When you try to power on the PopCorn Hour C-200 mediaplayer, the power led is flashing white and orange, that is alternating white – orange – white – orange… Other than that, the device is dead. No info in the display, no drives spin up and the dvd/blueray tray won’t open.
Searching the support forums revealed that this code translates to power supply issues. I removed the power and opened it to examine it closer, and unsurprisingly, the main capacitors were cooked.
The ones outlined in yellow are OK, the ones outlined in red are not. You can see the top of the capacitors mushrooming up, and on one you can se the electrolyte fluid leaking out on the top (lower right, the brown stain). This problem is competing with lightning/overvoltage damage as the most prevalent problem when modern switch mode power supplies like this one fails.
As this is an ATX compatible power supply, I found an old computer and scavenged it’s power. It’s way oversized, but the C-200 worked without a hitch, thus proving that the rest of the unit wasn’t damaged by the power supply failure.
It isn’t a pretty fix, but it will let you use the unit while waiting for parts.
I know it should go without saying, but just to mention it: Disconnect power and all external connections before you start working. And don’t blame me if you mess up, destroy your box, get injured or killed.
There are two options in cases like this: replace the faulty capacitors, or replace the entire power supply. Usually I opt for the first, as getting replacement powers in with the correct dimensions and screw-holes is difficult and expensive. But not this time. The good people at Syabas/Cloud Media who makes these boxes sell original power supplies at just 27 USD + shipping: http://www.cloudmedia.com/products/accessories/power-supply-for-c-200-300-detail
A quick rummage through the parts box revealed that I didn’t have capacitors in the correct physical dimensions and size, so I would have to order something anyway. As there is no guarantee that replacing the capacitors will restore the old power supply, I chose to order the complete kit. If you chose to replace the caps, here’s some quick tips:
- Make sure you mark the position of the caps before removal to identify the polarity of the connectors
- Use protective goggles while soldering. This is power electronics, and there is a slight risk of an explosion that will hurl debris and acidic electrolyte fluid in your face. Especially when the capacitors are damaged.
- Use capacitors with the exact same capacitance rating measured in millifarad (mF) or microfarad (?F)
- Make sure the new capacitors are rated for at least the same voltage as the originals.
- Check the physical measurements before you order new caps. The new ones can be allowed to be a bit taller, but the diameter should not exceed that of the originals.
- If this is your first soldering project, get someone with experience to help you. Mains connected electronics is dangerous and not to be taken lightly. A mistake could injure or kill you.
Replacing the entire supply is a lot easier and quicker, and all it requires is the possession of and ability to wield a Phillips head screwdriver.
Old and new power side by side. The cover was removed on the old one for inspection.
First, remove the tiny black screw holding the top cover in place:
Then remove the four screws holding the power supply and the four screws holding the top drive/optical tray:
Then disconnect all the cables from the top drive tray and remove it.
Now disconnect the cables connected to the lower drive if installed and open the two black plastic cable clips. Then disconnect the ATX connector from the main circuit board and the white mains connector. You should now be able to remove the power supply.
then follow the same procedure in reverse to install the new power supply. Make sure to place the green and yellow earth/ground cable on the lower left corner screw as you install it. The eyelet on the end of the cable should be placed against the side of the power supply board that has solder around the edge. In my case this was above the board on the old one, and below the board on the new one which is of a slightly different design.