Insane D-Link DGL-4300 Router Heatsink Mod

Written by: Jza
Date: February 14th, 2010
Rating: N/A

After reading about my router model (the D-Link DGL-4300 Wireless 108G Gaming Router) failing for people, I made this nifty little mod that pleases me every time I look at it. The Thermalright HR-05 was my best bet at the time, as it had the 30x30mm foot to let me center it fairly well between capacitors. Here’s what the router looked like before I got my hands on it:

I CAREFULLY pried the tiny heatsink off the brain of the router. Next, I got some very fine grit black sandpaper, put a square of it on the heatsink I took off (because it was the flatest thing I had available), and softly sanded the horribly applied adhesive off the router’s chip. After cleaning the bottom of the HR-05 and the chip well, I used Arctic Alumina Thermal Adhesive. I could’ve used Arctic Silver, but I’m a clutz and I didn’t want to short anything, so the small loss in heat transfer was worth it. Anything beat the stock heatsink that SCORCHED your hand if you touched it. After applying the adhesive, I clamped it down for the night. In one picture, you can see some yellow electrical tape I put on the HR-05 — I’m a worrier and not a genius around electricity, so I wanted to be careful about capacitors practically touching my HR-05.

Then, I waited for my buddy I used to work with to allow me access to the power tools at my old job, which I got layed off from. I wanted to table saw the slot to fit the new heatsink through the top. He’s a GREAT fabricator, the Michael Jordan of welding, and he wanted a crack at opening the top for me, so I let him. He’s 100x more skilled than me. He drilled some holes, did some cutting, then we took turns filing until it looked decent, but more importantly, came on and off with ease.

I plugged it in, and thankfully, it still worked. I configured all of my favorite games and other settings, and have been pleased with it since. I also added a soft rubbery material on top of the base of the HR-05, so when I press down the top of the router to click it into place, it presses down on the HR-05 ever so gently. That little bit of extra downward force on the heatsink gives me a little more peace of mind as far as making sure it stays firmly in position. When the router’s running, the HR-05 does get warm… but this is a GOOD thing. It’s pretty evenly heated among the whole heatsink which I take to mean that the fins are soldered on well and the whole thing’s doing its job.

I was thinking about maybe soldering a low power DC fan to the power leads on the 4300’s board, but I thought the better of it. Accidentally shorting it out or pulling too much current were my concerns. I know when to quit while I’m ahead… sometimes!

Editor Note:

I recently had a reader ( write into me about this article. He said that he was so moved by reading this, that he, himself, felt the need to emulate it — and actually improve upon it.

He sent me a picture… and you know what? It’s actually pretty legit. Neato, no?

Check it out:

An even MORE insane version of this mod...

I thought it was pretty cool, so… there you go. Enjoy.