PC Hardware

Power Connectors: Extenders and Splitters

PCs can run out of power connections, and large cases can have drives beyond the reach of any plug on the supply. A good technician has a quick solution on hand to both of these common problems: extenders and splitters.

Extenders are wire sets that have a Molex connector on each end; they are used to extend a power connection to a device beyond the reach of the power supply's own wiring. Splitters are similar to extenders, with the exception that they provide two power connections from a single power supply connector.

Lesson Summary

The following points summarize the main elements of this lesson:

  • Power supplies come in a variety of sizes and shapes.

  • There are two types of main power connectors: AT and ATX.

  • A power supply must be capable of handling the requirements of the computer and all internal devices.

  • Be careful when attaching some connectors-if connected incorrectly, they can damage the computer.

  • Do not open the power-supply housing!

  • Keeping a few splitters and extenders in the repair kit can help the technician easily solve some common problems.

Lesson 2: Power-Supply Problems

Power-supply problems can come from both internal and external sources. Failure of a power supply can be caused by failure of components within the computer (internal), but the most common failures come from the power source itself (external). In this lesson, we look at common problems associated with power supplies and what you, as a technician, can do about them.

After this lesson, you will be able to:
  • Determine the types of problems that can be caused by power supplies.

  • Know when to check and when to replace a power supply.

  • Plan how to protect your system from external power-supply problems.

Estimated lesson time: 10 minutes