Librem13 USB-C Charge Hack Thoughts?

Edit: So apparently I’m being flagged as promoting a certain online store…because it’s a semi-safe place to buy electronics…so I’m just going to put the item ID… If the forum puts these up as ad-looking things, I can’t help it. Just want to share ideas on hardware hacking and people flag it as ads - why even have a forum to share ideas…

Wondering if I could get some thoughts on a USB-C hack I’m thinking of testing out?

The Librem13 has a 5.5mm barrel jack at 19v (fairly standard for laptops and mini-pcs that haven’t gone to USB-C). Thinking of just taking it out and putting in a small USB-C board with a trigger detector /dp/B07T2858G6)

Not sure how well it will fit inside. The existing bezel hole would need to be drilled out ~1-2mm larger.

20v -> 19v should be fine I suppose? Adding in a dc-dc converter for a 1v change seems like a giant waste of space…really hoping the onboard voltage regulator can handle a 20v input?

Kind of wanted some second thoughts before I nuke a fantastic laptop…could just wait for the next version…but…

I use something like this (the plug is not the right one!)

Wow! The last picture shows the part I linked! This is working fine for you? If so, thanks for the link!

In all honesty, I haven’t bought a Purism laptop as of yet. I’m not sure if I want to buy it and then immediately start desoldering/soldering…but it wouldn’t be the first time.

Maybe I’ll give Purism a little bit of time to come out with a newer version with USB-C charging. I don’t even care about USB-C peripherals - I just want to charge with a standardized charger.

It works totally fine, so I can recommend it and it was supercheap. So I didn’t bother the extra cost, because the usb-c charger is coming handy in a lot of situations aside from the Librem laptop and I’ll use it further with the next iterations of it.

EDIT (again): this is the adapter I’m using right now:ür-DC5-DC5-5-2-1MM/dp/B07PD2WTXZ

There lot of space if you use M.2 ssd instead sata SSD. In left part of laptop (Librem 15v3) 2 detachable things - [board with USB, CardReader and sound], and [detachable power connector]. You can easily place USB-C adapter and down-converter in free space.

Thanks for the picture!

I want to say the 0.5v difference doesn’t matter. I’m betting the BMS takes a ranged input voltage and regulates down to what the cells need.

Do you think the “ultra mini” version of the board I listed would fit?

There are no dimensions on the listing, but, using the USB-C connector for scale in the pictures, I’m guessing it’s approximately 22x10x3.5mm. I’m a little worried about the hinge near the original power adapter.

If it fits, and the barrel jack is as removable as it looks, the mod would be pretty easy:

  1. Disconnect barrel jack from mainboard and remove.
  2. Desolder red and black power connectors from barrel jack.
  3. Solder red and black power connectors to trigger board.
  4. Short 20v mode pad on trigger board.
  5. Test output power on red/black connectors without mainboard.
  6. Wrap trigger board in heatshrink.
  7. Drill power connector hole in bezel to fit USB-C female connector.
  8. Plug red/black connector into mainboard and test charging.
  9. Unplug red/black connector from mainboard and epoxy in (might be worth 3d printing some sort of shell/holder).
  10. Plug power connector back into mainboard and reassemble laptop.

It real to find USB adapter with support changing and connecting devices? Something like this:

Connect USB data to USB hub and power directly to motherboard power input.

Fitting it in the case might be an issue, but I think this is kind of what you’re looking for?

It’s hard to tell from the listing what the USB port details are. Without looking at it and testing it, it might just be power…

There are a lot of pins on a USB-C connector, so connecting a breakout board might be a lengthy task, but they do exist (you’d still need a trigger board):

Might be easier to mount and use a male to female extension cable:

look at that … if it isn’t the dark lord Amazon himself …

I’m sorry for posting links to a well-known store with a return policy instead of posting a sketchy website with dubious standards on payment and return policy. My first stop is usually a couple auction sites, that I won’t name. The site mentioned is something everyone has heard of, and their links don’t look sketchy.

Apparently five links, that are on task, and obviously trying to list where parts, in reference to the subject of this post, is spam.

I think I’m going to leave this forum…why event ry to share ideas.

I saved your links. First link looks similar to what i mean, but i don’t see charge outputs in this board.

@scaled @peterpan

How successful was this? I’m interested in doing this mod but I suck at desoldering. I was thinking maybe I’d just get the USB-C to barrel jack cable, unscrew the Librem barrel jack, and plug the barrel jacks together in the SATA space. Would that work?

Also does anybody have @doomsday.wombats contact info?

Mr. Peterpan, do you know if a charger than can output 5V @ 3A would be able to charge the Librem via the USB C to Barrel connector adapter here?

IE: Will chargers meant to charge tablets and phones provide enough to effectively charge the Librem battery. I know the system there is expecting 19V.

Nope - the description says that 5V is not enough - I think it has to be 12V (or up)

Achso, ich habe das nicht gesehen.

DC 18 V - 20 V (nicht 5 V)

Looks like 12V is also not enough. This makes the use of this cable problematic. I’m not aware of any usb C based charger supplying that much voltage.

Edit: Spoke too soon:

20V/1.5A (instead of 2.0+ A) is not much (waste of money for use with laptop). IMO, you need to look at something above 40W pro USB Type-C port.


Which Round Tip (X) do you need (might use) with Librem?