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Thread: Inside Motion Computing LE Docking Station

  1. #1
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Inside Motion Computing LE Docking Station

    Well, I am trying to hack (unsuccessfully so far) the LE series Docking Station (D002) for Motion Computing LE series tablets.

    This is the thing:



    I'd like to hide the dock somewhere in the car (console/dash) and use just one plug to charge and connect the tablet to other devices (JoyCon steering wheel interface, GPS, External HD, 3G phone for Internet Access, or even other computer via wired network).

    However, they're basically flat flexible cable (FFC) which are very thin, with very little space between conductors (.5 to 2mm).

    Here's the connector between the tablet and the dock:



    And here is the dock connector:




    I called Motion Computing and they confirmed me they're proprietary connectors made just for them. They do not follow any standard, and the tech support in US does not have spares around...so no deal. Maybe the manufacturer might have them, but even then, to solder the connectors back into the board would be nearly impossible, I think. Too many and too densely packed.

    Here's how the Flat cable is connected to the Docking Connector. This is where I'd like to extend:




    Here is the dock, it rotates from portrait to landscape, thus this:









    Fully extended, the Flat Cable is about 12in. Too short, I think. That's what I'd need to extend.




    Here is some more detail on the pitch between the contacts. What kind of connectors are those? I know they're ZIF or LIFs, but they're not like those here (Molex.com), which are more common I think:




    I'm thinking maybe I could disregard the thinner contacts and extend only the thicker ones and see what happens, what works and what don't.

    I would sand the plastic film that covers the contacts, solder some wires to it, secure them and solder on the other side of the connector. Thing is, I'd have to sever the wire to actually test it, and if not, my dock would turn into a brick...

    I've read some FAQ's here on how to extend LCD cables, but not much into extending FLAT cables (lots of dead links/pictures).

    Extending your laptop's LCD cable: FAQ

    This sounds more promising, though:

    http://www.molex.com/molex/products/...e=Introduction

    I could disconnect those ZIFs here:



    And use an extension instead...Each has 40 pins, but where do I find them?

    Has anyone ever done something like this? I'm working on search engines now, but any help, much appreciated.


    Cheers,

    RH.

  2. #2
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    BTW, I've done some soldering job on FFC cables before (just two contacts), but they're not very far apart...It can be done, but not by me, I suppose, or not with the fat soldering iron I have...

  3. #3
    The Last Good Gremlin GizmoQ's Avatar
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    Is there no way to use more of the dock? I see plenty of pics of the top half, what about the base? I left my top half intact and dismantled the base. Once all the plastic and weights and extraneous stuff was removed the electronics of the base was easy to stuff in the dash and all my connections stayed hidden from view. Also the cable fron the top to the base may give you the length you need.
    HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

  4. #4
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    I'll try that, and I'll post more pictures. Problem is, I probably won't mount it in the dash, but in the console or somewhere else. My dash is full of OEM stuff I probably won't relocate, but maybe it's doable where the AC/DC outlets are...

    I started a worklog here to see more pics on the dash/console.

    But I see you're point, and yes, maybe an extension is not necessary after all. It would be nice though.

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