Adding a PATA port
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Kit List
- 3 Steps
- 4 References
The [Parallel ATA port] is an interesting and sadly absent connector on the Joggler. So far the most popular approach to additional storage on the device is a USB Mass Storage Device because of it's sheer simplicity - you simple plug and play. Sadly USB sticks carry a CPU overhead (though DMA does help) and are prone to being somewhat fiddle and easy to knock out of the stock port.
PATA provides a native method of adding storage which, in theory, should be faster and doesn't tie up the one USB slot easily accessible [or require any dodgy Chinese USB Hubs]. Unfortunately there are several draw-backs to the PATA port. The main problem is you will be soldering at an [surface mount level] which is a pain even for seasoned engineers. Secondly 1.8" hard disks aren't cheap, but you can use a compact flash adapter (See later).
- £1 - [1.8" to 2.5" ZIF Adapter] (We need the PATA connector from it)
- [Low Power (15~Watt) Soldering Iron with a small tip (ideally less than 1mm)]
- [Soldering flux]
- [An oven]
- Either a [1.8 Zif hard disk] or a [CF Card] (with an [adapter])
- A pair of tweezers larger enough to remove the PATA connector from the adapter above
- Luck, lots and lots of luck
Just a quick note: I don't recommend any of the dealers above or suggest they are the cheapest prices - purely reference purposes!
Laying the ground work
Before you begin make sure you are fully prepared with something to protect your screen while you disassemble your device. You should wear an antistatic wrist strap to avoid frying any components (not that anyone does). You may want to use some tinfoil when you bake your adapter - just something for it to rest on rather than something you may cook food on in future.
Flux, Flux, Flux. Flux is as poisonous and flammable as it is great. We use flux to clean copper (and metal in general), it'll remove oxidisation which tends to occur. I would strongly advise you use a liberal amount on anything you plan to solder - I tend to subscribe to the "more is more philosophy" (others will strongly disagree), just make sure you remove any residue.
Step 1: Reclaiming the PATA connector
This is the fun bit, don't blame me if you end up burning the house down or poisoning yourself ;).
Heat up your oven to 230* (or as hot as it'll go). Make sure it's good and toasty before you begin or this will fail spectacularly. Once your oven is sufficiently hot (give it 10-15 minutes) stick the newly bought 1.8" to 2.5" ZIF adapter on a tray. Place the tray on the top shelf and let it cook for 5 minutes. I would highly recommend you keeping an eye on it. You're waiting for the solder on the board to melt freeing up the ZIF connector for you to remove.
Once 5 minutes have elapsed take the tray out of the oven and very quickly take off the PATA connector. You'll have about 20-30 seconds before the solder hardens (and you'll have to repeat the process).
Step 2: Disassembling the Joggler
Check out the following video to disassemble your joggler.
Step 3: Placing the connector
Once the screen has been removed you should see a little area (see picture above) where you can place the PATA connector. Have a play and try and line it up properly.
Step 4: Soldering the guide
On either side of the PATA connector you'll see a couple of "wings" (No idea what they're called). They will line up to two solder joins on the board. The aim is to solder these two wings to the motherboard so you can complete the next step.
I would suggest you hold down the PATA connector securely. Solder one side at a time until it's as close to the PCB as possible.
Note, in the above picture I haven't soldered anything yet. As you can see the connector lines up perfectly.
Step 5: Soldering the feet
If you've completed the above step it shouldn't be too difficult to solder the feet to the PCB. The PCB already has a small amount of solder which you can use to attach each pin one by one.
Make sure your soldering iron is free of solder as you do not want to accidentally bridge any pins. Apply heat to each foot separately (as best as you can). Once you've finished try and inspect the joins to make sure it's successfully attached - rework where required.
Intermission - Pictures
Apologies about the poor quality pictures but I was more focussed on getting this working :
Joggler with CF-Zif adapter connected
CF adapter powered up with Sandisk CF card.
Zoomed out shot
Step 6: The Operating System
This is where you're on your own. If all has worked correctly you should be able to attach either a hard disk or CF adapter to the connector and it will show up as a device under fdisk -l. I'll revisit this (and following stages) once I've found a good method of placing the hard disk/CF.
The Joggler appears to recognise the CF card if you put any EFI boot files on it but sadly it doesn't appear consistently. It turns out the kernel also needs to support the PATA card [Intel]. Presumably if the modules were installed this shouldn't be a problem.
One issue I did notice upon putting the joggler back together is there simply isn't enough room for the CF adapter! That's a real shame as there's quite a lot of potential there. I may revisit this in the future but for the moment it'll stay on ice.
What about cutting a hole in the back and placing the socket in it so that you can insert the card from outside ? Either at right angles to the case or parallel with it.
That would work I think. You'd have the watch out you dont cut the stand. You'd need to make some sort of case for the HDD. I need to look into the appropriate drivers but as the USB works (if really slow) the incentive isn't there at the moment