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. vs3074

    vs3074 Notebook Evangelist

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    I haven't had much time to play around much, finishing old job and taking on a new business, yup good times ahead :(

    msata SSD (full size) directly, i have not tried, as it was not detected in M17xr4, I just put that mpcie-dualusb adapter and drivers were installed automatically, nothing to be done, just install and put the screw in.


    Its funny, I was not even working on DMC slot, I was doing some voltage measurements around the CPU and had the adapter plugged in, and then i realized voltage lines to DMC card slot were active before POST (just like the killer Ethernet chip). In laymens terms, the moment you press power button, DMC card slot will become active.

    So I had to do more testing and turned out I was able to boot from it. From there on, it was simple matter of doing custom cabling.

    One thing I would caution against is, you can make custom cabling for mpice-dualusb adapter linked above, but be wary of color coding on the cables, as its swapped around between data and voltage lines, not getting it right CAN DAMAGE BOTH CARD AND USB PERIPHERAL, secondly keep the wires as short as possible, THERE WILL BE A BIG VOLTAGE DROP, WHICH WILL RENDER BOOTING (OR EVEN DETECTING) OF USB PORTS USELESS.

    Remember we only have 5V @ 1.7-2.1A, although it sounds good enough, it has been up-volted from 3.3V and can fluctuate on high loads. I will recommend not exceeding load at 1-1.2 A

    I did not had good fun with DMC card slot to dual sata adapter, not 100% sure if the adapter I have is DOA or DMC card slot cannot detect it. I do have 20 minutes free time, so I will check the mpcie-dual sata card in M18XR1. I will also see, if I can steal some time to test msata in DMC card slot.

    One thing is for sure, I have never spent this much time on a system, I was about to give up on, there might still be some hope for my relation with AW18 after all ;)
     
  2. vs3074

    vs3074 Notebook Evangelist

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    Ok just did some testing, 99% sure the mpcie to dual sata card I have is borked, since it did not detect in m17xr4/m18xr1/aw18, msata ssd does not get detected in dmc card slot for any of the three.

    Mpcie to dual USB gets detected in all 3 but only bootable in aw18.

    Anything else, please let me know and I will give it a go :)
     
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  3. ole!!!

    ole!!! Notebook Prophet

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    thats good to know, but it sucks due to aw18 has almost no space for mods, the chassis in optical drive area only fits 12mm I believe.
     
  4. ole!!!

    ole!!! Notebook Prophet

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  5. UltraGSM

    UltraGSM ...so many Alienwares...

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    Ok, so I have been thinking of some options on what I could use in my 2 x USB 2.0 internal ports from DMC slot, and so far integrated wireless mouse transmitter works but not so satisfactory as I thought... chassis is blocking some of the RF signal most of the time so mouse is not so smooth as before(yep, tried recharging it, aint the battery :D )...

    So I'm thinking maybe I will hook up USB-3G modem with sim card in it, but I will need to route AUX aerial right away for that to pick up decent GSM signal...

    I know I wont be using any internal usb sticks or memory sticks as It wont be much use to me, computer has everything I may need so I am not sure what to use there...

    Option #1 : 3G USB modem(usb stick type, and stripped of its plastic shell of course)
    Option #2 : USB FM Transmitter/receiver - which I can not find on internet... would be handy FM radio on the go :)
    Option #3 : USB TV Wireless Dongle (wonder how would this work) Fast FW150US 150Mbps Wireless N150 WiFi USB Dongle Ultra Mini Adaptor TV WLAN | eBay
    Option #4 : Thermometer - to measure inside chassis temperature ...


    anybody else anything to suggest?
     
  6. TBoneSan

    TBoneSan Laptop Fiend

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    Option 3 would be pretty cool.
     
  7. Rayleyne

    Rayleyne Notebook Consultant

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    Anyone happen to find a 3g/4g modem with sim card slot that works in this slot? Or say a TV tuner if one exsists, would be kinda cool to watch DTV on my R3 while in bed since i don't actually keep a standard TV
     
  8. ole!!!

    ole!!! Notebook Prophet

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    yea except that it is unusable in that port cause of all the circuits interfering with wifi signal, same reason why antenna goes into top of the LCD for best signal reception. i'd throw in a usb 2.0 stick in there as DMC ports runs on 2.0.
     
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  9. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    That's what I use it for. I have a Sandisk Cruzer Fit in there and it works fine for that. There is too much EMI for my Logitech mouse dongle to work well in that spot, too. The signal drops out too much.
     
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  10. Rayleyne

    Rayleyne Notebook Consultant

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    Taking it that's a no then.
     
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