Author Topic: Linksys router, stored for 3 months, off, suddenly smells really bad.  (Read 1406 times)

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Online cdev

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I store my electronics stuff in plastic tubs when I'm not using it. Until a few months ago, for more than a decade, I used an aging Linksys router, which worked fine except it was really showing its age and the software basically outgrew the flash memory on the device. The recent problems with wifi security led me to replace it.

So it went into a box. Unused but still working. Recently I have thought about pressing it into service for sensors, IOT, etc. Not connected to the actual internet.

Opening the box I was confronted with a really horrible smell. It seems as if only a few weeks ago when I last opened the box I think I would have noticed this smell. But I didn't. Now I do.

Visually, it looks fine, no exploded caps or anything that I can see, it just smells really horrible. It smells toxic.

Can anybody see anything that might be causing the smell? The only thing I notice is that just perhaps, the cheap aluminum heat sink I stuck on the SOC may have 'migrated' a bit.






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Offline amyk

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Re: Linksys router, stored for 3 months, off, suddenly smells really bad.
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 01:04:18 am »
What type of smell is it, other than "really bad"? Is it organic (something died), petrolic, ethereal, burnt, etc.?
 

Offline coromonadalix

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Re: Linksys router, stored for 3 months, off, suddenly smells really bad.
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 01:29:26 am »
seems to be an wrt54  something ??  i had 2 of them, one with bad capacitors in the router and the other had the transformer wall gone bad,  check them
 
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Online Nusa

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Re: Linksys router, stored for 3 months, off, suddenly smells really bad.
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2018, 01:38:31 am »
Are you sure the smell is from the board and not the case or antennas or tub? What else was in the tub?

Have you tried applying power? If so, does it function?
 

Online cdev

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Re: Linksys router, stored for 3 months, off, suddenly smells really bad.
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2018, 01:43:53 am »
I am very good at identifying smells and this one I wasnt able to identify except it smells like burnt electronics.

I went through everything else in there and it was the router, which indeed is a WRT54GL.  Will plug it in and power it up and see if anything gets hot. I suppose there is a chance it was failing when it was taken offline.

One thing thats weird about this smell is it shuts my ability to smell it or other things off when I get a good whiff of it. Its a scary smell.

What is an "etherreal" smell. Etherreal is the name Wireshark (TCP-IP analysis tool) used to use. That seems appropriate given the fact its a router.

Its a strong and unpleasant smell

What type of smell is it, other than "really bad"? Is it organic (something died), petrolic, ethereal, burnt, etc.?
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline BurningTantalum

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Re: Linksys router, stored for 3 months, off, suddenly smells really bad.
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2018, 04:56:30 am »
Is it the plastic decaying? I forget the product of this process (Butyric Acid?) but it really stinks.
BT
 
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Offline amyk

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Re: Linksys router, stored for 3 months, off, suddenly smells really bad.
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2018, 01:03:40 pm »
What is an "etherreal" smell. Etherreal is the name Wireshark (TCP-IP analysis tool) used to use. That seems appropriate given the fact its a router.
No pun intended... I meant the smell of something like this. It's hard to describe smells by words alone.

"Burnt electronics" suggests possibly capacitor electrolyte.
 
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Online cdev

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Re: Linksys router, stored for 3 months, off, suddenly smells really bad.
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2018, 01:14:31 pm »
Thats what I am going to do, (try re-applying power) right after breakfast, right next to my exhaust register upstairs...

I have another newer WRT54GL, bought right before the end for $8, which I can compare it to.

I have some LCD thermal imaging material that may be helpful as to if anything is getting warm or hot.
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Online cdev

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Re: Linksys router, stored for 3 months, off, suddenly smells really bad.
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2018, 01:29:00 pm »
Is it the plastic decaying? I forget the product of this process (Butyric Acid?) but it really stinks.
BT

Hmm.. The plastic tub is old and its been stored in humid places, are plastic eating bacteria at work? Or even fungi?

I do know that plastic does decay, indeed, certain plastics (and also latex paints) are often eaten by aspergillus fumigatus (a filamentous fungi that grows also on wood, and the world's 'most successful fungal pathogen') producing abundant respirable toxic alkaloids when those fungi sporulate- These spores contain huge amounts of a dangerous chemical which has many unpleasant health effects.)

I am pretty sure that GABA-like chemicals which are likely related to butyrate which you mention, also may have functions in the body.

Many of the chemical products of putrefaction produced by bacteria have functions and an ancient history of serving as messengers in living things. For example, sewer gas, H2S, is emitted from the Earth during volcanism and is abundant around the volcanic vents deep in the ocean where many unique forms of life still live, its theorized that many kinds of life evolved around these vents and fumaroles, etc, long before our type of life did did here on Earth. H2S seems to be one of the threads that ties it all together, and still seems to have some interesting functions in living things, in regulating metabolic processes. 

Now H2s is a subject of intense study (don't try this at home!) because its been discovered that it can be used to put lab animals into a state closely resembling hibernation for long periods, during which they require very little oxygen and many destructive processes that cause injuries in people's bodies are also prevented - The hope is that we will be able to put people into suspended animation pending their access to medical care.

Certain species of animals hibernate and the possibilities of putting people into hibernation hold out the promise of saving a great many lives in areas without access to medical treatment, allowing people to be transported to places where they could be treated, without dying on the way.  (Also, it would give families more time to line up financing).

This would be a very exciting new development indeed, as hibernation could be used on long space flights to conserve resources during trips spanning very long distances.

Its also another example of where Stanley Kubrick may have gotten another future technology almost exactly right in his classic sci-fi film, "2001 A Space Odyssey"
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 01:59:02 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Online Bud

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Re: Linksys router, stored for 3 months, off, suddenly smells really bad.
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2018, 02:01:21 pm »
I'v seen Sentry small floor safes smelling horribly inside when you open one which remained locked for a long time. They have plastic lining inside.
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 
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Offline amyk

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Re: Linksys router, stored for 3 months, off, suddenly smells really bad.
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2018, 01:25:33 am »
Butyric acid smells like a combination of vomit and BO. Definitely not "burnt electronics."
 


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