Turbo Slug

Well I finally got around to de-underclocking my NSLU2 (aka Slug).  It took about 10 minutes start to finish, so I really have no excuse for why it took me this long to get around to it.

The NSLU2 Linux wiki has very detailed directions on cracking the case open.  Go slowly to avoid snapping off the plastic tabs.

Now comes the fun part, modifying the hardware.  It turns out that for whatever reason the NSLU2 was underclocked, the wikipedia article discusses this and other interesting facts about this device.  While this is a discontinued device, they are readily available from amazon still.  All we need to do to allow the Slug to run at its native 266MHz is remove a resistor.  I used a pair of tweezers.

If you look closely, you’ll see the tiny resistor in the center of the palm of my hand.  I later dropped it onto the floor and lost sight of it.

Putting the unit back together isn’t documented as well on the wiki – I found that it was easier to insert the circuit board into the light grey “front” and then snap the back on.  Again, go slowly to avoid breaking any tabs off.

Having installed a version of Debian on it the other day, I was able to ssh into my new “turbo slug” and cat /proc/cpuinfo which showed me BogoMIPS: 266.24.  Success!  It does seem to be more responsive.  I’m tempted to try tinkering with doing a memory upgrade, but that may be beyond my soldering skill level.

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