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Author Topic: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod  (Read 52338 times)

AMPatrick

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DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« on: October 18, 2013, 03:20:45 PM »

Re: DAP-1533 probable thermal failures - hello again!

Well I have completed my "after warranty thermal upgrade" of my DAP-1533 replacing the D-Link installed thermal pads with proper heatsinks.  And please do remember the "AFTER WARRANTY EXPIRES" part - doing this will certainly void any remaining D-Link warranty you may have on the unit.

I've gone through three DAP-1533's, all had failed the same way - the DAP-1533 started to run very hot during heavy streaming (HD video - bridge mode - 5Ghz band), the statistics page on the DAP-1533 WEB interface started to show many errors, and then the LAN ports went "dead" and the DAP-1533 was no longer "visible" on my DIR-857 media router...  The three failed units were replaced on warranty (thank you D-Link!).  After the D-Link warranty expired, I installed my "thermal upgrade" on the last replacement unit that D-Link sent me and things have never worked better...

You can find the picture of the upgrade here: http://imageshack.us/a/img13/1039/r1eq.jpg

and it looks like this:



The smaller aluminum/nickel heatsink on the left side is an H29 size and the two larger ones on the right are H30 size.  The three of them together cost about 45 cents...  I got mine on eBay, but they should also be available from electronic supply stores.  The way I decided what needed to be done was by touching each chip inside of the DAP-1533 while it was streaming HD video and noting the components that I thought were getting too hot.  There were three and that is where the heatsink upgrades went!

The "thermal upgrade" procedure was as follows:

1. Open the unit - there are two screws under two of the rubber feet that need to be removed and then carefully press the "holding clips" on the side of the case and pop off the top.

2. Remove the two D-Link installed thermal pads and underlying thermal tape placed over the two chips on the right side of the unit (see picture).  This was relatively easy for me because the "stickiness" of the thermal tape under the thermal pads was almost nil.  I guess that the heat generated by the underlying chips weakens the glue and since there are no "clamps" holding down the thermal pads, they get looser and looser over time until thermal conductivity is lost and the chips fail.

3. Clean the surface of the chips , the surface of the RF shield, and the bottoms of the heatsinks to insure no residual glue or contaminants remain.  If your heatsinks ship with thermal tape - remove it and clean off any residual glue.  I used industrial isopropyl alcohol 99.99% pure - this is available in most electronic supply stores.

4. Mix up a small batch of JB-Weld epoxy (this has very good thermal characteristics, it is very strong, it can stick ceramic and aluminum together, and it will not degrade with time as does "unclamped" thermal tape).  JB-Weld claims they use "steel" in their epoxy mix - after mixing it is a dark grey color like the chips.  This is probably what gives it the good thermal conductivity characteristic.

5. Place a small "pea" of the epoxy on top of each of this chips and over the chip location under the RF shield.  Be careful not to cover any vent holes in the RF shield that are not already covered by the D-Link heat sink compound underneath the shield.  Be very sparing with the epoxy, since using too much will overflow the epoxy over the edge of the chip when the heat sinks are applied and this would cause problems.

6. Carefully spread the epoxy compound over each chip's surface being careful not to get any down the side of the chip where the compound could compromise the soldered connections or PC board.  The epoxy on the RF shield should not cover any of the open vent holes - only cover the vent holes directly over the RF chip which are already plugged with heat sink compound.  I simply used the bottoms of the heatsinks to spread the epoxy as I was putting the heatsinks down (however I've done this type of thing before).

7. Press the heatsinks onto the chips and onto the RF shield as shown in the picture.  Be sure the ridges are aligned as shown for airflow in case the unit is mounted vertically.  Apply enough pressure to insure that the epoxy is evenly distributed and only forms a very thin layer.  Clean up any epoxy overflow using isopropyl alcohol, toothpicks, and lint-free cloths.

8. Note that the chip nearest the LAN ports is much smaller than the heatsink - so you'll need to be careful with gluing the H30 heatsink onto this chip and not using too much epoxy.  This chip is actually for a smaller H29 size heatsink, but since this is the chip that seems to get the hottest and probably the one that fails, I opted for the larger H30 size heatsink.  Note that this H30 size is the same size as the thermal pad that D-Link used.  This tells me that D-Link knew that this chip runs hot!

9. Let the epoxy cure for at least twelve hours.  Note that you will never be able to "un-glue" the heatsinks from the chips or RF shield, but since these are surface-soldered devices (ie: would not be fixed by an electronics technician) and the DAP-1533 would be off warranty - who cares!

10. Re-assemble the case.


After doing this upgrade, the DAP-1533 runs much cooler.  The heatsinks are "warm" to the touch (whereas touching the original thermal pads was downright hot - too uncomfortable for anything other than a quick touch and ouch! - especially the thermal pad nearest the LAN ports...)

I have been doing heavy HD video streaming over the last week or so and the thermometer that I have on top of my DAP-1533 now reads just a few degrees above room temperature (whereas before the "thermal upgrade" it was over ten degrees above room temperature).  I also note that my DAP-1533 registers zero errors (absolutely none) after this upgrade.  I guess hot chips give advanced warning of failure by generating errors...

I would have opted to buy another media bridge (regardless of manufacturer) if I could have found one that worked as well.  I couldn't find a better performing one so I went to the effort of designing this "mod" to my DAP-1533.  To the folks at D-Link - "Please clean up your act", the DAP-1533 is really an unbeatable unit for as long as it continues to work.

Hope this helps others...
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 11:12:55 PM by AMPatrick »
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FurryNutz

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Re: DAP Heat Issues...A Mod (WORK AROUND MOD)
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2013, 11:16:39 AM »

Wow Patrick, awesome mod man.  :o Thank you for sharing the detail for any one else who needs this for "out of warranty" modification.

I will certainly make this a sticky and pass this to D-Link for review. I presume this Rev model may or may not see anything like this however we can hope. Seems like an easy fix too. I'll keep this in mind for my 1533.

Thank you again.
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AMPatrick

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Re: DAP Heat Issues...The Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2013, 05:03:23 PM »

You're more than welcome.  The WEB has become a great friend to those of us who are looking to cures for maladies that are not of our making.  I have been often helped by such articles and I am glad to share what I have been able to discover and make right.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 06:39:19 PM by AMPatrick »
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FurryNutz

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...An External Fan Upgrade
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 10:30:41 AM »

Another suggestion for those not wanting to do this kind of mod or your unit is still in warranty, get a small desktop fan (for vertical DAP placement) or a laptop cooler (for horizontal DAP placement). Place the desktop fan beside the DAP unit, 6" minimum distance from the DAP in vertical position. Place the laptop cooler underneath the DAP unit. Run each fan in low  speeds for low noise operation. Air flow should help keep the DAP unit cool. Some fans are USB so if you are not using the USB connector in back of the DAP unit, plug in the fans USB plug into the USB connector on the back. I suggest and recommend self powered or 110v powered fans if you can find them.

Suggested fans found at Wal-Mart:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Onn-Laptop-Cooling-Pad/16794998

http://www.walmart.com/ip/5-Colored-Fan-with-USB-and-AC-Adapter/20567625

Other suggested fans maybe listed. Check other sites or supply shops for any general usage fan. Check them out and see what works for you.

Lets keep the DAP-1533 cool.  ::)
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 10:32:14 AM by FurryNutz »
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AMPatrick

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 03:39:10 PM »

I hope the fan will work.  The "real" issue is the failure of the "glue" on the thermal tape that holds the original "heat pad" onto the "hot" ICs.  Once the "glue" fails, thermal conductivity is lost and the ICs overheat thereby going into a catastrophic "thermal runaway" and then they permanently fail...  Adding a fan will at best only delay this failure, and I suspect by not very much.
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FurryNutz

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 05:57:51 PM »

Might chk to see if doing the mod should be a first line of correcting this issue. Most people may not do this. Hope Dlink can do something.
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AMPatrick

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 02:53:19 PM »

I hope D-Link does something about the DAP-1533 as well.

In any case, the DAP-1533 does seem to give a warning (more of a hint of impending doom) before it fails.  If you think your DAP-1533 might be running too hot, "open" the DAP-1533 device page on your WEB browser and login as admin.  Navigate to the STATUS -> STATISICS page and look at the error counters.  (You might want to clear/reset these and then login again after 10 minutes or so.)  If the error counters are showing that errors are occurring and that the error counts are increasing faster than you would expect, then you have "a hint of impending doom" ie: thermal failure.  All three of the DAP-1533s that failed on me were showing high error counts before they bricked themselves.

BTW: Since I did my thermal upgrade, I get zero errors - absolutely none - even after many weeks of sustained operation and heavy streaming...
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FurryNutz

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2013, 03:11:13 PM »

Thanks for sharing your info Patrick. Hope this will help D-Link to recognize there is a problem.  ::)
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FurryNutz

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2013, 01:30:01 PM »

Ok, I took my DAP-1533 cover off. Wow, amazing they used those composite kind of heat sinks for those 2 chips instead of metal heat sinks. I pulled one off and ya, it wasn't fixed to the one chip as well as it should have been. Came off easily. Pulled the other off. Was harder to pull of however it came of with out much force.

I recommend if these 2 sinks can not be removed easily, DON'T remove them. Just put the new metal heat sinks right on top of the composite ones:
http://forums.dlink.com/index.php?topic=56608.msg220927#msg220927

I remembered I had some extra chip set metal heat sinks left over from years back. Found them. I cleaned the surface off with a light wipe of alcohol then pressed the new sinks on. I turned the sinks slightly back and forth while pressing down to make sure the sinks were fixed better. Ya, used the sticky side that came with the sinks so not sure how long the sticky part will last and I'll eventually use epoxy later on. I don't use the 1533 a lot however connected the 1533 to my xbox 360 after closed up the DAP case. I've got it connected on 5Ghz in bridge mode to a DGL-5500 and will do some gaming this week and see how it goes. I should leave the screws out so I can gather some temps direct from the sinks with my laser temp gauge while in operation. Might do that later as well.

I'll post my pics too and experiences soon.

Thanks AMPatrick.

DAP-1533 with cover removed. Two screws under DAP.


The 3 heat sinks in question:


Removal of the composite heat heat was easy, just gently pull off the two mounted ones:


New installed metal heat sinks:






re-covered and installed the 2 screws.

Heat Sink Specs: Similar
High conductivity thermal adhesive tape
Size:14x12x5.5mm
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 10:55:26 AM by FurryNutz »
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FurryNutz

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2013, 11:30:27 AM »

For those with Amplify DIR-8 Series routers, I did the same thing. The one chip seems to run hot and these composite type heat sinks that are attached don't seem like they are enough.

Mods here:
http://forums.dlink.com/index.php?topic=56608.msg221084#msg221084

http://forums.dlink.com/index.php?topic=56608.msg220927#msg220927

The one chip with the grey looking composite heat sink attached is the one that needs a metal heat sink attached. That's the one that runs the hottest. Don't remove the composite heat sink from the chip, just attach the metal one right on top of it.
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Eluder

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2013, 10:34:09 AM »

So my ****tacular DAP-1533 failed for the 4th time (or is it 5th?) for me... even after doing the below mod.
I guess DLink realized they had a horrible product which is why they must have discontinued the product.
I don't recall the heatsinks I used below, but they are BGA type sinks used with aftermarket GPU coolers and used Seksui 5760 thermal tape to secure them, so they can definitely handle the heat this simple access point puts out. Oh well, guess I'm chucking this product in the trash, even though it's under warranty (don't care that I modified it) and I should raise hell with Dlink, it's not worth the trouble.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 10:37:19 AM by Eluder »
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FurryNutz

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2013, 10:39:36 AM »

I wish I could get hold of this 1533. I'm wondering if there is something else going on. After I did the mod, I noticed it's handling well and cooler, however I haven't had a chance to take under great load...

I'm wondering if there could be something else going on with are environment or setup...

After doing a factory reset, is the DAP accessible or is it bricked?

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Eluder

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2013, 10:47:10 AM »

I'd be surprised if it's the environment as it's used in a home theatre setting with a pretty good home theatre surge protector. None of my other electronics in the past year in the same room have failed on me (including an Xbox 360, PS3, both sold now, Cisco PVRs, etc).
It's fed HD content to multiple devices (Xbox One, PS4 and WDTV Live HD).

I've had the unit replaced every time via warranty via the advanced exchange method, instead of a repair.
Note, when I checked the stats in the AP, there were no dropped packets, etc.

The device works, it's just the usual issue of the ethernet ports failing on me, every single time.
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FurryNutz

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2013, 10:48:56 AM »

ok, so the WiFi works however wired devices fail to connect after a period of time when connected Ethernet? Is this in AP or Bridge mode?

What is the DAP connected too in regards to main host router and devices connected to the DAP? Just need to get an idea here...I'm wondering if there could be something on the LAN side that could be cuasing problems. Only thing I can think of that would cause the LAN ports to fail would be a bad cable, pins touching or a really bad configuration of something or a devices LAN port malfuntion...
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 10:53:44 AM by FurryNutz »
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Eluder

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Re: DAP-1533 Heat Issues...A Thermal Upgrade Mod
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2013, 10:54:42 AM »

Correct, it's in Bridge mode and the ethernet port does not light up on my netbook when plugging it in to any ports on the DAP (that's my confirmation that the ethernet ports are toast on the DAP).  Same issue the past 4 times...
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