Hiding a USB dongle in the Expansion Bay Shell

Hey there!
There’s been some interest in hiding away USB dongles (like the Unify ones for Logitech mice and keyboards) in Expansion Cards: Dongle Hider - #63 by LA-MJ (With Arya’s USB-A-ugment being a really neat solution.)
I was curious, since the interposer has a few pins for USB: Could one use these to connect a dongle? And how realistic would it be to break them out in the Expansion Bay Shell?

Is there anything in terms of documentation or CAD files for the Shell? Or maybe some pictures of how it looks inside?
I’d be curious to hear y’alls thoughts! :slight_smile:

Yep. Assuming you’re talking about the regular Expansion Bay module, not the GPU one, you would need to just make a PCB with a USB port for the dongle.

PCB Reference Design and CAD for the shell is here. But the shell has a removable back panel, so you don’t even need to print a whole replacement shell. You could just print a back panel with a door or cutout to reach your dongle.

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Thanks @MJ1!
I didn’t see the Marketplace listings for the FW16 parts, but they have some useful pics: The Interposer

Looks like the interposer only breaks out the pins that are needed for the fans, so I’d probably have to make my own interposer PCB with a mainboard connector and pogo pins (or a complete replacement for the fan board instead of the latter), right?
I guess I could try fiddling in some very small wires to the USB data pins on the standard interposer, but that doesn’t sound like it’d work very well or be much fun…

Sounds like an awful lot of effort to get at a USB connection. Why not just connect to one of the USB2 ports that the keyboard, mouse etc connect to. Because of the way all the items in that area can be moved around and mixed and matched there will be unused USB ports there that you could connect to.

This is the interposer you’d want / need. It carries all the pins. 16-graphics-module-interposer

True, and good idea with the Input Module connectors! (I assume you’re talking about those?)
Just a question of how to connect and route the wires, and where to put the wires. I’ll think about that when I have the Laptop tho, seems easier than staring at pictures and trying to make a mental model of the insides only to realize it doesn’t go together quite how you think :smiley:

I thought about using it too, but then I’d still need a replacement or adapter for the fan board that also breaks out the USB pins. At that point, I think making a replacement for the interposer would be easier.
(Replacing the fan board would however have the benefit of a much easier and cheaper PCB, since there’s no need for an interposer connector, only the nuts, afaict)

Yes, those are what I was thinking about.

Well the details are on the github repository. I would think it should be possible to make a PCB with the USB connections at one end, and have gold fingers for the contacts that go into the USB connector on the dongle at the other end. The dongle would live somewhere down in the keyboard area was what I envisage.

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