What type of internal usb computer cable do I need?
October 7, 2012 4:44 PM   Subscribe

What type of internal computer cable do I need?

I bought a used, older lian li case off craigslist. The case has 4 usb ports in the front, but no cable coming off the card internally. What type of cable do I need in order to hook these front usb ports up to the motherboard? There are 16 straight pins coming off the card. Pictures over here (Imgur album)
posted by snowleopard to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Not sure what the motherboard header looks like, but assuming that it looks similar to what you have on the USB card what you probably need is something like this. (That was just one of the first results that came up in a google search for "USB motherboard cable", I'm not endorsing that particular item.) If the pinout on your motherboard is different then you might need one where one end of the cable is a bundle of loose single-pin sockets which you would then arrange and stick onto your motherboard's pins in accordance with the relevant schematic in the manual.
posted by Scientist at 5:25 PM on October 7, 2012

This article should give you some tips on the motherboard side, and this forum post tells you the pinouts on the front panel. As Scientist says, a cable with single-pin connectors on one end may work best for you, though it's fiddly business.
posted by holgate at 5:33 PM on October 7, 2012

Your looking at a 16 pin USB connector on the USB and and I don't know what on the motherboard end. It's going to be proprietary. You could rig something up with something like 4 of these by cutting off the usb end and putting single pin connectors on each wire. Without a wiring diagram (or a voltmeter and a good understanding of USB pin-outs) that will take you hours of frustrating trial and error work .

Write to Lian-Li , tell them the model number and ask them for the price of the appropriate part number.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 5:54 PM on October 7, 2012

That's a weird one, so probably Lian-Li specific. In my experience a typical internal USB motherboard header will be a 10-pin minus one.
posted by rhizome at 6:19 PM on October 7, 2012

Tangentially, depending on whether you can find that cable for cheap, it may be simpler and easier to get a cheap powered USB hub (I'm assuming you have a working USB port in the rear of the computer.) This has become my preferred method of dealing with USB, but, of course, it may or may not suit your needs, aesthetic and otherwise.
posted by Zed at 3:39 PM on October 8, 2012

tldr: You need 2 2$ 5pin USB cables.

You are looking for a USB 5 pin to 5 pin cable, you only use 4 of the pins. Your do-dad has 4 usb jacks (for 16 pins) and your motherboard will certainly have at least 2 usb pin outs, which will look something like this intro (and they will even be labeled on the board).

Note: you might only have 1 of these connections on the motherboard, which means you would only be able to directly connect 2 of your usb jacks. There is one of these 5 pin cables listed here for 2 dollars.

Look down at Figure 13 and 14 for nice pictures for connecting the front panel USB cables on this page for what it actually looks like on your motherboard. Note: you can see (upside down) the white USB## stamped on the board.

Issues: you will need to know the order of the pin out to make the connection.

USB cables follow this scheme:

And the Motherboard pinout is best described by a picture like the one on the bottom of this page which generally translates to :

PIN 1 RED: vcc, power, +5v
PIN 3 White: P-, Data0-
PIN 5 Green: P+, Data0+
Pin 7 Black: Ground

PIN 2 RED: vcc, power, +5v
PIN 4 White: P-, Data0-
PIN 6 Green: P+, Data0+
Pin 8 Black: Ground

Pin 9 is missing so you can orient the layout 10 isn't used.

The usb pinout from the back will be trickier. You will need to trace the following connections from the USB jack to the pin on the bottom of the usb dodad. Turn over the dodad so the pins are sticking out at you and so you can see the circuit (which you didn't picture) facing you.

Each USB jack will be:
left to right
Pin 1 Gnd (black)
Pin 2 P+ Green
Pin 3 P- White
Pin 4 Power: Red

Each usb has it's own set of 4 pins on the dodad so you need to just work out the order to make the connection to the motherboard.

A picture of the circuit would help.
posted by zenon at 11:16 AM on October 9, 2012

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