Effective Cooling For WRT Routers

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Yemble
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Joined: 17 Feb 2010
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Location: Yorkshire (GOC)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:37    Post subject: Effective Cooling For WRT Routers Reply with quote
WRT1900AC v1 excepted since it has its own fan.

IMHO, Linksys got the design right at the first attempt by including a fan, even though their own firmware never used it properly. Dropping the fan in all subsequent models was a mistake, resulting in unneccesarily high operating temperatures ever since.

There are two schools of thought on this POV...

The first is that Belkin know what they are doing and that as long as the CPU temperature remains in spec., it's OK to run indefinitely in the 70C-90C range.

The second, to which I suscribe, is that prolonged heat exposure is not a good thing for the longevity of any electronic component. So any effort, within reason, should be taken to keep temperatures as low as possible. After all, that is why the routers are stacked with heak sinks in the first place!

This heat issue has only recently become a concern to me following an upgrade from a WRT1900AC v1 to a WRT32X. The 73C idle temp of the latter compared to 59C for the former, which seemed excessive to me.

So I bought this £10 5V 3-speed USB 120mm fan from Amazon...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/ELUTENG-3-Degree-Portable-Powered-Compatible/dp/B06XQWMFDQ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1547371072&sr=8-4&keywords=usb+fan+120mm

I also bought some cheap pull through soft rubber feet from eBay.

The fan just sits on top of the router and is powered from either of the USB ports. I have it set up to suck air out of the router. The rubber feet prevent any vibration noise and the fan is virtually inaudible at its low speed setting.

After a lot of experimentation, I have concluded that the speed of the fan is irrellevant to its cooling performance, it just affects the time taken to reach the lowest temp. Also, blocking the exposed upper vents and sealing the base of the fan to the router, makes no difference to the cooling performance.

So all you need to do, is sit the fan on top of the router and run it at its low speed setting.

As for performance (room temp 19.5C)...

WRT32X @1866MHz idle no fan: 73.2C / 44.8C / 46.6C
WRT32X @1866MHz idle with fan: 54.1C / 28.5C / 29.9C


For ref.
WRT1900AC v1 @600MHz idle stock fan: 59.5C / 49.6C / 50.8C
Archer C9 v1 @1000MHz idle no fan: 73.6C / 53.3C / 53.8C

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WENED
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 15:33    Post subject: WRT Cooling Reply with quote
Agree totally with required cooling on newer WRT's

I use

AC Infinity MULTIFAN S3, Quiet 120mm USB Fan for Receiver DVR Playstation Xbo…

on my 3200's same as noted; CPU<60C WL1/2<30C
both on low speed and no shrouding.

Past experience in main frame service had me worried and all the previous posts regarding this issue guided me in finding a solution.

I don't worry about my 1200 as it is only a backup and not used very often. My 1900's are both V1 so they have built in cooling which with newer builds operates correctly. Old builds need to adjust temp down about 15-20 degrees to make it work properly.

Just as with all my electronics I keep a can of "Dust Off" handy and periodically blow out the heat sinks. All the cooling fans in the world won't compensate for dust plugged heat sinks.

It seems ironic that Belkin says 70-90C is OK where everything else (CPU's, GPU's) all alarm at 60C+. To the point that many new setups need liquid cooling to maintain temperatures below 60C. It almost appears that some manufactures are intentionally building high temp devices (so called) to ensure failure so they can sell replacements (not an accusation just an observation).

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scar1943
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Joined: 10 Nov 2018
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Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 15:50    Post subject: Re: Effective Cooling For WRT Routers Reply with quote
Yemble wrote:
WRT1900AC v1

So all you need to do, is sit the fan on top of the router and run it at its low speed setting.

As for performance (room temp 19.5C)...

WRT32X @1866MHz idle no fan: 73.2C / 44.8C / 46.6C
WRT32X @1866MHz idle with fan: 54.1C / 28.5C / 29.9C


For ref.
WRT1900AC v1 @600MHz idle stock fan: 59.5C / 49.6C / 50.8C
Archer C9 v1 @1000MHz idle no fan: 73.6C / 53.3C / 53.8C


Yemble,

Its funny, here is my WRT3200ACM. The only exception to my install is the fan is a 12 volt DC, leaching directly off the router 12 volt power supply.
Yemble
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Joined: 17 Feb 2010
Posts: 607
Location: Yorkshire (GOC)

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 17:45    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ha, you are right, it is funny...

You could do with a fan guard, but you've chopped the corners off Laughing

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ATHF
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 15:58    Post subject: Reply with quote
Remember the WRT1900 was designed by Cisco before Belkin took over. I want a fan on everything!

In my back room, where there is no cooling, I have to put a 120mm fan under my Cisco switch (powered by the computer next to it) or it crashes LOL....

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phinn
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 19:58    Post subject: Reply with quote
Has anyone had any actual issues with heating? I've had a WRT32X for almost 6 months (bought refurb off amazon for ~$110) and zero heating issues on both the Linksys oem firmware (kernel 4.4) and OpenWrt (kernel 4.14).

The oem firmware even has CPU idle disabled you can see it right in the dmessage log: [ 0.092202] mvebu-pmsu: CPU idle is currently broken on Armada 38x: disabling

It would be nice if someone had the skill to fix this CPU idle issue, but even still I've had no thermal issues running WAN, WLAN, LAN, and USB 3.0 drive. See no reason to mess it up with a fan.
sonoranscout
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Joined: 01 Jun 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 20:31    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences with cooling fans. I have a Linksys WRT32X and I opted to buy a AC Infinity MULTIFAN S3, Quiet 120mm USB Fan. Now my CPU temps are right on par with Yemble's. Very Happy
ValCher
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Joined: 26 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 22:02    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have this solution of cooling wrt3200acm - https://github.com/ValCher1961/McDebian_WRT3200ACM/tree/master/hardware-mods
Yemble
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Location: Yorkshire (GOC)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 15:02    Post subject: Reply with quote
d0ug wrote:
Unless you have the thing in a hot attic, normal room temp convection cooling should be adequate. Putting fans on them is just overkill.


That is just a matter of opinion. There are plenty here who disagree with that POV. Wink

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