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Akitio Thunder 2 - Barrel Plug Bypass
 

Akitio Thunder 2 - Barrel Plug Bypass  

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Fuze911
(@fuze911)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I noticed an issue with my Thunder 2 enclosure. Sometimes, during gaming the system would crash in Windows and I would get a "Driver Failed to Start" error message. Re-installing the Nvidia drivers or a reboot would remedy the issue. However, it started to happen more and more. Eventually, I couldn't even boot windows. I thought it was software related but after a few days of testing and proving I noticed it was actually the barrel plug!

The barrel plug would get hot and actually cracked the solder for the positive lead on the board. So any movement of the cord and it would turn off the enclosure. After soldering it back on, the issue went away but after a few days it was back again. This time, it was the plug itself. The barrel plug on the Kareon Cable has melted a bit on the inside. After doing some reading I have found that its not too uncommon and some people buy a higher quality barrel plug to solder in its place.

I decided to bypass it entirely. Here is what I did:

Using my Kareon Cable, I lobbed off the melted barrel plug and soldered the wires right to the back of board. Not pretty, but functional.

Here is the still functional barrel connector and the soldered bypass.

Here is what the enclosure looks like at the moment with out the card.

Here it is stuffed to the brim!

Heres how it looks when its plugged in and ready.

It's been a few days with testing, benchmarks, and gaming. No issues yet. Also, with the "Swiss Cheesed" enclosure, I'm getting temps in the low 60s with and overclock during 1080p and 1440p gaming. NOT BAD. 🙂

Let me know if you have any questions. 

Current Build:
15" MacBook Pro (mid 2014) + MSI AERO GTX1060 6GB+ Akitio Thunder2 (Case Mod) + Dell DA-2 + EFI Hybrid v1.0.3. + OSX 10.13.6 + Win 10

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☞ 3D Printed High Air Flow front cover for Akitio Thunder 2/3 Enclosure


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esatamacmodular
(@esatamacmodular)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

This is a sweet mod. Was thinking of trying to emulate a couple of these charms with my node lite case and setup. After the firmware update I can run a single fan GPU and already have a modded Dell DA-2 with the barrel plug. Apologies if this was covered elsewhere, but a few questions, sir...

Can you elaborate on the technique you used to remove the six pin plastic connector and put the wires right into the six pin female slots of the GPU? I see custom shrink sleeves - did you add those? ... any soldering or other crimping/ tools?

How did you cut (dremel?) the case with such accuracy?

Does the case close completely? How about a photo of the back of the case to show how you managed to route the power cable through...

Am I missing anything by not having gotten the Kareon Cable ? Is 18 or 20 AWG cable going to be ok? It looks like you are maybe using 16 AWG.

iMac 2013 10.14.1, Macbook Air 2013 10.11, MBP 2016 13" 10.13.6 , HP 4530s 10.11, node lite, DA-2 PSU w/mod, PE4L 2.1b expresscard34, GTX460,1050Ti,1060,1070/Ti RX470,560,580


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Fuze911
(@fuze911)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: esatamacmodular

Can you elaborate on the technique you used to remove the six pin plastic connector and put the wires right into the six pin female slots of the GPU? I see custom shrink sleeves - did you add those? ... any soldering or other crimping/ tools?

Sure @esatamacmodular.

I used a small pin to press the tabs on the pins to pull them out of the plastic plug. Then, one by one, I snapped off (above the square shape there is a weak point) the connectors and soldered them at 90 degrees.

How did you cut (dremel?) the case with such accuracy?

I actually used two drill bits. They came in a kit for cutting holes in wood but worked great for this soft aluminum. 

Does the case close completely? How about a photo of the back of the case to show how you managed to route the power cable through...

It does close completely. I routed the cables through the corner of the shroud in the back. I did have to snip out a tiny section of it. You can see it here: 

Am I missing anything by not having gotten the Kareon Cable ? Is 18 or 20 AWG cable going to be ok? It looks like you are maybe using 16 AWG.

You should be fine doing it yourself. I did this very incrementally, so it was a great option for me. Especially, because I was/am still so new to this type of thing. 

Let me know if you have anymore questions.

Current Build:
15" MacBook Pro (mid 2014) + MSI AERO GTX1060 6GB+ Akitio Thunder2 (Case Mod) + Dell DA-2 + EFI Hybrid v1.0.3. + OSX 10.13.6 + Win 10

☞ Build Thread
☞ 3D Printed High Air Flow front cover for Akitio Thunder 2/3 Enclosure


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Spud_egpu
(@spud_egpu)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

@fuze911

the original barrel connector probably crapped out as I believe the part is rated for 10A.  You are probably running more than 120W total...  

Does anyone know of a "nice" 15A or higher capacity connector to use for the input power that is still small enough to fit the space in the card carrier sheet metal?  I'll mod the case and pcb connections...

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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joevt
(@joevt)
Honorable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@fuze911 Is there enough room for one of these connectors (in your case, for the MSI AERO GTX1060, you would need the 6-Pin Type-B connector):
https://www.moddiy.com/products/GPU-VGA-8Pin-6Pin-PCIE-U-Turn-180-Degree-Angle-Connector-Adapter-Board.html

@spud_egpu An automotive 12V DC power plug (cigarette lighter style)?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC_connector
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:DC_power_connectors

Or something with more than two pins (more pins, more total amps)? The popular Dell 220W DA-2 power supply uses an 8 pin connector. Search for power supplies that have the outputs you want (12V, 15A+) and see what kind of connectors they use:
digikey
mouser

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Fuze911
(@fuze911)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: @joevt

@fuze911 Is there enough room for one of these connectors (in your case, for the MSI AERO GTX1060, you would need the 6-Pin Type-B connector):
https://www.moddiy.com/products/GPU-VGA-8Pin-6Pin-PCIE-U-Turn-180-Degree-Angle-Connector-Adapter-Board.html

@spud_egpu An automotive 12V DC power plug (cigarette lighter style)?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC_connector
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:DC_power_connectors

Or something with more than two pins (more pins, more total amps)? The popular Dell 220W DA-2 power supply uses an 8 pin connector. Search for power supplies that have the outputs you want (12V, 15A+) and see what kind of connectors they use:
digikey
mouser

No I dont think there is enough room for that plug. I never had any issues with my setup. Its not really a problem not to have the physical plug. The card is rarely swapped, so there is very little stress around that area. 

Also worth mentioning I solves some issues a few months ago by just using larger wires for the power to the barel plug bypass i previously made. The one's I show in the photos above were getting very very hot and I was getting random crashing. After the thicker wires, solved. Been stable for months.

Current Build:
15" MacBook Pro (mid 2014) + MSI AERO GTX1060 6GB+ Akitio Thunder2 (Case Mod) + Dell DA-2 + EFI Hybrid v1.0.3. + OSX 10.13.6 + Win 10

☞ Build Thread
☞ 3D Printed High Air Flow front cover for Akitio Thunder 2/3 Enclosure


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joevt
(@joevt)
Honorable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: @fuze911

No I dont think there is enough room for that plug. I never had any issues with my setup. Its not really a problem not to have the physical plug. The card is rarely swapped, so there is very little stress around that area. 

Yup, your card has it's 6 pin connector right at the top. You need 7 mm clearance for the connector that I linked.
https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/GeForce-GTX-1060-AERO-ITX-6G-OC/Gallery#lg=1&slide=3

Some cards have their power connectors in a more convenient location. The Sapphire Pulse RX 580 has the connector much lower down (but the card is 10 mm taller and ∞ mm longer so it won't fit in your enclosure).

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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joevt
(@joevt)
Honorable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@spud_egpu
Look at the Mean Well desktop power supplies (GST and GSM series) for alternate DC power connectors.
https://www.meanwell.com/productSeries.aspx#
https://www.meanwell.com/webapp/product/search.aspx?prod=GST220A
https://www.meanwell.com/webapp/product/search.aspx?prod=GST280A
https://www.meanwell.com/webapp/product/search.aspx?prod=GSM220A
https://www.meanwell.com/webapp/product/search.aspx?prod=GSM220B

 

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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