If you wish to have more information on other hardware mods performed on the laptop, click here
The idea started by reading some people's story about how they integrated their bluetooth or WI-FI dongle inside their laptop. I decided to study how could this mod be performed on my laptop.
Dongle inside the mouse
The mouse is designed to have the dongle sit inside the mouse when not used. So basically, the dongle itself is pretty much square-ish
Dongle on the side of the laptop
After some time looking for space, I opted to go with the speakers. They were quite large, and I found out that there's 4 wires going inside the "black box", two for the left speaker, and two for the right speaker.
There was nothing else than a few wire inside all this.
The speaker assembly
I went with the dremel, and I cut the box. I was a bit worried to cut the wires too, but they were out of the way, fortunately.
The dongle inside the speaker assembly
This is a side view of the dongle. Luckily, it is thin enough so that I don't need to remove its outer casing!
The dongle inside the speakers, seen by the side
This is a picture with the dongle inserted inside the speakers.
The speaker lay flat inside the laptop
Now I need to solder the 4 wires to this USB port (it is the one on the front, next to the optical drive). The area is pretty much free of objects. But it is so damn small!
Photo of the USB port used for soldering
The dongle was finally soldered with a female A-type jack, for future removal. I taped the components on the motherboard with transparent tape, just in case something would short with the motherboard
The dongle soldered on the USB port
The mod worked. Many raised the question, including me: will the USB port ever work again? The answer is yes and no. The port will work just fine for devices that only drain power, and make no use of the data bus, like an USB light.
But if you dare to plug a device that makes use of the data bus, both devices will be disabled. Removing the offending device will bring back the dongle to life.
After a while, I started to notice some artifacts when playing high-pitched sounds. I first thought that the second speaker unit I bought off eBay was starting to be defective. To be sure, I did the same mod on the first unit I had with the laptop, and the problem was the same. I fixed the problem easily by filling the cavity with silicone. The problem was coming from the fact that the speaker box was not closed anymore. I didn't glue the USB module with the speaker assembly; I've simply filled the "inside" of the box where I've previously cut. Picture coming soon (next time I'll open the laptop!!).