Sunday, February 28, 2016

Kangaroo PC - Added heatsink and fan

So, with the added (cut) heat sink to couple with the stock heatsink and sticking out of the box, I now get very low temperatures. From being throttled at 85C when playing videos from, we now are under 60C and there is no noise to speak of. The fan is a 12V fan, but I run it on 5V off the USB.

Now, if there only was a way to overclock or lock the turbo mode for this x5-z8500 Intel chip... Then this Atom would be handling some light gaming in addition to good streaming.

Check out the photos. One photo has the heatsink/fan info. It is from an old pention cooler.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Kangaroo PC - Improved?

I first wanted to replace the stock heat sink with a new better, but as I could not find a good fitting one that was making contact with the CPU, but not shorting anything, I decided to just add a heat sink on top of the stock one. 

Made a hole in the chassis so the fins could stick up and applied some thermal paste.  New look:

I know the hole is ugly but I do not have nice tools to cut with. Now the same video as in previous post gives (after warming up)

Slightly better. Did not see the braswell  chip throttle. I might try to put a small fan driven by usb to see what it does. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Kangaroo PC - inside look

When I was looking for a HTPC, I went for a used laptop with decent specs. But now with the fan noise and the cumbersome way to need to open the lid when turning it on, I decided to look again.

That's when I stumbled upon the Kangaroo PC. A small size, fanless PC with a Windows 10 Home licence for a mere $99. Can this be something? With a Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor, that has hardware acceleration of HEVC/H.265 it sounded good. I ordered one....

No need to do a review as others have done it. However, it is almost perfect. What bugs me is that if I for instance watch Survivor or Amazing Race on CBS, on a browser (Chrome or Edge), it gets hot. Seems as if gets hot enough that the CPU is throttled. Check this video and photo:

Now, that got the engineer in me curious. Can we improve this? How have they solved the heat in this device. So, I started opening it. I will let the photos do the talking. There is a plastic "clam" on the top (near the white hole) that one simple bend (carefully) off, and it is only attached with double sticky tape.

After it is removed, then one can pry open the cover. You need to remove the two screws on the dock connector. They hold down the cover in the other end.

Now one can look.

Then we can unscrew the metal part (4 screws I think it was):

The main board is clamped together with a connector that sits below the battery. So pry that side up, carefully.

I continued... The heatsink is attached with three screws and when un-done, it comes off. It is quite light weight, and I would not really call it a heatsink. It is a heatspreader with some tiny, tiny fins. Barely any weight to it. Under there is another metal case that sits on top of the processor. This is probably due to emissions and needed to pass CE/FCC compliance. But it is probably not optimal for heat...

It comes off by carefully lifting it. Now the Intel Atom X5 Z8500 (Braswell) is exposed.

Now... I have not yet put it together. I am going to look if I can add a larger heatsink to this device.... Stay tuned.