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My latest attempt


SpeedyV
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So here is my latest attempt at managing all those pesky Corsair fan cables. This is a new Z370 rig - i7-8700K cooled with a Corsair H110i (same as the old H110i-GT model - CoolIt pump with the better fan controller and firmware than the Asetek pumps used in most Corsair AIO coolers). The case is a Corsair 780T.

 

For fans I have:

 

Front Intake - 2 x ML140 PRO RGB

Rad fans (PUSH) - 2 x ML140 Pro RGB

Rear Exhaust - 1 x LL140 RGB

Bottom Intake - 1 x HD120 RGB LED

 

So I have 3 different Corsair fan product lines represented in this build. I bought an LL to compare it to the ML and HD, and to decide whether to go with ML or LL. My opinion is the LED lighting on the ML fans is rather anemic compared to the HD or LL fans. The ML only has 4 LEDs that just reflect off the fan blades. The effect is meh. The LLs with 16 LEDs (4 inner-loop, 12 outer-loop) is nice and bright but the diffusing material over the LEDs does change the appearance and gives its a very "soft" look. The 12 LEDs around the outer edge of the HD fan are nice and bright, no diffuser, and my personal preference.

 

During the build, I did some casual SPL measurements and found that at similar RPM, the HD fan moved way more air than the ML or the LL. Not a fair test at all since the HD is only 120mm (that I just happened to have laying around and stuck in the case bottom as intake). They also were the noisiest.

 

For LED strips - sorry - no Corsair products used. I have a 72 LED WS2812B strip, and several short (12 - 18 LED) sections of another old strip I cut up. Total LEDs under control:

 

Corsair/SIV controlled LEDs

Fans - 44 LEDs total

1 x 72-LED Strip

2 x 12 LED Strips

1 x 18 LED Strip

H110i AIO Cooler LED

Total LEDs - 159

 

ASUS Aura controlled LEDs

1 x 72 LED Strip

1 x 30-LED Strip

 

Total System LEDs - 261

 

Control -

1 x CLCP (Co-PRo)

2 x CLNP (No-Pro)

1 x LED Hub (for fans)

 

The most annoying aspect of putting this together is the little 3-pin connectors that Corsair uses for their LED ports. The fan LED cables all plug into the LED Hub, which works fine. The not-Corsair LED strips plug directly into LED ports on the CLCP and the CLNPs. So where to get those little 3-Pin connectors? I happened to have 2 of the button controllers that come with the HD fans. These come with a 2-conductor cable that uses those little 3-pin Corsair LED connectors. Cutting that cable in half gets you 2 short cables with the required connector, but short 1 conductor. To get the 3rd conductor, I de-pinned one of the conductors from the 3-pin connectors on one of those cables and inserted the pins into the 3-pin connector from the other cable. That got me 2 cables that were 3-Pin Corsair LED connector to bare ends. I soldered those onto standard JST SM 3-pin connectors (which are what is used on the vast majority of open market LED strips). These custom cables were required to plug the non-Corsair LED strips into the LED ports on the CLCP and CLNPs.

 

For control, I am using SIV instead of Corsair Link. Since I have mixed fan types on the same port, I can't run some of the preset LED effects that sequence from fan to fan, because my fans have differing numbers of LEDs. I also am not willing to run Link software to have software based LED patterns. In SIV, I can just configure the fans as 1 LED strip that is 44 LEDs long. This works fine for most of the presets.

 

I did the best I could with cable management. One of the nice things about the Corsair 780T case is the generous cavity behind the MOBO. You can fit quite a bit of wiring back there but with these LED products, it is very easy to end up with a horrible tangle of little teeny wires.

 

So far, everything is working perfectly. I have the H110i and 1 CLNP (No-Pro) connected to the CLCP (Co-Pro) USB ports. The CLCP USB plugs into an NZXT internal hub, along with the 2nd CLNP. The NZXT hub plugs into the MOBO USB2.0 header. It all works fine.

 

One nice thing about making your own LED cables - you can wire it so the 5VDC comes directly from the system power supply (via a Molex adapter). That way, data comes from the Corsair LED controller, but the 5VDC power comes from the PSU. Ground is commoned between them. This way there is no concern about overloading the capacity of the CLCP or CLNP. In this case I did not have to do this but with longer strips it becomes necessary. IIRC, the Corsair system has a limit of 72 LEDs per port. Since the Corsair strips only have 10 LEDs per strip x 4 strips per port, this limitation will never be encountered. With generic strips, it can become an issue.

 

The wiring harnesses could have looked better, but cable length limitations forced me to take the most direct path for some runs.

 

Hope this helps someone. I am calling the Bling Fling done. Now it's time to join the 5GHz over clock club ;):

 

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Edited by SpeedyV
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Cable Management - Ya I am determined this time. I am even labelling SATA power and data connectors, and have a chart of all the wiring and Fan/LED settings. You can only do so much in a large case with fixed length cables. I have a fully modular PSU (not Corsair), and some of the factory power cables are just not long enough to square everything up. I have tons of fan extension cables but no LED extension cables. My last rig (X99) kind of got away from me so I am trying to do better.

 

I still have an empty port on No-Pro #2, and 1 more 72-LED WS2812B RGB LED Strip laying around. SIV can drive them all - no problem. I would have to solder up another Corsair 3-Pin LED to JST SM 3-pin connector to connect it. Hmmm... :p:

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Thanks guys.

 

Well I once again gave in to temptation (and excess) and went ahead and wired up the last 72-LED WS2812B strip to NoPro #2 port 2. Works great and the NoPro seems OK driving 72 LEDs, though I did dim them down to 66%. They are too bright at 100% anyway.

 

SIV can set any Brightness level in 1% increments from 0% to 100% but unfortunately, the CoPro / NoPro firmware limits Brightness settings to 0%, 33%, 66%, and 100%. IIRC, this is all Link allows so I guess they did not feel the need to modify the firmware to provide more granular control of Brightness. Unfortunately, SIV is constrained by the firmware limitations of the Corsair hardware.

 

Grand Total LEDs is now:

231 LEDs under Corsair Co-Pro/No-Pro/SIV control

102 LEDs under Aura control

Total LEDs 333 (which is curiously half of 666 - I wonder if that means something?):p:

 

Anyway, here is a pic of the "Last I Promise" 72-LED strip looking for a good home, and a close up of the required splices to make the Corsair 3-Pin LED connector to JST SM 3-pin connector cable that I had to make to do this (and the other WS2812B strips). In this picture, I had not shrunk the heat shrink over the soldered splices, and had some difficulty getting the small clear shrink over my somewhat crappy solder connections (the wires are quite teeny). Once I shrink the inner and outer shrink collars, it will be fine. What's important is to get the wires in the correct order - it's just Ground (White), +5VDC (Red), and Data (Green) on the JST SM 3-Pin connector tail to the same 3 signals coming out of the Corsair LED Port. A volt meter is advised to double check which pin is +5VDC and which pin is Ground before doing this. Measure twice, solder once (hopefully)... Note that this cable connects to a Corsair Co-Pro/No-Pro LED port connector - NOT a Corsair LED Hub LED connector, which has 4-pins (Ground, +5VDC, Data IN, and Data OUT).

 

BTW - I feel I should state this - I did this at my own risk and do not take any responsibility for anyone trying to solder custom cables, or attach more LEDs to a Corsair product than they intended, or use non-Corsair software to control Corsair Link products.

 

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Edited by SpeedyV
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SIV can set any Brightness level in 1% increments from 0% to 100% but unfortunately, the CoPro / NoPro firmware limits Brightness settings to 0%, 33%, 66%, and 100%. IIRC, this is all Link allows so I guess they did not feel the need to modify the firmware to provide more granular control of Brightness. Unfortunately, SIV is constrained by the firmware limitations of the Corsair hardware.

 

Maybe this sort of customisation will arrive with 'Sync-it' dude which may improve the devices firmware??.. who knows..

 

Must admit I do like the look of those strips! bet colour flow can be super smooth...

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Maybe this sort of customisation will arrive with 'Sync-it' dude which may improve the devices firmware??.. who knows..

 

Must admit I do like the look of those strips! bet colour flow can be super smooth...

 

Yeah I have heard about Sync-It for awhile but don't know when they will release it. I think it is designed to include all of this RGB fan and LED stuff AND Corsair RGB keyboard and mice. They currently use a different RGB control program called Cue. I really don't know anything about it.

 

The problem is there really is no standard for RGB LED control. Corsair LL series fans require software control. The ML and HD series do not. The +5VDC LEDs that are offered with the No-Pro kit and in the current fans are not compatible with their older LED products that worked with the old Commander (not pro).

 

Corsair Link does not play nice with Asus Aura, or NZXT Hue, or MSI Mystique. G.Skill has yet another utility that has been probelmatic to say the least. It's kind of the wild west out there right now, but Corsair is at least attempting to standardize all of their products with each other, though not with other brands. Hopefully Sync-It will accomplish this.

 

As for Co-Pro and No-Pro firmware - I don't know if Corsair is in full control of these products. I do know that their AIO coolers are manufactured by either Asetek or CoolIt, and that they do not have control of the firmware used in those devices, which has caused them problems in the past. Also, I don't think they would be inclined to modify the firmware to accomodate a 3rd party control program.

 

The program I use for Corsair LED control was not developed by Corsair. It has a lot of capabilities that Link does not but it also cannot do some things that Link can (software control of LL series fans). It can control way more LEDs that Link, and replicates all of the Corsair blinky presets except for some LL series patterns. It is MUCH more powerful than Link for fan control, and ROCK stable. SIV has work arounds for some Corsair firmware limitations but cannot get around others, like only 4 Brightness levels. Using SIV is a personal choice and not for everyone.

 

As for the LEDs - the strip in that pic is half of a 144 LED strip that I bought on Amazon for about $12. They are packed REALLY close together. Cutting them apart and soldering tails onto the teeny little copper pads is a bit of a pain but they do look great!

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They currently use a different RGB control program called Cue. I really don't know anything about it.

 

CUE is way way WAY more advanced than LINK for RGB control dude.. if they bring half of it to fans/strips etc.. OMG!!!.. seriously.

 

Has easy and advanced modes.. in advanced you can control so many factors.. which leds are lit.. and for how long... and in 'Layers'...

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The program I use for Corsair LED control was not developed by Corsair.

 

Unfortunately It's Creator left a bad taste in a few mouths around these parts.. some of 'us' even felt 'Bashed' by him which is something us older Long term forum users really don't take well to.

 

SIV certainly does it's job well but also it is Certainly for the advanced user.

 

the whole incompatibility thing is across the board I'm afraid. what I find makes Corsair stand out is This Forum. its here for a start,, and over the last few months it's gained a nice community feel (old skool forum like) to it. certainly a few older members have returned and started to help again :) and some new ones have started to hang around and play ball with helping new guys/gals...

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Oh meant to ask Dude, you got the different fans on the same Flub (Fan Led Hub lol)?

 

Yeah I do. Because of that, I just set them up as 1 long LED string with 44 LEDs in it.

4 x ML140 RGB = 16 LEDs

1 x LL140 RGB = 16 LEDs

1 x HD140 RGB = 12 LEDs

Total LEDs = 44

 

Set up this way things like Visor work OK though speeds can be an issue. I can't do any of the LL fan software patterns. I don't even know what they look like because I have never run Link on this machine. I figure if I don't look at them, I can't want them. I only have 1 LL fan anyway.

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Yeah I do. Because of that, I just set them up as 1 long LED string with 44 LEDs in it.

4 x ML140 RGB = 16 LEDs

1 x LL140 RGB = 16 LEDs

1 x HD140 RGB = 12 LEDs

Total LEDs = 44

 

Set up this way things like Visor work OK though speeds can be an issue. I can't do any of the LL fan software patterns. I don't even know what they look like because I have never run Link on this machine.

 

I Have 6 LL120's, 3 HD120's and16 strips in mine with 4 being on back of monitors and 4 under the desk powered from a 2nd psu with a node pro on the back of the monitors, usb to rear io and tend to go with shift type effects of late. it all becomes a bit fairground like when set to rainbows etc lol

 

 

I figure if I don't look at them, I can't want them. I only have 1 LL fan anyway.

 

that kind of thinking works for me lol

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Unfortunately It's Creator left a bad taste in a few mouths around these parts.. some of 'us' even felt 'Bashed' by him which is something us older Long term forum users really don't take well to.

 

SIV certainly does it's job well but also it is Certainly for the advanced user.

 

the whole incompatibility thing is across the board I'm afraid. what I find makes Corsair stand out is This Forum. its here for a start,, and over the last few months it's gained a nice community feel (old skool forum like) to it. certainly a few older members have returned and started to help again :) and some new ones have started to hang around and play ball with helping new guys/gals...

 

You know who - Yeah I know all about that. Back when "he" was around there were a few times when he got quite impatient with me too. We had some tense moments but I decided it's just the way he is wired and to get some thick skin and get over it. I have worked with "difficult geniuses" before and have learned to not take it personally. I guess it's frustrating when your brain goes ten times faster than those around you. I learned a lot from him, and not just about making LEDs blink.

 

Corsair has struggled with Link for years - I have been jumping in and out of this forum since 2011 (though my user name changed because of an account snafu). Corsair really does care about their products and their customers and they have gone above and beyond for me in the past. It is good to see some new people becoming the "regulars" on here, helping out the endless stream of people just starting out with these products. DevBiker and you (Zotty) in particular have really picked up the ball and I am sure Dustin and company at Corsair appreciate it.

 

There are guys on here controlling Corsair products with Arduinos and other controllers, de-compiling files, figuring out protocols, and writing their own code. There's nothing wrong with that. SIV is really pretty simple next to what those guys are doing, but it most definitely has a learning curve and is, IMHO, only for those who are enthusiasts about this stuff. I am pretty happy with how this latest build turned out (from a Bling perspective anyway) and though I would post some pics so people could see what can be done (if you are crazy), and that it all really does work. I am not saying that everyone should go download SIV and try to wire up an LED monstrosity like I did. It's all just for fun, after all. ;):

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You know who - Yeah I know all about that. Back when "he" was around there were a few times when he got quite impatient with me too. We had some tense moments but I decided it's just the way he is wired and to get some thick skin and get over it. I have worked with "difficult geniuses" before and have learned to not take it personally. I guess it's frustrating when your brain goes ten times faster than those around you. I learned a lot from him, and not just about making LEDs blink.

 

Corsair has struggled with Link for years - I have been jumping in and out of this forum since 2011 (though my user name changed because of an account snafu). Corsair really does care about their products and their customers and they have gone above and beyond for me in the past. It is good to see some new people becoming the "regulars" on here, helping out the endless stream of people just starting out with these products. DevBiker and you (Zotty) in particular have really picked up the ball and I am sure Dustin and company at Corsair appreciate it.

 

There are guys on here controlling Corsair products with Arduinos and other controllers, de-compiling files, figuring out protocols, and writing their own code. There's nothing wrong with that. SIV is really pretty simple next to what those guys are doing, but it most definitely has a learning curve and is, IMHO, only for those who are enthusiasts about this stuff. I am pretty happy with how this latest build turned out (from a Bling perspective anyway) and though I would post some pics so people could see what can be done (if you are crazy), and that it all really does work. I am not saying that everyone should go download SIV and try to wire up an LED monstrosity like I did. It's all just for fun, after all. ;):

 

Thanks dude :).. its nice to be nice huh :)

 

I take my hat off to anyone that tests the limits on what can be done with these toys and I tend to try and take a little info away from it all when new things get found out.. but sometimes its doesn't speak the same language as me.. My native Language is Spanner.. with a bit of very large hammer thrown in for good measure lol (Mechanic by trade).. been faffing with PC's since I was a kid (48 now) but never went much deeper than building and playing games on them.. coding isn't easy to do with a spanner and a hammer in your hands hahaha.

 

Which means I tend to sit in the 'need an easy UI like LINK' camp lol.. I understand that as does the General population.. ish.. mostly... ok sometimes hahah,. Cue was a lot more in depth I have to say,,,

Edited by Zotty
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I Have 6 LL120's, 3 HD120's and16 strips in mine with 4 being on back of monitors and 4 under the desk powered from a 2nd psu with a node pro on the back of the monitors, usb to rear io and tend to go with shift type effects of late. it all becomes a bit fairground like when set to rainbows etc lol

 

Ha ! At least my LED crazyness has not grown out of case...yet. Come to think of it I have a bunch of rolls of industrial grade IP65 24VDC RGB LEDs left over from a project we did at work. Different voltage, different protocol (I think). Hmmm... :D:

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Got mine done as well, finally, still waiting for RMA LED hub to make the last fan light up, spent so much time on fitting the fans on the EK rad and hiding the cables...

 

2 140LL

3 120LL

8 RGB Strip

LED Hub + Node + Commander Pro :headbang::headbang::headbang:

 

[ame]

[/ame]
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  • 3 weeks later...

So as the above thread shows, I have pretty much completed by Z370/I7-8700K build with plenty of bling-a-ling using a Co-Pro and 2 No-Pros. Control is via SIV. Total LEDs under CO-Pro/No-Pro = 233 (+ 1 in the H110i-GT pump).

 

LED Port assignments are:

 

Co-Pro-P1 - 4 x ML140 Pro, 1 x LL140 RGB, 1 x HD120 RGB - Total 44 LEDs, configured as 1 x 44-LED Strip

 

Co-Pro-P2 - 72-LED WS2812B LED Strip

 

No-Pro1-P1 - 18-LED WS2812B LED Strip

 

No-Pro1-P2 - 15-LED WS2812B LED Strip

 

No-Pro2-P1 - 12-LED WS2812B LED Strip

 

No-Pro2-P2 - 72-LED WS2812B LED Strip

 

Co-Pro Total LEDs - 116

No-Pro 1 Total LEDs - 33

No-Pro 2 Total LEDs - 84

 

Every now and then I will notice that the 72-LED strip connected to Co-Pro LED Port 2 will be "stuck", with just a few LEDs lit with random color and brightness.

 

I have tried:

1. Doing a RESET in SIV AIO LED Panel

2. Changing that LED port to a different pattern

3. Disabling and re-enabling the LED port

4. Physically unplugging and re-plugging in the LED strip

 

Only #4 - physically unplugging and re-plugging in the strip,works - every time. I have not tried doing a physical reset of the Co-Pro, or cycling it's power but I suspect either of those actions would also "unstick" it. I also haven't tried swapping this LED string with another, which I should do.

 

This is not a huge issue - more of an annoyance since I have to pop the rear side off the case to access the Co-Pro and cycle the LED strip connector. Since I am using SIV instead of Link to control all of this, Link issues do not apply. SIV does not do software control of LEDs. The patterns are simply being played back by the Co-Pro and No-Pros. This, and the fact that changing patterns or disabling/enabling the port in SIV does nothing, indicates that SIV is not the problem (I think).

 

This 72-LED strip is set to Marquis, Blue, Speed 2, Brightness 66%. The other Co-Pro port has 6 mixed fan types on it - 4 x ML140 Pro, 1 x LL140, 1 x HD140 Pro RGB. Since they are mixed fan types, I just have that port setup as a 44-LED string. Total LEDs powered by the Co-Pro is 116,which should be OK.

 

I realize that I am not using Corsair's software or LED strips. TBH, it's been so long since I have messed with Link that I am not even sure if this setup could be done in Link. That said, SIV is just telling the Corsair controllers that LED strips are connected, and how many LEDs are in each strip, and what Brightness level to set (which has to be 0, 33%, 66%, or 100% due to limitations of the controllers' firmware). So there should be nothing invalid about it, and it all works perfectly, except for this one nagging issue.

 

Any ideas what could be causing this?

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What's the total current draw for the LEDs on the CoPro? They average around ~0.04A per LED. The NoPro processor that's in the CoPro also needs a bit of that 5V power as well (not sure how much though) ... so you may well be exceeding the 4.5A of power that's available on the 5V rail through the SATA connection.

 

While the CoPro's processor does use the 3.3V rail, that's the processor for Fan control, not for the RGB LED control. It's essential the same as the NoPro, which only uses the 5V rail.

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