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Documenting my Bolt Experiences...

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by clay.autery, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. clay.autery

    clay.autery Member

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    And what was your Idle, OE Fan, not cooler temp?
    Idle, Noiseblocker Fan, temp?

    Without knowing where you started, it's hard to appreciate where you got to. :)

    I'm looking at getting my ODT well into the low 40s from the stock 73 C. Putting a laptop cooler under BoltPrime isn't going to get there, nor will it address the drive temp, and the 8TB 3.5" drive will not fit in the stock chassis. I'm going to need a new chassis.

    Glad it's working for you though! :)
     
  2. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    clay I followed your lead last night and removed the stock fan and just put it on top of the Broadcom heat sink. ODT temp went down to 41 degrees C, just as in your experiment.

    I really want a junk BOLT so that I can try hacking the case. I want to cut a hole and put a 100mm or 120mm fan on the outside right over the heat sink. I then want to provide exhaust vents on the sides of the bolt and hack the case internals tp provide some better cooling for the hard drive.

    If you're going to replace the whole case, would you be interested in selling your original case? I have an extended warranty on my lifetime BOLT and don't want to hack up the original case (three years total).

    What would be really awesome for me would be to find a junk BOLT VOX or BOLT+ with the black case. I'd love to be done with this stupid white case. If anyone sees a junk BOLT for sale on their local craigs list please PM me. I can't find one for a reasonable price at all. Been watching eBay like a hawk, but haven't found any ;-(

    craigr
     
  3. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    Also a tip for if you have to remove and replace the case on a BOLT multiple times...

    Don't screw the case down and just put the one hard drive mount screw in place that does not hold the case down. That way you don't have to remove the cover over the hard drive with the clips from the case (it just comes off with the case). IOW the case comes off without removing any screws or removing the cover over the hard drive ;-)

    craigr
     
  4. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    Just a stray thought... I wish TiVo made a higher end BOLT with a real NICE case. I would pay more for it. While I’m wishing, I would like it to do OTA and cable at the same time, or at least have the option for either. The last nicely finished box that met my criteria was the two tuner Premiere which I own, but two tuners isn’t enough for a single DVR anymore.... sigh.

    craigr
     
  5. clay.autery

    clay.autery Member

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    The two Bolts I bought were for junk purposes, about $50 each, but since I have reclaimed them both, I won't hack on them. I was going to do the 120mm fan on top and modified exhaust venting, et al, but I'm probably not going to do that now. I need to house the Bolt guts and an 8TB, 3.5" drive in the same box... not to mention some kind of power supply to feed them both.

    Either way, I'm not going to have a spare case. My original case has to go in a box for potential warranty return for 36 months along with the original HDD. And I need to sell BoltDonor to recoup some funds. Need to sell BoltBack, too, but not going to do that until I know I don't need a place to backup to and restore from.

    Yeah, I've not been putting the screws back in cases from the second time I opened one up. And now, I have both Bolts Prime and Back open topped.

    Yep.... 6 tuners. At a minimum, both Cable and OTA setups/guides stored on disk and available on reboot. Ideally, there would be a software switch available that could hot-switch one to the other. It IS doable... I suspect they simply don't think they can justify the production costs... The 4-tuner Bolt Cable/OTA was a step in the right direction and what finally got me to come aboard.

    At this point, I am considering putting BoltBack on and annual plan, and trying to upgrade to a second LifeTime at some point at a discount.... Then run one bolt each on Cable and OTA.
     
  6. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    Yeah, right now I have a BOLT lifetime (primary TiVo) for OTA and a Roamio OTA with a cable card installed (it's also running OTA right now too). But, I bought the Roamio because when I switch back to Comcast for internet it's always cheaper on promo with TV included and usually comes with HBO or Cinemax. Kind of funny that I run the Roamio OTA with the intention to use it with cable ;-)

    craigr
     
  7. clay.autery

    clay.autery Member

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    Yeah, I'm within a few dollars of the Suddenlink Promo price right now, but don't have the free 12 month HBO/Showtime yet.... I've dropped my monthly bill by about $65 so far, but when I get a paper bill to work from I am going for the last few dollars, free cable card, and 12 months free HBO/Showtime, or I am gonna cancel cable.

    Told them if they jack with me, I'll dump them altogether.
     
  8. Doc Holiday

    Doc Holiday New Member

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    My initial temps were very inline with what you have measured. Stock was 73C under load. The Noiseblocker brought that down 8-9C, and the laptop cooler brought it down another 9-10C.

    Sitting the Bolt on a laptop cooler does address the drive temp as the case temperature of the Bolt is greatly reduced. I didn't put a thermocouple in the case, but my well calibrated palm would estimate a similar reduction in case temperature, which would directly translate to a lower drive temp.

    I had an idea for vast improvement in cooling but never got around to implementing it. The basic idea is to remove the tiny fan in the bolt and duct the laptop cooler to the stock fan location. You could effectively route the airflow from a 12 cm fan through the case without cutting or modifying it.
     
  9. Mar 1, 2018 #129 of 142
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Isn't that a bit excessive?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  10. Mar 1, 2018 #130 of 142
    clay.autery

    clay.autery Member

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    To whom are you speaking and about what specifically?
     
  11. Mar 2, 2018 #131 of 142
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    The post above my post.
     
  12. Mar 4, 2018 #132 of 142
    mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Active Member

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    Going back to series 2, I have bought Tivos. watched shows and erased them; occasionally keeping something (breaking bad finale) (UCONNChampionships) . never opened a Box, never had an issue except for a Roamio original straight from Tivo. I appreciate if you have the skills and the motivation...rip open those boxes!! I just dont get it. I've never dug inside my receiver which is going on year 4. hasnt been turned off the whole while except for moving and power disruptions. No judging..enjoy yourselves. Is it worth all the time, money and effort?
     
  13. Mar 4, 2018 #133 of 142
    Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

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    "Knowledge is Power" :)
     
    clay.autery likes this.
  14. Mar 8, 2018 #134 of 142
    CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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  15. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    Well Clay, I am not worried at all about doing anything with heat sink compound ;-) Here is what I did to get consistent ODT below 30 degrees C.

    LINK: My Awesome BOLT Cooling Mods ;-)

    Best,
    craigr
     
    clay.autery likes this.
  16. darklyte

    darklyte Joe

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    @clay.autery Have you had any luck tracking down a good off-the-shelf case for the Bolt guts?

    I just got a Bolt and am surprised how crappy the case design and hot to the touch it is so, actively searching for an off the shelf mod. A few cases I've come across so far on Amazon that seem like they could be a fit are:

    1. M350 Universal Mini-ITX PC enclosure - $44

    2. CUK Axiom TS Small Form Factor LED Mini ITX - $60

    3. Silverstone Tek Aluminum Top Cover/Steel Body Thin Mini-ITX Media Center - $65

    Just some thoughts, I have to open up the Bolt to see what the guts look like and figure out PSU compatibility.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  17. clay.autery

    clay.autery Member

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    Nope... I gave up. I mounted a 120mm Noctua fan on top of the case, and cut the back panel to accommodate the custom right-angle SATA to straight SATA cable I am using to run to the external 8GB HHD enclosure. I've got too many other projects competing for my time.

    I took the original HDD and fan and stored it in the original box/case in the attic should I ever need to do a warranty exchange (bought a 3 year warranty).

    Working great and runs super cool.... mid 30s. If I would go back and put in some additional (properly located) exhaust holes, it'd drop by a bunch more.

    ALL THREE of the cases you linked to have definite possibilities! Be sure to post back with your completed Mini-ITX solution!!!

     
  18. Resist

    Resist Active Member

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    Shine a light on the case top or sides, you can see right inside it. At least the black case is translucent.
     
  19. darklyte

    darklyte Joe

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    Good tip, thanks! I wouldn't have guessed to try that, though I'm not surprised the case is so cheap you can see through it! :laughing:

    My old S3 is built like a tank and still running 10+ years. Between the bad engineering/design of the Bolt case and hydra software I'm regretting my upgrade from that S3. (I did roll back the UI)

    It does look potentially easy to just drop everything into a new case that would have better cooling options and support a 3.5" HD. There may be some alignment issues to sort out and dealing with the IR receiver but I don't think it would be too challenging.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  20. darklyte

    darklyte Joe

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    Looks like there is an empty 4-pin header on the MB, did you power up the new 120MM Noctua fan directly from that?
    CIR-Engineering did an additional custom mod for powering the fan and was curious how you addressed that.
     

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