Welcome to part 4 of a multi-part post on moddng the Acer Aspire One!
In part 1, I showed how to take the Aspire One apart, how to upgrade the RAM, and how to add internal Bluetooth. In part 2, I showed how to replace the SSD with a 1.8″ PATA hard drive and how to reassemble the Aspire One. In part 3, I showed you how to add internal 3G (specifically HSDPA)…
There are two basic versions of the original Aspire One – both use the same motherboard, and both support a PATA interface and a SATA interface. The SDD version features the same ZIF connector found on 1.8″ PATA hard drives, but no SATA connector. The HDD version features a standard 2.5″ SATA hard drive connector and a modified casing, but no ZIF connector…
Since I replaced the slower 8 GB SSD with a faster 60 GB hard drive on the PATA interface and the SATA interface was still unused, I decided to add an external eSATA connector to my Aspire One :)
This mod was pretty simple. Basically I salvaged an eSATA socket from a desktop bracket and some thin 2-conductor shielded microphone cable from inside a broken laptop – shielded cable is important because SATA uses LVDS. Then I connected the eSATA socket to the traces of the missing SATA connector – that’s it!
The tricky part was to find a good location to cut a hole in the case and mount the eSATA socket without interference. I picked this nice spot right above the left SD card slot (appropriately labeled “Storage Expansion”) and soldered the eSATA socket to the ground plane (structural).
The result is very clean and functional – of course, a reboot is required to register any connected eSATA device with the BIOS.
I hope you enjoyed this multi-part post on hacking the Acer Aspire One. Originally, I was thinking of doing a touch screen mod for part 5, but scrapped the idea because it impacted screen readability.
Hmmm, I wonder how much this really cool Aspire One is worth :) Any buyers?