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Series 3 freezing and reboots

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jon96cobra, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. squint

    squint New Member

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    Jun 15, 2008
    It should be fairly similar, just basic desoldering and soldering.

    The only real surprise was how the solder sometimes resisted melting. The larger capacitors will absorb more heat and transfer it to the air faster. Sometimes one leg is connected to a large ground plane and takes much more effort to melt its solder than the other leg. I have to use a wider tip and hold it against the solder in an orientation that maximizes heat transfer.

    Maybe I'll make a video one day. I have one power supply and 3 Tivos enroute that will need new capacitors.
     
  2. D_vadout

    D_vadout New Member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    Gee...thanks for that vote of confidence, lol!

    I have worked with tools before. I know I haven't worked with a soldering iron before but I believe I can fix my Tivo. How hard is it to heat a pin and dab some solder on it to seal in the capacitor?

    :rolleyes: Hmm...if I never done it before.... I should ask that question after I feat my quest.

    Also Radio Shack does not have anything 'cheap' that I could tinker with. If they did I would've tried.
     
  3. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Take the power supply out of the TiVo.

    Turn it over.

    Find where the leads of a capacitor to be replaced stick through and are soldered to the copper traces.

    The big one will be the ground plane, and it'll dissipate heat better than a skinny trace, so a little patience will be required.

    Heat the solder surrounding the lead and the lead with the soldering iron (unless you got the thing from Radio Shack that looks like a soldering iron but has a tip with a tube coming off of it to a squeeze bulb, in which case use that instead).

    Take some new solder and feed it up against the solder you're heating and the thing with which you are heating it.

    It will melt more easily, since it's not attached to the lead and the mound of solder and the copper trace, all of which acts as a heat sink.

    When it melts, it'll help melt the solder which is already there.

    Observe lead polarity when you put the new capacitors in.

    And take notes to keep track of which capacitor you've removed, so as to get the right replacement in its place.
     
  4. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    :confused: Sorry, I was only trying to be helpful.
    I'm pretty confidant that I could repair a Tivo power supply, but it's been awhile since I've done any soldering. I wouldn't tackle the project without a little practice. I only suggested you do the same because you yourself didn't sound very confidant in your previous posts.
     
  5. D_vadout

    D_vadout New Member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    Yeah, I never repair anything that's electric and this was before I saw 'how to' videos. Those videos helped a lot.

    Once I see how to do something and having it embedded in my brain I'm good to go.

    When I was in high school eons ago I taught myself how to play the violin. I haven't touched a musical instrument since my college days-eons ago-but I still remember the process of playing the violin. Mind you I now have a hard time reading music but it's still there.

    Likewise with changing break shoes on a car. I remember how a mechanic did it. I never had to change break shoes but I remember how it's done.
    I should be good to go on this Tivo. When I get my supplies I'll been going over in my head what I will do to first in order to ease the panic I once had before I actually attack the project head on.
     
  6. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You're going to be like Ruby Keeler's character in 42nd Street, going out there as a kid but coming back as a star.
     
  7. D_vadout

    D_vadout New Member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    OK! I'm in a panic. I have a 110-120 v soldering iron and is having the hardest time trying to get the solder to melt. It's like the soldering iron keeps cutting off. I was able to remove ONE capacitor and now I can't seem to get the solder hot enough to be able to loosen so I can remove the rest of the capacitors. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong and if there's another way to get these caps off w/o having to heat things up. I've been trying to remove these blasted things since this morning.
    I have a soldering iron and a vacuum sucker. That's it.
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    For what wattage is your soldering iron rated?
     
  9. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    If necessary, one can use this tool to both unsolder the old caps and heat the new caps' leads and the board enough to melt solder.


    [​IMG]
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062731

    Be sure the solder you use is only tin and lead (and the rosin core), without other stuff, like silver, in it.
     
  10. squint

    squint New Member

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    Jun 15, 2008
    A few possibilities:

    Iron's tip not tinned resulting in poor heat transfer.

    Iron not powerful enough. I use a 75W soldering station and a big fat tip on the most troublesome capacitors and it's still sometimes a chore to get the solder to melt.

    Tip too small or not enough surface area in contact with solder you want to melt resulting in poor heat transfer.

    Tip has oxidized. See:

    http://www.hakko.com/english/maintenance/topic_kotesaki.html
     
  11. D_vadout

    D_vadout New Member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    I just got the iron yesterday and used it today so it shouldn't be dirty. The wattage is 30. I have a screw on each side of the iron. My BIL told me to try not to solder where the screw side is. So I will retry tomorrow.
    I also went to buy some desolder tape. It seemed like no one had it. Oh well.
    So with this new found info I will retry tomorrow when Mothers Day die down and will post hopefully my successful results.
     
  12. D_vadout

    D_vadout New Member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    As you guys know I've been trying to fix my Tivo. It went down sometime in January and I just let it sit till I wanted to do something about it.

    Weaknees was charging $99 for diagnostics. That didn't include the actual repair itself so I wanted to see if I could do it.

    W/O you guys I wouldn't have known where to begin.

    I purchased some capacitors, solder iron, rosin core-came with the iron-vacuum sucker, and a desoldering braid. That braid was horrible, btw.

    Throughout the month of April and this month I had a hard time trying to remove those blasted capacitors. A 30watt iron without whatever you're suppose to put on the tip was horrible. My brother-in-law who backed out of helping me let me borrow his solder iron and I got the job done.

    I then replaced the capacitors and plugged the Tivo in. Everything booted great. So I was about to do my victory dance. I restarted the Tivo and it went through the whole 35 minute process. It was taking too long and I had it uncovered so I turned it off and was going to let it cool so I can put the rest of the screws in and replug everything back up. While it was cooling off I noticed one of the new capacitors that I put in was bulging. I couldn't believe it. I got a closer look and realized the non-genius of myself-had put that capacitor on the wrong way. Sooooo I had to take that one off and put a new one in. Wasn't too pleased about that.
    After that hassle was taken care of I replugged everything and went through the steps I had to do to be able to watch TV.

    Well...NONE of my channels are coming out. It's acknowledging the channels but I got a gray screen. Something that I had that led me to believe something was wrong with my Tivo back in January of this year. Everything else works but my channels.
    I never took out my cable cards and now my Tivo isn't reading any of them. It won't even show the analog channels that it picked up.

    So now I have to wait till I get off of work to call my cable company to see if it is those cable cards. It shouldn't be b/c I never removed them but I'll have to see.

    The good news is my hard drive wasn't the problem and it's not in a boot loop.

    Alas my victory dance is put on hold. Again. :rolleyes:
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    You fixed your power supply, something almost every Series 2 and 3 owner will have to deal with if they haven't already, so that ought to be worth a at least a victory "shimmy in place" and a Woo-Hoo for the time being, and now you have the first step in troubleshooting (make sure it's not the power supply) handled, and can move on.

    Sorry for not warning you about the crap Radio Shack substituted a couple of years ago for the barely adequate desoldering braid they used to carry.

    There's brand name stuff out there that's actually good.

    So you get boot screen and menus okay now, just not live TV?
     
  14. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    I get the feeling that declaring the power supply "fixed", and calling it "eliminated" as being the problem, or being a part of a problem, is dangerously premature.

    Anybody who has ever reversed the polarity on an electrolytic capacitor, knows that the first thing that should happen is an INSTANT "BANG!", resulting in the top of the capacitor being INSTANTLY blown open, or the whole capacitor casing being launched like a hollow bullet. The facts that it didn't go instantly, had time to be reversed while powered-on, and only bulged, raises a lot of red flags, and questions.

    There have been times I've been lucky to not have been being standing over the capacitor, or in it's path.

    1. Were ALL the caps replaced (less the biggest one on the high-voltage side)?
    2. Was there only one error made?
    3. Did this DIY repair, with all the trial and error, possibly overheat things, perhaps even over-heating the new cap leads, thus damaging new caps?
    4. I wouldn't trust any caps on that same voltage output rail (especially the ones in-parallel), no matter how unharmed they may appear, or for being new.
    5. Whatever happened to making the first thing to be done being to get out a multimeter, and checking all the output voltages (with the PS attached to the board, of course), as well as a setting the meter to the AC scale, and checking the DC outputs for ripple, and proper filtering?

    I think it is absurd to get the cable company involved. Removing the cablecard, and not being able to get channels that were there before, without requiring it (AFTER repeating guided setup with the cablecard removed), is proof that the TiVo has a problem. What responsibility does the cableco have here? I'll answer that: "NONE". A "paperclip antenna" can also be used on the antenna coax port to see if OTA works, before calling in the cableco.

    I'm not trying to be harsh. I'm keeping it real, and pointing out some valid outstanding matters, which should be fully addressed, before involving the cableco at all, or declaring the PS is "fixed" or "eliminated as being the problem, or a part of the problem". That's all.
     
  15. D_vadout

    D_vadout New Member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    Well, I'm not trying to be harsh either when I say thanks for raining on my victory parade.
    I've accomplished something I never did before. With no training and a family member who backed out of helping me I say I did a pretty good job with fixing my Tivo. Nothing burned or blew up in my face which to me is a victory in itself when I never done anything like this before.
    I was able to fix my Tivo w/o having to send it somewhere. I'll admit an error on my part with the capacitor being put on backwards. The stripes on the circuit board aren't in the best position to see so that's where I had the problem.
    As I mentioned before I'm not electronic savvy and had some cable cords plugged in wrong. I have a 5 cable splitter that has cable cords going through my digital adapter, dvd/vcr, and my Tivo so it's a bit overwhelming trying to figure out what goes where.
    In the midst of me trying to get the cable cords to go where they belong my cable company was upgrading my cable cards. With a quick call to them to send the right signal I was able to get my channels to come out right.
    Right now things are looking good on my end and I now have a general idea on what to do if my Tivo goes down again.
    So to the guys who gave me advice on what to do thank you so much for the patience in dealing with this non-electrical savvy gal. So far so good. If something wasn't right it would show and things are working. You guys rock! :cool:
     
  16. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    Ok, now you can do your victory dance, or do another one. Congrats. :up:

    I did wonder if you had verified that the actual cable you were hooking up worked on anything else, or if there was some simple explanation (after I posted, of course).

    There are so many threads covering so many subjects, I can't jump in and help everybody. Unitron usually keeps tabs on things in the power supply threads. I don't have anything older than my Roamios, other than a couple of retired TiVo HDs, but stay subbed to the old threads, and try to help if nobody else jumps in.

    This is from another Series 3 power supply thread, which was where my attention was for the time:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=10109898#post10109898

     
  17. D_vadout

    D_vadout New Member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    When my Tivo bit the dust it was connected to everything that I mentioned in the prior post. Everything was working.
    Since it's been out of commission for so long my brother-in-law forgot how he had it set up and he helped me work it out. Took long enough for me to realize I should take pics the next time I have to unplug everything so I'll know what to do if I have to replug everything back in.

    Time Warner is in the process of updating their stuff which caused my Tivo to reboot. At first it made me nervous but right now things are still looking good.

    I will be more than happy to share what I learned within the month and a half that I've been on here.
    When I sit and think about it, the forums I've ever joined this one and another one(diabetic cat)has helped me faster than it would have if I had decided to do things on my own.

    If I hadn't joined this one my Tivo would still be either a: collecting dust or b: me shelling out hundreds of bucks to get it fixed, and I'm glad I didn't have to resort to either one.
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    Just keep them mentally separated and don't try to replace the capacitors on the cat.

    :D
     
  19. D_vadout

    D_vadout New Member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    Ya know, that would've been easier than giving her those insulin shots.

    I can picture my cat now having capacitors sticking out of her fur. :D
     
  20. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Do you know what cat fur would smell like if it touched a hot soldering iron? ;)
     

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