Welcome to part 1 of a multi-part post on moddng the Acer Aspire One!
In this part, I demonstrate how to take the Aspire One apart, how to upgrade the RAM, and how to add internal USB Bluetooth…
The internal USB Bluetooth mod is pretty much identical to the one I performed on my Asus 701 (Eee). It works without interfering with the built-in wireless or disabling any of the available USB ports. Use this post for reference.
Basically, I connected a micro USB Bluetooth module (Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR) to a 5V trace (off in standby), a nearby ground trace, and the USB signals (pins 36 & 38) available on the mini PCIe card slot occupied by the WiFi card. The Bluetooth module was stripped, wrapped in Kapton tape and installed under the palm rest.
In part 2, I’m going to show how to replace the SSD with a 1.8″ PATA hard drive and how to reassemble the Aspire One.
Update: Here’s a reply to various people’s comments on various other posts that have linked to my mod.
1) You don’t have to use a micro USB Bluetooth module (although I got mine on sale, two for $40). You can use almost any USB Bluetooth module – most of them are Linux/OSX/Windows compatible out of the box. All Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) chipsets work for sure, so just check the specs. This one should work – it’s CSR-based and it’s cheap.
There are 2 things to keep in mind with Bluetooth modules:
- Avoid Bluetooth 1.0/1.1/1.2 modules. These are obsolete. Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR is the way to go.
- Avoid Class 1 (100 meter) modules. The range is better but the power consumption is higher. Go for class 2 (10 meter).
2) Yes, I’ve successfully taken apart and put together my Aspire One several times now. In the video, I was taking it apart for the second time and I was surprised about how difficult the keyboard was to remove, because it was a lot easier the first time around. I blame it on the fact that I was streaming the video live :)
3) The video is longer than I wanted it to be (see 2 above), but it’s worth watching if you have time, because it contains a lot of details and answers a lot of questions about the Aspire One hardware.
4) I have not yet tested the pads for USB signals (pins 36 & 38) on the missing mini PCIe connector, but I’ll do it soon. I’ve ordered some parts to do a 3G mod using the pads for the missing mini PCIe and SIM holder on the motherboard.
5) There’s another version of the Aspire One with a hard drive, 1 GB RAM, and Windows XP (it uses a standard 2.5″ SATA HDD and a modified casing). It’s definitely worth the extra $30, but it’s both thicker and heavier. My Bluetooth mod should work with this other version as well.