Among all the various things to take into consideration when designing a case, one of the things foremost in my mind is how I’m going to handle the wiring. Ideally, there wouldn’t be any wiring at all, but in the real world wires are something we have to deal with. In the past I’ve tried to hide the wiring as much as possible with limited success. Of all the various connections that need to be made for a functioning computer, the 24 pin connector is the most annoying (in my mind at least). Overs the years I’ve searched  high and low for at least a right angle 24 pin connector but there just isn’t a plug in available. I’ve also given a lot of thought to making my own plug in adapter over the years but never taken that first step, until about a week ago that is……………

Several years ago I obtained some male and female 24 pin connectors in order to make my own right angle plug in adapter, but now that work was to begin the decision was made to go further, ie 180 degrees so the 24 pin cable could be plugged in from behind the board.

The parts being used include the connectors, male and female terminals, copper wire, some acrylic and two part epoxy.

The two empty connectors are super glued to a piece of acrylic. The width and height of the acrylic piece was determined by the distance from the socket on the motherboard to the edge.

I looked up the cross section measurements for 18 AWG wire (the kind most used and specified for this application). It converts to 1.02mm. I couldn’t find any solid wire in this size so the next size up was used, 1.25mm. The main problem with this is that the final result will be larger than hoped. Electrically there is no problem.

After much trial and error the various dimensions of the connecting wires for the first layer were arrived at. A piece of acrylic was cut so all the bends could be made quickly and accurately for the twelve wires.

Once the wires are bent they need to be cut to length and the PVC coating removed where the terminals will be soldered.

Then the terminals are soldered on keeping in mind that the orientation is correct. The little black line drawing is for accurately cutting the length of the ‘legs’.

That’s the first layer of terminals and connecting wire done.

A 24 pin extender is connected first to one side and then the other. Continuity is measured all the way through to the other side of the connector.

Thinking ahead, before the first row is sealed and insulated, some epoxy putty is placed over the terminal openings in order to prevent the two part epoxy running down and fouling the terminals. Here, the connector was plugged into an old motherboard so as to keep the terminals lined up correctly while the putty hardens.

Using some modeling styrene, a mould is made by super gluing strips to the connectors. These pieces should come away easily once the epoxy has set.

Its important to use a small tool to make sure the epoxy is well distributed around the wires. If a void is left between two wires then arcing may occur during use, Though probably not for long ARRRGH!

home

The second row is completed in a similar way as the first with obvious dimensional differences. A final layer of epoxy is added and the whole thing is sanded.

Because the retaining catch was removed from the connector that plugs into the mobo, I thought about a way to hold the new unit in position. A piece of aluminum was made that would eventually screw down on some risers attached to the mobo tray. As it turned out however, the fit is so good that I may discard this idea.

The finished adapter was sprayed satin black and the retainer glued on with epoxy.

Final thoughts….

Well, it’s neat and tidy and does the job. It fits well and probably doesn’t need any extra measures to keep it in place, so the top plate will probably be removed.

The only real downside is the size. It really is very difficult to get it any smaller though, at least using the methods I have here.

So, to my eyes at least, It looks a hell of a lot tidier than 24 wires snaking out of this location. I will use it, now I just need to give a similar treatment to the 12v and PCI express power connectors.



© Copyright 2016 Attila Lukacs

February 15 2016

After removing the alu hold down, a piece of modeling styrene is glued on and painted. This blends in more with the theme of the mobo.

The spray can used here says ‘satin’ but its just too glossy. Later I’ll try some matt black paint.