The Raptor Pit: EXTERNAL CLEAR CMOS SWITCH? NO PROBLEM! - The Raptor Pit

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EXTERNAL CLEAR CMOS SWITCH? NO PROBLEM!

#1 User is offline   hokiealumnus 

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 09:42 PM

We've all seen the higher-priced, fancy boards with their e-SATA, their double ethernet ports and their heatpipe PWM/NB coolers. All of that is great if you've got the money for it, but as a low budget overclocker, I don't see the need for that stuff.

One thing that just kills me that those boards have is the external CCMOS switch. That feature is completely lacking on lower priced boards and is the envy of OC'ers everywhere that don't have them. How many of us have gotten tired of taking their case's side panel off just to have an OC'ing session? I know it's more than just me! So, I decided to make one myself and show you how to solve that little problem!

This is much easier than it sounds actually. I had figured out how to do it months ago but couldn't determine a good way to connect the three CCMOS jumper pins to a switch without soldering on the board and voiding the warranty (CPU's I'll void...boards I won't; go figure). The savior is in an IC Socket, which fits perfectly after a little modification. /EDIT - If you're in to simpler solutions and have one handy, a three pin fan plug should fit the CCMOS jumper pins and will definitely save the time needed to 'edit' the IC socket./

The tools you'll need are a soldering iron, solder, heat shrink, electrical tape, a drill and a drill bit. You'll also need wire ties to properly route the wiring to where you want to install the switch.

Now, what you'll need to buy is: A 3-position, center-off switch. An IC Socket; the one I used was an 8-pin, low-profile IC socket. Some wire with three conductors. All I could find was four-conductor wire, but the fourth conductor is gotten rid of easily...just pull!

Here are the parts laid out:



The first thing you'll need to do is 'edit' (hack up) the 8-pin IC socket to fit on your three-pin CCMOS jumper pins. I used a jig-saw blade (NOT the jigsaw itself!...I like my fingers) to cut the middle of it and a razor to clean off the excess plastic.



Then, you'll need to (carefully) remove one of these four pins. You can determine what works best for you,but I used wire cutters to lop about 1/2 of it off and get the pin itself out of there. Then I used a razor to clean the excess off. Be careful not to cut too much or you'll cut into the adjacent pin's housing.



Then, cut a good length of wire; in excess of what you'll need. Better too much than too little! Then, if you have four-conductor wire, yank that fourth conductor right off. It'll come easily. Strip one end of the wires and solder them on to your now three-pin IC socket.



Take your heat-shrink and apply it there. This will keep it insulated and add some stiffness. Those IC socket pins aren't the sturdiest of metal pieces, so you'll want the reinforcement. For redundancy I added electrical tape over the heat shrink (no photo of that).



Now, drill a hole where you choose in your case. I did mine far away from the board and immediately vacuumed out the metal pieces. Do this with your board in at your own risk!



Determine how much wire you're going to need and cut it to the proper length. Now solder the other end of the wire onto your switch. My heat shrink wasn't large enough, so I used electrical tape to seal the deal.




Now install your switch. Take note of which wires go where; you'll need to remember so you know which direction to flip your switch. After installing the switch, route your wire however you choose to get it to your CCMOS jumper pins. You'll want to avoid interfering with the PCI / PCI-e slots if you want to use those in the future. smile.gif



The back of the switch isn't too pretty, but it's a consequence of the location I chose. If you go with a more out-of-the-way location, this will probably not be as obtrusive. In any case, I put mine there for ease of reaching due to the way my desk/PC is set up.

You're done! Pat yourself on the back, close your case up and have a look!



Now you have your very own external CCMOS switch. Overclock with impunity everybody...no need to remove that pesky side panel any more! tup.gif
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#2 User is offline   chuck4456 

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 09:50 PM

EXCELLENT - EXCELLENT - EXCELLENT!

Used to fab those myself before I got hold of GURU panels and some of the boards came out with the External CMOS switch already there.

That is a must for overclocking!
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#3 User is offline   pgcrooks 

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 01:23 AM

Sweet guide, that's one I'm going to have to do! Hate those fidely little cmos jumpers...
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#4 User is offline   el kido 

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 05:42 PM

Thats gota be one of the coolest/cutest things ever. hysterical.gif


My IP35 Pro has one, but if I get a chance I will put it on other boards. clapping.gif
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#5 User is offline   caintry_boy 

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 10:16 PM

Nice guide hokie! Approx. cost? Less than $10?

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#6 User is offline   chuck4456 

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 10:47 PM

I remember when I fabbed one of those for my old P4 rig years ago.
I used to always wonder why the board manufacturers didn't come out with that feature included. I left a lot of case sides off.
Of course, ABIT has had the GURU panel for some boards.
Supposedly they are coming out with a new one soon.
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#7 User is offline   hokiealumnus 

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 11:00 PM

Yep, right at $10.00. Here's the list, courtesy of Radio Shack's splendidly detailed web site:

20' 24AWG 4 Solid Conductor Intercom Wire - $5.99 (got solid for a little extra stiffness for routing purposes)
8-pin IC socket - $0.69
SPDT center-off high-current mini toggle switch - $3.49 (Overkill, but better industrial strength than not I always say! Comes with red, yellow, green & white switch covers...I used red because that says "Warning!" to me smile.gif )

Total before tax: $10.17

It's already saved me from having to take my case panel off thrice...and I've basically finished with my CPU. Just playing with my RAM yesterday. I can't even begin to tell you how much time this would have saved if I had done this before I started in on my CPU!
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#8 User is offline   caintry_boy 

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 09:42 PM

Hmmm, all my 3 pin fan plugs that are "spare", have only one wire in them and no connectors for the other 2 holes. :( Guess I'll have to have the IC connector....

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#9 User is offline   wolfwatcher51 

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 07:30 AM

Hokie,

If you have various sizes of heat shrink, it would not hurt to put a piece on each wire at the solder joints, then for neatness, one larger piece over the group.

I am new around the building/oc group and wondered why this was not done earlier. I thought maybe the spacing was unusual, or the circuit needed nearly no resistance between the pins or something and just have not gotten to it. Thanks for saving me the time.

A question, if I may.

Did you go with a center off switch because you wanted to make sure there was a "break before make" situation? With the provided jumper, the manufacturer guarantees you will not have all three connected, even for an instant while the center pole is switching connections between the outer two. In that case, it might be advisable to suggest to people that they "stop" at the center "off" position for a second or two before going to the other "on" position.

If a center off switch (on-off-on) they could use an on-on switch as long as it was a break before make rather than the make before break style. Both are available and I would think that you would need to be sure you get the break before make style. If you go to RS, be sure and take, or borrow form them, a meter to confirm. Remember, you have questions, we have blank stares. hysterical.gif

Just my $0.02.

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#10 User is offline   amek932x 

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 07:52 AM

Really nice Hokie..
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Good Job there.

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#11 User is offline   hokiealumnus 

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 12:40 PM

Thanks amek!

QUOTE(wolfwatcher51 @ Nov 2 2008, 08:30 AM) View Post
If you have various sizes of heat shrink, it would not hurt to put a piece on each wire at the solder joints, then for neatness, one larger piece over the group.

That would be the ideal solution. I didn't have any, so I went with simple electrical tape to separate the joints (didn't say that in the tutorial though) and then heat shrink to finish it off.

QUOTE(wolfwatcher51 @ Nov 2 2008, 08:30 AM) View Post
Did you go with a center off switch because you wanted to make sure there was a "break before make" situation? With the provided jumper, the manufacturer guarantees you will not have all three connected, even for an instant while the center pole is switching connections between the outer two. In that case, it might be advisable to suggest to people that they "stop" at the center "off" position for a second or two before going to the other "on" position.

If a center off switch (on-off-on) they could use an on-on switch as long as it was a break before make rather than the make before break style. Both are available and I would think that you would need to be sure you get the break before make style.

To be blunt, I didn't put that much thought into it. All two-position switches at the RS store I was at were on-off, so none of them were an option; hence, I ended up with a three-position on-off-on switch. I don't think a break is necessary actually. It's just a result of them using a jumper and not something that is necessitated. If you look at boards that come with external switches (i.e. my AX78 or the IP35 Pro), they are two-position on-on switches. Ideally, I would have gone with a spring-loaded, covered switch to ensure a permanent normal CMOS position. They didn't have any, so I didn't. smile.gif

QUOTE(wolfwatcher51 @ Nov 2 2008, 08:30 AM) View Post
Thanks for saving me the time.

You're very welcome! smile.gif

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#12 User is offline   TERMINATOR2 

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 01:18 PM

you the man ! that is a great mod for overclockers .
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#13 User is offline   Immortal Lobster 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 05:06 PM

Just want to say thanks, just made one! smile.gif
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#14 User is offline   hokiealumnus 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:11 PM

You're very welcome. Happy to have helped any overclocker. smile.gif
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#15 User is offline   Engine 

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 06:48 PM

Why put it on a rear panel, I put mine in the front, mounted in one of the plastic blanks for a 5.25 inch drive.
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#16 User is offline   hokiealumnus 

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 07:16 PM

QUOTE(Engine @ Sep 23 2009, 08:48 PM) View Post
Why put it on a rear panel, I put mine in the front, mounted in one of the plastic blanks for a 5.25 inch drive.

One word, four letters: baby. Unless I want my CMOS cleared at very inopportune times, it goes on the back or inside. smile.gif
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#17 User is offline   wizzard0003 

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:13 PM

Did you just call Engine "Baby"...?

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#18 User is offline   chuck4456 

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:30 PM

QUOTE(wizzard0003 @ Sep 23 2009, 10:13 PM) View Post
Did you just call Engine "Baby"...?

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Shades of AUSTIN POWERS there.

Of course, I prefer my switches on the back as well.
Except in the case of the ABIT UGURU Panel.
It is appropriate on that particular fixture.
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#19 User is offline   Lvcoyote 

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:35 PM

I think Hokie is referencing his child....... Probably at that age where an eye needs to be kept at all times......LOL
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#20 User is offline   chuck4456 

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:58 PM

QUOTE(Lvcoyote @ Sep 23 2009, 10:35 PM) View Post
I think Hokie is referencing his child....... Probably at that age where an eye needs to be kept at all times......LOL

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