Adding a USB port to a ThinkPad X1 Nano (the hard way)

Joshua Stein wanted to add an internal USB port to a ThinkPad X1 Nano which should have been a fairly easy thing to do, but it wasn’t.

While staring at the motherboard with the battery removed, I remembered that the fingerprint reader that sits next to the touchpad connects over USB, though I usually have it disabled in the firmware. I wondered if it would be possible to use whatever connection that board uses to connect an arbitrary USB device.

So my (eventual) idea was to create a new flex PCB that goes in place of the fingerprint reader and has an FFC 8-pin connector for the motherboard cable, then routes the four USB pins down to a USB port next to the display connector. While normally a USB port wouldn’t hold up well on a flexible PCB, this one is going to house a USB device that is semi-permanently installed, so it won’t undergo the stress of constant removal and insertion.

See the details in the post here.


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