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Roamio Basic - Heat Issues

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by topangajack, May 22, 2014.

  1. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    I used my IR thermometer to check the temp on the top of my Basic case while I'm transferring a dozen shows to it from my Roamio Pro. The highest temp I found on the right side of the case was around 98F. The highest temp I found on the left side was around 80F. And the coaxial connector was now at 92F.
     
  2. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Cox Cable...
    My three base Roamios are running ~48-50 MBT (MainBoardTemp - which most agree is measured very close to, or within, the main processor). My Coax connections, measured on the metal connector casings are ~97-99F.

    The Base Roamio's fan location (between the hard drive and main board) essentially pulls air past in the left side, past the hard drive, then the air is inefficiently pushed to the right side. The tuners and coax are getting very little cooling at all. The cablecard is underneath the tuners, and also generates heat.

    I've often been tempted to reverse the fan direction, or just take out the fan and leave the tops off. I'd want to pay close attention to the hard drive temps, before just reversing the airflow. AV-GP drives are designed to operate in fanless devices, and cramped enclosures, so they should be OK, in theory. Realistically, they still should live longer if they are kept in the lower-end of their rated operating thermal profiles.

    As others have noticed, the stock 500GB Seagate drives are "quarter" height, while WD drives (or any upgrade drive) is "half" height. Nowadays, most just call quarter height "slim" or "low profile", or incorrectly "half-height". doubling the height of the drive will certainly alter the airflow. To what degree, other than the path it takes, I don't know.

    Those who have ever seen a true (old) full-height drive, know what I'm talking about with the terminology.

    I'm going to be adding some taller rubber feet, leaving the cablecard covers off, and doing some other experiments soon. I know that TiVo HDs were highly prone to issues related to tuner temps. The Premieres mitigated this by using heatsinking pads under the bottom of the board under the tuner chips, using the metal chassis as a big heatsink. This leaves a lot of potential for the new, and not time-tested, design of the roamio, surrounded by insulating plastic, all around, to have major issues if the fan should fail, or the vents get clogged with dust/debris.
     
  3. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    If the fan fails it will probably start making a bunch of noise before it dies. Giving warning that it needs to be replaced before it actually stops spinning.

    I'm just using the stock hard drive in my Roamio Basic. What temps are people seeing that have upgraded their drive.

    I see you also mentioned that you are using a cable card. I am only using mine for OTA. So maybe my temps are a little lower without the extra heat from the cable card?
     
  4. topangajack

    topangajack New Member

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    May 22, 2014
    SoCal
    Hmm.... No formal technical training here (I'm just a guy who reads.) I'll bone up on this a bit and check out the connections with your advice in mind.
    Thanks.
     
  5. topangajack

    topangajack New Member

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    May 22, 2014
    SoCal
    OK, I finally got some MBT readings from my basic Roamio:

    Viewing a TV program only: 41
    Playback recorded program only: 41
    Record 1 program, watch live TV: 42
    Record 4 programs, TV on: 42
    View streaming Netflix 1hr (no recording): 40
    Idle (not in use 12 hrs): 39
    Standby mode (2.5 hrs): 39

    [I also took a temp readings of hottest part [top right] of the case (102.5F) and the coax connection (90F) using a digital meat thermometer :) not sure how reliable that method is]

    In any event, these temps seem right in the ballpark (or even lower) compared to what most others are reporting.

    The question remains, do the basic Roamios run too hot for ideal longevity? I really don't know the answer.

    I am concerned enough to want to learn more about the subject and to perhaps come up with some kind of additional cooling - just for peace of mind. Given the internal fan design, I'm not sure how to go about that, except maybe to place a computer fan blowing into the left intake vent- but would that really help?

    Any ideas, thoughts or suggestions?
    Thanks

    [edit: I'm also curious why the basic Roamio continues to generate so much heat, even after it has been idle. Shouldn't it cool down considerably?]
     
  6. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Member

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    Mar 5, 2004
    I've known people to use a ac powered computer fan and just set it near or behind their electronics to create airflow and it does work.
     
  7. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    Paradise...
    I was really just replying to this quote from you:

    The "how could it" part. That's one way "how it could". I'm not really saying that's what your particular issue is.
     
  8. topangajack

    topangajack New Member

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    May 22, 2014
    SoCal
    UPDATE: I discussed my concerns regarding HEAT with a Tech Support Rep and was told that my unit is within the normal range.

    According to the rep, an inactive Roamio basic has a MBT (motherboard temperature) range of 39C (102F) to 43C (109.4F). No explanation was given as to why an inactive unit would generate that much heat....[still wondering]

    I was also informed that an active unit can operate normally up to 60C (140F) before the overheating warning appears.

    Just thought you guys would want to know....
     
  9. NYC9185

    NYC9185 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2014
    Have a 3 inch fan running simultaneously when roamio basic and plus are being used both boxes cool like the fall brezze
     
  10. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Feb 4, 2008
    You are still wondering because it is clear you do not recognize that a TiVo is always recording. So, most of your tests are measuring nearly the exact same activity , and not marginal additional activity.
     
  11. squint

    squint New Member

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    Jun 15, 2008
    I don't know about the Roamio tuners but the Series 3 ones get pretty hot by themselves.
     
  12. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Cox Cable...
    IMHO, with the base Roamio, the temperature that can be felt by grasping the coax connector is a lot warmer (borderline hot), compared to the Premiere or TiVo HD.

    The other model Roamios kept the metal case and airflow of the Premiere, so I can only guess how warm they get. They do have two more tuners than a base model, and four more than a TiVo HD or two-tuner Premiere.

    It's hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison.

    I'm not very trusting of the base-Roamios design. The placement of the fan, the pull/push airflow, and all that insulating plastic (as opposed to heatsinking metal), just all seems so backwards to me. I do have a limited background in design and testing of cooling strategies. Unfortunately, I don't own my own rig with real-time monitoring, recording, plotting/graphing, and contact thermocouples to place on everything. All I have is my IR gun, which doesn't work well on shiny surfaces.

    Only time will tell how effective TiVo's new design is, and what the longevity will be. For now, it's all speculation. The product hasn't been "in the wild" long enough to see how it will fare.
     
  13. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    The only concern with the Basic should be if the fan stops working. Otherwise the design is fine. It does it's job keeping the airflow moving. It just isn't as efficient as the other Roamio models.
     
  14. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    I can agree with most of that. I do have some concerns with how easy it is for the intake and exhaust slits to clog, and the choice of fan they used. Could they have found a cheaper, louder, and more inefficient one?

    As loud and annoying as all three of mine have been since day one, I'm often tempted to source my own fans. I can't imagine tolerating what they will likely sound like when the bearings begin to go dry/wear out... IMHO, I just don't find the ratio of noise/airflow efficiency to be acceptable.

    I use NASCAR-rated earplugs to bed, and can still hear just one running. Hearing two whining away, like mini jet engines, makes for some annoying nights. It's always the first thing I hear when I wake up, and can hear them with the TV volume pretty high, unless I'm watching an action scene.

    But, I can hear sounds nobody else can. I can hear compact fluorescent lights with noisy chopping transistors, that nobody else can hear. Turn the light off, and I don't hear it anymore...
     
  15. topangajack

    topangajack New Member

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    May 22, 2014
    SoCal
    I'm on the look-out for an old 12v phone charger and computer fan for just that purpose.
     
  16. topangajack

    topangajack New Member

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    May 22, 2014
    SoCal
    Always recording? You're right. I did not know that. I wonder why the Tivo tech didn't mention that? Instead, he expressed puzzlement as to why it was generating heat even when "inactive" [his word].
     
  17. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    I can hear any TiVo easily from 15 feet away in a quiet room. Every DVR is loud as far as I'm concerned. Fortunately I only have a TiVo mini in the bedroom now which is fanless. Although I don't mind the fan noise in the DVRs as much since its consistent. It's the hard drive noise that is bad. Especially with older hard drives.
     
  18. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    If they weren't always recording there would be no way to have a thirty minute buffer for each tuner. Anything you watch from a tuner is being read from the hard drive, after it was written to the hard drive first.
     
  19. leiff

    leiff Member

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    Aug 24, 2005
    I keep the top lid of my roamio basic off and have disabled my fan. As shown in temperature settings my temperatures have stayed the same l and I now have a silent Romeo.:)
     
  20. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    Don't you still have a platter hard drive? Unfortunately they are not silent.
     

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