Author Topic: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade  (Read 1377 times)

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Online Berni

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Overview

One day i turn on my big Infiniium scope and all i get is fans running and a black screen. Uh oh... :-BROKE

I power cycle it, remove the mains for a few seconds, remove it for a few minutes... Sometimes the scope would show a blinking cursor on a black screen, sometimes nothing. It never makes a BIOS boot beep or show any actual bios text, once i even got it to show this:


Something is clearly very wrong with my scope. So off goes the cover for the first time on this scope. Its pretty easy to get inside, just remove all the visible screws, slide off the plastic, again remove all visible screws on the back and slide off the metal cover and we are in.



The design is actually quite compact seeing what they had to fit in here. The seemingly empty space to the right of the motherboard is taken up by the two large fans that are attached to the metal back cover(Wires for the fans running off to the right).

The construction is made up in layers from front to back:
-Front panel+LCD
-Acquisition board
-PSU + Cooling ducts
-Embeded motherboard + main fans

Interestingly the entire scope runs from 12V and with the typical 300 to 400W power draw of this scope that means a lot of current on that single 12V rail. This is why the two cables coming out of the PSU are so massive. Each wire as thick as a mains cord, while the thin wires coming off the terminals might look like sense wires, but they are actually powering the PC Motherboard (They only look thin in comparison). The actual PSU brick in there is rated for 750W. The same brick also provides standby 5V over the tiny black wires.

Troubleshooting

All the other rails that the motherboard needs are created by the acquisition board and then fed to it via a standard 24pin ATX power connector. So first things first, thou shall measure voltages... and all the rails turn out to be there and stable, the powergood wire also does what it is supposed to. So its not a power issue and the problem could be the motherboard itself.

Then perhaps something is preventing the board from booting. So i disconnect everything from the motherboard. This means disconnecting the hard drive, USB (Used by the front panel) and the SATA cables going to the acquisition board. Still no change. So now i remove the motherboard from the scope and hook it up to the PSU of a test PC, still no boot. So indeed the embedded PC is indeed dead.

So why is the board not booting then. I tried removing RAM sticks, did nothing. I moved the Core 2 Duo CPU into my 775 socket test PC and it booted fine so the CPU works. So yes indeed the motherboard itself is dead, no way around it.


The solution

Getting your hands on a replacement board is actually quite tough tho. The board is a "Adlink M-890-Raptor" and its that last part of the name that is the problem. The name "Raptor" is actually a internal Agilent codename for the Infiniium 9000 series (Most Infiniium scopes are codenamed after dinosaurs for some reason, perhaps due to the size and heft of these scopes). This means this is a custom motherboard made for Agilent. To make things worse Keysight will not sell you the board, but requires the scope to be sent in for service, this is likely because of the Windows 7 license activation and scopes needing a new hard drive image upon motherboard change (There are 3 different motherboards available, some run Win XP). So your only hope in getting your hands on a spare board is ebay or cannibalizing a donor scope.

Adlink actually used to manufacture a similar board with the same specs and form factor, but has the custom Agilent features removed, thus making it not entirely compatible.

The 3GHz Core 2 Duo is getting pretty dated these days, so if we are changing the motherboard we might as well also upgrade it. Keysight has a new board for Infiniium scopes that runs a modern i5 processor on it, however just like the original board its not possible to buy it. I was actually thinking of this upgrade before my scope died, and happened to stumble upon the "ASRock IMB-181-L" for cheap and bought it.



This board is a slightly smaller ITX form factor (Less PCI slots) than the original but all the screw holes still match up. It takes much more modern Intel Haswell processors in its 1150 socket, but most importantly it has LVDS video output, this can be used to drive the LCD panel directly.
 
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Online Berni

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2019, 10:57:59 am »
Testing the new hardware
So i dug up the board from storage and soon after realized i have no CPU or RAM to fit in it.

To take care of i went out and bought the fastest Intel Haswell CPU i could find on the cheap. This turned out to be a i5-4590 running at 3.3GHz (3.7GHz boost). Also picked up some 2x4GB sticks of DDR3 laptop memory. I also dug up a stock intel 1150 cooler that turned out to be exactly low profile enough to fit inside the scope.





Woho it boots perfectly fine.  :D


Reverse engineering

The service manual for this scope is available but its your typical modern service manual that just tells you how to take it apart and what board to send to Keysight for repair. Still it does have some nice teardown photos:
https://www.keysight.com/upload/cmc_upload/All/54904-97021.pdf

This leaves us with some unknown custom connectors that don't fit the new replacement board. The 24pin ATX and 4pin EPS power connectors are perfectly standard, as is the USB cable, the rest are not and need to be reverse engineered

LVDS
This one was reasonably straight forward because i could get the original board to display that blinking cursor on the screen. This let me figure out the supply voltages using a multimeter and used my other working scope to probe the LVDS pairs and figure out what they are. Technically you would need to hook them all up to a logic analyzer, but you can get a good bit of information from just looking at one pair at a time. We have 5 diff pairs, so this means we have 1 clock and 4 data (24bit video). Clock is easy to spot because its the only pair that toggles at a fixed frequency. Data pairs are tougher to tell apart, all carry pixel data, but Data 2 is supposed to also carry Hsync and Vsync information, this means on a mostly black screen there will be a lot more activity on it. Knowing the screen is mostly black also helps you determine the P and N side of the pair, the other data pairs ware simply guessed to follow in counting order along the connector pinout and this turned to be true.(If not then id swap them randomly until the colors on my screen look correct)

"SATA"
When i first looked at it it seamed quite surprising that the acquisition board would talk to the PC via SATA, even Dave thought so in his Infiniium scope teardown. After a bit more digging i figured out that this is actually a PCIe 1x slot that is running over SATA cables. These cables are designed for high speed and are also the correct 100 Ohm impedance for PCIe diff pairs so its actually a pretty neat hack. But this also makes these two SATA connectors competently proprietary to Keysight.

Figuring this one out was a bit trickier but i found that a total of 3 diff pairs come out of the SATA connectors. These correspond to Clock TX1 RX1. To my luck this "PCIe slot" was still active with nothing plugged into it so i could see a 100MHz clock on one pair to quickly nail down one of them. The solution for the 2 remaining pairs comes from the PCIe specification requiring the transmitting side of a PCIe pair to have AC coupling capacitors. This means a multimeter will see nothing on the TX pair while seeing ESD diodes/terminators on the RX pair. We still don't know what side of the pair is P or N tho. Luckily the PCIe spec comes to the rescue again with this by requiring the host and device to detect polarity inversion and adjust for it (This is done to let the PCB designer flip pairs when its convenient to do so). So i simply assumed the polarity for the pairs is the same as used by SATA (That sounds like the most sensible way to wire it up if i was designing this) and ran with it, If i got it wrong it will still work anyway.

I was still left with 2 pins on one SATA connector that didn't have a diff pair. Both of those pins are connected to something on the acquisition board. Yet only one was connected on the motherboard. Looking at that pin shows that on boot it goes from 0V to 3.3V and stays there. This is the same behavior as the PowerGood signal on a PCIe slot, so i can just connect it to that. This signal is likely used as a reset signal for the whole acquisition board.

Front Panel
Last one is the front panel connector. Despite being a big 20 pin 0.1in connector it only has 4 wires going to it. This is easily figured out with a multimeter to being the power button and power LED on the front. This is just like on a standard PC case except it doesn't use the standard connector pinout.


So now i have the pinout table for all proprietary connectors on this motherboard:

« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 11:59:00 am by Berni »
 
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Online Berni

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2019, 10:58:55 am »
Adapters
Since none of these connectors fit my new board means i have to create adapter cables for each one. This means a bit more google hunting for the correct connectors and there mating parts.


LVDS
This one actually turned out to be a bit dificult. While the motherboard manual did give me the full pinout for LVDS it never said what kind of connector is it. It was clearly some special connector and i ended up googling random stuff for a good while until i figured out it is a "Hirose Dual row DF14" not to be confused with the normal single row DF14 that looks completely different. Not wanting to deal with crimping these tiny 1.5mm pitch pins lead me to find a ebay seller selling cables with this connector. It was pretty hard to find as this is a very uncommon connector type. (Gee thanks ASRock >:( )

The cable arrived and clearly had the wrong pinout so i had to use tweezers to extract all the crimped pins and repin the connector for my pinout, i actually needed to take some pins from the extra cable i ordered because one cable does not have enough wires in it.

Another issue is that i found the enable line to be active high 5V while the LCD requires active low 3.3V. Need to build a transistor level shifter for it, for now i just shorted it to ground.

For the LCD side i found a mating connector to be a Molex 0878313220 (32pin 2mm pitch male with the correct shroud for polarity keying):
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/molex/0878313220/WM14812-ND/3313141


This is the original cable i bought two of:


This is the resulting adapter cable:


SATA(PCIe)
For this i ended up getting a PCIe extender cable, simply cutting off one end and soldering a pair of SATA connectors to it just to see if it works. This is only to test that i got my pinout correct, later on i will be making an adapter PCB for it. But these ribbon cables can perform quite well at high speeds. The trick is using diff pairs that are surrounded by ground on the cables pinout.




Front panel
This one is again easy. I just got a standard 20 pin 2.54mm header with a polarity notch and made an adapter to a standard PC front panel connector that my board has. The whole thing got encased in heatshrink to prevent the unused pins shorting to anything.



Here is the full pinout tables for these adapters that i used to make sure i got stuff wired correctly.





Putting it all together
So now that i have the cables its time to put it all together and see if it works. I have tested each cable seperately to make sure it works, but now all of them are in and its time to boot it inside the scope.

CAUTION: Careful when running the scope open like this. The Aquisition board still produces a lot of heat when idle and needs airflow to keep cool. If the scope is going to run for more than a few minutes you must have a fan moving air trough the case, or put the back cover back on so that the original fans can cool it.



After a really long boot time Windows 7 finally got itself in order and got to the desktop and eventualy... Woho! It detected the acquisition board! :D



Now it was time to get the scope software running too. I created a backup image of the original SSD and tried to boot it, hoping for the best. Windows did start booting but it had a lot of trouble, bluescreening and the like. I had to fiddle with the BIOS like set SATA to IDE emulation, turn off USB 3.0, enable legacy USB modes etc. That finally got me to the desktop and the Infiniium application crashed due to not having DirectX drivers. More driver fiddling later i finally cleaned off all the old drivers, got windows updated, installed all new drivers for everything.

One reboot later the Infiniium software started up just fine, winner winner chicken dinner! :-+



« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 12:36:01 pm by Berni »
 
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Offline coromonadalix

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2019, 11:43:17 am »
I hope this board will work for you, sad  very sad to have problems like this,  happened to me,  system was fine, powered it down for 2 days, never restarted, mobo dead ??

Massive supply cables indeed.

good luck
 

Online Berni

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2019, 12:45:02 pm »
Write up finished now.Hell yes it worked out. ;D But i have one small problem.

I have not benchmarked my scope before the upgrade, and now my original board is dead. So i have no idea how much faster the upgrade makes it. Is anyone out there with a stock Win 7 version of a Infiniium 9000 willing to hook up a frequency counter to the TrigOut port and do some tests?
 
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2019, 02:44:27 pm »
Nice repair and mod!
Surprise that an expensive scope like this one would fail in such way !

There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can not.
 

Online Berni

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2019, 03:14:21 pm »
Yeah the scope is only 6 years old too. The windows installation dates to 2013 and so does a date stamp on the inside of the case. Tho the scope is full of boards that are likely designed and built by other manufacturers. Like the Motherboard, PSU, backlight driver, touchscreen controller.

I hope this board will work for you, sad  very sad to have problems like this,  happened to me,  system was fine, powered it down for 2 days, never restarted, mobo dead ??

Massive supply cables indeed.

good luck
Did you ever get your scope fixed by the way?
 
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Offline gslick

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2019, 03:39:36 pm »
Nice work. Some versions of the 16901A and 16902B logic analyzer mainframes use the same M-890 motherboard. In that application the "SATA" PCIe connections are not used to interface to the acquisition system. An interface board plugs into the PCI slot instead. Good to confirm that the two extra "SATA" connectors on the M-890 motherboard are in fact not SATA and to never plug in anything there.

One device on the M-890 motherboard is a PLX NET2282 PCI - USB device controller (not a USB host controller). I was puzzled about the use for that on the 16901A and 16902B logic analyzer mainframes. Then I realized that the 9000 series scopes have a USB device connection port and it must be used there.

One question I have about your project. When you swapped in a new motherboard I assume you just left the USB device connection port unconnected. Where did that attach to M-890 motherboard? I can't see where the cable goes in your photo.

 

Online Berni

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2019, 04:32:48 pm »
Oh thanks for the tip on the logic analyzers, might be a good source for cannibalizing these boards if someone really really needed one (Not that i like seeing perfectly good test gear torn down for its parts).

Here is a better photo:


The USB cable goes to what looks like a 2mm pitch JST connector located right next to the left side of the blue SATA connector, so its obscured by the SATA plug in that photo. It has taken me a while to figure out how that works because the connector is not physically close to that PLX chip. I have no way of making this work with my motherboard as i have used up my only PCIe slot, if i had a slot it would likely be PCIe and not PCI so it would need a bridge chip too... etc. Since i never even used the port for anything i just said screw it and left it unconnected. Its got Ethernet anyway so what else would you want (It even has dual Ethernet ports with fancy Intel controllers after my upgrade)

Oh and i just noticed the cable carrying the PCIe clock line to the acquisition board runs mere millimeters past the live mains input, it is shielded tho.
 
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Offline rtekal

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2020, 10:32:10 am »
Hi,

I have a Agilent Infiinium DSO 9104 which fails to power up. Upon pressing the power button, The sequence 2 error led's glow pointing to a failure of the +1.2 volt , shutting down the supply. This voltage is monitored by U497 LTC2928. There are three cascaded monitoring circuits monitoring all the voltages on the acquisition board. All the on board supplies are sequentially switched on, monitored and then only the instrument boots up. The main +12 volt bulk supply is good.

The LED's in Seq 2 glows as follows.
LED's 1 & 2 : ON
LED's 3 & 4 : OFF.

Has anyone repaired the power supply failure on the acquisition board?

Regards
 

Online Berni

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2020, 10:37:03 am »
Never touched the acquisition board before, for all i know its just 2 big beefy cables carrying 12V to it.

In your case id say check the corresponding switching regulator any blown transistors. But if the whole 1.2V rail is shorted elsewhere then one of the big digital chips might have blown and in that case its probably game over for this scope.
 
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Online Zucca

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2020, 10:43:51 am »
amazing work Berni! Well done!
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Offline darkstar49

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2020, 11:03:09 am »
It's a real scandal that those 'big' names use proprietary mobo's... this has zero added-value, excepted to force customers to pay a fortune for repair and/or upgrades !!

LeCroy plays the exact same game, and that's a real pain in the a@&% !! In particular after the support period, these mobo's become totally unavailable, the scope manufacturers typically order those in a single batch, and their order includes a certain percentage for spares/repair, so once those are used, you're out of luck  :--
(but even when one is available, they're only available for repairs via the official channels, at totally indecent prices !!!)

But hat off for your work (and for sharing) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   :-+

Please also report on further 'improvements', i.e. the replacement of your 'custom' cables by some adapter board(s).


btw, for LVDS (and possibly other cables), I contacted ES&S in Germany, they have a very large choice of models, and they deliver cables also in very small quantities, with crimped wires, but unconnected (and you can choose whatever connectors you want, they've everything you can think of in stock). https://www.esskabel.de/en/



« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 11:09:35 am by darkstar49 »
 

Online Zucca

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2020, 11:39:35 am »
It's a real scandal that those 'big' names use proprietary mobo's... this has zero added-value, excepted to force customers to pay a fortune for repair and/or upgrades !!

I am 100% sure all the Keysight RnD and even the customer service are on our side and agree with you. Keysight is not a normal company and take cares about the customers when they need to. This was my personal experience in the past.

Problem is marketing and sale department they are paid to maximize profit, those are the choices they make and push to approval.

Anyway I suppose the Keysight engineers and technical department waved through the decision to put a custom board in it.
They already knew their customers are smart and fine EE and they will sort that out, like big Berni did.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 09:54:57 pm by Zucca »
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Online Berni

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2020, 04:44:32 pm »
Sorry i forgot to post an update about the proper PCIe adapter PCB that turns a regular PCIe slot into the pair of proprietary SATA connectors.



It just sticks into a PCIe 1x slot directly. The length of it is designed so that the end of the board presses up against the metal case cover, this holds it in so that it can't wiggle itself out of the slot.

Attached are also the Altium Designer files for it including ready to go gerbers.
 
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Offline darkstar49

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2020, 08:55:03 pm »
I could hire you for my LeCroy’s !!!!!    8)

See here the PCIe riser card, with 2 RJ45 and one SATA connector (gen1 Magellan) in a WaveRunner Xi-A, which were replaced by one RJ45 and an iPass connector on the WaveRunner 6Zi (gen2 Magellan).

While the Xi-A has a more or less standard mobo, it’s rather an exception (and btw, the I/O shield is specific due to the proprietary L-BUS connector), it was some sort of intermediary solution between the older PCI104 connector (90% of all suitcase-format scopes from LeCroy) and the iPass connector that replaces the PCIe slot on more recent (and again proprietary) boards...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 09:16:50 pm by darkstar49 »
 

Online Berni

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Re: Agilent/Keysight Infiniium MSO9000 series motherboard repair/upgrade
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2020, 05:47:17 am »
At least they did the smart thing once and used a PCIe adapter to do it.

Tho what they did here looks like they are carrying 4x PCIe over two ethernet cables (4 pairs RX, 4 pairs TX so it works out to exactly 8 diff pairs) and then carrying the reference clock and other stuff over the SATA cable. This is a bit... how you doi'n ???

I already found Agilents way of using SATA for it as a bit of a hack, but at least the cables are designed for these sort of speeds. Since the scope is rocking a Core 2 Duo that would likely make it a PCIe 1.0 bus so 2.5Gbit per lane while SATA back then would have been SATA II so 3Gbit. The clock running in its own cable is fine too since the data lines are not sensitive to propagation delay (And its only a 100MHz clock anyway that gets PLLed on the other end). However the newer Keysight scopes (I think the S series or it might be the big boatanchor infiniums) have moved on to the proper SATA-Express connector, this is an actual connector designed for PCIe in a single cable, but features backwards compatibility with SATA. This gets you a 2x PCIe slot so with the latest PCIe 3.0 of the time this could get you 16Gbit over one cable. So off the shelf motherboards actually have these SATA-Express connectors on them, but the only problem is that this standard was sort of a market failure so only motherboards from a certain narrow time period still have it(I think its from around 4th Gen i7 era). Newer motherboards have ditched SATA-Express and replaced it with the M.2 slot, since that now does the same job of connecting high speed PCIe SSDs and was much more of a market success.

The RJ45 connector however... that thing was originally designed to handle phone lines at audio frequencies. Ethernet started using it since well Ethernet is basically phone lines, except for computers to exchange bleep bloops, besides 10Mbit was slow anyway. Then the 100Mbit and 1Gbit network cards had to deal with many meters of CAT5 cable that may have been spliced or extended god knows how many times, so they are designed to tolerate crappy lines and RJ connectors. By standard the CAT6 cable is only designed for up to 250MHz of bandwith. But what about 10GBASE-T copper ethernet? That does 10Gbit over CAT6 Yes it indeed does but this uses QAM16 modulation spread over the multiple pairs to get the cable bandwidth requirement down to 500MHz suitable for CAT6A cable. So a 10Gbit network card basically much like a SDR radio without the mixers, using the cable as a RF transmission line rather than just shoving digital bits into it. So sending PCIe 1.0 with its >2.5GHz bandwith requirement over that thing is kinda sketchy. But then again i had my Agilent scope running PCIe via ribbon cable that was designed back when man first set foot on the moon and Megabits/s was considered high speed and all of it bodge wired together onto some connectors.

So for the case of your WaveRunner 6Zi i would take a guess the thing is identical except it using 2x PCIe, hence one RJ cable, so the identical PCIe adapter card might work by just pluging the RJ cable into the correct one. But pinout differences might still be there. I have explained above how to tell apart PCIe TX or RX pairs using a multimeter.
 
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