[SOLVED] How to connect multiple Addressable RGB fans to motherboard?

blade_storm

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Feb 2, 2019
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Hello guys, sorry if my question has been answered somewhere in the forum but still, I can't understand how I can solve my problem!
I have the Asrock B450 Fatal1ty K4 with 2 Coolermaster RGB fans(in the front) connected in the 2 RGB headers and a non-rgb fan in the rear. I have also a RGB led Strip connected to the one Addressable Header! Now, I want to connect 2 more RGB fans (addressable if I could), one in the rear (replacing the non-rgb) and one in the top! Could I connect these two rgb fans BitFenix Spectre Addressable RGB? I could connect their power cables to mobo and I could use an addressable rgb splitter for their leds, right?
Or Could I use an rgb splitter and take the non addressable version of the mentioned fans, right?
Thanks for your help!
 

Paperdoc

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Yes, you can do exactly that. I have to assume the one light strip on the ARGB header is ARGB, and the two new BitFenix fans you cite are also ARGB type. Connecting the lighting portions of those three items to a single ARGB mobo header is normally well within the header's power limits, so no problem. Here's an example of a Splitter for this. It is overkill - 5 outputs rather than three - but it IS designed for the 3-pin ARGB (5 VDC) system.

https://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Addressable-Universal-Radiators/dp/B083X1W5G4/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=addressable+rgb+splitter+3-pin&qid=1585162792&sr=8-1&swrs=5725CE9D08B327F1CB3A80821BC07A1C

Technically you can use a 4-pin Splitter BUT when you do your MUST ensure that pins are aligned correctly at EVERY junction point. Using a 3-pin Splitter makes it impossible to get it wrong.

Note that there are many Splitters sold that have female connectors on ALL cables, making it impossible to plug in a fan ARGB cable without a gender-changer adapter. SOME such Splitters come with those adapters, and some do not, so check carefully! The one I linked to above does not have this problem because all its outputs are male.
 

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
Yes, you can do exactly that. I have to assume the one light strip on the ARGB header is ARGB, and the two new BitFenix fans you cite are also ARGB type. Connecting the lighting portions of those three items to a single ARGB mobo header is normally well within the header's power limits, so no problem. Here's an example of a Splitter for this. It is overkill - 5 outputs rather than three - but it IS designed for the 3-pin ARGB (5 VDC) system.

https://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Addressable-Universal-Radiators/dp/B083X1W5G4/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=addressable+rgb+splitter+3-pin&qid=1585162792&sr=8-1&swrs=5725CE9D08B327F1CB3A80821BC07A1C

Technically you can use a 4-pin Splitter BUT when you do your MUST ensure that pins are aligned correctly at EVERY junction point. Using a 3-pin Splitter makes it impossible to get it wrong.

Note that there are many Splitters sold that have female connectors on ALL cables, making it impossible to plug in a fan ARGB cable without a gender-changer adapter. SOME such Splitters come with those adapters, and some do not, so check carefully! The one I linked to above does not have this problem because all its outputs are male.
 

blade_storm

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Feb 2, 2019
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Yes, you can do exactly that. I have to assume the one light strip on the ARGB header is ARGB, and the two new BitFenix fans you cite are also ARGB type. Connecting the lighting portions of those three items to a single ARGB mobo header is normally well within the header's power limits, so no problem. Here's an example of a Splitter for this. It is overkill - 5 outputs rather than three - but it IS designed for the 3-pin ARGB (5 VDC) system.

https://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Addressable-Universal-Radiators/dp/B083X1W5G4/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=addressable+rgb+splitter+3-pin&qid=1585162792&sr=8-1&swrs=5725CE9D08B327F1CB3A80821BC07A1C

Technically you can use a 4-pin Splitter BUT when you do your MUST ensure that pins are aligned correctly at EVERY junction point. Using a 3-pin Splitter makes it impossible to get it wrong.

Note that there are many Splitters sold that have female connectors on ALL cables, making it impossible to plug in a fan ARGB cable without a gender-changer adapter. SOME such Splitters come with those adapters, and some do not, so check carefully! The one I linked to above does not have this problem because all its outputs are male.
Oh thanks a lot! So if I understood well this will work with both 4pins and 3pins fans, right?
https://www.skroutz.gr/s/19977482/CoolerMaster-1-3-RGB-splitter.html?from=favorites_popu
 

Paperdoc

Glorious
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Just a preliminary note about labels. There is an unfortunate situation that might cause confusion. Fan MOTORS now come in two main types. One uses three wires to a connector with three holes, and the other has four wires and holes. They differ in how the speed control mechanism works. So not surprisingly, they often are labelled 3-pin and 4-pin fans.

Separately, some fans have RGB lighting systems built into their frames. Such lights also come in two main types. The plain RGB system uses a 4-hole connector and supplies from the mobo header a common 12 VDC power supply and three separate Ground lines, one for each colour of LED in the frame. The more complex Addressible RGB system (ADD RGB or ARGB) uses a three-hole connector that looks very much like the 4-hole one, but with one hole blocked off. This system supplies a common 5 VDC and Ground set of power lines, plus a digital Control Line that supplies addressed data packets to control chips in tthe light strip. So a lot of people use the terms 3-pin and 4-pin to label the LIGHT system in an RGB light strip or fan frame. So it's possible to confuse what you mean by "3-pin vs 4-pin".

On all 4-pin plain RGB systems, all the connectors have a mark on one pin on one END of them - both on a mobo 4-pin header and on each female connector with 4 holes. When connecting these items together you MUST ensure that the marked pins and holes are aligned. On a 3-pin ADDR RGB system, usually there are no such markings on the connectors. The design with one of four holes blocked off means you cannot connect them backwards, nor can you mistakenly plug one of these into a 4-pin mobo header. Now, because of the pin sizes and spacing, you CAN connect a female 4-pin plain RGB cable connector onto a mobo 3-pin header. And at the other end of that cable (say, from a 4-pin plain RGB Splitter) you might modify its 4-pin male output by removing one pin so that the female connector from your lighting device can plug in. IF you want to make such a system work you can but ONLY if you are VERY careful about how you plug the female connectoron the Splitter input cable into the mobo 3-pin male, AND ensure that you do your pin-removal-mod at EVERY output connector correctly. That is what you would have to do with the particular 4-pin RGB Splitter you linked to.

As I said in my earlier post, the 3-pin ARGB Splitter I linked to may be more expensive, BUT it removes all the potential for getting your mods wrong because it already has the system to prevent connecting the wrong way.

Thanks for Best Answer.
 

blade_storm

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Feb 2, 2019
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Just a preliminary note about labels. There is an unfortunate situation that might cause confusion. Fan MOTORS now come in two main types. One uses three wires to a connector with three holes, and the other has four wires and holes. They differ in how the speed control mechanism works. So not surprisingly, they often are labelled 3-pin and 4-pin fans.

Separately, some fans have RGB lighting systems built into their frames. Such lights also come in two main types. The plain RGB system uses a 4-hole connector and supplies from the mobo header a common 12 VDC power supply and three separate Ground lines, one for each colour of LED in the frame. The more complex Addressible RGB system (ADD RGB or ARGB) uses a three-hole connector that looks very much like the 4-hole one, but with one hole blocked off. This system supplies a common 5 VDC and Ground set of power lines, plus a digital Control Line that supplies addressed data packets to control chips in tthe light strip. So a lot of people use the terms 3-pin and 4-pin to label the LIGHT system in an RGB light strip or fan frame. So it's possible to confuse what you mean by "3-pin vs 4-pin".

On all 4-pin plain RGB systems, all the connectors have a mark on one pin on one END of them - both on a mobo 4-pin header and on each female connector with 4 holes. When connecting these items together you MUST ensure that the marked pins and holes are aligned. On a 3-pin ADDR RGB system, usually there are no such markings on the connectors. The design with one of four holes blocked off means you cannot connect them backwards, nor can you mistakenly plug one of these into a 4-pin mobo header. Now, because of the pin sizes and spacing, you CAN connect a female 4-pin plain RGB cable connector onto a mobo 3-pin header. And at the other end of that cable (say, from a 4-pin plain RGB Splitter) you might modify its 4-pin male output by removing one pin so that the female connector from your lighting device can plug in. IF you want to make such a system work you can but ONLY if you are VERY careful about how you plug the female connectoron the Splitter input cable into the mobo 3-pin male, AND ensure that you do your pin-removal-mod at EVERY output connector correctly. That is what you would have to do with the particular 4-pin RGB Splitter you linked to.

As I said in my earlier post, the 3-pin ARGB Splitter I linked to may be more expensive, BUT it removes all the potential for getting your mods wrong because it already has the system to prevent connecting the wrong way.

Thanks for Best Answer.
Oh, I understood everthing! How can I be sure that the marked pins and holes are aligned by the way?
 
Last edited:

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
Well, if you do decide to use a 4-pin RGB Splitter with your 3-pin system, do this.

  1. On the female connector on the input end of the Splitter, find the little marker (probably an arrow or "+" or maybe "12v") on one END of the connector. When used with a 4-pin system, that one hole MUST go to the mobo male header's pin that is marked as the +12 VDC line. In your case you do NOT need to do that exactly, but you DO need to ensure that whatever you do at the mobo header is repeated exactly at every other connection. So, I suggest you DO arrange to have the hole marekd for 12 VDC to be the real +5 VDC power supply line in your cables. Now, looking at the 3-pin mobo ARGB header, it has two pins at one end, a skipped (empty) location, and a single pin at the other end. Of these ,the +5 VDC pin is the one at the END right beside another pin. That end pin is #1, and the single pin at the opposite end is #3, and it's the Ground line.
  2. Now go to each of the male output connectors on your cable. You will modify all of them to make them into 3-pin outputs by removing the CORRECT pin. There are 4 pins sticking out. You are going to use the MARKED pin as Pin #1. Skip the next one, and remove (snip off) Pin #3 of the four pins. This will leave you with Pin#1 at the marked end, Pin #2 right next to it, a missing pin, and them Pin #4 at the far end. IF this had been a 3-pin ARGB Splitter to start with, that one on the end would be called Pin #3.
  3. To avoid any confusion, I suggest you try to block off the hole of the female input cable connector that you do NOT want used for your 3-pin connector system. Starting from the marked hole on one end that is Pin #1, skip over the second hole for Pin #2, and block off the hole for Pin #3. That will leave a fourth hole by itself at the far end. You could squeeze a bit of glue into that one hole, or perhaps stuff a piece of toothpick into it. The essential idea here is to duplicate what a real 3-pin ARGB female connector would do. That is, it does NOT have a hole in that position so you cannot plug that female connector into the mobo 3-pin header backwards.
By doing this you will convert the plain RGB 4-pin Splitter into a proper 3-pin ARGB Splitter. It will have one input connector with a hole blocked off so it can be plugged into the mobo ARGB header only the right way. And it will have 3-pin output connectors with the (4-1) pin arrangement so that you can plug your fans' ARGB cables into them only the right way. If you do these mods right, you cannot make an error in your connections.
 

blade_storm

Prominent
Feb 2, 2019
47
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530
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Well, if you do decide to use a 4-pin RGB Splitter with your 3-pin system, do this.

  1. On the female connector on the input end of the Splitter, find the little marker (probably an arrow or "+" or maybe "12v") on one END of the connector. When used with a 4-pin system, that one hole MUST go to the mobo male header's pin that is marked as the +12 VDC line. In your case you do NOT need to do that exactly, but you DO need to ensure that whatever you do at the mobo header is repeated exactly at every other connection. So, I suggest you DO arrange to have the hole marekd for 12 VDC to be the real +5 VDC power supply line in your cables. Now, looking at the 3-pin mobo ARGB header, it has two pins at one end, a skipped (empty) location, and a single pin at the other end. Of these ,the +5 VDC pin is the one at the END right beside another pin. That end pin is #1, and the single pin at the opposite end is #3, and it's the Ground line.
  2. Now go to each of the male output connectors on your cable. You will modify all of them to make them into 3-pin outputs by removing the CORRECT pin. There are 4 pins sticking out. You are going to use the MARKED pin as Pin #1. Skip the next one, and remove (snip off) Pin #3 of the four pins. This will leave you with Pin#1 at the marked end, Pin #2 right next to it, a missing pin, and them Pin #4 at the far end. IF this had been a 3-pin ARGB Splitter to start with, that one on the end would be called Pin #3.
  3. To avoid any confusion, I suggest you try to block off the hole of the female input cable connector that you do NOT want used for your 3-pin connector system. Starting from the marked hole on one end that is Pin #1, skip over the second hole for Pin #2, and block off the hole for Pin #3. That will leave a fourth hole by itself at the far end. You could squeeze a bit of glue into that one hole, or perhaps stuff a piece of toothpick into it. The essential idea here is to duplicate what a real 3-pin ARGB female connector would do. That is, it does NOT have a hole in that position so you cannot plug that female connector into the mobo 3-pin header backwards.
By doing this you will convert the plain RGB 4-pin Splitter into a proper 3-pin ARGB Splitter. It will have one input connector with a hole blocked off so it can be plugged into the mobo ARGB header only the right way. And it will have 3-pin output connectors with the (4-1) pin arrangement so that you can plug your fans' ARGB cables into them only the right way. If you do these mods right, you cannot make an error in your connections.
I got it thanks a lot for your time and help! I will may contact back when I will actually build the build!
 

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