Picture of USB Dongle Elimination
If you own a laptop you most likely despise your track pad. Sure its fine if you just want to check your email but good luck trying to finger dance on the pad with a complex program like Auto-Cad. So your left with a couple of options; get a wired mouse (least expensive), get a Bluetooth mouse (most expensive) or get a wireless mouse with a dongle.

I choose the wireless mouse with the dongle, unfortunately I underestimated just how inconvenient unplugging the dongle would be every time I wanted to put my laptop away. This routine gets real old going from class to class, so I decided to eliminate the dongle.

This Instructable can be adapted to a wide variety of USB devices including; flash drives, network adapters, security dongles and of course RF adapters for wireless mice.

This Instructable is being entered into the EPILOG challenge so if you like it please vote for it, If not I would appreciate the vote anyway. If you are going to vote, I feel like I owe an explanation of what I would do with a Laser Cutter.
  • First of all it would just be awesome to have, right now my method of cutting acrylic involves a jigsaw and goggles. Think of all of the wonderful things that could be made.
  • I would share. Not sure how, But anyone who wanted to use it would have access.
  • Telling off the boss and starting my own business would definitely not be out of the question.

ChrisP59 months ago

I have a broken USB port. would it work on it since the blue part of the 3.0 is too far in and cracked?

BadeD11 months ago

I'm thinking for those who don't want to take their laptop apart, they can:

1. Take the USB part off their dongle

2. Solder wires (length is up to them) from USB part of dongle to dongle board

3. Wrap dongle board around to bottom (or side) of laptop and tape/velcro securely

Now dongle is out of way, relatively hidden and can be removed if needed. If they don't like it, it can be put back together or proceed with Jason-B's instructable and put it inside.

Samimy1 year ago

so man, even if you freed the usb port, it is still useless cause there is no buffer same as a usb hub to introduce 2 or more usb devices to the computer.

you will data intereference and one of them won't work.

OH SNAP!2 years ago
great ible. just wanted to mention many computers will have internal usb's.
3366carlos2 years ago
damn good idea, i am afraid to open my laptop.
to remember to stop using the port cut the plugin end of a usb off and put it in the pot s nothing sticks out so it is basically unremovable maybe?
Jason-B (author)  pyromaniac-will3 years ago
Ive forgotten about the port a few times, plugging something into it wont cause any damage. It responds with a usb malfunction error message.
You can get those plastic caps for uSB ports
fgorenc3 years ago
What happens if you plug another device in the same port to which the receiver is connected? Can two devices work on the same port at the same time?
Of course the second device doesn't work.
Operating system assign a IRQ (Interrupt Request) for every USB port to make the difference about which software driver has to be used for that IRQ.
Then if you have two devices plugged on the same USB port, the IRQ assigned to the first device plugged will be the working one.

Let' say that this Instructable is useful only if you want use the available USB port as power source.

It's useless if you want make that USB port work.

Jason-B (author)  fgorenc3 years ago
Unfortunately not. I've done it a few times with my flash drive, it makes niether of the devices work untill its unplugged.
garretttm3 years ago
Wait... why aren't jews allowed to remove the screen?
I think "be gentile" demands an instructable of its own...
Nekoman3 years ago
Two things:
1. How is it inconvenient to unplug the dongle? It only takes a second.

2. Just get a wireless mouse with a tiny Nano Receiver. When my laptop was my only computer I had one and I never had to worry about unplugging the receiver.
Answer: Because we here on instructables like to hack things just for the sake of it!
great idea. but i would risk it. id rather buy a mouse with a micro dongle like this one http://www.logitech.com/assets/19678/19678.png quite simply cos i dont wanna risk my precious laptop ahaa
sageserver3 years ago
Would a usb hub work? so that you can maybe add more modules and still have a usable port.
if you could manage to get one to fit i wouldnt doubt it.
Jason-B (author)  zack2473 years ago
I think I could get one to fit it if was torn down to the bare minimum, don't forget the traces on the USB board would need to be cut.
s3cur17y3 years ago
Awesome idea...

But I would have done two things different.
1) I would have found something like a micro usb hub, like this one. http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/4118/lindy-usb-20-hub.

2) I would have shelled out the extra money for a bluetooth dongle. I found some on ebay for 2$ a pop. Because you can't always be sure that the wireless mouse is going to work.

Still Voting For You...
Jason-B (author)  s3cur17y3 years ago
I have that same $2 Bluetooth dongle that I purchased from Amazon, the only issue is the price of the Bluetooth mouse. What can I say I'm cheap.
Forgot I had a 3rd thing.. I would have gone with Fedora 14 as a distro!

istsquad3 years ago
This is a great idea, as long the laptop cases are not shielded. I did this to mine some time ago works if the case is apart, But will not when put together due do copper plated shielding in my laptop.
Jason-B (author)  istsquad3 years ago
That's what I thought before I started, but it seems to work on my laptop anyway.
awawawaw3 years ago
Really nice instructable, well written and detailed. I do agree that in some cases it is voided by the newer mouse dongles. My wife's latest only sticks out about 1/8" from the USB port, so you don't even know it is there. But my main mouse has the full size like this, so it would be nice to hide it away.

Good job!
Musicman413 years ago
Some newer mouses come with tiny dongles that render this instructable un-needed. Mine only stick out 3/8" and is 1/2" wide. I can easily and safely store my laptop in a laptop bag without removing it, and I still have 3 working usb ports.
maybe, but i find that any dongles are unsightly to see on my laptop.
my laptop has bluetooth built in, but dongles just look tacky.
in my opinion, at least.
zurich3 years ago
I'v been contemplating the concept of hiding the USB port in my laptop for a while (but i don't have the guts to do it), looks like you did a great job :) ! I had an idea for keeping the external port usable and adding up to three internal ports, if the space is there. I was going to reroute the leads of the external USB to a 4 USB hub and then place that hub inside the laptop, then just reattach one of the 4 USB ports to the external port. This method would be much harder to solder, but i think it might just work. datavirtue gave me the idea of a hub :D
datavirtue3 years ago
First, I wouldn't use a Belkin device. I would use a Logitech dongle that is compatible with all their devices so I could use any mouse or keyboard I wanted (from logitech) without re-hacking the USB port. Couldn't you splice into the USB bus without knocking out the port? Hint: usb hub
Reffner3 years ago
I have one of the newer tiny dongles as well, but I would TOTALLY do this. Awesome idea and well executed. I am of the opinion that doing something the easy way isn't always the best (or coolest) way of doing things. Great job on this one!
mikeasaurus3 years ago
Wow, what a clever idea. I wonder if there's room in my laptop for this, hmmm