OLED Series 3 Keeps Restarting

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Resist, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    This Tivo has been working great but now all of a sudden it keeps restarting, even when watching live TV. Sometimes it does this every few minutes, other times it may go 15 minutes. The HD was upgraded a few years ago. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    So I unplugged the Tivo for a few hours and everything seemed to be working great. But after around 45 minutes it rebooted again.
     
  3. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    Look capacitors in the power supply, they're known to fail and bulge, and it's an easy fix with some basic soldering skills.
     
  4. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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  5. Mar 1, 2012 #5 of 15
    Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    If the capacitors are bulged and need replacing, where do I get them and for how much? I can do the soldering myself.
     
  6. Mar 1, 2012 #6 of 15
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    If you live somewhere fairly large there may be an electronics parts house with a retail counter in your area, or you might find a repair shop that would sell you the parts.

    If you have to mail order, check the guy at badcaps.net or lcdalternatives.

    (go ahead and check out badcaps.net to see what brands are considered good these days)

    Other reputable parts houses are mouser, digi-key, and MCM Electronics.

    If you live near Raleigh I can hook you up with a local guy.

    Somebody sells them on Amazon.



    Remember, you want the same uF rating (most likely 2200), the same voltage as marked on the one you're replacing or the next step up voltage-wise (If it says 10V, you can use a 16, if it says 16 you can use a 25, etc.), you want them rated for 105 degrees Celsius, and you want the low ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) type.

    Make sure the diameter and height will fit where the old one did.

    If you see a choice between radial and axial lead types, the type you want is radial. (both leads sticking out the bottom)

    One side of the capacitor will have a stripe with minus signs in it, and that's on the side nearest the negative lead on the capacitor. The other lead is the positive lead.

    Take careful note of which is which on the ones you're taking out and which goes in which hole (the board should be marked in some way), because you want to observe the same polarity putting in the new ones or they may go "boom" when you plug it in.

    Look to spend in the area of $1 to $2.50 per capacitor, before shipping or taxes.
     
  7. Mar 1, 2012 #7 of 15
    Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    Any other precautions to consider when removing the bad capacitors and soldering the news one in? Like shock injury.
     
  8. Mar 2, 2012 #8 of 15
    bmgoodman

    bmgoodman Member

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    I'd put the original hard drive back in and see if you still get the reboots. If you don't then you have a hard drive issue. My first S3 drive upgrade lasted only about 2 years before it quit. The second one, thankfully, has been going for far longer.
     
  9. Mar 2, 2012 #9 of 15
    Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    Good idea, thanks!
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    It's generally recommended to unplug the TiVo from the wall socket before removing and working on the power supply.:rolleyes::D


    The fact that the drive and motherboard will still be connected to the power supply when you pull the AC plug means there's still a load on the supply, so the supply should continue to try to provide power (for which at that point it has no other source than whatever charge is left on the capacitors) so that should drain the caps pretty quickly. You'll notice that pulling the TiVo's power cord makes the video output signal disappear almost instantaneously.

    Pull the cord from the wall socket and then pull the other end from the back of the TiVo (that way you know it's unplugged), and by the time you get the cover off there shouldn't be enough charge left on any of them for you to even be able to feel (unless you put your tongue on the bottom of the board where they're soldered in, and probably not even then).

    On the S3s, you can see 2 or 3 or 4 screws holding the power supply board to the chassis (as well as the white-ish nylon stand-offs it snaps down onto), but there's also a small dark colored screw on the back panel right above where the power cord plugs in that screws into the AC socket that pokes through the back panel. For that you'll need a #8 or #9 Torx driver instead of the #10 that'll work for everything else.
     
  11. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    You may be thinking of what you've heard about old picture tube type television sets.

    The picture tube, known as a Cathode Ray Tube, or CRT, is a specialized type of vacuum tube that also has a special coating on the inside and outside (called aquadag).

    The outside coating is grounded and the inside coating, insulated from the outside coating by the glass in between them, gets a positive charge of several thousand or tens of thousands of Volts (relative to ground) built up on it, which is what attracts electrons from the narrow neck of the tube toward the front where they hit the phosphors and cause them to light up.

    In effect, a CRT is a physically big capacitor (2 conductors separated by an insulator), although not one with a big microFarad (uF) rating, but with a very high voltage rating.

    Because of the way that particular circuit works and is designed and constructed, that charge doesn't bleed off when you turn off the power.

    If it bites you, the amount of current is actually very small, but the voltage is so high that it can cause violent muscle contraction and the next thing you know you've knocked 50 to 100 lbs of TV or Video monitor off the shelf and onto your feet or your lap and possibly shattered the big glass bulb which the CRT is, and since it's a vacuum inside the air rushing to get in can blow it up and shoot out shards of glass everywhere.

    But that's CRT's, not TiVo power supplies.
     
  12. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    No, I'm thinking about capacitors. I know that certain capacitors can shock the heck out of you, just wondering if I had to worry about these in the Tivo.

    I just looked inside the Tivo and sure enough I see a bulged 25V capacitor. So I removed it and headed out to my local Radio Shack, and of course they don't have them. And I can't seem to find anyone locally that has them. Any ideas where to buy one that's not too expensive? I really don't want to wait a long time to get the part either.
     
  13. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy Member

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    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    I have a Series 3 doing the same exact thing (randomly rebooting). After some investigating here, I opened the unit up and noticed one of the capacitors is buldging. I'm assuming this is the problem.

    Now, I actually just found a local electronics repair place that will solder & replace the bad capacitor. I told the guy the situation and he said he could essentially put a new capacitor on for about $15. I figure I don't have much to lose.

    Will pull the power supply out of the unit and bring it in to him. He said he can probably do it right there in about 20mins. Although, I now wonder if I should just bring the whole Series 3 DVR in to him instead of taking the time and effort to yank the power supply. Can the capacitor be replaced just as easy IN this Series 3 unit? Or should I really just pull it out first & its better to do it this way?
     
  14. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Did he give any indication of being aware of capacitor plague already?

    Someone will have to remove the power supply circuit board from the TiVo chassis (you have to unsolder the caps from the bottom side of the power supply circuit board), and they will need a #10 Torx driver and a #8 or #9 for the little screw on the back panel above the AC input jack.

    He's had more experience taking electronics apart than have you, but taking the power supply circuit board out of a TiVo isn't as complicated as rocket surgery.

    If you have the OLED version there's the power lead to the front panel which connects I know not how, so I can't tell you how to disconnect it.

    Maybe you can figure it out yourself. You can't hurt it just by looking at it.

    You can carefully try removing the power supply and stop if you feel like you're getting in over your head.

    There are some screws holding it down to the chassis and one on the back panel and there are some nylon standoffs the tops of which you'll have to squeeze to wiggle the circuit board up off of after removing all of the screws.

    Get an old asprin bottle or similar and put all the screws holding the lid on the TiVo in it and carry them along.

    Get another one for the power supply screws.

    Take the entire TiVo, including power cord and remote, to the repair shop. After he installs the new capacitor(s) you want to have the power supply tested in the TiVo.

    Make sure he understands you need low ESR, 105 degree Celsius caps.

    Also, tell him that if there's another cap in parallel with the bad one to go ahead and replace them both.

    If you have the power supply board removed without damaging it you'll have saved him some time.
     
  15. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    So I finally found a replacement capacitor locally for $2, figures after I already ordered one on Amazon. It's a little fatter and shorter but has the same specs, so it should work fine. Took me all of 2 minutes to solder it in and fire up my tivo. So far no reboots, but it's only been on around 30 minutes.

    UPDATE: Been 6 hours and no reboots, so I think I fixed it. Thanks to all for the help!
     

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