Remaking the Tivo Bolt with super powers !

Discussion in 'TiVo Underground' started by zangetsu, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. zangetsu

    zangetsu this NEW MEMBER has been here a decade

    Jan 12, 2010


    This is the thread where inspired by this wonderful community i have conceived of a Tivo Bolt mod to add super powers to my Tivo Bolt.
  2. zangetsu

    zangetsu this NEW MEMBER has been here a decade

    Jan 12, 2010
    i was inspired to increase the recording capacity of my tivo bolt and also to make it run cooler.

    there were not a lot of choices for large capacity drives that would fit in the bolt (2.5 inch), so i decided to use some cable extensions and have a full size desktop drive (3.5 inch) that would be placed OUTSIDE the case.

    another goal was to lower the heat inside the case (the ODT temp). to modify a cable i bought online.

    i was able to make the cable i needed from some help from CIR-Engineering to modify a cable i bought online.

    so now my Tivo Bolt that had 500 GB of space has 6 TB from a WD Purp HDD. i thought it might be a good choice since they are designed to be used 24/7 with multiple streaming, so far mine has worked very well, not too noisy and fairly quick. although RED would be faster you usually do not need blazing fast drives fro a DVR.

    sadly while i was working on that, one of my Tivo Premier's got stuck in a never ending boot loop. i believe the HDD will need to be replaced in it.

    i gave all this backstory because it got me to thinking.

    most of the heat generated in these boxes is from the power supply and hard drives, along with the circuit board of course.

    if i can remove most of the heat from my TIVO boxes it will improve the lifespan of those boxes.

    also i realised that tivo boxes uses power supplies that just barely meet the needs for power, this is why they often give a whining sound when you use a better fan that draws a bit more power or a drives that needs more juice.

    so ....

    this is my plan !

    i have some new computer power supplies i am not using, what if i used one (CX600M ATX Power Supply) to power both the Tivo Premiere and the Tivo Bolt as well as the extra fans and the larger hard drives ?

    i do not yet know exactly how i will route the power from the PSU to the boxes, and if i will use fan controllers to adjust the fans i want to use to cool the boxes.

    i also am undecided as to how i want to encase the Premier and Bolt to maximise cooling, i have thought about building an enclosure to hold them both along with the hard drives and fans.

    i would appreciate any helpful suggestions or tips.

    i want to move a lot of air but not make too much noise, and i hate with a passion fans that have these bright lights in them like they are trying to signal alpha centauri. i have tried breaking the led's without breaking the fans but half the time it all breaks.

    thanks in advance for the help !


  3. Anotherpyr

    Anotherpyr Active Member

    May 6, 2015
    I think the main issue is it generates a lot of heat that has no place to go. Starting with a tiny fan and very little ventilation in the case, the heat it generates is trapped. At least that’s how I see it.

    I’d start with taking the top off and taking a thermal image of it in action to identify the main heat sources and start there. Otherwise much like code optimization without profiling, you could waste your time on things that aren’t the main problem.

    You could also try taking spot temperatures as thermal imaging equipment isn’t cheap and most of us ( me included ) don’t happen have to any lying around the house.

    Best bang for the buck I’ve found is to pick up the usb powered 120mm fans mentioned elsewhere, remove the cablecard door and set it on top of one of the fans blowing upward. This dropped my ODT from the upper 70s to the lower 40s.

    AC Infinity MULTIFAN S7, Quiet Dual 120mm USB Fan for Receiver DVR Playstation Xbox Computer Cabinet Cooling
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  4. elorimer

    elorimer Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    I think most of the heat in a Bolt is the tuner and the cablecard. Power supply is external.

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