Niche expansion cards

Definitely. I was envisioning holding the laptop as a large handheld controller, in a spacious environment, probably with a big screen display

What about packing a AI accelerator in one. I believe Coral has both a PCIe and a USB chip and from a birds eye view the power consumption doesn’t seam like it would be a major concern.

  • Air monitor with VOC, pressure, humidity, temperature, PM2.5 sensors. PM2.5 could be hard to squeeze in there but the others should be easy.

  • RS232 (inverted levels) and serial (TTL levels)

  • GPS + IMU + Barometer

  • ESP32 with some sort of recessed but standardized connector that exposed SPI, I2C pins

  • Google Coral +1

  • Motor. One on the left and one on the right. Plug wheels in and the laptop should be able to drive itself around! Have a current limiting thing to prevent it from damaging the USB port if the wheel gets stuck.


I like it! But 4 of 'em. Unless you want the front of the laptop dragging…

Teeny tiny motors, maybe even with a small turning radius.



Trouble is the expansion card locations wouldn’t allow 4 wheels to balance well. It’s pretty easy to just stick on some kind of skid surface under the front of the laptop though. Like those furniture skid pads would probably be perfect.


I already have that made, except with a rotary encoder in mind; however, it’s possible to remix it to be a button/LED driver, as it uses the same chip as the pro micro arduino board. The only downside is that I only exposed a limited number of pins.


If you want a really wacky Expansion Card, here you have some:
Emulator-Compatible GBA Link Port
SIM Card Slot


Optane would be nice

For anyone requesting a opto isolated USB port I’ve just finished everything for one, isolated power supply with a max current of 100 milliamps. Is both USB-C and USB-A.


I am enjoying this wonderful machine … just that sometimes 4 ports could be a small quantity. What about some family of side docking stations using two of the machines sockets but offering a full set of connectors? Even with a barrel connector ( I am not a big fan of every flimsy USB-C for powering … in fact, I purchased two of these expansion cards for when the first one is over, as always happens with USB-C ports ).

And, what about integrating something as a Raspberry Pi CM4 for side ARM based computation? … this could even work when the notebook is sleeping.

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What about an ibutton reader? … this must go out of the machine border, but for some security functionality could be interesting (the same for other types of protected security key storage devices).

Don’t think its possible to run Intel Optane over Thunderbolt 3. You would need a lower level PCIe connection like the M.2 for the SSD.

Jam a GPU in there – maybe an RTX 3090? :crazy_face:

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Sure you can, Thunderbolt is is just PCIe. It would require an adapter or two but yes you absolutely can. There are many Thunderbolt drive enclosures, you could stick an Optane drive in one of those and it would work fine.

I think I saw a blog post about how the usb c port supports down to a 15 watt charger for emergencys, what about an expansion card that has clamps to put bare wires in that offers step down/step up power conversion and filtering to USB c so in an emergency you can get power from almost any Dc power source.

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That doesn’t sound like a good idea. Those said DC power might be extremely dirty (e.g. portable two-stroke gas generator) and will basically destroy these delicate electronics without proper filtering (which take up space).
It already has an “emergency charging mode” that takes practically any “smart” power supply, which is way more than even I had asked for.
What I had thought of in the past is some kind of “power pins” on the motherboard that allow for “advanced users” to connect something like an industrial 12V supply to it, since the board is supposed to be able to run standalone.

E2000 Fiber NIC. An RJ-45 NIC would obviously not fit in the profile, but E2000 connectors are small and has the flap to prevent scratches in an FttD implementation.

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A Thunderbolt PCIe NVMe enclosure is almost as expensive as an eGPU enclosure (because it has the Thunderbolt controller). A USB to PCIe bridge exist (and is relatively inexpensive) and powers the vast majority of the NVMe enclosures.
A Optane is tailored for low latency, so using either bridge is quite silly unless you just want to use it as a glorified USB stick (as I am).

People are thinking about a RJ45 Drop-Jaw design. Although it’s still an hefty footprint.
One possibility is to have the card protrude from the housing and enlarge the shroud so to fit a RJ45 port.
Because anyone with even half a step into “tech world” will want one.
Ha. Now that I have Simens NX, I could draw a 3D model to impress you all (and convey my ideas). Let’s do that.
Oh, but I need to connect to activation server and stuff … I’ll do that later.

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Old school stereo LED audio output audioform, like cava but on the side of a expansion card for no reason. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

  • A vibration motor to give the laptop the ability to vibrate when typing, clicking, receiving a notification …

  • A little thermite charge to melt the laptop if stolen (so it is sure nothing can be retrieved from the laptop)