Install GPS in your Dell Mini 9

[acabtp] has already started hacking on his Dell Mini 9. He wanted to add GPS functionality, but didn’t want a dongle or anything external. After ordering the smallest GPS unit he could find, he found a place to wire it in internally. The end result had no bearing on the external looks of the computer. I wonder if he used the modification guide dell released?

Marketed as direct competition for the EEEPC, we’ll probably start seeing a lot more hacks for these. We’ve already seen the EEEPC taken hacked more than we ever expected.

[thanks strider_mt2k]

Comments

  1. Cris Abbott says:

    Sweet… I’ve been wanting to do something like this with my TP x61 tablet ever since i got it… found the perfect space where the intel speed boost chip is, now i just have to make the custom board

  2. Alex ~ says:

    He did use the guide from dell, it says so on the 5th line.

    Good hack though, saved me from having to find a small and good gps unit.

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    I knew that the unused mini pci-e connector would have a USB port in it,(thanks to the Eee Pc folks and their ground breaking work!) but what I didn’t know was where to tap +5volts and ground!

    I’ve already stripped down a laptop USB hub for installation into my mini 9.
    That should serve as a way to support future internal mods, but hiding the nano receiver from my mouse will do for now! :)

    Fantastic work man!

  4. awdark says:

    Is there any like premade mini-pcie cards with like a 3.3v to 5v step up and maybe a USB hub with solder pads for convenience?

    My laptop has one extra connector and it would be nice to take advantage of it

  5. strider_mt2k says:

    awdard,
    that would be awesome, but that would also be catering to modders, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
    not to mention the fact that they’d charge top dollar for it because it appeals to such a narrow niche of a market.

    for now we must bend these machines to our will the old fashioned way.

    besides, stripping these laptop USB hubs and devices down and wiring them directly makes them smaller and more flexible in their placement within a netbook or laptop than a pre-made solution ever would.

  6. S says:

    you should just solder a usb hub to the pci-e’s usb pins and take power where appropriate for your needs.
    you can then still use the pci-e connector for anything, as long as it does not use the usb pins
    much like i installed my touchscreen controller using the usb pins off my SSD drive’s pci-e connector.
    both run perfectly together.

  7. DELLChrisM says:

    Doing this hardware hack will void any Inspiron 910 (Mini 9) warranty you have with Dell.

    DELL-Chris M
    Dell Community Desktop Liaison

  8. TandemFixation says:

    For those of you that are actually using SkyTraq GpsView Software and are having problems, they should be releasing a patched version next monday.

  9. Ehud Gavron says:

    Note: The Dell Mini 9 GPS hack does not work. The case prevents the unit from receiving the satellite signals. Removing the unit or opening the case makes it work again. This is a cool hack, except for the part where it doesn’t work.

    We tested this with two different Skytraq units (same as the hack) and two different Mini 9s. The results were identical: works on external USB. Works with case open. Fails to find a solitary satellite with case closed.

    Ehud

  10. Scott Collier says:

    Ehud Gavron is correct. I installed this hack on my mini 9 but while the gps was perfect externally it will not function inside. The NEMEA sentences appear correct but it will not accuire a single satellite.

  11. strider_mt2k says:

    Shut up, Dell. We know.

    This is a hack site, mom.

  12. J Eiler says:

    Thanks to Acabtp for the original post and a great mod. To you haters it does work as he said it would. I am running Windows XP with MS streets and trips and it is perfect. I also ran Roadnav on it briefly but maps were sketchy. This added even more utility to an already great product. My only advice is there are several settings tweeks on the gps and mapping software that werent mentioned and took some time to figure out. Serial to usb emulator and baud rates are often a problem match between this gps and some gps software. Satellite based recievers don’t work indoors – not supposed to… and it wasnt stated it would work with the lid closed – who would want it to anyway? Try the Team MRB power isolator if you want to switch it on and off and save battery. To the Dell rep… I bought it to hack it not for the warranty. Enjoy!

  13. I feel so good when I read helpful articles like this on the internet.

  14. darkdude says:

    It won’t work on 99%. It was the same on almost every EEE mod I heard about. This GPS device is not suitable for work inside your laptop. I did this mod on my… Samsung Q1U UMPC and I was successful, but I had to cut a hole its case. The fix I get is still a bit crappy, but it’s enough for car navigation. This GPS dongle won’t acquire signal from any satellite if its antenna is covered by plastic case of your computer. If you want this mod working get ready to cut a square hole in your precious laptop to let the antenna feel some fresh air :)

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