Must I have loops of cable sticking out?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Richard Harnwell, May 17, 2002.

  1. Richard Harnwell

    Richard Harnwell
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    I'm about to start building my first HCPC (name down for AV style case Power Buy), but there's one thing which I haven't seen anyone discuss;

    Lots of internal HCPC accessories (IR receivers/LCD windows etc. ) use standard PC ports (serial/parallel/PS2). Each one of these seems to require a cable plugged into a socket on the rear of the case, which then has to loop back inside through a (probably DIY) hole. This must look incredibly messy, and surely makes what could be a nice looking piece of kit seem a bit Heath Robinson.

    No-one seems to have been complaining about this, so I'm hoping there's a way round this that I haven't realised. I'm just hoping it doesn't involve a soldering iron...........

    Are there any PCI cards which replicate these ports internaly?

    Cheers,

    Richard
     
  2. Richard Harnwell

    Richard Harnwell
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    No thoughts?
     
  3. Richard Harnwell

    Richard Harnwell
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    Oh well.

    I rather hoped that this would be the sort of thing that many HCPCers would have faced.

    Does this mean that most people have found a way round this problem or just don't care?

    I'd be grateful for any response........

    Cheers,

    Richard
     
  4. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    Richard

    The back of mine does indeed look a complete mess, I'm not sure what I could do to make it better. On the IR receiver I was going to try and use the internal motherboard serial header to connect an IRMan internally, I was also going to build my own digital out cable for my audiophile card to remove a bit of clutter.

    Most motherboards already have at least one internal header for serial, some have both on headers as well as serial. A lot also have extra usb ports that can be connected via a header, you could make these internal pretty easily.

    John
     
  5. Matinee

    Matinee
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    Yes, there are ways round this. You can certainly get front fascias to replicate PS2/serial/USB/audio plus display the CPU temperature if you're lucky.

    That's 3.5mm jack audio by the way, if you need anything more exotic you're better off buying a soundcard that comes with a breakout box. I know the Soundblaster Audigy range have a breakout box that mounts at the front, and would be surprised if the more upmarket audiophile cards do not.

    Everything else will undoubtedly be custom. You could embed an IRMan in a front face plate and loop it back into the appropriate port.

    Make sure you've got enough space, of course :) PS/2 etc plus audio breakout, plus IRman in fascia is going to defeat a desktop and start straining at the limits of a midi tower.

    Moving the graphics card outputs to the front without soldering is likely to be tricky.

    Why do you need outputs on the front, anyway? Whilst computer cabling is a bit messy, audio kit is just as bad, if not worse. Personally I'd leave the cabling at the back, and use cable ties to improve things slightly.

    PK
     
  6. Richard Harnwell

    Richard Harnwell
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I've got a feeling I haven't made myself very clear.

    I don't want outputs on the front. I want to be able to have ports accessible internaly, so that internaly mounted HCPC accessories such as IR receiver & LCD displays don't have to be connected by a lead wich plugs into an external port on the rear, then loops straight back inside the case.

    I realise some things have to be plugged in at the back, but surely things mounted inside the case shouldn't have to be connected outside of it!

    JohnAd is talking about the sort of thing I'm looking for. What would be really good would be a PCI card which made serial/parallel/PS2 ports all available inside the case. Unfortunately I haven't found one yet...

    Does any of that make sense?

    Cheers,

    Richard
     
  7. Matinee

    Matinee
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    Oh yes, that's perfectly clear now. I'm afraid I've not seen one before; the problem is that motherboard headers for the various ports are usually variable, and worse on ATX systems (i.e. practically everything these days), mounted directly on the motherboard.

    I dont think you're going to find a card that does what you want; it's a very specialist requirement. I"m trying to think of something constructive, but all the solutions I can think of involve cables, drilling and soldering :(

    PK
     
  8. Richard Harnwell

    Richard Harnwell
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    I hope it isn't rude to answer your own question........

    After some help from the guys at the AVS HTPC forum, and general surfing, I think I have a solution.

    It seems that just about all new motherboards have USB headers available. I am planning on getting a "USB bracket" (USB header -> sockets connector) for about £5. This provides a mounting bracket with two USB sockets, but it looks fairly easy to remove the sockets from the bracket. This will provide me 2 internal USB sockets. I could always fit a hub internally if I needed more than 2 sockets.

    I have then found the following adaptors:

    • USB -> 2 x PS2 sockets (keyboard & mouse)
    • USB -> Parallel plug (needed for some LCD displays)
    • USB -> Serial socket

    By making use of these leads, I can connect up things like IR receivers, LCD panels completely internally , thus removing the need for any of these loops.

    I am one happy puppy!
     
  9. JSW

    JSW
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    Dont count on it, usb replicates com ports on a usb to serial adaptor and you will find many things wont work if they need to use an actual com port.
     
  10. MAW

    MAW
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    That's perfectly true if you are using the external ones for something else, hopefully you should find that you simply can't use both at the same time. Don't hold me to that, I quote Dr. Malcolm, 'anything can and does happen', well we're talking about Windows PC's here...
     
  11. Richard Harnwell

    Richard Harnwell
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    Actually, the USB -> Serial option was just an additional example. It is the other two (parallel & PS2) that I really need.

    Having said that, I will have no intention of using any external serial devices, so I hope to be OK.
     

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