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Internal powered USB 3.0 Hub via DMC [56K Warning]


Reciever
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This is a repost of my modification of the Alienware 17 Ranger. Its been some time since I have had this system, but I just wanted to get it out of the Archive :)

 

Source: https://www.nbrchive.net/xfa/alienware-17-and-m17x.1079/Internal powered USB 3.0 Hub via DMC [56k Warning]/

 

Good Evening ladies and gents,

What I present to you today is a mod I have been thinking about for a while, while the Ranger was dead. Long ago I purchased an mpcie USB 3.0 adapter for the m4600 and sadly it wouldnt post. So, I set it aside for a while.

After the Ranger died, I looked over the motherboard and long discounted the use of the mpcie USB adapter as there are physical impairments with USB cables from a mock up I made a while ago.

Then I wanted to consolidate my drives into one system for travel and be able to leave behind my work horse, the m4600. So I took another look at this idea. So before committing to this, I tested it out. Testing things before cutting everything up is best if possible, saves a lot of hassle and its less deflating when it doesnt work out.

 

image.thumb.png.b7b4d6aaa03f40fce78bfc0075d1a2a6.png

 

Surprisingly, it worked, booted right up and displayed my drive that was currently hooked up to the hub at the time. No issues with post, windows continued to boot right up. So the test worked, there was principle to the idea. Now on to random cables I thought I would need.

 

image.thumb.png.e3ad8f562a1ce72caea58fb49eeb3cf1.png

 

I ended up using just the bottom of the external caddie, and the male to female micro usb cable. Though I may still use the sata female to male extension cable for something later if I can figure out how to power a 3rd fan dedicated to the GPU.

On to problem 1.

 

image.thumb.png.8e7066ae933be0f623c3443079cb5a49.png

 

Now, I made the cuts already to the cable but this is another cable just to display what the issue was (retroactive guide lol) that the usb connector was simply too large, displaying the issue I had long known about. To remedy this, I needed to remove the housing and hope that the profile would be thin enough to not cause obstruction with the components of the motherboard.

 

image.thumb.png.83dc850a0ec0e16514c4e3e512f5b687.png

 

Issue remedied. Also added a 0.5mm thermal pad just to remove possibility of a short circuit (metal close to motherboard)

 

image.thumb.png.b68361038c9fd0077a371f686f57f4bc.png

 

Problem #2

 

image.thumb.png.eeb7673670e5859169cb7afe466bf544.png

 

This would need to be removed.

Also figuring out a good spot for the USB 3.0 Hub.

 

image.thumb.png.1e2071d1baea3b3d069a01c44f2bfb3b.png

 

I determined this to be the best location for the USB hub, however if you see the outline in the bottom of the image, it would conflict with the 5TB drive that normally occupies this space, so I need to create more space to house the Hub.

 

image.thumb.png.7985d65f753a9397ee2fadb31085568d.png

 

Yes, I am making cuts on a recycling can. I am a function over form kind of guy.

 

image.png.578259b193194d042426e5a3e796ba1f.png

 

Now, naturally I had to cut out the obstruction in the center where the battery normally lays in order to house the HDD's I plan to plant here. That goes without saying. HOWEVER, considering you are weakening the integrity of the chassis, you must minimize this as much as possible. Thus, keeping that arm attached is a good idea, as there are a couple screws there to give the keyboard its integrity as well as pull everything together.

 

image.png.90256c459b806b8ca607ca1d2ee6749c.png

 

Couldnt quite get this focused for some reason, my nice camera is with my ex in korea, but for now the LG v20 has held up well enough. Anyways, this is just the same cut presented before but cleaned up and sanded down to prevent cuts of any kind.

 

Now, this is what you will feed the hub's connector through, but its also what you will feed the supplement power into. You will need to reduce the cables profile just like you seen before with the USB to DMC spot. It will not be enough though, so you will need to reduce the obstruction as much as you're willing to. I think I only shaved off 2-3mm. This is the flipside of the picture before this in the previous post.

 

image.thumb.png.1b32e6d0ac8a5fbe1e4f29a88e8d71ba.png

 

On to problem 3. Where to feed in the supplement power?

I am not a great modder, I am just a laymen who can connect the dots. I then thought maybe I can feed the female end of the micro-usb cable into the kensington lock. As they were similar size. So I started making some cuts.

 

image.png.04036fe53fe4ca1bd55514ae9b60cdc2.png

 

After that, I began to test fit some stuff.

 

image.png.1b058206e055a69716b13a166eed4ca5.png

 

Here is why I needed to shave down this obstruction a bit, you want to keep it as you have a screw placement there but reducing it wont hurt.

 

image.png.029da8072c5f0e217fbf8e5b9356c9d4.png

 

Then I figured out that the enclosures I bought were too wide, and two of them would be too tall. Not wanting to spend more money (as I am pinching pennies atm), I got a little....creative....to be shown later.

 

image.png.f8b7cae37b7601163fa8a4c9162bf45a.png

 

So, naturally, you need to reduce the micro usb connectors profile as much as possible.

 

image.png.ce4d46a00a2641f66f4b0c214d0fd1f9.png

 

Now you begin to put everything together and work out the details. I did this with my old dead motherboard, dont want to be testing anything with a live motherboard if you can avoid it. You will notice that the USB cable is cut, its impossible to cable manage in so tight a space, you will need to reduce the cable length. Find a location feel you are comfortable connecting the two wires.

 

image.png.dc933a4faca0764165d57350824d6469.png

 

I chose to do it in a area where it would be straight to minimize complications.

 

image.thumb.png.61e12a106f6caa75a0b7d8b2312ed2bf.png

 

For the purposes of this cable, its sole purpose is to provide power, so you can cut out the data cables (as they are friggin tiny anyways) I highlighted the points of interest.

At the end, the cable from the female end proved to be an obstruction and the keyboard wouldnt sit well. You will need to reduce the cables profile itself.

 

image.png

 

Also to note, I used shrink wrap my brother had, worked out nicely. Also the female connection of the supplement power was also reduced further to minimize obstruction.

Next is more or less where I am calling it a day for now. As its been days without my Ranger. I will include the 5TB drive in time, but that will require cutting the USB cables you see here in the ODD bay. Also, two 9.5mm drives will be too tall for the battery bay. 1x 9.5mm and 1x7mm drive will work though as you see here. I used electronic tape to cover the pcb of the drive and then taped together with HVAC tape, as its adhesive is quite strong.

 

image.thumb.png.694a32ba853819f4d5c9463605366ae1.png

 

I like how I didnt need to make any cuts outside of the chassis, as I only have a dremel, and not very confident at making a clean cut. But here is where you plug in the supplement power, right next to the AC Adapter input.

 

image.png.5f24afd0dc476cf14c695c600ee2747a.png

 

And of course, its only a success if the drives show up right?

 

image.png.4b87dad0f37eeb7e4331ed5eb0b2dafc.png

 

5 internal drives, with a 6th in the near future (once I replace the HDD interposer cable that seemed to die on me).

ALSO if you make cuts to your chassis, dont bother blowing it out, DONT TAKE ANY CHANCES with metal shavings. Hose the chassis with water for a good while and air dry.

What do you guys think? critiques or questions welcomed.

 

Originally posted January 31st, 2019

 

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32 minutes ago, Reciever said:

This is a repost of my modification of the Alienware 17 Ranger. Its been some time since I have had this system, but I just wanted to get it out of the Archive 🙂

 

Good Evening ladies and gents,

What I present to you today is a mod I have been thinking about for a while, while the Ranger was dead. Long ago I purchased an mpcie USB 3.0 adapter for the m4600 and sadly it wouldnt post. So, I set it aside for a while.

After the Ranger died, I looked over the motherboard and long discounted the use of the mpcie USB adapter as there are physical impairments with USB cables from a mock up I made a while ago.

Then I wanted to consolidate my drives into one system for travel and be able to leave behind my work horse, the m4600. So I took another look at this idea. So before committing to this, I tested it out. Testing things before cutting everything up is best if possible, saves a lot of hassle and its less deflating when it doesnt work out.

 

image.thumb.png.b7b4d6aaa03f40fce78bfc0075d1a2a6.png

 

Surprisingly, it worked, booted right up and displayed my drive that was currently hooked up to the hub at the time. No issues with post, windows continued to boot right up. So the test worked, there was principle to the idea. Now on to random cables I thought I would need.

 

image.thumb.png.e3ad8f562a1ce72caea58fb49eeb3cf1.png

 

I ended up using just the bottom of the external caddie, and the male to female micro usb cable. Though I may still use the sata female to male extension cable for something later if I can figure out how to power a 3rd fan dedicated to the GPU.

On to problem 1.

 

image.thumb.png.8e7066ae933be0f623c3443079cb5a49.png

 

Now, I made the cuts already to the cable but this is another cable just to display what the issue was (retroactive guide lol) that the usb connector was simply too large, displaying the issue I had long known about. To remedy this, I needed to remove the housing and hope that the profile would be thin enough to not cause obstruction with the components of the motherboard.

 

image.thumb.png.83dc850a0ec0e16514c4e3e512f5b687.png

 

Issue remedied. Also added a 0.5mm thermal pad just to remove possibility of a short circuit (metal close to motherboard)

 

image.thumb.png.b68361038c9fd0077a371f686f57f4bc.png

 

Problem #2

 

image.thumb.png.eeb7673670e5859169cb7afe466bf544.png

 

This would need to be removed.

Also figuring out a good spot for the USB 3.0 Hub.

 

image.thumb.png.1e2071d1baea3b3d069a01c44f2bfb3b.png

 

I determined this to be the best location for the USB hub, however if you see the outline in the bottom of the image, it would conflict with the 5TB drive that normally occupies this space, so I need to create more space to house the Hub.

 

image.thumb.png.7985d65f753a9397ee2fadb31085568d.png

 

Yes, I am making cuts on a recycling can. I am a function over form kind of guy.

 

image.png.578259b193194d042426e5a3e796ba1f.png

 

Now, naturally I had to cut out the obstruction in the center where the battery normally lays in order to house the HDD's I plan to plant here. That goes without saying. HOWEVER, considering you are weakening the integrity of the chassis, you must minimize this as much as possible. Thus, keeping that arm attached is a good idea, as there are a couple screws there to give the keyboard its integrity as well as pull everything together.

 

image.png.90256c459b806b8ca607ca1d2ee6749c.png

 

Couldnt quite get this focused for some reason, my nice camera is with my ex in korea, but for now the LG v20 has held up well enough. Anyways, this is just the same cut presented before but cleaned up and sanded down to prevent cuts of any kind.

 

Now, this is what you will feed the hub's connector through, but its also what you will feed the supplement power into. You will need to reduce the cables profile just like you seen before with the USB to DMC spot. It will not be enough though, so you will need to reduce the obstruction as much as you're willing to. I think I only shaved off 2-3mm. This is the flipside of the picture before this in the previous post.

 

image.thumb.png.1b32e6d0ac8a5fbe1e4f29a88e8d71ba.png

 

On to problem 3. Where to feed in the supplement power?

I am not a great modder, I am just a laymen who can connect the dots. I then thought maybe I can feed the female end of the micro-usb cable into the kensington lock. As they were similar size. So I started making some cuts.

 

image.png.04036fe53fe4ca1bd55514ae9b60cdc2.png

 

After that, I began to test fit some stuff.

 

image.png.1b058206e055a69716b13a166eed4ca5.png

 

Here is why I needed to shave down this obstruction a bit, you want to keep it as you have a screw placement there but reducing it wont hurt.

 

image.png.029da8072c5f0e217fbf8e5b9356c9d4.png

 

Then I figured out that the enclosures I bought were too wide, and two of them would be too tall. Not wanting to spend more money (as I am pinching pennies atm), I got a little....creative....to be shown later.

 

image.png.f8b7cae37b7601163fa8a4c9162bf45a.png

 

So, naturally, you need to reduce the micro usb connectors profile as much as possible.

 

image.png.ce4d46a00a2641f66f4b0c214d0fd1f9.png

 

Now you begin to put everything together and work out the details. I did this with my old dead motherboard, dont want to be testing anything with a live motherboard if you can avoid it. You will notice that the USB cable is cut, its impossible to cable manage in so tight a space, you will need to reduce the cable length. Find a location feel you are comfortable connecting the two wires.

 

image.png.dc933a4faca0764165d57350824d6469.png

 

I chose to do it in a area where it would be straight to minimize complications.

 

image.thumb.png.61e12a106f6caa75a0b7d8b2312ed2bf.png

 

For the purposes of this cable, its sole purpose is to provide power, so you can cut out the data cables (as they are friggin tiny anyways) I highlighted the points of interest.

At the end, the cable from the female end proved to be an obstruction and the keyboard wouldnt sit well. You will need to reduce the cables profile itself.

 

image.png

 

Also to note, I used shrink wrap my brother had, worked out nicely. Also the female connection of the supplement power was also reduced further to minimize obstruction.

Next is more or less where I am calling it a day for now. As its been days without my Ranger. I will include the 5TB drive in time, but that will require cutting the USB cables you see here in the ODD bay. Also, two 9.5mm drives will be too tall for the battery bay. 1x 9.5mm and 1x7mm drive will work though as you see here. I used electronic tape to cover the pcb of the drive and then taped together with HVAC tape, as its adhesive is quite strong.

 

image.thumb.png.694a32ba853819f4d5c9463605366ae1.png

 

I like how I didnt need to make any cuts outside of the chassis, as I only have a dremel, and not very confident at making a clean cut. But here is where you plug in the supplement power, right next to the AC Adapter input.

 

image.png.5f24afd0dc476cf14c695c600ee2747a.png

 

And of course, its only a success if the drives show up right?

 

image.png.4b87dad0f37eeb7e4331ed5eb0b2dafc.png

 

5 internal drives, with a 6th in the near future (once I replace the HDD interposer cable that seemed to die on me).

ALSO if you make cuts to your chassis, dont bother blowing it out, DONT TAKE ANY CHANCES with metal shavings. Hose the chassis with water for a good while and air dry.

What do you guys think? critiques or questions welcomed.

 

Originally posted January 31st, 2019

 

I have never seen this post until now but have known you did this from previous conversations. Good work brother, maybe I can do something similar when I decide to re-assemble my Ranger 🙂

Clevo P775TM1-G: Core i7 8700k @ 4.3ghz | Clevo GTX 1080 | 16gb DDR4 2400mhz | AUO 144hz Display | 256gb Samsung 850 EVO | 500gb WD Blue SSD | 1tb Samsung 870 QVO | 2tb Seagate 5400rpm HDD

Alienware 17 R1: Core i7 4710mq @ 3.619ghz 741 CBR15 (834 CBR15 @ 4.213ghz) | Dell GTX 860m | 16gb HyperX DDR3L @ 2133mhz | 3D 120hz Display | 256gb mSATA SSD

Asus Zephyrus G14: Ryzen 7 4800hs @ 4.2ghz | GTX 1650 | 8gb DDR4 @ 3200mhz | 60hz Free-sync Display | 512gb NVME SSD

 

 

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I think I had about 22-24TB of storage internally for the Ranger before I retired it and sent your what left of the parts I had.

 

Its good that you have multiple systems though, at the time I was rebuilding my life and only had this but couldnt ignore my itch for modding lol

 

EDIT: Source link added and much love towards @Aaron44126 for hosting the archive.

Telegram / TS3Twitter

 

 

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