Connectors or cable adapters allow a device to communicate with the
motherboard and other devices.
Also known as
adapters they come in a plethora of different types and sizes. With the geek out
of the way why do you need an adapter?
Because your device
will not work if it is not connected!
table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....
When the engineers at the
electronics company design a device they design it in a way that you can not
plug the power into the wrong place or plug a floppy controller cable into a
See where I am going? The designers make the computer
repair or replacement almost fool proof. I said
almost. There are some people - I use this
term very loosely! - that can plug the wrong cable into the wrong device.
I have seen it! Hard drive - cd rom - floppy - power
supply - motherboard (lots of cables here!)- networking they are all different,
and have different functions.
Every device has one or more connections, the part
where the power cable or data cable connects is termed as a connector. There are
only two devices that have the same connector but different functions. Do you
know which ones I am taking about?
There are devices that have only one adapter, their power is supplied from
inside the data cable, these are low voltage devices.
Most USB devices are low
voltage. Those that require higher voltage or multiple voltages have a separate
connection for power.
Hard drives, cd/dvd rom, floppy drives, and fans are like
this. Now you are wondering why these devices have multiple voltages. "Simple My
Dear Watson:" the five volts runs the motor that spins the platters. The twelve
volts runs the motor that moves the seeker head back and forth over the
platters. Also the twelve volt is supplied in the positive and the negative,
didn't know that eh? Why? Well the positive twelve volts causes the seeker head
to move in one direction and the negative in the opposite direction. Vola! you
can read your data!
Most adapters are made out of plastic and have metal
pins that mate with the opposite pins on the receiving adapter. How many
adapters have a metal shield? Hint: they are all on the outside of the
Now suppose you had to change out a device but to get to the device you had
to remove some other devices, say the cd/dvd rom and floppy drives. As you work
your way down to the device you need to change you are disconnecting cables. Did
you notice that each cable is made in a certain way? Like the floppy controller
cable adapter is smaller than the cd/dvd rom controller cable? Or the power
supply cable for the cd/dvd rom is different from the floppy drive?
Almost fool proof.
Ok, got the device out and ready to put it back in. If (and this is a big IF)
the device you are replacing is a hard drive did you notice the controller cable
adapter? I though not, ok I will bail you out this time, the hard drive
controller cable adapter and the cd/dvd rom controller cable adapter are
almost exactly the same, (on newer computers that have SATA drives it is
different) the EIDE hard drive has enhanced integrated drive electronics, to
faster. To designate the EIDE from IDE the designers need to come up with a way
to make them different but the same, the EIDE will be blue with grey or grey
with blue. IDE connectors will be black. Why the different colors? The EIDE has
three more wires connected inside the adapter, the IDE is short three wires.
If you plug the IDE connector into the EIDE drive it will either function
erratically or not function at all.
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So now you know all there is to know about adapter, right?
Hummm? Well grasshopper which two adapters look exactly alike and can be
plugged in wrong?
The main thing about adapter are they are plastic. They will become
brittle with age. So if you are disconnecting a device that has been in your
computer since it was assembled the adapters should be handled with care. If
you break a connector you will have to replace the cable it is connected to, if
the adapter is on a device you are disconnecting to move and break the
connector chances are you will have to by a new device.
Last thing, even though the computer and device manufactures use a lot of
common sense in designing their products if it can be connected wrong it will be
connected wrong, Murphy's law # 63.
After all this did you figure out which two adapter are are the same
physically but have different functions?
|Mouse and Keyboard!
Tired of searching for information on
adapters? Check this out:
Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition E-Book.
Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition