How To: de-pin 4pin male fan connectors...

Discussion in 'Cases & Case Modding' started by aphasia, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. aphasia

    aphasia [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,137
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    doing a little afternoon case modding today and i got stuck on trying to sleeve a couple of fans specifically a 'Arctic Cooling F PWM' fan(s). they've got this weird triple connector that allows you piggy-back the 4pin CPU PWM header on motherboard.
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    i wanted to sleeve sections between the 4pin female and 4pin male connectors (the 2 connectors on far right of pic above) + the wires between the fan itself & 4pin female connector. i chopped the 3pin connector with just the tach wire & re-crimped it to 4pin female plug.

    anyway after de-pinning both the 3pin & 4pin female connectors i realised i wouldn't be able to sleeve all the wires without cutting all the pins off, sleeve, then re-crimp with new pins on. i don't mind crimping new pins when i have to but i've got several other fans to do, bugger that.

    de-pinning your standard 3/4pin female fan is fairly straight-forward and there is a variety to tools (and guides) on the market that allow you do it quickly & cleanly. however i haven't seen any guides on how to do the 4pin male connectors commonly found on fan extension cables. this has always bugged me. my google-fu may be failing me in this regard, so just in case there are other inept googlers out there looking to de-pin these suckers, thought i'd knock one up myself. you'll have to excuse the pics, i don't have a DSLR to take proper macro shots.

    your standard 3/4pin fan extension cable, the weird fan tail on the arctic cooling fan plus a de-pinned 4pin male connector at the bottom.
    [​IMG]

    close-up of empty 4pin male plug. notice the 4 holes aren't a perfect square. the small indent above each of the larger holes is where the pin protrudes. the 'indented' section is where the tab on the pin locks to the plug.
    [​IMG]

    after some trial & error, the only tool really needed was a standard size paper-clip. i did use a small flat head screw driver from a jewelers set as well tho i'll get to that later. you could use other tools like a needle tho all i had on hand was a paper-clip. i tried a bobby-pin however it proved too wide to fit the indent, even after snipping the 'bulb' on the 'straight side'.
    [​IMG]

    like when using a MOLEX tool to remove ATX/PCIe power plugs, there is a 'click' when the paper-clip is inserted far enough to depress the locking tab.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    all 4 pins freed from plug.
    [​IMG]

    i did notice when inserting the paper-clip to free pin, the tabs aren't as resistant to bending inwards as your standard ATX/PCIe pin are with a proper MOLEX tool. can see in pic below the tab has 'flattened'.
    [​IMG]

    this is where the small flat-head jewelers screwdriver comes in. used it to bend the tab back outwards.
    [​IMG]

    that's it. de-pinning a 4pin male plug is almost as straight-forward as doing a female one. if there are guides on how to do this already, don't shoot me. like i said, my googling skills are feeble at best...:D
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  2. utahphunk

    utahphunk n00bie

    Messages:
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    Dec 18, 2012
    I'll be doing this in a few days. Thanks for the great pics!