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Old 06-29-2020, 11:20 AM   #61
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Default Re: Dell Dimension 1100? ...or is it? The Ultimate Sleeper System

My ohh my, here we go with another one of these.... I was given a Dell/Alienware Aurora R7 in a junk lot from a local shop. Motherboard bad. CPU & RAM stripped, no HDD's.....but preliminary measurements reveal the X7DCA may fit it....





This will require some extensive modification....not so much for the fitment of the X7DCA, but rather all the proprietary lighting Dell used on this.... It's kind of dorky for my liking, but I have a 10yr old nephew that would absolutely love this.....to play fortnite of all things....and the X7DCA with a decent GPU will play it gleefully.

Anyway....I found a couple of these boards on ebay for $20ea....they aren't here yet....but the stupid part is trying to pin out the LED setup & power button config. It's proprietary to the board and I can't find the schematic/pinout for it....so it'll be trial & error/guesswork attempting this.....
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:10 PM   #62
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Default Re: Dell Dimension 1100? ...or is it? The Ultimate Sleeper System

It's been hit & miss today with mapping this thing out. These have strange chips (presumably controller IC's) on each of the side panel boards....so I started with finding grounds and poking around with voltage to see what would light or release magic smoke. I didn't release any magic smoke, but I was never able to get things to light reliably. I don't care one iota about color blending/changing....I just want them to illuminate upon powerup....the front panel section I've got mapped, lights working and power button mapped....but those side panels are being fickle. I'll poke around with it more later.....

The entire harness:


The fried motherboard:


Front panel lights....these would be the 'alien head' on the front of the PC.


One of the side panels lit....but I just can't seem to get this to work reliably. Each of those LED banks have 3 LED's in it (red, green, and blue).


Feeding it +12v. 5v won't light them at all. They'll strike around +9v, nice and bright @ +12v.


Now for the case itself.... Completely disassembled.


The IO panel is part of the case. This will have to be completely & precisely removed with a dremel so the correct IO shield will fit. I'll get one shot at this....but I have an idea (more later).




Top panel pieces and one of the sides...




More as this one develops.
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:31 PM   #63
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Default Re: Dell Dimension 1100? ...or is it? The Ultimate Sleeper System

Looks like the socket was trashed intentionally!
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:33 PM   #64
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Default Re: Dell Dimension 1100? ...or is it? The Ultimate Sleeper System

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJARRRPCGP View Post
Looks like the socket was trashed intentionally!
I did it....the board was toast before. It wasn't intentional....I just handled it a lot and didn't protect the socket, no need....board was a goner (lightning strike).
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:23 PM   #65
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Default Re: Dell Dimension 1100? ...or is it? The Ultimate Sleeper System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
I did it....the board was toast before. It wasn't intentional....I just handled it a lot and didn't protect the socket, no need....board was a goner (lightning strike).
I was hoping that the motherboard was like brand new.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:28 AM   #66
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Default Re: Dell Dimension 1100? ...or is it? The Ultimate Sleeper System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
This will require some extensive modification....not so much for the fitment of the X7DCA, but rather all the proprietary lighting Dell used on this.... It's kind of dorky for my liking, but I have a 10yr old nephew that would absolutely love this.....to play fortnite of all things....and the X7DCA with a decent GPU will play it gleefully.
My wife plays WOW on my x7DCA... no sweat @ 1080P with a GTX 970. I'm running low voltage CPUs too (due to the case's poor cooling); since you're going into presumably a better cooled case, you might be able to run some hotter chips.
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:15 PM   #67
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Default Re: Dell Dimension 1100? ...or is it? The Ultimate Sleeper System

in a gaming pc, the primary heat generator would be the gpu so cutting down on the cpu tdp isnt going to do much. i dont agree with your design principle of your wife's gaming pc at all...
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:03 PM   #68
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Default Re: Dell Dimension 1100? ...or is it? The Ultimate Sleeper System

The 2x boards came today. The seller had 2 left @ $29ea shipped OBO. I offered $20ea for the 2 he had left, and shazam. These were the versions without audio....but being a game rig, that's fine. An Audigy FX will fill the void nicely. I picked up a few of them some time back, some R2 dealer selling them in their boxes for $12 shipped.

Anyway, this is the firs mATX case I've ever seen one of these boardds fit cleanly on the bottom edge....and the first mATX case that this board can fit in and utilize the 32-bit PCI slot.

Not bad!!


Beautiful!


Everything clears on the back edge. No drive cages have to be deleted. There's a couple metal cable hold downs that are part of the motehrboard tray on the back edge that will have to be deleted, and of course some standoffs that need to be modified (standard for these boards), but this is a good fit!

Heatsinks may be a minor challenge, some solid copper 1U or 2U looks to be all that would clear. There's a 120mm fan in the front and anothe 120mm fan in the top, the case should breathe well.




The IO shield is the next big challenge.
Attached Images
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:43 PM   #69
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Default Re: Dell Dimension 1100? ...or is it? The Ultimate Sleeper System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
The 2x boards came today. The seller had 2 left @ $29ea shipped OBO. I offered $20ea for the 2 he had left, and shazam. These were the versions without audio....but being a game rig, that's fine. An Audigy FX will fill the void nicely. I picked up a few of them some time back, some R2 dealer selling them in their boxes for $12 shipped.

Anyway, this is the firs mATX case I've ever seen one of these boardds fit cleanly on the bottom edge....and the first mATX case that this board can fit in and utilize the 32-bit PCI slot.

Not bad!!


Beautiful!


Everything clears on the back edge. No drive cages have to be deleted. There's a couple metal cable hold downs that are part of the motehrboard tray on the back edge that will have to be deleted, and of course some standoffs that need to be modified (standard for these boards), but this is a good fit!

Heatsinks may be a minor challenge, some solid copper 1U or 2U looks to be all that would clear. There's a 120mm fan in the front and anothe 120mm fan in the top, the case should breathe well.




The IO shield is the next big challenge.
If the case has standard Dell audio headers, they did make alienware/XPS Audigy x-fi cards for this. I have one in my dual 940 rig (with a HP-spec'd standard HDA header soldered in place of the dell header). From what I'm seeing a lot of creative cards were made with dell headers... if you got the front audio header cable/jacks,, keep and use them, especially since the case isn't true uATX and supports all 5 slots (which is what makes the PCI slot on the board usable!).

Cheapest compatible X-fi card with the header I can find:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CREATIVE-SO...AAAOSwxbJe6QEz

Cheapest for what I have personally (and suggest):

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CREATIVE-X-...AAOSw~JRavSas\


Last edited by ratdude747; 06-30-2020 at 02:48 PM..
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:24 AM   #70
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Default Re: Dell Dimension 1100? ...or is it? The Ultimate Sleeper System

Ok, 100% fed up with trying to make that kooky OEM LED setup work. It's non-standard LED's with some kind of unknown controller driving them. Scrapping the entire thing and making my own. Yes, I know....way more effort than it's worth....but what the hell.

This made me really dig into the electronics archive, Ohm's law at it's finest.... I had to dig out the old 'magic circle'..... Anyway:

Some 5mm white LED's. These will be for the side panels.



That's what it'll look like through the refractor.



This will be powered from the 12v rail.



pulling ~ 19mA.


More later.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:27 PM   #71
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Default Re: Dell Dimension 1100? ...or is it? The Ultimate Sleeper System

Side panels are done....undoing all the Dell crap was a bigger pain than re-engineering the entire LED setup...

Anyway, all components & harnesses from the Dell PCB's, they needed to be used later.



Some of the components & connectors.


The contact plates for the removable side.


The panel itself...


I was never able to identify these chips....they were what appparently controlled the original setup.



Hot glued the LED's to the panel to hold them in place for installation.




Soldered up & resistor...




Power wiring, hot glued into where the original wires ran.


Test light!




Now for the repurposed PCB....I put it back in place, pinning the LED's into place....


Metal panel replaced, wiring ran.




Connected to the contact pad.


Tested again, working!




Same thing to the other panel, minus the contact pad (not needed, this side is stationary by default).




...and done!!




All the scrap!


The front panel beginning....I have some ideas....but until I sort it all, prepwork.


Front panel PCB.


Stripped.




More later...
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