Saturday, June 17, 2006

Excessive Belkin Router Cooling

A few months ago I purchase a nice shiny Belkin F5D72304 Router so I could play my MP3's (loudly/wirelessly) in the backyard to compete with the square waved distortion emenating from next door. Anyway...

The router had a nasty habit of not routing (This is a bad thing) after about an hour or so. The pretty flashing green LED's were now down to one occationally blinking orange LED.
'Oh' I thought...then unplugged the DC and reset the little blighter. This sorted it out for another hour, then the same thing happened again, and again, and etc etc etc.

So, I trawled the interweb for a possible solution...configuration...firmware upgrades/downgrades...
After exploring various suggested solutions (at length) about NAT's, WEPS, and DoS, I decided that life was too short and went to the pub.

The little silver box sat in the corner where I threw it with some force several days earlier. It seemed to calling me, pulling me down the long dark path of Information Technolgy.
So just before I put my lump hammer through this monster, which had previouly driven to the to the edge of insanity, I decided to give it one more chance. Off to the interweb again...

There it was 'The Answer' I hoped...
Serveral fellow Belkin customers had returned the router because of over-heating issues.
I decided, instead of returning the box, I would use this an a possible learning experience.
My plan was to slightly modify the case with futher ventilation. I needed to be subtle...

So, out with the Black and Decker Jigsaw, and my recently purchased router (no... 'rowter' for shaping and cutting large pieces of wood).

I scavenged an old CPU fan (60mm) from an old Apricot PII, and a fan cover

First I marked out the hole to be cut. Then got work on the Router with my Router. You will notice how much loving care and attention is paid to create a perfect circle...not.

Next the router board is remove from the case, so I could solder the power cable to the board.
The fan is actually 12v and the PSU is only 4.5 volts, but it drives the fan quite well. There is also plenty of current from the PSU.

Next, I had to decide how I would to attach the fan and fan cover to the case...nicely drilled holes, and use brass screws to give the job a professional finish...
No, Impact Adhesive. It quick and dirty, but the fan will never come off.

Same goes for the fan cover. It maybe a bit less subtle than a pretty finger guard, but it does give an industrial look (trying to justify my bodge).
The word 'finese' cannot be associated with this project.

There you go. It works a treat. The router has been an happy bunny for serveral days now without a lockup. I might get round to painting it one weekend.

So what have learnt here today? Well, Belkin can sabotage a good product with poor case design, and Impact Adhesive glues screwdrivers to the workbench really well.

Next time... How to cool your memory stick using a 1500HP diesel engine and 100,000 litre header tank.