Exterior and Interior Design
The BR-6504n is a very compact device that can be easily installed just anywhere. It also features an original exterior. Well, its Mac-styled design concept with a white glossy sleek case is nothing really new nowadays, but this does look cute together with the small dimensions and the original front panel. The latter is a gray band encircling the router’s case.
The router can be placed flat or upright (using the included stand that is designed to match the exterior of the BR-6504n). The stand is fitted into the grooves in the router’s bottom. The device looks just as good and stylish with the stand as without it.
The BR-6504n is ventilated passively as is usual for its device class. Cool air comes in through the vent holes in the side panels and the hot air from the router’s components goes out through the top part of the rear panel. Although the vent holes are very small, not even visible from a distance, the router doesn’t heat up much at work.
The router’s indicators, connectors and controls are positioned like on any other home device. The front panel offers all the indicators (from left to right):
- Wireless (indicates the activity of the WLAN module)
- WAN (this and the LAN indicators are based on two LEDs. The top LED reports the connection speed (10 or 100Mbps) while the bottom LED shows the activity of the corresponding port)
- LAN 1-4
Although there are few indicators here, all of them are in the right corner of the front panel. As a result, they are small and very close to each other. The indication is based on ordinary single-color LEDs whose light is transferred to the front panel via light pipes. The indicator windows are all the same shape and labeled nearby. This implementation isn’t quite user-friendly, though, because the labels are hardly visible under poor ambient lighting. On the other hand, not all of the indicators are dual, and the two single indicators have different colors. So, the latter two are easily distinguishable even in darkness while the dual indicators are not as numerous as to confuse you.
The router’s rear panel carries the following connectors and buttons:
- Antenna connector (the other two antenna connectors are placed at the same distance from each other as you can see in the picture)
- Power connectors
- Reset/WPS button
- Four LAN ports
- WAN port
The connectors are few and don’t need any comments.
We dismantled the router to access its PCB. It was easy: we just unfastened the four screws at the bottom of the case and pulled the top panel up releasing the locks on the side panels.
The router’s PCB fills almost the entire space of the case. All of the components are soldered right on the PCB, including the WLAN module and antenna connectors. The latter are placed far from each other. The PCB design is clever overall but there are a few nuances that spoil the impression somewhat. Particularly, the PCB has too many unneeded connectors and some components are installed awry.
The router’s main components are mostly soldered at the top part of the PCB excepting the flash memory chip which is installed on the reverse side of it. One chip is covered with a metallic screen which is fixed to the PCB in two points – it is the RF-module.
The components of the BR-6504N aren’t very original. We’ll discuss them one by one now.
The processor is a RT1310A chip from Ralink. Unfortunately, there is little info available about this processor, so we can’t tell you anything about its capabilities.
The processor is accompanied with a console connector in our sample of the BR-6504n.