Once upon a time - okay 10. 6. 2006 - I got f*cking furious!
Two years ago I bought two NetGear WGR 614 v1 routers. One I used 24/7 with 4 devices + two eight port NetGear switchers and one I borrowed to friend, who use it less with only 3 computers. Port 4 not used on "his". I never had any reall issues with them, yet...
Yesterday I talked on ICQ with Big Pope about caps and stuff, and my connection went down. I assumed that this is my ISP again, and don't worried too much about it - there is lot's offline work too, so... Anyway, since the connection won't kick even in next morning, I rebooted few times cablemodem (but ping on router and then cablemodem was good) and finally I rebooted router, witch seems to be working good, yet still... And connection kick for a while AND there was again a problem on port 4 of the 4 port switcher output part of the router!
When I stated earlied in the that I did not have any issues with my WGR614 v1 I did not wanted to elaborate on one problem, that I had and never be able to figure it out, so I won't listed it as problem.
That was - about half or 3/4 year after purchase and install the router become losing sometimes (!) connection on port 4 - I would say the least powered port then. I thought - bad contact. Cleaned, bend the contact to make better contact, inspected again, again measured cables, put new connectors at them again and again... and no help at all.
But suddently - he always did it after some fiddling - the port 4 kicked back in and worked for month's w/o signle issue. Hmmm.
So, I remembered one unhappy complainin user with WGR 614 v4 and his bad caps inside of it and in hurry I opened the router to check out what NetGear come up in v1 - and !DAMN! - these are Tocon caps! Yep, similar "grade" as G-Luxon, GSC, Evercon, Fuhjyyu and other "worsest of the worse"....
I got a bit more furious and - checked the Pannyes stock of mine. Well, their 470uF 16V ones are 16mm high. There is no more that 12, maybe 13 mm space. So, I checked out and whoa, Samxons GD 470uF 16V fit well.
It should be noted that there are two 470uF ones and two 330uF ones - these are 25V rated, tough there is no 25V on them - nowhere near, 16V ones is more that enought there... I recapped all with 4x 470uF 16V Samxons GD and - turned the router on/off at least 20 times today w/o a glitch - eg. it never lost again the connection on port 4.
I should be happy - after all, 5min of work or something? And problem is gone for good. But all I feel is growing anger at the NetGear designer, who used such caps - Tocons are well-known for his failing - in fact, that is the only one thing one can count on them...
And how the price could increase, if there are used proper caps, like Rubycons, Nichicons or Samxons - when the Panasonic ones are out of question as Panasonic don't make small-enought 470uF ones...?
Now, 470uF 16V Pannyes at Digi-Key Corporation - USA Home Page cost 0.116$ in 1000 pieces volume and I bet NetGear produced much more that 250 units, so their price will be far lowr for sure.
(when one want 25000 of them, it cost only 0.09289 then for general public, NetGear sure could negotiate even lower price...)
Come on, this is four caps per unit and the damn cursed Tocons gotta cost something!
So, I take it, that for NO REASONS NetGear rob their customers by using known bad brand of caps in their units and I bet countless of users pay by their time like me, trying to figure out WTF is going on with their router - I must consider myself happy, no major problems, but I also did not used much the WiFi part, mostly disabled it, so...
Anyway, since the unit run pretty hot, I decided that it is time for better cooling holes that these very little ones NetGear made:
Hope you like my work, guys :)
__________________ "It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong." - Voltaire ...just keep folding, just keep folding... :) my config
Actually, this recap was quite a easy one.
Only later I keep asking some questions and... my suspicion was not misplaced. From the whole beginning I wonder, why all these caps are so low in capacity (470uF? Come on!) and so high on voltage (16?) ... So, I took some measuring and it looks like that from the 4 elytes, two are for input voltage filtering BEFORE voltage regulators, and two are for voltage filtering AFTER them. And quess what. One of the regulators producing 1.8V (probably for the CPU) and the other 3.3V (for IO logic voltage). So I replace the Samxon GD 470uF 16V there for a Samxon GC 1000uF 6.3V d8 x 13 and I get much better (cleaner) voltage for my router :)
However no positive change on ping was registred, or it is too low to mention (couple of mS on hrping, could be a fluke) ...