AT&T MicroCell Teardown

The electronic piece that I took for the teardown is the AT&T Microcell. I thought Wi-Fi routers are pretty interesting as I had some prior experience with putting electronics together (I put together my own PC) and I thought the motherboard for the router should be quite similar to the PC ones. Therefore I decided to give it a try. 

Step 1: The first step to take the components apart is to remove sticker from bottom of case to reveal the 2 screws and unscrew them. After taking the screws out, pull the orange part away (initially I thought they were glued together, but then I realized that they were snapped together so I had to pull them apart). 

My naive self was actually trying to cut it in half but then reality has proven me wrong.

Step 2: Once the orange part comes out, check the interior to see which side is screwed together with the motherboard. This is important because this helps identify which part needs to be taken apart first (which is the part that is not screwed with the motherboard).

Step 3: After identifying, unsnap the white siding that was not screwed with the motherboard and unscrew the 4 corners of the PCB.

Step 4: After taking one of the white slidings out, remove the other white sliding.

Front view of the motherboard after removing the second sliding.

Tools used: Screwdriver, X-acto knife, plier.

List of components and materials:

The Ralink and the other picoChip are two System-on Chips.

Manufacturing Techniques:

  • SSH port on base-station, Nmap OS, and service versioning reports
  • The router was built like a tower/cell with a bright orange to give a sense of energy while providing network coverage.