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Old 05-22-2014, 03:53 PM   #1
topangajack
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Roamio Basic - Heat Issues

Looking for some advice (or maybe reassurance) concerning the heat generated by my basic 4-tuner Roamio. [FYI - I receive OTA signals from a rooftop antenna via the coax connection. Internet is via an ethernet cable.]

When using the Roamio for playback or Netflix streaming, the coax connection gets quite hot! When the unit is idle the connection is cooler, but remains much warmer than expected. If I remove the coax cable overnight, the coax connection is still very warm. The right top of the unit is always warm, even after prolonged idle time. Gentle heat can be felt coming from the right side vents at all times. The unit always makes a whispering sound.

Should I ask Tivo for a replacement, or is this normal? The unit operates OK, but I am concerned about longevity with so much heat - especially since I splurged for the lifetime service.

Any advice will be most appreciated. Thanks
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:36 PM   #2
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I've not noticed excessive heat on my Roamio Basic but I only disconnect it when I take it over to my GFs. Plus the metal part of my Coax connectors are at least an inch long. So if there is more heat it should dissipate better than some of the shorter connectors.
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:46 PM   #3
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Will you do me a favor and monitor the heat for a while? Hopefully, I'm worried about nothing. Maybe they all run warm.... (or hot, at times). I know the basic has just a small internal fan.

Thanks
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:03 PM   #4
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I checked it after I read the post and it was just a little warm. I'll check it a couple of times this weekend. I guess I should start a Netflix stream and see what that does.
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:52 AM   #5
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Looking at the internal layout of the basic, it looks like the fan blows across the main processor heatsink, and then onto the rf shielding cages around the rf circuitry/coax connector. (Google roamio motherboard in pics category to see) The heatsink and rf shield may even be touching in some units, as it looks really close and this would obviously increase the heat xfer even more.

Is it in a cabinet? Is there any obstructions around the side air vents?

I don't have a basic, but does much heat get xfered through the bottom of the case? Putting felt pads or extra rubber feet on the bottom to increase the gap would boost passive cooling on that surface
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:11 AM   #6
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I did the thicker feet to my basic a few weeks ago and it seems to be running a little cooler than before. It still runs pretty warm but no worse than a Motorola DVR from the cable co. that's been running non-stop for years.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:04 PM   #7
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Ignad, looking at the picture you referenced, the case heat is centered above the main processor heatsink. (The unit is raised on 1-inch feet, and is well ventilated.) It gets more than a little warm.

As to the heat at the coax connector, it is quite hot while actively using the machine and warm when not.

Perhaps unrelated, there is also a constant whispering sound that can be heard from 8 ft away (I have pretty good hearing) - the fan perhaps?
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by topangajack View Post
Ignad, looking at the picture you referenced, the case heat is centered above the main processor heatsink. (The unit is raised on 1-inch feet, and is well ventilated.) It gets more than a little warm.

As to the heat at the coax connector, it is quite hot while actively using the machine and warm when not.

Perhaps unrelated, there is also a constant whispering sound that can be heard from 8 ft away (I have pretty good hearing) - the fan perhaps?
Probably the hard drive, they make a little bit of noise.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:34 PM   #9
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Thanks for checking the heat on your Roamio basic. We all need to be aware of any potential heat problems, especially if they may lead to premature failure that can't be repaired. (ie. dead tivo - dead lifetime service).
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:30 PM   #10
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Have you checked what the Roamio is reporting on the System Information screen for temp?

My Plus is reporting a MBT: 43
My Basic is reporting a MBT: 39

The coax on both is just warm. Actually the Basic coax feels warmer.

Not sure why the coax would heat up on playing something back OR Netflix? Playing something back doesn't send anything via coax and Netflix should be coming over the ethernet.

-Kevin
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:37 PM   #11
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Kevin, I suspect the heat is transferring to the coax from the nearby processor not originating at the coax (I mean, how could it?). I'll check the MBT temp as soon as I can.
Have you ever checked how hot your coax feels when the device is in use? Mine gets HOT.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:42 PM   #12
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Kevin, I suspect the heat is transferring to the coax from the nearby processor not originating at the coax (I mean, how could it?). I'll check the MBT temp as soon as I can.
Have you ever checked how hot your coax feels when the device is in use? Mine gets HOT.
Thanks for your input.
Ah makes sense.......I'll go start a Netflix stream on my Basic and see if it gets hot.

EDIT: Just started 4 recordings and I'm streaming Star Trek Into Darkness from Netflix (720p). I'll update in a half hour and let you know what I find.

-Kevin

Last edited by kbmb : 05-23-2014 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:48 PM   #13
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Great. And I'll do some experimenting this weekend to see what activity seems to generate the most heat: streaming, playback, or recording (1 vs. 2 vs. 3 tuners).
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:29 PM   #14
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1/2 hour in with the 4 recordings and Netflix stream on my Basic and the coax is not any warmer. It's definitely not hot.

I'll let it go a little longer and then check what the system info says.

-Kevin
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:31 PM   #15
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Very interesting...... Thanks. I'm still at work but I'm dying to get home and check mine out.
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:57 PM   #16
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Well I stopped everything after a little over an hour.

MBT reported by System Information was still at 39 (no idea how accurate it is or exactly what it's reading). Coax was only warm still. Picked up the Roamio and it's definitely warmer on the right side, both on the top and bottom (warm enough to warm up the shelf a bit) but really only warm....not hot.

By "quite hot" do you mean that if you left your fingers on it....it would start to hurt?

-Kevin
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:11 PM   #17
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Around twenty minutes ago I started a Netflix stream and several recordings on my Basic. It's showing an MBT of 43 while my Roamio Pro MBT is 45.
The coax connector feels a little warmer than last night, but not hot.
My BAsic is using the stock feet. And it sits on top of a two tuner Premiere in my TV stand which is completely open.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:31 PM   #18
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When I put a 3TB drive in Basic, I noticed that it was a tight squeeze though it seemed the case was designed to fit the drive in place. I wonder if it is possible to put the mounting bracket in the wrong way to put the drive to touch the case or block the air circulation inside. Unlikely though.

My Basic is always recording (manual recording for 24 hours everyday on one channel) It is sitting on top of a Roamio Plus in a open-back enclosure. My current MBT is 40. I would expect this to go up higher once the ambient temperature is higher.
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:24 AM   #19
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I forgot that I had a non contact IR thermometer. I measured the temperature on the coax cable connector attached to my Roamio Basic and attached to my Roamio Pro.

The connector temp on the Basic was 91F.
The connector temp on the Pro was 78F.

So there was a huge difference in temperature between the two.

EDIT: My two tuner Premiere connector temp, which sits under my Roamio Basic, was also 78F.
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:08 PM   #20
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Kevin, I suspect the heat is transferring to the coax from the nearby processor not originating at the coax (I mean, how could it?)......
If there is/was an impedance mismatch (video should be 75 ohms), then that could definitely generate dissipated heat. This happens sometimes, especially with BNC type connectors that are rated at 50 ohms (usually antenna impedance) being used by end users instead of ones designed for 75 ohm video.
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:12 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:56 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:25 PM   #23
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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?
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:40 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by HarperVision View Post
If there is/was an impedance mismatch (video should be 75 ohms), then that could definitely generate dissipated heat. This happens sometimes, especially with BNC type connectors that are rated at 50 ohms (usually antenna impedance) being used by end users instead of ones designed for 75 ohm video.
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.
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:51 PM   #25
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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?]

Last edited by topangajack : 05-27-2014 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:55 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by topangajack View Post
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
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.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:10 PM   #27
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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.
I was really just replying to this quote from you:

Quote:
Originally Posted by topangajack View Post
Kevin, I suspect the heat is transferring to the coax from the nearby processor not originating at the coax (I mean, how could it?).....
The "how could it" part. That's one way "how it could". I'm not really saying that's what your particular issue is.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:38 PM   #28
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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....

Last edited by topangajack : 05-30-2014 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 05-31-2014, 02:05 AM   #29
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Have a 3 inch fan running simultaneously when roamio basic and plus are being used both boxes cool like the fall brezze
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:22 AM   #30
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No explanation was given as to why an inactive unit would generate that much heat....[still wondering]
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.
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