Thursday, February 04, 2010

clean rugged geek hack

Thought I’d share with you some geek fun (read: hack) I had today! When looking inside the guts of some Getac rugged Tablets today I thought it might be interesting to post some photos. Given these are expensive machines and not something many of you will have at home, I thought it might be fun giving you a sneak look inside.

These two photos showcase the insides of the TabletKiosk G840XT (like the Getac E100). The top photo shows two very nicely placed mini-PCI express slots, i.e. the one on the left houses the Wi-Fi chip and the one on the right houses 3G.

The second photo shows the same motherboard but when the factory does NOT ship 3G they decide not to supply the second mini-PCI express slot which is allocated to the 3G card, and replaces it with the PCMCIA slot. OUCH!

The dilemma is the bloke that bought the one with no 3G now wants 3G inside! So being the geek I am I decided to peel open the two machines and see what the chance would be; as you can see however the physicality’s make it impossible. Or do they?
What I decided was to rip out the Wi-Fi, install the 3G, flash the BIOS (to wake the mini-PCI express slot) and then take a power drill and drill the case (much to the dislike of the manufacturer I’m sure) and attach an external antenna to the unit!. Turns out after all is said and done we’re getting 3x the signal strength the factory gets from 3G and a unit which connects every time. Would I recommend this? Not unless you’re a trained professional and have money to burn! If you tick both boxes…go crazy! 

External antenna I drilled and mounted in place


teckhamsterblog said...

hey it's the teckhamster aka thanh looking good mr hugo with the 3g hack might try hack my asus t91 sometime lol

Hugo Ortega said...

I try it on every single device I get that comes without 3G. Fun! :-)

Ben said...

Awesome work dude! The most interesting aspect is the fact you've managed to create a system with better performance ;)

Hugo Ortega said...

Cheers Ben, nohting like an nice big external antenna to spike some connectivity strength! :-)