan setup I was limited to where i could place jacks. Before i drilled and made a hole i didnt want, i made sure i had at least 1" clearance behind the case panel for the jack and wiring to make sure it wont be pinched or kinked when re-assembled



Lay out your jacks to make sure you have enough panel room and clearance behind the panel for the nuts so the jacks can be tightened properly, dont space them too close together. I left enough room to add another jack in between but off set from these two at a later date



Mark CAREFULLY and drill your holes, i opted to do one at a time due to heat. Patience is needed here as the steel is fairly tough and you dont want fingers or wiring ruined from drilling too fast. Use the 9/16" boring bit and then the dremel to clean up the hole, sanding until the drum fits in the hole and then its the perfect size for the jack. Using the 1" x 2" piece of wood comes in handy here, drill a relief hole (not all the way through) with the boring bit FIRST, then center that hole with the PSU housing and that way you use the wood for holding the flimsy PSU casing still and wont burn your fingers from the heated steel





Now that youve made sure the jack fits good, you want to tin the tips of the wires. Hold the soldering iron and solder to the wire and coat the entire end so the individual wires are now one. This is so youll have an easier time soldering to the plug and later the jack



Gently cut off the heatshrink and ziptie, slide a new piece of HST at least halfway down (farther from the heat source the better till youre done soldering), and then the plug once its disassembled



Carefully solder the plug end on, the pins are numbered 1-4, i used 1 for Yellow, 2 for Red, and 3/4 for black. The jack is also numbered, but in a reverse pattern so the pins will match up when mated.
I noticed on the Molex plugged dongles that the black wires are joined together on the inside, which is why i havent said anything about using the multimeter to verify which black wire you have (via continuity testing), the SATA connectors however do have dedicated black wires which will be addressed in the next installment

Plug Jack
1 | 3 3 | 1
2 | 4 4 | 2



Due to the limitations on the premodded dongle, i used some electrical tape vs HST to isolate the wires from each other and the plug housing



Slide the plug housing up and wriggle the HST till it sits in the housing but also covers the sleeving, shrink it using the heat gun, assemble the plug and admire your work!



For the inside of the PSU, the wires are long enough to use HST on each wire, make sure you cut it long enough to cover the terminal as well as the bare wire. Chances of it ever getting knocked around enough to short out while the PSU is on is VERY slim, but we want to cover our butts (and connections) and do the job right the first time



Sorry for the shaky pic, didnt realize it was fuzzy till now or i would have taken another one
Enjot your newly modded modular PSU!!



I did not replace the fans as the ones inside were 20mm thick and i didnt know that prior to buying the new ones or writing this tute (originally in 2007)
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Old 25th Jan 2012, 13:12   #2
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Very nice and good summary.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 08:33   #3
Furball Zen
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Thanks
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 09:38   #4
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That's great! Those jacks remind me of the old Tagan PSU's- I'm just glad these don't have 3 colours of LED's surrounding them.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 12:48   #5
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That's a great guide with lots of practical tips. Nice one.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 17:31   #6
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The Hiper ones is where i got the idea to use these jacks, but a guy in South America gave me the idea to do this in the first place.
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Old 4th Feb 2012, 04:24   #7
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Where did the pictures go?
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Old 4th Feb 2012, 06:01   #8
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Sorry, had to change server programs, the other one couldnt handle all the requests.
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Old 10th Sep 2013, 15:38   #9
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Thanks for the guide!
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Old 13th Sep 2013, 04:55   #10
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Youre welcome and thanks!
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Old 13th Sep 2013, 08:23   #11
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Looks great, a neat idea, but i am very sad I didnt get to see those clear fans mounted in the PSU. :P
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Old 13th Sep 2013, 10:12   #12
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nice guide but I have one "con"...
its bad idea to have opened contacts on PSU. it very posiible to shortage here when connector is opened in the case...
i saw such conectors on early hiper modular PSUs and were surprised that noone were killed
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Old 13th Sep 2013, 10:59   #13
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I ask if your going to hack up your PSU to make custom cables for your PC why bother going to the effort of adding the connectors? Just chop out everything you don't need and hard wire everything you do?
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Old 13th Sep 2013, 12:50   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boscoe View Post
I ask if your going to hack up your PSU to make custom cables for your PC why bother going to the effort of adding the connectors? Just chop out everything you don't need and hard wire everything you do?
Modular PSUs are modular because you reuse the PSU for any kind of build. Got a SFF build? Take out some Sata Cables, you're unlikely to need them all. Big build? Add more. It's not always about just using it once and moving on to a new one.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 03:50   #15
Furball Zen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre3400 View Post
Looks great, a neat idea, but i am very sad I didnt get to see those clear fans mounted in the PSU. :P
Yea, me too, but oh well eh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetalar View Post
nice guide but I have one "con"...
its bad idea to have opened contacts on PSU. it very posiible to shortage here when connector is opened in the case...
i saw such conectors on early hiper modular PSUs and were surprised that noone were killed
Nah, no chance of them ever touching unless the jack melted and that would take a lot of heat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boscoe View Post
I ask if your going to hack up your PSU to make custom cables for your PC why bother going to the effort of adding the connectors? Just chop out everything you don't need and hard wire everything you do?
Dude.... its a tutorial, step off with the attitude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkwisdom View Post
Modular PSUs are modular because you reuse the PSU for any kind of build. Got a SFF build? Take out some Sata Cables, you're unlikely to need them all. Big build? Add more. It's not always about just using it once and moving on to a new one.
Thanks for making my point
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