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Posts Tagged Broadcom

Cooling the Linksys E3000 – Part 2 – Inside the box

After much discussion and feedback regarding my original post “Cooling the Linksys E3000“, and my own curiosity as to why this router got so hot, I decided to press on and look further into it.

I’ve heard rumors that speculate that one of the reasons this router gets so hot is because of an underpowered AC/DC adapter. I generally don’t agree with that and here’s why: The device is hot but the adapter isn’t. In my experience AC/DC adapters which are under-powered will run the adapter hot — as it’s overloaded — and the device won’t function under load, as there’s not enough power to all of the components. In this case, the AC/DC adapter isn’t hardly warm (I just checked mine) and appears to meet the device requirements (12VDC 2A). So I don’t believe the heat issues are related to the adapter. So if the problem isn’t related to the AC/DC adapter, it must be due to lack of adequate cooling. I removed my cooling fan and opened the case. The screws are T10 torx security screws, labeled CR-VT10 in my kit, for the interested. The first thing I noticed after opening the router was that there was plenty of RF shielding and actually a heatsink mounted on one chipset. I decided against removing it as I didn’t have anything to replace it with if the adhesive didn’t re-stick. I then set up a moderate test to keep the router busy while I probed the uncovered chips with an infrared thermometer.
Here is my setup:

Wired:

  • Port 1: Wii streaming Netflix
  • Port 2: Gigabit NAS

Wireless:

  • 5Ghz Wireless-N device (300Mb/s) copying a large amount of data from the NAS

As you can see I’m far from pushing the router to it’s limits but I am certainly keeping it moderately busy. I ran this level of network activity for about 5 minutes then started taking temps. I found two chips that had operational temperatures above 45C:

The first was the Broadcom BCM4322KFBG controller at 62.8C

bcm4322kfbg

This is a product of the Broadcom BCM4322 family of 802.11n controllers. Here’s the datasheet.

The second was the Winbond W9751G6JB-3 DRAM chip at 47.6C. This is a 512Mb DDR2 SDRAM chip.

w9751g6jb-3

It seems to me now that the Broadcom chips are almost solely responsible for much of the overheating issues in this router family, with the DRAM chip potentially taking some of the blame as well. I’m planning on ordering a set of Zalman VGA heatsinks and put one of them on each of these chips. It should help a lot, especially with the fan on the bottom to keep the air moving.

As the nature of heatsinks is to transfer the heat from the chipset to the air, I’m sure that I’ll notice a slight increase in the temperature of the router’s case itself, but the resulting heat transfer should be improved with the aid of the fan, and I’m sure I’ll be able to expect my router to live a much longer life.

If anyone has any thoughts to share on this please do so in the comments below. Thank you!

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How to install BCM4318 Airforce One 54g in Ubuntu Natty

Getting the Broadcom BCM4318 [Airforce One 54g] working under Ubuntu Natty only relies on getting the proper wireless firmware installed. Kudos to NMI who did the in-depth testing on this one.

In Synaptic package manager, install the firmware-b43-installer package. Or, at a terminal, enter the following:

sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

This should install the necessary firmware and enable your wireless device within moments.

It sounds like this may be related to the BCM4328 chipset issue.

Please share any feedback you have in the comments below. Thank you.

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Broadcom BCM4328 wireless problem in Ubuntu

This thread on Ubuntu forums describes fixes for issues surrounding the Broadcom BCM4328 card:

1) Uninstall and reinstall the STA driver (in System > Administration > Hardware Drivers)

2) Install the b43-fwcutter package via Synaptic or apt-get (using a wired connection)

3) Run the following two commands in a terminal:

sudo rmmod ssb
sudo modprobe wl

You might also try the steps listed in my other post regarding Ubuntu Karmic and Broadcom Wireless BCM4312 rev 01, and BCM4318 [Airforce One 54g] in Ubuntu Natty.

Comments / feedback regarding this are welcome.

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Ubuntu Karmic and Broadcom Wireless BCM4312 rev 01

If you’re having an issue where wireless connections are not available to you through network manager, or no networks show up, this method may resolve it for you. Note that this may work with other wireless cards as well.

First, identify your wireless card. At a terminal, type:

lspci | grep Broadcom

Look for output similar to the following:

03:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g (rev 01)

If your card matches, or you’re attempting this against another card, continue by making sure your system is completely up-to-date. Use Synaptic or Update Manager. (Both in System > Administration)

Next install the package linux-backports-modules-karmic. You will need a working wired connection for this.
At a terminal:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-karmic

Try rebooting. If that doesn’t help at this point, continue by blacklisting a few modules:

sudo echo "blacklist ssb" | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-ssb.conf
sudo echo "blacklist wl" | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-wl.conf

Reboot and test.

Note: If you want to roll-back the blacklisting at a future point, here’s the steps:

sudo echo "" > /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-ssb.conf
sudo echo "" > /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-wl.conf

(or simply delete the files)

I’m reposting from this site, where I originally found this fix. The site is very slow to load for me most days when I really need to refer back to it, as I’m sure others would love to as well, so I’m reposting here with some clarification and clean-up.

You might also want to read another post regarding Broadcom BCM4328 wireless problem in Ubuntu.

Did this work for you? Please leave your feedback in the comments.

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Ubuntu Karmic post-install Guide

Ubuntu Post-Installation Guide v9.10

Note: Unless otherwise specified, packages are installed/uninstalled using
System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager.
Repositories are updated in
(System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager > Settings > Repositories)
or
(System > Administration > Software Sources)

> Third Party Software (for Jaunty) or
> Other Software (karmic).

Java, Flash Player

By default, openjdk-6-jre is the Java VM used on Ubuntu. This is because OpenJRE is actively developed, while Sun’s Java VM is not. Also, by default, Flash is not installed. To install Sun’s Java VM (which can be successfully installed alongside OpenJRE) as well as Flash Player, install: ubuntu-restricted-extras

Medibuntu (DVD, MP3 and WMA support, etc)

Additional codec support (MP3, WMA, etc) is provided by the non-free-codec in the Medibuntu repository. (See for information) Running the following lines in a terminal will install the correct Medibuntu repository as well as the required keyring to authenticate packages:

sudo wget  -cs).list
--output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list &&
sudo apt-get -q update &&
sudo apt-get --yes -q --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring &&
sudo apt-get -q update

(Reference https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Medibuntu)

Following that, install the following packages:
libdvdcss2 (Allows to read encrypted DVDs)
non-free-codecs (Additional codecs)

Compiz

On supported video chipsets and with the correct video drivers, Compiz can enable a variety of visual effects. If Compiz is supported on your system, it can be enabled via System > Preferences > Appearances > Visual Effects and settings the level to Normal or higher. If compiz is enabled, it is recommended to install compizconfig-settings-manager

Other Useful Programs

The following packages are useful, and installation is encouraged:

APPLICATIONS MENU
–sound and video:
amarok
(music management application which also supports a wide range of MP3 players)

–internet:
While empathy is the new default IM client, pidgin is recommended for facebook users. Empathy, at the present time, does not have the same level of facebook
support that pidgin has). install:
pidgin and pidgin-facebookchat

–system tools:
gnome-format (a tool to easily format removable memory cards)

–other
fglrx-amdcccle – Catalyst Control Center for ATI graphics cards
nvidia-settings – Tool for configuring the NVIDIA graphics driver
nautilus-wallpaper – Adds ‘Set as wallpaper’ to right-click menu
nautilus-image-converter – Adds ‘Rotate’ and ‘Scale’ image commands
to right-click menu

VirtualBox

A free Virtual Machine system.

virtualbox-ose is available directly from Synaptic, but does not support USB device pass-through (allows the VM to communicate with USB devices). Sun’s VirtualBox 3.0 does support USB device pass-through easily.

See http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads for instructions on how to add the VirtualBox repository to your system. After adding that repository, you can install the virtualbox-3.0 package.

Be sure to give yourself access to VirtualBox using System > Administration > Users and Groups
and give yourself User Privileges to ‘Use VirtualBox’

Intel microcode update

Systems with Intel CPUs should install the intel-microcode package. This provides an updated microcode to the processor at boot-time which can address processor errors and lock-ups.

Broadcom wireless issues

Systems with broadcom wireless cards which are detected but do not show any wireless networks should install the b43-fwcutter package. This provides an updated firmware for the card which fixes numerous issues. This would have to be installed using a wired network.

Dropbox on Ubuntu

Add the repository line for your Ubuntu distribution and install the nautilus-dropbox package (Reference: http://www.getdropbox.com/downloading)

Other Software

It is strongly recommended to use software that is distributed in the repositories. If you need to install a program from another source, the .DEB format is the best choice. This installs the program and adds a listing in Synaptic for easily unisntalling the program when you want to.

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