Power Supply 4-pin external power brick and 5.5mm/2.5mm DC connector

Antinoriyesplease

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
Apr 23, 2018
4
0
Hi Everyone,

I am a newcomer to the small pc crowd, but with the release of the AMD Ryzen APUs I thought I could give it a try.

I built the PC around the Intertech XJ500 itx case: https://www.inter-tech.de/en/products/case/mini-itx-nuc/jx-500.
Since the case is meant for ATOM-based itx machines, the 60W inbuilt DC power supply is of course insufficient. Therefore I bought a Mini-Box PICO-PSU-160XT (link) to go with the machine and an external power brick from Leicke capable of 192Watt (link).

My current issue is that the 192Watt brick comes with a 4pin ATX 12V connector (similar to this), but the case only has space for a 5.5 mm DC connector in the back.

I have searched for 4-pin to 5.5/2.5 DC adapters, but have not been able to find them in retail. Is it really necessary to pull an extension cable of 4-pin (female->male - connected to the external brick) through the whole in back of the the case to connect directly to the 4-pin (female) connector of the picoPSU? There must be a more elegant solution than having an extension 4-pin dangling outside the case.

Alternatively, I was thinking it might be possible to construct the adapter myself. Simply modify a cheap extension cable (like this) and attach a 5.5/2.5 jack (like this) at the other end. It would just extend the external power brick cord a little, but otherwise my case would be unchanged. I am unsure if this is actually possible given the rated specifications of said 5.5/2.5 DC jack is 25v/4amp.

I hope that made sense and that some of the smart people in here may be able to suggest solutions (or inform me whether my suggested solution can work).

Thanks.

P.S. In case PC specs are of relevance: Ryzen 2200G, Noctua NH-L9a, 8GB of Corsair LPX3200mhz, 120GB Kingston SSD, Asrock AB350 Fatality itx (Wifi) (Bios 4.50).
 

Nightblade

Airflow Optimizer
Nov 29, 2017
262
214
I would just change power bricks if I was in your situation. In fact, why didn't you just buy this from their website?

Edit: nevermind, I misread. I would just widen the hole with a Dremel?
 
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Antinoriyesplease

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
Apr 23, 2018
4
0
Hi Nightblade,

Thanks for your quick response. I was hoping there was a solution that would not require a lot of tools and / or physical modification to the case, since I do not have access to alot more than a few screwdrivers and some pliers where I am currently located.

That being said, your solution might be the eventual option. So, you mean to somehow lodge the female 4-pin of the PICO-psu in the back of the case and then connect the male 4-pin of the external brick to that?

If that is what you intended, maybe you could specify a bit further how I might fix the female 4-pin in place - since it does not have any screws to fix it to the case.

Thanks again.
 
Mar 6, 2017
501
454
There looks to be enough space on the back that you could try drilling a large hole and then fasten it with loads of hot glue. Won't look pretty, but it'll get the job done. If you're patient, you could try filing the hole to a more exact size.
 

a13antichrist

Average Stuffer
Apr 20, 2018
86
29
Why not just chop the 4 pin head and wire your own 5.5/2.5 connecter? Much easier than drilling and keeps your case tidy too. As an added bonus you can use it as an excuse to cut/extend the internal cable to exactly the length you need for the run to the case output.
 
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Antinoriyesplease

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
Apr 23, 2018
4
0
Hi SeñorDonut and a13antichrist,

Thanks for your replies.

@SeñorDonut Yeah. I might end up doing something like this if there is no easy way for me to return the current external brick I bought - or unless I can construct an adapter.

@a13antichrist So, what you are saying, I think, is what I was wondering in my initial post about constructing the adapter myself. However, looking on google for 5.5/2.5 connectors they are mostly sold in bulk of 10 or more for use with LED lighting. This means that even the better quality ones have maximum draw of 36v/5amp, which in total W is close to my 192W brick, but given the PICO needs 12v, it is way less than the 10-12 amps I will likely be pushing through it when the PC runs at full utilization. I am unsure if the connector would manage that - maybe you have experience/knowledge that this will not be a problem?

Thanks again,
 

a13antichrist

Average Stuffer
Apr 20, 2018
86
29
The connecter itself does not have a power limitation - it's just copper & steel. The only thing to take note of is the gauge of the wire - if it's at least 22 AWG it will be fine, 18 AWG would be better but not essential. Just find the plug you need on some scrap place and wire it.

Or just buy a different AC unit and sell the one you have if you can't manage to return it. Save all the hassle..
 

Antinoriyesplease

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
Apr 23, 2018
4
0
Thanks for your quick reply, a13antichrist. I

t is good to know it will not be a problem to drive that kind of wattage through the adapter - that was my main worry. I think I am leaning more towards trying to return the external power brick, though. I found a shop in Germany which stocks the PICO-PSU approved 192W brick + Mini-fit JR adapter. It seems they to other european countries, so maybe that is the easier solution.

Thanks again.

P.S. In case someone else also have issues tracking down such an external brick, the shop I mentioned is this.
 

GuilleAcoustic

Chief Procrastination Officer
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Jun 29, 2015
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The connecter itself does not have a power limitation - it's just copper & steel. The only thing to take note of is the gauge of the wire - if it's at least 22 AWG it will be fine, 18 AWG would be better but not essential. Just find the plug you need on some scrap place and wire it.

Or just buy a different AC unit and sell the one you have if you can't manage to return it. Save all the hassle..

I wouldn't be so sure. Connectors indeed have at least a current rating and/or a voltage rating. See...

https://eu.mouser.com/Connectors/Po...onnectors/_/N-axitt?P=1z0wxfdZ1z0wxfcZ1z0vlpq

This is a kind of dangerous advise. I wouldn't scrap a connector unless you know its rating.
 
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Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
KMPKT
Feb 1, 2016
3,380
5,917
Yeah they totally have a max rating. Speaking from experience if you overrate the connector it will melt and catch fire. Luckily I was at my PC when this happened to me or I could have burned my house down.

As evidence this is the reason why AsRock went from a barrel connector on the Mini STX motherboard (120W PSU @ 19V = 6A) to a 4 pin DIN on the Micro STX platform (up to 270W @ 19V = 14.5A).
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
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May 9, 2015
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Everything that conducts electricity has a resistance which in relation to its physical properties is given the conducting component a maximum current rating by the manufacturer. So a PCIe pin that is rated at 7A can begin to melt above 7A after X amount of time (see documentation for specific properties). This happens because of the resistance which turns the "resisted" amount of current into heat inside the material.

Unless I interpret this aspect incorrectly, I'm not an electrical engineer.
 
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Thehack

Spatial Philosopher
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Mar 6, 2016
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Everything that conducts electricity has a resistance which in relation to its physical properties is given the conducting component a maximum current rating by the manufacturer. So a PCIe pin that is rated at 7A can begin to melt above 7A after X amount of time (see documentation for specific properties). This happens because of the resistance which turns the "resisted" amount of current into heat inside the material.

Unless I interpret this aspect incorrectly, I'm not an electrical engineer.

Absolutely correct. The metal terminal heats up causing the plastic around it to melt. As the plastic melt it will either catch on fire itself, or fail in way that will cause arcing, and then burn.
 

Shahmatt

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Sep 6, 2017
99
53
I was faced with a similar problem for my 2200G SFF build. I would suggest you consider 19V adapters and wide input DC ATX units. I eventually settled for a pico-box x300 which is overkill but seems like a good unit. They also provided me with that illusive 5.5mm connector for my case.
 
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