I absolutely love these systems. I have two of them to fake an 8.2 sound system for my PC. It sounds incredible!! Most times when these die it is the fuse on the board. You plug it in and you get zip, nada, nothing. No light on the control speaker, nothing.
I will show you how to remedy the fuse problem. You should know that most times when these blow fuses it is because a speaker may be failing and increasing in its ohm value. when you change your fuse make sure to test the speakers with an ohm meter to make sure nothing is on the fritz.
You will need:
Solder (60/40) and a soldering iron
Fuse holder that has at least 4 inches of wire on both sides.
Fuse that closely matches the OE fuse value.
Hot glue gun or some general purpose glue
You might be cool but you won't be so cool when you end up blind in one or both eyes.
As always you need a banana; again not sure why but you need one or the fleas of a thousand camels will infest your crotch. Not sure if it will happen but it is better to be safe. The guy who told me that might have been crazy???
Step 1: Remove the Screen Covering the Sub Speaker and Sub
The sub screen has 4 points where it locks in. They are in the four imaginary corners of the circle. A small hook pick would be a good tool to use on this to release it. Once you have the screen off you have to remove the sub. There are 8 screws holding the sub in. I take out all of them except for the bottom one. I save the bottom one for last so I can control the sub if it tries to fall out.
Remove the wires from the terminals. These will be stubborn as they have locks on them. I used a pair of pliers to wiggle them loose. Now set the sub aside in a safe place.
Step 2: Remove the Controller
On the controller there are 12 screws on the perimeter of the panel. Remove all of these. Do not remove the ones in the middle. They are used to hold the face plate in place. They have no structural function. Now start to remove the controller you will find you will only get a few inches before you are stopped because the power wires are hot glued to the box. You will have to pry these points off without damaging the wires. If you do damage them all is not lost; just check out my Western Union solder joint Instructable. Take your time because these wires are glued in with some special Satan glue. Once you have the controller out peek around and look for obvious damage or blown caps once you get the controller out. When a capacitor is blow it blows out the end or starts to swell out the top of it. They are very obvious when they fail. If there are any damaged or failing they will have to be replaced before you can go further on this repair.
Pull the controller out until the wires running to the power transformer stop you. This is all the further you need to go anyway. At this point you will have plenty of space to make the repair.
Step 3: Remove the Old Fuse
This is the part that really sucks. You see the manufacturer has soldered the fuse in place. Not only is the holder soldered to the board it is also soldered to the fuse. So... the whole mess has to come out and we will toss that bugger in the trash and make this like it should have been from the start. Make sure the fuse is blown before you start this next part. If it is not you will have to check the output of the transformer to diagnose the power issue. With that said the unit really should have the fuse wired to a panel mounted fuse holder that would stick out the back of the unit so you don't have to take it apart in the future to service the fuse should you have to. If you feel ambitious you can get your Dremel out and cut a slot for a surface mount fuse holder but make sure you get absolutely no metal on the controller board.
I used a solder wick to desolder the fuse holder. it actually came out rather easy. Now make sure the two holes in the board for the fuse are open to insert the new wires for the fuse.
Step 4: Prepping the New Fuse
Because the holes in the board were so small I had to add two smaller gauge wires on the ends so that my fuse holder would fit. You can use any form of fuse you like. There are dozens of kinds of fuse holders. I went with a inline barrel fuse that was similar to the OE one. I suppose I could have used a blade fuse.
Step 5: Installing the New Fuse
Solder the two leads of the new fuse holder to the board. Be gentle as it is easy to over heat the pads on the board. Get them too hot and they will lift and you will have a nightmare to fix. Because a fuse has no polarity it does not matter which lead you hook to which pad. Once you have the wire in the hole bend it over a bit so it stays. Only insert one at a time because trying to keep them both in at once is quite hard. As always when soldering is finished the connections should be shiny and have zero brown residue on it. If it does it is a cold joint; go back and give it some more heat and maybe a tiny dot of solder. Once you have it soldered in cut off the excess wire and put the controller back in the box and install all the screws. The wires we pried off the enclosure wall will just remain loose while we reassemble the unit.
I attached my fuse holder to the port tube with a zip tie to keep it from rattling against something when it was in use. Now that I have the unit in service I realized that the zip tie was not such a good idea. I should have hot glued it in place. On occasion when it hits certain frequencies it rattles a tiny bit. Not enough to go back in it yet.
Step 6: Installing the Sub and Testing
Now hook up the sub speaker. It has a polarity and the terminals reflect this as they are two different sizes so you can't hook it up wrong. Then install the 8 mounting screws starting with the one on the bottom. Only run the screw in part way so you can move the sub around a little to line up all the screws. When installing the screws only run the screws in far enough to get them started. Once you have all the screws in place, hold the sub in place and finish tightening the screws.
Once you have the sub mounted snap the screen back on and make sure you line up the tabs on the screen with the imaginary corners. It should snap in place without too much fuss. Now that you are done it is time to test. I left all speakers unplugged from the controller at first and added them in one at a time to see if it would blow a fuse. Mine worked just fine after the repair. The only possible enemy you should have at this point is the possibility of a rattle.
With any luck you should have a working system now.