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#1 2018-05-31 21:22:17

devuser
Member
Registered: 2018-04-30
Posts: 176  

Cooling down ancient laptop

Little bit of backstory: Right now i am stuck with using an ancient (coppermine celeron) laptop as a 3G router. I am not complaining the thing is working. The problem is just that to get any kind of usable reception i have to put it in the absolute top of the roof and it's freaking hot there. Not to mention there is a ton of easily flamable stuff around that's pretty much non removable. Now on top of that the laptop gets pretty hot on it's own by just being idle. I don't think i can justify the risk of keeping it running up there (it's not like i can really monitor it as it's hard to get there in the first place). Imo the problem is basically that the laptop is a piece of shit since i didn't have those problems with my former sorry (pentium 3 based) excuse of a router but sitting in the middle of nowhere it's not easy to get a replacement so my question is:

Does anyone have an idea how to cool a coppermine based celeron? Cpufreq doesn't seem to find a matching kernel module and searching around also suggests that this CPU simply doesn't support any kind of speedstep (i guess that's also why it is getting so stupidly hot). BIOS is of no help either and i don't like the idea of turning up the fans as considering the conditions up there it would suck up dust in no time and just get more dangerous than it already is. So anyone knows any voodoo ritual to keep this stupid thing from heating up?

Last edited by devuser (2018-05-31 21:23:58)

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#2 2018-06-01 09:51:47

Panopticon
Member
Registered: 2018-01-27
Posts: 144  

Re: Cooling down ancient laptop

I dont know of any hacks but you could try disassemble and give it a good clean, get the dust and cobwebs out. Maybe use a custom fan setup type cooler pad for it. I use a small desktop fan for mine in summer plus a cooler pad.

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#3 2018-06-01 12:15:33

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 927  

Re: Cooling down ancient laptop

This may or may not apply to your situation. A friend had an old hot laptop. I opened it to clean it, and I noticed that there was a copper rod heat sink that had a small contact point with the part it was cooling. It looked like it wasn't snug against the part, so I added a drop of silver paste to the contact point. That solved the problem.

A more radical approach might be to pull the guts and drop it in a vat of oil. (This is real. Look it up.)

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#4 2018-06-02 07:55:17

devuser
Member
Registered: 2018-04-30
Posts: 176  

Re: Cooling down ancient laptop

Thanks for the tips. Sadly nothing i can improvise right now. Might clean it up a bit but i have little hope it'll make much of a difference. The oil approach seemed interesting until i read i'd need an extra fan. Besides i have no idea how the Huawei E870 card would like having it's antenna covered in oil.

Having spent most of yesterday trying to find a better spot i think i can say it's either stupidly high and hot or a connection that breaks down every 5 minutes. If there is any connection at all. Interestingly a couple spots give better reception than ones that actually connect. I guess that hints at the transmission power of the Huawei card actually being the limiting factor here.

Maybe i'll try to get an external antenna and see if this improves things but i am not sure if it's worth it to invest in this kind of setup (the USB 2.0 bus supplied by a second PCMCIA card is also a bit flaky which sometimes causes the TP-Link 722N dongle that powers the AP to disappear) and not just get something at least a little better. Building anything that isn't based on a laptop is sadly somewhat hard when you don't even have an external monitor available though.

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