Replacing Disc Drive with USB ports

Locotaco

Commendable
Oct 22, 2016
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I have a laptop that has only 3 USB ports. I'm trying to add some more without having to carry around a USB hub.
For the data connection I'm going to de-solder the USB port on my motherboard and the input to the USB hub, then run cables between the two and mount it in the disc drive housing. I know that this will throttle it, but it's a USB 3.0 port, so it won't be super bad.
To power it I plan on using an SSD adapter in the disc drive, then soldering the DC in tip from the wall outlet onto a SATA-Molex adapter. They are both 5V.
Will the disc drive connection draw the power without something connected to the data side of the SATA port?
And will there be an issue with backpowering through the USB port on my motherboard?
 
Hi, I saw something similar in an Acer, the hub was installed inside the laptop, using a receiver for the mouse and a flash card. For your power from the optical drive, I need to know which brand and model of laptop you have.
 

Locotaco

Commendable
Oct 22, 2016
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Thanks for the help! I have a Lenovo E540. The output voltage is 5V, same as the input on the hub.
 
The way you connect the data wires is fine, but you have a better way for the 5 volts. First you have to verify if you have the 5 volts at the ODD connector when nothing is connected to it. The connector has 13 pins, 1 to 7 and 8 to 13, the 5 volts is at the pins 9 and 10 (they are connected together) and the ground 12 and 13. If you have 5 volts, you can connect pin 9 (+5V) and pin 12 (ground) to the power of your hub.
 

Locotaco

Commendable
Oct 22, 2016
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Yeah it's outputting the 5V at all times. Should I be worried about backpowering the ports on my mobo? I assume that modern laptops have some sort of protection circuit in them
 


If you always have the 5 volts at the ODD drive connector, so it comes from the 5 volts switched, which means you have all the necessary current from the 5 volts chip that deliver it to the motherboard.
 

Locotaco

Commendable
Oct 22, 2016
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Sorry I should have clarified that better. I meant should I be worried about the power going from the ODD connector through the USB Hub and back into the motherboard on my laptop?
 

Natsukage

Estimable
Oct 28, 2016
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It usually is the exact same 5V rail between the ODD and the USB. You can always test for continuity between the two using an ohmmeter. Of course,with the battery and power supply removed and unplugged.
 

Locotaco

Commendable
Oct 22, 2016
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Oh I see. Thanks for all your help!
 
What I would do, I just connect the data from the USB HUB to one of your USB 3.0 on the motherboard and connect the 5 volts for the HUB (the adapter's input) to the ODD connector. In this way, you will have all the current required for the components connected to the HUB.
 

Locotaco

Commendable
Oct 22, 2016
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Yup that's the plan
 

ffg7

Honorable
Moderator
usb 3 can be a bit temperamental at time when connecting to external hard drives. I did somewhat what Locotaco did but for a desktop computer that I installed a pci 3in1 usb 3 card. 2 ports outside & 1 inside that I ran a modified usb 3 cable from to the front of the case with a female usb 3 connector on it.

Locotaco, how did you like soldering those 9 wires?
 

Locotaco

Commendable
Oct 22, 2016
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Yeah I've tried it with a couple different hard drives and enclosures. It weird, the drives get power, they just won't be read. I thought it might've been an issue with the solder connection on one of the USB pins, but it still reads flash drives fine.
 

Locotaco

Commendable
Oct 22, 2016
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Yeah it's really weird issue.
Haha soldering wasn't too bad. They were all through the board, which made it more annoying though.
 
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