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TVonics DTR-Z500 - opening case to repair aerial socket


Novice Member
I have a TVonics DTR-Z500 where the aerial input socket has dropped off!!! It looks like there is a small amount of corrosion where the socket is soldered to the screened can so I guess that weakened the joint. Unfortunately I don't have the missing the socket but I can easily make up an inline socket or something similar.

I was hoping that it would be easy to contact TVonics to get some advice or a service manual but they went into administration a few weeks ago!!!

Before I start experimenting, I was hoping somebody might have some experience in opening the DTR-Z500. There are 4 corner screws at the back...but do you need to release anything else? There are 4 black stickers on the bottom which cover holes? Does anything need to be released on the front panel?

Hope someone can help.


Distinguished Member
The usual cause of corrosion on any RF input coax socket is water ingress via the coax cable.
To replace the coax socket on any tuner...if you're handy with a soldering iron...a good ready-made source of spares are the cheap plastic triangular coax splitters...they're easy to break apart and voila...2 female and 1 male sockets.
I doubt anyone on here has ever taken one of these apart so just go for it...gingerly.
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Standard Member
You might want to post this question on the DigitalSpy forums:
Freeview+ Recorders - Digital Spy Forums

There is a dedicated thread for the TVonics boxes and although the company has gone into administration, the forum is still monitored by Doug, an ex-TVonics employee (he left a year or so ago). He may be able to give you some guidance on what you need to do.


As JayCee has said, the usual cause of such problems is caused by water coming down the aerial cable and it is highly likely that the tuner is damaged because of it.

Seeking to replace the whole tuner assembly from a spares / repair box may be the easiest solution... unless you know for sure the tuner is still working.


Standard Member
Having spent many, many, many, (too many!) years repairing satellite receivers, video recorders and the like from this sort of damage I would suggest the following.

If you have taken out all the obvious screws, removed the sticky feet to look for hidden screws and are sure you have not left any screws in, simply try to slide an OLD credit card between the gaps and then use this to look for plastic retaining lugs which almost always come apart with persuasion and persistence. Some times you just have to be brutal and use a sharp tap with a medium screwdriver (in an inconspicuous area!) to separate the halves of the case.

The missing socket can often be 'found' on the end of the aerial wire that plugged into it. It may look as though it is a part of the wire and plug and if you give it a casual look you might not realise it is still attached.

Finding the missing socket can be a great help as once you have the unit apart it may not be obvious where to re-attach the socket. Clearly the 'outer' of the socket needs to solder to the frame and this usually has a large hole where the socket has pulled out from, easy. The centre connector of the socket however may be offset by 5mm or so from the edge of the frame, into the tuner proper. It may not be immediately apparent where this connection should be and if the pin did not go through a hole in the circuit board before being soldered, when the socket came out it might have removed some of the circuit's copper track with it. Close inspection of the circuit board may well indicate where to connect the centre pin to.

Regarding the water damage, first the aerial cable/aerial on the roof need to be repaired before using it, and don't forget that if you have plugged that aerial cable into the TV or another PVR water could be dripping into it now as well. Unless the water that has gone into the TVonics unit was immense, usually a good clean up with isopropyl alcohol will take off the worst and the unit will work well once the socket has been repaired. (Be sure any alcohol has dried thoroughly - it is highly flammable!)

Repairing the socket may reduce slightly the sensitivity of the tuner, bear in mind that at the frequencies they work at means that simple lengths of copper tracks form highly tuned inductors, capacitors and resonant circuits and so any alteration to the size / length / width of these may alter the resonant frequencies by varying and unpredictable degrees. But in practice, I would find that if you tried not to disturb too much it would make little difference.

Good luck!

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