How to disassemble a Linksys EA6200 router

The Linksys EA6200 is hard to open or disassemble. But there’s a trick. This trick looks like it will work with other 6000-series routers as well, such as the EA6300, EA6350, and EA6400. Here’s how to disassemble a Linksys EA6200 router.

First, on the underside, there are four rubber feet. They look like part of the case but they aren’t. They pop off pretty easily with hand pressure. Under the feet, you’ll find four Phillips-head screws. Remove the screws.

But that’s not all. The lid has some clips that hold it in place. Find a corner that’s loose enough that you can slip a credit card into it. Then slide the card around the edge. You’ll hear the clips pop as you move it along. The lid will pop off after you release all of the clips.

At that point, you can access the board. Two popular mods are replacing the antennas with larger external ones, or overhauling the cooling.

The cooling in my EA6200 was really pathetic. It had two pieces of foam tape holding it to the motherboard, with a poorly placed conductive pad sitting between the CPU and the heat sink in place of heat sink grease. No wonder it always overheated. Putting a fan inside would help. I replaced the conductive pad with a copper penny.

U.S. pennies were almost pure copper prior to 1982. Pre-1982 pennies aren’t as easy to find as they once were, but IĀ found one on my dresser. I cleaned it with some metal polish to remove the dirt and oxides, then cleaned it with some alcohol to remove what was left of the polish.

Then I put some proper heat sink compound between the CPU and penny, then some more between the penny and the heatsink. A proper 1.5mm copper shim would work better because the penny’s surface isn’t nearly flat enough. But even though it’s far from ideal, the trick with the penny lowered the CPU temperature a good 10 degrees and actually allowed the CPU to cool down during idle times, rather than just running up to 80 degrees and staying there until a big CPU spike pushed it to the point of crashing.

Drilling a few ventilation holes in the top cover above the heat sink probably would help quite a bit. A fan would help too, but I’d prefer not to add a noisemaker to it.

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