How to Repair a Hughes HDVR2 Tivo Power Supply


Introduction: How to Repair a Hughes HDVR2 Tivo Power Supply

My brother's Hughes HDVR2 Tivo failed.
First, it crashed several times over a month and had to be power cycled.
Then, it wouldn't turn on at all and just made a tick, tick, tick, tick noise.
This is what I did to fix it.

Step 1: Change Bad Capacitor

From visual inspection, I noticed that capacitor C18 in the power supply was bulging slightly. It is in the center of the photo and is very subtle, but you can compare it to the other capacitors and see a difference.

The original was a Teapo SC series, 2200uF 16V, low ESR capacitor. I replaced it with a Nichicon PW series, 2200uF 16V, low impedance capacitor, part number 647-UPW1C222MHD from Mouser Electronics (who have no minimum order).

Just for good measure (and because I bought more than one) I also put a capacitor in C31 which was not stuffed in the original board.

Be sure to use a low ESR (also known as a low impedance) capacitor.
If you don't, it may work in the beginning but will quickly fail.

All electrolytic capacitors have a limited operating life (measured in thousands of hours), so this is an especially weak point for devices that are always powered on.

Be certain that the white ribbon cable between the power supply and the main board is plugged in all the way. It can be misaligned and short contacts causing irreparable damage to the power supply and the main board.

I have only done this with a Hughes HDVR2, but says the same power supply is used in the Hughes SD-DVR40, SD-DVR80, SD-DVR120, the Philips DSR7000, DSR704, DSR708, the RCA DVR39, DVR40, DVR80, DVR120, and the Samsung S4040R, S4080R, S4120R.

WARNING! The power supply includes unshielded contacts that are directly connected to line voltage. THIS CAN KILL YOU. Do not work on a power supply when it is plugged in. Do not work on power supplies if you don't know what you are doing.

I did not say how to desolder and replace the capacitor. If you don't already know how to do this, you should not be working on power supplies.

This is only a report of what I did to fix a Tivo. It is for educational use only.



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    22 Discussions

    I have no idea how this works, but does it output ac or dc, and where are the outputs? I have a raptor pwr supply product E that I salvaged, and I want to use it for a project if it is AC (and yes, I know this is a different kind. I figured that you know more about it than I do, though). I do not know where the output would be however. Sorry to bother. Thanks!

    I too had the bulging cap and replaced as described but I'm still having problems. I'm pretty novice with circuitry so any help is appreciated. After replacing it, I am still getting the, "tick, tick, tick...", sound from the power supply with no front panel LED's power nor anything out to the composite video. I tested a few spots and am getting only 1.5v and about 5v in place of the 5v & 12v on the IDE power connector. Also, I'm getting about 4v at the case fan connector, but I'm not sure what it should have. (it's not enough to move the fan so I'm sure it's much too low) Any ideas? PS: FWIW. I'm 99% sure that I did the replacement work okay, I've done a fair bit of soldering / unsoldering in my time, esp' while repairing my pinball machine, so i don't think that is the problem. The unit is acting the same as before I replaced that cap.

    1 reply

    Eric, did you ever find the solution? I have your same issue. On the Weaknees site, they say either power supply or chip failure on motherboard. While my power supply is suspect on visual inspection, it was working flawlessly...until the unit shut down. No power cycling, the unit just died. I did swap in a second known-working power supply but got the tick-tick noise as you experienced. I'm thinking mother board next...

    Yea, that capacitor looks bad. Note the three lines in the top - these allow the can to depressurise gently. Capacitors can make quite a bang without that in-built weakness. Then again, if the capacitor had exploded with a bang, it would be pretty easy to find the fault...


    6 replies

    There's not enough bulge in that capacitor to assure that it's the problem. Although It would be suspect. Since they're so cheap and frequently the problem, I'd have replaced it anyway, but with one of higher voltage. I find it interesting that the other filter cap (C31) for Q7 was left out of the circuit. Note also the heat damage to the insulating glue at the 1/2 watt resistor.

    LV, Are you saying the heat damage indicates the cap next to it is bad? Or is it the one alan replaced? Or both? Mine has the same heat damage.

    Well it's all a matter of perception. I look at it and see that it has split, but then that's what I'm looking for when someone tells me the capacitor failed (I can't really tell, that's just how I interpreted it) You were sharper than me to spot the heat-damage, the way this has been mounted probably didn't help with cooling. Why are these glued anyway? Only thing I can think of is prophylaxis against metal fatigue due to vibration(?) L

    Looking at the rubber seal on the bottom would confirm the capacitor. Any internal expansion will push the rubber out some. The glue is mostly for holding component where they are during use and abuse. It's also sometimes used to prevent changes in calibrations.

    Yes, I've seen capacitors pop the rubber too, but they're only going to fail at one end surely? I'm still interested in the glue: how would components (in a boxed unit) move, and how do changes in calibration occur, that can be prevented by glue? L

    Most of the time, both ends will show bulging. Only one end will finally open, releasing the pressure though. Any dropping or mishandling of the device could jar components. The glue's primary purpose is to avoid this. I don't see any calibration components in this case, but I've frequently used hot glue to cover calibration components to prevent end users messing with them. Hot glue works great for this purpose because it doesn't get inside components before hardening. Super glue works well too, if hardener is applied first.

    Thanks to this instructable, I have fixed 2 DSR-708 DTIVOs for less than $5.00. Beware that the capacitor doesn't have to bulge to be bad. Also, just replace all the large caps under the heat sink. Different caps were bad in each of my DVRs. Great Job on this instructable. Ken

    I have an add-on for this instructable that doesn't require soldering. Instead of paying WeakKnees for a new power supply, get a complete, used, working unit from eBay for less than half of that and scavenge just the power supply. jimwat posted a GREAT list to use to search eBay. Swap the power supplies. Use the instructions on WeakKnees if it isn't obvious. Unplug. Wait 15mins for capacitors to discharge. Open up the unit and remove the power supply (two screws, four standoffs and two cables). Installation is reverse of removal. I fixed mine this way and kept the old parts. I just fixed it again. Instead of buying another used unit, I recycled a capacitor from the previous carcass. Note: Some capacitors are 16V and others are 10V. Ones that look different can be the same specs, some that look the same can be different. Always read the label. I was lucky to find a surviving/viable 10V 2200uF capacitor on the old dead power supply.

    Thanks so much for posting this. It saved me 70 bucks! Do you know of any way to increase the voltage of this power supply? It's rated at 55watts, adding two hard drives and a fan is what I believe overloaded mine. Thanks again!

    1 reply

    After reading this I checked my TiVo (which had just failed with similar noises) and took a chance that because my capacitor looked like yours, it might have the same problem. Ordered the parts Last Thursday, got them today (Tuesday) and took about 10 minutes to remove and add the two capacitors. I'd add one thing, make sure to get the polarity correct, or expect some noise when you plug it in. I got mine right. Thanks, I just saved $100 bucks following your instructable.

    "Very slight bulge indicates bad capacitor" No actually the name of the Manufacturer indicates bad capacitor... LOL You'd be surprised what companies will do to save a buck, we just sent our DishDVR receiver back becuase it is stuffed with junk components and the PSU failed. Ticking coming from a SMPS usually indicates little or no load, it is in a repeating cycle of starting up, being unable to limit the regulated voltage to a safe value, and shutting down, over and over again. MD


    If you are ever in south central PA, drop me a line, I'll by you a steak !

    My house is a home once again. Both my DTivo's are working -like before. I feel empowered ! I fixed it myself for like 5 bucks. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Alan !

    1 reply

    I'm glad it was useful to you. I figured there had to be a bunch of these out there and that someone would have the same problem.

    Just wanted to say thanks!! This is the exact problem I had with my HDVR2. It is now working perfectly, so now I can find something else to spend my $70 (weaknees price for a new power supply). Here is the complete list of units that use this PS: Hughes HDVR2 Hughes SD-DVR40 Hughes SD-DVR80 Hughes SD-DVR120 Philips DSR7000 Philips DSR704 Philips DSR708 RCA DVR39 RCA DVR40 RCA DVR80 RCA DVR120 Samsung S4040R Samsung S4080R Samsung S4120R Thanks again

    Ticking in a SMPS would indicate little or no load on the device, check for a blown fuse or fusable resistor somewhere in that mess. What's going on, the supply is in a repeating cycle of starting up & shutting down since it is unable to limit the regulated voltage to a safe value.... Teapo / cheapo and in this case... you guessed it... bulged/bloated = dead cap, which is odd since a dead cap especially if shorted may cause squealing...