Help Please! Mini-ITX Build (pics)

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enigma54
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Help Please! Mini-ITX Build (pics)

Post by enigma54 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:58 am

I'm near the final stages of a mini-ITX build that gtguan posted in the CPU and Motherboards forum. I'm using a J&W 780G MINIX motherboard and a Nexus Psile case.

I have pretty much all the cabling hooked up and I wanted to turn it on just to make sure I can at least post and get to the BIOS before finalizing the assembly. The problem I'm stuck on is that the case only provides cables/connectors for HDD LED, POWER LED and RESET SW. Isn't there supposed to be a POWER ON cable? I can't seem to power on the motherboard! Please see the pics below to see what I mean. Or I'm missing something blindingly obvious to all of you except for me!

Here's the rig so far (I have not connected the power cable for the DVD writer nor the mouse and keyboard):

Image

Here's the manual on hooking up the front panel switches:

Image

Here are cables for HDD LED and POWER LED (note this connector takes up 3 pins and the mobo only allows for 2 pins for POWER LED?):

Image

Here's the cable for RESET SW (there is a soft button on the other side of the case...but there seems to be a spot for another cable...is this where the POWER ON should've been?):

Image

The front panel headers on the mobo:

Image

Finally, a pic of the picoPSU plugged in...at least I'm getting a green LED light that would seem to indicate that the power supply is on? There is no ON/OFF switch anywhere on the picoPSU?

Image

I would really appreciate any help you guys can provide! Thank you!
Last edited by enigma54 on Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LodeHacker
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Post by LodeHacker » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:29 pm

Well, you can short the PWR_ON pins to see whether the PC starts up at all. You are correct though, the connector for this should be there, but your Nexus Psile lacks it. Also, just split the POWER LED connector with a pair of scissors or something (though don't do this if you can have the Psile changed or it is under warranty).
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enigma54
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Post by enigma54 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:37 pm

LodeHacker wrote:Well, you can short the PWR_ON pins to see whether the PC starts up at all. You are correct though, the connector for this should be there, but your Nexus Psile lacks it. Also, just split the POWER LED connector with a pair of scissors or something (though don't do this if you can have the Psile changed or it is under warranty).
OK, bear with me as I'm not that technically inclined. How do I short the PWR_ON pins to see if the PC will start? I've wondered about the possibility of maybe the motherboard being damaged while assembling this. Or perhaps even the CPU might be cracked because it was a struggle using the push pins to get the Scythe Ninja mini mounted on the CPU!

And what do you mean by splitting the POWER LED connector?

ntavlas
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Post by ntavlas » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:50 pm

Lodehacker was refering to using a jumper on the pins where the power connector is supposed to go.

No need for that though. What happens here is that the reset connector has the wrong label. In reality it`s the power switch, the only switch the psile has. So you can just plug it in and you`re ready to go ;)

Linnaeus Tripe
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Post by Linnaeus Tripe » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:50 pm

And what do you mean by splitting the POWER LED connector?
The "three-pin" Power LED cable - just cut it in half (down the empty middle pin) and viola' it becomes two one-pin cables that you can just stick on the appropriate pins. Or, just don't connect the damn thing - it frequently feeds an annoying bright LED on the front panel anyway and serves no real purpose.

Weird that there is not power switch. You might try connecting the "reset" cable to the power on pins and see if that will work as your on/off.

LodeHacker
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Post by LodeHacker » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:04 pm

ntavlas wrote:Lodehacker was refering to using a jumper on the pins where the power connector is supposed to go.

No need for that though. What happens here is that the reset connector has the wrong label. In reality it`s the power switch, the only switch the psile has. So you can just plug it in and you`re ready to go ;)
Learn something new everyday :mrgreen:
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enigma54
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Post by enigma54 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:11 pm

Thanks guys for the replies! I've already tried plugging in the RESET SW cable into any number of combination of pins in the front panel....but the PC still will not turn on. I also have a 92mm fan connected to a 3-pin fan header on the mobo and the fan hasn't come on in any of the times I've tried plugging in the RESET SW cable in the different pins.

What is the next step to troubleshoot this problem?

LodeHacker
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Post by LodeHacker » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:22 pm

Chances are the RESET_SW connector is acting like a prick, have you tried shorting the PWR_ON pins? Grab any unused IDE drive and take the jumper out, plug it in place of the PWR_ON connector.

Also, I've read the picoPSU can be bitching around for no reason, try to power up the motherboard with any cheap unused ATX PSU. If this also fails, pray.
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Post by psiu » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:30 pm

Well to short the pins together, I just use a screwdriver usually. Touch, zap, on.

Don't go cutting the 3 pin assembly up either. If you look at the connector itself on the opposite side of the writing, there is a little plastic tab that is basically catching the metal to hold it in. Just get a micro screwdriver, toothpick, paperclip, etc and lift up the plastic tab while gently tugging, then slide it in to the desired location.
R.I.P. Felger Carbon & cpemma

enigma54
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Post by enigma54 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:30 pm

Sigh...this is so deflating. I've spent days on this, filing down the end caps of the ninja mini and cobbling together all the right adapters, but this thing won't power on. I tried another power supply but no luck there. I tried shorting the POWER_ON pins but nothing either.

I guess I have no choice but to disassemble everything now and maybe see if the CPU is damaged. What's the best way to remove a HSF with push pins? The way this is going, I'm probably going to crack the mobo in half trying to remove the HSF.

:cry: :cry: :cry:

gtquan
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Post by gtquan » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:54 am

Hi

I used the reset button as the power on/off at the back of the case. I can't remember if I had to modify the cable - 2 pin spaced as a 3 pin...but I will look at it when I get home.

If you have an old case/power supply you may wish to plug those into the MB and make sure it actually powers up.

What power supply are you using?

Greg

enigma54
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Post by enigma54 » Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:19 am

gtquan wrote:Hi

I used the reset button as the power on/off at the back of the case. I can't remember if I had to modify the cable - 2 pin spaced as a 3 pin...but I will look at it when I get home.

If you have an old case/power supply you may wish to plug those into the MB and make sure it actually powers up.

What power supply are you using?

Greg
Hi Greg,

Thanks for posting here...you might be the one person who can bail me out! I tried a regular ATX power supply but nothing powered up. I'm assuming you don't actually have to screw in the power supply to a computer case or have a motherboard mounted on standoffs in a case to test these things?

I'm using a picoPSU with an external power brick ordered from endpcnoise.com. Surprisingly, they don't carry the Psile case or the picoPSU anymore on the website. Maybe they didn't sell well. It's the same with the J&W 780g motherboard...it seems no retailers sell it in Canada anymore.

I took everything apart last night and will re-assemble again tonight to see if I can get it to work again. I will try the stock AMD HSF and perhaps use just 1 stick of SODIMM.

Thanks,

Lee

psiu
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Post by psiu » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:24 am

some idears:
Maybe it won't start without a fan plugged in? Doubtful since usually that won't be an issue until the BIOS loads...
Pull one stick of RAM out...
Have a hard drive or case fan plugged in (especially when testing with standard PSU) to help draw enough power. Though you would think it's not an issue with the pico...
When playing out of the case, put it on a non-conductive surface. Should still be protected via the ground path through the psu.
No stupid jumper settings need to be fixed?
Plug a speaker in if you have one so you can hear any beeps...
When shorting the power contacts, it's just a momentary short, btw--don't hold it there or anything. At least until you want to shutdown and have to hold it for 4 seconds...not that this is going to be a problem for you right now, lol.

I hope you get it worked out. It will either be something DOA and completely out of your power, or something remarkably simple and stupid on your end :P That's been my experience over the years anyway.
R.I.P. Felger Carbon & cpemma

gtquan
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Post by gtquan » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:46 pm

Hi Lee

I'm not sure what to tell you at this point. I had a look at your pictures and it appears everything is hooked up correctly.

My first guess is that there is a problem w/ the motherboard if you get no post w/ 2 different power supplies. I assume that you have the 'reset sw' from the psile case plugged into the MB 'power on' connector.

You could check the picopsu on another mb to make sure the picopsu is working. Also connect the psile case reset cable to another MB and see if that switch works. You should be able to do this w/ another power supply. Don't pull too much power from the picopsu if testing w/ another MB.

If those check out then troubleshoot the 4 pin pwr12V connector. That's the only other one I can think of that would cause a powerup issue. If these all check out then I would assume it's a problem w/ the motherboard.

Anyway I hope you get it sorted out.

Greg

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Post by DieVerlizt » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:23 pm

I think I've got this figured out ...

Are you hooking up to the yellow RS232 connector (serial port)?

You actually want to use the black front panel connector - right next to the ATX power connection.

You can use google images "780G minix" for a good diagram with labels. (sorry for no link - not allowed to post them yet)

Oh, and you can easily convert the 3-pin power LED connector to 2-pin. Just use a tiny screwdriver/paperclip/pin to move one of the wires to the middle. Don't forget ... + and - matter. The LED won't work the other way.

Hope this helps.

Tim

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Post by frostedflakes » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:01 pm

Good catch DieVerlizt, that's the reason the board isn't starting up for him. I was sitting here scratching a hole in my head trying to figure out what the problem was. Seems so obvious now. :)

The front panel header is labeled as #7 in the pic on the following page. It's what you need to be hooking those connectors up to.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/mother ... herboard/2

And as psiu pointed out you don't necessarily need to cut the power LED connector, the pins are removable with a bit of effort. Just remove the green pin from the farthest hole and move it over next to the white pin. The empty slot for the connector can just hang slightly off the motherboard header, it won't harm anything. And keep in mind polarity matters for the LED connectors, so the colored pins for the power and HDD LED connectors should go to the + pin on header diagram, and the white pin (common) should go to the - connector. For the power and reset switches polarity shouldn't matter.
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Post by psiu » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:50 pm

psiu wrote:I hope you get it worked out. It will either be something DOA and completely out of your power, or something remarkably simple and stupid on your end :P That's been my experience over the years anyway.
DieVerlizt wrote:I think I've got this figured out ...

Are you hooking up to the yellow RS232 connector (serial port)?

You actually want to use the black front panel connector - right next to the ATX power connection.

Hope this helps.

Tim
frostedflakes wrote:Good catch DieVerlizt, that's the reason the board isn't starting up for him. I was sitting here scratching a hole in my head trying to figure out what the problem was. Seems so obvious now. :)

The front panel header is labeled as #7 in the pic on the following page. It's what you need to be hooking those connectors up to.
Well at least it should be a simple if humbling fix! Move those connectors over!
:lol:
R.I.P. Felger Carbon & cpemma

enigma54
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Post by enigma54 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:23 am

DieVerlizt wrote:I think I've got this figured out ...

Are you hooking up to the yellow RS232 connector (serial port)?

You actually want to use the black front panel connector - right next to the ATX power connection.

You can use google images "780G minix" for a good diagram with labels. (sorry for no link - not allowed to post them yet)

Oh, and you can easily convert the 3-pin power LED connector to 2-pin. Just use a tiny screwdriver/paperclip/pin to move one of the wires to the middle. Don't forget ... + and - matter. The LED won't work the other way.

Hope this helps.

Tim
OMG....you're right! How did I miss that?!?! Now I hope I haven't been too rough in handling the board and the CPU in my frustrating attempts the last few days to get this sucker to work! The shiny yellow connectors obviously drew too much of my attention! Too funny...not!

I had all but given up on the motherboard for dead last night and had actually packed it away in the box! Now I'm going to retry one more time!

A big THANK YOU....and to everyone else who contributed their suggestions!

gtquan
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Post by gtquan » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:04 pm

Good pickup.

Lee - let us know how the build goes. I'm using mine now to type this message. It's a nice little computer when you get it running. The northbridge chipset runs a little warm and you may need to add an additional fan depending on where you've placed the computer.

Greg

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Post by silentbobbo » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:38 am

hi enigma54,

Ive noticed you have the nexus psile case, I have the same and im planning to upgrade, im wondering how you managed to fit the mini ninja in that case, as the spec size dosent add up. Have you cut into the end of the heatpipes? Also dosent that let out the liquid inside which is used to transfer heat?

Im hoping to fit a mini ninja or other fanless cpu cooler into this case to power a new dual core, or quad core processor if I can find one energy efficient enough, any suggestions?

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Post by Maccer » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:38 pm

Hope you've got the power on switch working. For the Power Led you don't need to cut the connector, get down to maplins or the equivalent and they sell individual header wires so you can turn the 3 into a 2 (shold be just the outside 2 holes that you connect to on the case cable), I did the same thing with one of my case for the power led.

I do have a picture of the box to upload so I'll post on this thread a couple of times to get my post count up so I can attach it

Maccer
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Post by Maccer » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:39 pm

Also what helps is you arrange the header cables in the right way to plug into the mobo and then use a thin piece of Duct tape to hold them together, acts as a makeshift Asus plug.

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Post by Maccer » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:39 pm

Image as promised

Image

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Post by DanceMan » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:52 pm

Oh, and you can easily convert the 3-pin power LED connector to 2-pin. Just use a tiny screwdriver/paperclip/pin to move one of the wires to the middle.
Use a straight pin or needle. While it's inserted, you can pull the metal connector out of the plastic, then stick it in the proper slot. The metal connector has a tab that is spring loaded to flare out. It will click out against the plastic so it can't come out. The pin or needle inserted in the correct place will retract the metal tab and allow it to be slid out. No need for cutting or adapters.

enigma54
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Post by enigma54 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:51 pm

silentbobbo wrote:hi enigma54,

Ive noticed you have the nexus psile case, I have the same and im planning to upgrade, im wondering how you managed to fit the mini ninja in that case, as the spec size dosent add up. Have you cut into the end of the heatpipes? Also dosent that let out the liquid inside which is used to transfer heat?

Im hoping to fit a mini ninja or other fanless cpu cooler into this case to power a new dual core, or quad core processor if I can find one energy efficient enough, any suggestions?
Yes I used a plier to remove the end caps and then used a dremel to shave off a few millimetres of the pipes. It should fit fine after this. I got the idea from gtguan who posted his nexus psile build in this thread: viewtopic.php?t=48538&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30

enigma54
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Post by enigma54 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:03 pm

Maccer and Danceman:

Yup I was finally able to power on the system after plugging the cables to the right panel! I was also able to move the green pin to the middle slot for the Power LED connector using a paper clip to lift the plastic tab. The 3rd pin, which is now vacant, just hangs off the side of the panel when it's plugged in.

I'm hoping to complete the build this weekend. Progress has been slow as my free time has been scarce this week. Organizing cables in a small case is a major pain especially as the picoPSU gives you short runs for power cables. I'm going to have to re-orient the hard drive now just to make cable management a bit easier.

I'll post photos of the completed build soon! Thanks again to everyone for all their help!

Maccer
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Post by Maccer » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:03 pm

Its looks like it'll be worth all the effort in the end, as you are gonna have a really nice machiine.

Can't get over how big that Mini Ninja looks on the board!

zodaex
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Post by zodaex » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:58 am

[/quote]

The "three-pin" Power LED cable - just cut it in half (down the empty middle pin) and viola' it becomes two one-pin cables that you can just stick on the appropriate pins. Or, just don't connect the damn thing - it frequently feeds an annoying bright LED on the front panel anyway and serves no real purpose.
[/quote]

Actually it serves a VERY IMPORTANT purpose. It lets you know if your PC is on. Our rigs are far too quiet to be able to tell without it.
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Maccer
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Post by Maccer » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:09 pm

Just used the idea from this thread regarding pulling out the wire from the power led connector and moving it to another pin, excellent advice, don't need those maplin cables after all, thanks.

enigma54
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Hot Temperatures!

Post by enigma54 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:54 am

I've finally put all the pieces together and have this rig up and running (I'll post photos later tonight).The fact that I got everything assembled and powered on was gratifying!

However, I'm getting some very high temperature readings for the CPU and Core according to Speedfan. The CPU idles at around 55C and I've confirmed this reading going into BIOS. As soon as I stick a DVD movie into it, the CPU temperature rises very quickly into the 60's...then into the 70's...then into the 80's! In the last half hour of a 90 minute movie, even the fan inside the external power brick comes on and this particular fan is LOUD!

I'm using two 60mm Papst fans (rated at 11 cfm) as exhaust and a 92mm Nexus fan (rated at 27 cfm) that sits at the front of the case blowing across the fanless Scythe Ninja Mini.

I then removed the Ninja Mini and put in the stock AMD cooler. The CPU temperature idles at ~23C and goes to ~30C playing the DVD movie. The Core temperature is ~15-20C. The tradeoff, of course, is that the AMD HSF is loud and defeats the purpose of having this as a HTPC.

Any suggestions on what I can do to cool this rig down properly? The 3 fans I have in the case can't seem to keep up with heat inside the case. I should mention that I'm using an AMD 5050e processor.

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