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Tivo Series 3 - 2 Power Supply Failures inside of 6 Months

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by blacknoi, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. blacknoi

    blacknoi Member

    358
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    Jan 23, 2006
    So back in May, my Tivo Series 3 (not a TivoHD) started to go into a reboot loop. It finally got to the point that when I plugged it in, I'd hear a ticking noise but nothing else.

    Bought a replacement power supply from weaknees and was back in business.

    Fast forward to 2 days ago. I was watching the Tivo with no issues. Go to bed and wake up the next morning and my tivo was in a reboot loop again. I had to go to work so I just left it.

    I ordered a whole Tivo Series 3 to cannabalize for parts.

    My wife told me it was rebooting during the day but sometime last night it rebooted and came up. We watched it for at least 4 hours without issue.

    This morning I woke up and it was in a reboot loop. I unplugged it for about 3 hours until UPS got here with my spare Series 3.

    For kicks I plugged my tivo back in and it would only make the 'tick tick tick' noise... it'd no longer turn on.

    I swapped the known working power supply from the Series 3 unit I just bought, and now all is well again.


    My question is: Is there anything else I should be looking for in my tivo that might be killing power supplies?

    I know the weaknees one probably was a 'fixed' one from someone else and unfortunately only came with a 90 day warranty (and I was about double that when it failed).

    I'd probably have just ditched the unit by now but it has lifetime service so a new power supply to keep it going is still cost effective at this point. But another power supply dying might make me reconsider... at almost 100 bux a pop to replace the power supplies, its quickly digging its own grave.
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    S3 power supplies were built at the peak of the "capacitor plague" in which electrolytic caps (the metal cans) fail as evidenced by bulging, sometimes just slight bulging. In the weaknees.com photo of an S3 supply I count ten such caps and it does appear they are furnishing rebuilt units. Unless they replaced ALL the caps there is still a fair chance one of the original ones will fail. Obviously a PS from a used S3 you bought has had no replacements. Inspect the PS for bulging caps. It's a fairly simple soldering job to replace them and they don't cost much. However be sure to get "Low ESR" replacement caps. Replacements should be the same, or at most slightly greater, capacitance and the same or slightly higher voltage rating. If either rating is much greater, the cap may be too large to fit.
     
  3. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    3,960
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    Oct 14, 2004
    Philadelphia...
    Put your TiVo on a UPS and then you won't need to wait for UPS... Get it?

    Seriously, I've had Series3 units running on good APC UPS units since 2006 and never had any bulging caps or failures.
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,123
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    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    A UPS is a good idea just to prevent damage to all the TiVo circuitry and to avoid the ten-minute reboot time after a power drop out. However, using a UPS has no connection to the capacitor plague problem, which is caused by defective manufacture of the caps themselves (bad chemical formulations), and leads to failure during normal operation. If your S3 hasn't had bulging cap failures, you've just been lucky.

    If you use a TA, put that on the UPS also.
     
  5. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,123
    58
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
  6. blacknoi

    blacknoi Member

    358
    3
    Jan 23, 2006
    Thanks for the tips.

    I've had this TiVo on a UPS since 2006 when I got it so I am covered there.

    I'll see if I can find the bulged caps on the most recent crapped out power supply.

    Nothing is obviously bulging so are there any tips on how to figure out which one is the offender? I'm assuming you look at the top of them where the "X" is at the top?
     
  7. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Do you have a TCD648250 or a TCD652160?
     
  8. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    No shortcuts that I know of. You can measure the different output voltages of the power supply with the load attached and if any voltages are out of spec, then you figure out which capacitors are involved by tracing the circuit board and replace them.

    Yes, and the difference can be quite subtle.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,419
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    Thanks for saving me from having to dig around for that pic.


    In my experience so far, the caps that fail are the ones either connected between the +5V output and ground or between the +12V output and ground.

    Which means turn the board over, see where the red wires and black wires go to, and see where the yellow wires and black wires go to.
     
  10. blacknoi

    blacknoi Member

    358
    3
    Jan 23, 2006
    TCD648250B

    I got this almost immediately after the series 3 was released back in '06. It has a more orange toned OLED vs the more yellowish ones that were manufactured later.


    And thanks for the other picture of the subtle bulging cap to the other poster.

    I thought since the weaknees one was already someone else's repaired supply I'd be able to notice the solder job being different from the factory soldered caps. No luck though. All soldering joints look exactly the same.

    I have no problems desoldering / soldering so i will definitely see if I can repair this one myself this time.
     
  11. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    If all the joints look the same, maybe it was never worked on, maybe it was a "pull" from a unit with some other problem, and now it's failing for the first time.

    Go look at this post

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=9136473#post9136473

    find the numbers for the high uF value caps on the +5V and +12V lines, and take a good look at them.
     
  12. DougJohnson

    DougJohnson Member

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    Dec 11, 2006
    I'd replace them all. Not hard, not expensive.
    -- Doug
     

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