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Wireless Reviews

Inside - Dead Spot Terminator Adapter

Analysis by Tim Higgins

The DST6501 DST adapter got its own teardown. Removing the back doesn't reveal much.

NETGEAR Dead Spot Terminator Adapter inside

NETGEAR Dead Spot Terminator Adapter inside

Once you pop the assembly out of the case, it can be separated into two pieces. The power board is photo left.

DST boards separated

DST boards separated

Removing the heatsink plate and RF can top exposes the components.

DST boards naked

DST boards naked

The DST6501's specs say it is "HomePlug AV2 compliant" and has an 802.11ac AC650 (2.4 GHz: 300 Mbps + 5 GHz: 350 Mbps) radio. The components reveal a bit more. The SoC doing most of the heavy lifting is a Broadcom BCM47189A1. It's described as "2x2/1+1 5G WiFi SoC with CPU, FE switch and USB". The "2x2" part lines up with the two antennas, implying a 2x2 design. But the 1+1 part seems a puzzle. More on this when we review DST performance.

The powerline device is a BCM60335. This appears to be a variant of the BCM60333, which is a "750 Mbps"HomePlug AV2 SISO device and found in Broadcom-based AV2 adapters like the ZyXEL PLA5206. I couldn't find a Broadcom listing for the BCM60335, but found it referenced in GigaFast's PS958-EB62 HomePlug AV2 750Mbps Ethernet Bridge spec. I also couldn't find any references to the B50212E. 128 MB of RAM and 8 MB of flash are listed with the other components in Table 2.

CPU Broadcom BCM47189A1
2x2/1+1 5G WiFi SoC with CPU, FE switch and USB
HomePlug - Broadcom BCM60335 HomePlug AV2 SISO 750 Mbps PHY rate
- Broadcom B50212E
RAM 128 MB Winbond W631GG6KB-15
Flash 8 MB Winbond W25Q64CV
Table 2: NETGEAR DST6501 Key Component Summary


Like all recent NETGEAR routers, the R7300DST uses the NETGEAR genie OS. The user interface is virtually identical to what we saw in the most recently reviewed R7500v2. Here's the genie landing page.

NETGEAR R7300DST basic mode landing page

NETGEAR R7300DST basic mode landing page

The only difference is the Remote DST Management menu, which provides some basic information and a link to the DST adapter(s) web management.

NETGEAR R7300DST basic mode landing page

NETGEAR R7300DST basic mode landing page

The DST adapter module also runs genie. The image below shows the main status page, which includes LAN and wireless, but not powerline information.

NETGEAR DST Adapter status

NETGEAR DST Adapter status

The gallery below contains additional images of the DST's admin screens with commentary.

Storage Performance

The summary graphic below from the Router Charts shows all AC1900-class routers we've tested with our standard procedure using a USB 3.0 connection with the disk formatted for NTFS. For both NTFS Write and Read, the Linksys WRT1900ACS topped the charts by a significant margin. Ranked at #4 for both Write and Read, the R7300DST edged out its R7000 sibling which ranked #5 on both tests.

Storage Performance Comparison - USB 3.0 / NTFS

Storage Performance Comparison - USB 3.0 / NTFS

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