Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Five Little Capacitors

I have this Audio Video Receiver I bought about 4 years ago. It's an Onkyo TX-SR606. I can't remember how much I paid for it. Let's say maybe $400.

A couple of months ago it started blacking out whenever I was watching a DVD. I thought it was my DVD player's fault and was researching a replacement. My computer video was working fine. My Blu-Ray player was working fine. Only my DVD player exhibited the problem.

But before I was able to purchase a new DVD player, my Blu-Ray player started flickering. I'd get little white lines across the screen when watching movies. Finally, the Blu-Ray player also started going black during movies. Not just the video goes out, but the audio as well. It's like I was completely losing signals from the players.

All my components run through my Onkyo receiver via HDMI and at this point, it was my primary suspect even though my computer was still working fine. In case your curious, my computer is like a DVR with an over the air digital antenna and three tuners so I can record three shows at once!

I started researching the possibility of buying a replacement receiver, but I wasn't completely happy about spending the bucks for another receiver when this one was only 4 years old.

I Googled for HDMI problems with an Onkyo SR606. Much to my surprise there was a plethora of information. It seems that this receiver is known for its HDMI issues and mine were minor.

I ended up watching this video and then tried to fix it myself. The total cost was about $6 for 5 capacitors. If you watch the video, he'll explain that it's very easy to fix and if you have the smarts to find the video then you're more than capable of fixing it yourself. He kind of irritated me, but since he saved me at least $300, I'll forgive him.

He didn't take into account shaky hands. My hands shake so bad, I was only able to get two of the capacitors on before things got too tight. Luckily I know some soldering experts at work so I took the HDMI board to work and someone there helped me finish.

Upon putting the HDMI board back into my receiver, I was pleasantly surprised to see I had successfully repaired my receiver! No more flickers and no more blackouts.

Some things I learned in the process:

  1. Capacitors must be installed with the same polarity as the capacitors they replaced.
  2. On the HDMI board the negative polarity is square. The diagram on the circuit board kind of "aims" to positive.
  3. You can use axial and radial capacitors interchangeably as long as there is room to solder.
  4. The voltage rating can be equal to or greater, but the farads must match.

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