Constant Loss of Second Input - Box on Way Out?

Goooner

Distinguished Member
3 Year old Thompson box, it's been fine, just needed the occasional reboot, but nothing major.

Last couple of days, it's been losing the signal on the second input. A reboot normally fixes it, but only temporarily. Tried swapping the cables, but it's always the second input, so it seems like a box problem.

Emailed Sky, they suggested doing the planner rebuild thing, can't see that will make a difference, but will try it when I get home tonight.

Does it sound like the box needs replacing?

If it does, what's the best tactic to try and get a cheap/free call out? Threaten to cancel, reduce package, tell them I can get a better deal off Virgin?

Currently on the full package, with ESPN and HD, so basically paying the cost of a callout per month.
 

kevmarshall

Novice Member
Planner re-build will probably fix it..................again temporarily I would guess.

Fitting a new PSU would be cheaper than a Sky call out and would give you a decent box as opposed to taking the chance of any old refurb Sky will give you.

Any of THESE repairers near you?
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
There's one not too far from me.

Would a new PSU fix the input problem? It'd be well worth doing if I knew it would, as I use the component out on my current box and any replacement would probably be on without that.

Don't want to go paying for a new PSU only to find the problem persists and I have to call SKy out anyway.
 

barry7767

Active Member
I never had the loss of input 2 prior to replacing my psu, rather I was losing channels and had failed recordings, but problems do vary from user to user. Whilst the new psu fixed these, I did subsequently have a problem with loss of input 2 following the new epg arrival. Turning anytime off fixed this for me. Maybe it is not a psu issue? Do you have anytime on or off?

I too have the Thomson box with component output.
 
Last couple of days, it's been losing the signal on the second input. A reboot normally fixes it, but only temporarily. Tried swapping the cables, but it's always the second input, so it seems like a box problem.
How did the problem manifest itself? Failed recordings? "No satellite signal" when trying to watch another channel whilst recording in progress? Or are you just looking at the signal meters via signal test?
 
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Goooner

Distinguished Member
From around Sunday, I was getting picture break up and complete loss of signal on BBC1, so checked the signals and notice that Input 2 had no signal.

Last night I had a dual-recording set up, I went into the planner and both said "recording" but only one had the red highlight, so checked the signals again and 2 was missing.

Since then I've been checking when I think of it.

Have since done a planner rebuild, which restored both signals, but later I'd lost signal 1 and then another rebuild put it right, only to lose signal 2 again half hour or so later.

I have Anytime on, it's never caused a problem up until now.

Looking at the links kevmarshall posted, there's a repairer around 30 miles from me, that will fit a new PSU for £48, plus £11 postage. So all told, whether I post it, or drive there with it myself, there's not an awful lot of difference between that and a Sky callout, if I have to pay full rate.

So not really sure what to do. If I knew 100% that a new PSU would give me another couple of years out of the THompson, I'd probably go with that, as it's been pretty reliable. There's always a chance that it may not fix it though:confused:
 

lotsatoys

Active Member
My box suffered from the no signal problem and subsequent failed recordings routinely, before I fitted the upgraded cap kit and a WD CE hdd.

Since changing the psu and hdd (back in May I think) I've had no probs whatsoever. :thumbsup:

But as you say there's no guarantee.
 

carlsarrou

Novice Member
hi, my HD Box went last week, its a 2 1/2 year old thomson, it first failed to record when i was on holiday last week, then i noticed i had lost SKY2, SKY3, GOLD, Dave & a few others, i phoned SKY, went throught there usual reset the LNB/22KHZ inputs. No change, then from Saturday to today i gradually lost more channels (no satellite signal received (code 28)). Today a few channels came back but tried recording SGU tonite and it never even bothered to try. Got SKY out tomorrow to fix problem but have told them a new box please/no refurbs!!
 

lotsatoys

Active Member
Yes,you're probably right,but new boxes aren't always going to last very long either,going from posts on here.

I chose to have a go at fixing it myself,as so many have done successfully before,as I couldn't be doing with all the drama and grief from 'sky engineers'.

I'm glad I did. :)
 

Masteriser

Novice Member
Looking at the links kevmarshall posted, there's a repairer around 30 miles from me, that will fit a new PSU for £48, plus £11 postage. So all told, whether I post it, or drive there with it myself, there's not an awful lot of difference between that and a Sky callout, if I have to pay full rate.
Seems a little bit pricey, OK for a while you wait service. It won't be a new PSU as these are no longer made (you wouldn't want a new Thomson one anyway, they were built with rubbish parts, hence the problem). It will be a repaired board, if he uses the Satcure kit then it will be rebuilt with far higher quality parts and is extremely unlikely to fail again.

If you are going to use the post route, why don't you remove the offending board yourself and sent it off to Digifix. Removing the board is easy, see these instructions. Michael who runs Digifix spends his days fixing consumer electronics (mostly STBs). It was he who specified the uprated parts for the Thomson PSU that Satcure sell in their repair kit. He has has repaired hundreds if not thousands of these boards (he also repairs the Satcure exchange PSU boards too) so he is probably the best man in the country to do this. He will do it for £32.95. You will have to factor in the cost of posting in your failed board, but it will be loads cheaper than £59.00

Despite leaving you without HD for a few days (while the boards are in the post) this is far more likely to solve your problems than a Sky callout. If Sky the installer finds fault with your box (extremely likely given what you have written) he will swap it with a refurbished one. Unfortunately these are rarely repaired properly (they only seem to get fixed if D.O.A. at the service center) and therefore they have an appalling failure rate. You could very easily end up in a similar position to the one you have now.
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all the replies guys.

I've pretty much decided to go with the replacement PSU option, I can drive down on Saturday and hopefully pick it up in an hour

Obviously there's no guarantees that this will fix the problem, but from what I've read, it seems likely.

I suppose, even if I went with a Sky call out, it'll mostly likely be a refurb box, with a 3 month warranty, so there's really no guarantee the replacement box won't fail a few months down the line.

The get the bits and repair it myself option is not really one I want to pursue. I don't mind fiddling around with my PC, changing drives etc... but with something like my digibox, I think it's worth paying the extra for the peace of mind, knowing that if anything isn't 100% straight forward, I've not got to go through the grief of trying to identify and rectify the problem. The wife will appreciate it too, as she's the one that normally gets in the way of my frustration/temper when things don't go as they should (and they rarely seem to for me) first time:rotfl:

Plus with the added bonus of knowing I'll keep both my component out and my current recordings.
 
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lotsatoys

Active Member
Masteriser,as an aside to this,do you have any thoughts on the current drawn by the Maxtor drives originally fitted by Thomson?

These drives seem to need a supply capable of 1.5 amps according to the attached sticker.Thats loads more than the WD gp av drives.

IMHO that could be significant,and could be another reason why a box fitted with a low-power av drive is so much more reliable than standard,as its far less demanding of the psu.

I tried the Maxtor in my Sony 870 dvdhdd recorder and it fried the psu in that.:( Though it works ok in a usb caddy with my PC,but the psu supplying that gets very warm.(as expected)

So for all intents and purposes its a paperweight. :)
 

Masteriser

Novice Member
Masteriser,as an aside to this,do you have any thoughts on the current drawn by the Maxtor drives originally fitted by Thomson?

These drives seem to need a supply capable of 1.5 amps according to the attached sticker.Thats loads more than the WD gp av drives.

IMHO that could be significant,and could be another reason why a box fitted with a low-power av drive is so much more reliable than standard,as its far less demanding of the psu.

I tried the Maxtor in my Sony 870 dvdhdd recorder and it fried the psu in that.:( Though it works ok in a usb caddy with my PC,but the psu supplying that gets very warm.(as expected)

So for all intents and purposes its a paperweight. :)
While I am no hard drive expert. I would go along with everything you have said. In a nutshell, the PSU is weak and the Maxtor HDD draws a lot of current by today's best practice "Green Drive" standards (as well as not really being upto the job, they seem to struggle with dual HD record during a simultaneous HD playback). Add into the equasion new software which forces the box to wake up and spin up the HDD every hour (to download the EPG) and you have a recipe for PSU failure (HDDs draw the most current when they spin up from standstill).
 

lotsatoys

Active Member
I'm no hdd expert either,so that makes two of us!

I've believed for quite a while now that if you're going to fit new caps in the psu,it's probably worth changing the hdd at the same time as the eco av spec drives are much less demanding of the weak psu in the Thomson.

And incidentally I go along with everything you said too. :)
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
After initially dropping the signal regularly at intervals of anything between 30 mins and a couple of hours, after doing nothing else with it, both signals have been rock steady, no loss at all for the last 36 hours:confused:

Got a couple of dual-recordings to do tonight, so will see how it copes with that. I'm hoping to be able to nurse it along for another couple of months, then once Christmas is out the way, get both the PSU replaced and a bigger hard drive fitted.

Of course, now it's bound to start playing up again:rotfl:
 

.borg

Standard Member
hi all, Don't know if this helps but exactly the same happened to my SkyHD unit about 3 months ago. I telephone sky a registered a fault with them, they went through all the usual testing on the phone to verify the problem was the box. When this was all verified the confirmed that an engineer would be coming out to replace the HD box. Thsi was all done and everything seems to be so far so good (touch wood :thumbsup:)

I did ask the engineer if this was a common problem and he stated that he has replaced many boxes recently as it seemed that the new EPG Software was buggy and taking down HD boxes (mainly Thomsons). I now have Samsungs. :)
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
Just a quick update. After the initial problem seemed to cure itself, almost 2 weeks to the day (earlier this week) it all started up again.

Decided to go down the replacement PSU route and get a new 500GB harddrive fitted at the same time.

Contacted Steve Middleton (who posts on here as SMM75) who I found from the Satcure list of repairers.

Dropped my box off with him this morning, picked it up this afternoon, had 4 bulging capacitors apparently. PSU replaced, all my existing recordings copied across.

Got it home and I don't know if I'm seeing improvements that aren't there, but to me it's like a whole new box. Gone are the pauses between remote presses and the EPG responding, fast forward and rewinding seem a lot smoother too and some extra space too.

Big thanks to the guys on here that pointed me in the direction of the Satcure site and repairers and of course to Steve, first rate service, would recommend him to anyone.

I've got no connection to Steve, just a very happy customer:thumbsup:
 

TopMeTom

Banned
Sounds good, I have just PM'd Steve about my Thomson.
Although I am not local to him, so bit unsure what way to go.
 

Funky Diver

Novice Member
I did ask the engineer if this was a common problem and he stated that he has replaced many boxes recently as it seemed that the new EPG Software was buggy and taking down HD boxes
Although, that is a bit like asking a mechanic if he sees many knackered cars :D

Glad you got it sorted though :thumbsup:
 

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