Escient Fireball flashing red light solved. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 74 Old 05-08-2011, 04:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Service manuals and schematics for these are not available. It makes trouble shooting difficult at best. I have a Fireball that developed the flashing red power light. After a extensive search on the internet (and I think I read every one), the problem or more to the point the solutions listed ranged from replacing a loose IDE cable inside the unit, disconnect everything and try a re-boot and a factory re-initialization. BLA-BLA-BLA. I can tell you that after spending 2-1/2 days straight of scoping out the whole thing that non of the previously mentioned solutions really solves the problem and it's a board level repair. I have repaired this one and it's back to a under 30 second re-boot.
I would not be surprized if all the dead Fireballs suffer the same defect.
As I have so much time invested in this, I haven't decided if I will fork over the information free to whoever needs it or turn it into a service for a fee.
For right now I'm just happy to report that they are repairable

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post #2 of 74 Old 05-18-2011, 06:51 AM
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I am having the same (or similar) problems with mine. It flashes red and makes a clicking sound every few minutes. Does this sound like what yours was doing?

I didn't know this was such a widespread problem, but I haven't really spent any time troubeshooting it yet either. If you would tell me what needs to be done, I may be able to handle it myself...

I would really appreciate any help you can give me.

Thanks!
Rick

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post #3 of 74 Old 05-26-2011, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick13160 View Post

I am having the same (or similar) problems with mine. It flashes red and makes a clicking sound every few minutes. Does this sound like what yours was doing?

I didn't know this was such a widespread problem, but I haven't really spent any time troubeshooting it yet either. If you would tell me what needs to be done, I may be able to handle it myself...

I would really appreciate any help you can give me.

Thanks!
Rick

Did I PM you enough clues to find it on your own???

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post #4 of 74 Old 06-18-2011, 01:27 PM
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I have the same problem with my SE80. I downloaded the software updates and burned a disc but it doesn't seem to boot off the CD. The CD lights on boot but???? I get fireball screen stating "starting up, please wait..." then I get a screen stating it is connecting to server for software update then it reboots. I have disconnected everything and reconnected. re-seated IDE cable. Even replaced the CDROM drive with identicle from Sony. Both drives are set to master. I can feel the HD spinning. @#%$#$ I'm going nuts! Any help is appreciated and I am more than willing to contribute, monetarily, for the research.
Help!! and Thank you.
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post #5 of 74 Old 07-02-2011, 05:48 AM
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can you give me some help on this too? I have tried a million things, and can't repair it.

thanks!!
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post #6 of 74 Old 07-02-2011, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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You have PM

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post #7 of 74 Old 07-06-2011, 09:47 PM
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I'm experiencing the same issue with my DVDM-100. Could it be the same fix?
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post #8 of 74 Old 07-31-2011, 07:33 PM
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Tried the IDE thing, reboot,... could not see anything else obvious. Can you send me what you did to fix the blinking red light ?

Many thanks,

Wim
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post #9 of 74 Old 08-31-2011, 04:48 PM
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i too am having the same symptoms from my escient e2-160. can you explain the fix? any help would be appreciated. thank you.
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post #10 of 74 Old 08-31-2011, 07:17 PM
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Count me in as having the same issue with my SE-80. I would greatly appreciate some help with this fix that some of you have done. Please PM me.
Thanks in advance for all your help.
Kevin
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post #11 of 74 Old 09-03-2011, 12:47 PM
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PM sent.
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post #12 of 74 Old 09-03-2011, 07:16 PM
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My problem is worse only in that less than a year ago the unit was sent back to Escient and supposedly repaired. However, I noticed that the boot time has been slow, the Fireball freezes regularly, and now I have a blinking red light and am unable to restart the Fireball. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #13 of 74 Old 09-04-2011, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
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All later model fireballs use the same power supply. The power supply is a weak point in the system. You can be fooled by the supply and think it's OK checking it with a meter for voltage output. The processor on the main board will not boot up with dirty power even with the 3.3, 5 and 12 volts DC present at the output. With that said, the power supply is the first place I tell people to look. Look at all the capacitors on the power supply. The tops should all be perfectly flat and there should be no signs of electrolyte leaking from the top or bottom of the capacitors.

Fireballs without hard drives and cd-roms.

Most of the time with these the problem is the power supply however I have found bad surface mount capacitors on the main board.

Fireballs with hard drives and cd-roms.

Anything can be the cause with them. If the hard drive it toast you're screwed. You just can't pop a new one in and expect it to work. The operating system is partially on the HDD and Escient won't release it to the public. It has to go to Escient to be fixed. If the problem is the power supply or the cd-rom, it can be fixed. If it's the main board or the HDD it's a waste of time.

So the first question is, is there any signs of life other than the blinking red LED? If you connect the Fireballs audio and video output to a display and try to re-boot by unplugging the escients power and plugging it back in, do you get the "Fireball is starting" screen?

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post #14 of 74 Old 09-04-2011, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefuel View Post

So the first question is, is there any signs of life other than the blinking red LED? If you connect the Fireballs audio and video output to a display and try to re-boot by unplugging the escients power and plugging it back in, do you get the "Fireball is starting" screen?

No.
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post #15 of 74 Old 09-04-2011, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by video321 View Post
No.
It truly can be anything. I see that you are from NJ. Did you loose power durring the storm and discover that the Escient wouldn't re-boot when the power came back?

Do the drives spin up when you plug it in?

In any event, I suggest you start at the power supply. Pull and visually inspect the supply for bulging or leaking capacitors especially on the low voltage side. I'm not sure of your skill level but while it's out I would go ahead and re-cap the supply. Do not substitute the 105 degree caps with off the shelf 85 degree ones and where size permits, raise the caps voltage.
If you are not comfortable doing it your self, perhaps a local TV repair shop could help? Last resort, you could send the supply to me and I can test it in a working Fireball.

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post #16 of 74 Old 09-07-2011, 11:29 AM
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i might just send my e2-160 out to Panurgy in NJ for repair. has anyone dealt with this repair center?
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post #17 of 74 Old 09-16-2011, 07:23 AM
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any luck getting your fireball running? i have two with this issue
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post #18 of 74 Old 10-19-2011, 09:53 AM
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Opened the box to discover electolyte leakage on the power supply, then sent the unit to Panurgy. Spoke to them on the phone about the power supply and they double checked with a tech who said there was no leakage on the power supply. Rather, they say the main board has failed (again in less than a year???) and sent me an estimate for $328.00 to repair with a 90 day warranty. This doesn't sound quite right to me, however I will probably bite the bullet and let them reapir the unit.
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post #19 of 74 Old 10-21-2011, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detsekson View Post

Opened the box to discover electolyte leakage on the power supply, then sent the unit to Panurgy. Spoke to them on the phone about the power supply and they double checked with a tech who said there was no leakage on the power supply. Rather, they say the main board has failed (again in less than a year???) and sent me an estimate for $328.00 to repair with a 90 day warranty. This doesn't sound quite right to me, however I will probably bite the bullet and let them reapir the unit.

I don't wish to bust your bubble but "$328.00" to fix a problematic one when you can e-bay a working one for half that.

Anyway, you say you saw electrolyte on the power supply and they claim not??? Was it close to the connector that feeds power to the main board???

Will you please ask for a detailed description of the repair on your invoice.
It sounds kinda fishy to me.

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post #20 of 74 Old 10-22-2011, 02:52 AM
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Can the power supply for an mx752 be replaced with one from a dvdm100?
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post #21 of 74 Old 10-22-2011, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkbs View Post

Can the power supply for an mx752 be replaced with one from a dvdm100?

As far as I know the Fireball series had two different power supplies and they look physically different with the earlier ones being different. Also, as far as I know all the later models used the same supply. Pop the covers off both and do a visual inspection. If they "look" the same it will work. They may have different part numbers but you will notice that they have different manufacturers names on them. They all look for the same 3.3, 5 and 12 volts. If the connector between the supply and the main board are the same you will be good to go.

Note: I have not had a MX series in front of me so it will be up to you to make sure they match up. If you have a known good power supply you have a 25% chance for success. If that doesn't do it, you still have the hard drive, cd-rom and main board to look at. You will not be able to do the hard drive your self and probably not the main board. You can try another cd-rom of the same type.

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post #22 of 74 Old 10-29-2011, 12:13 PM
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Unfortunately they look ver different after opening both up. My mx752 will not power up at all. Two of the components on the power supply card look like they have leaked some type of fluid, or else were installed very sloppily.
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post #23 of 74 Old 10-29-2011, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkbs View Post

Unfortunately they look ver different after opening both up. My mx752 will not power up at all. Two of the components on the power supply card look like they have leaked some type of fluid, or else were installed very sloppily.

Can you pull the power supply out and post a picture of it?

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post #24 of 74 Old 11-03-2011, 07:47 PM
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I will post some pics of my board. I might guess there are leaking caps, except one mark is at a dioda and on the blue ceramic? capacitor.
LL
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post #25 of 74 Old 11-05-2011, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Don't worry about that. I don't know why they do that but it looks like the same glue that is holding the giant capacitor in place under the heat sink on the other end.
Most of the damaged capacitors I have found are under the heat sink closest to the main board connector.. It is very hard to visually inspect them without taking it apart and a visual inspection alone might not be enough.

There is a way to use a old PC ATX power supply to power up a Fireball but you have to modify it slightly to work. If you notice, a 20 pin ATX power supply mother board connector is identical to the Escient main board connector right down to the wire colors. To use the ATX supply as a tester, you must first snip off ALL the unused wires to make it match the escient connector. Then you have to short the green wire you snipped off to any black wire on the ATX power supply. This will force the power supply to power up full time when it's plugged in and the supply switch is turned on.
Bench test the ATX to be sure you do in fact have all the correct voltages required for the Escient to work (3.3, 5.0 and 12.0 vdc) They will read a bit high on the bench with no load in it but that's OK. If all is well, plug it into the Escient but before you attempt to power it up, run a temp ground wire from the case of the power supply to the chassis of the Escient and let-er rip.
If the Fireball completes it's boot up, you need to repair or replace the original supply. Have at it.

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post #26 of 74 Old 11-05-2011, 10:37 AM
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With iPod docks widely available for pretty cheap. Isn't that better than dealing with Escient? I've never been a fan of escient. Too clunky the UI was miserable. I haven't dealt with one in years but I never was even half way happy with how it operated, and I work with all this stuff all the time.

ReQuest had a much better line of product and can also be had pretty cheaply via ebay and such.

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post #27 of 74 Old 11-05-2011, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Well this is for those who already have the stuff, it's broken and they'd like to try and fix it. I got involved with Escient when I was up-grading my theater. As I was moving from SD to blu-ray and Sony's 400 disc BD changers I got the idea to pick up a couple of 777ES changers to house my large sd dvd collection. The interface from the older Sony's sucks so I thought I'd try a Fireball to help out. It may not be the best but it kicks the crap out of Sony's gui.

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post #28 of 74 Old 11-07-2011, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkbs View Post

Unfortunately they look ver different after opening both up. My mx752 will not power up at all. Two of the components on the power supply card look like they have leaked some type of fluid, or else were installed very sloppily.

I just re-read this and noticed that you said it "will not power up at all".
If you don't even get a flashing red LED it could be the glass fuse on the power supply. It is on the edge of the power supply near the 120 volt power in connector and is marked "F1"

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post #29 of 74 Old 11-10-2011, 08:34 PM
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Thanks a bunch for your tips stefuel.

Saved my MX-531 and DVDM-100 by changing out the bad P/S caps.

BTW both use the same power supply, except on MX the power leads are reversed, and the main board connector is hardwired to the P/S board.

In case I decide to re-cap the whole board -- any good method to get the big heat sink out of the way... (I just bent the small one up). Unsolder?

Also if you might know -- ever tried to clone an Escient HDD?

Steve
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post #30 of 74 Old 11-11-2011, 04:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug View Post

Thanks a bunch for your tips stefuel.

Saved my MX-531 and DVDM-100 by changing out the bad P/S caps.

BTW both use the same power supply, except on MX the power leads are reversed, and the main board connector is hardwired to the P/S board.

In case I decide to re-cap the whole board -- any good method to get the big heat sink out of the way... (I just bent the small one up). Unsolder?

Also if you might know -- ever tried to clone an Escient HDD?

Steve

To remove the heat sink, you have to de-solder the sink and the components that are attached to it as a unit. You can't get at the screws that hold the components to it. That said, most of the bad capacitors I have found ARE under that heat sink. You should really re-cap the whole board
Do's and do not's

Do replace all the caps with the same value uF and test them before you install them with a meter. A ESR meter is the best to use.

Do not replace the 105 degree caps with the usual 85 degree caps found at the shack or the like. They will not last.

Where size permits, bump up the caps voltage. I don't have the brand in front of me but you can bump the voltage of every cap on that board with ones that fit if you are willing to search around. Higher voltage caps are usually taller or fatter. The ones under the sink are tightly packed and almost as tall as the sink so be carefull ordering replacements.

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