Dell Inspiron Duo Forum for discussion on the netbook/tablet hybrid by Dell, the Inspiron Duo.

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ray420 ray420 is offline
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Default adding internal usb ports - 05-13-2011, 08:55 PM

has anyone tried to use the mini pci slot that i think is for 3g option for a mini pci to usb converter card. i was thinking about putting a sdcard reader where the sim card slot is. I think I can widen it enough to insert a sd card in and also maybe adding gps in the space between the hard drive and the right side . there's a decent bit of empty space there. the card i was looking at has two pigtails soldered on for two usb ports. the only thing is that the actual mini pci socket is missing from mine, but there is solder on all of the contacts that looks like its ready to be soldered right in. what do you guys think
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Sleeping_Panda Sleeping_Panda is offline
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Default 05-13-2011, 09:44 PM

Although I don't have much experience with this aspect of modding on my Duo, I am interested to hear how this goes for you as mine has the mini-slot with a bluetooth card that I am finding that I don't really use (the docking station is handling my file transfers and what not very well and the bluetooth keyboard/mouse came with a nano-dongle I slipped into one of the docking station's USB ports that was unoccupied since I have a USB hub connected to the other for easy access)

If I could use this slot for something else that would be great so keep us posted!


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Scotty Scotty is offline
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Default 05-17-2011, 10:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray420 View Post
has anyone tried to use the mini pci slot that i think is for 3g option for a mini pci to usb converter card. i was thinking about putting a sdcard reader where the sim card slot is. I think I can widen it enough to insert a sd card in and also maybe adding gps in the space between the hard drive and the right side . there's a decent bit of empty space there. the card i was looking at has two pigtails soldered on for two usb ports. the only thing is that the actual mini pci socket is missing from mine, but there is solder on all of the contacts that looks like its ready to be soldered right in. what do you guys think
Many moons ago I had a eeepc, there was a big fad of installing a 4 port hub inside them, the easiest way to do this was to cut the data lines, feed them into hub and take one of the hubs outputs and feed it back to the socket on the motherboard, leaving three spare internal ports.
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strider_mt2k strider_mt2k is offline
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Default 05-17-2011, 11:39 PM

In theory, there's an unused port in the unused mini PCI express slot.
If that is so, then the next challenge is finding a good source of 5 volts.

The existing USB ports can't be utilized because they are dynamically controlled by the ports, so a good source needs to be found and a place can be found to connect to it.


Inspiron Duo: Win7 Pro 32-Bit, Intel 6200 Wifi Upgrade
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ray420 ray420 is offline
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Default 05-18-2011, 03:44 PM

does the pci slot not have its own power source
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strider_mt2k strider_mt2k is offline
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Default 05-18-2011, 11:37 PM

A thought provoking question...

Mini PCI Express has 3.3 volts and USB requires 5 volts.
What I'm not sure about is the maximum current that 3.3 volt supply can give.
Pinout:
PCI Express Mini Card (Mini PCIe) pinout and wiring @ pinoutsguide.com
I'm also not sure if that voltage present at the unused Mini PCI Express port.
(Heck, I'm not even sure that there is an unused USB port there! )

It might be possible to use a boost converter to get 5 volts from the unused Mini PCI Express port's 3.3 volt supply, as long as it can supply the extra current for everything to work.
Boost Converter:
50230 - LVBoost Micro Universal DC-DC Converter « Products « Solarbotics

Kinda makes me want to try it!

EDIT
If this information is to be believed I think this might be possible.
It could probably run an internal hub, even.
.PDF warning!
http://www.pcisig.com/specifications..._Power_ECN.pdf


REALLY makes me want to try it!
I might get that internal Xbox 360 wireless controller receiver mod finished yet!

Don't forget that power to this port might also be switchable via the wireless select switch!


Inspiron Duo: Win7 Pro 32-Bit, Intel 6200 Wifi Upgrade
Former Inspiron Mini 9 Owner, Modder, Enthusiast

Last edited by strider_mt2k; 05-19-2011 at 01:00 AM. Reason: more stuff of course!
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ray420 ray420 is offline
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Default 05-19-2011, 01:42 PM

I saw a tutorial some where that showed how to open up the duo and they had the 3g card in there's. i pulled mine apart out of curiosity and found the socket missing. so I know its there .i found a mini pci-e socket on ebay for like 5 buck the i figured i could try to solder in. my brother is pretty awesome at soldering if i cant. i also found a mini pci-e card that has usb connection on it so I'm assuming it has something that bumps up the voltage but i don't know. i figured it wouldn't hurt to try and if it works it will open up a whole new window of stuff I could do to my duo. I'm kinda new at modding laptops so I could be totally off on what I'm trying to do
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strider_mt2k strider_mt2k is offline
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Default 05-19-2011, 11:24 PM

The only piece of the puzzle that's left (at least for me) is to see how the wireless select switch is being used to control the device on that port, and by that I mean which 3.3v supply line is being turned on and off if not both of them?

I don't intend on using anything but the USB lines, so not having a connector there works better for my purposes, as it leaves more room for USB devices.

It was the same way with the Mini 9: Unless you specifically got a 3G model, that slot is more than likely NOT going to have the connector installed.


Inspiron Duo: Win7 Pro 32-Bit, Intel 6200 Wifi Upgrade
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ray420 ray420 is offline
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Default 05-24-2011, 12:15 PM

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/...g?t=1306238990

got my ebay card for my usb but as you can see it wants 5v from motherboard to use the usb part I might not use the card now unless there is something cool I can use the sata part for and does anyone know of a good 5v to tap into on the mother board? can i just run it off of one of the usb ports or would somewhere else be better or is there a good way to bump up 3.3v to 5v

Last edited by ray420; 05-24-2011 at 12:23 PM.
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ray420 ray420 is offline
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Default 05-25-2011, 12:48 AM

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/...g?t=1306284207
woo got my mini pci-e socket today now for some soldering. wont have time till this weekend to get anything done still need to find 5v source though. unless you anyone thinks i could just run a card reader and gps off 3.3 volts or would the gps need 5v to work right.
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