Internal FM Transmitter Mod

Decided to add an internal FM Transmitter to the Steampunk Dell Mini 9 aka Net Libris.

The transmitter will allow me to transmit music from the netbook to my stereo :) No more tinny music for me!

Sure, I could just plug it into the stereo but can’t be bothered with more cables going everywhere.

This was actually harder than I thought it was going to be.  I found this USB FM Transmitter from Keene Electronics in the UK for £14.99.

Plugged it into the netbook and it worked fine with Ubuntu so set to work dismantling the USB stick.

Once out of the casing it looked like this.

USB FM Transmitter

USB FM Transmitter

Next task was to remove the USB plug. Removing the metal casing was easy enough…

…but I screwed up when it came to removing the whole plug :( I accidentally tore off the track of one of the pins!

Fortunately I could follow the track up to a tiny resistor on the board and very carefully soldered a very thin piece of enamel coated wire directly to the resistor then soldered wires onto the other USB connections.

Had no idea if it was going to work on not but thankfully it did! :D Wired it up and it worked without a problem.

Well, almost without a problem.  It seems the casing on the USB stick was acting as a kind of sheilding so without it the transmitter was picking up loadds of interference from the netbooks components and if I stood in the wrong place it would block the signal completely.

To get around this I soldered a length of quantum tunneling cable I salvaged from another netbook’s wifi antenna and wrapped it around the edges of the monitor to make a better antenna.

This worked great, and the Steampunk Netbook now has a working internal FM transmitter :)

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October 3rd, 2011 by sephiroth