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Last Update: 2004-07-25
Antec Aria mATX Modification Page
This is my "case-modification", I simply used a TOPCOM 4 port USB hub in order to get the front-panel USB ports of the Antec Aria MicroATX case working on the Pegasos2; this way a PCI port won't even be occupied and I find that very convenient. You could also buy a real hub made for internal use (if you can find one) and do something similiar to this...

Well... Atleast it was fun... I've had this hub for some time without even having a use for it...

Items needed:
1. TOPCOM 4 port USB hub.
2. Some "crimped" wires. (From f.ex a mobo socket connection)
3. A 4 or 5 pins wide plug for the new cable-end we need to make.
4. A glue-gun.
5. A piece of carton.
6. Some electrical tape.

First thing I did was to strip the USB hub out of its liltle casing, then I went and fetched an old plug with wires that I found in a drawer with some other junk...

Next thing I had to do was simply to pull a few wires out of the plug; theese would later be used for the cable as a connection between the motherboard and the hub. The good thing about theese are that they are crimped and ready for use! Next, I simply cut the cable provided within the package in two parts and peeled 4-5cm of the hub-end cable in order to get hold of the red, white, green and black cables inside... (Peeling their ends also when getting them loose).

I then connected the crimped cables together with the wires from the peeled hub-cable; securing each red, white, green and black cable with electrical tape. I fetched an old 5-pin plug and connected each crimped end into the plug. Getting the right order here is important. It should be in the order; red, white green, black(gnd), black(gnd)(if available). Now I could finally connect the hub to the motherboard. After checking the hub worked correctly and I could connect devices; it was time for the next step...

The next thing to do was a little tricky... As my soldering-iron is a bit to big for soldering cables onto the solder-points on the bottom of the hub; I went for another approach than soldering.
I concluded that the best way would be to demolish the "external part" of the USB ports on the hub and connect the cables from the front-palen USB ports and the cardreader directly onto the card. To do this, I had to pull the 4 pins on the back of each usb port out of the USB socket on the hub. I did this by opening the backside of the USB ports and pulling the little "pin thread" out using a tiny screwdriver. After a while I had pulled 12 pins... All in all from three USB ports!

After some investigation it became apparent that the connections needed to be "stabilized" somehow. Afer all; I didn't want a card reader glitching all the time. The solution to this was to glue the wiring and connections in place using a soft-plastic based glue-gun. The big advantage of this is that if you want to remove the cables in the future, this can be done fairly easy using a sharp knife or just pulling with a little force. (And even warming the plastic up a bit again.)
Next thing to do was to cut out a piece of carton and glue it to the bottom of the hub!

With the whole thing almost done I tested everything one last time to see it still worked allright, then I just simply put some glue on the backside of the hub (now with carton on the backside) and glued the hub into the corner of the case; as you can see on the pictures above.
After connecting all the cables it was all done!

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