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Advent Vega internal USB hub and 3g mod.


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#1
richardmlea

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As the title says I have installed a USB hub inside my Vega. It is wired to the internal USB port that the camera is normally wired to.

This is how I did it.




I removed the plug off the camera and soldered it to the hub (after removing the female USB input on the hub and the plastic case) the USB hub can now be easily unplugged.

I have removed the 4 male USB plugs as they are unnecessary and just take up space.

To one of the USB output I have wired a male micro USB cable as the 3G dongle I am using has a female micro USB port for connection.

The original camera is soldered to the hub ( not working at the moment but hopefully I can get it working but if not its no great loss as my phone can take bad pictures and record poor quality video much better than the Vega and I can see the screen as I am taking a photo.

All cables were carefully shielded and I have used hot glue to insulate the hub.

I then removed the plastic case of my Huawei E220 (a big modem but its thin so it fits snugly).

The sim card is held in place by the plastic case that I removed, a piece of insulation tape now holds it in place.

I insulated the parts of the modem that needed doing and removed the plastic holder that holds the antenna, I soldered the antenna to the modem so I could bend it a little (the plastic holder made the modem a little too big, the case did close up but had a slight bulge on the back.

I also had to remove the unused mountings off the Vega’s metal rear panel, to do this I removed the metal panel and knocked them out with a screwdriver a 7mm socket and a hammer. Without removing these the modem won’t fit as well (bulgy back).

I also cut part of the back panel (inside) so the modem and hub would fit correctly (Very easy to do with a Stanley blade (box cutter blade).

With all these mods the modem and hub fit snugly inside the case where I have put them but there is loads more room in the case for more goodies to follow.

Modem works perfectly with strong reception and i have full bars all over the house and 2 bars in the cellar where my phone cant get a signal.

No need to hold back button when booting as all four internal USB’s are in host mode.

At the moment the 2 spare USB’s are unused. I will use them at a later date to add a micro SD card reader (and card) and a GPS dongle.




USB hub, Huawei E220 3G Dongle and camera wire ready to be fitted



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Standard modem antenna with plastic holder



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Modified modem antenna fitted to modem



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Everything fitted



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Plastic that had to been cut off the rear panel to make room for the Hub and modem (outlined in red where it was)



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Credit to rose840 and windin101 for blazing the internal USB hub trail and figuring out the pin-out of the camera port.
Now to try to get the camera working. B)


Edit.

I have decided that the cabling is too big and the micro USB port on the modem needs to be removed. The case closes correctly but the clearance at the micro USB port is zero so if I push the back of the case the screen screen distorts (like touching a laptop LCD). This is not damaging the display and it dosent happen during normal use but it's making a weekspot where a knock on the back could damage the display. Removal of the micro USB and soldering the wires to the modem will solve the problem. I will probably re-route the wire for the modem as I don't like it running across the board for the same reason as the USB port. I am waiting for a GPS dongle and a keyring micro SD card reader off eBay. I will update as soon as I have these.

If you find this post useful please Rep me, ta. >>>


Edit 2


It has been a while since I started this, and it need’s some updating as I have tested loads of hubs and have now finished and I am happy with it.
This is what I am currently running.


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I have a Mini USB hub from the camera port on the motherboard. Wired to this is
1: A Huawei E220 3G modem (minus the case).
2: USB SD card reader with a 32 gig card.
3: The original Vega camera.


The Hub

I have tried so many hubs (well about 5 different models and individual hubs). I have ordered Then off different people on eBay They all look the same from the outside (the case) but each time I get a slightly different board/IC so don’t be surprised if you cant find one that looks identical to mine. The important thing seems to be the capacitor on the board, if it doesn’t have one it won’t work. All the hubs have markings to tell you what the inputs are so wiring is a doddle. If you’re going to do this make sure its all working before using hot glue to insulate the hub. Trying to remove hot glue from a circuit board in not fun.

Here are some pictures of the hub I used and some hub I messed about with.


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This I the hub I am using now the capacitor is on the back.

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The back of the hub (note the capacitor).

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This one was very slim (no capacitor) but didn’t work.

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Left to right; worked, didn’t work, worked, worked until I moved the capacitor.

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This hub didn’t work but it shows clean wiring and how to wire the camera (the extra yellow wire bypass’s the hub)

The modem

The E220 3G modem is actually a really good fit after the case is removed. I didn’t need to remove the mini USB port as I thought I need too. The clearance is now ok after I bought a mini USB male connector from Maplins and used insulation tape instead of the supplied plastic shield. I have also now fitted an external antenna for the modem. The other standard antenna worked fine but this one was £1.50 of eBay so why the hell not! Signals great. Note the heat shield on the back cut for reception. I used a tiny blob of hot glue to hold the modem in place but the power cable and LCD cable hold it in place well. In its current location there was no need to remove the screw lug off the metal frame so no pliers needed now (look I have a new metal frame :) )
The modem works flawlessly in corvus5 and Vegacomb. Will work in ICS as soon as support for 3G modems is added (it’s so close I can taste it).


The USB card reader

This is just a tiny USB card reader off eBay. It’s wired using the male plug from the hub minus the plastic insulation.
I tried one reader with a full size SD card slot on one side and a micro on another side. My idea was that I could fit a large (32gb) card internally and cut a slit in the side of the frame for the full size SD card. 2 for 1 so to speak. Individually the slots worked fine but with 2 cards connected at the same time the SD card keeps un-mounting itself so was useless. The singe micro SD card reader works fine. And the card is accessible from the outside (after cutting a slot) and sits flush with the frame.
I have not benchmarked the I/O speed but the speed is fine. I am able to explore and move files on and off the card from the Vega but the extra SD card is not visible on a PC when connected by USB so I cant copy files directly to the card from a pc without removing the card. No biggy as I can easily remove the card.
I have cut a slot in the frame for the SD card. I did it for full size card first but that didn’t work out so now I have a bigger slot than I need but that’s fine, it looks OK. I have a couple of spare frames from Vega’s I have broken for spares so I will do a better job when I get around to it.
In ICS I use ES file explorer for moving and exploring files. In ES file explorer go to settings and tick “up to root” and “root explorer” to get full access to everything. This works for USB sticks on the main USB too, as long as you’re in host mode.


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SD card slot, It s a bit big and messy close up, but it’s not too bad. I can do better.

The Camera

The camera works as it should. The Extra (yellow) wire supplies extra power to the camera. Four wires to the hub, the yellow wire straight to the camera. Simple!
I now know the model number of the 2mp optional camera it is a Chicony CNFA210. I cant Find one though. Maybe someone else may have some luck finding it.


Bluetooth GPS

I fitted a blue tooth GPS receiver but I decided to remove it as it was very cramped inside and the receiver didn’t work brilliantly because if the LCD and the metal frame and the direction the receiver is pointing. It worked OK if I held the tablet right.
The GPS is powered from the Hub to the battery plug on the GPS using the plug off the battery. I also fitted a breaker switch so I could power off the GPS so it wasn’t powered on all the time wasting power.
Here is a pic’s of the GPS before I removed it. The switch is on the left with the red and white wires.

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Wooshy has devised a better mod using a hub and a skinny USB GPS that is much tidier and because the stick is smaller it can be put near where I have put the SD reader so face’s the right way and gets a much more reliable signal. It also require less power to use because Bluetooth is not required.
Here is his thread
http://android.modac...81#entry1923781

Idea’s for things you could also do with the Hub.

Bluetooth 2.0 EDR mini dongle. This sort of thing.
http://www.ebay.co.u...=item2a0d18446a
This would free up the internal antenna for the sole use of the wifi making simultaneous use of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth more reliable. This would probably need tweaks to the rom but Linux supports these dongles so it wouldn’t be too difficult.

802.1N Wifi dongle

This sort of thing.
http://www.ebay.co.u...=item27bd375cd7
I am not sure if linux support these (it probably does). Would probably require lots of work on the rom to make it work but I am sure its possible (if linux drivers are available) . This mod would double wifi speed and free up the internal antenna for sole use by the Bluetooth.

Wireless game controller

Again, it would probably require work to the rom to make work but completely possible. A wired Xbox 360 controller is less hassle though and should work out of the box with the right rom.

Rear facing camera.
You can get some very small high res webcams that could be mounted on the inside of the rear panel giving you a rear facing camera. It would require mods to the rom or maybe a custom app to work but again completely do-able.

Other possibilities: HSUPA dongle or 4G when they are available. Mice. Keyboards, USB to mini PCI express card (opening up a whole new list of mini PCI express cards including the E770w 3G/gps modem fitted to some P10AN01’s (Viewsonic 10s 3G for example). W.H.Y.?????

The cost
Hub £2
E220 modem £15
SD card reader £2
The antenna £2
Mini USB male plug £4
Total cost £26
You will also need a soldering iron, solder, insulation tape, a hot glue stick, some wire (there’s plenty on the hub you get) and a sharp craft knife for cutting the case.

Take it easy,
Richard :)

Edited by richardmlea, 26 March 2012 - 10:10 AM.

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Richard Lea
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#2
richardmlea

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Doh! double post.

Edited by richardmlea, 06 August 2011 - 09:30 AM.

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#3
IanTurner

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It's a laptop style webcam not a camera. This is what differentiates those folks who see the tablet as a reduced function laptop for those everyday social functions and those who think it's a really big smartphone and would be doing a Dom Joly I'M ON THE TRAIN impersonation :lol: . You have removed the potential for using the vega for video chat :rolleyes:

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#4
richardmlea

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It's a laptop style webcam not a camera. This is what differentiates those folks who see the tablet as a reduced function laptop for those everyday social functions and those who think it's a really big smartphone and would be doing a Dom Joly I'M ON THE TRAIN impersonation :lol: . You have removed the potential for using the vega for video chat :rolleyes:


Hi Ian, thanks for the reply but I don't think you understand why I am adding a modem. I don't want to use it as a big phone I want to be able to use the internet away from the house. Having an internet connection all the times is far more useful to me (and I would think to most people) than a camera I have used once since I have owned my VEGA.
I will get the camera working again. It should just be a question of telling the operating system where the camera is now located.

P.S. it is a Camera, a webcam is a type of camera.
"WEB" abbreviation of world wide web (happy birthday WWW 20 today)
"CAM" abbreviation of camera

Oxford English dictionary definitions

camera, noun; A device for recording visual images in the form of photographs, movie film, or video signals.

webcam, noun; a video camera connected to a computer, allowing its images to be seen by Internet users

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#5
Yogimax

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As the title says I have installed a USB hub inside my Vega. It is wired to the internal USB port that the camera is normally wired to.

Excellent job - great respect is due. :D

Do you think that this could be provided as a upgrade service to other Vega owners who are as cackhanded as I am? ;) Particularly if you are able to interface GPS and another micro SD? I think there could be a good uptake for this (me for a start B) )

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#6
simonta

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It's always bugged me that the word "hacking" was hijacked. Nice to see a fine example of the real art. Top job and thank you for taking time to document it.

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#7
xathras

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It's always bugged me that the word "hacking" was hijacked. Nice to see a fine example of the real art. Top job and thank you for taking time to document it.

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
The first two chapters are available on Project Gutenberg
http://en.wikipedia....uter_Revolution
http://digital.libra.../lookup?num=729

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#8
simonta

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Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
The first two chapters are available on Project Gutenberg
http://en.wikipedia....uter_Revolution
http://digital.libra.../lookup?num=729


Thanks for those. HOTCR is a great book (if you're geek and proud :)). Anyone who enjoys it would also enjoy "The Cuckoos Egg" by Clifford Stoll". Way back in 1986 talking about trojans, dictionary attacks and exploiting vulnerabilities. 25 years ago and nothing's really changed! The book is the true story of tracking down a spy breaking into US government systems and reads more like a novel than simply recanting the facts.

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If I've helped you, you want to say "thanks" and you do not use Dropbox (it's enormously useful, especially with mobile devices), please consider signing up for it using my reference. You'll get 2GB of disk space for files available anywhere, any time on any device. They give us both an extra 250MB if you do sign up!

Sign up for Dropbox

Apple? I'd rather eat my own kidneys!

#9
richardmlea

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Excellent job - great respect is due. :D

Do you think that this could be provided as a upgrade service to other Vega owners who are as cackhanded as I am? ;) Particularly if you are able to interface GPS and another micro SD? I think there could be a good uptake for this (me for a start B) )


Cheers, I would be happy to make these for others but I need to refine the design before I put my name to it (see updated O.P.) You can have the first one if you want but it will be in a couple of weeks i think. I am waiting for a GPS dongle and a keyring micro SD reader to arrive before the design will be finalised. You would need to open up your Vega and remove the camera cable as I will need this to make the wiring harness. You would then need to cut the back of the case and remove the unused mounting pegs to make every thing fit (not really technical just be careful not to cut yourself.f

Excellent job - great respect is due. :D

Do you think that this could be provided as a upgrade service to other Vega owners who are as cackhanded as I am? ;) Particularly if you are able to interface GPS and another micro SD? I think there could be a good uptake for this (me for a start B) )


Cheers, I would be happy to make these for others but I need to refine the design before I put my name to it (see updated O.P.) You can have the first one if you want but it will be in a couple of weeks i think. I am waiting for a GPS dongle and a keyring micro SD reader to arrive before the design will be finalised

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It's always bugged me that the word "hacking" was hijacked. Nice to see a fine example of the real art. Top job and thank you for taking time to document it.


You flatter Mr sir ^_^ . Thank you for your many helpful posts, your time spent helping others has helped me many times. :D

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#10
Pdragon

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Rich,
I am impressed. I've modded a bit myself on other devices and it is ballsy to do this. Generally it freaks me out that I may damage my device irreparably. You are a trailblazer and thanks for documenting it. Although I doubt that I'll mod my Vega, it is great to see the possibilities that can be achieved.
Thanks!

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#11
gingertom

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Rich,

Great work sofar, have you made any headway with the gps yet?

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#12
qasim.bhatti

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This looks great, but I was just wondering one little thing.

I have just brought my vega from currys refurb, and expect it delivered soon.


I want to install an internal GPS via the USB port.

I understand there is a single usb port internally for the camera, and I can probably use a standard motherboard header plug to make the connection.


The thing I was wondering was how much space there is on the inside (will there be be enough of the width of usb plug?

I want to do like what they did here as it sounds simple.

http://forum.noteboo...ps-cf-29-a.html

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#13
gregrice

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Hi All!

I'm trying to make this mod for my device, but i'm not sure about the pin out of the motherboard usb connector.
Here is how i identified the pins on the mb:
Attached File  pinout.jpg   112.36KB   17 downloads


Are these correct?

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#14
richardmlea

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Hi All!

I'm trying to make this mod for my device, but i'm not sure about the pin out of the motherboard usb connector.
Here is how i identified the pins on the mb:
Attached File  pinout.jpg   112.36KB   17 downloads


Are these correct?

No thats wrong. it should be,
From left to right,
pin 1 (yellow) needs to stay connected as its used to control the camera
pin 2 (brown) Data-
pin 3 (red) Data+
pin 4 (orange) Ground
pin 5 (black) +5

I have tried a few hubs. All of them look the same from the outside (the plastic cases I mean) but the PCB's are slightly different. Some work, some dont. One I tried worked for a bit but then stopped working a bit later, but hey there like £1.99 each just try another.

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#15
gregrice

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No thats wrong. it should be,
From left to right,
pin 1 (yellow) needs to stay connected as its used to control the camera
pin 2 (brown) Data-
pin 3 (red) Data+
pin 4 (orange) Ground
pin 5 (black) +5

I have tried a few hubs. All of them look the same from the outside (the plastic cases I mean) but the PCB's are slightly different. Some work, some dont. One I tried worked for a bit but then stopped working a bit later, but hey there like £1.99 each just try another.


Thanks, i will resolder it :)

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#16
gregrice

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I have tried a few hubs. All of them look the same from the outside (the plastic cases I mean) but the PCB's are slightly different. Some work, some dont. One I tried worked for a bit but then stopped working a bit later, but hey there like £1.99 each just try another.


Can you remember exactly what brand or name was the one is worked for you?

What do you think about if i not solder the ID (yellow) to the hub, instead i connect directly it to the webcams usb?
Would it work?

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#17
richardmlea

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They are unbranded. they all look the same from the outside. I will photo all the different ones I have and try to remember which works.
The yellow wire must be connected directly to the camera and not go through the hub.

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Richard Lea
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#18
IanTurner

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It's the chipset inside that counts so with unbranded ones that could change from batch to batch dependent on current pricing

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#19
dondonjordan

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Hi richardmlea,

Just found your post. I have been thinking of doing this since I purchased the Advent Vega back in July 2011.

Can I just ask, what ROM are you running at the moment?

I'm running HoneyIce Rc2 (updating to RC3 later this evening).

And, have you found anyway to get the camera working again? I use it a a lot of Gtalk and Skype.

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#20
richardmlea

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Hi richardmlea,

Just found your post. I have been thinking of doing this since I purchased the Advent Vega back in July 2011.

Can I just ask, what ROM are you running at the moment?

I'm running HoneyIce Rc2 (updating to RC3 later this evening).

And, have you found anyway to get the camera working again? I use it a a lot of Gtalk and Skype.

The camera works now. It's wired to the hub as a normal usb device and the extra (yellow) wire is wired straight to the camera.
Most Roms I have tried work as long as they have the 3g files.
Corvus5 sp1 (with the phone APK's installed) works great as does Vegacomb 9n, Honeyice and Veiwcomb.
You should also read these related threads
http://android.modac...ternal-usb-gps/
http://android.modac...al-camera-port/

I will update the OP when I get time.

Edited by richardmlea, 26 January 2012 - 03:25 AM.

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