Extend a Cheap Modem's Life Have you noticed that newer modems' lifespans seem to be getting shorter and shorter? This is almost universally due to the virtual elimination of the heat sink. This article will help you locate and augment the heat sink on a modem. This will not save a modem that has already fried, and is best accomplished on a new modem. This may also be performed on a wireless router or any other peripherals that may run hot. Care should be taken to insure that any augmentation does not interfere with circuit pathways. Disconnect and unplug peripherals before performing augmentation. Steps 1. 1 Remove the modem cover. o Many modems snap together now, unsnap with small flathead screwdriver. 2. 2 Locate the heat sink. As noted, this may be more difficult now due to their elimination, but some small chunk of aluminum should be visible. While there is usually only one named "heat sink," lightening in the overall model may have produced other hot spots, and consideration should be made here. 3. 3 Augment the heat sink, along with any hot spots. Do this by "soldering" a strip of tin foil to them to act as a radiator; although tin solder won't stick to aluminum, it can be "dripped" into place to hold an augment. Superglue in a thin sheet applied to a pre- formed piece of foil, or aluminum foil is also acceptable. "Heat sink paste," available at electronics supply stores, is also a good way to augment a sink. Any sinks that are exposed enough or hot spots, can also benefit from tack-soldering on a nickel (they are now so light), and then adding foil or more nickels until the operating temperature is reduced. o Just setting a nickel on top of a deficient heat sink can help quite a bit, but this is dangerous, as any jarring of the device will cause the nickel to short out the device. 4. 4 Install the modem. It is best to install your now pretty funny looking modem on a hidden vertical surface. Ventilation is not as critical now, with the addition to the heat sink, as long as the space is not too confined. Many modems only have one hot spot, and their heat sinks can be augmented so that the cover will go back on, for perhaps double to triple modem life. However, many newer modems have gotten so light in every part that they are all running hot. Proper augmenting here, just adding back in the weight that has been removed from any part liable to run hot, can extend modem life from 3-6 months to 2 years and counting.