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PIX 506E running very hot

Posted on 2004-09-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-16
Hi Guys,

This isn't a problem, more just a question about your experiences.

I have a couple of new 506E's that run very hot. I haven't stuck a thermometer on them to measure how hot, but definitely hot enough that I think it would burn my hand if I left it on there for any length of time.

Is this normal ? What are other people's experiences ?

I will also check the 506's that I've got at other sites, as I get to them, but I'm not going to make a site visit just to check the temp of the device :)
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Question by:td_miles
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by:LimeSMJ
ID: 12024424
The 506's I've dealt with don't run as hot as you mentioned.  Are the fans working?  The unit itself will shut down if it does overheat though.
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by:lrmoore
lrmoore earned 25 total points
ID: 12027486
None of mine run hot at all ..

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by:Tim Holman
ID: 12027677
Cool.  Can you fry eggs on it ?
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by:td_miles
ID: 12041017
According to this Cisco page:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/vpndevc/ps2030/products_qanda_item09186a0080091b17.shtml
(Table 1)

The cooling difference between 506 & 506E went from:
" Integrated fan for system cooling"

to:
" Significantly quieter fan (10 dB less), providing benefit for desktop-based deployments"

This implies that the 506 had a fan in it, yes ?  I just opened up an old 506 that I have (it's dead) and NO fan ?

Anyone know for sure if either 506 or 506E do have fan in them ? I don't have a 506E that is not in use at the moment to crack open and confirm if it has a fan in it.

At what temp will it shut down ? Can you point to somewhere that documents this for the 506/E ?

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Tim Holman earned 100 total points
ID: 12042535
All PIXes definitely have fans in them !  
Bear in mind that they also have external power supplies, they don't have any excuse to run hot.
However, I would expect 506s running under full load to be hotter than those at idle - maybe these 506s are just busy ?
I would hazard a guess that the processors would run anything up to 40-50 degrees C, but for them to transfer this heat to the casing means they must have been running hot for quite a while.
When you say you can't find a fan, it could be integrated into the CPU ?
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by:td_miles
ID: 12244664
Not sure what to do about this. I was out at this site a few night ago, I would guess that the case is maybe 50 degrees C. I can put my hand on it and feel that is definitely a bit warmer than body temp (37). I opened a 506E and the cooling design doesn't seem to very optimal, the heat would appear to be transferred directly to the case.

The internal design has the CPU (with heatsink & fan mounted on top of it) at the front of the case. The only place where there are vents is a row of slots about 10mm in height along the back of the case. The top lid of the case fits up hard against the top of the fan. This feans that it the fan exhausts directly upwards (the way most fans do), then it is blowing the exhaust directly up onto the top lid of the case, which in turn explains why the case would be getting so hot.

The PIX is not under much load at all, so this shouldn't be a problem.

The Cisco specs give the PIX 506E as:
 " Operating Temperature: 23 to 104° F (-5 to 40° C) "
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/vpndevc/ps2030/products_data_sheet09186a0080091b13.html

Does this refer to the external (ie. ambient) room temperature, or the temp internal to the device. If its the room temp, then of course the room is cooler than this (mid 20's). If it's the device temp, then it is probably exceeding the 40C.

I would just log a call to Cisco and be done with it, except the client doesn't have (on purpose) maintenance of the PIX. Their response to the question of maintenance was to purchase a second 506E as a backup.
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Expert Comment

by:Tim Holman
ID: 12257382
Operating temperature is the environmental temperature in which it has been tested, not the heat of the unit itself.
I'm just surprised that they get this hot  - my broadband router, which is of similar capacity and size doesn't get hot AT ALL....
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by:td_miles
ID: 12418706
Finally got a thermometer. The one that I'm working on now has a reading of 45C on the outside of the case. Anyway, It doesn't seem to be to the detriment of the PIX, so I'll close this now.
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