P4C800-E Deluxe Front Panel connectors

Discussion in 'Asus' started by WJ, Dec 13, 2003.

  1. WJ

    WJ Guest

    I have this MB. Very cool. I want to connect a front panel to it, but I'm
    having a hard time finding the 2x5 to USB and 2x5 to Firewire cables.

    I found a 2x5 to firewire at www.frontx.com. I also found a front panel by
    koutech. They want the rear controls to go through the computer to the
    front panel. But I thought I'd run it off the motherboard to the front

    All I need is a 2x5 to USB type B connector. Does anybody know where to get
    this? Or does Asus make a black front panel that takes advantage of their
    MB connectors?
    WJ, Dec 13, 2003
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  2. WJ

    Gary Mount Guest

    You don't need to use a 2x5 connector. My Case has 2 USB connectors in the
    front panel but the wires are individually packaged, I just plugged each
    individual wire into the correct pin on the motherboard. If you have the
    motherboard manual it shouldn't be to difficult to figure out the correct
    pins to plug the wires into.
    Gary Mount, Dec 13, 2003
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  3. WJ

    Paul Guest

    I don't know if I understand what you want exactly, but examine the
    "Internal Ports" page here - these adapters have 2x5 headers on one
    end and a FrontX panel on the other. You would end up with a FrontX
    assembly sitting in a drive bay.


    Could you use a FrontX Type A USB connector, followed by a
    Type A to Type B USB cable ?

    Paul, Dec 13, 2003
  4. WJ

    WJ Guest

    That's exactly what I was thinking. However, frontx only has 1x5 to USB
    Type A. My MB came with an internal USB hub. It attaches in the back into
    one of the PCI slot bays). It has 4 USB ports (to add the the two already
    on the motherboard). Each pair runs to a 2x5 connector.

    I presume that each USB port "maps" to a 1x5 connector, thus the two go to a
    2x5. If this is correct, then I could use their 1x5. But my front panel
    has two USB 2.0 ports and the back connector is a USB type B.

    This is it, here. If you click on the 2nd picture, it shows the square
    WJ, Dec 13, 2003
  5. FYI, i have this board, and an Antec Sonata case, and the front ports just
    plugged in.
    Philip Callan, Dec 14, 2003
  6. WJ

    Paul Guest

    OK, in the P4C800-E manual, I see a PCI slot adapter with four USB
    connectors on it. There are two cables, each with a 2x5 connector.
    They mate to USB56 and USB78. That uses up all the USB headers.

    If you want to put two connectors on the front of your case, then a
    FrontX dual could be connected to USB56, leaving USB78 to drive just
    two of the ports on the PCI slot adapter. The other two ports on
    the PCI slot adapter would be dead.

    If you want a finer granularity than two ports at a time, you can
    take a 2x5 header, pull the pins out of it, and package the signals
    into 1x5 shells. Only four signals are used in each one. All kinds
    of shells are available here:


    But that doesn't change the fact that there are only four USB ports
    on the USB56 and USB78 headers. If you want more ports than that,
    you would need to put an actual USB2.0 hub inside your case, and the
    wiring for that would be crazy. It would be much easier to use a USB
    hub outside your case, or if you can find one, a drive bay mounted
    hub (I don't even know if someone makes one of these).

    Since the P4C800-E has a total of 8 USB ports on it already, can't
    you just use the four connectors on the back of the computer as is,
    and then use two FrontX duals if you want on the front of the
    computer ? There is no need to use the Asus PCI slot adapter, if you
    don't want all eight USB connectors located on the back of the computer.

    Paul, Dec 14, 2003
  7. WJ

    WJ Guest

    My MB has the 4 USB connectors on the back that are on the system bus. It
    also has the 2 USB56 and 2 USB78 connectors on the MB (each is a 2x5). The
    instructions for my Koutech front panel discuss running a USB cable from the
    back of my computer (type a connection) through the box and into the front
    panel (which is a type b connector).

    I think this is lame since I have the USB connectors on my motherboard
    already. So, rather than a 4' Type A connector from one of the USB slots on
    my motherboard to the Type B on the back of the front panel sitting in one
    of my 5" bays, I want to run a 1x5 cable from the USB56 to the back of the 5
    front panel.

    I think I didn't explain this clearly enough from the responses. So I need
    a Type B USB to 2x5 cable.

    I hadn't thought of what you're suggesting.

    Here is the picture of the back of the front panel:


    Now, if I buy a regular USB Type A to Type B cable, cut off the Type A
    connector and put a 2x5 connector on it, like this one:


    Will this work?

    By the way, thanks for the responses. I appreciate the help.

    WJ, Dec 14, 2003
  8. WJ

    WJ Guest

    WJ, Dec 14, 2003
  9. WJ

    Paul Guest

    I've never opened up a USB cable or a Firewire cable for that matter,
    so I don't know how they are constructed. Not only do you need to buy
    the shell, but you also need some pins. I think the pins would be
    female and this item is a 10-pak of pins.


    I would purchase a couple of 1x5 shells, plus buy more pins then you
    plan on using. This way, if you mess up, you'll have a few spares to
    play with. By using the 1x5 shells, you can plan for the inevitable
    day when you want to use the other half of USB56 or USB78.

    Your options are to behead the USB cable, then strip short lengths of
    insulation off each wire, followed by crimping or soldering the pins
    to the wires. For the crimping, I've used both a crimping tool and I've
    also tried to do it with pliers and a selection of blunt instruments.
    It is pretty hard to crimp the pins without the proper tool, so soldering
    is a more reliable method. (The crimp is sensitive to the diameter of
    wire you are trying to crimp inside the lower fingers.) I try not to
    let the solder wick up the wire too much, as the wire should remain
    flexible around the top of the pin. There are usually a couple of metal
    tabs at the top of the pin which are used for strain relief (i.e. do not
    solder to top of pin), and the wire should be able to flex in that area
    for longest life. Also, don't get solder into the mouth of the pin,
    because then it won't go all the way down over the post.

    Try a test solder with a spare piece of wire to one of your spare
    pins first, then test it for fit over one of the posts on the 2x5
    motherboard header. Once you are happy with the technique, do the four
    wires on the cable. Don't shove the finished wire and pin into the
    plastic shell until you are satisfied that all four wires are the
    exact same length and their outside diameter is small enough that
    they will all fit into the shell. Pulling the pins back out isn't
    impossible, but depending on the shell manufacturer, some are the devil
    to get back out. You have to pry at the plastic tab with a hobby (Xacto)

    Now, one of the questions you'll need to answer, is whether the shield
    on the USB cable should be soldered to the ground wire and both of them
    joined to the same pin. Grounding the shield reduces interference with
    televisions and radios, but many people seem to find that their interface
    works OK without connecting the shield. As I don't use front panel
    connectors on my computer, I don't have an opinion as to how much
    difference this makes. If you have trouble with USB devices connecting
    and disconnecting all the time, or cannot seem to get full bandwidth
    (due to USB2.0 packet retries), then connecting the shield might help.
    The shield will make a slight difference to the impedance seen by the
    wires and that is why you might see a difference in error rate.

    The reason I'm hedging my bets, is it will be harder to solder the
    braid on the USB cable and the ground to the same pin. The result
    will be an inflexible cable and you run the danger while soldering
    the braid, of melting adjacent plastic insulation on the wire.
    Again, a practice solder with a length of the USB wire will tell you
    what to expect. Remember that where the braid and GND wire meet, they
    have to fit through the aperture in the 1x5 plastic shell, so not too
    much braid will fit through there.

    USB+5 ---------- pin
    Data- ---------- pin
    Data+ ---------- pin
    GND ---
    +------- pin <--- This one will be tougher to make
    Braid --- ^
    +------ Four pins in a 1x5 header

    Try to model your wire lengths and construction technique to look like
    how Asus makes the USB PCI slot adapter. Generally the loose wire
    region is kept pretty short, but that makes the fabrication tougher to

    I think this is the device here...

    KOUTECH Black 10 IN 1 Card Reader, Model F7210-B Retail N82E16820162408

    BTW - Cool device.

    Paul, Dec 14, 2003
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