4 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2012 8:53 PM by Mr. Luigi
BGmail Level 1 (55 points)



I just picked up a 2TB Time Capsule.  It is the 4th gen version.  I noticed it gets hot.  Specifically the back left corner.  Is this cause for concern?  Does the TC have a fan in it?  If so when would it kick in and start?  Does the TC have to get to a certain temperature?


Thanks and I look forward to your reply.



2TB 4th gen Time Capsule, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,802 points)

    Assuming you are looking at it .. LED in front, Left back corner is the power supply and below it is the wireless card and gigabit chip.. both of which do run pretty hot.


    They run fairly hot and this is where it is hard to estimate. How hot is too hot..


    Make sure the hard disk is spun down .. you will feel a slight vibration when it is running.. if the hard disk is off.. then temperature should be very warm.. rather than burning hot.. if the backup has been running a while then yes, burning hot is what they seem to reach.


    The TC does have a fan.. it turns on just before the core meltdown occurs.. for reasons only apple know.. they leave the fan off. This was reported changed in the Gen 4.. but the report I have since discovered is wrong. The same issue has existed since gen 1.. they run over hot and the fan never goes on.


    I would encourage more cooling.. but unless you are prepared to alter it or do some work.. then sorry it is not bad or faulty.. just lousy design.

  • BGmail Level 1 (55 points)

    How hot is hot?  Well not  hot  enough to fry an egg on it, but quite warm.  My imac gets quite hot too near the top.  So to me it is a feature of Apple products.   New iPad included.


    And yes it is the back left hand corner.  I have not attempted the backup yet so cannot say but expect it may get hotter.


    Just wondering if all this heat would affect the life of the TC.  Has this been a problem with the new TC's?

  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,802 points)

    Just wondering if all this heat would affect the life of the TC.  Has this been a problem with the new TC's?

    Yes, it is a problem on the old ones. The hottest running one by far was the original Gen1 with 1TB hard drive which was Hitachi disk.. a known hot running disk which Apple never used again in a TC model. Why don't you do a real test with a thermometer.. ??


    We posted the IR camera shots of the early TC sometime ago.


    https://sites.google.com/site/lapastenague/a-deconstruction-of-routers-and-modem s/apple-time-capsule-repair/apple-time-capsule-fan-mod/infra-red-pictures-of-tim e-capsule


    The ones that are hot are unmodified or at least the fan is not running.. we have modified them to get the fan running to improve the lifespan. Put a thermometer on the surface of the TC and insulate just the bulb area. So like place a thermometer for taking a persons temp would be perfect.. place it on the hot corner of the TC with a bit of foam say an 1" around and 1/4" thick and leave it there for 5min.. it will give you a pretty accurate reading of surface temp and compare it to the Gen 1 in the pictures.


    Numbers really help.


    Is it a problem in the new TC.. shrug.. wait 2 years and then you will know.

    Heat kills but it isn't going to kill it overnight.. it will take time but the issue remains running electronics too hot is never good. The original TC ran too hot and died young.

  • Mr. Luigi Level 1 (10 points)

    I have a 4th gen TC.  2 TB model.  I have raised it off the "ground" by about 1 cm by putting 4 silicone rubber stick on pads on the bottom.  The increased air flow underneath the Time Capsule (and possible convection current set up) dropped the temperature about 15 degrees when running a backup cycle.  Since then, I have taken an extra little fan I have, that is used to cool down the inside of home stereo component cabinets, and use that to blow on the Time Capsule and Cable Modem that is somewhat near it.  The rubber pads plus the fan (which by design is almost unhearable) have prevented the Time Capsule from ever becoming more than just moderately warm to the touch.


    This may seem like overkill to some.  But, I'd rather overkill my Time Capsule via cooling that overkill it via heating.