View Full Version : Ouya Stabiliy: Heat-Sink Mod, Double Sized!

Farm Peeps
02-08-2014, 07:02 PM
The Ouya hardware makes a great mini-PC attach to TV's so you can monitor surveillance conveniently. However for 24x7 365 operations, the Ouya needs better and more consistant cooling. I was able to dramatically improved durability and reliability for extended operations by doubling the mass of the heat sink, and improving ventilation by upgrading the LRF* support. More pics on FB (https://www.facebook.com/farm.peeps/media_set?set=a.573882432695093.1073741828.1000022 00241247&type=3).

*LRF Support, a highly advanced technology designed to improve arflow under a computer system with the additional clearance afforded by Little Rubber Feet (LRF Support). Pull out the existing 4 curved bumper feet and stick on (4) standard 10mm x 50mm "LRF" buttons. https://scontent-b-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/t1/1653626_573884546028215_119780528_n.jpg





Michael Thompson
02-08-2014, 10:06 PM
Unless I'm misunderstanding what I'm seeing in your pics, you've replaced the stock heat sink with a slightly thicker one that doesn't completely cover the SOC (System On Chip).
You then used a copper RAM heat sink to bridge between a bit of the edge of the SOC and partially cover what looks like a RAM chip.

Based on my experience with this stuff you've actually reduced the cooling to your system because there is a lot of chip "real estate" that doesn't have anything on it to carry away the heat.
Yes, you have a thicker heat sink, but it ends up being less effective because it isn't over the entire SOC as intended.
Using a copper RAM heat sink on the other side looks pretty cool and I'll be looking into using one or more of those to help augment the cooling in my own Ouya (I'm grabbing an Allen key as we speak) but I would recommend switching back to the stock heat sink if it's at all possible if you intend to run your system 24/7.

Yeah I added copper heat sinks to those ICs that didn't have them as well. Great idea!

The LRF Support Mod is also a straightforward solution to opening up the bottom vents for more air and looks great too!

Farm Peeps
02-08-2014, 10:45 PM
The processor is fully covered, however the heatsink was milled and lapped flat only where the processor mates. I figure it was too complex trying to mate multiple surfaces. I used artic thermal epoxy and then tacked 4 corners (contract to surfaces) with hotmelt for extra adhesion. Bingo on the chipset, 50% heatsink with coverage (copper) but its better than 0% before. It does work. First time I assembled it I had hotmelt glue on side surface of H/S against the rear of the ether-net jack however a few hours into the night I started hearing the fan kick in.... and streaming video consequently started to stutter. I am monitoring 2nd stream from a 8-cam security DVR on my TV at night. By reassembling and NOT gluing against the mating surfaces adhesion adhered and the FAN DOES NOT TURN ALL NIGHT. I have been shutting it down in the am. The stock unit failed miserably and only would monitor a stream for 2-3 hrs before heating up and eventually hanging/slowing. Increasing airflow was not enough. So I figure the larger mass is accommodating the heat for a longer time before the thermostat kicks in the fan.

Michael Thompson
02-08-2014, 11:00 PM
Makes me wonder if I could use a big copper heat sink I have in there...nope not big enough.

Farm Peeps
02-08-2014, 11:12 PM
Added a image of the "draft" version of the heat sink. In this shot you can see its actually an old Athlon CPU heatsink sawed in half and milled to dimensions. This "botched" half has the CPU mating surface milled out, however its not optimally centered. The fin height was not milled down yet.

RE: Copper yes that would be great. Another approach I considered was to use existing h/s and solder on a heat pipe copper coil using solid #12 ground wire. I figure a 6" length could be wrapped around a pencil to for 4 coils of a spring from the center leaving a 1.5" on each end. Bend facing same direction so you have a bracket ] shape and solder ends in the grooves of the h/s surface under the fan. The coil could bend to fit in the space over the fan. I would have go that route if I did not find a harder way ;) Hint, remove heatsink BEFORE attempting to solder, and mount in insulated vice and use plenty of flux. You may have to torch it. The problem is that the heat-sink does its job before the heat bites the solder on both surfaces so you may have to saturate it with some joules first.

Michael Thompson
02-09-2014, 11:33 AM
Oh I see I did misunderstand what i was seeing there. Totally my mistake.
That is awesome.

Beautiful work!

Is it just me, or is my Ouya running slightly more stable with the additional copper heat sinks on those other ICS?

I have two styles of those stick-on copper heat sinks, rectangular and the square. I put a square one on the component side IC next to the big SOC heat sink biased away from the WiFi antenna but covering the IC and two rectangular ones covering the solder side IC.
It could be me, but it seems like it doesn't glitch out like I've seen it do at other times before, which is awesome.

You know with the positioning of that fan, what Ouya might benefit from is a cold air intake right in the side of the case. That would bring cool air directly onto the SOC.

Posts merged. Please use the edit button and don't double post. Thanks. -Schiz

Farm Peeps
02-11-2014, 04:18 AM
Mine is rock solid and has been playing 8 multiplexed video streams perfect now the last several days straight. Fan does not kick at all so the passive radiation from CPU h/s fins is enough to cool the CPU/GPU with this ambient temp. RAM sinks may dont hurt that's for sure.