Introduction: Internal Card Reader to External USB

My work recently updated all of their office computers to nice small computers, this was great except we need a CF Card reader to backup the control cards for the Industrial Machines. After I had to run home to get a computer capable of reading the cards I decided that something had to be done. They had a dead PC with a card reader so I rescued it and went about converting it to a standard USB connector.

A few things you`ll need:

An Internal Card Reader

Internal USB connector cable

An unwanted USB Cable

Electrical tape


Wire Cutters

Something to strip wires

Soldering iron

Step 1: Prepair Your Cables.

The first thing you need to do is cut the plug off the internal USB cable leaving enough wire to work with then strip the covering from the wires. The 5th wire is for shielding.

You then cut the end off of the USB cable and strip the wires leaving some of the shielding.

Now if you are lucky there should be 4 wires, Red, White, Green and Black plus the shielding.

The Card Reader I was using had a USB port that ran from the same internal cable. After looking at the tracks on the circuit board I determined that it was on USB2 which is the line of 5 wires. That left the reader on USB1.

I removed the cables for USB2 to prevent shorts etc. This can be done by carefully pulling up on the plastic tabs with a sharp blade then pulling on the wire.

Once your cables are all stripped you can solder the wires together red to red, green to green etc.

You can then wrap the wires in electrical tape to prevent them shorting and to make things a bit neater.

Step 2: Make Sure Its Alive

Now its time for testing.

Plug the internal connector into the board and the USB cable into your computer.

Insert a card into the reader and it should show up.

Step 3: Conclusion

After wrapping it up in electrical tape with an old DVD case sacrificed to provide some strength its good to go and can even be used by staff members with minimum technical ability.

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