View Full Version : On/Off switch

02-07-2012, 05:47 PM
I've recently upgraded my PC and put it in a really nice-looking case. The trouble is, the case isn't really for a desktop PC and it doesn't have an on-off switch on the front.

So for the moment, I've got the new PC up and running with the on-off switch from the old case taped to the side of the newer case, with the wires running in through one of the empty PCI card bays in the back of the PC.

This works, but it looks crap!

What type of on-off switch does a PC normally have? Would it be push-to-make or locking SPST? I want to buy a switch that matches the case and a set of blue LEDs for the indicator signals coming off the front panel connector.

EDIT: Also ... What are those pesky little female connectors actually called? I will need to by some more double- and triple-connectors to crimp onto the wires for the new push-switch. I have searched google for "f-panel connector", "front-panel connector", "PC motherboard connector", and various other permutations of that, but clearly I'm just not getting the name right so I can't find them! What are they called?!!

02-07-2012, 07:22 PM
Where a computer does have an on/off switch these days it is integrated into the power supply. Most don't have an on/off switch and are always on. They will power down some components when you select to shutdown the operating system and pressing the button on the front will start those components up again. Where there isn't a switch on the power supply the only way to actually turn modern computers off is to pull out the plug. Of course swapping the power supply to one that has an on/off switch is an easy way to add one.

02-08-2012, 12:46 AM
The power switches are normally open, momentary, SPST switches. So as long as you find one that meets those criteria it should work. I'm not sure how much current runs through them but it can't very much since it's just a soft power switch. (Meaning it isn't connected to the main input on the power supply; all it is doing is turning on a control circuit.)

For the connectors your talking about the connectors crimped onto the ends of the power switch, power led, reset switch, etc. correct? The name of them escapes me at the moment but you should be able to find them from any electronics supplier such as Digi Key or Mouser. They'd also be a good place to look for switches as well. I will warn you about those connectors; I've made cables that use them before and they are kind of a pain so make sure you by extra supplies in case you botch the first one or two.