Topic: TP-Link WR703N - Internal USB hub and flashdrive upgrade
Well i got my 703 awhile ago and its a great little box, even better once OpenWRT is loaded! I decided to pop mine open and see what was inside and i found there is quite a lot of space. This got me thinking about fitting a flashdrive inside, but I didn't want to loose the external usb. I decided a hub was needed!
After a bit of a search on ebay i decided to get one of these as the flying leads would be ideal to remove: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190540919713
Turns out i was right, its perfect for hacking apart. You can also see my tiny 8gig flash drive which is only a fraction larger than a USB connector once the case is removed.
I stripped the board and cut the boots off the USB sockets. These turned out to be ideal to reuse as well.
The back of the hub PCB was bare apart from 1 crystal, so i decided to mount 2 sockets on it with double sided tape.
Keeping the wires as short as possible, i soldered them back to the connector on the other side.
At this point i tacked the USB plug back on and tested it. Still worked!
Next i removed the USB socket from the 703 board and soldered flying leads into place.
Testing everything for size. I decided to use a 3rd USB socket from the hub, rather than the PCB mount one, for the external socket. This is fitted from the outside.
Flying leads from the 703 USB trimmed and soldered back to the hub. External socket wired in.
I covered the back of the hub PCB with insulating tape and used a hot glue gun to fix the USB socket to the case. Popped the hub in and got the wires nice and tidy with a pair of tweezers.
All tested and worked first time! To get the lid back on i had to cut the 2 plastic pillars off it. The 8Gb flash drive is set up with a 512Mb swap partition and the rest of it EXT3.
Im really pleased how this has gone together, let me know what you think!