Friday, January 4, 2013

Motorola Surfboard SBG6580... to pieces and beyond

So this year did not start well for me. When I finally woke up on the 2nd of January my internet kept going down on me. After numerous restarts and resets of my wonderful modem/router combo it died. The top 3 lights would flash for a sec and then nothing. That is the last time I buy one of these all-in-ones (on a side note, don't get the Belkin wireless router it restarts every time you change any settings).

Anyway here is what I found inside it:

A main board with a mini PCI Express slot.

Front of main board

and the other side

Back of main board

There were 2 heat sinks on the Broadcom chips but I removed them. Actually the small one is a perfect fit for my RaspberryPi.

The most important piece from this is the wi-fi card. I might use it to upgrade my wife's 4 year old laptop to a wireless n but I need to find out more about the board.

Here is a close up:
Back of wi-fi board

The strange part was that those 2 eyelets were actually soldered to the frame. They wanted to be sure that the card will not fall out of it's slot.

Front of wi-fi board

A lot of serial numbers and some notations of pin numbers are visible.

There are also 2 antennas. I am not sure how good they are since I didn't have that good of a signal 3 meters away from the router (behind a wall)

Front of antenna 1
Back of antenna 1

Front of antenna 2

Back of antenna 2

And some pictures of the markings on the chips.

The heart is the BCM3380 chip I think it is a common one in these kind of devices
The BCM33115 chip might be the Ethernet chip since it is placed so close to the ports but I couldn't find any info on this one


A Hynix ram chip next to the main processor


I will post updates when I try to use that mini wi-fi card.


 Check out the Wi-Fi install on a HP Compaq 6715s

And here are some pics with the removed heat sinks from the main board:
The 2 heat sinks from the Motorola Surfboard SGB6580
Small heat sink installed on RaspberryPi
Small heat sink installed on RaspberryPi

That's all for now, enjoy life!


  1. I cannot get inside this thing to save my life. Are there hidden clips that I am not seeing? How did you take it apart?

    1. If you look in the first pic you will see some plastic tabs at the bottom, there are a few of those. The thing is mine was broken and didn't really take notice of how to take it apart, I destroyed the chassis in the process.

  2. That's actually a BCM53115 chip for the ethernet

    Also managed to track down the RAM on the Hynix website. It's the DDR2 Component PDF.

    512Mb 8K/64ms Refresh
    "Organization: X16"
    "4 Banks"

  3. For the life of me, I can't figure out why you wouldn't have just removed the MAC sticker from the wifi board and identify the chipset to us. That's what I'm looking for but it's the one obvious thing you DIDN'T cover.

    Why go through the trouble only to do a half-assed job?

  4. Yes I agree, whoever posted these pictures please tell us what the PCI board is called

  5. Which kind of connector for the WiFi antennas? I'm going to mod the thing with external ones.

    1. it's a standard UFL connector, the same used in laptop wi-fi cards

    2. you would need a UFL to SMA adapter cable so you can plug in a standard external antenna.