M18x R1/R2 - Creative Use for the Empty Mini-PCI Slot (WIHD socket on systems without WIHD)

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Mr. Fox, Jan 11, 2013.

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  1. UltraGSM

    UltraGSM ...so many Alienwares...

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  2. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    The USB card in the first link will most likely work. I doubt the adapter in the second link will function correctly. I purchased a 64GB half-height mSATA SSD a while back and it is not recognized at all when installed in the DMC slot, but it works perfectly in the normal mSATA slot. I believe the DMC slot is attached to a USB port, and that might explain why it does not work for a normal mSATA drive connection.
     
  3. UltraGSM

    UltraGSM ...so many Alienwares...

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    alrighty :) well it seems I know now what I will be buying for my DMC port :)

    hoping to somehow fit 3G Broadband modem with sim-card reader under the hood and probably wireless mouse receiver
     
  4. UltraGSM

    UltraGSM ...so many Alienwares...

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    well, how about converting these two USB 2.0 ports in to ESATA port?
    USB 3.0 2.0 to eSATA External Bridge Adapter Converter 5Gbps for Latop | eBay

    then we could probably fit one ultra-SLIM HDD/SSD there in the RAM compartment (SSD more likely due to lower power requirement, but such move would be orientated to older/cheaper SSD since USB 2.0 is massive bottleneck for SSD... but HDD wouldnt be as bad idea...maybe)
     
  5. vs3074

    vs3074 Notebook Evangelist

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    I have been running that dual USB card in my aw18 for about 3 months now, works perfectly.

    The only issue is power, it's 5v @ 2a but it can dip down to 1.8a sometimes for no apparent reason. Perfectly fine for running 2x USB devices at 500ma. But I have been running a 750gb 7200rpm wd black and 8gb USB off it. So far it's working great, if I try to use 2 hdd's, none of them get enough power to spin up. 2x 256gb ssd's are fine though, but it's just for storage over usb2.0 so ssd's don't make sense to me.

    It's better to use USB-to-2.5" hdd adapter rather than esata as you still need power for the hdd.

    Initially I was going to steal 5v 2a from another part of motherboard, so I run 2x 750gb hdd's but then I would have to solder and stuff and it can cause issues with warranty as well.
     
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  6. UltraGSM

    UltraGSM ...so many Alienwares...

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    ^^ makes sense bro! Yea Im just curious what would I need to use most out of the two ports, one thing im wondering about is 3G USB Broadband modem, and another would probably be just a wireless mouse dongle sitting there quietly, well I was also thinking of placing two ultra slim and spacious HDD's with your suggestion but cant imagine where would they sit as space in R2 is pretty tight... maybe 1 drive would do maybe not
     
  7. vs3074

    vs3074 Notebook Evangelist

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    Not 100% sure about r2, as there is already space for 3 drives and then 1 in odd and 1 msata. I did this in aw18, because only 2 standard drives and 1 in odd and 1 msata, pretty much 1 extra hdd and 1 internal USB.

    I did not tried using 3G/4g modem or Bluetooth, since chasis would act like a rf shield so range will be severely limited. One was I guess could be to add USB-to-mpcie adapter and add a broadband modem and run a spare antenna through to the LCD. In aw18, there is enough room to do that, and having easy access to dmc slot and LCD is also good. Not sure about r2.
     
  8. UltraGSM

    UltraGSM ...so many Alienwares...

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    That idea USB to mPCIE and then to mPCIE modem is not very smooth job to do I think, too much power draw at the end point, there are plenty options of direct USB-3G modems like ZTE HUAWEI brands, and I actually have few knocking around right now, so definitely one should fit there and would also retro-fit extra auxiliary GSM antenna behind LCD nearby WLAN antennas, that would be very good mod I think.
     
  9. vs3074

    vs3074 Notebook Evangelist

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    Like you said, it really isn't a smooth idea. But there is a reason why I suggested doing that way. In my experience, decent external 3G/4g antenna is too thick for placing it in LCD lid. USB 3G/4g modem will not have antenna connector for standard laptop antennas. So unless you want to try soldering antenna directly to the card, it's going to be very hard to sort out. I haven't had much luck with soldering antennas directly to cards, hence stay away from this kinda work.

    With USB-mpcie bridge to put a mpcie modem, it should be about 500ma at 5v, that still leaves you with 1.5a at 5v for a second hdd, Hence it's doable.

    Also in my experience, mpcie based modems always had much higher performance than USB based modems, note sure it's the antenna or power.

    Personally, I just keep a wifi hotspot with me, can connect to multiple devices and can move it around for better reception as well. Just few days ago, was at my friends house, almost no reception inside, but decent reception outside, so wifi hotspot went outside and I still had 80% wifi strength.
     
  10. vs3074

    vs3074 Notebook Evangelist

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    Just bumping this thread with more info. I finished installing 2x msata SSD's on this card with custom wiring and so far both are BOOTABLE. Not full sata speeds but still relatively quick.
     
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