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  1. #1
    Senior Admin Emeritus Mr B's Avatar
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    Alternate cases, and grounding of components

    Quick question for the electrical experts among us...

    True or false...the leads from the ATX power supply to the motherboard, drives, etc...is this sufficient ground when building a PC in an "alternative" case (ie, plexi/wodden, etc...)??

    Is it necessary to run an additional ground lead from the PSU casing to the motherboard (to one of the mount holes)?? To the drives as well??

    Thanks in advance!

    Mr B
    Got that Gibson Les Paul ('92 Studio), still listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin. =P

  2. #2
    Member Ugmore Baggage's Avatar
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    A friend of mine installed a mobo and couldn't get it to post. I looked over every inch of it and noticed a screw missing. It happened to be the one with a tiny resistor attached to the metal ring but I don't know it that made a difference. I do know that I installed the screw and the board posted immediately.

  3. #3
    Member iggybaseball's Avatar
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    wow i was just about to do a search for something like this. like would u need to ground the parts if u stick it in a big plastic tupperware container?

  4. #4
    Helpful Senior Member Captain Slug's Avatar
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    I've bench tested dozens of computers outside of chassis and rarely have I heard anyone coming across motherboards that need to be grounded that way. Half of all the electrical connection to the PSU are ground wires so I don't see what all the fuss is about.
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  5. #5
    Senior Admin Emeritus Mr B's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Captain Slug
    I've bench tested dozens of computers outside of chassis and rarely have I heard anyone coming across motherboards that need to be grounded that way. Half of all the electrical connection to the PSU are ground wires so I don't see what all the fuss is about.
    Thank you.
    Got that Gibson Les Paul ('92 Studio), still listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin. =P

  6. #6
    Underwater Senior Member
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    Personally, I'd ground every mounting hole the motherboard has.
    From the information Hoot shared with us all about the resistances given from the ATX power connector and the small traces, wouldn't it make more sence to allow a ground at the nearest hole, or let it wander all the way back through the motherboard?

    Remember, a resistor placed on either the positive or the negative will work to slow a motor down, I'd like to remove the ground resistence as much as possible to allow the components to run at full steam!

    That's my thoughts on it, follow if you wish....don't at your own peril!

  7. #7
    Senior Admin Emeritus Mr B's Avatar
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    Thank you also.

    Any more thoughts on this subject. I've seen several people ask throughout the Forums, and have seen several varying responses.

    Here's kind of what I'm planning on doing ( http://forum.oc-forums.com/vb/showth...threadid=81041 ), however, I'm thinking that mounting the PSU's outside the "box", and drilling holes in the sides to feed the power leads thru, would cut down on the heat quite a bit.

    I'm wondering if I should run a ground lead from each PSU to it's respective mobo and HDD, or if that isn't necessary... I'm also thinking of constructing some "motherboard trays" like what is in a regurlar PC case, to mount the mobo's to, and then mount those to the shelves. I've got a large chunk of sheet metal here, more than enough to build four mobo trays....

    Overkill doing this, or highly recommended??

    BUMP!
    Got that Gibson Les Paul ('92 Studio), still listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin. =P

  8. #8
    Underwater Senior Member
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    Hey Mr. B, That's a pretty ambitious project...hats off to ya (and that other guy you linked to).

    Like I posted above, the motherboard has nice soldered contact pads at every mounting hole for a reason...even the design engineer knew about the ATX connector and small trace shortcomings.

    Now to put the boards on standoffs isn't a bad idea, a .pdf file I read a while back said that components also sink heat through their solder joints too, so I'm not a big fan of mounting on a slab of foam.
    However, unless the standoffs are bolted into the sheetmetal, they won't all touch because the motherboard will have bows and bends that will hold some of the standoffs up.
    Standard standoffs are 6-32 thread, so you can get a tap, or nuts to make it more secure. Use a piece of wire braid to ground the plates to the psu chassis (the psu's pcb also has soldered ground pads on it's mounting holes).

    I know it sounds like I'm being an overconciencious PITA, but you have to approach this thing like an electrical system first, and a computer second...because compromising the electrical system will compromise the computer, and anything you try to do with it.

  9. #9
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    I'm wading in kinda late here, but the motherboard I use to test air-cooled heatsinks is mounted to a piece of 3/4" plywood. No ground plane, just the return wires from the ATX connector to the Antec 400W PSU. The Hard drive sits on the plywood also with only a molex connector and the data cable.

    This setup is rock stable.

    Hoot
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