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Author Topic: GuruPlug Server Plus Heat Problems  (Read 117736 times)
thomasb
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2010, 11:48:53 AM »

Unfortunately, as long as people keep buying these, Globalscales will continue to produce and sell these defective products.  I, at one point considered buying a SheevaPlug, but after reading through many threads about the heat/power supply problems, I changed my mind.  I'm glad I did not pre-order a Guruplug (which I also considered).  This company does NOT stand behind their products because they only provide a 30 day warranty (which is a joke).

If I were you, I would NOT buy anything from Globalscales.  It just encourages them to keep doing this crap, ripping people off their money and providing nothing but garbage.
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DembK50
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2010, 12:29:51 PM »

varekey - I have not put much load on the unit yet. All I have connected is WiFi and 1 Gig-E port. With my mods, so far, it has not rebooted in 72 hours. Doug
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DembK50
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2010, 12:41:27 PM »

Also, I seriously doubt if a driver issue will cause or fix the heat problems. If there is a low power operating mode, it might improve thermal issues when idle, but then what if you want to use the device at full capacity? You still have the heat problem.

Thomasb has the right solution. Don't buy the guruplug or sheeva plug unless you want to make major mods to the thermal design yourself. Also, be prepared to make major OS surgery as well.

Doug
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fragfutter
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2010, 01:09:03 PM »

do i get this right? The thermal shield is in the middle of the plug? So the sandwich is

Code:
daughter PCB
Main PCB
Heatspreader
PSU

And how big is the spreader?

In the sheevplug it is

Code:
Heatspreader  78x59mm (3x2,5")
PCB
PSU

From Heat aspects the guruplug looks like a bad design, but i guess they didn't want to have a metalsheet on both side of the wifi antenna (which i suppose is a on chip design)
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tilman
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2010, 01:27:20 PM »

This company does NOT stand behind their products because they only provide a 30 day warranty (which is a joke).

I assumed the ridiculously short warranty (I'm European :p) was an US thing Smiley

If I were you, I would NOT buy anything from Globalscales.  It just encourages them to keep doing this crap, ripping people off their money and providing nothing but garbage.

I don't think the GuruPlug is garbage, but at this point I really think GST should publish a statement re. the issues with the device. The silence on their part is what annoys me Sad
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DembK50
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« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2010, 01:32:37 PM »

I'm not at home, but my memory is that there is no daughter card for the guruplug. So the sandwich is as follows:

Top Case
Main PCB (LED's on top side, most ICs on bottom side)
Heatspreader - with heat tape connecting it to ICs, with bic pen type springs on the 4 corners pressing it to the main pcb.
Aux Cooling block (in my case only)
PSU plastic shield
PSU
Bottom Case - with AC plug

The spreader is nearly the same size and shape as the Sheeva spreader. However, they added a 1/2" extra in one corner to cover the gig-E phy. See my photo in previous post.

Doug
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fragfutter
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« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2010, 01:46:31 PM »

On this image http://img88.imageshack.us/i/dsc5476.jpg/ there seems to be a daughterboard (at least something else is green below the pictured PCB). And can you measure the spreader when you are home? If i try to deduct the size by comparing it to the ethernet port as a reference it looks smaller.

But to place the spreader in the middle of the case sounds, well, sounds like a bad idea.
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DembK50
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« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2010, 01:51:25 PM »

It will be late tonite due to a business dinner, but I'll post guruplug disassembled board photos with rulers & dimensions. I think you are right about a daughter card. Doug
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thomasb
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« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2010, 05:37:30 PM »

I assumed the ridiculously short warranty (I'm European :p) was an US thing Smiley

Just because you live in the EU and enjoy the 2 year warranty (which btw only works as long as your supplier hasn't gone bankrupt) doesn't make it a better product.  30 days clearly shows that it's a piece of junk. If it weren't the company would be offering a longer warranty, 30 days is not a typical warranty in the US for computer (components).

I don't think the GuruPlug is garbage, but at this point I really think GST should publish a statement re. the issues with the device. The silence on their part is what annoys me Sad

How is this not garbage?  I highly doubt they even tested the thing for more than 5 minutes.  Is this what you would call quality assurance?  If they had 20 or 30 plugs running at 100% cpu for a month without any failure before they start selling them, that I would call a decent test.  But these things can't even handle idling...

Also, why should they publish a statement?  That would only scare customers away and no one would be buying their crap anymore, which means they'd lose revenue.  Their goal is to rip you off, provide very poor quality and make a good profit, and since they only give you 30 days warranty, chances are many customers don't experience these problems in the first 30 days, or they don't even open the box within that short period of time.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 05:41:19 PM by thomasb » Logged

DembK50
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« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2010, 07:31:42 PM »

Here are the detailed photos of my modified guruplug server plus with ruler for reference.
Assembled stack.



Stack from ethernet side


Underside of stack



Heatplate IC side view with heat-tape



Motherboard Hot ICs - 4 RAMchips, CPU, GigE-phy, Samsung



Daughtercard top view


Doug
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fragfutter
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« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2010, 11:44:44 PM »

thanks for the images. So the headspreader is a little smaller and in the middle of the plug. Surrounded by two layers of pcb on one side and a PSU on the other. Guess building my own case will be one of the first things on my list.
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varkey
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« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2010, 12:03:01 AM »

Did anyone get a proper response from Glboalscale regarding the heating issue? I sent a mail to them regarding the constant reboots, they just sent me the RMA form and asked me to fill it and send it back.

What's the point in sending it to them if the replacement also will have the same issue Sad
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sk.akties
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« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2010, 12:52:44 AM »

Thanks for your efforts to provide a solution!

But: The heat sink that is needed as depicted is big, too big to call this a Plug Computer as originally intended.

I suppose there is a urgent need for a decent solution from GS.
provide a cooling solution that fits the original purpose:
24/7 operation in a small case to be used a plugged device in a closed environment.
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DembK50
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« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2010, 04:33:27 AM »

You can make this device into a "plug computer" in the current form factor, but you can't violate the laws of (thermal) physics. The problem is that there is too much power dissipation in the ICs with no good thermal path to ambient. To keep this form factor, the thermal design must be improved significantly. There are several good posts from me and others in this thread suggesting solutions that might fit roughly within this form facter.

An excellent discussion on thermal resistance and ICs can be found in this pdf file. http://www.ixysrf.com/pdf/switch_mode/appnotes/1aprtheta_power_dissipation.pdf

Another excellent reference is from Maxim. This article discusses power MOSFETs,  but the principles are the same for any IC. http://www.maxim-ic.com/app-notes/index.mvp/id/1832

The heat strap I added, is probably an overkill in size, but I wanted to make sure I solved the problem. Even with that massive heatsink, the legs get very warm to the touch - about 100F at extremities. Using a digital cooking thermometer I measured 113F (45C)  touching the thermal tape attached to one of the ICs. The junction temps will be quite a bit higher than that.

Have fun designing your own case to solve this thermal problem.  Smiley

Doug
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stefba
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« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2010, 04:54:58 AM »

Probably it is worth to give it a try to add a small fan. At least you have a decent air flow through the device then. The place where the round guruplug logo is may be a good position to mount the fan.
After I read all the entries in this thread I'm really concerned about letting my guru switched on 24/7 or when I'm not at home.
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