The Android Mini PC is a pretty handy device, but there’s a problem of it frequently overheating especially on the T428, MK908 and newer model Android sticks which run on the faster chip RK3188. I started off 2014 with a little spring cleaning and found an old CPU Heatsink that I thought I could hook it up with the Android Mini PC (MK908) for improved cooling performance.
There are quite a number of cooling mods out there, so this is nothing really new. This installation on a Measy U4K is quite slick, with concealed wires and all: http://www.freaktab.com/showthread.php?6687-Measy-U4K-cooling-mod
Here is a link to another extensive mod, with a lot of features added. It takes up a lot of space though, so it wasn’t exactly ideal. Defeats the purpose of the portability. It’s a UG802 with a laptop heatsink and fan (heat transfer pad between heatsink and cpu), usb network, an actual antenna, and the usb hub also onboard. http://www.freaktab.com/showthread.php?6179-My-Android-Mini-PC-Cooling-Mods-Pictures
GadgetReactor’s DIY Solution to MK908 Cooling
First and foremost, I didn’t want to open up the casing. I wanted an easier approach, and I decided to go with an external mount with just the heatsink conducting heat from the casing and then cooling it with the fan. Call it the Lazy Man Cooling Approach to Android Mini PCs. The enclosed space of the MK908 should be suitable to conduct heat away from the chipset.
The CPU Fan uses the default 4 pin computer power connector. Stripping the wire revealed the 4 wires inside but only the Red and Black lines are needed. Similarly, it is the same on the USB end. Cut the USB cable to the desired length. Then Strip the cable so you see 4 wires. Cut or isolate the green and white wires. Now strip the red and black wires.
Twist the red wires with each other and the black wires with each other. Now your done, plug in and the fan would start spinning. Do note that the voltages are different, 5v vs 12v but it should still spin the fan but about half speed. For more professional DIY-ers, get some small butt splice crimps and then you can heat shrink tube it to look nice. Put tubing on before crimping. For me, black tape would suffice.
I tested it, and it worked well. My MK908 operate smoothly and at a very comfortable temperature while playing a Full HD 1080P clip. Previously it was hot to hold. However, the overall setup was rather bulky. So decided to go one step further to isolate just the fan. I felt that the heatsink was overkill for such a small device. I detached the screws to the heatsink and replaced them with cable ties to hold it in place.
See pictures below.
With that, I did a re-test and it still worked perfectly. I couldn’t really detect a temperature difference and now it is significantly more portable than before. Have fun, and let me know if you try something similar!