Just finished repairing my RTV-5500. I want to say thanks to Geobrick, whose pics saved me tons of effort trying to trace the circuit myself and figure out which cap was responsible for the 3.3 Volt line.
Interestingly C52 was bulging at the scores and was an obvious replacement candidate, but the 5 Volt line was fine. C41 looked OK at a glance but did show a little heat scorching from the nearby rectifier. So visuals aren't always the be-all and end-all.
I took some advice from a fellow engineer to hopefully buy some time before the caps go again, and mounted the replacements with a little air clearance between the caps and the PCB. Only time will tell. I can't really complain - the ReplayTV did last ten years!
A note about parts availability. I sourced a replacement for C52 from the office parts bin. The 2200 uF C41 was not in Radio Shlock's ever dwindling catalog, Micro Center (which carries a fair amount of that sort of thing now) was a bit out of my way, and I wasn't in the mood to wait for Digikey to ship so I walked into the local TV/radio repair shop and asked if I could buy a capacitor. Cost me a few bucks - highway robbery - but was more than worth the time and travel I saved. Something to keep in mind when parts are a pain to come by.
While I'm talking about RTV repairs I'd like throw in a couple of honorable mentions...
First, the stock 40 GB drive became the cause of maddening stuttering and spontaneous rebooting issues a couple of years ago. A few times I transplanted it into another old PC and used a program called HDD Regenerator to fix the bad sectors causing the problems. That software does an amazing job and tries very hard not to screw up any data. But after having to do that a few more times I knew I was treading increasingly thin ice. So I ran HDD Regenerator on it repeatedly for five days on it until the software stopped finding more bad sectors and went to to the next step...
...which brings me to having recently found, after a lot of searching, a nice quiet 160 GB Barracuda IV IDE drive deep in my stockpile. So I took a stab at using rtvpatch and its associated utilities to backup the original drive image, download what was on the original drive, then upgrade my RTV with the 160 GB drive. The software was fairly easy to use and worked predictably, and now my RTV says it has room for 80 shows! The hardest part was figuring out what jumper settings to use in the drives while they were in the PC.
It is getting hard to find IDE drives by the way. Anyone have experience with using SATA->IDE adapters? In this application or in general? I have tons of SATA drives that are more than large enough. Or, think of the reliability of using a SSD in an RTV! With a little creativity, one might even be able to use a SATA dock!
Last edited by Rectaltronics; 02-04-2016 at 07:53 PM.