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Seeking advice to repair HDR Fox T2

kingy1099

New Member
My faithful HDR Fox T2 appears to have finally given up the ghost as it enters a crash/reboot loop on power up. Thanks to guidance from this forum I am very sure it is not the HDD as this still happens with it removed. I'm also very sure it isn't the front panel as I was able to borrow the one from my emergency replacement DTR T1000. Also thanks to this forum I have secured and decrypted offline all recordings (thanks for that!)

So I am inclined to get it working again but wanted some advice about options. I am currently assuming although can't be sure that the PSU is faulty but cannot see obvious signs of damage.
I could get some new caps and have a go with a soldering iron but a previous experience with a Toppy that led to me buying a new PSU having cooked the old one indicates my skills here may be lacking. Buying a "new" one off Ebay is an option, but I wondered if any other (possibly cheaper) Humax units share the same PSU - namely the HD Fox T2 and the Foxsat HDR. It the PW808 PSU I need so I know the DTR T1000 is not compatible.

Any help would be great.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
I have seen the PW808 listed as a power supply for the Foxsat e.g:-
Humax PW808 Foxsat HDR 5.8vdc@3a 12vdc@2.5a Open Frame Power Supply
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I am currently assuming although can't be sure that the PSU is faulty but cannot see obvious signs of damage.
"Blown" capacitors are quite apparent as bulging in the form of a slightly domed top to the cylindrical can. I had reservations about this idea until I had personal experience of resurrecting a Toshiba DVD recorder by replacing its PSU caps from a repair kit.

If the cans really are bulging, then repair is the next step. Granted I have many years experience of electronics assembly, but it ain't difficult really - the key is not to leave the soldering iron in contact for too long, and modern lead-free solders do not help (I don't use it if I can avoid it). Your first failed attempt is nonetheless good experience, but maybe you need to look at some instruction on the Internet - have a look on YouTube, and see here: http://www.epemag.wimborne.co.uk/solderfaq.htm... but regardless of what anyone else says, use multicore tin-lead solder (and note that the soldering iron bit you use with leaded solder will never work again for non-lead solder). "Multicore" solder has flux embedded in it.

There may be a varnish coating the board, sometimes visible as a green or brown tinge but sometimes practically invisible. Try scraping any shiny solder joint with a knife and see if anything comes off. If so, you will need to remove that coating from the joint before you will be able to remove the old component without burning the board. Melting lead-free solder takes extra heat, so add some leaded solder to it first.

It is possible to remove and replace a component without the tools to clean up the solder pads, but I don't advise it. Having added lead, then remove the solder using solder wick (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3m-Solder-Remover-Wick-Mop-Desoldering-Sucker-Braid/301664637833) - press the end onto the joint with the iron and it soaks up the solder (then cut off and discard that bit). A little more investment buys a "solder sucker" - a spring-loaded syringe with a Teflon tip which pulls the surplus solder away before then using the wick. After that, the component should practically fall out and fitting the new one will be a breeze. Be careful to note which way around the old one was fitted (it matters)!

On the other hand, if all the capacitors have perfectly flat tops, it's questionable whether you really have a PSU problem and I do not recommend just replacing the caps without further investigation. As there is a reasonable chance your unit is unrepairable, you have little to lose by sourcing a total replacement second hand, and then using that as an aid to diagnosis (swap PSUs). If the fault moves with the PSU you do indeed have a PSU fault and it may be possible to do something about it. If the fault remains with the motherboard, you have a scrap unit available for parts.

I have postulated that it may be possible to install an alternative PSU, but as I have not been afflicted by a fault such as this I have not spent the time that would be necessary to study the problem.

If all else fails, and if you are willing to send me the unit, I can have a look at it for you.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Yes, worth a try if you haven't already (but as you've been working from the info here I assume you have).

I wondered if any other (possibly cheaper) Humax units share the same PSU - namely the HD Fox T2 and the Foxsat HDR.
I have seen the PW808 listed as a power supply for the Foxsat
Agreed. Looking at videos/photos of the Foxsat-HDR internals, the chassis layout seems identical to the HDR-FOX and the PSU matches visually. There is every reason to believe it is the same assembly.

The HD-FOX PSU is definitely not suitable.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I find a sucker can only go so far. Hole clearing or pad levelling (if you need that - pretty much essential for multi-legged surface mount) requires braid.

An experienced operator can "manage" with just about anything (I repaired a surface mount board on site at a weekend using a pin embedded in a pen tube so I could lift the SOIC legs), but the inexperienced need all the help they can get.
 
OP
K

kingy1099

New Member
Just a quick update - I have decided to get a replacement HDR Fox T2 from Ebay and am waiting delivery - I found a 1GB version too. So will hopefully be able to properly diagnose faulty PSU or motherboard without doing anything too destructive.
 
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