7NJL6 - front panel audio question

Discussion in 'Chaintech' started by Bill, May 19, 2005.

  1. Bill

    Bill Guest

    Hi,

    I'm the proud owner of a Chaintech CT-7NJL6 mb and want to buy a front
    panel with USB and audio in/out/headphones. There are a few on the
    market that I've seen, but I'm not sure if the connection on the MB
    works with it. The one I really like: SOYO BayOne Extreme 9-in-1
    USB2.0 Card Reader - Retail $22.99 Model #: BayOne Extreme
    Item #: N82E16820194502

    I downloaded the installation guide, and it says "The Part A connector
    of the cable # 3 follows the Intel front panel audio cable standard.
    The Part B connector is for the front panel line-in function."

    Part A is a cable with 5 connections and Part B is a cable with 2. I
    can see by looking at the 7NJL6 manual that there are 5 connections on
    the one side of the CN24(front panel audio connector) and on the other
    side there is room for the Part B connector, although I'm not sure
    which two I should connect it to.

    Anybody have any experience with this stuff?

    Thanks,
    Bill
    Bill, May 19, 2005
    #1
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  2. Bill

    Paul Guest

    In article <>, Bill
    <> wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm the proud owner of a Chaintech CT-7NJL6 mb and want to buy a front
    > panel with USB and audio in/out/headphones. There are a few on the
    > market that I've seen, but I'm not sure if the connection on the MB
    > works with it. The one I really like: SOYO BayOne Extreme 9-in-1
    > USB2.0 Card Reader - Retail $22.99 Model #: BayOne Extreme
    > Item #: N82E16820194502
    >
    > I downloaded the installation guide, and it says "The Part A connector
    > of the cable # 3 follows the Intel front panel audio cable standard.
    > The Part B connector is for the front panel line-in function."
    >
    > Part A is a cable with 5 connections and Part B is a cable with 2. I
    > can see by looking at the 7NJL6 manual that there are 5 connections on
    > the one side of the CN24(front panel audio connector) and on the other
    > side there is room for the Part B connector, although I'm not sure
    > which two I should connect it to.
    >
    > Anybody have any experience with this stuff?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Bill


    Soyo Bay One product manual
    http://www.soyousa.com/downloads/filedesc.php?id=2309

    Motherboard manual
    http://www.chaintech.com.tw/download/7xmb/7NJL6.pdf

    Intel FP_AUDIO header spec page 20
    http://web.archive.org/web/20040207...org/developer/specs/fpio_design_guideline.pdf

    The Soyo end consists of

    MIC_L GND \
    MIC_R VCC |
    AUD_F_R AUD_R_R +-- this part goes to the 2x5 cable.
    HP_ON GND | green jack is for headphones.
    AUD_F_L AUD_R_L / pink jack is for microphone (see below).
    (Key) (Key)
    LINE_F_R LINE_R_R \____ this part goes to the 2x2 cable
    LINE_F_L LINE_R_L / (no motherboard that I know of, has a
    header for Line_in. Blue jack will not
    work.)

    The Chaintech end is not perfectly standard:

    MIC AGND
    X AVDD5
    Front_R R
    NC
    Front_L L

    The Chaintech "MIC" will go to the Soyo "MIC_L". That is the Tip
    contact of a 1/8" stereo jack. Since the Chaintech has "X", where
    "MIC_R" would go, there is no MIC_BIAS or MIC_PWR to go to the pin.
    That means, if an electret microphone is connected, it may not
    receive power, and may not work. A dynamic microphone (magnet plus
    wire coil) will work, with the "MIC" contact, but much gain will be
    required to get that to work (even with Mic_Boost enabled, it might
    not be enough gain). Now, I don't know what Chaintech's practice
    might be - they could combine the Bias function with the MIC input
    function, and it still might work. To summarize, if you connect a
    microphone to the pink jack on your Bay One, and it doesn't work,
    don't be too surprised.

    In "Connecting the circuit to soundcard" here, you can see that
    at a minimum, an electret microphone can work with just two
    wires, and it could be that Chaintech has already connected audio
    and bias together, as the MIC signal.

    http://www.tkk.fi/Misc/Electronics/circuits/dynamic_to_electretinput.html

    I'm hoping that the Chaintech "X" notation means "No connection",
    as does the more standard notation "NC", as that is used to mean
    "No connection" in an electronics context.

    The way the headphone signals work, is the signals on the left
    column, come directly from the sound chip. The signals on the right
    column, are the return signals, and those signals go to the jacks
    on the back of the computer. Normally, when a motherboard comes from
    the factory, there will be jumpers from "Front_R" to "R" and
    "Front_L" to "L". When the Soyo 2x5 cable is connected to the
    motherboard, the Bay One will bridge the signals in place of
    the jumpers. The reason for this wiring, is so when you plug
    headphones into the green jack on the Bay One, the Lineout on
    the back of the computer will be muted. That is the way it would
    normally work. Some products similar to the Bay One, cheat by
    not providing the mute function, and it is kind of a 50/50 split
    as to how many people like the mute function versus the non-mute
    function.

    In summary, just remove the jumpers from your Chaintech motherboard,
    and plug in the Soyo 2x5 cable. You should get working headphones.
    On the microphone, no guarantees as to whether all microphone
    types are going to work. If it doesn't work, don't blame the
    Bay One, cause they did the right thing on their end.

    The Bay One 2x2 Line_In cable looks to be perfectly useless to me,
    as I've never seen a Line_In header on a motherboard. Motherboards
    can have things like Aux_In, or CD_Audio headers, but these are
    1x4 headers, and the pins are a different size. I expect you'll
    just have to leave the 2x2 wire dangling. The Blue jack will not
    work as a result. With some creative hacking, you could connect
    Aux_in to the Blue jack, but you'd need to purchase some separate
    parts from an electronics store.

    Now, after writing all of this, a more serious matter, is the
    Bay One USB wiring is incompatible with the Chaintech CN23, CN23A,
    CN23B USB headers.

    Chaintech Soyo Bay One
    header cable end

    VCC VCC VCC VCC
    D0- D1- TD- TD-
    D0+ D1+ TD+ TD+
    GND GND GND GND
    OC2# GND <--- this needs to be modified

    The Soyo Bay One has a perfectly reasonable design. The
    VCC, TD-, TD+, GND are the set of four pins that correspond
    to the four contacts inside a standard USB connector. Notice
    there are two groups of them, suitable for two USB connectors.
    The bottom GND connection is intended to go to the shield
    braid of the USB cable. This absorbs static electricity discharged
    by humans using the front panel, and the shield braid also
    reduces electromagnetic interference coming from the USB cable.

    Now, on the Chaintech end, they have an "OverCurrent" function
    on that pin. That is what OC2 stands for. The "#" means the
    overcurrent function is active low, active when the pin is
    grounded. If you connect the Bay One to the header, the GND
    on the Bay One will make the overcurrent signal active, and
    that will cause the Chaintech end to turn off power to the
    USB header! Definitely a futile situation.

    To fix this, one workaround is to pull the pin and wire
    from the pin 10 GND. That is the GND that would go to
    the OC2# signal if we just plugged in the Bay One USB cable. To
    see how to pull a wire and pin from the Bay One cable end,
    see "RELEASE-ABLE WIRE ASSEMBLY" at the bottom of this page:

    http://www.frontx.com/head_con.html

    Using an Xacto knife tip, you can lift the plastic tab and
    that should allow a single wire and pin to be extracted.

    Now, what can you do with that GND pin which is now loose ?
    If another unused USB header was close to the one you were
    planning on using, you might plug the GND pin and wire onto
    a GND pin from that header. Be careful not to short anything
    else. If there is nothing "within reach", then simply wrap the
    pin with electrical tape, to insulate it, so it does not short
    to anything else on the motherboard. (For USB to work, at a
    minimum you must wire the four adjacent VCC, TD-, TD+, GND
    signals, to get a port to work.)

    Now, something to know about USB headers and this overcurrent
    function. USB jacks are intended to supply no more than 500mA
    (half an amp) of current on the VCC +5V pin. On motherboards
    that have a polyfuse to protect the USB port, generally you
    will not find an OC pin on the header. If the USB port shorts
    the +5V supply by accident, the polyfuse temporarily opens
    and prevents damage. When the polyfuse cools down again, it
    closes and the port returns to a working state.

    On motherboards without fuses, it is the responsibility of
    the header, to signal to the motherboard when there is an
    overload. The motherboard uses a transistor to shut off current
    to the header. As Chaintech has an OC pin on the header, it
    implies they don't have a fuse in the path. (I don't know if
    these options are all described in a USB standard somewhere or
    not.) Just another nagging worry...

    As you can see, doing front panel connections on a computer,
    is a "non-standard zoo". The frontx.com web site has a lot
    of info on how to make front panel interfaces for a computer,
    but their products are a pretty expensive route to take.

    Bottom line is, if there is anything on one of these devices
    that makes you uncomfortable (like you don't feel you know
    what you are doing), then better to leave it alone than bust
    something. There are external card reader devices available
    that just plug into a USB port on the back of the computer,
    and that takes the uncertainty out of wiring them up. Similarly,
    the audio jacks on the back of the computer work just fine for
    connecting microphones, headphones, speakers and so on. There
    is no absolute need to go near the headers on the motherboard,
    unless you feel confident in what you are doing. I'm not mentioning
    all this to scare you away from your project, but just to
    help you decide whether this project is something you can handle
    or not - I have a bad habit of assuming the people I help, know
    everything I know, and I tend to forget that some people who
    ask questions like this, know absolutely nothing about wiring
    stuff up, and are intimidated by the prospect of having to mod
    stuff.

    HTH,
    Paul
    Paul, May 22, 2005
    #2
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  3. Bill

    Bill Guest

    On Sun, 22 May 2005 06:36:23 -0400, (Paul) wrote:
    A LOT of technical stuff!

    MAN, you REALLY spent some time on that response!
    Thanks for all of the information.

    I think I'll go with something besides the Soyo Bayone Extreme. The
    audio part of it is something that I really don't NEED, but it
    would've been nice.

    The USB ports are really the only thing that I have to have out front.
    The card reader would be nice but not entirely necessary.

    Do you have any recommendation for a different panel that would
    definitely work on the 7NJL6? I had looked at the FrontX stuff and
    found them to be expensive and a bit strange.

    Thanks much,
    Bill
    Bill, May 24, 2005
    #3
  4. Bill

    nthums1 Guest

    is no absolute need to go near the headers on the motherboard
    unless you feel confident in what you are doing. I'm not mentionin
    all this to scare you away from your project, but just t
    help you decide whether this project is something you can handl
    or not - I have a bad habit of assuming the people I help, kno
    everything I know, and I tend to forget that some people wh
    ask questions like this, know absolutely nothing about wirin
    stuff up, and are intimidated by the prospect of having to mo
    stuff

    HTH
    Paul[/quote

    Some very good work Paul
    I have to wonder if everyone writing those specs was as careful
    starting with the easy, did Soyo ignore the intel spec which appear
    to agree with the ctech connector? I have to wonder if there weren'
    some left handed dyslexic Chinese doing the translating. Maybe i
    their mind the ground is the same as OC2, since in effect it is an A
    ground but DC signaling for overcurrent
    And then we are back to the audio
    Humm? Maybe more of the same. Hopefully ctech at least followed mos
    of Cmedia design. They have newer drivers at their site than ctec
    and some have reported them working for them on XP. They didn't fo
    me on SE. And as near as I can tell they added support for newe
    features and didn't disable any as Creative would have if there wer
    a few having problems with such. I am hoping to hear shortly ho
    one's implimentation of their external spdif bracket worked, agai
    was it to Cmedia spec. Although it certainly wouldn't be where on
    company stole an idea and then tried to implement it as the standar
    specification. Really raises questions if the ctech manual is correc
    and maybe it really is to the Intel spec? Might be one for Ctec
    support, if you can contact someone who really knew
    The reason I mention these inconsistencies that you already discovere
    is that there are others. Seems many are having strange problems wit
    these boards, one reason or another. Some maybe RAM related. I a
    currently running only one stick, and it is located per the manual
    Yet every utility I've run shows the RAM in slot 1, not slot 0
    First, someone labeled the slots on this board as 123, not 012. S
    was this a case of the inept? Further adding question is tha
    discussion of dual channel on other boards, with other MOBO's. Ther
    configuration would be using 1&2, with 0 empty in dual channel,
    stick mode. So, what gives? did some use a poor design
    nthums1, Aug 27, 2005
    #4
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