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Thread: PSA: TiVo HD's Hit By Capacitor Plague!

  1. #1
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    PSA: TiVo HD's Hit By Capacitor Plague!

    The Capacitor Plague has hit our beloved TiVo's! :-(


    Of the 9 TiVo HD's that I recently worked on during my most recent PROM Day, 3 of them had distended or failed capacitors. That's 33% or 33.333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333....% for you math geeks.

    Don't know what the Capacitor Plague is? Read on, here: [WIKIPEDIA]

    Affected units could be experiencing the following symptoms:

    • Unit powers on but displays no video.
    • Unit randomly powers off and on during use.
    • Unit fails to complete boot.
    • Unit randomly freezes.
    • Unit freezes during heavy drive activity.
    • Unit fails to restart following a lockup and subsequent reboot.


    If you have a TiVo HD, you should be opening it up right now to check if the capacitors on the power supply are okay.

    The capacitors should be replaced with capacitors of equal value and tolerance in order to restore stable operation. Those who are uncomfortable with this repair may elect to contact me and take advantage of my repair service by going here.
    .-=Omikron=-.

    TiVo Series4 Premiere Development HERE

    Do you have a PROM related question? Check HERE and HERE before sending me a PM. Any questions that have already been answered will be deleted if sent via PM.

  2. #2
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    Hey is that my unit!!??!

    Thanks for the GREAT work Omikron!!

  3. #3
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    Have you seen this affecting S3 units or only THD?

    thanks!

  4. #4
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    It's a problem that has affected many different TiVo models, including S2. I doubt the S3 is immune.
    Steve

  5. #5
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    Although S3's aren't "immune" per se, I haven't personally seen any S3's with distended or leaking capacitors.

    It mostly has to do with the quality of capacitor used in the power supply, and as you know TiVo has switched models and vendors of power supplies many times over the years.

    With the S3 being such a high end device when it launched, I would not be surprised if they spent a bit more on the PSU to use better capacitors. I recommend Rubycon, Nichicon, or Panasonic capacitors when performing repairs. At the moment I am using Nichicon components.
    .-=Omikron=-.

    TiVo Series4 Premiere Development HERE

    Do you have a PROM related question? Check HERE and HERE before sending me a PM. Any questions that have already been answered will be deleted if sent via PM.

  6. #6
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    This has been going on since the Pentium II, or at least since the BX chipset boards, and this guy

    http://badcaps.net/

    has been dealing with it since way back then.

    Lots of good info on his site.


    edit:

    Oh yeah, I think I'm the first to have called it "capacitor disease".
    Last edited by unitron; 02-12-2011 at 09:53 AM. Reason: self-congratulations added
    Too busy TiVo wrangling to watch television anymore.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by unitron View Post
    This has been going on since the Pentium II, or at least since the BX chipset boards, and this guy

    http://badcaps.net/

    has been dealing with it since way back then.

    Lots of good info on his site.


    edit:

    Oh yeah, I think I'm the first to have called it "capacitor disease".
    Indeed. I remember dealing with this back in the days of the original Athlon as well. :-)

    Still, it's incredibly frustrating to see it affecting modern electronics.
    .-=Omikron=-.

    TiVo Series4 Premiere Development HERE

    Do you have a PROM related question? Check HERE and HERE before sending me a PM. Any questions that have already been answered will be deleted if sent via PM.

  8. #8
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    Sorry to bump this thread from the dead, but I actually had a bad PS on my THD. I called the manufacture in Cali (can't remember the name) and they actually sent a replacement one to me for free. I was out of my warranty period by then FWIW.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by phdeez View Post
    Sorry to bump this thread from the dead, but I actually had a bad PS on my THD. I called the manufacture in Cali (can't remember the name) and they actually sent a replacement one to me for free. I was out of my warranty period by then FWIW.
    Really neat info!

    Did you contact the MFG for the PSU itself?
    .-=Omikron=-.

    TiVo Series4 Premiere Development HERE

    Do you have a PROM related question? Check HERE and HERE before sending me a PM. Any questions that have already been answered will be deleted if sent via PM.

  10. #10
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    The power supply failure just hit one of my TiVoHD's too. It was easy to spot the bulged 1000F 10V cap. I replaced it with a 1000F 16V from an old series 1 to no avail. I hear some faint ticking somewhere on the PS when I put the power cord in but no fan spin or lights on the EtherNet/front etc. I replaced the entire PS with my wife's TiVoHD's power supply (different manuf.). My TiVoHD boots right up. So 2 TiVoHD's, one good PS.

    I have replaced several series 2 power supply capacitors, one on a TCD140 for a lady last week, and never had a problem bringing them back to life. This one seems to have multiple issues.

    Out of warranty but I shot off a note to the company in California, maybe I'll call in the morning... I hope I get the same treatment as phdeez.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on further troubleshooting this power supply? Other than bulged caps, what are the typical problems with these?3YPowerTech.JPG

    TiVo Model No. TCD652160
    TiVoPN:SPWR-00011-000RevBO
    Power Supply Brand: 3Y Power Technology
    P/N: 3BS0158312GP Rev 1
    Model Number CP-1319R2
    Last edited by Dave20042004; 12-09-2011 at 09:11 PM. Reason: forgot unit as Soapm kindly points out.

  11. #11
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    The pictures aren't clear enough to discern the brand of caps used in your power supply, but I can assume they are of no better quality than those earlier in the thread. For a number of reasons, using used caps is not a good idea. Most brands of caps from China can most charitably be described as garbage, at least for use in an SMPS such as this. Reusing garbage is seldom a good idea (OK, using it to make compost is an exception).

    The clicking sound typically indicates a startup failure in the supply. There are a number of reasons for this. Somewhere on the primary side of the SMPS (typically very close to the SMPS controller IC) is a small electrolytic cap - typically 22 -100 F, 50 volts. If that cap fails there will be insufficient energy while the power supply bootstraps itself into run mode.

    A second reason is an excessive load on the output of the supply. One common cause is a solder bridge introduced while installing a replacement cap.

    A third possible cause is a capacitor installed backwards.

    My usual process when faced with a power supply with bulging caps is to identify the brands of caps - Capxon, Lelon, Elite, Chhsi, and a host of others have a bad reputation. I replace them on sight, even if by some fluke they meet specs when tested with an ESR meter. I also replace all caps of less than 100 F, even if they appear to be good UNLESS they are one of the high reliability brands (Panasonic United Chemicon, Nichicon, Rubycon). The only cap not a candidate for replacement is the large one.

    I then identify the capacitance, voltage, diameter, and height of every capacitor. I prefer to order Panasonic FM series capacitors from Digi-Key - their USPS First Class Mail shipping option costs less than $3.00 and delivers in two days. At a rough guess, it will cost less than $10 to completely recap the power supply in your attachment.

    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.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave20042004 View Post
    The power supply failure just hit one of my TiVoHD's too. It was easy to spot the bulged 1000mF 10V cap. I replaced it with a 1000F 16V from an old series 1 to no avail. I hear some faint ticking somewhere on the PS when I put the power cord in but no fan spin or lights on the EtherNet/front etc. I replaced the entire PS with my wife's TiVoHD's power supply (different manuf.). My TiVoHD boots right up. So 2 TiVoHD's, one good PS.
    Hopefully you left the m out or right there would be your problem.

  13. #13
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    Thanks Bill. I plan to recap as you suggest. I only have 3 that are less than 100F.
    But the others are mostly CapXon which you suggest have bad reps.
    You don't mention OST's but a quick internet search was not kind to them either.

    1. small electrolytic cap - typically 22 -100 F, 50 volts: Yup I see it but no bulge. Is the bulge not a good guide?
    2. solder bridge introduced: visually looks OK, I wonder if this Fluke T5-1000 can tell me. When on resistance mode, the display quickly increases until OL. Sounds right for a capacitor building a charge, no?
    3. capacitor installed backwards: I was very careful to line up the arrows with the greyed area as the others were mounted.

    So would you replace all of them shy of the 470F 200V?

    Clockwise from the Jumbo Cap:3YTechPS.JPG
    470uF 200V CapXon KF
    2200F 10V OST RLS UpperRightCaps.JPG
    2200F 10V OST RLS
    100F 16V OST RLS
    2200F 10V OST RLS
    470F 15V CapXon KF LowerRightCaps.JPG
    1000F 10V CapXon KF
    1000F 10V CapXon KF I already replaced one of these with a 16V as I said earlier.
    2200F 10V OST RLS
    2200F 10V OST RLS
    2.2F 50V CapXon KF SmallCaps1.JPG
    10F 25V CapXon KF
    47F 50V CapXon KF SmallCaps2.JPG I scratched this last one with my finger nail, but I think it's a 47
    Last edited by Dave20042004; 12-09-2011 at 09:04 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBill View Post
    I prefer to order Panasonic FM series capacitors from Digi-Key - their USPS First Class Mail shipping option costs less than $3.00 and delivers in two days. At a rough guess, it will cost less than $10 to completely recap the power supply in your attachment.
    Have you tried Element14? Their selection is terrific and their pricing is great - usually a bit better than Digi-Key for the same brand and quantity. They also offer a lot of items in single lots that Digi-Key only offers in bulk, and at prices that rival bulk pricing. Not only that, but their website is bar none the best I have ever seen. It leaves Digi-Key's website in the dust. Finally, their customer support is something from a bygone era. They are fast, courteous, and knowledgeable.

    I told a colleague of mine about the site, and he wondered if they would have some circuit breakers he needed for his boat - items used in marine systems can be hard to find. He went on-line, and sure enough they had them, and at a fraction of what he had been quoted anywhere else. We're talking about under $100 for the whole lot of breakers rather than $95 apiece. He whipped out his card, and two business days later (without expedited shipping) they were on his desk. That was Monday The only problem was, they were the wrong value. They were the correct type of breaker, but the wrong current rating. Expecting a hassle, he called them, and was delighted to have the woman on the other end apologize and promise to ship out immediately. When he asked about return shipping, she replied, "Oh, don't bother. Just keep them." Wednesday the new set of breakers breezed in the door - only they were still the incorrect value. Obviously someone must have thrown a bunch of the wrong size breakers into a bin that was supposed to hold some other value. Once again, he called, and once again he was told he could keep the second set of breakers. She also promised to make certain the right value was sent out of the warehouse. Friday afternoon the correct breakers showed up in plenty of time for him to head to Corpus Chrsiti (where his boat is berthed) with them.

    None of the Items I have ever ordered from them have been incorrect, BTW.

    Now back on-topic...
    Last edited by lrhorer; 12-09-2011 at 09:56 PM.
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  15. #15
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    I was very unimpressed with Element14. They are nothing but a rebranded Farnell / Newark Electronics.

    As the first test I took the 2200F, 10V cap Dave20042004 needs. Element14 does not seem to have any in stock. They do offer several name brands, but the only one of those in stock with acceptable performance was the Panasonic FR. The price was pennies higher than Digi-Key. OK, not bad - but how do I determine shipping methods? On small order that is a major cost factor.

    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.

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