I spent the last couple of nights packaging up the top-side Homeplug adapter into its original case. By now this thread is no longer a teardown of the adapter, but more along the lines of "how to switch your tether over to HomePlug". But I didn't feel like starting a new thread right now.
So at Jameco I found some very small terminal blocks, on 8.25mm centers:
A little work with a Dremel tool cut it down from 6 to 4 positions. Drill some matching holes in the adapter case:
And some plastic glue mounts the thing:
You could get by with a 2 position block, since the wires for topside power can be put in the same screw terminals as the tether. But I liked the idea of splitting them out separately, so you can work on one without disturbing the connection of the other.
On the HomePlug electronics board, remove the header pins for the power and tether inputs, and install some wire pigtails:
You should probably test the thing now before you mount it into the case.
I glued the electronics board directly onto the lid of the original case. I wanted a flexible glue, due to the way the RJ-45 connector is going to slide into the case. Silicone caulk/glue is good, but it needs to be acid-free or you can end up with corrosion issues (the vinegar you smell when the silicon cures is acetic acid). GE Silicone II is claimed to be acid-free:
Apply some big dollops of silicone to the inside of the lid, making sure you stay clear of the LED windows. Set the electronics board onto the lid, and then re-assemble the case so that the RJ-45 connector fits in its hole correctly. After curing overnight, here's what you have:
The power pins in the case can be removed by heating them with a soldering iron until the surrounding plastic softens, then pulling them out:
The 3.3 volts for the electronics is provided by a mikroElektronica USB-Reg (MIKROE-658) regulator board. The input to this board is a mini-USB connector. It will be connected to a USB port on the top-side laptop.
I filed a hole in the case right by the reset button. This location will allow the USB power cable from the laptop to stream parallel to the network cable, keeping the cabling run neat.
Connect the power pigtail from the Homeplug electronics to the power supply, and then test it. Mount the power supply in the case with some more silicone:
Wire up the terminal block connections:
Close up the case (it takes a bit of jiggling), apply some labels, and you're done:
The great thing about using the original case is that the LED indicators are in their original positions:
Is that ridiculously awesome or what?