is driving me crazy

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by jonnyseale, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. jonnyseale

    jonnyseale
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    :mad: ok has anyone had this problem i hadbought a maxtor 120gb hard drive for amstrad sky+ lots of problems, so have now replaced with the samsung 160gb that seems to be popular everything seems ok apart from whenever the drive makes the faint clicking noise which i know is normal it interferes with the flickering lines on screen anyone know why this is so cheers.
     
  2. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    This could be due to the power supply in the box. There are known problems with Amstrad Sky+ power supplies. Short of changing the box, there's not much you can do.
     
  3. jonnyseale

    jonnyseale
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    is this a common problem or is it just unable to cope with the new drive.
    thanks for the reply
     
  4. anthonyg

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    I've got an amstrad and get a worse picture when I use my Maxtor drive compared to the one it came with, apparently the old drive used a third of the power the maxtor uses.

    I'm experimenting tonight and tomorrow trying to resolve it, and see if I'm imagining it... :)

    I'll let you know.

    - Anthony
     
  5. jonnyseale

    jonnyseale
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    thanks for the reply, the flicker as i mentioned only occurs when the hard drive does its clicky thing, have looked at the epg screen no flicker there, i wonder if you can get a better power supply.
    oh and was recording a prog last night then the box just switched itself off and listed the recording as FAILED dont know if that is a related issue.
    and finaly out of interest does anyone know what drive is in the new sky+160. :)
     
  6. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    Hi,
    I know a great deal about PC components including power supplies. I don't know anything about Sky. However, my educated opinion would agree that it's the power supply which is the problem. At least it becomes a problem when you try to draw more power from it. Amstrad make things cheap by making their stuff JUST adequate for the job. Other, less compromising in there specs, manufacturers might give some "headroom" for their components.

    Drive Clicky Thing - Power Drain
    This is the noise it makes when it's reading and writing data. When it does this it has to "spin up" the platters inside. For large capacity modern drives they usually go up to 7,200rpm, which is why it draws so much more power.

    Flickering Lines
    The drive does its clicky thing, draws more power, and starves the other components of juice, therefore they don't work quite right.

    Recording Failure
    The drive is writing information, must be doing it's clicky thing, at some point the power drain became so much that the box just switched itself off - or something!

    Aesthetically Unpleasing Solution!
    If you've swapped drives in your box then you should be comfortable with this:-

    Obtain a cheap/second-hand PC power supply.
    Open up the Sky box.
    Leave the hard drive in the Sky box, Leave the data cable plugged in, but unplug the power from the drive.
    Take the PC power supply, take one of the drive power plugs, plug that into the drive inside the Sky box.
    Close the Sky box with the cable trailing out of the box. Of course the box might not close without damaging the cable.

    I did say it was a bit messy looking!


    A cheap PC power supply unit should cost around £20 or less. But only if you can find a cheap one. PCs nowadays rquire quite a substantial power supply and you probably won't find a new one for much less than £35, plus delivery. Even a very old second-hand PSU would do the job of supplying power to the biggest modern hard drive, as long as that's all its powering.
     
  7. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    Was the title of your thread a deliberate pun on drive? :)
     
  8. jonnyseale

    jonnyseale
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    thanks for the reply very interesting i will try your idea have a power supply handy will let you know what happens. it wasnt a pun but as it is rather clever i would say yes to anyone that asked. :devil:
     
  9. Br41ns

    Br41ns
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    :hiya:

    The maxtor quickview drives use less power, they,re 5400rpm and dont overcook . These drives were designed with pvrs in mind. Ive got a 160gb in my pace ver2 and my mate has one in his amstrad box, no probs whatsoever. :D
     
  10. anthonyg

    anthonyg
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    Ok, but how do you turn on a modern PSU? (Without a PC)

    Notably, I don't think the vertical bars are related to my HD, I've ran the box without the HD connected at all and it's still there :(
     
  11. jonnyseale

    jonnyseale
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    the interference i get is not vertical its horizontal i get a very thin flicker across top/middle/and bottom of screen almost as if someone was messing with the signal ie dodgy coax conection problem is connections are good and onlyhappens when the hard disk is reading/writing.?????????? could someone describe this vertical banding to me as i see a lot of posts but not sure what it is :)
     
  12. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Is this a fairly new box ? If "yes", don't mess with it, because it will invalidate the warranty, should something serious go wrong.
     
  13. jonnyseale

    jonnyseale
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    just out of interest has anyone else upgraded an amstrad with a samsung sp1604n :)
     
  14. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    :oops:
    You are dead right - you can't switch it on!! But only if it's an ATX power supply. So don't buy a new PSU - they're virtually all ATX.
    An old AT style PSU is what you want.

    Although even with an ATX PSU you can imitate the presence of a motherboard signaling the PSU to switch on by shorting out the appropriate PIN on the appropriate motherboard plug. Which is far to fiddley to try and describe here :eek: !
     
  15. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Your idea is not a good one, for two reasons -

    1. The loading of the drive on the PC PSU might not be great enough for the PSU to get a "power good" signal, and therefore probably will not run. Many PSU's will not work unless they have a substantial load on them.

    2. Connecting two chassis together which are both connected to a switched mode power supply is a potential hazard, because of the earth leakages involved.
     
  16. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    :cool: While trouble shooting I've often run a single drive in a PC connected to a "hanging loose" PSU while the rest of the PC was powered up by it's own PSU. But that was undoubtedly with an old AT style PSU hanging loose.

    :confused: Earth leakage? Hmm. Any difference of opinion on what level Earth is at on such low voltage systems will be minimal, but more importantly inconsequential. The only potential problem is perhaps an occasional hicup in the data stream, and hopefully error correction protocols will save this.
    Two high voltage systems would be a different matter. Then there might be cause to use the word hazard!

    :cool: Try it, if it works great, if it don't - no harm done.
     
  17. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    I was wondering if you couldn't hang a large(ish) capacitor on the 12V rail to overcome the problem on the Amstrad ? After all, the problem only occurs when the drive takes a high current. The danger is that the charge current of the capacitor could over-whelm such an obviously flimsy supply :suicide:
     
  18. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    If I had the knowledge to wonder about such things then I might wonder to. ;)
     
  19. anthonyg

    anthonyg
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    If someone sold replacement PSUs (good ones) for the DRX180, I'd buy one...
     
  20. jonnyseale

    jonnyseale
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  21. gdickin2

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    You could also get an external disk caddy with it's own PSU and run a cable from the Sky+ box to the external caddy. May need some case frigging but atleast you have a purpose built caddy with PSU.
     
  22. jonnyseale

    jonnyseale
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    very good idea anyone done this or know any reason it couln`t be done :D
     
  23. jonnyseale

    jonnyseale
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    this is the power spec on the drive i have bought anyone know if this is too much for the amstrad psu to deliver :D
    Voltage 5V°±5% / 12V°±10%

    Spin Up Current (max.) 780/2250 mA

    Read/Write On-Track(typ.) 7.1 W

    Seek2(typ.) 8.6 W

    IIdle(typ.) 7.0 W

    Standby(typ.) 0.5 W

    Sleep(typ.) 0.5 W

    as i wrote this my sky+ was on and recording and i just lost picture altogether
    (white noise/no sound) would not switch to standby eventually had to unplug box and plug in again. :mad:
     
  24. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    Yes. I thought of that too, I was reluctant to mention it as I didn't want to be responsible for the data cable being nicked by the edge of the box when the cover was put back on. Although I have done that kind of thing with a PC - data ribbon cables sticking out between the casing and the cover like a rude tongues. But I knew I had plenty of spare data cable if they were damaged, and I had big long ones at the time as well. :cool:
     
  25. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    I'd just put my old drive back in for now :(
     
  26. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    Well ... Look at the back of the Sky box and find out what it says is its maximum rating in watts. Sometimes it just gives the volts and amps, but if you multiply these together, then it gives you watts.
    What is the rating of the old drive? The peak watts this drive uses is 8.6W.

    :lesson: If the Sky box watts is less than the Sky watts minus the old drive watts plus the new drive watts then this is definately a problem.
    SkyWatts = the watts the sky box says it uses
    OldWatts = the watts used by the old drive
    NewWatts = the watts used by the new drive
    So, if SkyWatts - OldWatts + NewWatts is more than SkyWatts then this is definately a problem. :suicide:

    Hope this is clear! :D
     
  27. anthonyg

    anthonyg
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    or more simply if NewWatts is more then OldWatts... :D

    it also depends on how much newWatts is more than OldWatts..... 0.01w is not going to make much of a difference, I've got a drive using a fair bit more than the original in my amstrad without any probs.
     
  28. jonnyseale

    jonnyseale
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    sky box 50w
    old drive 7.3w
    new drive 8.6w
    1.3w difference
    any way of compensating, ie a capacitor or something. :)
    BY THE WAY THANKS FOR THE REPLYS :thumbsup:
     
  29. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    I'm sorry, but that assumes everything and proves nothing. The rating of the box is the absolute maximum rating. It doesn't tell you anything about the maximum rating of the individual ratings of the 5V and 12V power supplies in the box. The drive also doesn't give much information about the individual power consumptions of the 5V and 12V supplies - it only gives a vague overall power consumption. Since we don't even know for sure which power rail is giving the problem (I would guess it's the 12V one, but can't be certain), then the only way of checking would be to monitor the supplies with an oscilloscope, and I guess you don't have one of these.

    If I were in this predicament (and I'm an electronics engineer with more than 30 years of experience), I would stick the Amstrad box on Ebay while it still works, and buy a Pace V2. You will get at least £100 for the Amstrad, and a new Pace box will cost you £160 new. It's just not worth frying your box or yourself for that sort of money.
     
  30. jonnyseale

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    first of all thanks for all your replys. i have put the old drive back in the box everything is fine now so i would conclude that the 1.3w extra with the new drive was just too much for the psu to handle. :rolleyes:
     

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