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T14 Gen2 Intel Board modifications to add ethernet

2020 New name Series after T430-T490 / T530-T590
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samveen
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T14 Gen2 Intel Board modifications to add ethernet

#1 Post by samveen » Thu Apr 18, 2024 9:23 am

I have a T14 Gen2 Intel which has neither the dock port nor the lan port (it's missing the connector where the lan port FPC connects to the motherboard).

I end up requiring an Ethernet connection atleast once a day, and it's a pain to connect the USB ethernet connector when I do. Has anyone experimented with or seen/heard of experiments with the T14 Gen2 with regards what's needed to get some variant of in-built Ethernet working for those models of the T14 Gen2 that do not have the inbuilt Ethernet connectors?
T14 Gen2 i7 (with X220 i5 as sidecar) <= X230 i5(with T480 i5 as sidecar)
Ebay Experimentals: 1xT420, another X230 i5.
Colours denote state of fitness(varying from perfect state)

mikemex
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Re: T14 Gen2 Intel Board modifications to add ethernet

#2 Post by mikemex » Sat Apr 20, 2024 12:03 am

Sell it. Get another with the Ethernet port.
X301: SU9600 | 8GB | 1TB | WXGA+
X1C9: 1185G7 | 32GB | 1TB | WUXGA | WWAN
X1Y8: 1365U | 32GB | 1TB | WUXGA
For the sake of ecology I donated all my classic Thinkpads.

axur-delmeria
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Re: T14 Gen2 Intel Board modifications to add ethernet

#3 Post by axur-delmeria » Sat Apr 20, 2024 11:43 am

T14 Gen 2 uses USB-C docks. Why not use one of those?
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:
RIP: X220 4291-C91 X61 7676-A24 760XD-U9E :cry:

samveen
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Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:28 am
Location: Gurgaon, HR, India

Re: T14 Gen2 Intel Board modifications to add ethernet

#4 Post by samveen » Tue Apr 23, 2024 4:24 am

mikemex wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2024 12:03 am
Sell it. Get another with the Ethernet port.
- Got it at an excellent deal price.
- The whole process of selling and buying another is exhausting. Much easier to for me use a technical rather than a marketing or financial solution to my problems.
axur-delmeria wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2024 11:43 am
T14 Gen 2 uses USB-C docks. Why not use one of those?
That is the way I am doing it now. However, USB-C Docks/Ethernet connectors are neither as reliable nor as sturdy as the T480/T490 docks (which in turn were [censored] on sturdyness and ease of use as compared to the ones for the older T/X series docks),
T14 Gen2 i7 (with X220 i5 as sidecar) <= X230 i5(with T480 i5 as sidecar)
Ebay Experimentals: 1xT420, another X230 i5.
Colours denote state of fitness(varying from perfect state)

axur-delmeria
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Posts: 3880
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: T14 Gen2 Intel Board modifications to add ethernet

#5 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Apr 23, 2024 5:44 am

IMO there's not much you can do. I mean, where the heck would you even put the RJ45 jack on the T14 Gen2? This isn't like the T420 where there's a Kensington lock slot you can Dremel out or an RJ11 jack you can remove.

You could try an M.2 Ethernet card like this one, but it's keyed for the WLAN slot (A+E key) and not WWAN (M key). And it still won't solve where the RJ45 port will come out from.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:
RIP: X220 4291-C91 X61 7676-A24 760XD-U9E :cry:

samveen
Freshman Member
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:28 am
Location: Gurgaon, HR, India

Re: T14 Gen2 Intel Board modifications to add ethernet

#6 Post by samveen » Tue Apr 23, 2024 9:42 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2024 5:44 am
IMO there's not much you can do. I mean, where the heck would you even put the RJ45 jack on the T14 Gen2? This isn't like the T420 where there's a Kensington lock slot you can Dremel out or an RJ11 jack you can remove.

You could try an M.2 Ethernet card like this one, but it's keyed for the WLAN slot (A+E key) and not WWAN (M key). And it still won't solve where the RJ45 port will come out from.
- The T14 gen2 frame has a spot for the RJ45 daughter card. (Part numbers 5C51C94294 and 02HK993) - These daughter boards are just the ports and the magnetic isolation chip, no logic chip on the daughter board (Front image, back image).
- The bottom cover can just be switched to a bottom cover that has that cutout in place, or just cut out the relevant section of the bottom cover, in the spirit of DIY.
- The main-board has the solder spots for the connector that holds the FFC from the daughter board to the main-board.
- I do not know whether just electrically attaching the the daughter board to the main-board will be enough or not - probably not after comparing the following 2 boards: without connector vs with connector - the with-connector version has additional logic chips near the connector, which are unpopulated on the board with the connector unpopulated.

I asked the question hoping that someone might have experimented with this. I expect getting the board schematic isn't going to be feasible.
T14 Gen2 i7 (with X220 i5 as sidecar) <= X230 i5(with T480 i5 as sidecar)
Ebay Experimentals: 1xT420, another X230 i5.
Colours denote state of fitness(varying from perfect state)

axur-delmeria
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Posts: 3880
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: T14 Gen2 Intel Board modifications to add ethernet

#7 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Apr 23, 2024 10:40 am

Personally, I'd rather not do delicate soldering operations on the machine I use for work (that's why it's best to have spares). If you think it's worth risking your T14 Gen 2 for a chance to get an internal LAN port, be my guest.

TBH, I have the opposite of your problem: the Thinkpad I'm typing this reply on has a rather flaky LAN port, and got a Thinkpad Universal Type-C dock (type 40AY) in order to use its gigabit LAN. If you're worried over USB-C's fragility get a standard USB 3.0 gigabit LAN adapter.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:
RIP: X220 4291-C91 X61 7676-A24 760XD-U9E :cry:

mikemex
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Posts: 645
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:54 pm
Location: Coyoacan, Mexico

Re: T14 Gen2 Intel Board modifications to add ethernet

#8 Post by mikemex » Sat May 11, 2024 12:39 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2024 10:40 am
Personally, I'd rather not do delicate soldering operations on the machine I use for work (that's why it's best to have spares). If you think it's worth risking your T14 Gen 2 for a chance to get an internal LAN port, be my guest.
This. Why bother, anyway? The T14 Gen 2 is three generations old already. You should be able to get another for little money at this point. Or at least get a complete motherboard and swap it over. You're literally taking the riskiest and most difficult path here.
axur-delmeria wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2024 10:40 am
If you're worried over USB-C's fragility get a standard USB 3.0 gigabit LAN adapter.
Also this. A regular USB port should be about as durable as a RJ45 port. Both will fail eventually with frequent use.
X301: SU9600 | 8GB | 1TB | WXGA+
X1C9: 1185G7 | 32GB | 1TB | WUXGA | WWAN
X1Y8: 1365U | 32GB | 1TB | WUXGA
For the sake of ecology I donated all my classic Thinkpads.

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