I would recommend you not install yourself. One person I know who did it took 5 hours and he is a real electronics wiz. I can do soldering but no thanks. Richard has the process down pat. Plus if you get done and it doesnt work, then what do you do?
Just my suggestion. He would rather you do it since he has plenty to do.
I installed it myself and it took about 5 hours. I have extensive electronics and metal working experience. Most of the solder connections are very very fine pitch and small. If you don't have extensive experience with fine pitch and micro soldering irons then I wouldn't recommend it.
Drilling the large holes in the rear panel was very risky, but it worked out for me. A chassis punch would be much safer but they are costly and may not fit without removing all the electronics from the chassis.
You also need two pencil irons of about 20W or equipment to remove surface mount resistors and an automatic center punch.
Would I do it again....Yes.....for somebody else....NO!
You made the right choice. I ordered as a kit, and had no problem with the drilling. It went great.
The soldering is a whole nother matter. I consider myself pretty darn good having built numerous Heathkits over the years. But I was not ready for the small size and the precision required. Plus I wear bi-focals now.
The time I spent was enormous. The instructions, with rare exception were great, but the time spent learning your way around the RCA is better
spent doing other things.
I made several mistakes (carelessness) and Richard was good enough to accept the module and the STB, and attempt to clean up after me. I haven't heard back from him (less than a week).
If anyone has done their own user install of the 169Time board to their DTC-100 I'd like to hear what your personal experience was. How difficult was the connection to the DTC-100, and how easy was it to get working once installed using the instructions provided. Did you require support from Richard, etc.
As Richard gets closer to solving the DirecTV channel recording I want to take a more serious look at the modification for here but would like to try the self install kit, primarily because of the cost and that I do not wish to purchase another DTC-100 at that price either.
I installed mine this morning, so the memory of the process is still pretty fresh! I spent about 1/2 hour chasing down tools, and 1 hour and 45 minutes actually installing the modification. There are no cuts to make, five SMT resistors that must be removed, and you have to add one resistor, and connect 34 wires to miscellaneous points on the main electronics board. Much to my surprise, the board worked perfectly the first try!
I did not need support, other than pointing out one documentation error to 169time, and asking that they clarify one of the diagrams a bit. Even in these cases, the documentation was redundant enough that I figured out the right way to go on my own. [For what it's worth, 169time fixed the documentation within two hours of my pointing out the issues to them!]
This is not a trivial installation, and I would strongly recommend against it unless you have experience soldering fine-pitch SMT electronics: it's much more challenging than building a Heathkit! Perhaps more importantly, you'll need good eyesight and/or a magnifying glass/goggles to do this properly.
Having said all that, it sure is a satisfying feeling when it works!
P.S. One tip for those who do attempt the mod: when you drill the chassis, after masking the motherboard with a piece of paper, turn the DTC100 upside down, so that the metal particles fall on the floor, instead of on the electronics!
I will second all of Mark's comments above, and add that it's very important to have the right tools for the job. Drilling the four holes on the back of the unit is best accomplished with a stepper drill bit (aka a Unibit) which can be found at Home Depot. Also, the easiest way to avoid metal shavings getting into the unit is to do the drilling with the DTC-100 flipped on its back. Oh wait, I just re-read Mark's email. Great minds think alike!
Anyway, the 34 solder connections are made easier by the provided ribbon cable. Desoldering the SMT resistors proved to be the most challenging part for me. It took me about four hours to complete the job. I didn't let the smoke out, and mod worked perfectly the first try. Overall, a very rewarding experience.
Originally posted by Mark J. Foster There are no cuts to make, five SMT resistors that must be removed, and you have to add one resistor, and connect 34 wires to miscellaneous points on the main electronics board.
I've had a system since last year and have installed the thing about three times now. You mentioned adding a resistor. I've never had to do that. Can you provide more info?
It requires patience but if you are handy with a soldering iron (two low wattage to remove the SMT jumper/resistors) and have good eyesight, you should be okay.
I probably have the right tools, I was also blessed with perfect eyesight, even in my 50's I don't need glasses but I do have the triple magnifying goggles for doing very tiny SMT work. My problem is I don't do it every day so I know enough to practice on an old trashed VCR board before working on important equipment.
Dave- I have always considered doing the self install but as I have said many times, I'm not interested in it until you provide a reliable way to record channel 199 HDNet. Once that happens, you will have my order. I thought I said this before but if it was unclear, it shouldn't be now.
In addition, I would use it to have a second recording system with my Mitsubishi recorder. You know I still cannot play back with it but it makes great dubs from the Panasonic recorder. This in no way would be affected by the availability of the PVR for DN. I'm interested in both as HDNet is not on DN yet.
Pete: It may well be that Richard has improved the mod over time, but mine was provided with a 47 ohm resistor, and a short length of heatshrink insulation. The instructions tell you to insert this resistor in series with OR32 (the resistor leads are clipped to 1/4", then it is soldered to the pad, then you slide the heatshrink over OR32, solder the wire to the resistor, then slide the insulator over the wire and resistor).
Don: It sounds to me like you've got the right stuff to do this, along with the right attitude. It makes for a fun project!
I'm guilty of completely missing this one. Coincidence we both had the same questions and I didn't find anything recent in the technical thread, the long one. Should have looked harder. My bad as they say. I wish I could merge the two. Maybe David can. Note that I rarely start threads considering the number of posts I do.
Many thanks to KenH for merging the two threads. In this topic it will be a big help to have all the info together in one place.
A forum community dedicated to home theater owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about home audio/video, TVs, projectors, screens, receivers, speakers, projects, DIY’s, product reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!