Troubleshooting the fan...

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by DrewS3, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. DrewS3

    DrewS3 Member

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    Sep 19, 2008

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    My trusty TivoHD had been restarting and hanging on boot recently. I have to unplug it and plug it in again to get it going.

    My first thought was the hard drive so I cloned and replaced that. While I had it open I noticed that the fan was not spinning. I assumed that was because it only spun up when hot, so I put the Tivo back in the stack in the closet and wired it up.

    Now it is a week later, and although the Tivo has been working flawlessly, I see on the System Information screen that the internal temperature is 62C "High. Still safe. Check vents."
    I stuck my hand behind the TiVo and don't feel any air moving. The Tivo is propped up on some blocks and the vents are freshly vacuumed.

    So, my questions are:
    It's the fan, right?
    If I get a new fan, should I expect it to spin up when I first install it, even if the Tivo is cold? How can I tell if the fan is bad vs. something with the signaling?

    Thanks,
    Drew
     
  2. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    I don't see that you've paid attention to the capacitors in the unit and they are a #1 item to review on an S3 and TivoHD, they will cause your issues and potentially cause drive related issues.
    You may also have a fan issue, it's plug and play and cheap to replace, but don't discount the capacitors as the root cause.
     
  3. DrewS3

    DrewS3 Member

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    Sep 19, 2008
    Could bad capacitors selectively knock out the fan while leaving the rest OK? The Tivo is working perfectly except for the fan not running.
    Is there any way to test that the fan is working besides overheating the Tivo? Should it spin up when I plug it in for instance?
     
  4. buccobruce

    buccobruce Member

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    Aug 25, 2007
    The fan spins up immediately when I plug in my TiVo HD.

    bb
     
  5. DrewS3

    DrewS3 Member

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    Sep 19, 2008

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    Great, thanks. Does it spin continuously or does the TiVo turn it on and off depending on temp?
     
  6. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    I'm not saying that you also don't have a fan issue but that's quick and easy to replace, just saying you probably also have capacitor issues underneath it.
     
  7. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    Quite unlikely - the fan is simply a motor, and it is the LEAST sensitive component to any power problems. In your situation, I would not suspect anything except a bad fan.

    I rarely pay any attention to the TiVo fans, but when the power went off last night I happened to be listening to the old S3 as it powered back up in the bedroom - I heard the fan start immediately, and then spin down at some point in the boot process. I believe (but do not know for certain) that the TiVo fans are temperature controlled in normal operation, meaning they do not necessarily spin all the time - this is typical of any computer.

    Fans come with multiple types of bearings, and it is not uncommon at all for them to get sticky and quit turning (especially the super cheap sleeve-bearing types). The first simple test is to simply try to spin the fan blades with your finger or simply hitting it with a can of spray air - in either case, the fan should spin instantly and freely - any sluggishness at all is proof of a bad bearing. If it does spin with the air can, then the next test is to check available voltage at the fan plug with a meter, but if you do not already have one of those, it is probably cheaper to just buy a new fan and try it.

    Replacement fans come in a billion forms, and besides just buying the right size, you probably want to pay attention to the sound or bell rating (buy the quietest one you find) and the bearing type (sleeve is the cheapest and not a good choice; rifle, ball or fluid bearings are much better for long life). But to be honest, the HD boxes are already so old, any cheapo fan is probably gonna last you plenty long enough!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  8. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    Just out of curiosity, I did jut check the fan on my THD box with a toothpick - sinning right now under normal operation, and the system temp is reported as 39C (Normal). Of course that proves nothing other than my fan is working - not whether it is temperature controlled and always spins or not.
     
  9. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure that it always spins under normal conditions but it controls the speed through PWM. That speed control could be more susceptible to power supply issues versus a fan that just runs straight off of a constant supply voltage.

    Scott
     

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