EnGenius ENS1750 Outdoor Access Point Detailed Features
Although the ENS1750 is not a serviceable unit, it is quite easy to crack open. There is a single screw located at the top hidden by the plastic tab that protects the Ethernet ports at the bottom. Once removed, you will have access to the Philips screw which simply holds the motherboard in place. The motherboard simply slides out like a tray after you remove the screw. Most users will not notice this since there is no practical reason for removing the casing. Inside we find a small PC board with all the components is inside, but the biggest portion of the ENS1750 is attributed to the antenna array. There are no metal plates, or ballasts inside to add weight to the unit, but that shouldn’t matter as the ENS1750 is supposed to be mounted vertically on a wall or post.
A general view of the internals reveal that there is no vents that allow air inside the ENS1750, which leaves the plastic casing itself to conduct the heat created by the Broadcom BCM4706 chipset. I wouldn’t consider this something to worry about, as the operating temperature of the router is rated by EnGenius at 140 degrees which may possibly be reached if you set the access point in the middle of the dessert. EnGenius expects most buyers to situate the access point in an open area, such as hanging from a post or the roof of a classroom were it can be passively cooled by air.
With the main board exposed, the first thing that stands out is how small the PCB actually is. The PCB just covers a small area of the overall board which probably means that there are not that many heat producing elements in the system. Along the top are the three input ports consisting of two RJ-45 ports and a reset button witch are soldered to the motherboard. The antennas are located at the bottom, isolated from the PCB, and constituting most of the weight of the access point itself and making their way from the PCB to the bottom of the IP 55 rated case. Right on top of the antennas, squeezed between three heatsinks, we find the isolation and impedance matching pulse transformers that keep the Ethernet signal noise free. There are no shielding devices located inside the ENS175 with the exception of the aluminum heatsinks themselves and the protective shield at the back.
While the chipset and overall architecture are sourced from Broadcom, the board found inside the ENS175 is clearly not a reference design, by a lot. Unfortunately it would be almost impossible to get the aluminum heatsinks off without destroying them, and most of the time, damaging the board itself. For this reason we will not be looking at a detailed layout of the PCB itself. Usually, we would also go into deeper discussion of the overall architecture of the chip found inside, which is were technology gets interesting. But unfortunately, Broadcom is pretty strict with the technology inside their chips. For now we will skip to our testing methodology.