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- Where can I get...
March 23, 2005, 7:58 am
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...connectors to attach to my motherboard? I am rebuilding an old
Gateway PC with an Intel D875PBZ motherboard. The front-panel
connectors from the Gateway case don't exactly fit the new motherboard.
Does anyone know where I can get new connectors that I can attach to
the ends of the leads from the switches and LEDs that will fit on this
Re: Where can I get...
"Old Gateway PC" might be a bit too vague to know exactly
what you're dealing with. I have a few different older
Gateway cases here and don't recall anything particularly
difficult about their connectors, at least not compared to
other OEMs like Compaq or HP, the Gateways still used
separate groups of wires after others had already moved to
all-in-one ribbon cable on a dual IDC conn. (like a floppy
connector but length varied).
It's somewhat random whether one has the connectors on the
leads to get the case and board to work together. You'll
have to look at the motherboard manual to determine how many
groups of 2 or 3 pins you have, and how many two or three
pin sockets on the case wires (for lack of a better way of
putting it), regardless of whether they seem to match up.
One can ignore if they match if/when the connectors have the
small friction tab on their sides, in which case a small
needle or simlar can be used to gently pry up that tab and
release the wires, so you can rearrange them as needed. In
some cases you might have such a connector that's 3 pins
wide but only room for two pins on the board, or need three
pins on the board but only have a couple of two pin
connectors. In such cases take an X-Acto knife or razor
blade and cut off one of the socket positions.
When all else fails you can get dual or single IDC
connectors online, then you just cut off the wires and
arrange them in the connector before clamping it together.
It's a bit of a PITA to try to hold all the wires together
so I usually lay down a piece of scotch tape, get the wires
stuck to it and then lock them into the connector. I can't
tell for certain what you'd need there as all the pictures
of that board online (that I saw) were difficult to make out
the pin header(s) on but it might need 2 x 5 sockets.
Re: Where can I get...
Thans for the response. I could toss out the Gateway part number, but
I wasn't sure that was relevant.
Can I ask another couple of questions? What is an "IDC" connector? Is
that the name of the black plastic/bakelite ends on the leads from the
LEDs and switches? I've been scanning the web, but I didn't know what
to call them!
The connectors (IDC?) from the Gateway's front panel are actually two
different sizes. The one from the power switch is fatter than the ones
from the reset switch or the LEDs. The Mobo header is a 2x5, and if I
push on the main switch connector then I cannot push on anything else.
If I put the reset switch or LEDs on, they will all play together, but
not with the power switch connector. I'm not afraid of soldering
longer leads or crimping new ends on these wires, I just don't know
where to get the silly things.
Re: Where can I get...
Any kind of rough idea of what you have might be a start, as
"Gateway" isn't too telling alone. The case
form-factor/size, original parts in it might be useful.
IDC is Insulation Displacement Connector, like a floppy or
IDE cable uses. More often the connectors on the "average"
(ignoring OEMs') cases are just single-row inline sockets
with .1" pin spacing.
Look at the metal contacts inside the power (connector)
socket. Even though you wrote that the socket shell itself
is bigger, do the contacts inside look compatible with the
(connector) sockets for the LEDs and Reset switch?
If compatible, you can do without the reset switch and use
the shell off of it, or you can just hunt down a shell. If
the contacts aren't compatible, ie- you can't just slip them
out of the power connector socket and into a different
socket, then you simply need a new socket, pair of inserts
(contacts) and you'd crimp or solder the existing wires onto
the new contacts and slip it together.
If all you need is a two position single row socket
connector then visit the local mom-n-pop computer shop as
those have been around for ages and can be found inside any
old AT, ATX, other cases on their (coincidentally enough)
LED, reset, and power leads.
You can probably buy the connectors and inserts online, but
I suspect it's quite silly how much someplace would charge
for those in small quantities. I recall that Radio Shack
once carried something similar and wanted 8 cents a piece
for EACH tiny metal insert, which doesn't seem bad on the
surface except that at that time I needed 200 of them, $16
for what should've cost $2. For just one I'd go to the
local computer shop... if they don't have any or don't know
what you're talking about just ask if they've thrown away
any cases or have anything dirt-cheap, regardless of whether
it's actually useable as a case since you only need the one