Install dongle inside a laptop? Possible? Downsides?

Aloha guys,

Someone mentioned this in a past post but I can not seem to retrieve that thread.
In the mean time, thought I would ask you guys.

I am about to get a new laptop for stage work
(se sig) have not decided which OS/platform yet)
and I am thinking about buying a whole new elicense
but have the dongle installed inside the laptop.

1-Is this possible? (room)
2-What if I had to update the dongle?
3-Any other downsides to this scheme?

I have been doing this live thang since SX3 so my current dongle approach is not a real prob.
A small USB extension cable works great for me now
but it would be nice to be able to just ‘sharpen the ax’ and then start cutting.

Any thoughts on this would be wonderful.


Sending much Aloha.

I don’t know how feasible that would be. Every laptop I’ve opened to upgrade RAM memory etc, there hasn’t been a whole lot of space in there to fit anything but dust. In all my live work I’ve done the same as you, USB extension cord and Velcro. I’m curious how you make out and see if you can pack in another sardine.

If I were in the habit of doing on-location recording, I’d build myself a custom portable rig, maybe in a rack or some kind of case. That way I could install & do almost anything I wanted…including installing the USB thingy in the case, out of harms way & sticky fingers…stinky fingers too :smiley:

P.S. I have no affiliation with this company, just trying to help out

Aloha guys and thanks sooo much for your tips/suggestions.

Racks and cases sound like very good ideas for sure
but I have yet to decide a direction.

For now guess I will stick to the ‘if it ain’t broke’… approach.
(which also saves me a ‘chunk o’ change’) :slight_smile:

Thanks again guys and sending much aloha.

If you are serious about this and are getting a powerful system, check out ADK computers and talk to one of their reps about getting your dongle inside one of their laptops. Off the top of my head, they are the ones with the experience that would be able to advise you. I’ve worked with them before and have nothing but good to say. Could be a one-stop solution for you.

Do you own multiple licenses? That may be next thing to consider so you don’t have to transfer your license to and fro your lappy to authorize the software on different machines.

This is not only very good thinking (no theft of the dongle but they have to take the laptop and the dongle within it :slight_smile: ), but this is also possible since the usb port exists. Technically it is just replacing some of the hardware outlets.

Lot of info on google, but ya will need to screw it open :slight_smile:

kind regards,

:slight_smile: and to add.
The combo of a dongle inside the laptop also puts the weakness in the logic as a copy protection that it should have been, but horribly failed to do so in the past. It is not a copy protection at all since their software is free to download. It is a license they offer you. A tiny little piece of software on a likewise tiny and very easy to get lost peace of hardware. All the responsability has been put on to the person who has bought it. And all the hassle to protect it is also entirely for the user. No good BU-model imho. For me this is really something from the stoneages in the cloudy days we are in nowadays. :slight_smile:

It would change though if that dongle would be something flashy!
And it should have a hole for a quick-lock. :slight_smile:

Years ago, they put record players in suitcases fer cryin out loud…

I’m sure something can be worked out. Here’s some more interesting idea’s///

nice! But that is quite an expensive way to protect your dongle :-/

I’m just generally opposed to using a laptop for DAW recording for several different reasons, and there’s always a compromise. But if it has to be a laptop, one could always just place it inside any kind of appropriate case, suitcase etc, and under a laptop platform at the bottom of the case, place extra hard drives, your dongle and whatever else, all hidden from view. With that, there’s no ‘real’ need to place your dongle actually ‘inside’ a laptop…IMO.

But really, it’s just as easy to build a standard rack mount DAW, and place that in an appropriate case. For what you’d end up with, you’d have more room for customization, capabilities, possibilities and expandability.

i fully agree with you if it’s about recording. A laptop is always a compromise. Even for stage purpouses, if the budget is of no importance, you could take a well encased desktop with you. But in my experience 1/weight is important. External keyboards and stuff can be rented localy. But carrying big boxes on an airplane is not very intuitive. (certainly not after i’ve encountered how “soft” gear is being treated on airports)
A laptop is a great alternative for such cases. It is powerfull enough. It is portable. It is lightweight. But, then and again, it is unrealistic to stay all the time near to the gear. I’ve lost one dongle some years ago in such conditions. One moment is enough to have someone running away with it. So i think i fully understand the reason why Curteye wants his dongle inside his laptop. But then again, if they run with the laptop, you loose everything.

I nowadays try to seperate the dongle and the laptop and when i have to store things the dongle goes in to the wallet, and comes out a few hours before the gig. If they steal the laptop, it is a) theft protected and b) insured, c) a copy of the content is in the cloud. But i do still have those licenses that i have to protect with my life or loose the (expensive) software. (their is a one-time replacement policie at SB) This is a shame in my opinion.

So for me: getting rid of that little nasty usb thing is the best thing SB can do for me, so i can stay the proud owner of some licenses. It is no effort to put those online nowadays…but no, we have to carry them with us like a car key.

it is just an opinion about the topic, and FWIW.

kind regards,

I agree that a laptop is a compromise, which is why when I decided to get one as a portable rig, I bought a model sold as a “desktop replacement” or “mobile workstation.” It’s a 17" “workstation-class” HP Elitebook with a full-HD screen which gives me a 0.20 dot pitch (anything smaller and it’s virtually unusable for DAW work, at least if you don’t have perfect vision.)

It’s the only laptop I’m aware of that has room for up to three internal drives (as long as you can live without optical, or else 2+optical), and it comes with a wealth of ports the kind of which you’d only see on a desktop mobo. It uses modular quick-to-replace drive bays, so switching the third drive for an optical drive in case the need arises is something you can do in one minute. Oh yeah, there is extra room to accommodate a dongle inside, provided you have replaced the optical drive with a HDD or SSD, which of course I did.

The trade-off? Obviously weight and size, but this is the closest to a desktop you can ever tote around.