Announcement

Collapse

IMPORTANT Announcement.

Hello to all members new and old. Welcome to Origin Niche.

Just want to say that if you have posted in the tech-support forum or are just generally looking for help or an assist with something, and you think that nobody has seen your post, please feel free to PM me or any of the other Moderators and Administrators, we'll reply as soon as we can.

Redphyve
(Admin)
See more
See less

Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

    If any mod wants to sticky this thread, they are most welcomed to do so

    I decided to write this tutorial up because there are most probably thousands like me who struggle to set the Alienware light kit up from a case purchased from Alienware eBay or other non-Alienware places. Because Alienware doesn't provide of any type of support for cases purchased this way,I decided to write this tutorial up. This tutorial is not meant to be a replacement for alien Andy's tuorial guide, but rather a second guide for those of you struggling to set up the AlienFX light system. This took me about 12 hours to get everything organised. Hopefully this tutorial will help you to set up your Alienware light kit.

    USER AGGREEMENT BEFORE YOU START FOLLOWING THE GUIDE

    Before you start following these installation, you the user/reader of this guide have to agree to these conditions

    1. Partha hasn't asked you to follow his following instructions and it is your own choice to follow his instructions.

    2. Partha the author is not God but a normal human being who can and does make mistakes, and hence there may be some mistakes in this tutorial even though the author Partha tried his best to avoid any erroneous instructions.

    3.It is up to you to cross check Partha's guide against any guide available on the internet to make sure you are not making any wrong connection in your system.

    4. Partha is not responsible for any damage that you do your computer system or alienware light kit in the process of following these instructions.

    5. Partha is also not responsible if following Partha's instruction led your entire house, or entire community or entire town to set on fire, or any other form of unwanted electrical problems.

    6. The author Partha reserves the right to modify/update the tutorial in any way he deems fit.

    If you agree to the above conditions, please proceed to the alienware light kit installation guide. Note that if you cant see an image properly on this page because of it's too small size, clicking on the image will show you the full sized pic where everything should be much clearer.

    PARTHA'S LIGHT KITE INSTALLATION GUIDE

    Alienware Light kit consists of a base bigger backend mother card and a small front-end daughter card that fits inside the bigger card. This card is known as ELC Board FX Light Card. This back end card looks like this.



    This back end an ELC Board FX Light mother card comes in two revisions - Revision 4 or Revision 5. In this tutorial I will refer to them as Rev 4 or Rev 5. I am not fully sure about the difference between Rev 4 and Rev 5 back end cards. However as Alien Andy of this forum notes that the major difference between the two is that the Rev 4 card have a black wire soldered to the underside.


    Now the front end daughter card are of 2 types. These cards sit inside the mother card when installed
    a) An active card and
    b) A Passive card

    This is an active card



    And this is a passive card



    Passive card are easier to use because they have less connections to connect and doesn’t need any Alienware software.

    In a passive card, there are 3 dip switches in the left hand bottom corner using which you can change the colour of your light.



    More on how to use the light DIP switches to change the colours later. Active card have the advantage that you can change the colour of the lights using an Alienware software.

    Lets look at the complete bundle now. This is how the package comes. This is the passive card bundle. The package consists of ELC Board FX Light Card + Passive Controller



    Now lets begin this tutorial for installing Alienware light kit installation. This tutorial is for both the Active card and the Passive card. Our first task is to label the back end card where all the connection go in. So here it is



    Looking at the same image sideways, and comparing it with a board already connected



    Don't worry about the connections now as I will soon follow it up with the connection diagrams. Please note the second right hand image is taken from an active card installation, and in a passive card installation, all these connections will not be needed.



    I will however use the second image to explain the connections even for a passive card as I don't have a suitable image for it.

    Anyway now lets look at the connectors in the above image with the labels on. Ignore the connections now.



    Lets now look at how to set up the connections

    Connections – Part I - The Base connections

    This is base connection in after you put the back end mother card into the base of the Alinware case, slot the smaller daughter card inside. Right now don't worry about what type of daughter card you have. Just do these connections. Right now what you do is

    1. Connect the white Alienware proprietary ribbons to the appropriate Right, Left and Front panels. This is shown in green colour in the image.

    2. Connect the molex connector to the PSU. Dont worry about connecting the HDD/Power LEDS and the USB OUT and USB IN pins now.

    The scheme is shown in the following image.




    Connections – Part II a - for both active and passive daughter cards

    The only new connection you needed besides the above is connecting the HDD/Power LEDS to the motherboard HDD/Power header pins. This is shown in the following image



    Just ignore the wire connection you are seeing in the USB Out/USB in the above image. As I said earlier, this is the best image that I got for explaining the connections.

    Now the basic principle for connecting the HDD/Power LED connectors on the back end mother ELC Board FX Light card to the HDD/Power Header pins in your motherboard is as follows :

    1. The HDD LED pins from the backend mother card needs to be connected to the HDD header pins ( more precisely HDD Activity LED pins ) in Motherboard Front Panel.

    2. The Power LED pins from the backend card needs to be connected to the power LED header pins in motherboard .

    Make sure that while you are connecting, that the + and - sides of the wires are not interchanged.

    My own passive daughter card based system didn't come with these connecting wires that connects the HDD/Power LED connector pins of the backend card to the Motherboard HDD Header & Power LED Header pins. So I had to make up two wires up to do these 2 connections. However don't blame me if it doesn't work on your system or short-circuits your system.

    Now note that each motherboard has it's own layout as to where these Header pins are located and the pattern in which the pins are organised there in and you have to consult your motherboard manual to find that out. Here is for example where you can find those header pins in a Gigabyte GA EX58 UD4P



    Here is how I have done these connections in my own PC when I made the wires up. My motherboard is Gigabyte GA EX 58 UD4P. Please consult your own motherboard manual to see where the HDD & Power LED header pins are located in your motherboard.




    For those lucky ones whom Alienware did supply the necessary connector, the connection scheme is a bit different ( don't' ask me why, I don't know ). Now this connector make look either one of two types, images courtesy bigshot & Alien Andy of this forum.



    As you see, Rev 4 connecting wire has 2 wires, one red and one blue in colour. Rev 5 connecting wire have 3 wires having green, black and white colours.

    This image shows how the connector is connected to the back end card. You have to put the other end of the connecting wire to appropriate header pins in the motherboard by following your motherboard manual as stated above.



    NOW, if your system is a passive daughter card based system, your tutorial ends here, just check the 2 tutorial end notes. Active daughter card based system owners please continue to read.

    Connections - Part II b - Only if you have an active card

    For a Rev 4 based system, you first have to complete all connections as said in Connections Part I and Part II a above. Then you have to:
    - connect the USB IN of the backend card to the USB connector on the motherboard
    - connect the USB OUT to the Alienware Front case panel USB wire

    This connection scheme is shown in the following image



    For Rev 5 Based systems, besides the above USB IN and USB OUT connections, you have to connect the two pins marked as 24 pin connector in the image to the 24 pin connector on the motherboard. Credit goes to stangtjk of this forums for pointing this out. The connection scheme for Rev 5 based system then becomes as follows



    This is what stangtjk says about this 24 pin connection " I'm assuming this is where most people are having a problem, the white two pin plug has a black and purple wire that go to the 24pin connector on the mother board. The purple wire goes into the 4th pin down from the top on the inside row and the black goes in the 6th. They have a special 24pin extension for those 2 wires but you shouldn't have a problem just splicing them in to the 24 pin from the psu. "

    I will assume that is clear enough instruction.

    Here are the two images courtesy stangtjk which shows the connection of the 24 pin connector to motherboard. The first image shows the connection to the back-end mother card and the second image where it is connected to the motherboard



    On the motherboard side this is how it is connected to the 24 ATX pin in motherboard



    Remember, don't try this 24 pin connection is Rev 4 based systems, or may fry your light kit.

    Tutorial Endnotes

    1. Make sure you do NOT connect the Molex connector hanging off the left case panel fan to anything. It doesn't need connection. DONT connect it.

    2. This is where I try to explain how to use the 3 DIP switches in a passive daughter card to change the color of lights in your system. There are three micro switches on the ELC board located at the inside base of the case.
    Each is numbered 1 to 3. Make sure you

    - Switch OFF your PC each time you set the colours.

    - Move the switches with a ballpoint pen or a toothpick , NOT a screwdriver. Be gentle. Otherwise you may break the DIP switches.

    The colour and switch order is :-

    1,2,3 Down = Off
    1,2,3 Up = Light Blue
    1,2 Up, & 3 Down = Turquoise
    1,3 Up, & 2 Down = Purple
    1,3 Down, & 2 Up = Green
    1 Down,2,3 Up = Yellow
    1,2 Down, & 3 Up = Red
    2,3 Down, & 1 Up = Blue

    For more information check out these threads

    Alien Andy Alien FX Set up Guide :

    http://www.alienwareniche.com/forums...ead.php?t=3410

    Stangtjk explaining how to connect the 24 pin connector to the motherboard :

    http://www.alienwareniche.com/forums...ead.php?t=3476

    If this tutorial helped you, please say thank you. If anyone found a mistake in this tutorial, please PM me and I will fix it ASAP
    Last edited by Partha; 05-29-2010, 04:00 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

    firstly thanks for setup guide was a big help, one question and i'm done with this set up, the hdd/power on the card, what two wires does it need ? i can see pled - and the hd_led is all it says, so is that the plus or the minus hd_led wire from the mobo.
    Thanks guys.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

      Wow, thanks a ton for this walk-through!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

        Does the hdd wire go to + or - on the motherboard? and what about the power led does it go to the + or - on the motherboard? Man will I ever know this answer? I have read all I can find with no answer anywhere. Please help

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

          Thank you very much for this guide, its almost perfect. But there are some things that i couldnt figure out. I have an active card Rv04, both backend an controller.

          1: On the left panel, do i need to plug that little connector ? I'm not plugin the molex, but the fan isnt working too.




          2. I bougth my case and my light kit on ebay, separately. So it didnt come with a hdd pw cable, i made one but im not sure if its correct.



          I'm connceting one side of the cable i made to the MOBO hdd+ and pw+, and connecting the other side to the first 2 pins of the back end card. Is that correct ?





          My question is, the two last pins at the back end card, and the HDD- and PW- pins at the MOBO, are not used ?



          3. About the usb connectors, it dosent matter if I connect the cable from the MOBO to the USB in or USB out, the USB front port will work, but only one. Im kinda concerned about that, but at least indicates thats my card its not fried.


          4. As i have an active card do i need any software to get the lights running ? mine havent lighten up not even once.
          I installed AuroraFx and i ts says it didnt find my card, but it is installed accordingly to your guide.(I think)




          5. Only one of my usb front ports are working, the other powers up my pen drive but doesnt recognize it.

          Any help will be very appreciated, i'd really like to see some lights this weekend. Thanks !

          I just noticed that my left panel's fan its now working, but no leds tought, and only one usp front port working as well.
          Last edited by Fred; 11-21-2009, 05:38 PM. Reason: new info

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware AlienFX light kit is here

            Thanks man, but please help me with one more thing, i just replied to your post, please take a look.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

              I still cant get answers either on any of this. I know one thing hooking the hdd led on the board to the hdd led + on the motherboard does nothing at all. There are two lights on the board behind the power button and only one works when connecting like the diagram. I unhooked the hdd led and nothing changed so I still do not know how to make the connections. I know the hdd led is not working or even on at all. The power button is more lit at the bottom because it is the only light that is on. The hard drive light is at the top of the light board and is off with these connections. I am still searching for answers.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

                Yes do connect that small plug on left door it is the light connection. The fan uses that small plug but never connect that big one on the fan, also make sure that no wires block those connections because power will not get to the light or fan. There is also a wire connected to the right door for the light but it has no fan.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

                  Hey Fred, I'll help you out with what I know.

                  1: On the left panel, do i need to plug that little connector ? I'm not plugin the molex, but the fan isnt working too.
                  Yes that gets plugged in


                  2. I bougth my case and my light kit on ebay, separately. So it didnt come with a hdd pw cable, i made one but im not sure if its correct.
                  I don't know if you have a rev4 of rev5 board. On my rev5 there are 3 wires (white, black, and green as shown in the guide). The white wire connects to HD_LED + on the motherboard and the first pin on the main board. The black and green wires go to PWRLED +,- respectively and plug into the 2nd and third pins as shown.

                  3. About the usb connectors, it dosent matter if I connect the cable from the MOBO to the USB in or USB out, the USB front port will work, but only one. Im kinda concerned about that, but at least indicates thats my card its not fried.
                  The USB panel doesn't have anything to do with the lighting so if its not working the problem lies in the USB port, cable, or motherboard.

                  4. As i have an active card do i need any software to get the lights running ? mine havent lighten up not even once.
                  I installed AuroraFx and i ts says it didnt find my card, but it is installed accordingly to your guide.(I think)
                  Yes you need the AlienFX software for the active card. I'm not sure but I think you need AlienFX installed regardless of if you use AuroraFX because it still uses the drivers from AlienFX. I could be wrong about that but I haven't messed with AuroraFX. This is where you're likely having problems. AlienFX and Alienware Command Center will only install on an alienware motherboard. You could try to modify your bios to trick it but you'll have to dig up that info on your own. I remember there was a thread a while back concerning this.

                  5. Only one of my usb front ports are working, the other powers up my pen drive but doesnt recognize it.
                  Refer back to what I said to question 3.

                  Hope that helps.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

                    One more thing Fred, If you look at the pics of my rig in the guide you'll see two wires connected to the white connector on the main board (black and purple). These tap into the 24pin atx plug as described. I've had 2 alienwares with active lighting and they both had this connection so I'm assuming its required for the active lighting to work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

                      Originally posted by stangtjk View Post
                      One more thing Fred, If you look at the pics of my rig in the guide you'll see two wires connected to the white connector on the main board (black and purple). These tap into the 24pin atx plug as described. I've had 2 alienwares with active lighting and they both had this connection so I'm assuming its required for the active lighting to work.
                      Stangtjk, thank you very much my friend for your patience trying to help me.

                      However i'm losin my hope.
                      I've tried everything already, and my only progress its to have the Alien head power button blinking once when i turn on the pc. Here is some facts that may help you guys helping me.

                      1. I have a Rev 04 board and Rev04 Active controller card.

                      2. At my first attempt installing it, i connected both the molex and the 3 pin conncetor to the left panel. My system rebooted twice, i guess that was the cause.

                      3. "Usb In" going from Mobo to Main board, "Usb out" empty, First pin on the main card is Hdd+, Second pin main card is PW+. Hdd + and - connected to MObo, PW + and - conected to Mobo.

                      4. Four pin Molex connected to Main Board, Left side Pannel Fan working fine, no molex connected to left side fan.

                      5. XP 32 bits running, Alienware command center installs fine, but doesnt porceed with firmware update. I tried to updated manually but it says "No board detected"

                      6. Try to enable alienfx on the Alienware icon on the side of the watch, it says "An error occured comunnicating with controller.... probably because software was installed on a pc without alienware hardware support"

                      7. I was afraid my controller card could have been burned, but if i remove it from the main board, the alien head wont blink when i turn on the pc. If i put it on, it blinks and imediately turn off, its the only light blinking, none of the other leds do.

                      8. I'vw tried to put the name Alienware on the system bios registry for the program to update my card, but it didnt work.

                      9. Windows device manager dosent recognize it, its weird cause its techinically a usb device.

                      10. One more thing, i saw the 2 wires you were talking about that conncet into the 24pin, but i have a Rev 04 card, so according to the guide if i make this connection i will fry my board.

                      i' post some pictures in a few moments.

                      Thats it, i'm very thankfull for anyone willing to help, specially with a Print Screen of the System Bios regystry from an actual alienware pc, so i'll have some idea on what i have to type. Thanks
                      Last edited by Fred; 11-25-2009, 08:21 PM. Reason: new info

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

                        10. One more thing, i saw the 2 wires you were talking about that conncet into the 24pin, but i have a Rev 04 card, so according to the guide if i make this connection i will fry my board.
                        I believe it says it may fry your card because no one with a rev 4 active card has confirmed the connection. I'd bet that its required for the active card regardless of revision.

                        I can't say if it would damage the card our not but I doubt it. Its only 5V and like 10mA. If it were me I'd connect it and try. Really what do you have to lose? the lights aren't working now.

                        I'm gonna bet that that connection is the power for the logic controller on the active card which is why you computer doesn't detect the card (no power) and the usb is just the power for the lights.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

                          Originally posted by stangtjk View Post
                          I believe it says it may fry your card because no one with a rev 4 active card has confirmed the connection. I'd bet that its required for the active card regardless of revision.

                          I can't say if it would damage the card our not but I doubt it. Its only 5V and like 10mA. If it were me I'd connect it and try. Really what do you have to lose? the lights aren't working now.

                          I'm gonna bet that that connection is the power for the logic controller on the active card which is why you computer doesn't detect the card (no power) and the usb is just the power for the lights.
                          Thanks man, i just noticed you were selling your Pc on ebay, right ? Hope you got a good price for it

                          Anyway, I think i'll try what you said about wiring the black and purple cabe to the white connector. I'm kinda concerned cause i've already ordered a passive card so if i fry the main board i wont be able to make it work too.

                          As for the USB front pannel, if i connect it direct to the motherboard, both connectors works fine, powering and reading anything i plug in the.

                          Only when i connect the front pannel to the main board, is that one of the USBs stop reading my pen drive, but it do turn it up. Weird.

                          Thanks again man !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

                            Originally posted by stangtjk View Post
                            I believe it says it may fry your card because no one with a rev 4 active card has confirmed the connection. I'd bet that its required for the active card regardless of revision.

                            I can't say if it would damage the card our not but I doubt it. Its only 5V and like 10mA. If it were me I'd connect it and try. Really what do you have to lose? the lights aren't working now.

                            I'm gonna bet that that connection is the power for the logic controller on the active card which is why you computer doesn't detect the card (no power) and the usb is just the power for the lights.
                            Just tried it man, i had to make two wires to connect as i dont have an atx extender, connected one in the purple wire of the 24pin and a black one in the 6th black wire just like your picture.

                            Well, as soon as i turned on the PSU, the fan started working without having th pc turned on yet. Once i turned the pc on, there was a long "bip", and started to smell hot plastic (or burned plastic). I tought i had fried something, but i disconnected the wires and the pc posts fine and i'm back to qhere i was before. Withe the Alien head blinking green once, when i hit the power button.

                            Do you have a 4 pin or a 2 pin molex connected to your mainboard ? Maybe thats was the problem.

                            ps: i'm only using one of the usb connectors f rom the main board, which i am connecting to the MOBO, if i plug it to the "usb out" the Alien power head blinks brighter that if i plug to the "usb in"... not sure if its relevant, just wanted to mention...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Partha's Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here

                              First off sorry for the shit advise ops: on the bright side at least now we know what not to try.

                              My computer sold for $800 which was my starting price but that's more than what I have in it so I'm happy.

                              I wish I had the rev 4 board so I could be of more help but both of the computers I had were Rev 5.

                              I pulled out the lighting cards to see if I could track down where the power is going from the black and purple wires but its too small and crowded to see wth is going on.

                              The molex connector going to my mainboard is 4 pin.

                              The boards look so similar its hard for me to believe they would change so much between rev 4 and 5 but apparently they did. I tried to replicate the issue you're having with the Alien head blinking once by disconnecting the black and purple wires but when I unhook it I don't get any response from the lights at all but the side fan still works. Also with the wires unplugged the card is not detected in device manage which I expected that.

                              The reason that the fan came on as soon as you turned on the psu is because the purple wire is the standby voltage and its always live as long as there is power to the psu. That obviously ins't supposed to happen which means the rev 4 board must be handling the power totally different than the rev 5.

                              I think my assumption that your active card isn't getting the power it needs is still correct however, which is why its not getting detected as a usb device. I just don't know where the power is supposed to come from since its obviously not the same connection as the rev 5 board.

                              Unless someone with a rev 4 active card decides to shed some light on the subject I guess we'll never know.

                              Really though the active card is just a gimmick anyway. The case looks better with all the lights one color and you probably wont change them enough to where the dip switches would be a pain. I set all my lights to red to match my sidewinder mouse and haven't messed with them since. If you've got a passive card on the way I wouldn't worry about messing with it, you wont be missing much.
                              Last edited by stangtjk; 11-28-2009, 08:36 AM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X