Can I solder a USB port to this empty pad on Mobo?

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Can I solder a USB port to this empty pad on Mobo?

Postby StrangeD0s » 2019-1-09 @ 19:17

I'm in a bit of trouble. I have this very old Pentium computer and it only has a DIN connector for the keyboard, two serial COM ports and a printer port. My old serial mouse is long gone and right now I'm having trouble finding a new one. So I'm thinking about alternatives. I have tried connecting a PS/2 mouse with an adapter to the COM port but no luck. I have tried connecting a PS/2 keyboard and mouse via PS/2 Y-splitter + PS/2 to DIN adapter, also no luck (the keyboard with the PS/2 to DIN adapter alone works fine btw.!). The motherboard is a Chaintech 5IFM M101 and after inspecting it closely I found free solder pads for a USB port (see pic)!

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In the BIOS I have also found a USB controller that is disabled by default.

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So can I just solder a USB header onto the motherboard and enable the controller in the BIOS to get USB support? And will that even help me if I want to play DOS games with a mouse?
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Re: Can I solder a USB port to this empty pad on Mobo?

Postby NJRoadfan » 2019-1-09 @ 19:52

It might work if you have a later revision of the PIIX3 southbridge, see: http://th2chips.freeservers.com/5ifm0/index.html

Please note that the USB header on this board is NON-STANDARD. DO NOT USE OFF THE SHELF MODERN USB HEADER CABLES, they will likely fry something.

The board has a PS/2 mouse header on it. Best to wire up a port for that: http://th2chips.freeservers.com/cgi-bin ... jumper.jpg
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Re: Can I solder a USB port to this empty pad on Mobo?

Postby StrangeD0s » 2019-1-09 @ 21:22

Thank you for that helpful info! I will definitely try wiring up a port to the mouse header. That would actually be much more useful to me than USB. And my southbridge chip does not seem to be the right version anyway.
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Re: Can I solder a USB port to this empty pad on Mobo?

Postby Paadam » 2019-1-10 @ 06:46

In 99% cases when you have USB headers then USB will work. And also more often than not when you have empty place on PCB then it would also work. I would give it a try, it is easy, just measure GND and +5v pins before actually connecting the header then you won't fry anything (if does not work swap USB+ and USB- data lines and try again).
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Re: Can I solder a USB port to this empty pad on Mobo?

Postby chinny22 » 2019-1-10 @ 12:13

not that it matters as it looks like your going with ps2 now.
But unless BIOS has "Legacy USB support" you wouldn't be able to use a mouse (or keyboard) plugged into the usb port from dos
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Re: Can I solder a USB port to this empty pad on Mobo?

Postby kaputnik » 2019-1-10 @ 14:21

Wired up the headers on my Gigabyte GA586HX board (430HX) before, worked just fine after enabling the USB ports in BIOS. However, the ports are USB 1.0 (as opposed to 1.1), which means compatibility issues, even with stuff that is supposed to be USB 1.x compatible. Guess 1.1 interfaces were commonplace when USB got off the ground after a quite slow start, and most later peripherals omitted 1.0 support.

The PS/2 header is a much better choice for mouse usage in my opinion too :)
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Re: Can I solder a USB port to this empty pad on Mobo?

Postby Windows9566 » 2019-1-14 @ 07:16

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my Intel TE430VX has a spot for USB 1.0 ports, i wonder if USB ports that i desoldered off a dead Socket 462 board would make USB work on that board
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Re: Can I solder a USB port to this empty pad on Mobo?

Postby Errius » 2019-1-14 @ 08:39

what is the difference between USB 1.0 and 1.1?
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Re: Can I solder a USB port to this empty pad on Mobo?

Postby kaputnik » 2019-1-14 @ 13:31

Windows9566 wrote:
my Intel TE430VX has a spot for USB 1.0 ports, i wonder if USB ports that i desoldered off a dead Socket 462 board would make USB work on that board


As long as the USB header pinout on your TE430VX is the same as on that 462 one, there are no reasons why it wouldn't work. I'd be very careful checking that before connecting anything though, just as NJRoadfan mentions, the pinout might be non-standard. Was on my GA586HX board too. However, the +5V and GND lines are easily found with a multimeter, and swapping the data lines won't fry anything. Padaam explains it well in post #4 :)


Errius wrote:what is the difference between USB 1.0 and 1.1?


No idea at protocol level, haven't read up on it (as if I'd understand it if I did :D). Only know from personal experience that there are compatibility issues with some newer USB stuff. Older peripherals from before USB 2.0 was released generally seems to work fairly well though :)

On a second thought, could be the driver implementation just aswell, using the driver included with W98SE with that GA586HX board.
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Re: Can I solder a USB port to this empty pad on Mobo?

Postby oeuvre » 2019-1-14 @ 14:43

I want USB 1.1 over Type-C.
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