Dead Series 3 with Lifetime: Looking for Options

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by bsd, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. bsd

    bsd New Member

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    Sep 30, 2002
    New York,...

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    I have a Series 3 Tivo (TCD648250B) with lifetime subscription. I was having trouble with accessing the subscription data, so I ordered a new hard drive (Tivo formatted). I took the cover off and tried to put the drive in, but I now get no power to the unit other than the fan giving a clicking sound and the fan spins VERY slowly - hard drive won't boot. I tried putting the old drive back in the unit, but still no power other than the fan spinning very slowly. Based on my analysis, I think the power supply may be dead.

    I ordered a new Premiere. Now I'm trying to figure out what to do with the broken Tivo. I think my choices are:

    1) Sell the broken Tivo on eBay
    2) Exchange through Tivo for a refurb unit for $199 and try to sell fixed unit on Tivo (I don't really want to spend any more time or money on this)
    3) Admit defeat and throw the unit out.

    I was also told that Tivo has been known to allow a lifetime transfer to a Premiere for $150, but when I asked Tivo about it, they didn't know what I was talking about.

    Any thoughts? I also have a Tivo G Wireless adaptor that I don't use.

    -Brett
     
  2. oregonman

    oregonman Member

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    Jul 1, 2002
    Portland OR
    Why would you even consider option 3 when you know that options 1 and 2 exist? If you do decide on option 3, how good is your throwing arm? Can you throw it to me in Oregon?

    Seriously, though, I'm not an expert on broken Tivos, but I think the two most common failures are hard drives and power supplies. So option 3 should really be buying a new power supply on ebay and hope that fixes the problem and then sell a working unit with lifetime. But it sounds like you don't want to take the chance, throwing more money at the problem, so I would suggest trying selling the broken unit on craigslist first if you are in an area where that is feasible. You are more likely to find a buyer on ebay, but if you get lucky and find someone local, you can avoid ebay fees, shipping, and the risk of having to refund the buyers money on ebay. Ebay is a great way to reach buyers, but if you sell on ebay, you are effectively offering a money back guarantee whether you want to or not. Might as well try selling locally first and then try ebay if you don't find someone local. Look at what broken units with lifetime are fetching on ebay and price it a bit lower on craigslist.
     
  3. oregonman

    oregonman Member

    87
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    Jul 1, 2002
    Portland OR
    Oh, just as a benchmark, I sold my working Tivo HD with lifetime on craigslist a few months ago for $300. So if you can't get $100 for the broken unit, I would think that you would do better getting the refurb for $199 and then try to sell the refurb for $300 or more.

    One other thing to consider is if you get the refurb unit, you can buy an extended warranty on it. The extended warranty is transferrable, I think, and then you can sell a unit with a warranty, which would be worth more.

    Anyone know if he gets the refurb and sells it, would the buyer be eligible to buy the extended warranty within the time period (is it 90 days?) or is that just available to the original purchaser. If so, you can sell it and let the buyer know they can get the extended warranty. That might add value to the unit.
     
  4. motorcycle_rider

    motorcycle_rider New Member

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    Apr 29, 2009
    Michigan
    Looking at the power supply do you see any bulging or leaking caps?
     
  5. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

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    Do you have any experience with a soldering iron?

    Chances are that one or more capacitors in the power supply have gone bad.

    It's an easy fix.

    Whatever you do, don't put that thing in a landfill.

    The crypto chip on a lifetimed 648 can be moved to another motherboard, taking the lifetime sub with it, if the motherboard itself has gone bad.
     
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    there's a thread here someplace chuck full of helpful advice from unitron and others about how to troubleshoot and replace the caps on the power supply.

    I had the same clicking sound and dead S3- bought enough caps to fix 4 power supplies for something like $10 on amazon and fixed it right up. I even have the spares for if my other S3 craps or if anything else happens to the one i fixed.
     
  7. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    25,452
    649
    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    Interesting.. that sounds awfully like what happened to me.. The hard drive gets power, and the fan gets power to me, but the motherboard never seems to power up. (I should try the thing someone mentioned a long time ago -- try plugging it in with no hard drive attached.)

    I keep meaning to buy a power supply and try it, but since I'm not POSITIVE that's what's wrong, I haven't done it.. (and just the PS is pretty expensive.) Plus, I had a hard drive that died too soon before -- so that's pretty mysterious. (The hard drive seems to get power when attached to a computer, but is not recognizable at all -- controller card went bad?)
     
  8. pmiranda

    pmiranda Member

    676
    1
    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    I just went through this... I'm pissed because I finally upgraded the hard drive last year (it was easy!) and now my S3 cable tuners died. I bought a Premiere to buy some time (and got the multi-subscriber discount on lifetime :) and was about to send the S3 in to WeaKnees for repair when the IR remote stopped working, too... So now I'm in debugging mode but not very motivated since the premiere is noticeably faster.
    Long story short, if you don't want to repair it yourself, consider door #4... email weaknees about your problem... they say they can fix most issues for $100, but they can't guarantee they can fix everything on the S3's. I bet they could fix yours, and if the issue was the power supply all along, you could get all your stuff off your old drive and put it on the new, bigger drive and not need to re-pair cablecards or anything like that.
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

    7,308
    1
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    Just to pipe in that it's really a peice of cake to swap the caps yourself- and eliminate that.
    I literally haven't soldered in maybe ~15 or perhaps 20 years. If you own an iron (or have ever soldered and don't mind buying a rat shack junk kit for $9.99 http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062758 ) it's pretty simple to spot the caps that might be bad when you open it up (i just replaced anything bulging- no idea what exactly was dead). The caps are around maybe a buck a piece at various places on the internet.

    you might just be able t0 buy an iron and the caps you need for less money then UPS will charge to ship your box to someone else.

    the board is open enough and the traces fat enough that it's really simple. I did the first cap to show my 11 year old what soldering looked like. He did the second. It was so easy he got bored with that one and walked away and i did the others.
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,595
    62
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Strange symptoms, like partial tuner failure, are often due to the power supply failing slowly, especially if things get progressively worse.

    You already know how to open up that TiVo, do it again and check out the power supply.
     
  11. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    1,526
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    Mar 14, 2010
    If you don't want it, fix it and Ebay it. S3's, especially 648's and HDXL's with Lifetime go for BIG BUCKS. The more your capacity, the higher price you will get. There are some real LOVERS of the 648 (such as ME) who will pay well. Otherwise, consider repairing the Cadillac of all TiVos for you own use.
     
  12. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    9,461
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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    I am amazed to see that not one person has suggested that all the connections should be checked. Probably not the problem but should at least be verified as a first step.

    When I say connections, I mean the internal connections
     
  13. farmermac

    farmermac Recorder of shows

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    Jan 31, 2012
    this man speaks the truth. I'll never sell my HD XL.
     
  14. wtkflhn

    wtkflhn Member

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    May 12, 2006
    Metairie, La
    I think if you use TIVO's exchange program, you can get a refurb unit from TIVO and they will transfer the lifetime to the new (refurb) unit for around $199. At, least they did for me. But, I have 4 subed units. That might make a difference.

    Don H.
     
  15. pmiranda

    pmiranda Member

    676
    1
    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Argh, I should have read more before I picked up a Premiere and lifetime'd it. At least I got the multi-sub discount and now if I can fix my S3 I can also hack it.
     

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