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Thread: Swapping mainboards???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    6

    Swapping mainboards???

    Hey all,

    Total nube to this - I havent hacked anything since the good ol' days a few years back.

    Anyway, I have a SA TiVo Series 2 (or 2.5 as I see referenced on here - the one with the retarded night light). I bought it with the lifetime subscription just before they went away.

    A year and a half later, it developed a popping sound in the audio circuit - the problem appears on both the left and right channels at the same time. On a scope, the voltage at times wavers +/- from 0v at a very low frequency - down to less than 1 Hz. Then, on a negative swing, it will slam down to the negative rail for a few milliseconds. This is not good for my soundsystem no doubt!

    I have not been able to find a schematic for this one, but it looks as if the sound DAC is integrated in the Broadcom BCM7317, with no external op-amps driving the audio outputs.

    So - to the heart of the matter - I have a good working mainboard, but need to know if there is a serial number in the security chip that must travel with the hard drive image? In other words, which chip would I need to transfer to the good board to make it work?

    I just absolutely refuse to pay TiVo $179 bux to "repair" a unit that should have lasted much longer than a year and a half.

    Thanks!!!!

    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    420
    You should be able to convince TiVo that you have a valid concern. If you bought the lifetime on the unit, and now it's pooping out after 18 months, it seems justified to expect the unit should function properly for at least that long (after all, if you paid $300, that would normally buy you 2-3 years worth of prepaid service, and you should have a right to assume that the box should last at least as long).

    That said, to answer your question is yes, you need to move the crypto-chip over to the good board. It is an Atmel chip. Add that to your search and you can turn up posts like this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    6,413
    If the replacement mainboard is the same as the defective one you can simply swap out the boards and call Tivo to have them switch your lifetime service over to the new mainboard. Just get the Tivo service number from the system information screen and attach a label with the new number to the back of your Tivo for future reference. Tivo will think you're swapping out the old Tivo for a new one and should transfer the lifetime service to the new unit.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    6

    Question

    "...you can simply swap out the boards and call Tivo to have them switch your lifetime service over to the new mainboard"

    Oh, if life were that simple. They will not do that with a lifetime sub, they will only offer to repair the unit for a mere $179. They will, however do it with a regular, month-to-month sub.


    The "lifetime" refers to the lifetime of the unit, not the user. So if your unit dies, so does the subscription. Thats why I want to move either the security chip or the boot prom over to the new board that works, since removing and resoldering the large BGA chip would not be as practical.

    So, I'm still trying to confirm (without a doubt - no probablies please ) if the security chip holds the TSN, or if its contained in the flash rom. The less i have to solder the better - with age comes bad eyesight!

    Chris

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    420
    Quote Originally Posted by armis View Post
    So, I'm still trying to confirm (without a doubt - no probablies please ) if the security chip holds the TSN, or if its contained in the flash rom. The less i have to solder the better - with age comes bad eyesight!Chris
    Consider it confirmed, it's the security chip:
    Code:
    /tvbin/crypto -gsn
    /tvbin/crypto -x -gek

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    6
    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    6
    Just a follow up - swapped the Atmels - works like a charm - YAY!

    I found the coolest stuff at fry's called "Chip Quik". Its a kit that has some flux in a syringe and some special solder that keeps the solder from solidifying too fast. Applied it to all 4 sides of the Atmel QFP, and it was able to slide right off before the center of the carrier even got warm!

    Was able to clean the board and salvaged chip and resolder with a bit mroe flux and some paste. All without a microscope. Would be afraid to do it on a chip with any smaller pitch, but sure it woudl work fine if you have a stereo u-scope.

    Cheers!

    Chris

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    6,413
    A lot of members swear by the Chip-Quik solder removal stuff in the PROM socketing thread. It appears I may have spoken too soon about transferring the lifetime sub on your old Tivo to your new one. I haven't owned a subbed SA Tivo for over five years so I haven't kept up with the whole lifetime sub issue on any of the SA models. I have an old S1 SA model that I used briefly as a manual recorder for dubbing some home videos but I haven't used it in years. Once upon a time we used to be able to transfer our lifetime subs to a replacement Tivo on a one time basis. I guess now the party line is if it dies you're SOL.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    6
    I am starting to wonder if moving the Atmel over to a dual tuner S2SA unit from a single tuner S2SA would work?

    No doubt that would have its own issues when they send a SW update.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3

    Atmel chip location

    Do you have the chip location for the Atmel part that has the TIVO ID number in it? Also, what is the Atmel chip blank part number? I want to try and remove my "master" chip and then clone it to make a backup copy.

    thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    504

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by ciper View Post
    I also have to replace my broken motherboard.

    Is the ATMEL AT90SC6464C the chip I need to move to transfer my series 2 (TCD540080) TSN with lifetime subscription from a broken motherboard to a good motherboard. What about the SST39VF010 eeprom? (Do I need to move this the SST eeprom as well?).

    Thanks in advance.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    5,601
    Quote Originally Posted by tamagachi8 View Post
    I also have to replace my broken motherboard.

    Is the ATMEL AT90SC6464C the chip I need to move to transfer my series 2 (TCD540080) TSN with lifetime subscription from a broken motherboard to a good motherboard. What about the SST39VF010 eeprom? (Do I need to move this the SST eeprom as well?).

    Thanks in advance.
    You will have to transfer the AT90SC6464C in any case. If you have hacked the system with the broken motherboard, you must also replace the prom on the new motherboard.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    347
    Quote Originally Posted by tamagachi8 View Post
    I also have to replace my broken motherboard.

    Is the ATMEL AT90SC6464C the chip I need to move to transfer my series 2 (TCD540080) TSN with lifetime subscription from a broken motherboard to a good motherboard. What about the SST39VF010 eeprom? (Do I need to move this the SST eeprom as well?).

    Thanks in advance.
    You need to move the crypto chip to transfer the TSN. The PROM should only be moved if you've modified it and you intend to hack the new one.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    3
    Thanks PlainBill and Omikron for the reassuring confirmation.

    My original motherboard was not hacked. I will give this a go and let you know how it goes.

    What info does the SST eeprom hold? Is it only the Tivo boot code and software updates? Also, when is it written to? Only when your box dials in?

    Does clear and delete update the SST eeprom or harddrive only?

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