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If you hate seeing good electronic parts go to waste, then you likely look for ways to incorporate them into other devices or have them serve as accessories of some kind. With that in mind, today’s SuperUser Q&A post offers some helpful advice to a curious reader.

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

Photo courtesy of Randy (Flickr).

The Question

SuperUser reader robertalrp wants to know if a native wireless adapter can be converted Into a dongle:

I have an old netbook and wonder if it is possible to remove the internal wireless adapter (Atheros AR5BXB63) and convert it into an external USB wireless adapter (dongle) for another computer. My reason for doing so is to add an extra wireless adapter to the second computer without substituting it for the internal one.

Are there any methods for converting an internal wireless adapter into an external one?

Can a native wireless adapter be converted Into a dongle?

The Answer

SuperUser contributors codenoire and Keltari have the answer for us. First up, codenoire:

It is possible, but why would you buy an adapter when you can get high quality USB wireless dongles on eBay for less than ten dollars? The card you have is huge and over time it will be more of a hassle to keep it out of the way than it would be to just replace it (especially if the adapter you purchased does not fully enclose the card). Keep it simple!

Followed by the answer from Keltari:

In theory, yes. I have never seen them used, but there are mini-PCIe to USB adapters.


Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya Akemi Iwaya
Akemi Iwaya has been part of the How-To Geek team since 2009. She has previously written under the pen name "Asian Angel" and was a Lifehacker intern before joining How-To Geek. She has been quoted as an authoritative source by ZDNet Worldwide.
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