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Modding router modding - updated: 30 pics & 4mb total

Discussion in 'Modding' started by mvagusta, 22 Sep 2007.

  1. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    just like many other guys, i've been enjoying projects here for a while, so i thought i'd share my latest one. My linksys wag54gp2-s4 modem/router ran cool, but i noticed that if it was on for a day or two, the back would get a little warm.... i usually don't touch stuff when it's under waranty, but the itch got the better of me and i openend her up!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    There are only a couple of small smd on the rear of the circuit board, which don't get hot, the heat is generated mainly from the largest chip, up towards the top right corner. The heat is felt from the rear of the modem because of the close proximity of the case to the circuit board. I measured the temp of each chip after a day of use, with all covers in place, modem sitting horizontally, in a room temp of 18-20c.
    The big main ic hit 58c!
    The ram chip directly below was 39c
    The small square wlan ic directly below the ram measured 36c
    The small square ic just to the left of the ram measured 47c
    To the left again there is a large square ic, which is nearly as big as the main ic, it measured 48c.
    The other large rectangular "infineon" ic also measured 48c
    There are four small regulators, 3 have a bit of pcb to use as a heatsink and run at 41c-36c, but the little smd regulator is given a very small amount of pcb to use and runs at 45c.
    Last to mention is the small thin ic just under the wlan board, which runs at 40c
    Every component has been measured, everything else runs at 35c or less. Enough ramble, here's the mods:
    started drilling out the standard vents, using a 2mm drill, and a 4mm to smooth/taper the holes:
    [​IMG]
    finished rear cover:
    [​IMG]
    finished front cover:
    [​IMG]
    tinted the inside of the front cover with mirror tint, including the four posts and the led indicator mount to maximise illumination:
    [​IMG]
    and the rest of the mods, ill go into detail next post
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2007
  2. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    here's two of the leds, cable tied in place and bent into posistion:
    [​IMG]
    here's the other two leds and a 25v 1000uf cap i added - i'm modding so i might as well mod the psu, the cap should improove the smoothness of the dc supply to the modem a lil bit :)
    [​IMG]
    the hot main hot ic needed as big of a heatsink as i could fit,which is pretty much the size of many chipset heatsinks. I didn't find a chipset heatsink that would fill the available space, only larger & smaller. I couldn't be bothered grinding down a large one so i stuck two together. Here's the bigger & thicker bottom guy:
    [​IMG]
    and here's the two together. This photo is supposed to show the areas i filled to give clearance for the crystals, it's out of focus but oh well:
    [​IMG]
    here's more clearances. You can see the cut-in-half heatsink, half on the ram and the other half on that little square ic- the heatsink is on at angle to give clearance for the big heatsink, to avoid it absorbing heat from the large heatsink:
    [​IMG]
    the wlan ic didn't get very hot and its little so a tiny heatsink is needed, so i just filled & drilled a little offcutt of alluminium:
    [​IMG]
    i soldered a few copper wires to the top of the vregs - not the neatest of solder joints but the joint is huge and i didn't want to heat the smds for too long - that's my excuse & i'm sticking to it
    [​IMG]
    this photo shows the mirror tint which i've applied the the sides of the case:
    [​IMG]
    here's that tiny smd reg:
    [​IMG]
    and the biggest & hottest of the regs:
    [​IMG]
    resulting temps in next post...
     
    Last edited: 23 Sep 2007
  3. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    Well the temps are pretty good now i reckon, practically can't feel heat in the rear panel either.
    These temps are after more than a day of use, same 18-20c room temps, and it's all passive, using a few heatsinks, a few odd leds, a couple of resistors & a cap that was lying around doing nothing usefull. I could shove a tiny fan in there to get things really cool, but i think it's cool enough, and no hassle of a fan getting old & noisy.
    The big main ic from 58c to 47c
    The ram chip directly below from 39c to 35c
    The small square wlan ic directly below the ram from 36c to 34c
    The small square ic just to the left of the ram went from 47c to 39c
    To the left again, the large square ic, went from 48c to 41c
    The other large rectangular "infineon" ic didn't drop as much, it went from 48c to 45c
    Of the four small regulators, the 3 that had a bit of pcb to use as a heatsink and ran at 41c-36c, each went doen about 2c, and the little smd regulator went from 45c to 39c
    The small thin ic just under the wlan board, also got an offcut of alluminium stuck on it, and went from 40c to 36c
    thats about it, here's some pics of it in action, with the light on:
    [​IMG]
    and in the dark:
    [​IMG]
    Maybe if i get bored one day ill put another 6 or 8 leds in there and really light her up... maybe i'll fit one green, then one blue, etc... that would make a nice acqua color...
     
  4. Supra55

    Supra55 What's a Dremel?

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    Haha giving me ideas about by old Linksys :idea:
     
  5. capnPedro

    capnPedro Hacker. Maker. Engineer.

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    Wow. Totally overkill, but that's a good thing!

    Only gripe is that the lighting is a tad uneven, but nothing major. Other than that, it's a damn fine job.
     
  6. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    yeah, the lighting ain't the best. The right hand side flickers with activity so it usually looks a little darker on the right but the left actually looks a tiny bit brighter than the photo shows! It is very tempting to whack a few more green and a few blue leds in there to get a light aqua color.... I'd lose the flicker effect but I also should have just grinded down the larger chipset heatsink i had, that might have given me 5c or so better temps on the main ic maybe? All heatsink bases and the top of the gigabyte chipset sink were lapped to 800 wet btw, and the top of the two offcut alluminium custom sinks got roughened up for better heat dissipation... again, i was too lazy to lap each base to at least 1000, and too lazy to roughen up the top all alluminium heatsinks & copper wire heatsinks... better temps would have been had... I also forgot to mention that i normally have the router mounted vertically, hence the orientation of all the heatsinks, the sandwiched chipset heatsinks will work better vertically aswell.

    i should have been doing the plumbing for my water tank but "all show & no go" mods are fun
     
  7. Cinnander

    Cinnander What's a Dremel?

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    Hehe cool! Literally! Was it unstable before you did this? I had to do this to my router, an old belkin 4 port jobby (not wifi), it gets(got) so hot that it crashes. Investigated and found the main processor had no heatsink -- very hot to the touch, so I stood an old northbridge heatsink on it too... now, it heats the heatsink up to "hot" (i'd guess 40-50) but it's far more stable :D Ventilation was also poor, good shout widening those holes. I found taking the lid off really helps too :D
     
  8. ComputerKing

    ComputerKing <img src="http://forums.bit-tech.net/images/smilie

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    Which speed did you used with dremal to do it without break the holes? nice mod
     
  9. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    the router wasn't unstable at all before i modded it, i just felt a small amount of heat on the back after a coupleof days of use, so thought i might get rid of it! next thing you knowi'm puttin leds in there!?!?? i have seen quite a few routers that have been modded cos they got hot & unstable but then ran fine once cooled down.

    i don't have a dremel, i've got a panasonic cordless screwdriver which is really good, it can be held straight/vertically or bent in the middle to make a typical 'gun'/drill shape, it's light & really strong torque. I whack a drill chuck in it for small drill jobs like this. I have a couple of tiny handheld drill drivers that let you drill using 1mm and smaller! drill bits, they are like using a normal screwdriver, great for really fine work. and before i forget, thanks for all the coments guys :)
     
  10. Agamer

    Agamer Minimodder

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    Come on guys it doesn't have to be unstable to be modded, I don't even know why you'd begin to question that we should all know here if you can find the smallest reason to mod! Mod!

    Tis very nice, Even if it wasn't stable reduced heat should improve the life of the unit!
     
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  11. Cinnander

    Cinnander What's a Dremel?

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    I wasn't implying it needed to be unstable or questioning the reason otherwise, just asking whether it did suffer from instability pre-pimping. Turns out it wasn't a problem
     
  12. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    updated: total of 29 pics, 3.8mb

    Well the poor lighting was getting to me, so i thought i'd fix it when i get a chance.
    First thing i thought i'd try is making the original leds shine a little brighter. You can see the standard 220 ohm surface mount resistors, which limit the leds to about 15ma:

    [​IMG]

    so i thought i'd crank them up a bit... 20ma is about as far as i want to take the tiny smd leds up to, 25 or maybe even 30ma would make them really shine but for how long? I guess i'm too chicken to find out :) So after scanning a couple of scrap boards for either ~160 ohm or ~600 ohm smd resistors, the closest i find are 1k on this old cdrom pcb:

    [​IMG]

    so if i solder them in parrallel i get 180 ohms :( This will take the little guys up to about 18 ma... i was hoping this would be enough to make a significant difference?

    [​IMG]

    It's not enough to fix the lighting of the router, but the "flicker" effect from net activity is more noticeable which is good. The electronics shops near me don't sell smd resistors individually, only a big box of them that costs $50 :wallbash:

    [​IMG]

    well it still needed more, but instead of raiding my spares again for some green leds, i thought i'd break the tightarse theme of the mod and actually go and buy something! All the previously fitted parts were just junk i had in my scrap pile, but i really wanted to get a few blue & green leds in an attempt to make a nice acqua effect... but what do i find at the shop? ACQUA LEDS!!!! I rearranged the previously installed leds and wired in a couple of these acqua babies:

    [​IMG]

    These acqua leds are more green than aqua, but still nice. They are really high brightness btw, way too bright, they completely fill the router with green. After trying a few different resistors i settle on driving them at 9ma. It was nice on the left, but the right was still too bright. I had wired them in series, but instead of rewiring the leds in parrallel for individual control, i took the quick way out and stuck a bit of heatshrink to dim the offender :D

    [​IMG]

    with the light on:

    [​IMG]

    and the money shot :D

    [​IMG]

    the white balance on my camera wasn't 100%, so the yellow/green leds looks a little too green and the aqua leds look too icy-blue in this pic, irl it's a smoother blend from yellow/green to green/aqua... but those ^ colors look ok too! Next time ill just get some ramsinks or heatsinks with lots of little fins, that way i wont have such a problem with shadows :(
     
  13. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Crazy... You really will mod anything!
    OK! phase 3 time! I say clear case it!
     
  14. Cinnander

    Cinnander What's a Dremel?

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    Cool... and I'm with Cheapskate, absolutely clear acrylic case time!
    While you're at it, you could overclock the CPU (NPU?) :D I can see at least 4 crystals ... take your pick :p
    Here's an idea for you: how about tapping a blinking LED somewhere and using it to cycle from blue->green->yellow->red depending on how busy the router is :eek: might not work so great if the activity lights blink at a fixed rate though : ( Or replace each of those LEDs down the side (externally visible ones) with a different colour from the spectrum (seeing as you can get LEDs in any colour except black these days)
     
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  15. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    :hehe: now that would make a very colorfull router! I'm done with the router now, i'm happy with the subtle glow, and it stands out nicely in a dark room. It's a shame i couldn't get the white balance right, the acqua led's look alot more blue than what they really are - they are more like a medium green than an acqua really. So i've cheated a little now, i took the night photo and adjusted the color balance from blue > yellow and this pic looks a hell of a lot like what the router actually looks like in real life!!!

    [​IMG]

    you can see how it actually blends from yellow to green quite gradually, it's fairly even, and there's only the tiniest bit of blue at the bottom - this is very much like how it is irl. The idea was to try and blend in with the factory look of the router, using the original yellow leds, and fading the lighting towards blue where the factory blue label is at the bottom middle. If i was going to replace the indicator leds, i'd either use green and fade the lighting to blue in the middle, or maybe just do the lot blue.
     
  16. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Wetsander

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    Heh. I just wish I had had a camera when I modded my WRT54. The process was a lot like this one, adding heatsinks, but I made it look different. :wallbash:
     
  17. Editor22

    Editor22 E22 | Hex-Gear

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    Lol this is great, just goes to show that stock sucks compared to a bit-techers mind!
     
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  18. MarkW7

    MarkW7 Total Noob

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    Should stick a nice 120mm fan on the top! :D
     
  19. barry99705

    barry99705 sudo rm -Rf /

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    I did throw an 80mm fan on one of those 8 port linksys gigabit switches. It comes stock with a teeny weenie laptop sized fan, spinning at like a billion rpms. It was ugly, but worked. Pretty sure it's still running, not sure it was at the last place I worked.
     
  20. Sir Digby

    Sir Digby The Supprising Adventures

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    Did I hear phase change cooling? :hehe:
     

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