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Author Topic: GuruPlug Server Plus Heat Problems  (Read 133146 times)
DembK50
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« on: May 24, 2010, 07:42:03 AM »

My GuruPlug Server Plus arrived Friday. BIG PROBLEM! No one was responsible for the thermal design. The part runs so hot that you can't touch the metal parts without getting burned (Just a slight exaggeration). This will lead to a very short life if you run this device continuously. A number of people have already reported reboot issues, etc. The device will not be stable until we solve the thermal problems. There is a 2"x3" internal heat plate attached to the high power devices, but there is no place for the heat to go. I have mounting a 2"x10" piece of 1/8" aluminum to the internal heat plate with screws and thermal compound and modified the case in an attempt to lower the temperatures. So far, I have run the device for over 24 hours with no issues with the huge heat sink attached. The heatsink is a kluge, but at least I can run my device continuously. I'll provide photos if requested.
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jimmyswimmy
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2010, 08:12:17 AM »

Pics, please.  If you don't mind throwing a scale (ruler) in those pics it would be awesome.  I am expecting to receive mine any day now.  Heat shouldn't be a big issue for me (it's going in the water, so we'll just sink it to the case) but if I can start planning on how to get the heat out sooner that will really help.  Thanks in advance!
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DembK50
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2010, 08:35:53 AM »

Well, it appears I need to have my own site to post images. I'll get images of my heatsink up tonite (in 11hrs). As posted, a 2" wide strip of aluminum will fit on the existing heatplate. More details tonight.
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nzcowboy
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 02:45:28 AM »

Hello
I have unfortunately voided my warranty by removing my guruplug plus from its case and fitting a larger heatsink on top of the original.
But on the bright side it's been plugged into my gigabit switch and hasn't died for two days so far. Before the I added the heatsink it would start rebooting after ~5 mins.

Happy times.

Cheers

Ray
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ryazor
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 08:43:13 AM »

So they did not solve the thermal problems of the sheevaplug, which is very annoying..

Unfortunately there are no sensors within the device, so a kind software control might be impossible. I don't think, a manually added heat sink will solve the problem for longer time. So does anybody, with more hardware/electricity experience preferably, have a clue how to save life time of our babies ;-)

Regards,
ryazor
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DembK50
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2010, 01:36:53 PM »

The only way to get the GuruPlug Server Plus to work is to add heatsinks to the components. You may try a high speed fan blowing directly on the existing case, but that may be dicey. There are two ways to cool this device.
1. Remove the boards from the case and add a large aluminum or copper heat plate/heat sink to the existing heat sink. My extra cooling is done by a 2"x10"x1/8" aluminum strip. It's massive, but it allows passive cooling with no fan. Sorry, didn't have time to build a web site for pictures.
2. Or - remove the heat plate and add small heatsinks to each individual device. There are 7 devices that need cooling. Swiftech has some nice individual coolers that can be stuck onto each device. Their partnumber MC14 will work for the CPU, gigE phy and Samsung chip. Add 2 MC21s to the 4 memory chips. Remember to blow lots of air across the heatsinks.

All of this means you must build your own case, or run with the case partially open. It's not pretty, but there's just too much power being dissipated in the existing case. The existing thermal design is so poor that within 30 minutes, a majority  of the ICs will have junction temps well beyond manufacturer's specs. Thus rebooting, etc, etc. Sound familiar on this message board?

Doug
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jiinx
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2010, 02:58:22 PM »

Hi,


This is what I did on my plug, after some reboot issues du to heat.
it's just to see if it works, I'd do something more clean later.
Temperature varies between 37 and 38.6 C in use (cpu @50%, eth0@gigabit, eSata)
atm, the plug still reboot if i use eth0+eth1 !


Cheers,
Olivier
« Last Edit: May 25, 2010, 03:09:18 PM by jiinx » Logged

DembK50
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 07:24:25 PM »

Thanks to Olivia's pointer to ImageShack, I've now posted photos.

Here's the hot board with the heat plate removed.



Here's a blurry photo of the 10" strip attached to the existing heat plate with 4 screws and thermal compound.



Here's the completed unit with a 2"x10"x1/8" passive cooling system.  I've had no reboots in 48 hours of continuous running.

Doug
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ryazor
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2010, 12:38:24 AM »

@ DembK50: Nice photos, I might attach something similar to my plug, maybe with a copper board/ribs. It's a real fail of the manufacturer, that this problem is unmentioned and untreated right now, in my humble opinion.
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DembK50
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2010, 05:59:15 AM »

I agree. The guruPlug Server Plus is a defective product design. There is no way that this device will ever operate for more than a few minutes without major operational issues.

Never having owned a Sheeva plug,  I'm not familiar with that design. However, my guess is that the Sheeva plug had a very marginal thermal design as well. When additional heat generating components were added to create the guruplug server plus, it pushed the thermal profile way over the top.

I own three NSLU2 Slugs running Debian Linux and have had them run for years without a reboot.  There are only a few parts on that board, so the ICs run just warm to the touch.

Hopefully, GlobalScale will redesign the cooling properly. The best way to do that would be to add volume to the package, add individual IC heat sinks with better thermal bonds than the heat tape used currently and add a 40mm fan to get heat out of the box.  Reduce theta j-a by 75%!

Doug
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Ira
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2010, 10:30:09 AM »

The best way to do that would be to add volume to the package, add individual IC heat sinks with better thermal bonds than the heat tape used currently and add a 40mm fan to get heat out of the box.  Reduce theta j-a by 75%!

Personally I think the best way would be to replace the cover with a die cast aluminium cover with a few fins that connects to the hottest components. Making it bigger and adding a fan defeats the purpose of the device.

Ira
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DembK50
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2010, 11:10:26 AM »

Good idea. In fact, if they made the heatplate thicker, and made it integral to a die cast aluminum case that had radiating fins on the outside, it might work with no fan. There's still too much thermal resistance from the IC case to the heat dissipating sink. There's just bic pen springs holding the heatplate and heat tape to the ICs. They need better thermal bonding than they have, and a thermal path to ambient air outside the case.

Has anyone made any power dissipation measurements (input power) when this thing is going full tilt with 2x Gig-E, WIFI, CPU  maxed, eSATA and USB all going? I'll bet it's at least 10 watts, maybe more. Well over what they advertise.

Doug
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westyd1982
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2010, 11:13:28 AM »

I don't have a GuruPlug, but I found my SheevaPlug's power supply was the biggest source of heat.  I power it from an external DC source and it runs much cooler.
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DembK50
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2010, 11:22:29 AM »

I think the guruplug has a pretty efficient power supply. When I disassembled the unit after running it until it overheated, the PS felt cool, while the heatplate felt exceedingly hot. That convinced me that the issue was IC dissipation not inefficiency of the power supply. That said, since the heatplate butts up against the powersupply safety shield, the shield actually blocks heat in. If you remove the PS, then there will be a slightly better path for the heatplate to radiate heat out.

Doug
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varkey
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2010, 11:29:45 AM »

DembK50 - Is your Plug stable after the modification with both ethernet ports populated with wifi and bluetooth ON?

Read in someother thread that the heating on a Gigabit Network is due to some driver problem? Do you think its possible to rectify the prob without any hardware alterations?
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