Matrix Orbital MX5 514 USB VFD & Fanbus



I have to admit being a bit anal when it comes to the cable tidiness inside my PC, so the thought of installing the MX5 with all its temperature probes and fan headers made me slightly nervous. Luckily, with some cable ties in one hand (and my 1month old son in the other) I think I managed to achieve a very tidy layout. Lets see how I did it.

Fan Headers USB Connector

Firstly I connected the 4 RPM Monitored fan leads from the fans hooked up to my PC's radiator. Luckily they were long enough to reach right outside of the case, so I didn't need to screw the MX5 in before hooking everything up to it.

The External USB lead was already connected, so no effort required there. Further down the page I'll show you how to use the internal USB lead that actually worked out better for my cable management.

On the bottom left of the unit is a floppy disk power connector. This is required to give power to the unit and Fans. It's worth noting at this point that the fan speed is adjusted by PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). For most fans this will work fine, but users of LED fans will get a strobing effect from their LED's when the fans are running at slower speeds.

The MX5 can actually handle a maximum of 4x 1Amp fans, which is quite impressive - far better than some digital fan controllers I've seen in the past.

USB Cable USB Cable

The included external USB cable is actually quite long. I managed to route it from the MX5 installed at the top of my Silverstone TJ05, around the width of the motherboard, and out of the top PCI Port.

This clearly won't work with all computers though, and this is where the internal USB cable comes in handy...


USB Header

The internal USB cable actually connects to a 4-pin header just behind the plug used for the external cable. From there, I was able to route the cable around the back of my case and down to the bottom of my motherboard where the USB headers were located.

You are required to connect 4 plugs on to your motherboards USB header. Depending on your motherboard, these could be arranged in a different way, so be sure to check your motherboards manual before plugging anything in. Most motherboards use the layout above, so if you can't find your motherboard manual, then you can give it a go this way (at your own risk).

MX5 Installed MX5 Installed

The MX5 takes up 2x 5 1/4" drive bays, mainly due to the number of buttons on the unit. I found that the screen fitted perfectly, leaving very little space around the unit.

On powering up the PC you will be presented with the default Matrix Orbital Screen. Maybe I haven't got much of an imagination, but I really couldn't work out what the image on the left of the screen was supposed to be!
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Most Recent Comments

16-05-2006, 13:51:55

Nice. Not as nice as my Crystalfontz tho Quote

16-05-2006, 13:52:30


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