Введение

When Apple goes to the extreme, we do too. What exactly does it take to be extreme? Whatever it may be, challenge accepted. Join us to find out just what awaits in the new high-rise AirPort Extreme.

Want even more extreme? Follow us in the tubular Twitter-sphere or find us on our fly Facebook page.

If you're curious about the Apple Time Capsule instead of the Extreme, check out the Time Capsule teardown instead.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your AirPort Extreme A1521, use our service manual.

  1. We snapped up this 2013 rendition of the AirPort Extreme, which was announced at WWDC just one day prior to its release. Spoiler alert: it's TALL. The winner of this year's "tallest wireless router that is white, roughly rectangular, and has an Apple logo on top" award also boasts:
    • We snapped up this 2013 rendition of the AirPort Extreme, which was announced at WWDC just one day prior to its release. Spoiler alert: it's TALL. The winner of this year's "tallest wireless router that is white, roughly rectangular, and has an Apple logo on top" award also boasts:

      • IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac

      • Beamforming antenna array

      • Simultaneous dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

      • Gigabit Ethernet WAN port

      • Three Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports

      • USB 2.0

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  2. First to go are the protective stickers.
    • First to go are the protective stickers.

    • What's behind sticker number one?

      • Ports, lots'o'ports.

    • What's behind sticker number two?

      • The way in....

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    • Alright! Enough lollygagging! Let's get inside this white brick of wonder.

    • Our method of entry involves using a metal spudger to release the retaining clips holding the black base of the device.

    • Base aside, our first glimpse is what appears to be a heat sink… But it's not. <Suspense>

    • Before we cast the base to the darkest depths, it has one final message for us: a new model number.

      • This year's AirPort Extreme sports the model number A1521. Neat.

    Don’t try to make yours look like this picture from one pry. Instead, pry once on one side and it will barely come up. Then go to another side and do the same, working your way around. It will eventually come up more easily.

    452288 - Ответить

    Also be really careful around the status light and reset button. You can easily damage those wires. I highly suggest opening from one of the sides. Once you get three clips un-done from the side you can very easily pop the others off. Again, watch it near the status light and reset button!

    John Dudley - Ответить

    • Just like an earlier advancement in Mac Mini technology, this new device's power supply moves inside, contributing to its extreme stature.

    • We begin to free the internals with a flick of the spudger and a twist of the Torx screwdriver. The non-proprietary T8 Torx screws come out with ease.

    These small connectors are delicate and very easy to break. Difficult to see while inside the case. A proper tool for removing and reattaching is required.

    Joe - Ответить

    What might be helpful is to know that the largest of three connectors is 'pulled' up (leverage it at the right and left edge) and the two smaller ones are flipped away from the vertical surface. I managed to dislodge the two smaller ones with the tip of a small pocket knife. The right edge of the largest one was accessible to a very dull pocket knife tip, the left edge required a custom-shaped thick paper clip with a slightly sharpened edge (not enough space to get there with the pocket knife).

    s seelenluft - Ответить

    The LED light is glued to the white body. I pried it way until the glue broke then did all the work needed to the unit then electrical taped it back in place. You could maybe heat it off or reheat it back on but the adhesive looks old and crusty and wasn't worth the time considering from the outside i can't tell a small square of tape is holding it in place.

    Leighton Gall - Ответить

    Yes, be careful. I pulled up from bottom instead of away from the board and pulled wires out of one of the connectors. My bad. Now I need to find a replacement connector since soldering this is not going to be easy.

    Greg Harris - Ответить

    Ended up buying a replacement fan (inexpensive) since I broke the tiny connector. Not a big deal, but lesson learned.

    Greg Harris -

    @Greg Harris do you have a source for that fan? I think I did the same.

    David - Ответить

    The biggest connector pulls up vertically . The others pull out horizontally. I found a very thin guitar pick to be much better at popping the connectors out. Just get behind the wires and very gently pry forward.

    Pro tip: It may be easier to gently remove the reset button board and keep its wire attached. I had a ton of trouble getting that little connector back in. Just be sure that you don’t lose the reset button itself.

    John Dudley - Ответить

    • We free the top cover, only to find…3.5" of empty space.

    • While the AirPort Extreme doesn't come equipped with storage, we dug up a standard 3.5" SATA hard drive, just to test it out. Perfecto!

    • This could potentially be good news to DIYers who want to turn their AirPort Extreme into a Time Capsule—except we can't find any connectors where we'd plug in the hard drive, only empty spaces on the logic board. But we'll keep our fingers crossed until we've had the chance to crack open a Time Capsule.

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  3. Spread Fixmas Cheer
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    • We hate to see our tools collect dust, so we're happy to find that opening the AirPort Extreme requires busting out the flexible shaft extension from our 54 bit driver kit.

    • Two spring-loaded, captive Torx T10 screws are the last fasteners clinging to the outer case, but not for long.

    • Like a shucked corn cob, the innards of the AirPort Extreme escape their white plastic prison and are borne from captivity.

    I tried to screw back the "Two spring-loaded captive Torx T10 screws" and they're stuck now. Any ideas how to solve this problem I'm stuck with? the reason is that when i put back the internals I forgot to slide the ports into their rail...

    Nahumi Hay - Ответить

    The side with the ports would not come loose. Then I learned that you have to lift slightly. I was told in another iFixit location to pinch both sides together. That’s true for the non-port side, for separating the adhesive. But the port side needs to come straight up to unlock the ports from the case.

    452288 - Ответить

    I’m attempting to lift the port side, but, it barely budges and does not free. The Fan/PS side is completely free. The 2 spring loaded screws are loose, any suggestions? Thanks!

    Shaun -

    Ah, yeah, the flexible shaft extension from ‘your’ 54 bit driver kit would be nice to use indeed if it wasn’t completely useless! That thing was not my best friend, it was too loose, not a single driver would be tightly held inside it so I had to do everything looking up, and way too soft. I say was because it ended where I believe it belongs in the first place, the bin… I'm sorry for being so negative but I had it on my heart and it needed to come out.

    Frank Walter - Ответить

    • Using the latest in turn-table technology, we bring you the full 360º of the Extreme's internals.

    • Looking for your own turn-table technology solutions? Look no further.

    • For those of you who just can't wait to get the latest Apple product made up of vertical circuit boards surrounding a big empty space, the AIrPort Extreme is the best available for now.

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    • Video is great and all, but let's break it down.

      • Port side

      • Starboard Slot side

      • Fan side

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    • Next on our path of deconstruction, we work on the shiny plate that caps the innards of the Extreme, and just happens to be the new-and-improved antenna array.

    • The six antenna cables run under the apparent hard drive slot, up the center of the device, and into a big plate at the top, which functions as the antenna.

    • The updated 802.11ac Wi-Fi is designed to have multi-station WLAN throughput of at least 1 gigabit per second and a single link throughput of at least 500 megabits per second (500 Mbit/s).

    • Compared to 802.11n, 802.11ac has up to four times the RF bandwidth (up to 160 MHz), twice the MIMO spatial streams (up to 8), and four times the modulation (up to 256 QAM).

    "The six antenna cables run under the apparent hard drive slot, up the center of the device, and into a big plate at the top, which functions as the antenna."

    apple said at the wwdc that the hight causes the new antennas but the antennas are very flat.. if i see it right? they lied! oO

    3gfisch - Ответить

    A tall internal chassis is also antenna connected to flat top metal plate.

    tommy -

    I know you're joking, but calling QAM256 "four times the modulation" is deeply misleading.

    Speaking very simply, QAM64 packs 6 bits (ie log in base 2 of 64) into a "single Hz" of bandwidth, QAM256 packs 8 bits into the same "single Hz". So the jump in performance from this particular change is a factor 8/6=1.33 --- nice but not 4x.

    name99 - Ответить

    • A slew of T8 Torx screws secure the heat sinks to the logic board, and the logic board to the possible hard drive slot.

    • With the screws out of the way, the layers slide right apart.

    Is there any material, gap filler, or thermal paste between the heatsinks and the components on the logic board? Could you add a picture of the rear of these two heat sinks?

    Danny Johnson - Ответить

    • We finally get a closer look at the logic board. We find:

      • Broadcom BCM53019 router SOC with gigabit switch

      • Broadcom BCM4360KLMG, the same IC we found in yesterday's MacBook Air Teardown

      • Hynix H5TC4G63AFR 4 Gb (512 MB) synchronous DDR3 SDRAM

      • Micron 25Q256A 32 MB serial flash

      • Skyworks 5003L1 5GHz WLAN power amplifier

      • Skyworks 2623L 2.4GHz WLAN power amplifier

      • TDK TLA-7T201HF (which appears to be a pulse transformer)

    On the back side - Any idea what the battery is for? also, what's under the 2 metal caps at the bottom of the board (with a "1" stamped in the upper left)?

    chrisncarolp - Ответить

    Our best guess is that the battery serves some sort of basic date/time retaining function, similar to the PRAM battery on a computer's logic board. As for the caps, we went back later to remove them and didn't find anything interesting—just some more resistors and whatnot.

    David Hodson -

    Is that a diagnostic LED on the main logic board? Labeled C4603; just below the connectors from the power supply to the right of the two capacitors.

    Roy - Ответить

    • Fans-away! Our trusty Torx screwdriver tackles the two screws holding the fan in place.

    • The DC brushless fan is labeled BSB0712HC-HM01 and is made by Delta Electronics.

    • We quickly blow off the fan in favor of peeking under the metal casing.

    I followed this guide because mine was “overheating”. I figured the fan wasn’t working properly. After removing the fan, I went one step further to open the fan case (very gently pry clips. I broke one). The fan case opens like a clam shell. Then, I pulled the fan straight out. I cleaned the fan spindle and put some grease on it. After reinserting the fan, I spun it multiple times with my finger, and could see it began spinning more freely. After reassembling everything, I now no longer have the overheating error message.

    452288 - Ответить

    Exact same story as above…

    Christopher Googins -

    I had to clean and re-oil my fan. It was grinding loudly.

    Those fan clips are super fragile. I accidentally broke two of them. I took a sewing needle and some super glue on the tip and applied a drop where I broke the clips off. Luckily the fan can be bought for less than $15 if it needs to be repaired again.

    John Dudley - Ответить

    Lost one of the clips too. Rather than glue, I found a short thing strip of duct tape did the trick ( then you don’t have to worry about applying too much glue and sealing it permanently).

    Christopher Googins -

    • We've got the power…supply.

    • From the looks of it, it is a fairly standard 12 V, 5 A power supply with your standard large capacitors and coils.

      • Whatever you do, don't lick your fingers and then touch the large black cylinder. You may be shocked to discover what 400 V can do.

    • Like the fan, this unit is made by Delta Electronics. They have named it ADP-60DFS, so as not to be confused with other, less-powerful power supplies.

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    • Check out this Extreeeeeme layout.

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  4. Final Thoughts
    • No proprietary fastener funny business over here. The Extreme uses Torx screws throughout the structure to keep its act together.
    • Disassembly is pretty straightforward, and modular components are used throughout.
    • No glue (except for a small dab used for the status LED) is found inside.
    • The opening procedure requires a bit of prying that may slightly damage the case if the user isn't careful.
    • You'll have to disassemble a good portion of the device in order to clean the fan.
    • Some of the connectors are super-small and can be prone to breaking.
    Уровень ремонтопригодности
    8
    Repairability 8 out of 10
    (10 is easiest to repair)

Комментариев: 33

Ok so im taking it from the teardown, that on the non time capsule version they havent soldered the sata port and power onto the logic board ? so there is no DIY upgrading to a time capsule ? well at least its repairability index is way higher than most of apples other products, im taking from the photos and layout that the device vents in and out of the same thin bottom grey stand, and as usual with apple no foam filtering so the fan will clog up with dust, or sitting on medium pile carpets as that will smother the vents, is it noisy ? what diameter is the fan ? looks titchy and prone to low flow an noise ? 60mm ?

ancientscream - Ответить

Correct, correct, correct, correct, not sure (we just took it apart), ~2" diameter, not sure what "titchy" means, probably silent, seems about right since 60 mm = 2.36".

Miroslav Djuric -

On the first images we can see 4 connectors used. Later I can only see the 2 cables. Being one of the cables the power supply and the other one the fan. What are the other two cables used for? I guess one of them is for a led in the case. is that right? No clue about the fourth one.

Mauricio Scaff - Ответить

The third is for the tiny status LED, and the fourth is for the reset switch that resides next to the power plug. Both cables disappear early on in the teardown since both components are attached to the white plastic case.

Miroslav Djuric -

a 2TB 15mm 2.5" WD hard drive costs $160 to $180. Apple is only charging $100 more. Kudos!

a 3TB mobile drive doesn't even exist as far as I know. (please correct me if I'm wrong, since I'm looking for one of these.) So I can't wait for you guys to tear down a 3TB AP Time Capsule. Could it be TWO 1.5TB drives in there? Regardless $200 more for this is very reasonable.

Apple used to charge $200 more for the $70 1TB drive, which was a major rip off, since I could just get any external USB 2TB drive for $100 and get the same functionality of time capsule.

Gadget Revue - Ответить

@Gadget Revue. Pretty sure they will use 3.5" drives, since they are cheaper, and will fit.

Steve Richardson -

Keep in mind though, that TimeCapsules have always used 3.5"(desktop) drives, not 2.5"(mobile) drives. As noted in step 5, this new model design has a housing for a standard 3.5" drive as well.

Ray Donaldson -

If I understand ifixit.com correctly, the Time Machine version uses 3.5" drives. Thus you pay a 100$ extra for a 100$ 2TB drive. But at least the extra is not much higher than the price of an actual drive.

Hannes -

A 3.5" drive fits fine in the Extreme, and they're available in gigantor sizes. The real issue is connecting the drive to the Extreme, since there's no available connector for this purpose.

Miroslav Djuric -

Certainly one could just use an external drive. But I'm in the K.I.S.S. camp - no external USB drive means less cable clutter, less equipment to buy and maintain, and less to break. Plus I don't have to power yet another external 15w device (an external USB drive) for 8750 hours/year.

Jason -

I may be wrong but it appears that only the connector is missing from the circuit board for the HD, and the connecting ribbon cable, maybe some inventive individual can come up with a method to retrofit !!!

egrau - Ответить

So! Is it better than previous Airport Extreme!?

Armin - Ответить

So which is faster? Is a USB attached hard drive as fast as a built in hard drive? How would they compare? Is it worth the extra $$$ to have it internal for the Time Machine? I prefer the external because I can swap two drives once in a while for an off site backup, but is seems really slow!

jdsbabcock - Ответить

Generally speaking, I'd place my bets on the internal drive that's hooked up via (most likely) SATA. It should be significantly faster than an external USB 2.0 drive. But, that's just drive throughput, and you're more likely limited by the Wi-Fi connection, rather than the internal/external hard drive speed.

Also, either option is basically a "set it and forget it" kind of thing. You do the initial backup, it takes forever, and then the incremental updates happen here and there. Since everything happens over Wi-Fi (unless you want to hook up via CAT 6 Ethernet for the initial transfer), there's no big difference between having an internal drive vs. an external USB drive -- save for the extra devices absolutely ruining the look of your slick white tower of Wee-Feeness :)

Miroslav Djuric -

You say you prefer an external USB drive so you can rotate it off-site with an alternate.

I'm looking at AirPort Admin Utility v.6.3.1 connected to a 2 TB Time Capsule firmware v. 7.7.2

Actually there's a feature in the AirPort Admin software under the Disks tab to "Archive Disk...". The sheet that drops reads as follows.

Are you sure you want to archive the AirPort Time Capsule disk to a disk connected using USB?

Destination: <pop up>

Make sure the storage device has enough space for the archive before connecting it to the base station's USB Port.

<Cancel> <Archive>

So it looks like you can use the clean form of the internal drive on the new Time Capsule and bring in your external drive for the occasional backup then take it off-site again.

Erik -

Are you sure this has a USB 2.0 and not a 3.0? According to the info about the Broadcom BCM53019 router SOC it has USB 3.0. Did Apple somehow wire this up as a USB 2.0 or is it really 3.0?

Mark Granger - Ответить

We had this discussion last night. Apple's official Tech Specs page says USB 2, and the box says USB 2, so we're sticking with USB 2.0. Unless in Apple's world, "2" somehow translates to "3.0"...

Miroslav Djuric -

In reading the tear-down, does the Extreme still have a fan, since the previous versions do not? Last thing I want to is have to attempt to do maintenance on my router. Also, I hope you guys do some throughput testing on the USB bus, as I'm shocked that Apple would limit/cap the speed!

Clark - Ответить

I guess there is nothing stopping you from shoving your own HardDrive inside, and routing a USB wire from the back to the newly added hard drive? I guess you wouldn't have any power source, but a 2.5" bus-powered drive could work no?

Chris Wood - Ответить

Any idea on the RPM of the FAN ?? i live in India and it gets very hot during summer here. My TC is running very hot right now and the best i get in case of RPM is 1967 something. I think the radio also has temp sensors , during TC backup from rMBP on 5GHz Wireless N at 3 streams 450Mbps (Airport Utility says so) i get around 90 C .. Is that bad ? cause the ambient room temperature should be around 30-33C .... YEA ITS HOT HERE !!

Chinmay - Ответить

You can use the utility to read the diagnostic files. You have "edit" the base station and then the "diagnostics" become available on the utility main menu. It's not too hard to make sense of the logs. They are listed in reverse chronological order.

I know this is old but someone else might have the same question. I don't know if the express is different. I have both on my network and I can only get diagnostics for the base station.

paulkrupa -

Great tear down! Just a question if I may, does this extreme use a processor, & if so any details or processor specification?

Tasso - Ответить

HELLO.

it is there a way to use 12Vol DC instead of 110-220vol AC

I need to use it under battery.

Diego lopez - Ответить

I'm just impressed at the heat sinks used. So many routers simply fail early because they do not use good heat dissipation.

John Scott - Ответить

I bought this Airport Extreme witch a tear in the top/ outer case. Is it possible to order this as a replacement part?

Albert Hutten - Ответить

So mine stopped working completely recently. The status LED wouldn't come on at all when you plugged into power. I purchased a replacement Power Supply fitted it and now when I plug in the LED comes on orange but the fan doesn't run. I bought a replacement fan and fitted it but even now when I plug in the new fan doesn't spin.. Is the fan supposed to always spin up as soon as connected to power? I'm trying to run it with the case off to see but it never starts up. any suggestions?

Dayne Nash - Ответить

Where can i buy this power supply ADP-60DFS for replacement? just find PA-1600-9A in e-bay

antonio medeiros - Ответить

Splendid! Thanks for this description! The old fan really had some slackness and caused some annoying noise. Now for 30EUR I have a brand new fan instead of buying a replacement for 280EUR... hahahahaha! :-)

cuthbert awesome - Ответить

Very helpful indeed

i repaired mine by cleaning and oiling fan

superb

Harry - Ответить

Fan played up, once out of the airport it rotated against a lot of friction. Probably thickened oil. Fan can be disassembled completely.

Lubed it with some small drops of Brunox lub & cor and presto! Excellent!

oleg - Ответить

[|I just have soldered an usb 2,5” 2Tb HDD to the back of the usb on the logicboard, works like a charm only 4 cables.]

Alexander Heckel - Ответить

My Time Capsule was overheating. Now I took it apart and cleaned the fan. Let’s see how long it lasts until the yellow blinking light comes back. Thanks for the Teardown!!

Lukas Pistrol - Ответить

Hey, thanks for the detailled step by step Airport Extreme tear down, mine has just presented same symptoms since last week. I will open it to clean and oil fan, will let you know if I can fix it, it really is a very powerful router and would not like to change it or buy a new one. Regards,

Rafael Mora

Rafael Mora - Ответить

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