Can I expand upon my motherboard's limited internal pin connections?
March 11, 2007 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone make a PCI expansion card to add internal pin connectors for such things as USB1+/- and 1394?

I have an old ASUS P4T-E motherboard. I picked up one of these nifty Silverstone front card reader / combo devices while doing some other upgrades (new power supply, new video card). Unfortunately, my motherboard doesn't have pin connectors for most of the device's ponytail of cables. Yes, I know, know thy mainboard. Anyway.

Having seen and used IDE expansion cards in the past, my immediate reaction was to look for a card that offered bare pin connectors of the sort I'm looking for. But I can't seem to find anything that really resembles this, except for USB 2.0 cards that apparently have an internal connector (which is the one thing I don't necessarily need, though it would be nice to have the extra speed).

The cables I'd most want to hook up have 4+1 pin plugs (with the pin plugs marked VCC, USB 1-, USB 1+, GND and then a separate plug marked Ground). There are also 9 pin 1394 plugs, but these aren't as important to me. Does anyone make an expansion card with these odd 4+1 pin connectors? Or will this device be largely reduced to serving the role of drive bay cover until I give up and purchase a new chipset and motherboard?
posted by kowalski to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I've seen USB and FireWire PCI cards before, but I can't say for sure if they have those type of connectors on the board, but I know for sure they have USB and Firewire connectors in the back.
At this point, it would probably be cheaper to shop for a new board!
I like how you wrote headache in tags :P
posted by PowerCat at 8:29 AM on March 11, 2007

Hm. I have a CompUSA firewire PCI card that has "four" Firewire ports, one of which is internal. But just strictly open pins, no.
posted by smallerdemon at 9:28 AM on March 11, 2007

I've never seen one and I've bought several USB/Firewire expansion cards before I finally gave up and built a new machine. They often have internal connectors but not a pin header like on the motherboard. I think you are out of luck.

You might be able to build your own with an old USB cable and some solder but it might be faster/easier to just upgrade the motherboard.
posted by chairface at 10:07 AM on March 11, 2007

It actually doesn't matter whether the "internal" port is a pin header or an actual can find port-to header cables (or visa versa) on the web...

posted by weaponsgradecarp at 12:58 PM on March 11, 2007

Compusa sells one here.
Manufacturer specs for it are here. The manual states that the internal header is 'optional' so I would pop it out of the box and check before purchasing.

Seeing as it's ridiculously expensive, why not just pick up a card with an internal user-style (non-header) port, buy a $2 usb cable, slice it open and wire-nut it together?
posted by datacenter refugee at 2:55 PM on March 11, 2007

Search on ebay for pci usb internal header.
posted by EiderDuck at 6:16 AM on March 12, 2007

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