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Old 04-02-2014, 10:35 AM   #1
sasmps
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Tivo HD remote sensor has failed

The Tivo Remote sensor in my HD unit is starting to go. I have another HD, can I swap hard drives? If not (I suspect I can not, probably encrypted to the HD shell), any way to repair or replace the IR sensor in unit?
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:51 PM   #2
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If it's anything like the older models, you should be able to swap out the front panel that contains the IR receiver circuit. There's probably a ribbon cable and maybe one or two smaller cables connected between the mainboard and the front panel. If you're handy with a soldering iron you may also be able to replace the IR sensor.

I'd check with Weaknees and see if they have a front panel control board at a reasonable price (they probably have it, but not likely at a reasonable price). Your next best option would be to find a junk unit on ebay or Craigs List to use as a parts donor.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasmps View Post
The Tivo Remote sensor in my HD unit is starting to go. I have another HD, can I swap hard drives? If not (I suspect I can not, probably encrypted to the HD shell), any way to repair or replace the IR sensor in unit?
Are you sure that's the problem?

Have you put a voltmeter on the outputs of the power supply to be sure that everything is getting all the current it needs?

Power supply trouble, due to "capacitor plague" is the reason for all sorts of Series 2 and Series 3 platform problems, and needs to be eliminated as a possibility before you go any further with diagnosis and troubleshooting.

Of course as long as you have the lid off you might as well pull the hard drive and hook it to a PC and boot with a cd with the drive maker's diagnostic software on it and run their long test.

I'm assuming fresh batteries in the remote was the first thing you did.

You can, if you have 2 TCD652160s, or one of them and a TCD658000, swap the front panel, being very careful to get the ribbon cable that connects it to the motherboard properly seated on both ends, and see if that makes a difference.

Swapping front panels won't lose recordings the way swapping hard drives would.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:19 PM   #4
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Excellent suggestion...... I switched front panels with another HD model, and the problem persist. Not the IR sensor. Could be disk or motherboard. If the disk was starting to go, would that slow down menu to menu function and response to the remote? I have been assuming it was the sensor as the front panel light for the remote does not light up half the time. That may be a false assumption.

As this disk is full (1 TB aftermarket I installed 2 years ago) would that slow it down? Any diagnostic test or other tricks to employ? Perhaps indexes are corrupt... although all channels in live TV mode are fine, and it is playing recordings without issues.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:23 PM   #5
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Power supply is fine.... I am working with 2 peanut remotes with fresh batteries. Holding the remote right in front of the sensor, over half the commands are ignored... the ones that respond (light lights up) it is slow.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasmps View Post
The Tivo Remote sensor in my HD unit is starting to go. I have another HD, can I swap hard drives? If not (I suspect I can not, probably encrypted to the HD shell), any way to repair or replace the IR sensor in unit?
I'm going to ask a really dumb question. Have you tried a power cycle reboot?
I had this trouble with my S3 several years ago. You actually had to go sit on the floor with the remote in hand to get a response from the unit. A power cycle reboot (pulling the power cord out of the unit, let it sit for 30 sec. and plug it back in), fixed this issue and it never gave me any of that kind of trouble again. It's worth a try.

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Old 04-02-2014, 04:53 PM   #7
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Yes... Cycled power 3 or four times now. Had to cycle power when I swapped the front panel out. I can only do the hard reboot, soft boot will not work on my machine (Intellipark issue). This also means I can not run kickstart programs.....
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:41 PM   #8
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Power supply is fine.... I am working with 2 peanut remotes with fresh batteries. Holding the remote right in front of the sensor, over half the commands are ignored... the ones that respond (light lights up) it is slow.
How do you know the power supply is fine?

Have you actually taken a voltmeter to it?
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:48 PM   #9
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Did you swap in the power supply from another Tivo HD? That wouldn't completely eliminate the possibility of a failing power supply but it would make it less likely.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:57 PM   #10
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Did you swap in the power supply from another Tivo HD? That wouldn't completely eliminate the possibility of a failing power supply but it would make it less likely.
I should have thought of that.

When you go to take the power supply out of an HD, there's a little black screw that goes in from the outside into the top part of the AC input jack. Takes a #8 or #9 Torx bit.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:29 PM   #11
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I did not check the power supply, do not have a voltmeter. Perhaps there is some history in forum regarding power supply issues I have not found yet. I do not see how the power supply would cause this issue.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasmps View Post
Perhaps there is some history in forum regarding power supply issues I have not found yet. I do not see how the power supply would cause this issue.
You must have been gone for a while. Capacitor plague has been a known issue in Tivo power supplies since 2011.
Here's a few threads to get you caught up.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=479176

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...70#post9123570

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=473394

You might be surprised at some of the weird issues a bad power supply can cause.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:32 AM   #13
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I did not check the power supply, do not have a voltmeter. Perhaps there is some history in forum regarding power supply issues I have not found yet. I do not see how the power supply would cause this issue.
Then why did you say it was fine earlier? ("Power supply is fine.... ") The boards would have pointed you to the power supply as the most likely problem even sooner if you had been open about that. As noted, power supplies fail in unique ways in a tivo, and the symptoms are often strange and not clear. Yours seems to follow that pattern, as it is.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:12 PM   #14
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Interesting reading on the power supply issues, I appreciate the reading list.

I inspected the power supply and noted no anomalies with the caps. As the unit was powering up just fine, all lights operating, no freezing, pixilation, or other symptoms that may suggest the power supply, I put that possibility lower on the list of suspects.

I have actually resolved the issue... here is how I got there:

Initially I assumed the remote, so in go new batteries. When there was no improvement, I turned to the IR extender UFO... checking the batteries (perhaps not holding a charge anymore) and purchased new ones. Still no improvement, so it was time to get more serious.

Replaced the peanut remote with another one (I have 4 active units, 1 in a closet), removed the IR extender from the equation, and went directly with remote to the sensor on the HD. Noticed sporadic response to the remote, (light on the faceplate as feedback) and assumed we needed to reboot the unit (it is magic how it fixes things). When a reboot did not help, I noticed a complete ignore of the remote, until I reset the sensor with a flashlight. That is when the number one suspect became the sensor on the faceplate.

I disassembled my other HD, and swapped faceplate units (suggestion from forum). Result? No improvement.. and the problem did not migrate to the spare unit (it was fine... located in the Den, the problem unit in the Kitchen).

So... what did I miss? Back to the forums, where I checked out Weeknees web site, thinking I will replace the remote. On there site was a significant write up on interference from other remotes or devices (plasma TV, rouge remotes with buttons stuck in the pressed position, etc). I have this unit in a cabinet, and noticed it actually worked best with the door closed using the IR emitter (as it is glued right over the sensor). So why would that work better than the remote sitting right in front of the sensor? Light bulb......

The only thing living in the cabinet with the HD unit was an old DVR along with the tuning adaptor. When I pulled the batteries from the old DVR remote, and pulled the power from the old DVR, I saw an immediate improvement with the remote direct to the sensor. But we were still ignoring commands... remember :

I had already switched out the remote unit, but what I did not know is my wife had already switched out the remotes, and I had actually been testing with 2 bad remotes. Each with different keys that wanted to fail, the number 9 on one, the direction arrows on the other along with other keys. This contributed to the illusion of a grander systemic issue. When I figured that out, enter the third remote......

With a practically new 3rd remote, with the old DVR removed, with the Tuning adaptor relocated to another shelf, with the led on the IR extender cleaned and repositioned, we now have fast, rapid response to the Tivo again. Menu to menu is fast (remember the bad arrow keys on bad remote #2? That made me think the unit had disk or other problems).

I have ordered a new UFO IR extender, two new remotes (we are using them a lot, need to replenish). All is well (for now).
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:42 AM   #15
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Glad you were able to work this out. Good to see someone take a reasonable and step-wise approach to troubleshooting.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:43 AM   #16
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Received the new NextGen IR extender, and replacement remotes. The new extender shows IR interference with its LEDs.. will light up when no command is issued from the remote. Easy now to see what is coming from the Plasma Pani, and from the Tuning adaptor. I found a nice IR quit spot in the cabinet, and switched the device to 'Less Sensitivity'. Getting immediate response from the remote now.

I did switch out the power supply (swapped them from one HD unit to the other), thanks for the Torx #8 info, that is the right size. No difference in behavior in either unit. Did notice a few bulging caps... but don't seen to be causing any symptoms in either unit.

I have been popping in and out of this forum for many years now, with out a doubt some of the best and brightest troll here. Thank you!
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:42 AM   #17
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Did notice a few bulging caps... but don't seen to be causing any symptoms in either unit.
It's only a matter of time now. Hang on to that #8 Torx driver...you'll be needing it again, soon.
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