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How to build a USB-Ethernet topside adapter

User-Contributed Guide

User-Contributed Guide

This guide is not managed by the site's staff.

Modern ultra portable laptops and Chromebooks come often without a network port and only a couple of USB ports. But standard Topside Adapter needs power via USB and Ehternet. If you, like me, using a USB to Ethernet adapter you might want to combine them.

  • Author: Dominik Fretz
  • Time estimate: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Edit Step 1 How to build a USB-Ethernet topside adapter  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Remove the board from the housing Image 2/2: I used a TRENDnet TU-ET100, but most simmilar 'gumstick' adapters should work

Edit Step 1 How to build a USB-Ethernet topside adapter  ¶ 

  • Open the USB Ethernet adapter carefully

  • Remove the board from the housing

  • I used a TRENDnet TU-ET100, but most simmilar 'gumstick' adapters should work

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Before you solder, check which pins are Ground and +5V

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • We need 5V power for the Topside Adapter. The best place to get them on this board is on the underside.

  • Before you solder, check which pins are Ground and +5V

  • According to USB standards, Ground should be Black and +5V should be Red (the wires with these colors are on the other side)

  • Use some small gauge wires and solder them onto the pins carefully

  • Make sure you don't short two pins.

  • There are normally 4 wires + 1 for the shielding

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

Image 1/1: The best spot for +5 is the solder point of J5 that is closer to the Mini USB port (red)

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • The wires you connected on the USB-Ethernet board need to be connected to the Topside Interface Board

  • The best spot for +5 is the solder point of J5 that is closer to the Mini USB port (red)

  • The best spot for GND is the GND pin of J4.

  • Be careful to find the right solder points

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

Image 1/1: You should be ready to test the setup by plugin in the USB cable to a USB port on your computer

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Get/make a short ethernet cable like the ones that connect the Homeplug adapter and the BeagleBone in the ROV and connect the two boards

  • You should be ready to test the setup by plugin in the USB cable to a USB port on your computer

  • You should see a new network card showing up in you operating system

  • The green Power LED should light up on the Topside Interface board

2 Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Get the laser cut files here: https://github.com/OpenROV/openrov-contrib/tree/master/hardware/usb-network-topside Image 2/2: When assembling make sure you route the USB cable out at the bottom (red marker) before you glue the parts

2 Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • You will need to cut a new housing for the slightly bigger electronics

  • Get the laser cut files here: https://github.com/OpenROV/openrov-contr...

  • When assembling make sure you route the USB cable out at the bottom (red marker) before you glue the parts

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Well done!

You're Done!

2 Comments

What program was used to do the laser cutting schemes? Solidworks? Autocad?

Nils Jakobi - Reply

Hey Nils,

I used Corel Draw for the laser cutting files and exported to DXF. For simple structures as this box is, that's very easy. - Dominik

Dominik Fretz -

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