Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by LePhuronn, 3 Feb 2017.
words are useless
I like your wire management. Congratulations on not making the blue smoke. I hate that stuff.
Wow, someone has been busy
You flatter me, sir
I did panic doing that SATA power!
Would've been busier if I had proper wire for the fans and front panel connectors. Somehow all the 22 and 24 AWG wire I have is silicone insulation, not PVC, and crimping just mushes it everywhere. New stuff has arrived now so hopefully I can crack on, get those wires measured up (not sleeved yet) and get some metalwork tweaks finished once I know where I need to install P clips and such.
Thanks to you all for the support!
To all you lovely folks following this log, do me a favour: the next time I even think "individually-sleeved, hetshrinkless front panel cables" somebody please shoot me. What an utter ballache this was!
2mm matte black and electric blue paracord connecting a single 10-pin Dupont I robbed from an Asus Q-Connect adapter for the motherboard and an 8-pin for the front panel PCB.
3D printed a few combs too mainly to help training because paracord isn't very rigid even at maximum stretch, as well as a fiddly end cap for the motherboard end to hide 1 or 2 over-melted paracord ends
Not going to comb all the way down as there is an awkward twist to the wires as my PCB pinout is wildly different from the motherboard pinout. Also need a bit of give as I stuff the PCB end into the case and wrap around the front of the 360mm radiator.
Utter pain, took a few attempts to get my technique down, but ultimately very happy!
3 months? Yep, custom wiring in a nutshell. The result is pleasant.
Not quite 3 months best part of 3 days as I fiddled with the paracord, it's not easy when you don't have anything for it to grip onto. Happy with the result though, the fan cable should be a breeze now that I have a technique that works.
Crimping Molex Milli-grid connectors without the proper tools is going to drive me insane, but that's another post for another time
She's a pain in my rear! But the amount I've learned these past years has been invaluable. Thanks for commenting, hopefully we'll be wrapping up soon!
Thought I'd quickly mention an experiment I'm working on.
One of the biggest complaints made of the In Win 901 when it first launched was "form over function", and one of the biggest "lolwhut" design choices is the fully enclosed rear, blocking off access to the motherboard I/O area. In a standard build it'd be bad enough having to pop the rear plate off every time you wanted access to the USB ports or whatever, but it's be impossible for me as I'm mounting a 120mm radiator inside the rear cavity between motherboard I/O and case rear. So there's always been a plan in my mind to reroute the front panel USB 3 ports to the back, tucked up underneath the 360mm radiator at the bottom of the case or some such.
But those USB 3 cables are massive, chunky and disgusting even before you try to bend them for half-decent cable management. So how about we try our own? Time for some potato pics...
That's 9 wires of 19 (or 18, but I'll get to that in a bit) for 1 USB 3 port. That is a Molex Milli-grid 51110 connector; 2mm pitch with 10x2 circuits. Now, it turns out I misread the specs and bought the wrong ones. These are 51110-2050 which don't have locking ramps or a polarisation key. At the very least you'd want 51110-2052 which has the polarisation key. 51110-2051 has the locking ramps as well, but since the 20-pin header on the motherboard isn't actually a Molex Milli-grid I don't know if the locking ramps will match up correctly. I may replace them, but for now I'm using the pin 1 triangle to indicate the empty pin location and wire up from there.
The wires are a little bitten, but not as bad as the picture suggests, because I had to bodge crimp these since Milli-grid connectors are so small.
Top is a standard Dupont connector for front panel and the like, bottom is a Milli-grid. As you can see the barrel of the Milli-grid is so much shorter than the computer crimps we're used to it actually rests inside the jaws of the crimp tool, so if you try to treat them like Dupont or ATX crimps you actually crush the barrel. I ended up crimping the cable strain relief on its own and then using needle-nose pliers to grip and flatten the strands crimp. Worked out OK actually, but is a major fiddle and it does dig some minor marks into the wire insulation. Looks like I'll have to sleeve these after all.
For the other end, I landed a couple of these fun little USB 3 PCBs off eBay.
Quick bit of through-hole soldering and we have a USB 3 port! The pinout on the PCB isn't 1:1 with the motherboard header pinout so there's an annoying cross-over and twist with VBUS, D+ and D- ending up at the other end of the connector, but it'll be hidden
And I'm happy to say that it works...kinda. A variety of USB flash drives all connect and work perfectly, but I am limited to USB 2 speeds because of 1 little question mark: pin 10.
You can see from the PCB that each port has 9 pins, but a motherboard header has an additional 19th pin and I don't know what to do with it. The pinout and spec says pin 10 is an "ID pin" used to identify that a USB 3 cable has been inserted, and therefore enable Super-speed mode, but I just don't know exactly how to wire it up. Some say it's another ground pin, but do I hook that into GND on one of the ports? Both? Some claim Asus boards don't even utilise it, but their front panel USB 3 does enable Super-speed mode. I'm not too bothered if I can't get Super-speed mode working because these aren't shielded cables, but it would be nice to at least try.
So, if anybody knows how the internal 19-pin cables are hooked up to get ID pin 10 working then let me know! Before I take apart the stock 901 cable since I'm not using it anyway
Fun times with potato pictures, hopefully catch you soon with more updates.
Congrats on doing that without a microscope. I took one look at the pins when I got them and gave up. The pinouts I can't help with either. I found two different ones on the net.
Wasn't so bad actually. The through holes are 2.54mm pitch and 0.8mm diameter, so compared to the SATA power board I did it was comparatively giant
As for the pinout, I've grabbed the USB 3 and cable assembly spec documents and there's nothing in there about how to wire up pin 10, although judging by the prescribed tolerances of impedance and shielding, I'm starting to think it's the controller hub that determines Super-speed capability, and the little PCB the ports are soldered to fails signal tests so the controller hub reverts to USB 2 mode.
Now if that is the case then I may well save myself some work and just wire up for USB 2 and be done with it; why bother with 18 wires when I'll only ever use 10?
OK, it looks like I'm not going to get Super-speed on my wee experiment. I grabbed the Intel USB 3 and USB group cable assembly spec documents and nothing in either actually talks about this mythical pin 10. Intel refer to it as "over current protection" but all pin out diagrams and data talk about the big-ass plug (19 pins) or the interface ports (9 pins), but nothing about how the two link together.
So I ripped apart the 901's stock front panel cable knowing I won't be using it and had a look
Well won't you look at that. Pin 10 is not connected, but the ports attached to this cable enable Super-speed just fine. Note the "S" for Super-speed on the icon.
Plug in my experiment however and we get "H" for Hi-speed (registers as a different hub on the USB 3 root too)
So, the upshot is I'm falling foul of impedance limits because the USB 3 spec pretty much states Super-speed capability is a very finicky business. There's something on my DIY job that's causing the controller hub to fail its Super-speed self-test and therefore falling back to USB 2 speeds. Although my wires aren't shielded, they're 24 AWG across the board which is much bigger than the 28-30 AWG listed in the spec so I can't see the copper being the issue. The PCB, however, is a cheapo job so I'm thinking that's where signal quality is lost and kicking out the test.
To that end, I'll think about where to go from here. I could go down a direct solder route and hook up the wires directly to the ports (I do have, after all, an internal USB 3 cable already part-shredded ) or I could cut my losses and just live with USB 2 speeds. And if I'm going down that route then I can save myself the grief of 8 wires and just use the 10 for USB 2.
Still, it's been a learning experience!
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