Fix for RT-N16 wireless drop-outs

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redhawk0
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Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 11436
Location: Wherever the wind blows- North America

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 20:10    Post subject: Fix for RT-N16 wireless drop-outs Reply with quote
OK guys...I've seen many threads down through the months about the RT-N16 units having wifi drop-outs...and I've experienced it as well.

I've stumbled across a fix for it. Recently I had a donation of an RT-N16 unit that had the following symptoms.

1 - wifi dropped out randomly throughout the day
2 - wifi drop outs became more frequent as the weeks went on.
3 - Finally router power and wifi lights would go out after 2 minutes of on-time and the router was no longer functioning.

I pulled the unit apart and found a capacitor 680uF @ 16V electrolytic that had bulged and ruptured. I ordered up some new 680uF @ 16V caps. I replaced it and the unit stays on consistently now.

OK...I decided to replace the same cap on my own RT-N16 unit that had the wifi drop out every once in awhile....when I opened up the unit the capacitor was not a 680uF cap...but a 470uF cap. So I replaced the 470uF with a 680uF....come to my surprise the unit doesn't have wifi drop out any longer.

I suspect that Asus knew about the hardware issue and update the caps to 680uF because the 470uF wasn't removing enough ripple from the input power. The 680uF would "smooth" things out better and that wifi is benefiting from that smooth power.

It was just a fluke that I stumbled on this solution...but I am glad that I did...so I'm passing this on to the rest of you.

redhawk



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Donations have dwindled so testing is limited to C/CB and R/RB modes on just a few newer models. No old router testing performed any longer.

Looking for more test units (newer models only) for the project...got a brick?...PM me to make a hardware donation. (USA) A donation is not a debricking service....it is a way to "Give back" to the dd-wrt project.

I do NOT provide personal assistance through chat or phone....so please don't ask.
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kissnoob
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 06 Dec 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
wow, it's great to know. Thanks, redhawk.

Mine is still kicking fine. I'll save this thread in case my N16 having these symptoms later.
gg-ddwrt
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 27 Jun 2014
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:01    Post subject: Tx power level factors in too Reply with quote
I recently experienced WiFi drop-outs, pretty much unusable. One thing I did notice is I had bumped up Tx power and when I put it back to 17mW the problem went away. Guess I'll need the cap mod to reach high power levels.
redhawk0
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 11436
Location: Wherever the wind blows- North America

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 13:52    Post subject: Reply with quote
My unit has never been run over the 17dBm default. I don't thing higher power is the cause of the issue. The donated unit has only ever run Asus FW...not dd-wrt.

redhawk

_________________
Donations have dwindled so testing is limited to C/CB and R/RB modes on just a few newer models. No old router testing performed any longer.

Looking for more test units (newer models only) for the project...got a brick?...PM me to make a hardware donation. (USA) A donation is not a debricking service....it is a way to "Give back" to the dd-wrt project.

I do NOT provide personal assistance through chat or phone....so please don't ask.
unknownsoldierx
DD-WRT User


Joined: 21 Dec 2007
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 20:16    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've got a decent hand for soldering, but know nothing about components. Would a capacitor from Radio Shack work OK?
_________________
Asus RT-N16
kingkong (06/07/14) build r22000++
unknownsoldierx
DD-WRT User


Joined: 21 Dec 2007
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 23:29    Post subject: Reply with quote
Fixed. Running for over a week so far. No problems.

Found a local TV repair shop that agreed to sell me a couple 680mF 25V capacitors. Got two for $2 ea. Only needed one, but I haven't soldered in quite a while, so I wanted a spare.

It was very frustrating. Whole thing took almost 2 hours. Most of that time was spent removing the old solder. Had a new solder vacuum, which came in handy, but only really worked on the surface.

After removing the solder from the surface, first with the vacuum thing and then with desoldering braid, the old cap was still being firmly held by solder inside both of the pcb holes. I finally bent the cap back and forth until it broke off the leads. I was then able to melt the solder and pull the the leads out.

One of the holes cleaned out pretty easily. I messed with the second hole for close to an hour. Finally grabbed a sewing needle and needle-nosed pliers, and soldered the needle into the hole. Then applied the iron directly to the needle and ran the needle back and forth to get most of the solder out. It took forever, going from needle to braid, to clean it out.

Finally I was able to pop in the new cap and put it back together. Router powered up and all my settings were still there. Yay!

_________________
Asus RT-N16
kingkong (06/07/14) build r22000++
ffejrxx
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:42    Post subject: Reply with quote
fixed
mine was dropping wired and wifi occationally then every 5-10 minutes over 3 weeks

replaced the bulging 16v 470uf cap with 16v 1500uf and all is good now
ddacct3
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:54    Post subject: Reply with quote
ffejrxx wrote:
fixed
mine was dropping wired and wifi occationally then every 5-10 minutes over 3 weeks

replaced the bulging 16v 470uf cap with 16v 1500uf and all is good now


I've heard that solid caps are better, but I've only been able to find 470uf 16v solid caps online.

Would it be better to get a 470uf 16v solid cap or a 680uf 16v electrolytic cap?
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