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USB Hub Mod

32367 Views 87 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  SeRviceKek
Here are some pics of the USB hub mod that I performed last week. Basically, I removed the wireless card, soldered in a hub. Off the hub, I resoldered the wireless card, an 8Gb thumbdrive, and a stardard 4 pin usb port. Works well, but the hub generates a lot of heat. I also had a bluetooth dongle in for a while, but without the drivers and the settings interface, there's no way to get it working. Enjoy the pic!
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wow!a masterpiece of soldering. can you make a guide to realice this mod?if we can compile a linux kernel + the usb... 3g net!great job!
It will also be great to know what kind of hub do you use
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I imagine most mini hubs will do. The one I used is based on the controller ic GL850. Although you can find lots of them on ebay, the one I tore apart looked like this one: Once dissassembled, it's quite small. I removed the usb connectors, the led, and the external power jack. I then did a little bit of triming to get the board to fit.The usb port that the wifi is soldered to is turned on and off through Settings by turning the wifi on and off. If Android dooesn't detect the wifi card, it automatically turns the usb port off - which is why I had to reconnect the wifi card back to the hub - it detected the wifi through the hub without a problem. Android has no problem with the gl850 hub - the drivers must be internal.While I had the usb port soldered on, I was able to connect and use a usb keyboard - which was kind of cool. But the height of the connector turned out to be too much for the case. So I removed it. My project this weekend is to find a way to fit it in. That way, if I want bluetooth (once we have drivers and a settings interface), I can have bluetooth. Or a keyboard, or a thumb drive etc.For those interested, here's another a picture. I've a few more, but I keep running into size issues when I try to upload.
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Here's a pic of where I soldered on the usb connect - but I couldn't close the case without cutting away too much of it. So I aborted, and tried a bluetooth dongle instead(like this one: The dongle lit up, but, of course, without drivers there was no hope of it working. If you look at the pic, you can see that I placed the wifi dongle under the board by the headphones jack. I think that moving the wifi dongle there has improved wifi reception a bit.
Good Job dude.One reason for a hub to get hot would be the fact that it is a cheap hub.I have heaps of hubs lying around here, and some when i plug more than one thing it, it can handle the increased amps, and heats up.Doesnt stop working just heats up, so mabye a different hub is in the question?
Great job!Did you also try the other internal ports which could be USB?How did you identify the different data pins?Looking forward to this
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Someone suggested that there may be a USB port on the docking port - when I reopen my m001 this weekend, I am going to take a close look at the port and try to determine whether the port matches up closely with the ipod port - maybe if it does, I might learn something there about whether there is another usb on the docking port.Underneath the board, is a 4-pad port. It is NOT a USB port it is a serial port. Read about it here: Here's the picture from the other site. Look familiar?
If its a serial port would this not allow more access to the hardware?
@donaldsonThis picture is from another board, which is used in a netbook. Not our tablet!Compare with the pictures of the Aimless teardown, they are similar, but not equal.You can only be sure about it when looking on the processor pins. But you are right, these are most likely sirial I/O pins and used for low-level debugging or something during development..
This one looks failry small?the pcb looks like it could be a good size
@ch4rliiYou're right. Definitely not from our tablet. Sorry that I did not make that clear. But the device is similar. And that made ID'ing the 4 pin port easy and obvious. We need to be careful with the serial port here. When I measure voltages, I get 3.4 volts or so across the mains.
Good find. Anyone that has one of these, care to hook up the serial and give us some system info? (Be sure to read the linked post about the 5V actually being a 3.3V).
Okay. Today I took the plunge and cut a hole through the side of the case. Just big enough for a usb connector to peek out. What do you think? So far I've connected a keyboard, mouse, and a thumbdrive. All were instantly recognized. When I plugged in the mouse, cursors appeared. So in the end, I cut the hub down to two ports - one for the wifi and the other for the connector. More flexibility and I only drain the battery with additions when I want to. All done for now!
could u set up a tutorial on how to put in the USB slot. im really interested
@donaldsonseriously dude, you're the pioneer on this - you'll get mad respect for documentation. I've just ordered mine after seeing a post on reddit concerning this, and am loving the potential for hackery and getting to know android.I'm thinking that I might even bypass a hub all together, and just go for a straight usb port. I can then re-purpose the wifi board as a dongle, and just switch out between bluetooth, thumbdrives or whatever.That'll certainly negate the heat issue, though I'll have to see how nice the browsing experience is before I essentially throw it out the window.
really great mod , kudos Donaldson. but let me get this straight : with doing this , you are limited to either having out of device wifi , or one USB device? am I right?
no he still has wifi , just no bluetooth inside?so = 2 USB ports instead of 3.
Right, two USB ports instead of three. The thinking is this - I need to keep down the amount of heat the USB hub is generating, so limit the number of devices attached. Also, there is only so much power to go around - a usb port on a pc offers up 500ma. On our little table, I bet that it is a lot less than that. The more device you connect, you increase the likelyhod of drawing too much amperage from the port. Finally, by making the second port a usb port, I can plug in near anything I want anyways - keyboard, mouse, usb drive, blue tooth - you name it.People are asking for a tutorial on how to this. First let me finish up my testing. Last night my wifi was dropping out like crazy - probably where I repositioned the wifi, but still. Second, it's not a difficult mod technically, the wifi dongle used by the EKEN is just a USB wifi dongle. That means the usb port on the main board is standard too - 5Vcc(red) D-(white) D+(green) Ground (black) starting from the front of the board and counting back to the battery. Cutting the hole in the case? That was nerve racking - not sure I want to do that again.
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Very clean work, hands like a surgeon ;D
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