Need help connecting up my motherboard

Discussion in 'Mainboards / CPU / RAM' started by pbb, October 19, 2007.

  1. pbb
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    pbb Retired Team Member

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    Hi all,

    I just bought the hardware for my HTPC, among them a SilverStone LC16 case and a Gigabyte MA69GM-S2H motherboard.

    I have never before build a computer from scratch, but I must say plugging in the processor and fan went very easy, with good documentation. But now I have more problems with connecting up all the wires to the motherboard! Both the case documentation and the motherboard documentation help far too little in this. I hope some of you can give me advice on the following:



    • I can see only 1 case fan header on the motherboard, while the case already has 2 fans and even has space for 4! How am I ever going to connect these? Can one use splitter cables for these?
    • I see that both the fan cable and the motherboard connector are 3 pins. Does this mean my case fans cannot be temperature controlled? Isn't that what the 4th pin is for? Does this mean my fan(s) will always be running at max speed? (Sorry, this really may be a stupid newbie question.)
    • The manual instructs me to connect the female connector labeled "Power sw" from the front panel (I think that means the buttons on the front), to the male connector from the VFD/IR module. But the front panel cable is white/orange, while the VFD cable is red/black! How do I know which way around to connect these two? Or doesn't that make any difference?
    • The motherboard has 3 internal USB connectors, but I have 1 USB cable for the front panel buttons, 1 from the VFD, and 4 from the front panel module. How do I solve this, are there any internal USB splitter cables?
    • The IEEE1394 cable from the front panel contains both a big connector labeled Front that I can plug into my motherboard, and 7 loose plugs labeled Shield, VP, VG, TPB-, TPB+, TPA- and TPA+. Are these just alternatives for the big Front connector and can I leave them loose, or am I supposed to connect them somewhere also?
    • On the motherboard I have both a 3-pin PWR_LED and a 2-pin MSG connector, where the description of MSG is "Message/Power/Sleep LED". What is the difference between these two connectors, and which should I use for my front panel connector?
    • The front panel cable for HDD_LED is black/white, and the cable for RESET_SW is green/white. However, the motherboard talks about + and -. How do I know which way to connect the cables? Or doesn't it make any difference?
    • The USB connectors from the front panel module have a 4-pin connector and a loose 1-pin Shield connector. Should that one also be connected somewhere?

    I've got a feeling that many of these questions are really noob questions, but I haven't got a clue what to do...
     
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  3. stefan04

    stefan04 Portal Member

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    connect motherboard

    Hi,

    #1 There are splitter cables for connecting extra coolers, these are connected to the same powercables you connect your harddisk to.

    #2 With the three cables it is already possible to control your fans (normal fans have only 2 connectors)

    #3 For a switch this does not matter (and if the switch does not work, you connect the cable the other way round)
    normally a switch would just work if you connect it the wrong way round, a led just won't but you would'nt break anything by doing it.

    Hope this helps you a bit... have to go now.. maybe someone else can help you with the other questions...

    bye
    Stefan
     
  4. pbb
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    pbb Retired Team Member

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    Thanks for the reply Stephan!

    1. Is a case fan that is connected to the powersupply, also temperature controlled? And if not, can one buy 3pin to 2x 3pin fan cable splitters, to get both casefans temperature controlled? I haven't been able to find any of those in the shops. Or would that mean that both get too little power?
    2. Ok, I thought the 3rd line was only for reporting the rotation speed...
    3. Does that go for all connectors (reset, hdd light, etc), that I can't damage something if I have the + and - crossed?
     
  5. John_Galt

    John_Galt Portal Member

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    Hi!
    I will see if I can answer all your questions, hopefully correct :)

    First of all, most of the pinouts you might need in your quest are explained on the excellent site pinouts.ru, http://pinouts.ru/


    Hope this will help you get your HTPC up'n'running
     
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  6. pbb
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    pbb Retired Team Member

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    Thanks a million John!

    After long search I've found a few suppliers of 3-pin splitters (on those, the second connector has indeed only 2 wires). And I found a fourth possibility, an Antec powersupply with temperature-controlled fan connector...

    As for the USB cables, it would have been great if I could find external-to-internal USB converters, because I don't think I'll have any use for the external USB ports on the back of my case... I'm not really handy soldering things, maybe I can find someone to build some for me.

    Thanks for all the help, I will now continue connecting up my case!

    Another question, about the 4 USB connectors for the front panel module. I now notice that two of them read VCC/USB1-/USB1+/GND, and two have VCC/USB2-/USB2+/GND (they are four 4-pin connectors). Does this USB1/USB2 indication mean I can put two connectors together on one 9-pin USB header on the motherboard? And if so, would I put the two USB1's together, or rather a USB1 and a USB2?

    There is a schematic picture of the connections from the front panel module visible here: http://www.silverstonetek.com/downloads/pindefine.jpg
     
  7. Paranoid Delusion
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    Yes, and the pins should be labelled usb1 one side and usb2 on the other, from memory the usb2 side is only 4 connections, the case manual should confirm.

    ps if you did connect them back to front it would not blow up, just give you slow speeds whatever you plugged in.
     
  8. John_Galt

    John_Galt Portal Member

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    If I understand you correctly you have 4 connectors for USB, each a 4pin in a row female connector from the FP32?

    As far as I can tell your MB has 3 USB connectors each supporting two ports for a total of 6 external USB-ports. That being the case you can connect 2 of your connectors to each of the internal ports, the order in which you do it doesn't really matter since they will all be USB-ports and they are not numbered in any way. Maybe, and that is a big maybe, there is a slight possibility of increase in performance if you connect all 3 connectors on the MB and only use one of them for 2 connectors.

    My guess is that the numbering on the FP32 is because of the pairing where USB1 will be the right pair and USB2 the left or vice versa.

    Just make sure the schematics on the MB and on the connectors are the same... which they seem to be...

    To summarize: You can't make it wrong :)
     
  9. pbb
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    pbb Retired Team Member

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    Hi all, thanks for the help so far!

    I have everything connected up, and everything works except for one component!

    What works:
    • power button
    • volume control knob
    • IR receiver
    • front panel USB ports

    But this doesn't work:
    • front panel media buttons

    Whenever I press one of the media buttons, a balloon tip pops up in Windows, labeled "USB Device Not Recognized". Clicking it opens a dialog box showing an Unknown Device on one of the USB connectors. I've included some screenshots.

    I've tried swapping out the connectors with those for the front USB ports, and tried with either one or two connectors on one USB group, but nothing makes any difference.

    I tried both the included iMON 5.00 software, and version 6.01 download from the SoundGraph website.

    Any ideas what could be wrong??
     
  10. John_Galt

    John_Galt Portal Member

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    Sorry, can't help you with this one... it seems like a driver related problem but at the same time it is strange if it only warns when you press a button.
    This might be a stupid suggestion but since I can't see your equipment in front of me... have you tried the drivers from Silverstones website instead. Their latest driver seems to differ from the one on Soundgraphs wesite.
    This is my best guess at the moment.
     
  11. pbb
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    pbb Retired Team Member

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    No, I haven't tried the updated SilverStone drivers yet (I found them yesterday). But the weird thing is indeed, normally you either get an error message on startup, or no errors at all if you have driver problems with USB devices, and those error messages are totally different. I am starting to fear a hardware malfunction in the button panel...
     

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