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32 posts


Topic # 57860 26-Feb-2010 21:40
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Hi guys

I have a super duper awesome wee laptop, the Toshiba Portege R100. While it's mega thin (less than an inch), there is a small space in the HDD (well, SSD now) bay.  I would love to use this space to add internal USB, probably just 2 ports.  One for my wireless mouse receiver, one fore....whatever.  Maybe bluetooth?  Maybe a big flash drive later on down the line when 64gb jobbies come down in price.

One problem.  I'm a bit of a noob at this stuff. 

From what I can tell, there are two approaches to this.  The first is completely out of my reach.  Using a voltometer to find unused USB connections on the mobo?  I'm not even sure if that sentence makes sense.

The second, far more reasonable approach, is to solder wires between a USB hub and one of the onboard ports.  This has the disadvantage (I think) of rendering said port unusable.  That's cool though, I have a sweet USB 2.0 PCMCIA card anyway, so I'd still have three ports available.

Anyways, getting to the point, what wires do I need for this?  Is it as simple as soldering four wires at each end and plugging stuff in?  Is there any issues with voltage or anything I need to worry about?  I probably haven't explained myself very well :-)

Anybody done something like this before?

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  Reply # 302652 27-Feb-2010 09:20
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Hrmmm - this laptop is approx 6 years old now? That means it's outside it's warranty.

There's a couple of things here - laptops are always a compromise in someway. Do you really need the extra USB ports? There's already two usb ports at the back? what's wrong with using a USB hub on that? Perhaps get a bluetooth transceiver and switch to a bluetooth mouse?

Given that you say you're a noob at this stuff - I would strongly recommend finding a few old desktops and attempt this with them first - laptops are are going to stretch your paitence just trying to solder something in there (as will a desktop) ... remember that precision robots put this stuff together and solder it ...

There's quite a bit to worry about ... voltages, not frying internal components ....

Bravo for wanting to hack about and do this ... but I just feel you might be trying to do something here that will leave you with the Toshibe Portege R100 brick. (Also available in boat anchor). And what will you actually gain at the end of it all?

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  Reply # 302657 27-Feb-2010 09:39
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Thanks :-)

Yeah I would definitely be practicing this stuff first. To be honest, I'm pretty anal about getting as much as possible out of this laptop rather than buying another one, but still keep it slim and looking "stock". Hence buying a PCMCIA card that sits flush rather than one of those bulky ones, despite costing twice as much. I also grabbed a 32GB SSD for about $250 which every now and then strikes me as being a bit silly! Bloody fast laptop now though, esp. with Linux Mint on it.

All I would really gain would be having the wireless receiver for my mouse internal. Which is tiny anyway :-)

I guess I just need an outlet for tinkering!

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