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AirPort Time Capsule A1470 (Mini!) Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

This mini teardown is more of an addendum to the AirPort Extreme teardown. The Apple Time Capsule is more or less the same thing, save for a hard drive and a couple of extra doodads here and there.

If you're interested in all the nitty-gritty details, check out the Extreme teardown for an extreme look into the device.

Step 1 AirPort Time Capsule A1470 (Mini!) Teardown  ¶ 

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Step 1 AirPort Time Capsule A1470 (Mini!) Teardown  ¶ 

  • Today I went rogue. While the other tech writers were taking apart an as-yet-unnamed device (oh the secrecy!), I took apart the AirPort Time Capsule.

  • Going into it, we knew that there wouldn't be many changes from yesterday's AirPort Extreme. Hence the one-man team, and the fairly brief teardown.

  • Also, the designers hate it when I hijack their pretty graphics, so I made sure *not* to consult them on the main graphic. Take that, good taste!

  • This 2013 Time Capsule has the model number A1470, as evidenced by the "A1470" inscribed on the bottom cover. No funny business over here, we got the real deal.

Step 2  ¶ 

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Step 2  ¶ 

  • Alright, first thing's first: opening this enchilada. The procedure's the same, so I won't bore you like last time.

  • Now that that's out of the way, on to the good stuff: as soon as you open the Time Capsule, you notice subtle differences.

  • Instead of a metal cover/clamp, now there's a smaller metal cover/clamp that hugs a rubber cover like a... you get the idea. Underneath that rubber cover lies the hard drive.

Step 3  ¶ 

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Step 3  ¶ 

  • The drive is a standard, off-the-shelf Seagate Barracuda drive. We're cheapskates (hey, you never know when you might kill a $3,000 Retina MBP while trying to open it), so we opted for the 2TB option.

  • The standard SATA drive has a not-so-standard, super-thin connector that attaches it to the mothership motherboard.

    • The SATA cable's super-thin profile allows the hard drive to be plugged in, as well as allowing it to be clamped securely into the enclosure via the rubber cover (and metal clamp).

Step 4  ¶ 

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Step 4  ¶ 

  • This is where the magic happens. This port is missing from the AirPort Extreme of yesteryear, which allows the Time Capsule to be a Time Capsule, and the AirPort Extreme to be... well... not so extreme.

  • Folks asked us if it's feasible to make an Extreme into a Time Capsule. Theoretically, the answer is "Yes," but we're not sure why you'd go through the trouble — the Seagate Barracuda drive is essentially the price difference between the Time Capsule and the Extreme.

    • Protip: You might as well pony up the additional dough ahead of time, and save yourself the potential of bricking the device.

Step 5  ¶ 

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Step 5  ¶ 

  • Aside from that, the Time Capsule is pretty much identical to the Extreme. The same power supply, fan, and processing juice.

  • Basically nothing new to see here, move along.

Step 6  ¶ 

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Step 6  ¶ 

  • These are all the different parts that come in a Time Capsule, that you otherwise forfeit with the Extreme. So it's up to you, wise user, to figure out which Wi-Fi droid is right for you.

  • AirPort Time Capsule A1470 Repairability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

Step 7  ¶ 

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Step 7  ¶ 

  • Quick update: the Time Capsule will easily accept a 4TB 3.5" hard drive in place of its lowly 2TB original drive. The Seagate was used to take this screenshot, but the HGST drive should work fine as well.