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Adding SD slot to none SD model


PanicAcid
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Has anyone successfully managed to add an sd card slot to the none SD model of the turtle?

I was an early adopter and mine lacks the expansion. After adding an SD card slot to my mini Nintendo SNES classic I was curious if such a mod could be performed on the turtle?

If so any recommendations on which reader to use? 

If not then you're all probably about to follow me on a journey of bricking my turtle.

I tried searching the forums for it but everything just kept coming back for the SD equipped model. If anyone has done this in a post already please drop me the link.

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Hello, and welcome to the user-to-user forums here at Hak5.

First off, two big disclaimers:

1. Obviously, you're going to void your warranty if you try to modify your device yourself.

2. I haven't yet ordered a LAN Turtle - that is next on my list of hak5 gear. TBH, it's also probably the last item on my list, as I have already bought the other items I want. As such, my info presented below is my supposing, and not in any way definite or concrete.

That said, here we go! To the best of my knowledge, the original LAN Turtle, LAN Turtle 3G and LAN Turtle SD all use the same main board. From an engineering standpoint, this just makes sense. I would fully expect the 3G add-on board and the SD add-on board to be interchangeable. Just designing one main board, with a common expansion connector (or solder points) just makes things easier all-around.

I am aware that Hak5 replaced the earlier design that had a integrated USB Male port, with one that features a pig tail. I don't have sufficient info, but I don't imagine that this is related to the transition from the original model to the SD model. The USB connector change could have been (and I expect it was) to fix an engineering oversight - to take the extra weight/torque off of the computer's USB port. Although the early models probably aren't terribly heavy, they're long and bulky enough that it wouldn't take much more to snap off the USB connector.

At this point, you're probably saying "thats all great, but it doesn't answer my question". As for that, my apologies. I tend to get a bit carried away. If it were me, I would contact hak5 support and verify first if it can be done with the model you have, and second if they could just sell you the add-on board. The devs at hak5 know their own product better than anyone else - they designed them! Also, if you obtain and correctly attach their pre-designed board, you won't need to worry about device drivers, as they'll already be onboard in the stock firmware.

I hope that some of this helps.

P.S.: For what its worth, it should be fairly trivial to add your own pig-tail on the USB port - it sounds like you know what you're doing. Just desolder the existing USB, and add the cable in the length you want.

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7 minutes ago, Aaron Outhier said:

SNIP

All very logical matey and kind of what I was thinking so glad someone else thinks the same. Means I'm not way off!

I'm going to crack mine open and see what it's like inside. I've had it since release so any warranty will be long gone now I think. Plus worst case I kill it and buy the version I want 😂

Re emailing hak5 support. Not entirely sure how fruitful that would be. I emailed about a week ago re SD card problems on the nano 2.7.0 and haven't heard back yet 😕

Plus it's always fun to hack hardware when you have no idea where you're starting 😄

will keep you and anybody else curious posted here once I get it open.

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Ok, so with regard to the built-in reader on the NANO - almost everyone is having issues there - myself included. They might not have much to say, since it has been discussed soooooo many times on these here forums.

I always say -- it doesn't hurt to ask. The worst case is they ignore you. Again.

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2 minutes ago, Aaron Outhier said:

Ok, so with regard to the built-in reader on the NANO - almost everyone is having issues there - myself included. They might not have much to say, since it has been discussed soooooo many times on these here forums.

I always say -- it doesn't hurt to ask. The worst case is they ignore you. Again.

Haha, if you're having issues try what I did, downgrade to 2.6.2 (I think? Might be 2.6.5. The version before 2.7.0) then fully format your card (I used SD formatter for windows and did a FULL wipe) 

Then boot up the nano without the card in, inset it, wait a few minutes for it to show up in the advanced bit. Once it's in there format it and wait don't navigate away etc.

Works fine now, some first boots it doesn't show and I have to reboot but once it's mounted and working it's fine.

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Yes, I'm aware of what to do. I suspect that the Nano sometimes tries to write data to the card faster than the card is able to handle. I don't know that for sure. There are so many different makes and models of SD card and many are just different quality. with so much variation, its too hard for the dev's to track down problems in end-users systems with so many variables.

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1 hour ago, Aaron Outhier said:

For what it’s worth, I purchased a a LAN Turtle this past Saturday, and I expect it to arrive tomorrow. If you want, I can probably take a few photos. Hopefully the SD module doesn’t block/cover the view of the wiring. Here’s to hoping...

That'd be awesome, I've taken my apart and the PCB appears very different If you can possibly identify which chip the SD is connected to and what it says on top I can confirm if I have the same in mine.

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Hey guys,

I want to say thanks for the participation, and Aaron, I got your message to head on over here and your SD card mystery might actually have some common ground in solving in relation to my 3G SIM module add-on.  Take a look at the regular LAN Turtle of mine (see URL link) and you will notice on 'page 4' that depicts the bottom side image of the LAN Turtle near the top-right corner is what appears to be a serial (UART) which has 4-copper pinouts.  Granted, my observation from comparing images of other LAN Turtle 3G types shows a 3G SIM module affixed to its 'top side'.  This makes me wonder if the UART pinouts traverse the board (i.e., has soldered points that protrude through the mainboard to those 4-pinout (UART) connections, OR I also noticed a 2-pinout copper connection points near the top right corner of the mainboard (e.g., top side) near the 'top-right' corner which could possibly be another serial connection point.  Either way, as long as the mainboard architecture has NOT been modified between the different LAN Turtle variants then X-MIGHT-MEAN-THE-SPOT.  

My intention is to diagnose/test both pinout connection on each side of the mainboard.  In theory, the UART is capable of handling most serial communications which is optimal for both serial based connections, which of course, an SD card uses a similar serial-based protocol called, "SPI".  Anyway, we should continue working together and comparing notes given our similar interest to modify the LAN Turtle.

https://1drv.ms/b/s!Am25WKmcETlhhq8ZJzsy-yM9B5ymkQ?e=tc10Ig

 

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Turtle Pics

I have highlighted the two set of solder points on the top and bottom sides. I hope that helps. Unfortunately, I have zero soldering skills, so removing the top board to peek at what is underneath is not an option for me.

Note, I purposely took the first photo at a sight angle, because otherwise, it was difficult to see where the daughter board started. Ie. It all looked like one flat board if I took the photo straight down from above.

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