Tuesday 30 September 2014

Internal usb flash drive conversion (aka DIY USB DoM)

For a low-cost alternative to a commercially available USB Disk on Module, I made my own out of a regular USB drive and a 0.1" 5x2 pin header (ebay, like 20p each)

Retail: £50 (GBP) + postage  (e.g. [link])
DIY: £4 (GBP)

USB drive that I used: Transcend JetFlash 350 [link]

I did manage to get hold of a "vintage" Windows Vista ReadyBoost(tm) Module (same thing, with a silly name)... but even that was significantly more expensive!

There isn't anything complicated here, but some tips if you're doing this:
  • Get the pinouts the right way around (it's mirrored)
  • Insulate the reverse of the PCB (the header has *two* ports). Kapton tape works well.
  • Solder the the NC pin to something - just to strengthen the connector
  • Melt a bit of plastic into the NC hole on the connector
  • If you use this exact same drive - there's 1 tiny plastic tab you'll need to snap off, and the "connector hole" needs (carefully!) making about 0.5mm wider for it to all fit back together. I opted for widening the casing, and filing the connector top+bottom; for a neater finish.
Here's some pictures:

These are annoying to dismantle without damaging the plastics

The "Vista" module I bought

If you're careful, you can save the USB connector for a future project. I was not:

 Hey, it works too!

 "In use"

The finished mod, and a side-by-side comparison with the one I bought:

P.S. yes, the cap still fits :)

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