Partha’s Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here
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Partha’s Tutorial to set up Alienware light kit is here
08-06-2009, 03:11 AM
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.
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 :
Stangtjk explaining how to connect the 24 pin connector to the motherboard :
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