Modified PCIe 8-pin connector

Thehack

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I've got 2 sizes I'm thinking of.
16mm for just a regular 1.4mm PCB and 18mm for when a backplate is present, maybe I need to make the 18mm a 20mm size for more clearance? What do you guys think?

Right now I have 4 versions:
8-Pin 18mm wide and 16mm high
8-Pin 18mm wide and 18mm high(perhaps 20mm?)
6-Pin 13.8mm wide and 16mm high
6-Pin 13.8mm wide and 18mm high(perhaps 20mm?)

Bottome holes are for fitting the Mini-fit Jr. crimps and soldering
Top holes are 2mm in diameter and should accommodate up to 14AWG without any problem wire, it might fit 12AWG but only just.

Something like this?

Ghad dammit where were you when I pushed my cuts to the laster cutting company!? I want my 10mm of clearance back!

But seriously

I'd rather have the larger clearance, since it is only a matter of 3mm difference. You can't go with a low clearance board if you have a back plate. But i'm sure it's nothing a poll/preorder won't be able to figure out the ratio you need to order.

Though, I'd have to warn, this is actually bypassing a huge safety feature of using the molex connectors. If you happen to forget to plug in your PCIe power plug into something, with molex you won't short anything. May ghad have mercy on you as your system shorts a full rail of 12V power if you screw up with this board.

edit: most single 6 pin/8pin connectors have clearance around them. Can we design a secondary one where you can install an optional 3d printed plastic cover that should at least reduce the possibility of a short?
 

QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
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Ghad dammit where were you when I pushed my cuts to the laster cutting company!? I want my 10mm of clearance back!

But seriously

I'd rather have the larger clearance, since it is only a matter of 3mm difference. You can't go with a low clearance board if you have a back plate. But i'm sure it's nothing a poll/preorder won't be able to figure out the ratio you need to order.

Though, I'd have to warn, this is actually bypassing a huge safety feature of using the molex connectors. If you happen to forget to plug in your PCIe power plug into something, with molex you won't short anything. May ghad have mercy on you as your system shorts a full rail of 12V power if you screw up with this board.
I'm sorry! :p

Yeah I think I'll do the 20mm clearance just to be safe.
Although I can do a poll pre-order type thing I can run a quick prototype run and see where it goes from there.

And I hadn't thought about the short circuit problem, but that's not all if you plug it in reverse, which you could since no polarization is present you'd fry your GPU as well.

I'll have to see if I can think of a way around that, until then. Use at your own discretion!
 

Thehack

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I'm sorry! :p

Yeah I think I'll do the 20mm clearance just to be safe.
Although I can do a poll pre-order type thing I can run a quick prototype run and see where it goes from there.

And I hadn't thought about the short circuit problem, but that's not all if you plug it in reverse, which you could since no polarization is present you'd fry your GPU as well.

I'll have to see if I can think of a way around that, until then. Use at your own discretion!

A small 3d printed tabs, that wraps around the top and behind the GPU board, would also help with polarization. However, you'd be pretty airhead if you wired it, and then plugged it in upside down and allow the wire to hit the GPU and not notice it.

Something like this (super simplified obviously)

I would also entertain the idea of a 3d printed 6pin plug. SLS is not even close to the accuracy and smoothness of the plastics they use in molex connectors. However, since it is female, it just needs to be able to house the pin and fit inside the connector.
 
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Ceros_X

King of Cable Management
Mar 8, 2016
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I was thinking just an L shaped tab that hung over the top of the board would do good at preventing installs in the wrong orientation. For anti-shorting maybe some sort of plastidip/liquid electrical tape coating?
 
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QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
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Just a simple idea that might work for the backside. Maybe a second PCB with SMD pads. I might be able to solder it flush with the first PCB and then the connectors would be shielded from damage and shorting? A simple 0.6mm PCB with the potential for multiple colors or silkscreen?
 

QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
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What about the locking hook? It seems like that has to be 3D-printed, there's not really any other way.

That is true that no locking hook is a missing feature. But wouldn't the friction of 6 to 8 crimps be enough?
Right now I'm just thinking of a quick and dirty hobbyist version, if there's enough demand a V2 can always be considered.

Or do you think it is a must have feature?
 

Thehack

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The hook isn't necessary.
That is true that no locking hook is a missing feature. But wouldn't the friction of 6 to 8 crimps be enough?
Right now I'm just thinking of a quick and dirty hobbyist version, if there's enough demand a V2 can always be considered.

Or do you think it is a must have feature?
I'll take a sample and build a cover around it for you. We should start small and featureless. I wonder if we can get a header for it so users can use pcie cables for it as well. Any how. Have you had success with soldering the crimp terminals?
 
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Ceros_X

King of Cable Management
Mar 8, 2016
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For hobbyist use if you are worried about pull out then hit it with some hot glue. All of the 'ruggedized' servers I have opened up just have all the plugs hot glued in place (and are suspended in a transit case on shock absorbers).
 

QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
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The hook isn't necessary.

I'll take a sample and build a cover around it for you. We should start small and featureless. I wonder if we can get a header for it so users can use pcie cables for it as well. Any how. Have you had success with soldering the crimp terminals?

I've got a 5cm*5cm or 10cm*10cm PCB I can fill, so the more designs for testing the better. I'll add a header variant.
I'll see that I try to solder some crimp terminals to see how they fair on a PCB.
 

iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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For hobbyist use if you are worried about pull out then hit it with some hot glue. All of the 'ruggedized' servers I have opened up just have all the plugs hot glued in place (and are suspended in a transit case on shock absorbers).

I'd rather use a zip-tie, but apart from that, I agree. You don't strictly need a hook if you'll only sell it to people who know what they're doing.
 
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QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
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I'd rather use a zip-tie, but apart from that, I agree. You don't strictly need a hook if you'll only sell it to people who know what they're doing.

Thinking about the locking hook, what could be doable is a snap fit type of hook that snaps to the PCB, similar to chipset heatsink or the intel boxed cooler push pins. the other end could then hook on the regular tab of the PCIe socket.
 

QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
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371
So a two-piece design? Is that really easier than just implementing the normal hook?
I'm not seeing a real way to implement the current hook. You'd need a way to attach said hook to the PCB and without modding with a Dremel I wouldn't know how outside of a custom mold or 3D printing. ofc ourse using superglue might be an option, but I don't like that stuff unless it's DIY.
 

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
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I reckon a 3D printed overlay that is 2-3mm thick that can both retain the PCB to said clip as well as acting as the mounting point for the locking clip would be perfect. Wouldn't add appreciable height, could be unclipped for those that need the extra height and don't mind the increased instability, and could even be logo'd so you get some product visibility on builds using your product.
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
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I'm not seeing a real way to implement the current hook. You'd need a way to attach said hook to the PCB and without modding with a Dremel I wouldn't know how outside of a custom mold or 3D printing. ofc ourse using superglue might be an option, but I don't like that stuff unless it's DIY.

Why not replace the "shielding PCB" on the back of the assembly with a 3D printed piece? it would only have to be 1mm thick there, making the assembly 0.4mm thicker, but it could slide over the PCB from the side after the wires and pins are soldered in place and trimmed. It would make the assembly a little bit taller, unfortunately.
 

QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
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I reckon a 3D printed overlay that is 2-3mm thick that can both retain the PCB to said clip as well as acting as the mounting point for the locking clip would be perfect. Wouldn't add appreciable height, could be unclipped for those that need the extra height and don't mind the increased instability, and could even be logo'd so you get some product visibility on builds using your product.

I think I understand what you mean. Though if you could somehow visualise it I would understand even better. What I would do I think, is make a 3D part that is "popped" onto the PCB and which also hooks behind the tab on the PCIe Socket. To remove it you "pop" the hook out. Down-side would be that it's a small part and easily lost.

Why not replace the "shielding PCB" on the back of the assembly with a 3D printed piece? it would only have to be 1mm thick there, making the assembly 0.4mm thicker, but it could slide over the PCB from the side after the wires and pins are soldered in place and trimmed. It would make the assembly a little bit taller, unfortunately.

I see what you mean, that would add a little thickness, but customizing would greatly improve.
The top part should be okay as is, but I'll have to add a small lip to have the PCB go past the socket, currently it would be flush with the socket.
is 1mm the minimum thickness for 3D printing?
 
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Thehack

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I think I understand what you mean. Though if you could somehow visualise it I would understand even better. What I would do I think, is make a 3D part that is "popped" onto the PCB and which also hooks behind the tab on the PCIe Socket. To remove it you "pop" the hook out. Down-side would be that it's a small part and easily lost.



I see what you mean, that would add a little thickness, but customizing would greatly improve.
The top part should be okay as is, but I'll have to add a small lip to have the PCB go past the socket, currently it would be flush with the socket.
is 1mm the minimum thickness for 3D printing?

Structurally you can go down to .7mm but it becomes less predictable at that point. Best to have 1mm at all points according to shapeways.
 
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QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
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371
Made some CAD progress on how it might look.
Not convinced on my hook implementation yet. I'm still thinking some sort of snap fit to secure the connector.
Maybe also make it a PCB that is soldered, but then removing the connector would be very hard since solder isn't flexible.
With a 3D printed part you could snap it on or off when needed. Not very tinker friendly but hardline watercooling also isn't tinker friendly right?

Right now I'm sitting on 2 0.6mm PCBs that would be 1.2mm in total. in theory a 0.6mm PCIe connector could exist.
QinX' XVULPPCIe connector
Current version


Yesterday's version
 
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