I replaced the USB connector on my PI.


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by oliverjenkins » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:37 am
For the case I'm making, I wanted an integrated USB hub (need the power for WiFi etc). The stock USB socket would have stuck out too much. So thought I'd replace it with a PCB header. I am taking power through a USB B socket and splitting it off to the Pi and the Hub.

http://imgur.com/a/PDI3v

Everything seems to work, I initially tested with a keyboard and mouse. I managed to transfer a 1.2Gb file in 05:25, which compared well to an original PI. So did'nt find any speed issues.

I had a nagging thought going to work this morning, and just wanted to check. Is there likly to be any potential problems (long term) with this that I have'nt considered?
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by AndrewS » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:09 pm
oliverjenkins wrote:http://imgur.com/a/PDI3v

Neat :)

I had a nagging thought going to work this morning, and just wanted to check. Is there likly to be any potential problems (long term) with this that I have'nt considered?

Wouldn't think so. After all that's how the "front" USB ports on a typical PC case connect to the motherboard.
I think you may have invalidated your warranty though :lol:
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by jamesh » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:20 pm
AndrewS wrote:
oliverjenkins wrote:http://imgur.com/a/PDI3v

Neat :)

I had a nagging thought going to work this morning, and just wanted to check. Is there likly to be any potential problems (long term) with this that I have'nt considered?

Wouldn't think so. After all that's how the "front" USB ports on a typical PC case connect to the motherboard.
I think you may have invalidated your warranty though :lol:


Yup! Warranty is toast!

But nice job nevertheless. If it works, it works, and I don't see any possible issues (Proviso. I could be wrong. It's happened before)
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by HansH » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:05 pm
That is one way too solve that out sticking USB :D
Looks great.
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by oliverjenkins » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:38 pm
Thanks for the feedback. With sharing one PSU. I've a concern that plugging in or removing USB devices could cause a spike in voltage or something. I wonder if adding in a voltage regulator might be an idea or not. However I'm basing all that on ignorance, so thought I'd check.
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by Lob0426 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:24 pm
Should not be any problems. You should have carried the other port out as well. I have an NZXT I case hub that would be perfect for your type of modification.

Good job
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by gr3ener » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:27 pm
If you don't mind me asking, would you mind explaining the pictures more in depth? What's powering what, etc. The purple board you have for the new USB slots, was that custom made? Same question about your case too.
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by cheery » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:38 pm
I think the official raspberry pi foundation should do it like this. ;)
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by AndrewS » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:07 am
Looks to me like the purple board is just a 'regular' disassembled USB hub, and he's probably using the standard "single PSU powering both the hub and raspi via a home-made power splitter cable" setup :)
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by Lob0426 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:52 pm
It does look like a stripped hub. He also built a little splitter board so he can power both, RasPi and Hub, from one PSU using an USB A connector. That way he does not use up one of the USB ports to power the RasPi. Looks good in the case. Is that a Radio Shack project case?
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by RaTTuS » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:47 am
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by Crook » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:40 am
Looks good. I'm suprised more cases aren't being done like this actually - bringing out all the connectors to a single location (prob at the back, maybe 1 USB at the front) like a small set top box.
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by AndrewS » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:19 am
Crook wrote:Looks good. I'm suprised more cases aren't being done like this actually - bringing out all the connectors to a single location (prob at the back, maybe 1 USB at the front) like a small set top box.

Possibly because people aren't yet willing to take a soldering iron to their Pi while there's still such a long waiting list? ;)
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by Lob0426 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:45 pm
AndrewS wrote:
Crook wrote:Looks good. I'm suprised more cases aren't being done like this actually - bringing out all the connectors to a single location (prob at the back, maybe 1 USB at the front) like a small set top box.

Possibly because people aren't yet willing to take a soldering iron to their Pi while there's still such a long waiting list? ;)


I am very tempted but waiting until I can get a second or third RasPi.
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by Crook » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:49 pm
I was more thinking about extension cables being used internally, so a USB Hub, HDMI extension cable, with any type of power port you want converting to a scavenged microusb connector, that kind of thing.

I did eye them up but the price was just too much to justify for myself, but I'm cheap :)
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by AndrewS » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:13 pm
Crook wrote:I was more thinking about extension cables being used internally, so a USB Hub, HDMI extension cable, with any type of power port you want converting to a scavenged microusb connector, that kind of thing.

I did eye them up but the price was just too much to justify for myself, but I'm cheap :)

The other problem is that extension leads tend to be quite long, so they'd need to be coiled up and add extra bulk to any case. Unless you cannibalised them to make them shorter, which is extra faff ;) (and may not work/be reliable for HDMI leads)
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by Crook » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:53 am
Hey, this is a RPi, it's all faff :)
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by deepee » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:32 pm
AndrewS wrote:Possibly because people aren't yet willing to take a soldering iron to their Pi while there's still such a long waiting list? ;)

Yep, that's my thinking. Although I do have two pi's (my wife bought one and I got one) so I do have a backup - unless she notices the swap ;-0
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by AndrewS » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:03 pm
Has she "accessorized" hers yet? ;)
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by oliverjenkins » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:53 pm
AndrewS wrote:Possibly because people aren't yet willing to take a soldering iron to their Pi while there's still such a long waiting list? ;)


Its a soldering iron, drill and dremel in reality. I've put some further instructions here http://oliverjenkins.com/blog/changing-usb-socket-on-raspberrypi
if anyone is interested.
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by jbuehl » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:23 pm
Very nice. This is similar to what I want to do, however I want to have access to both USB ports, so I would need a dual 4 pin header. It seems like the spacing of the pins on the USB connector is *almost* .1 inch, however they aren't quite the same as they seem to follow the spacing on the USB-A connector which has the two center conductors slightly closer together. Also it looks like the holes in the PCB might be slightly too small for a standard header connector like the one used for the GPIO. I need to be sure I have a part that will work before I remove the connector and make the board useless.
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by Lob0426 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:09 pm
Thankyou @oliverjenkins: That is a pretty good article. It looks like you could put another USB into your board from the bottom. You would have to find a USB femal connector to do it. You could run that out the side of your case for a keyboard or mouse (or wireless combo for both) and lose one less port on your hub.
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by Ray_GTI-R » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:21 am
From me too ... Thank you @oliverjenkins very much for this brave step and all the details.
I stumbled on this thread after suffering with the existing loose onboard USB sockets for days ... my USB device frequently loses connection when moved even a millimeter using the standard USB sockets. Cross-checking with other sockets on other PCs it seems most USB sockets exhibit this loosness BUT without losing connection.
So with this mod I can locate my USB device anywhere and not worry about connection to the RPi.
If it's any help, de-soldering a tricky item may be helped by heating in stages using heat-resistant wedges, no de-soldering tools required.
Start with a thin (blunt!) razor blade wedged gently but firmly between the 'board and the connector.
Add heat to all the solder points - the connector will disengage slightly. Add heat to all the solder points again.
Move the thin (blunt!) razor blade gently but firmly towards the center of the board.
Add heat to all the solder points - the connector will again disengage slightly. Add heat to all the solder points again.
Repeat until the job is done. (You may need to add more THIN wedges as you go.)
Then it's time for the de-soldering tools (I prefer wicks rather than vacuum pumps but it's a personal preference.)
Again, thanks @oliverjenkins for taking the lead on this.
PS as the RPi uses one PCB takeoff for both existing USB ports if this header is connected to e.g., a 2-way hub it does the same job - there is no need for a second onboard header.
Now waiting for a similar article on replacing the micro-USB power supply header with something more universal - like a couple of copper pins or a connector block like http://www.cosam.org/images/a1200t/connector_block.jpg
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by ryandigweed » Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:04 am
Very good thread. Should write up a tutorial for all of us noobs :P
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by AndrewS » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:55 pm
Ray_GTI-R wrote:PS as the RPi uses one PCB takeoff for both existing USB ports if this header is connected to e.g., a 2-way hub it does the same job - there is no need for a second onboard header.

Not sure what you mean? The data pins from the two USB ports connect to 4 separate pins on the LAN9512 hub chip.
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