What Is a 4 Pin Panel Mount Connector?

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4 pin panel mount connector

What Is a 4 Pin Panel Mount Connector?

A 4 pin panel mount connector is fitted with hardware that’s been designed to secure it to the edge of a front or rear panel in an enclosure. This reduces stress on the solder terminations and improves longevity of the connector.

It also means it looks a little different to the 8 pin motherboard connector shown below!

Peripheral Power Cable

Most 3.5 inch floppy drives and hard disks get their power from what is often called a four pin peripheral connector although it technically has six pins and was originally designed to be part of the ATA interface (also known as IDE). This connector is also used for a variety of other things including add-on fans, extra video card power, and, with adapters, SATA drives. It is shaped so that it only plugs in one way and the connectors are usually labeled to make sure they’re inserted correctly.

You can use a 4 pin peripheral cable to provide 12 volts to some devices but it’s not the best option. Many newer motherboards expect two separate 12 volt rails and a 4 pin peripheral connector only provides one of them. This can cause overheating which can scorch or melt the connectors. You can get around this by using an 8 pin EPS power cable. These are normally marked to differentiate them from regular 8 pin power cables by the color of the wires that plug into the connector clip.

You should never plug a 4 pin peripheral connector into an 8 pin EPS motherboard connector. This can damage the motherboard and cause overheating which can scorch or even melt the connectors. Some four wire peripheral connectors have two of the wires connected to each other and are intended for speed controlled fans. Don’t plug them into anything else because they will only supply 12 volts and not the control signal that is needed by disk drives to provide 5 volts.

Motherboard Connector

The motherboard of your computer contains a number of different connectors. These motherboard connectors provide power to your system, connect storage devices like hard drives and solid state drives, and allow you to add expansion cards to increase the functionality of your system.

Motherboards have a variety of different motherboard connector types, and they will vary depending on the components that you install in your system. Some common motherboard connectors include the 8-pin EPS power connection that 4 pin panel mount connector supplies system power to the CPU and other components. These are also sometimes referred to as CPU power connectors.

You may also see a series of colored connectors on the motherboard, and these are the Serial ATA (SATA) connections that are used to connect your modern internal hard drive or SSD. The motherboard might also have a few USB 2.0 connections for connecting devices such as external hard drives or USB keyboards and mice. These USB connections comply with the USB 2.0 specification and support up to 480 Mbps connection speeds.

Lastly, there might be an audio front panel connector that connects the motherboard to the headphone and microphone inputs on the front of your case. This ten-pin connector was once common but is rarely seen nowadays, as most systems use multichannel digital audio outputs. The motherboard might also have a CMOS battery connector that provides a backup power source for the BIOS in case of an unexpected shutdown.

8 Pin 12 Volt Cable

The 8 Pin 12 Volt Cable (or the 8 Pin EPS power cable) is an additional connector for motherboards that allows them to get extra wattage from the main power rail. The extra four pins double the current capacity to 192 watts. It plugs into the same connector as the older 6 Pin power cables did but it gives the motherboard a separate voltage which is usually refered to as 12V2. It’s most often used to power video cards although some dual CPU AMD motherboards use it for CPU power.

It’s possible to plug a 4 pin motherboard connector into an 8 Pin EPS power connector but it’s not recommended since it only provides half the current capacity and it can overheat both the motherboard and the 4 pin cable. In addition a 4 pin motherboard connector will not fit into an 8 pin EPS motherboard connector because there is often a component blocking the area where the 4 pins hang off the end.

It’s easy to confuse these two kinds of power connectors because they look similar and have the same number of wires on each side. It’s best to always use labels (usually a strip of tape) to identify what the connector is so you don’t accidentally try to plug something into the wrong socket on your computer or other equipment.

4+4 Cable

When a 4 pin panel mount connector is used with a power supply that comes with a 4+4 pin motherboard connector it’s called a 4+4 cable. A 4+4 cable looks like an 8 pin 12 volt cable that’s been split in half. The left side of the cable matches up with the square pins in a motherboard connector while the right half fits into an 8 pin motherboard connector (though the rounded off corners prevent it from being plugged in the wrong way).

A 4+4 cable only fits at one end of the motherboard connector so there is always a component that blocks the area where the four pins would hang off the end of the cable. This is a good thing waterproof connector manufacturer because it prevents the user from plugging in the cable incorrectly.

The conductors in a 4+4 cable are connected to the pins in the panel mount connector by stripped and tinned wires. The wires are then soldered to the terminal cups of the connector and covered in a small amount of heat shrink. The connector-to-cable connection is gas-tight and insulated to ensure that the contact points are not exposed in a hazardous fashion. The insulation also holds the contacts in place and spaces them apart from each other. The connector is then surrounded by a shell that protects against shock, impact, and environmental hazards.

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