Area 51 R2 LED (side panel on/off)

xps630

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Joined
Mar 9, 2020
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19
I installed a motherboard other than X99 and I am able to control all 8 zones of LED in AWCC 4.0.59 installed using BIOS key from this forum.
I also encountered same issue experienced by two users in 2017 and 2015: side panel LED does not light up automatically when powering up PC. It lights up after pop off/on side panel.
Here are some of my observations through experiments on this case:
(1) when either side panel is completely removed, then PC is powered up, the remaining side panel that is still on Does Not turn on its LED even after pop it off/on. The pop off/on method works only when both side panels are on. This makes me think AlienFx is designed to turn off BOTH side LED when it detects just one panel is completely off.
(2) the AlienFx theme, once created by user, is stored completely in the FIO board independent of motherboard or HDD/AWCC. After saving a theme, the Alienhead LED pulses by that theme when PC powered off but connected to power. I removed the HDD (which removes AWCC), all 8 zones of LED still play by the saved theme.
(3) the USB1 cable connecting the FIO to motherboard, when connected, turns ON LED to Alienhead but turns OFF LED to side panel by default in my case, until one side panel has a pop off/on.
(4) after unplugging USB1 cable from FIO while keeping Panel 1 cable connected, all 7 LED zones light up when powering up (and the Alienhead is off).
This is my temporary fix to avoid having to pop on/off side panel each time when power up. The thought here is after choosing a favorite theme, I do not need to control lights using AWCC again. By sacrificing LED to the Alienhead, I can have the other 7 LED light up with one touch of power on button (the front panel first followed by side panel after 1 second.)
It is still a mystery why USB1 cable turns off side panel by default. Perhaps someone else has figured this out and found a better fix.
 
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xps630

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
Messages
19
update: I tried AWCC 4.8.25 (lastest for R2). also able to control lights. AlienFx tester shows firmware 9.00 without error.
according to Dell community forum, this side panel issue also occurred with some Dell motherboards.
https://www.dell.com/community/Alienware-General-Read-Only/Area-51-Side-panel-issue/td-p/5570848
"The side panel lights don't stay on. To get them to light up I have to remove a door and put it back on.

They stay on when the computer is rebooted; however, if the PC is powered off for any reason (e.g. goes to sleep or is powered off), the side lights stay off until I remove and door and pop it back on to manually activate them."

therefore I am beginning to think some of the Dell FIO boards have minor circuitry bugs. The common myth that some aftermarket mobo will work with R2 case lights, while others don't may have nothing to do with the specific boards, but FIO in each case. it makes sense that FIO has a debug header. The bug seems to be when there is 5V SB connected to the USB1 header on FIO to power the alienhead button, it will turn off the side panel LED unless one pops the panel open/close.

There is nothing faulty with the electrical contact of side panel. In fact, after disconnecting USB 1 cable from FIO, the side panels turn on as soon as PC is turned on. And when one side panel is completely removed, the other panel light stays on.
Wish there is a way to solve this bug of USB1 interference with POGO lights. If not, the R2 case after board swap can still have almost all the lights working except the alienhead button (is this an intentional design of Alienware to render loss of Alienhead logo with non alien board?)
 
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