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easy hardware upgrades

Alessandro Mauri 2 months ago
1 changed files with 70 additions and 1 deletions
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@ -13,7 +13,7 @@ modifications would be a good idea. Some things I would like to do are:
2. USB-C charging, cheap USB-C PD power delivery [boards][usbc] can be used
instead of the default charging connector, they signal compatible power
supplies to deliver 20V thus charging the laptop. This is very cool because
it allows old Thinkpads to be charged via modern chargers, which are among
it allows old ThinkPads to be charged via modern chargers, which are among
other things, much more efficien and light.
3. Cleaning the fan bearing. The old bearing is, well, old and it makes an
awful sound. This is not only very unpleasant but also lowers cooling and
@ -27,6 +27,62 @@ modifications would be a good idea. Some things I would like to do are:
SSDs, this will increase the responsitivity of the machine by a lot.
7. Upgrade the bluetooth module from 2.0 to 4.0, this is not only for better
speeds but also for better power saving.
8. New third party battery, this is also needed on most old laptops
## The Easy Stuff
This stuff is rather easy, calling replacing a card a "hardware mod" is a
stretch but better put it here than somewhere else.
In general a good resource for simple modifications and general informations
about the ThinkPad x301 is the [Mc Donnell Tech webstite][donnell]
Let's begin with the battery, the ThinkPad x301 came with three battery
- Battery 49, 3 cells, 27.3 Wh
- Battery 49+, 6 cells, 43.2 Wh
- Bay Battery 50, 3 cells, resides in the UltraBay Thin slot, 23.7 Wh
The best _new_ option is to get some third party battery with 6 cells more
or less equivalent to the 49+. As for the UltraBay battery, they don't make
them new, and buying a new old stock costs an eye and a liver. Also having a
DVD reader in 2021 is comfy.
Buying a new battery can cost you upwards of 50€ and I'm not really sure about
the difference between the third parties, I'll have to do some more research
on that.
Moving on to WiFi, the preinstalled one is an Intel 5XXX wifi link something
something. Not bad but not great, some other options are:
- [Atheros AR9382][wf], good driver support but _average_ speeds, also this
chip is used in [freedom respecting][ryf] hardware
- [Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300][centrino] (FRU 60Y3233), better speeds and
power efficiency, unsure about driver support and "freedom respect"
- [Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 Plus Bluetooth][ac7260] (FRU 04W3814), as
the name implies it has bluetooth builtin and even greater speeds, again tho
I'm not sure about drivers and freedom. Also a [hardware mod][ac7260mod] may
be required for it to work.
**NOTE:** all these cards can be installed only after flashing a new BIOS with
the device whitelist removed, a good resource on that is once-again
[Mc Donnell's website][donnell].
Onto Bluetooth, there are a couple of [FRUs][fru] (cards) that will work out of
the box (and for all I know at all), there are:
- The preinstalled BT 2.0 boards
- [FRU 60Y3303][bt1] bluetooth 4.0 from Foxconn
- [FRU 60Y3305][bt2] bluetooth 4.0 from Liteon
One of the 4.0 cards will serve me nicely, as far as I know there is no real
difference between the two so no stress in picking one or the other.
Finally the [micro SATA][usata] to [mSATA][msata] converter board. The x301
originally used a micro SATA SSD or HDD, these come in a non-common 1.8"
format which to my knownledge manufacturers no longer use. So the idea is to
use a [commercially available][umconverter] converter board along with a
[3D printable caddy][caddyfile] (source [here][caddy]) in order to use
common mSATA SSDs.
## Display Panel Replacement
@ -43,3 +99,16 @@ This image was taken [from this forum post][affsforum]