Installing Internal USB Sockets

Caution - not for those of a nervous disposition!

Shortly after I got my Eee, I bought a Logitech VX Nano mouse which is a most amazing mouse for a small laptop's use, since it's very small itself. It also has a tiny receiver that only sticks out about 5mm from the side of the laptop.

Anyway, I decided that given it's such a small laptop, 5mm was just too much - so I fancied mounting the receiver inside. I'd seen a few mods on EeeUser, so thought I'd give it a go myself.

Since there is space for two USB sockets in the PCIe space (mine doesn't have the connector fitted anyway), I "needed" something to fill the other socket. My choice was a 16GByte USB flash stick (Corsair Flash Voyager).

This modification uses the USB signals that are part of the Mini PCIe connector. Obviously, with the "FLASH_CON" connector not fitted, these ones are free. Also, the WiFi card fitted to the Eee 4G uses PCIe only, so the USB port on that connector is free too.

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
Preparation

I've seen a few sets of photos of this modification, however none of them appear to twist the wires together. The USB data signals form a differential pair which is intended to be twisted together as a pair if it's not in a controlled impedance like a PCB. This twisting cancels out any noise induced in the pair. So, twist some lengths of green and white together, then strip and tin the ends of them.

Note that the signal wire I used at this time was just telephone wire and in my opinion too thick. Also, being PVC insulation, was too easy to melt. I highly recommend using PTFE insulated wire as it won't melt and shrink when you solder the wires. I later replaced the wires though, when my 30awg PTFE wire arrived :-)

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
Step 1: Glue on the USB sockets
Eee PC 4G (701) - Glue on the USB sockets
Step 2: Signal Locations
Eee PC 4G (701) - Signal Locations
Step 3: All wired up
Eee PC 4G (701) - All wired up
Step 4: View from above
Eee PC 4G (701) - View from above
Step 5: Backs of sockets
Eee PC 4G (701) - Backs of sockets
Step 6: Covers on
Eee PC 4G (701) - Covers on
Step 7: Take a FLASH stick
Eee PC 4G (701) - Take a FLASH stick
Step 8: Remove its outer casing
Eee PC 4G (701) - Remove its outer casing
Step 9: VX Nano receiver in place
Eee PC 4G (701) - VX Nano receiver in place
Step 10: And FLASH stick
Eee PC 4G (701) - And FLASH stick
Step 11: Lovely installation
Eee PC 4G (701) - Lovely installation

Unfortunately after this was completed, I discovered that the USB port on the WiFi connector was actually faulty. So, the best option was to fit an internal USB 2.0 hub.

If you want to see some high resolutions photos of the main board before you start playing, then I have these images on Google Images:




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[ Page last updated Sun 14th Jan 2018 | viewed 900 times ]