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The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic! - Page 595

post #17821 of 18096

Unfortunately I do not have the special equipment and tools nor the skills necessary to do the repair myself.  It sounds like by the time I pay for labor and parts it would be at least 200.  This is my original Pal that I bought new. I bought a second used one for another room not that long ago for 230 and it looks like with patience, these (and the Channel Master equivalent) can still be had for around that price. Not to mention the new DVR+ is 250 + the price of a USB drive. Starting to sound like it may be good for parts only or for someone who has the skills, tools and knowledge to repair.

 

Thanks for the advise.

post #17822 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwsd View Post

It sounds like by the time I pay for labor and parts it would be at least 200.  
Contact P Smith via PM, you may be surprised at how reasonable his rates are.

I am one of his very satisfied customers.

Thanks again, P Smith.

.
post #17823 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by happy2Lurk View Post

P Smith,

What is the difference, between what jwsd is describing, thinking his tuners died and what I described in post 17523 thinking my tuners died?

In jwsd's case you say "demod or/and tuner chip is fail."

In my case, you said, "That's sounds exactly what happened to many DVRs (include CM 7000pal) when flash memory become corrupted."

I ask, because I was getting ready package and ship my pal to you. Planning to message you today but read this first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

Well, I should get into your case again.
Last key to it is your conclusion: "Now when plugged-in, nothing, a green light but nothing else. No loading please wait, no menu, no access to recordings."
Starting from here I would need physical access to the DVR to make initial assessment. Many reasons could be a cause for that symptom, one of those - flash memory corruption.
PM me for alternative solution (posting it here would violate site's rules.
P Smith,

Not looking for you to propose fixes for my pal here, just asking about why you gave different prescriptions.

Is it because jwsd's pal consistently gets to the point of scanning for channels but my pal does not, just the green light, blank screen?

I was just looking for diagnostic info for myself and everyone else here.

Also, to add to the info on my pals symptoms ... I was getting ready to ship it to you and wanted to see if I could run some of the checks you had suggested. It had been unplugged for weeks (months?). I did not expect anything to happen, other than the green light as before, so I did not bother to to connect hard drive or antenna. I was surprised, that when I plugged it in, it did go to the setup screen. I was able to scan for channels - but no antenna, no channels.

I unplugged, connected drive and antenna, plugged-in and green light only. Tried a number of times, all green light only. I let it sit unplugged for about 5-days, tried again green light only.

So, again, just asking about general diagnostic info, is the difference between guessing it is hardware failure vs. firmware failure, that mine, fairly consistently, fails to even get to the setup screen, while jwsd's pal does?

I will message you about fixing my pal specifically. Thanks
post #17824 of 18096
your case is unique as I see ... could be power supply or/and electrolytic capacitors issue ... if you'll remove the HDD and try to boot it, what will happen ? with antennae's cable connected ? perhaps the coax cable has some AC voltage on it ?
post #17825 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

your case is unique as I see ... could be power supply or/and electrolytic capacitors issue ... if you'll remove the HDD and try to boot it, what will happen ? with antennae's cable connected ? perhaps the coax cable has some AC voltage on it ?
I can play with it more over the weekend. Currently it is put aside again.

I have read that some electronics can hold power for some time, takes time to dissipate. I know a number of people have posted about pals reviving themselves after being unplugged for days, weeks. So, I thought I might have gotten lucky. smile.gif

But no, each attempt after that = just green light. I did not try again without antenna. I will try antenna/no antenna - HDD/ no HDD combinations over the weekend and post results.

I do have another working pal (same antenna) and the HDD I used was one I use with it - different dock though, guess I'll mix-up docks too.

Edit / Update:

After many attempts, I can say that for the "restart / point antenna/continue screen - vs. - green light only":

-- antenna (indoor/outdoor) / no antenna made no difference.

-- HDD / no HDD - only difference was access HDD vs. Hard disc Error "A647"

-- the only variable that seemed to matter was time since power OFF. Shortest was 1.5-hours - most longer.

P Smith also suggested:
" instead of Scan, go to Pointing, select your local RF channel where is good signal (or just press left/right arrow and test many as you could); if you see 0 on all channels, then most likely it's tuner chip is dead; "

-- Did scan, all channels = 0

To review my pal's problem, when first failed, I was able to perform all functions - except receiving OTA signal - I was able to navigate all menus and watch recordings as usual. No live TV or recording. Factory reset went as usual until the setup wizard - with no signal, no way to get past this setup/screen.

It was after I killed power that it started doing the "green light only" start-up.
Edited by happy2Lurk - 1/30/14 at 11:23am
post #17826 of 18096
happy2Lurk
Did your exact HD external dock update (Post 17798 page 594) to two units - first on took 2 hours - second one 20 min.
Just looking at the calender I see that they are both 6 years old - I hope this update gives them another 6 years. I have a third in another location that gets used a few weeks each year and a fourth still in its box for the future.Thanks for your response that gave me the courage to do it.
Bernieoc
post #17827 of 18096
Your going with external drives should result in the units running much cooler which will help them to last longer! Heat is probably the number one killer of electronics! Now you should also be able to clean the fans and the dust from inside regularly!
post #17828 of 18096
I also broke off the locking tabs - to make the next cleaning easier. I moved one of the units to the bed room and bought the DVR+ for the main TV - wanted the extended guide - I think I am seeing a better tuner on the DVR+ I can not quantify that opinion - just seems a little better - will see in time with amount of breakups stutters etc. I still have 3 PAL's running and will stay in touch.
Thanks for all the help and advise.
Bernieoc
post #17829 of 18096
Breaking off the cases locking tabs was mentioned many posts ago and I should have included that idea. Possibly some folks would not want to do that but I see no reason to have the case locked unless you have little ones around who might try to open it up when it is powered and stick their little fingers inside? Don't know. I like having the case easy to open and see NO reason at my house to do otherwise.
post #17830 of 18096
I broke off the tabs for easy access for maintenance cleaning the dust out, etc., but I put the screws in. I doubt any little ones would get one apart like that unless they use a screwdriver.
post #17831 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by bernieoc View Post

happy2Lurk
Did your exact HD external dock update (Post 17798 page 594) to two units - first on took 2 hours - second one 20 min.
Just looking at the calender I see that they are both 6 years old - I hope this update gives them another 6 years. I have a third in another location that gets used a few weeks each year and a fourth still in its box for the future.Thanks for your response that gave me the courage to do it.
Bernieoc

Glad I could help. As far as extending life, no guarantees there. Of my two, one died 10-months later, the other is still going.

For anyone interested, I did an edit/update of my post with results of playing with my dead pal.
post #17832 of 18096
Just thinking about this tuner problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by happy2Lurk View Post



....P Smith also suggested:
" instead of Scan, go to Pointing, select your local RF channel where is good signal (or just press left/right arrow and test many as you could); if you see 0 on all channels, then most likely it's tuner chip is dead; " -- Did scan, all channels = 0... It was after I killed power that it started doing the "green light only" start-up.

Wondering if PSmith or anyone has a pinout diagram for the MxL603 tuner IC? These use two.

PSmith have you traced the circuitry to determine if the two tuner ICs get a tuning voltage from a common source? I wasn't able to find a pinout or schematic for the tuner IC.

.
Edited by ed_in_tx - 1/31/14 at 2:18pm
post #17833 of 18096
you're posted in wrong thread ... the tuner chips is using in K77 aka DVR+
post #17834 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

you're posted in wrong thread ... the tuner chips is using in K77 aka DVR+
No, I posted in the right thread since I only have DTVPals. I got that number from your post and pictures in the Channel Master thread. That's not the same unit?

Anyway regardless of the tuner chips used, to my original question, have you traced the circuitry and is there a common voltage source for the tuner chips? In my olden days working with varactor tuners they have a tuning voltage sourced usually from the power supply. No Volts = no tuning.
post #17835 of 18096
don't worry about that K77's thread name ["owner"] - don't hesitate post such question there, ppl shamelessly posting in that thread anything what they want, not just about DVR+,
I'm think we will go to far [technically] here if we will start technicality of DVR+

if we will stick with TR-50, then yes, I did trace a few lines what I checked during fixes, luckily we could obtain pin-out of MT2131F tuner chip [ I recall there are two rails:+2.75V and +5V]
I never saw the voltages problem, but the chip(s) is running very hot, so any issue in silicon or underneath pad's soldering and it's fail
Edited by P Smith - 2/1/14 at 1:48pm
post #17836 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

... luckily we could obtain pin-out of MT213F tuner chip [ I recall there are two rails:+2.75V and +5V]
I never saw the voltages problem, but the chip(s) is running very hot, so any issue in silicon or underneath pad's soldering and it's fail

Do those run hot normally, or when failed?

Tried Google-searching MT213F and came up with nothing.
post #17837 of 18096
Yes, it's running very hot, so any quirk and it's overheating...while Operating junction temp max is 125C (!).

sorry, typed the model by memory (first post here is better source) - it's MT2131
post #17838 of 18096
Thanks I found the data sheet on it. Supply 5V (4.75 to 5.25) and 3.3V (3.15 to 3.45). Have something to go on if one of mine fails to tune someday.
post #17839 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

Yes, it's running very hot, so any quirk and it's overheating...while Operating junction temp max is 125C (!).
Do you think it would be worthwhile to add heat sinks to these chips to prolong their lives?
post #17840 of 18096
I thought about it ... almost all chips are hot: STi, AMDs,the tuners too ... but, the metal cans killing airflow around them (exclude two AMD ie demods).
It wouldn't be a matter if you add small heat-sink (there are no space for big one) in such condition.
post #17841 of 18096
Perhaps these? https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11510

Actually they're so small you may need more than one per chip!
post #17842 of 18096
you will get no air flow around the chip or heat-sink on it ; no cooling air coming - no chip cooling, don't waste your time (if the price still appealing)
post #17843 of 18096
I thought about the heat sink too. Being as these tuner chips are micro RF devices I wonder what the effect of affixing a piece of aluminum for a heat sink would have in its operation. Then I thought, remove the HD to an external dock, and add a second fan blowing straight down on those tuner chips. Just thinking. I have not taken one apart to study the possibilities.
post #17844 of 18096
Look at pictures - the tuner chips sit inside of metal can [by FCC regulation] , worst thing - second tuner chip is guarded by own metal can inside of common.
No way for your secondary fan to provide airflow for the chips.

Edited by P Smith - 2/2/14 at 1:11pm
post #17845 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post


With the stock internal drive, the Pal and drive are always powered up/down simultaneously. The Pal presumably accounts for this by delaying a short while before trying to access the drive. So a simultaneous power-up should still work even when the drive is moved to an external enclosure, and in my experience it does work...
Do you power off, swap, and power on the external drive and 'Pal like with a switched power strip, no problems? That's what I planned to do when I get all hooked up.
post #17846 of 18096
I did describe how theTR-50 working with own drive, how it's caching 'dirty' sectors in RAM, etc
I'm reiterating (what I'm usually against that):

- I did some work for checking a consistency of file system [DFS aka E*FS] the DVR
- I had a few HDDs for do the tests, by "switching" between DVR and PC all the time
- used TT BlacX dock with eSATA connected to TR-50 and USB connected to PC
- eSATA bus of the dock has a precedence, if it connected, then USB connection ceased

- so, running TR-50, writing events, eSATA cable connected eventually
- turn the DVR off by remote, when there is no writing (foreground/background)
- all I/O processes stalled, all buffers flushed, file system is consistent now
- disconnect eSATA cable from TT dock
- PC sense USB drive now and mounting it as raw drive (no file system support)
- I'm continue working with the HDD from PC using umm.., say WinHex;
- when I'm ready to "switch" the drive back to DVR, first I'm rebooting the DVR (by remote) and soon when I see lights are ON, I do re-connect eSATA cable to the TT dock while the DVR running a bootstrap for half a minute, then it will send "Spin" cmd, then will run own "recovery [fsck like]" procedure.

And it goes in a loop for whole day ...
post #17847 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_in_tx View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

With the stock internal drive, the Pal and drive are always powered up/down simultaneously. The Pal presumably accounts for this by delaying a short while before trying to access the drive. So a simultaneous power-up should still work even when the drive is moved to an external enclosure, and in my experience it does work...
Do you power off, swap, and power on the external drive and 'Pal like with a switched power strip, no problems? That's what I planned to do when I get all hooked up.
I do use a switched power strip to turn both off or on at once with no problems. I haven't actually tried swapping drives, but I don't foresee any problems as long as the Pal is in standby and not recording when powered off. (If not, I could imagine having problems even with an internal drive.)

To be clear, I use a NexStar CX enclosure. It's possible that a different enclosure may take a bit longer to become ready after power-up. If so, it may be necessary to power the enclosure up first.
post #17848 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

...I don't foresee any problems as long as the Pal is in standby and not recording when powered off. If not, I could imagine having problems even with an internal drive...
Seems to me it would need to be immune from problems by power interruption while recording, as would happen with a power outage.

I have two docking units and cables on the way so I can interchange my two 'Pals drives, and save when one gets near full.
post #17849 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

I do use a switched power strip to turn both off or on at once with no problems. I haven't actually tried swapping drives, but I don't foresee any problems as long as the Pal is in standby and not recording when powered off. (If not, I could imagine having problems even with an internal drive.)

To be clear, I use a NexStar CX enclosure. It's possible that a different enclosure may take a bit longer to become ready after power-up. If so, it may be necessary to power the enclosure up first.
Nope. I did describe how it works. How it use buffering, etc Just above your post.

You can't swap drive without rebooting. Other drive must be connected after new boot process started or you will have damaged file system ! Don't blur the line, ppl here is not technically advanced to get it properly.
post #17850 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

I do use a switched power strip to turn both off or on at once with no problems. I haven't actually tried swapping drives, but I don't foresee any problems as long as the Pal is in standby and not recording when powered off. (If not, I could imagine having problems even with an internal drive.)

To be clear, I use a NexStar CX enclosure. It's possible that a different enclosure may take a bit longer to become ready after power-up. If so, it may be necessary to power the enclosure up first.
Nope. I did describe how it works. How it use buffering, etc Just above your post.

You can't swap drive without rebooting.
Other drive must be connected after new boot process started or you will have damaged file system ! Don't blur the line, ppl here is not technically advanced to get it properly.
I'm pretty sure if you power the Pal off, it's going to reboot when it's powered back on, so I don't see the problem.
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