o2 DSL Router Premium disassembly/yellowing surprise (WHL #80)

I don’t often visit family, but when I do, my car is usually filled to the roof with old tech crap when I come back…and so is the apartment over the next couple of weeks, until everything is checked, repaired (if needed/viable) and subsequently stored, gifted, sold or binned.

Well, there’s this old o2 router (different labelling, I know…) back from the era where

a) internet providers were able to force you using their crappy loaner hardware (I did hack a similar unit back in the days, te-he-he),
b) those devices sometimes contained a WiFi module that was disabled by default but could be unlocked for a couple bucks per month (I never got why people do this over 24+ months instead of just buying a standalone AP), and
c) not sending back those miracles of NATted IPv4 tech at the end of your contract could easily cost you north of 100€, a ridiculous money-making scheme that was only stopped years later by court decisions that got delayed and appealed forever.

No matter how this one got here, this is objectively junk. It cannot be used on anything other than phone/DSL lines run by o2, it’s no longer compatible with their current (V)DSL standard, it cannot be reconfigured to act as a switch, and even if it did and had a power supply present, it would gulp astronomical amounts of energy that would justify buying something new within less than a year. It needs to be tossed.

However: Of course I had a look inside. The outside had its fair share of sunlight, causing it to yellow quite a bit. At least on most parts of the upper lid, just check the photos. Nothing much on the bottom, because, well, that’s how ray optics work. But the inside totally surprised me.

What the…?

Ahhh yes. It’s o2, so blue badging anyways (thumbs up for the blue PCB!), plus the late 2000s also called and wanted their ubiquitous blue LEDs back. Of course they made an alien juggernaut router with eleven blue (some duo blue-red, which I kept) LEDs, all dialled up to, well, eleven :lol:

So this is forced yellowing of cheap plastic by near-UV exposure, plus the 3mm LED cups themselves also yellowed – but again only those that were lit all the time. If they were not, such as LAN 1-4, neither LED nor surrounding case changed color. Most of the others were status LEDs that absolutely needed to be on 24/7, though, so this explains the pattern:

Fascinating. Never seen that level of forced yellowing before by a long shot.

I still tossed it without performing additional experiments, but I might actually want/need a bit of retr0bright for a device restoration in the near future. Natural UV exposure to make it work might be an issue in winter, though…

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