The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic! - Page 612 - AVS Forum

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HDTV Recorders

clarkss12's Avatar clarkss12
12:07 PM Liked: 13
post #18331 of 18559
09-02-2014 | Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post
Just the small cash and time, but small chance you'll fix it.
Still a chance, so try and tell us.
I have been busy so never got around to ordering the capacitors, which turned out to be the best thing. A couple of days ago, had the problem where the record button on screen was not working. Anyway after a reboot, it said something about the hard drive being corrupted. I did a hard drive format, and now everything seems to be working again. Not sure if this is a prelude to a hard drive failure, or maybe this box will be good for a couple more years.
P Smith's Avatar P Smith
11:15 PM Liked: 135
post #18332 of 18559
09-02-2014 | Posts: 2,059
Joined: Apr 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkss12 View Post
I have been busy so never got around to ordering the capacitors, which turned out to be the best thing. A couple of days ago, had the problem where the record button on screen was not working. Anyway after a reboot, it said something about the hard drive being corrupted. I did a hard drive format, and now everything seems to be working again. Not sure if this is a prelude to a hard drive failure, or maybe this box will be good for a couple more years.
I would advise you follow the post The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic!
zerowords's Avatar zerowords
06:46 AM Liked: 10
post #18333 of 18559
09-11-2014 | Posts: 50
Joined: May 2008
My Pal is "… unable to detect a signal in your area". The error code is A631. I am stuck in the install wizard where it is trying to help me point my antenna, but no station is getting any signal whatsoever. The situation occurred while I was trying to replace the hard drive with a bigger drive.

Brian in Atlanta
P Smith's Avatar P Smith
07:27 AM Liked: 135
post #18334 of 18559
09-11-2014 | Posts: 2,059
Joined: Apr 2003
Brian, I would recommend you read the thread - the problem discussed many times already ....
zerowords's Avatar zerowords
02:39 PM Liked: 10
post #18335 of 18559
09-11-2014 | Posts: 50
Joined: May 2008
P. Smith,

I tried finding comments on this in the thread unsuccessfully. I even googled "site:avsforum.com/forum/42-hdtv-recorders/ unable to detect a signal" and came up with no valuable hits. Can you suggest a better search string or strategy, please?

I think this may be different from most cases, because I cannot get out of the part of the install session. Whenever I unplug the Pal it comes right back to the same place upon plugging in again. Also if I hold down the power button on the controller, I come back to the same spot.
ed_in_tx's Avatar ed_in_tx
02:47 PM Liked: 60
post #18336 of 18559
09-11-2014 | Posts: 1,060
Joined: May 2007
zerowords, I tried the search too, searched "A631" and of 18,335 posts only yours, #18335 , mentions that error. So it isn't that easy. Better I think to simply answer the question if you know what the answer is. Or refer to specific posts.
JHBrandt's Avatar JHBrandt
04:05 PM Liked: 207
post #18337 of 18559
09-11-2014 | Posts: 1,988
Joined: Apr 2008
It's possible the RF input cable was damaged when you disconnected or reconnected it. Assuming you've checked that already, if the "unable to detect a signal" problem occurred after replacing a HDD, it seems likely that the RF input was damaged somehow.

Open it back up and carefully check the connection between the F-connector and the circuit board. It might have broken.
zerowords's Avatar zerowords
04:53 PM Liked: 10
post #18338 of 18559
09-11-2014 | Posts: 50
Joined: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
It's possible the RF input cable was damaged when you disconnected or reconnected it. Assuming you've checked that already, if the "unable to detect a signal" problem occurred after replacing a HDD, it seems likely that the RF input was damaged somehow.

Open it back up and carefully check the connection between the F-connector and the circuit board. It might have broken.
JHBrandt,

Can you speak more basically to me, pls? I don't know what an F-Connector is, nor what I should be looking for as damaged.

The Antenna plugs in directly next to a silvery box. Is the F-connector there? If so, where?

Thanks.
Chuck44's Avatar Chuck44
05:27 PM Liked: 44
post #18339 of 18559
09-11-2014 | Posts: 2,192
Joined: Feb 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerowords View Post
JHBrandt,

Can you speak more basically to me, pls? I don't know what an F-Connector is, nor what I should be looking for as damaged.

The Antenna plugs in directly next to a silvery box. Is the F-connector there? If so, where?

Thanks.
The F-Connector is what you plug the antenna cable into on the back of the DVR.
zerowords's Avatar zerowords
06:19 PM Liked: 10
post #18340 of 18559
09-11-2014 | Posts: 50
Joined: May 2008
Chuck44,

I have 2 Pals and 2 antennae, but only 1 TV and hdmi cable. I have tried both antennae in the bad Pal and neither works. Can you or others suggest other simple things I can test? The F-connector I presume is the thing that has threads on the outside of, and that I screw the antenna into, right? It looks perfect.

I have a mulitimeter, but that is about all of the electrical equipment I have, but an acquaintance may have much more equipment.
JHBrandt's Avatar JHBrandt
07:20 PM Liked: 207
post #18341 of 18559
09-11-2014 | Posts: 1,988
Joined: Apr 2008
This may be a bit harder than I thought. I forgot the whole tuner assembly was shielded (in that silvery box you mentioned).

If you were to take the cover off the silvery box, you'd see the other end of the F connector. The center conductor should be connected to the printed-circuit board. It carries TV signals from the antenna to the tuners.

It sounds like that connection might have gotten broken somehow, possibly when you were unscrewing or reconnecting the antenna cable. But because of the box that shields this part of the DVR, it's a lot tougher to check than I thought. So it might be best to have someone with some expertise in this area look at it instead.

I'd recommend P Smith, but he's in Greece now
P Smith's Avatar P Smith
09:20 PM Liked: 135
post #18342 of 18559
09-11-2014 | Posts: 2,059
Joined: Apr 2003
seems to me it's new work order for a person who are skilled in repairing of such DVR ... could be bad a tuner's chip or demod or something else; you should start from visual inspection first; check capacitors, etc
zerowords's Avatar zerowords
10:03 AM Liked: 10
post #18343 of 18559
09-13-2014 | Posts: 50
Joined: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
This may be a bit harder than I thought. I forgot the whole tuner assembly was shielded (in that silvery box you mentioned).

If you were to take the cover off the silvery box, you'd see the other end of the F connector. The center conductor should be connected to the printed-circuit board. It carries TV signals from the antenna to the tuners.

It sounds like that connection might have gotten broken somehow, possibly when you were unscrewing or reconnecting the antenna cable. But because of the box that shields this part of the DVR, it's a lot tougher to check than I thought. So it might be best to have someone with some expertise in this area look at it instead.

I'd recommend P Smith, but he's in Greece now
Is there a trick to opening this silvery box and if I get in there are there capacitors that might be bulged in there? Or is there any connectivity testing I could do?

Thanks,

Brian in Atlanta
ed_in_tx's Avatar ed_in_tx
11:26 AM Liked: 60
post #18344 of 18559
09-13-2014 | Posts: 1,060
Joined: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerowords View Post
Is there a trick to opening this silvery box and if I get in there are there capacitors that might be bulged in there? Or is there any connectivity testing I could do?

Thanks,

Brian in Atlanta
Go back and look at the attached pic in 18272. Shows the caps on the main board known to fail. No report I know of any caps inside that silver shield box. That box appears to have a clip-on cover. Can't see in the pic if there's a twisted tab through it to keep in place, some shields have that. If so, straighten the tab with needle-nose pliers then remove the cover.
zerowords's Avatar zerowords
12:33 PM Liked: 10
post #18345 of 18559
09-13-2014 | Posts: 50
Joined: May 2008
This DVR just had those capacitors replaced by the expert. So I am looking for other problems. Other than recognizing bulged capacitors, about all I know to do electronically speaking is connectivity and voltage/amperage checking. I am not familiar with "twisted tabs" nor with where to apply them in such a situation.

The picture has the following 4 indentations on the cap of the silvery box. Lets agree to name them <, ^, >top, and >bottom.

^ >
v >

Are they involved in opening the silvery box?
Donald1800's Avatar Donald1800
06:02 PM Liked: 35
post #18346 of 18559
09-13-2014 | Posts: 166
Joined: Nov 2008
Just a follow-up on my 1st. gen. PalDVR that started to have occasional pixilation and frequent daily freezes requiring a hard (pulled pwr. cord) reset resulting in two different results - downloads PSIP channel guide data if hard drive was NOT in operation, i.e. not recording or playback, the other condition where an error code pops up stating "Error from Hard Drive requires Power Cord Removal" if the Hard Drive was in operation at the time.


All indications that the power supply was the cause motivated me to order a complete set of 105* capacitors and today did the repair. The results were as I suspected, but a complete set was over-kill. Since the separate power board (Tan) was a simple dual layer board with easy part replacement, I replaced ALL of the capacitors on this board, even though none were bulging. I kept these capacitors for emergency use later if necessary.


The actual cause of the problem was C34 on the Main Board (Green) power supply section - a 2200 uf 10V capacitor with a bulging top. This board is a multi-layer board with plated-thru holes which seldom have clear holes after part removal unless you have a 'solder sucker'. which I don't, so hole clearing requires extra careful hand drilling with a fine drill in a pin vise. Because of this, I only replaced that single capacitor.


So far, there has NOT been a single hiccup doing multiple operations/functions simultaneously. Because of this, I personally recommend only purchase of 3-4 2200 uf 10V capacitors Newark #65R3934 Nichicon #UPW1A222MHD1TO for future replacement - I bought 10 @ $0.946 ea. at that quantity. Cheap future reliability.


I would caution everyone that has seen this problem to get this repair completed before un-repairable system failure occurs - a cheap capacitor replacement can give MANY future years of happy recording, especially when there is no comparable DVR on the market today. Happy programming.
P Smith's Avatar P Smith
12:04 AM Liked: 135
post #18347 of 18559
09-14-2014 | Posts: 2,059
Joined: Apr 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerowords View Post
This DVR just had those capacitors replaced by the expert. So I am looking for other problems. Other than recognizing bulged capacitors, about all I know to do electronically speaking is connectivity and voltage/amperage checking. I am not familiar with "twisted tabs" nor with where to apply them in such a situation.

The picture has the following 4 indentations on the cap of the silvery box. Lets agree to name them <, ^, >top, and >bottom.

^ >
v >

Are they involved in opening the silvery box?
NO, there is no twisted tabs; just pull the cover up by gently holding two sides; or start from a corner, use plastic "spatula"-like tool (I'm using my nails for that ).
zerowords's Avatar zerowords
02:45 PM Liked: 10
post #18348 of 18559
09-14-2014 | Posts: 50
Joined: May 2008
I removed the cover of the silvery box and inspected that area and found nothing and still the antenna feed is not being noticed by the Pal.

I am giving up for now. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. Thanks for the help.

Brian in Atlanta
JHBrandt's Avatar JHBrandt
07:41 AM Liked: 207
post #18349 of 18559
09-16-2014 | Posts: 1,988
Joined: Apr 2008
One of my two Pals died last night. There was no warning. It had been working perfectly; now it usually won't even boot.

If I unplug it and plug it in repeatedly, it will occasionally boot. I actually got far enough to attempt a factory defaults reset, but it died again during the channel scan after adding a few channels.

Internal inspection showed no bulged caps, odors, or other obvious problems, and it was fairly clean inside: a hairball or two but nothing serious. The fan works.

I even checked the voltages provided by the power supply and they seem OK as well. The 5v and 7v outputs are spot-on; the 12v output was a little high (about 13.3 volts) but that still doesn't seem too far off. (If anybody has a Pal with a bad power supply board and wants to buy mine, PM me.)

It was my wife's Pal. I knew she couldn't bear to lose some of her recordings so I pulled the HDD and put it in my other Pal. Now she has all her recordings and is happy again, but I'm without mine. For the time being, I've replaced mine with a Homeworx; I haven't decided yet what I'll do for a permanent replacement.
ed_in_tx's Avatar ed_in_tx
08:02 AM Liked: 60
post #18350 of 18559
09-16-2014 | Posts: 1,060
Joined: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
One of my two Pals died last night.... (If anybody has a Pal with a bad power supply board and wants to buy mine, PM me.)
Did you swap boards to determine the fault is on the main board? If the problem is on the PS board shouldn't be a big deal to get it going again.

Also, keep in mind that electrolytic capacitors can fail with no visible sign.
JHBrandt's Avatar JHBrandt
08:34 AM Liked: 207
post #18351 of 18559
09-16-2014 | Posts: 1,988
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No, I didn't try swapping PS boards. I just wanted to get to a satisfactory solution as quickly as possible. I didn't even have to open up the good Pal because its HDD is external.

(Although mounting an external HDD in the bedroom was a bit nail-biting. The power cable wasn't long enough to mount it on top of the TV with the Pal, but the SATA cable wasn't long enough to let it sit on the stand next to the bottom of the TV either! Ended up sticking it to the side of the TV with several strips of Velcro )

I may try swapping PS boards if I have time to mess with the Pals this weekend. But as I said, voltage measurements seem to exonerate the PS. Of course, there are also a lot of electrolytic caps on the main board, but I'd hate to replace them all only to find the problem is something else.

The problem does appear to be intermittent and possibly heat-related. Perhaps a solder joint under one of the BGA chips has failed. If so, I don't have the equipment to fix it.
ed_in_tx's Avatar ed_in_tx
09:27 AM Liked: 60
post #18352 of 18559
09-16-2014 | Posts: 1,060
Joined: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

I may try swapping PS boards if I have time to mess with the Pals this weekend. But as I said, voltage measurements seem to exonerate the PS. Of course, there are also a lot of electrolytic caps on the main board, but I'd hate to replace them all only to find the problem is something else.

The problem does appear to be intermittent and possibly heat-related. Perhaps a solder joint under one of the BGA chips has failed. If so, I don't have the equipment to fix it.
What you need is an ESR meter. Then you can check all those caps and just replace the bad ones. PM me if you want to borrow one. Then if you don't find the culprit(s) worry about the solder under the chips.
JHBrandt's Avatar JHBrandt
11:30 AM Liked: 207
post #18353 of 18559
09-16-2014 | Posts: 1,988
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That sounds like a good idea. It'd save me a lot of work.
P Smith's Avatar P Smith
11:36 AM Liked: 135
post #18354 of 18559
09-16-2014 | Posts: 2,059
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I'm waiting for better time (winter perhaps) to get hands dirty with a few TR-50 exhibiting similar issue...
Chuck44's Avatar Chuck44
12:20 PM Liked: 44
post #18355 of 18559
09-16-2014 | Posts: 2,192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post
I'm waiting for better time (winter perhaps) to get hands dirty with a few TR-50 exhibiting similar issue...
I wonder what it costs to ship a DVR to Greece.
P Smith's Avatar P Smith
12:30 PM Liked: 135
post #18356 of 18559
09-16-2014 | Posts: 2,059
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around e30
Pete-N2's Avatar Pete-N2
01:56 PM Liked: 21
post #18357 of 18559
09-16-2014 | Posts: 570
Joined: Jun 2009
And will it get there in one piece.....
P Smith's Avatar P Smith
07:57 PM Liked: 135
post #18358 of 18559
09-16-2014 | Posts: 2,059
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yep, got other DVR from Poland w/out damages, just mind to pack it with cushion
phildaant's Avatar phildaant
08:13 PM Liked: 124
post #18359 of 18559
09-16-2014 | Posts: 2,921
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post
yep, got other DVR from Poland w/out damages, just mind to pack it with cushion
Wow, Poland?
P Smith's Avatar P Smith
02:57 AM Liked: 135
post #18360 of 18559
09-17-2014 | Posts: 2,059
Joined: Apr 2003
"other" means different model, by Philips

So far, only UK ppl selling "older cousin" of K77 [DVR+] : HDT-610R

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