The following is an actual picture of my front port usb panel which I took out of my case to show you guys below:
As you can see it has two usb ports on a small pcb [no capacitors], just a small simple pcb. Than it has two sets of 4 wires [total of 8 wires] coming off the pcb. Each set of 4 wires obviously completes the connection for each of the two usb ports. What I want to do is make at least one of these front ports active. Since I only have one spare usb port on my internal usb pci card. I don't want to buy another pci card with more internal ports, no hubs, or any other add on device. I simply want to use what I have here folks... I assume since the pcb looks so simple on the front port panel, it must just be like an extension. Whereas the front usb ports are just an extension of anything each set of the 4 header wires connect to [ie: usb pins on a motherboard, or internal usb ports like the one on my pci card using the suggested cable Foogoo recommends]. I don't see any complicated works on the front port usb panel pcb. So I assume my theory is correct... What I need now is an experts opinion to know if my theory is right. By only using the cable my friend Foogoo suggested, attached to one set of the header wires coming from the front port usb panel, and than connecting the other end of the cable to the one available port on my my pci card.
WHAT DO YOU THINK AM I RIGHT?
I'd like to do this without frying my pci card, or damaging the front usb ports. I'm afraid that maybe the pcb is a little more complex than I think. And may give energy or something to the front usb port that won't be connected. In which case one of the front ports would be working fine. While the other might cause a short or something, if someone accidentally plugs a usb device to it. I just want to be sure this doesn't happen which is why I need you guys to seriously look at the pcb layout on my front usb port panel. Try to analyze where the traces go to, and what the possible outcomes may be if I connect it this way. From what I can see in person, one set of data traces are on the bottom side of the pcb. While the other set of data traces are on the top side of the pcb. Which is a good thing because that means each of the 2 ports have data lines running individually. But the thing that worries me is that I see the voltage traces on the bottom side of the pcb being shared by both ports. As well as ground traces on the top & bottom sides of the pcb being shared by both ports too. This is what's freaking me out!!! I'm somewhat in the know how about gizmos, gadgets, and pcbs but I don't know everything. I know the usb color code and am 100% positive I can connect one set of wires properly. I just want to make sure there are no negative outcomes with the other usb port that won't be connected. Because of the trace layout on the pcb. Don't want to ruin my computer, pci card, or cause corrupted data when I save files to usb sticks.
Here's some more pictures of my front usb ports/pcb design for you guys to decipher more:
Edited by superstar, 04 December 2011 - 03:23 PM.