Wifi + bluetooth Upgrade - Mini PCIe USB - Combo WIFI+BT without USB

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Josea_iag, Jun 24, 2020.

  1. Josea_iag

    Josea_iag Newbie

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    Hello everyone!,

    How to tell if my computer's Mini PCIe slot is a true full Mini PCIe that implements USB embedded lines?

    My laptop is a Sony Vaio CR21S. I have upgraded the built-in WIFI (Intel 3945) for a better one (Atheros AR5B225). To use the Atheros in a PCIe adapter, it needs to have a USB connector on that adapter card in order for Bluetooth to work.

    Unfortunately only the PCIe part works for me, that is, the WIFI. Bluetooth is not detected at all. I tried both Windows and Linux. Only the very old built-in Bluetooth 2.0 that I haven't removed was detected.

    How would I know what the problem is? I think it is because my mini PCIe does not implement USB. In that case, I would like to know if there are mini PCIe combo cards WIFI + Bluetooth where the BT could work on a mini PCIe slot without embedded USB lines.

    Thanks you very much in advance
     
  2. Jdpurvis

    Jdpurvis Notebook Evangelist

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    You might try looking in the Sony forum to see if anyone with a similar laptop has had success with one of the newer WIFI plus BT cards. A number of the Intel cards have this functionality, but I do not know if they would be compatible with your socket. Alternatively, someone may have found a workaround.
    Good luck!
     
  3. Che0063

    Che0063 Notebook Evangelist

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    Lmao - today I tried swapping out the 3945ABG adapter on my ancient Satellite Pro, for the AR5B125 and discovered the hard way that the PCIe didn't have USB.

    Freaky coincidence.

    Personally, I'm not aware of any product that does this - even on desktop PCIe "expansion" slots which convert big fat PCIe to m.2 wifi adapter format, a USB 2.0 connection is still required to the motherboard for BT.
     
  4. senso

    senso Notebook Deity

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    You might be able to re-used the cable that connects the original BT2 card and solder the D+ and D- wires into the pins of the mini PCIe slot so that you have working BT on newer wifi+BT cards.
     
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  5. Starlight5

    Starlight5 Don't call me Chris, my name is Elvis

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    @Josea_iag @Che0063 tape pin 51 with thin electrical tape before jumping to conclusions.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Che0063

    Che0063 Notebook Evangelist

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    Thanks, I just tried that.

    For anyone interested: https://gsid.in/using-old-mini-pcie-wlan-cards-in-modern-laptops/

    Pin 20 and 51 on mini PCIe cards are the disable pins for Wifi and Bluetooth respectively. Wifi + BT combos are actually two devices in one package, so you do need the PCIe connection as well as a USB connection. In my case, there simply was no USB connection from the slot, so even after having taped the two pins, Bluetooth didn't show up.

    On the plus side, it means that my mother can't "accidentally" flip the RF kill switch and then complain about why her internet isn't working. By taping Pin 20 and 51, you effectively permanently enable Wifi and BT on a hardware level (you can still disable it in Windows though.)
     
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  7. Josea_iag

    Josea_iag Newbie

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    I carried out what @Jdpurvis posted and I found a user with a Sony Vaio SZ from the same year (2007) and with the same chipset Intel 965 Express as my old Vaio that was able to run an Intel 7260 card with Wifi + Bluetooth combo successfully:

    https://www.amazon.es/gp/customer-r...f=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00N7474CS

    I have also seen in general that Atheros cards are often somewhat problematic with Bluetooth. Take for example this user who couldn't get the bluetooth to work on his Atheros combo card, but the BT of the Intel 7260 did work:

    https://www.amazon.es/Intel-Wireles...00N7474CS/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

    @Che0063 , of course, incredible coincidence!! Two people replacing a WIFI 3945g over ten years old. Freaky coincidence absolutely.

    @senso , I had already thought of that idea, but I refused to believe that the mini Pcie didn't have USB implemented in the socket. When I read Vaio SZ post I wrote at the beginning of this post I decided to abort that idea because I think that it must be due to a problem of incompatibility with the AR5B225 card as far as bluetooth is concerned. I also based on the following internet sources where the pinout of the Mini PCI-E standard always includes USB in pins 36 and 38:

    https://allpinouts.org/pinouts/connectors/buses/pci-express-card-and-pci-express-mini-card/
    https://pinoutguide.com/Slots/mini_pcie_pinout.shtml
    http://www.interfacebus.com/Mini_PCI_Express_Bus.html

    First post was verified by PCI Express™ Mini Card Electromechanical Specification, 1.0, with ECN. Now I changed my mind and I think all mini-pcie slots should follow that standard and come with USB. It's a pity I didn't read the @Starlight5's post with the trick of pin 51 before because finally I carried out as follows:

    I swapped the Atheros AR5B225 card that was in the Vaio for an old Samsung N130 notebook that had an Atheros AR5B95 without a BT. The cards are identical except that the last one didn't have bluettoh because the notebook was without it. I was lucky and the BT of the AR5B225 worked on the N130 at first and now I have the same WFI (N) but with a new BT 4.0. And regarding the Vaio, I still have the very old built-in Toshiba BT 2.0 working fine, and I also have WIFI N because both Atheros go to 150Mbps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
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  8. Josea_iag

    Josea_iag Newbie

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    Ummm, @Che0063 if I am not wrong, and I have searched in several different websites, I think that your Atheros AR5B125 card you have used is not a combo and only has WIFI. Use the first link to read the datasheet of your AR5B125:

    https://fccid.io/ANATEL/02484-14-06534/Manual-AR5B125/5B4A7739-4331-45FB-A428-C91838064D67
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Atheros-AR5B125-Mini-Pci-wifi/dp/B00ORCDACC

    If this card has a BT, it should appear clearly on the cover as it does with the AR5B225:

    https://fccid.io/ANATEL/00655-11-06534/Manual/F260ACA8-E7C1-46A3-B079-22FD425D25B6

    Another coincidence here too, because I think very similar to the AR5B95 that came with my Samsung N130. Wifi N only, no BT. I think that like me, you may also have USB in the socket but you think not because it has not worked for you by not being combo (no BT).

    If it were not a real hell to remove the case of the N130, I would try to cover the pin 51 and see what would happen with AR5B225 in the Vaio. A pity I didn't read @Starlight5 post before swapping them. Now, it would be crazy to disassemble the N130 again, but I'm convinced that all mini pci-e probably come with USB (we sometimes think not because in some cases don't work due to other different and unknown problems and therefore we believe that the socket comes without USB).
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
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  9. Che0063

    Che0063 Notebook Evangelist

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    Sorry, I got mixed up between my two cards. I also tried swapping it for the AR956x which definitelys upports Bluetooth. That didn't work either.
     
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  10. Josea_iag

    Josea_iag Newbie

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    If you had another Wifi + BT combo card from Intel to make an extra try, it would allow us to make sure with more certainty that the 36 and 38 pins of your mini pci-e socket do not implement USB.

    The truth is that it is difficult to know for sure if the socket has USB or not. What is the chipset on your Satellite Pro motherboard? We could take a look at the technical documentation of the Intel chipset.
     
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