6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 29, 2011 4:34 AM by lhibrgr
Taser_This Level 1 (55 points)
I would like to mount a Time Capsule in a security mount (a Mac Mini mount.) The mount is essentially a cage. When mounting the cage against a hard surface, one side of the mount holds the Time Capsule very close to the surface, and the opposite side to the air. Does the Time Capsule dissipate heat more through its top or bottom? ie: What side of the Time Capsule should be exposed to the air, and what side closer to the hard surface?

iMac 24 and Macbook Aluminum, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (95,390 points)
    Air enters from the bottom of the Time Capsule and moves out the top to help provide some heat dissipation. You want to allow at least 1/4" clearance on the bottom (more would be better) and as much free space all around as possible.

    Since the Time Capsule was designed to sit flat on a desk with the Apple logo on the top facing up, it would probably make sense to try to keep that orientation.

    You want to avoid having anything metal around a wireless router due to potential wireless interference issues, so if you plan to also use the Time Capsule as a wireless router, best to avoid any metal nearby at all. Wall mounts for the Apple wireless routers are plastic for a reason.

    Message was edited by: Bob Timmons
  • Taser_This Level 1 (55 points)
    I guess air must enter from invisible vents that are up in the groove area in the bottom of the case and then exit from invisible vents in the groove around the perimeter near the top of the case. I therefore shall mount the TC with the top up close to the surface, and the bottom open to the air.

    The security cage is metal, but it is mostly a frame, not solid. I am not currently using the Time Capsule as a wireless router - however the literature for the security frame states it is designed to impinge the wireless capabilities of a Mac Mini minimally - don't know if this design paradigm benefits the Time Capsule antenna layout as well.
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (95,390 points)
    Air exits near the top of the Time Capsule all the way around the case on all 4 sides. Since the Time Capsule tends to run hot, even in normal free air installations, any additional airspace you can provide at the top and bottom would really be helpful.
  • James006.5 Level 1 (0 points)

    The bottom of a Time Capsule that I've taken apart (it had the self-exploding power-supply feature) was a rubber pad, so I think it's *not* designed to conduct heat out through the non-logo surface, into the surrounding surface.


    I'm confused about why it would dissipate more power than a mac mini, unless they have very different internal drives.


    I'm confused about whether the mac mini and time capsule have equivalent wireless performance, and I think the chances of getting real information (based on the waffle I got from a shop) are minimal.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (95,390 points)

    I haven't spent a lot of time on this, but have temporarily removed the bottom rubber pad in the past....thinking that would aid in keeping the Time Capsule a bit more cool.


    It made no difference at all for my Time Capsule which sits on a desk with plenty of free air space around the device.


    I don't have a Mac Mini, so can't comment on any comparision with that device.

  • lhibrgr Level 1 (15 points)

    I have worked on numerous Time Capsules and here what I have learned:  The top of your TC 'appears' to be somehow attached to the sides and perhaps have any vents located within that indention you notice on the outside the entire circumference.  No So!  There are no holes, vents etc. located around the top portion.  The only vents available are around the outer edge of the bottom metal plate that also has the rubber base attached to it. 

    Most of the heat that is generated within the TC is accumulated at the bottom located about the rear 1/3rd of the unit.  The next higher heat location is on the right side of your unit.  The issue of heat dissipation of a TC vs. the Mini should not be compared!  The Mini (I have worked on) have vent slots at the top and the bottom and the disks used are comparable.  As Bob Timmons states 'any additional airspace you can provide at the top and bottom would really be helpful' is the important thing to consider. 

    Believe it or not...the TC is a great idea; BUT, was designed to function well regarding cooling.  I have worked on each type/model of the TC thru the MC344 models and I can say as each model was redesigned, the main logic board kept becoming cooler and cooler.  However, I haven't worked on the MD03x models yet and would expect further improvements in them.  Whatever you do, Taser_This, keep plently of free air space around that unit....especially the bottom!