Installing An Internal USB 2.0 Hub

Caution - not for those of a nervous disposition!

When I installed my internal USB sockets I discovered one of the ones on the main board was faulty, so I had to come up with another plan to get both of my new internal ones working. Answer: an internal USB hub!

So the plan: fit a hub; Connect the "up-stream" port to the working USB port on the main board; connect 2 of the "down-stream" ports to my USB sockets. Easy.

I didn't document this procedure as well as the fitting of the sockets, so all I can provide is 4 photos taken from different angles showing the final assembly.

There are many places inside the Eee that you can fit a hub - you don't necessarily have to put one in the same place as me. However, using double sided sticky tape is a good way to mount it!

So here's how I did it - see how to dismantle the Eee first and then read on ...

Tools required
  • No.1 Philips screwdriver (not pozidrive)
  • Anti-static wrist band
  • Small flat screwdriver
  • Fine tipped soldering iron (0.5mm)
  • 30awg solder
  • Liquid flux
  • 30awg wire (green and white) for USB signals
  • 24awg / 26awg wire (red and black) for USB power
  • Wire strippers
  • Tweezers
  • Hot glue gun (with glue)
  • Magnifying glass
  • digital multi-meter
  • double sided sticky tape

As before, twist some lengths of green and white wire together, then strip and tin the ends of them.

Choosing a USB hub

There are many USB 2.0 hubs out there, but the primary consideration here is the size of the PCB inside it - the smaller, the better. I chose one of the small black cubes with 4 swiveling ports. I bought it from Maplin for £9.99. The sockets are connected to the PCB with wires, which means that the PCB will be smaller than most with the sockets directly attached.

A word of caution though - get a digital multi-meter and "buzz" out the signals from all sockets to the PCB and write them down on a bit of paper. I'd read on EeeUser that a few manufacturers had mis-labeled their PCBs. I only buzzed out one of my ports and it appeared fine, so I thought mine was ok. Well - that port was fine, but the others were wrong! I spent a while re-building, booting up, plugging in, switching off and stripping down again until I sorted them all.

USB Pin-out

Here is some vital pin-out information before you start. The VCC and GND are taken from other points: The VCC is disabled in standby if you use the one shown in step 2. GND can be picked up from many places on the top surface of the PCB.

USB Pin Signal name Mini PCIe Pin Wire colour
1 VCC (+5V) - Red
2 DATA - 36 White
3 DATA + 38 Green
4 GND - Black
Eee PC 4G (701) - Photo 1
Eee PC 4G (701) - Photo 2
Eee PC 4G (701) - Photo 3
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[ Page last updated Fri 6th Nov 2020 | viewed 2279 times ]