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Samsung N150 Plus + Broadcom Crystal HD Hack
March 12, 2011 Leslie Gutschow Hacks Netbook
Samsung N150 Plus + Broadcom Crystal HD Decoder

The Samsung N150 is a pretty nifty little netbook.  With all it’s options and it’s nice N450 processor it can really cook, unfortunately even with 2GBs of ram it still can’t play HD video very well.  That’s where the Broadcom Crystal HD decoder comes in.  In order to do this you will have to solder another mini-Pcie slot onto your mobo, so that you would have wi-fi built-in.  If you’re not cool with soldering, you can always do the USB network dongle option.  This hack does come with some “gotchas” tho.  You will lose your wireless N capability.  I haven’t had the time to figure out all the specifics of the second slot, it seems that there is more soldering and hacking to be had to make it “full featured”.  The crystal HD card and the wireless-N card that was included with your N150 needs a full featured slot.  Suffice to say you’re gonna have to choose.  Luckily for me I had an old Dell 1390 wireless-G card hanging around, and that card doesn’t need a full-featured slot.  If I ever get un-lazy and try and figure out what else needs to be soldered on to the mobo to get the second slot to work 100% I’ll post that up at a later date.  So if you can live with wireless-G this hack isn’t that hard to do.

Before you start I will say, I am not responsible for any damage you do to your little netbook.  Whatever you decide to do you do at your own risk, if you fry it or it explodes it’s your own fault.

Now that we got that out-of-the-way, on to the big show.

Here’s the parts list for this little endeavor:

1.  Samsung N150 Plus

2.  Broadcom Crystal HD Card

3.  PCI-Express Slot

4.  Dell 1390 Wireless B/G mini-PCI card.

The Process:

1.  First step you gonna do is rip apart the case.  There are 13 screws on the bottom you have to take out with a small phillips screw driver.  After you take the screws out, you’ll need to pry open the case.  I used a plastic prying tool I got to pry open my Iphone with.  Works pretty well.  I don’t recommend screw drivers because the metal will mar the surface.

Samsung N150 Plus Case Screw Locations

Samsung N150 Plus Case Screw Locations

Samsung N150 Plus Case Pry Location Example

Samsung N150 Plus Case Pry Location Exampl

2.  Once you have the case open you can see where you’re gonna solder the PCI slot.  It’s in the lower left bottom.  (circled in red)

Samsung N150 Plus Second PCI Slot Location

Samsung N150 Plus Second PCI Slot Location

Samsung N150 Plus Second PCI Slot Location

Samsung N150 Plus Second PCI Slot Location

3.  Place the PCI slot you got from mouser on the area, I recommend using a little bit of flux as it helps with flowing the solder, before you place the part.

4.  When you solder be very careful not to touch two pins together, You don’t even have to use solder as the part is tinned enough with solder and there is already enough solder on the part that if you heat it up enough and have flux to let it flow it’ll actually solder perfect.

Samsung N150 Plus Second PCI Slot Soldered On

Samsung N150 Plus Second PCI Slot Soldered On

5.  You can see in the above picture I added a “screw block” also.  This isn’t required but I had an old laptop mobo hanging around so I took off the block and decided to solder it on the N150.

6.  Now that the slot is soldered on, all you have to do is remove the old wireless card.  Then put the broadcom crystal decoder in the top slot where the old wireless card used to go.  Then you will put the Dell 1390 wireless card in the newly soldered slot and reroute the wires.  The finished product should look like the following.  Ignore the sim slot, I added that while doing this project thinking I was gonna get a GSM card.  I still might do that later.

Samsung N150 Plus + Broadcom Crystal HD Decoder

Samsung N150 Plus + Broadcom Crystal HD Decoder

7.  Almost done people.  Alright, next button her up.  If you soldered everything correctly then the computer should boot up and it should find the wireless card and install drivers for you.  After you’re back online you will have to go to Broadcom’s site and download drivers for the Crystal HD card.  Install them and enjoy!


So there you have it, a pretty simple hack that you could probably do in like 2 hours tops.  I love the Crystal HD card in my N150 it really allows me to enjoy Hulu and Youtube to their fullest potential.  I hope this helped any of you guys out there with their hacks.  Like I said if you ran into any trouble you probably need to check your solder job.  Good luck guys and if you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments section.  Cheers!

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December 2006
Bachelors of Science, Electrical Engineering
University of Nebraska - Lincoln

September 2013
Master of Science (M.S.), Computer Software Engineering
Colorado Technical University

March 2008 - Present
Real-Time Software Engineer
The Boeing Company

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  • Name: Leslie Gutschow
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