Why no surge protector? Bolt was rebooting

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by Pokemon_Dad, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    I don't understand this suggestion from Weaknees support, but it seems to be working: plug the Bolt into the wall instead of the surge protector. The first week after activating, our new Bolt spontaneously rebooted twice, once while the drive was being accessed from a Mini and once while we were watching a recorded show directly on the Bolt.

    I was worried about the upgraded 2TB disk, but Weaknees suggested it could be the power strip. In the week since plugging this TiVo into the wall, it has been behaving. But it was using a high-end APC surge protector power strip with digital filtering. The eight year-old HD it replaced was plugged into an analog filtering outlet on the same surge protector for five years. All our other equipment is also plugged into the same surge protector without any issues.

    I would think surge protectors good, wall outlets bad, no? The voltage drop inside there can't be that large. What is it about Bolt power supplies?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  2. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    No idea. Both of my Bolts are on a UPS. Since 2002 I've always had my TiVos connected to a UPS and had no issues like that.
     
  3. chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Well-Known Member

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    TiVo told me to do this when I was having problems with my Premiere initially. Plugging the Premiere directly into the wall did help. The Premiere software was not ready for prime time initially, but I'm not sure why the noise of a power strip would make the Premiere reboot.

    I have my Roamio plugged into a UPS and the coax surge suppressor on the UPS.
     
  4. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    The answer is that when troubleshooting they want power strips out of the picture so they can better troubleshoot your issue. If the issue goes away when you bypass the power strip, then replace the power strip, if it doesn't then they know it's not a power strip issue.

    There's nothing nefarious involved, just troubleshooting, after your issue is resolved it's recommended to go back to some level of power protection on the unit.
     
  5. chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Well-Known Member

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    The number of reboots decreased, but did not go away and was definitely not resolved. At about the same time, new software was released. Software was definitely part of the problem. I think the issue may have been an overly sensitive Premiere and poor software. This may actually be the same for the OP on this issue. Switching to the SD menus made all my Premiere problems go away.
     
  6. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Thanks. Not nefarious, but nebulous nonetheless. Given all the posts about rebooting issues and other power supply problems throughout this forum, this appears to be a common QC issue. Not testing these products with a representative range of power quality to simulate common power strips is costing TiVo money. Unfortunately this is also costing Weaknees money too.

    I will try plugging into the same strip's analog filtering outlet this coming week, for a complete test. I'm not ready to give up on that yet.
     
  7. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    The reason Weaknees told you to remove the power strip from the circuit was that the surge protectors in power strips break down with use and either fail to provide protection or stop producing reliable power. Blaming TiVo for a failing surge protector is misplacing the blame, IMO.
     
  8. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Not just any surge protector: a $200 power filter that has been working fine with a 4K TV and several other sources besides the Bolt, including the TiVo HD we just replaced. Add this report to the high number of power supply problems reported on this forum, and the statistics should form our opinions for us. I will do one more test and report back here.
     
  9. waynomo

    waynomo My One Time

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    How old is the surge protector?
     
  10. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    This power filter is eight years old, and yes they do wear out. Strange that it only bothers the Bolt though.
     
  11. waynomo

    waynomo My One Time

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    Yeah, that was my point. I guess you got that. You should really consider a UPS.
     
  12. Mike Malter

    Mike Malter Computer Mutt

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    Some surge protectors are really bad. Don't know why. I had one and always had trouble with my laptop, but when I plugged it directly into the wall, my issues went away. My experience is that better brands work better, and those cheapo surge protectors create more problems than they solve.

    I'm having random reboot problems with my Bolt, but it is plugged into the wall.
     
  13. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    You do get what you pay for with surge protectors, and the cheap ones may be no better than a wall outlet for sensitive equipment like this. I never was able to verify that my Bolt's problems were from the old surge protector, but I went ahead and purchased a nice thin APC product that offers similar features at a good price: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001WLGN2K/ The Bolt has been behaving for about three months now.

    For the Bolt I think it's important to look for a protector that includes power conditioning features including noise rejection from electrical and radio interference, and I was able to find all that without getting into high-end items that look like audio components. I have no battery backup in that room yet, as we don't consider TV as essential as computing and communications, but I might add that someday.

    Still wondering, what is it about Bolt power supplies? I don't see many discussions like this about other models.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
  14. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Or just get a UPS. I've been using APC brand UPSs with my TiVos for fifteen years. I've never had any power issues. And I would never use a TiVo or any other DVR without it being connected to a UPS.
     
  15. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    As I mentioned we don't consider TV as essential as computing and communications, but I might add that someday. I've used APC UPS products and do recommend them, but I also recommend doing some surgery to remove their annoying power outage alarms. There is a way to deactivate it via software, but I've found that a more permanent solution is often necessary (and I take great satisfaction in doing so after being awakened at 4 AM by that infernal beeping one time too many...).
     
  16. rjrsouthwest

    rjrsouthwest Active Member

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    I use a APC UPS for my TV and Tivo Bolt and never have had any problems with rebooting of the Tivo. This summer I had a power outage while the Tivo was recording and it just kept on recording. I did turn off the TV untill the power was restored.
     
  17. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    The last eight or so APC UPS units I've purchased have had a built in display. And an option menu to disable the alarm so you never hear it. Or you can do it in software like I did over fifteen years ago. Using their Powerchute software to disable it. I would not own a UPS that you could not disable the alarm. That would be annoying when the power went out. Since I have over fifteen APC UPSs in use.

    All my electronic devices are on a UPS so I get anywhere between 2 hours and 18 hours of runtime., Depending on the load I have on the UPS. So my FiOS ONT and router get up to 18 hours of runtime. So I can continue connecting to the internet, watching TV, or using my home phone during a long outage. Then my TiVos get at least twelve hours of runtime. And of course my PCs, TVs, subwoofers, game systems etc., they are all also on a UPS. Fortunately it's very rare to have such a long power outage around here. It's only happened three times in the last 22 years.
     
  18. Marlen

    Marlen New Member

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    It may be the situation. The surge protector may be broken by the over use. So before getting a surge protector, ensure that it has an indicator and has a decent UL rating. Once our PC got harmed amid a lightning despite the fact that we had a power surge protector. We haven't understood that our surge protector was not working. Now we have a power surge protector brought from Barrie, with indicators to ensure that it is working. Thus, it is not appreciated to depend on upon this completely. Better practice is to unplug the devices from the connections in the midst of the lightning strikes.
     
  19. scottchez

    scottchez Member

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    I can confirm that this is good advice.
    I in fact had a Bad surge Suppressor, tivo would get network issue over MOCA and reboot a lot.
    Plugged into the wall and issue went away.
    Of COURSE I purchased a new better Surge protector, not issues since.
    Fact is sometimes electrical equipment just goes bad. Worth a try removing the surge suppressor as a test, just take minutes to unplug and reboot.
     
    Mikeguy and krkaufman like this.
  20. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

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    The Transient Voltage Suppression diodes used in common/cheap surge protection strips are just Zener diodes. They typically fail as a semi-short (i.e. they become a resistor from AC hot to either ground or neutral). That in turn lowers the input voltage to anything plugged into that strip. A Tivo doesn't like to be under-powered like that and will misbehave.

    These surge protection devices last maybe three years at most. It's a good idea to proactively replace them.
     
    rpiotro and worachj like this.

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