The Bolt that should have been

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by mircolino, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. mircolino

    mircolino New Member

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    Apr 20, 2016

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    Got a new Bolt 500 last week and I mostly love it.
    One thing I noticed however: the unit was getting very warm to the touch with the fan constantly spinning (even when in standby) and with the resulting noise noticeable and distracting while watching dialog movies/TV.

    The Bolt looks original and undeniably cute but IMHO aesthetics should never compromise performance.

    Hot air is lighter and rises so a high speed/pitch 50mm bottom mounted fan extracting air from the bottom of a case with little intake seems to me like a flawed design.

    So I decided to take matters into my own hands:

    Replaced the original fan with a top mounted Noctua 92x14mm
    Added a 70 ohm resistor on the fan 12V line to decrease speed
    Replaced the HDD with a Samsung 500GB SSD

    I know, it's not as cute as it used to be, but now my Bolt is stowed away inside the media center, virtually silent and cool to the touch :)
     

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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  2. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    You are very brave. :cool: And smart.
     
  3. Rob772

    Rob772 Member

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    How do you handle Trimmer with the ssd? Sooner or later it's going to need cleanup.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
     
  4. Rob772

    Rob772 Member

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    Sorry should be "trim" not trimmer

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
     
  5. markjrenna

    markjrenna Active Member

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    I give him 2 months on the SSD drive.
     
  6. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Even with a 4TB drive in each of my Bolts, they don't get very hot using the stock cooling. And certainly not hot to the touch.

    Although I have noticed a variance in temperature between the five Bolts I have owned. The current two I own definitely ran cooler with the stock drives than the first three I used.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  7. foghorn2

    foghorn2 Well-Known Member

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    Might as well throw the Bolt guts into and HTPC case with a apppropriate 3.5 drive
     
  8. beyondthetech

    beyondthetech Member

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    I'd be concerned that yours is running hot. Knock on wood, mine never did, even when recording four streams and sending one to a Mini. Of course, you probably voided the warranty instantly when you McGyver'ed a fan on yours, so I hope it works out for you.

    Since we all have (or should have) Continual Care with our subscriptions on the Bolt, I would recommend anyone else to exercise that option first.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. mircolino

    mircolino New Member

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    Apr 20, 2016
    With the small fan out of the way, the SSD SATA connector is readily accessible by simply removing the left (corner) cover. I figured, every few months, if needed be, I can connect it to my PC and clean it.
    I only lightly use my Tivo, probably not more than a couple of hours a day and in standby the rest of the time. Even writing ~200GB/day the drive should last a couple of years (comes with a 5 years warranty), which is about when I plan on cutting the cord.

    Ah, my daily dose of condescension: how could I live without it!

    After purchasing the first unit (at a local Fry's store) and noticing the noise/heating problem, on Tivo's customer support suggestion to replace the unit, I purchased 2 more at Best Buy and on Amazon. All 3 units were generating the same heat and noise level. So unless I'm extremely unlucky, I doubt all 3 units were defective.

    You'd need to buy a new case, LED/IR lenses would need to be refitted, the 3 WIFI/BT antennas repositioned, the missing backplate custom made, the motherboard custom fitted to the case... Why? This whole modification took me about ~1 hour.

    My main problem was the unit placement. On top of my media center I could clearly hear the fan during a movie/TV dialog, whereas inside the media center cabinet the Tivo would get alarmingly hot, especially on the back-right corner where the tuners/CPU heatsink are.

    Admittedly the HDD replacement was not necessary. But the bigger fan on top of the CPU heatsink improved ventilation tenfold and, as a welcome side effect, made the unit virtually silent.

    So yes, it's working out very well for me.

    I'm still of the idea that the cooling on this model, for an in-cabinet placement is totally under-specced. As for the noise, well... people on this forum are calling it a "JET engine taking off", so I guess it's not just me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  10. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    It was expected. You did a good job. If you find any more hot buttons to push, go for it. :D
     
    Sinfoman likes this.
  11. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Interesting about the 'heating up' thing. My impression, looking at it (my new/first Bolt will arrive at my house on Friday) was that, because of the curved shape, that it would be cooler.

    Fact is, with my Premieres and because I'm profoundly aware of the damage that electronics overheating can do, I have always put four water bottle caps under mine (one in each corner like feet) to allow them better circulation. I was kind of jazzed at the notion of this new one thinking that the shape would give it better circulation to keep it cool.

    I wonder why the fan is running constantly? Is that the norm?
     
    TerryFrench likes this.
  12. mircolino

    mircolino New Member

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    Apr 20, 2016
    The heating, in my case, was exacerbated by the fact that I kept the Tivo inside the media center cabinet to avoid hearing the constant fan noise.
    I recon that placing the unit in a vell ventilated area would mitigate the problem.

    According to Tivo Technical Support the Bolt never really sleeps, even when in standby mode. Hence the necessity to keep the fan running.
     
  13. mircolino

    mircolino New Member

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    Apr 20, 2016
    Oh, I also noticed the Comcast M-Card on the bottom of the Bolt getting really hot.
    Could that be the culprit?
    Do people that don't have heating problems use the m-card as well?
     
  14. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Mircolino - Thank You very much for your response and for that information.

    Funny thing was that I was vasillating between putting it inside the cabinet (behind a glass door like my Premiere is) or putting it up in the space in the swivel stand i have the TV sitting on. n It's one of those swivel stand that has an open compartment below the TV.

    At least that's one thing I don't have to think about anymore. I'll put it up there. Just have to dust it more. But at least it w/b easier to get to the back of it when I need to. That's one PITA about the stuff that's down inside the cabinet.

    I'm actually making lists of what order in which to do everything to switch that Premiere out for the new Bolt. I have almost 200 Season Passes on that one to transfer, plus some manual recordings in the 'To Do' that I guess I'll have to just manually set up again unless there is a way to just swoosh all that stuff over to the new one. Same goes for 'My Shows'.

    I just hope I don't have to move the SPs over, one by one. That will suck! There should be an easy transfer for everything, that I have yet to find.
     
  15. mircolino

    mircolino New Member

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    Before installing the SSD in my Bolt I used the Miray HDClone application on my PC to mirror the content of the HDD. It worked like a charm and all the settings, one passes, recordings etc. were correctly transferred.

    The process was facilitated by the fact that both HDD and SSD were of exactly the same size and that I was not migrating from a previous Tivo model.

    Additionally you'd have to open both units and remove the drives to mirror them on a computer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  16. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    TiVo online. OnePass Manager. So I've heard.

    http://online.tivo.com
     
  17. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Cable cards have gotten very warm in every device I've ever used with them. Going back to 2006.
     
  18. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Have you filled up the drive yet? The first thing I do when I replace any TiVo drive is spend the next week or so filling it up to make sure I have no problems.
     
  19. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    KMTTG works great for backing up and restoring SeasonOne Passes
     
  20. kendalltr

    kendalltr New Member

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    Apr 22, 2016
    Can anyone confirm the exact fan size, and whether or not it is user replaceable by someone with ordinary tools and some experience building PCs?
     

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