Front panel USB Ports - I need advice with Grounding wire

Discussion in 'Cases & Case Modding' started by JargonGR, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. JargonGR

    JargonGR Limp Gawd

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    Hello,

    (FYI - This is also posted on another forum)

    I think I messed up the grounding of my front panel ports (all of them).

    My case is a Coolermaster Cosmos II and I decided to swap the USB 2.0 ports of its front panel with USB 3.0 (extra) ports and a USB type C port since my motherboard supports it (got a Lian Li Type C cable).

    So I took out my knives, razors and Dremel and removed the USB 2.0 ports but I also cut the grounding cable that loops from one USB port to the other.

    Now I don't want to have those ports ungrounded so I was wondering if it is ok to solder a wire on each of the USB metal shield (outer shell) and send all of them to the grounding wire that goes to the case. From what I have gathered grounding straight on the USB port metal casing is not a bad practice.

    What do you think is it safe to do so?

    Here is a pic of my ports - the gaps will be filled with USB 3.0 ports. The yellow circles show the old wire path and the red circle is where I suggest to attach a ground wire for each port and then to the case.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  2. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    you shouldn't need to worry about grounding it at all. most cases dont have a ground wire anymore.
     
  3. JargonGR

    JargonGR Limp Gawd

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    Welll I have dug deeper into this and it seems that it is not so trivial to ignore.

    Several good cases have ground wire for the front pane ports ONLY if those ports are "free floating" - i.e. not touch metal. If your ports do not touch metal then any static can pass to the motherboard and cause damage. Now this is not that easy since a lot of things need to happen and it depends on motherboard grounding as well but I prefer not to risk it.

    Yes I might be getting paranoid here but there are instances of problems ranging from reboots to fried chipsets. Coolermaster has these ports grounded for a reason. Since I have gone through the trouble of all this I might as well add grounding and minimized the risk. The metal casing of the USB ports is the first point of contact upon insertion so the grounding needs to be applied there and this is where it was applied by cooler master too. The only difference in my case is that I want to solder the wire at a different spot since the back of the casing is encapsulated by plastic.

    I will test soldering on some spare connectors just to be safe and will test. In any case it is not the best practice to have free floating ports on your PC. The potential for damage will always be there.
     
  4. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    then just solder a wire between the two points to reconnect the ground.
     
    Ocellaris likes this.
  5. JargonGR

    JargonGR Limp Gawd

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    Can't do that unless I rip apart the whole rubber part to expose that back of the connectors but also the new ports I installed (2 USB 3.0 + USB Type C) are not part of the previous loop. The only "touch points" for the ground wire are the metal casings of the connectors at the front. So it is either solder or I should fined another way to attach the wire.
     
  6. JargonGR

    JargonGR Limp Gawd

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    Ok mod done but need to test it with a multimeter (and some minor straightening). All I did for grounding is solder a small pieces of wire on each port's metal casing and the final port is connected to the case through the included ground connector. The mod came out fine and now the front panel of my Cosmos II has 4X USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 2.0 (logitech receiver), 1 e-sata (I have a use for it) and of courser a USB Type C 10Gb/s.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
    pendragon1 likes this.
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