The lighting retrofit on the Alienware Aurora R2 is done. It was a nightmare. I’m not going to do a “How To” post. I’ll show pictures and describe the results. I am not suggesting that you do this, but if you want to, and you have a tremendous amount of courage and fortitude then have at it. You have been warned, or are about to be. I’ll show items I used to do this.
Started to make progress on Aurora lighting. Here are the side lights.
Here are the front lights without the face.
The lighting is a USB powered LED RGB non-animated lighting chain. This is the usual type of LED lighting that is stuck on the back of a TV for ambient lighting. I’ll post more details as I finish. The Aurora case is a nightmare to take apart, especially the right panel.
I’m sick of not having lighting for my Alienware Area-51 and Alienware Aurora cases. They work part of the time but can’t be easily controlled. The lighting is Proprietary and out of date. Alienware and later DELL made no effort to support the lighting with Windows 10 or Linux. These are what the two cases look like with lighting on:
That is the Area 51 circa 2006 with blue lighting in the vents and Alien Heads on sides and front. The Front Alien head is the power button.
And that’s the Alien Aurora R2 in Blue and Red lighting. The Front Alien Head opens the access door for the media drives. The power button is a hidden button behind the head on the top of the case.
While upgrading the KVM switch to Displayport, there were some problems with cables. After sending a cable back that didn’t work, the replacement finally arrived. The new cable didn’t seat properly into the GTX 1050 Card in the Cooler Master NS200 case either.
After looking at a cable that worked – 6 ft- and then at the cable needed – 10 ft – the issue was discovered. The case has a bump next to the card interface that interferes with one of the cables and not the other. The 6 ft cable is slightly flatter where the bump is and so clears it to seat properly into the graphics card.
The top left pictures shows the CM NS200 case detail next to the graphics card. The Mini-ITX card does not allow another position for the graphics card. The top left picture shows a Displayport connector that works. The bottom left shows the before and after – the two ends – of the cable that does not work. The right connector has been shaved with an Exacto knife to allow it to fit past the bump and seat properly. The bottom right picture shows a detail of the modification of the cable.
Looks like not every one agrees on the clearance required for displayport cables. So beware if you rig doesn’t work as expected.
A long time ago I got some Cabela’s Moccasin Duck Boots. These are great for here in Coastal Oregon, where the grass never dries. And they should be easy to slip on and off at the door. But the problem is that they never were easy to put on and take off. The Tongue of the shoes was turned in rather than out.
As you can see from these pictures, I’ve figured out how to re-string the laces to correct this issue. On the left is the original shoe and the right picture shows one repaired shoe.
I’ve recently had problems with my internet service. My DSL router is apparently re-syncing causing my public IP address to change. Apparently my ISP uses PPOE rather than DHCP, and apparently PPOE does not allow “Reservations”, which allows a client computer to use the same IP address if it reconnects within a given amount of time. Your home router uses DHCP, which does do reservations, so your computers LAN IP address does not change if the computer connects every 24 hours, which I understand is the default “Reservation” time.
Re-synching is not only a problem because the internet is out for a short amount of time, but also because the IP address change causes some games to require that you “Verify” your IP address by reporting a code that is sent to your email account. This is obviously an issue if the Re-Sync happens several times per day.
After quite a bit of research I found a windows service that logs the Public IP address to the Windows Event log every 15 minutes. I run one of my windows systems all the time, since it’s running Carbonite, so this system will run the PublicIpLogger program.
From Github, download the setup.exe file and run it. Then you can enter “view event log” into Cortana and you should see a choice to run the windows event viewer. The program logs your public IP address to the event log every 15 minutes.
As shown, under Application and Service Logs, find the PublicIpLogger events and there are a number of events that show the Public IP address, whether they have changed or not.
In a previous post we talked about moving a server from a clunky old case to a new slimmer case. The only problem was the front panel only had USB-3 connectors, and the motherboard was created before the internal standard for motherboard USB-3 connectors appeared. This older motherboard only has external USB-3 connections on the backplate.
So here’s the fix.
This ORICO company makes many different USB-3 PCI-e cards.There are several manufacturers on Newegg, but these cards look like the highest quality. Their metal brackets are painted black, the PC boards are blue, rather than crap tan, and the connectors look like they are high quality. Continue Reading
The refit of the Alienware Area 51 – 7500 from 2007 to a Skylake Processor and Windows 10 is complete. The system died trying to do the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and while I spent two days frantically trying to bring it back to life with Linux Mint 18, I finally declared it End of Life and ordered the replacement parts. Here is the original configuration.
The new system has:
- Core i7 6700K Skylake Processor
- ASUS Maximus VIII Ranger Motherboard
- 32GB G.Skill DDR4 3400 memory
- Samsung 850 EVO SSD – 500GB
- Western Digital 1TB HD – Temporary. Once system is installed, the two HD from my current main system will be swapped in. These are a 2TB data and 4TB video capture disk.
- LG OEM BluRay burner
- Corsair H75 Water Cooler
After about 5 years, it is time to move the rather small server machine out of the Yuge Cooler Master HAF X into a much smaller Corsair Carbide Series 100 R case. The ASUS Sabre 58 Motherboard is a full size ATX so that limited the case choices somewhat. The new case is in the center.
Also I wanted to try a nice Corsair H81 GT Cooler to see if it would fit in the Alienware Area 51 case that I’m rebuilding. So.
The old style of power supply is now called non-Modular. Notice the mess of cable that are permanently attached to the power supply. Well if you don’t need them all, which is likely, then you have to wrap that mess up and tie it somewhere inside the case.
In contrast, here is a modern Modular power supply:
Notice that there are no cables hanging out of this PSU at all. You only use the cables you need to run your system. Modular power supplies are a little more expensive, and they are only provided for larger sizes. 550 Watts is about the smallest Modular PSU that’s available.