Google OnHub Router Teardown Reveals Low Repairability

Think you can fix your Google OnHub router (pictured)? Well, you might want to think again. A teardown of the new router showed that it was pretty hard for experts -- let alone newbies -- to successfully take it apart, fix it and put it back together.

The teardown was performed by the Web site iFixit.com, which tests tech products and rates them according to their "fixability" scale. The Web site usually concentrates on handsets and mobile devices, but decided to take a crack at the OnHub, which was released last month. The OnHub router scored below average when it came to repairability, according to iFixit.

No Manual

iFixit found that it was challenging to work with the $200 OnHub partly because it doesnEUt come with a repair manual and partly because unlike traditional routers whose housing is held together with screws, itEUs held together with clips, inside and out. It turns out that the deviceEUs cap is the best route to its insides.

IFixitEUs testers, Samantha Lionheart and Andrew Goldberg, found that the router had a rubbery foot with some screws underneath. The screws were hard to remove, as was the top of the device. Once the top was off, the antenna was revealed, and that was also hard to pry off.

Underneath that was an LED board that included an ambient light sensor and a National Semiconductor LP5523 programmable 9-output LED driver. After getting rid of some screws, Lionheart and Goldberg were able to separate both halves of the casing.

Inside was a disk antenna that's responsible for finding network congestion in the air. Also there was a second, diamond-shaped antenna that focuses signals in specific directions. Beneath that was a series of wires and a heat sink that brings in warmth via the circuit board.

After fighting through multiple connectors (six...

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