Alien FX setup guide.

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Alien FX setup guide.
07-09-2009, 12:42 AM
I’m going to do this as I know how.

If you cause any damage to your system I, Alienwareniche, Alienware ™ and noone else but you is responsible for it !.

With that said proceed at your own risk !!

Now. I have both a REV4 back end and a REV5 backend.

Q : “What the fuck is a back end Andy?”

A : “It’s the board that screws into the bottom of your case and you connect the LEDs to”

The backend looks like this –

However. The REV5 back end board is different. The major difference I noticed was that the REV4 has a black wire soldered to the underside. I would strongly imagine that this is for GROUND as you’ll read later. However, I don’t know.

I don’t have a pic of a REV5 back end because it is currently in my computer running my lights.

OK. So let’s get this started. Please bear in mind that my system came ‘stock’ with a REV4 back end and a REV1 PASSIVE card. One thing I have noticed is that my REV5 AND REV4 back ends seem to have REV1 passive cards. NB : I do not have an active card to test this with, all I can help you do is wire up the back end correctly and hope that it’s the same for the active lighting.

So. You have a Back end (if you don’t please fuck off now) and you have a card. If it’s passive (IE 3 DIPS) then this guide should see you right. If it’s active? Well I hope that it sees you right. A good idea now would be to remove the active card and put the passive one in to ensure the lighting works, before putting in the active card !

Let’s start this from the beginning.

All of your LEDs should be connected. They’re all numbered and each has four wires. I’m not here to tell you how to wire them all up. If they’re all disconnected? tough titty. Figure that out and come back to me when theyre all connected up.

OK. So, my REV 4 lighting system came like this. The card and the back end are removed.

Things to note.

1. All of your LED cables are ribbons with connectors similar to floppy drive connectors.

2. They will only reach the right part of the card. So you would be a complete dumbass to put them in the wrong place (I don’t even know if it’s possible)

3. The molex power connector you see is the one that plugs into your back end. It has all 4 wires. Why? because the 12v+ and – are for your fan on the side of the case, and the 5v+ and – are for your LEDs. This molex goes into the right side panel of the case and simply connects, all 4 pins, to a molex coming from the PSU. It’s not a special molex, it’s not wired barse ackwards or nothing like that.

4. This is where it can throw you into a loop. Look next to my yellow front audio connector and you will see a 4 pin plug the same as one for an internal speaker. Only it has a RED wire and a BLUE wire. THE RED AND BLUE WIRES ARE FOR REV4 BACK ENDS. REV 5 is TOTALLY DIFFERENT !

Here is the REV4 plug close up.

Now. This is what a REV5 connector cable looks like. Don’t worry where it goes right now.

Note it has THREE WIRES and not two. OK. Here is where you read what is applicable to you.

For a system that uses a REV4 back end.

Plug the 4 pin end onto the back end. It goes on the 4 pin header marked hdd/pled in the very first pic of the back end.

At the business end of the red/blue cable that’s now plugged into your back end (the other end, basically) you have two wires on plugs.

These will be marked. I don’t know exactly what they are, but you can do that by looking at the cable yourself. If you do not have the correct wires and cables for your AlienFX? Not my problem. If you want to make one? fine. But don’t hold me responsible for getting it wrong. I am hereby declaring you need the correct cables or should not be following this guide.

Right. One of the ends is a HDD LED + IIRC (could be a -, doesn’t matter cos it’s labelled on the actual cable). and one is a POWER LED + or possibly -.


Then, and I assume you have some computer knowledge, get the manual for your motherboard out and look up the LED HEADER connections.

Mine looks like this. I have an EVGA 680SLI. Yours will be different.

See how it tells me what is where?

Now put the other end of the red/blue cable onto the correct headers on the LED header.

put in your passive board, put the pc back together and fire it up. It should work. If it doesn’t? you have a faulty card/back end.

Now onto REV 5.

Remember this cable?

Yup, it’s the one you’re supposed to have. All you need to do now is connect this to the back end and connect the THREE WIRES to their corresponding places on the motherboard’s LED header connector.

I can give you the correct locations for this because my ALX chassis had two in it for some reason.



The WHITE one which I am typing in red ‘cos you wouldn’t see it otherwise is HDD LED –

REV5. Put your passive card in and put your PC back together.

Now. Both rev5 and rev4 backend users should now have a fully working passive lighting system.

I have now used REV4 with the 2 wire plug and REV5 with the 3 wire plug succesfully in my P.C. They both work. However, my REV5 backend is slowly blinking my LEDs. They’re not going out, just dimming ever so slightly like they’re pulsing. I have a strong feeling that my back end is fucked so I’m about to replace it with my rev4.

A note on Active cards.

The header from USB out to your motherboard does not seem to do anything to the passive system either connected or disconnected. I would strongly imagine the USB wire is for the active system so that Windows can recognise it as some sort of device? I don’t know (but I’m pretty sure it does).

If you’re missing the USB header cable that goes off the back end onto your motherboard don’t worry too much. As long as you have the passive card you don’t even really need it tbh.


That’s as much as you need to do. We do not answer any questions that you missed the answers to by not reading this thread.
Now please, leave us alone with trying to get your lights working. It’s not our problem you got a case from Ebay on the cheap and have built a bastard Alienware. I’m sure Alienware are as pissed off about all of this as we are trying to help people with it.

If you have attempted to wire up your AlienFX before reading this guide and it doesn’t work using the guide? Well I’m afraid you’ve probably fucked it. Time to get a new back end and card and try again.

As I have said over and again, this guide is for the PASSIVE CARD ONLY and thus may not work with an Active system.

I reserve the right to change, edit, add to or delete this at any time. If it just attracts a load of annoying spam to the forum about people whining then I would strongly imagine that AlienFX will no longer be discussed here. – Please remember that before posting with any dumb questions, thanks

Addition for REV5 ACTIVE SYSTEMS. Added 2nd Aug 2009. Thanks to stangtjk for his photos !

Note, there is an extra wire on this system. Now, I don’t know if it’s only for active lighting, but this may explain why the lights on rev5 pulsed on me before? They also did it to CLB from this forum with a rev5 so I know it wasn’t my setup to blame.

Note, the extra wire at the card –

And where it goes at the business end. Now as much as this sucks it’s very possible to splice into the PSU wires. I have done so before.

Please, do not attempt to do this unless you have a REV5 system doing so with REV4 could blow your system to pieces. Please wait on REV4 until we find someone kind enough to take some photos of a REV4 active system. Thanks.
Last edited by AlienAndy; 08-02-2009, 02:09 AM.
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