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How to repair your SageTV HD100 extender

The SageTV HD100 extenders seem to be dropping like flies. Some people report a whistling/hissing sound while others don’t. In most cases when the extender dies you are left with a power LED that blinks once every 5 seconds or so. If you have an HD100 that exhibits this behavior then there is a good chance you can repair your extender yourself following this how-to.

Disclaimer: I repaired two HD100’s using this method and many others have had similar success. However, there is always a chance that something else is wrong and this procedure will not work. If you are not comfortable following this then please do not attempt this repair and instead send your defective extender to SageTV for repair. As of this writing they will repair your out of warranty extender for $60 $39 (SageTV has reduced the repair fee). If your unit is still under warranty, think twice about repairing yourself since you will likely void the warranty doing this. It is also possible that other components can fail and this repair will not last. In all cases by following the rest of this article you are agreeing that you are doing this repair on your own and that the author takes absolutely no responsibility for the success or failure of your work. This is only an outline of my experience so follow it at your own risk.

The Problem

The problem with the extenders is on the power supply board. It is 2 or 3 capacitors that suffer from the leaking and/or bulging.  Watch the following video for a description of the problem and how to get started. Also below are a few pictures of the bad capacitors. Follow the steps in the repair section to fix the problem.

Parts Needed

You will need the following tools and components to get started:

  • Soldering iron in decent condition
  • Rosin core solder
  • Desoldering tool or wick/braid
  • Small Phillips head screwdriver
  • (3) 1000uf 35V capacitors, Radio Shack part # 272-1032

The Repair

  1. If you have not already done so, turn the extender off via the switch at the back and disconnect all of your video/audio cables and unplug the power cord. You may want to leave the unit unplugged for a few minutes to allow the capacitors to discharge.
  2. Remove the 5 screws holding the cover in place. There are 2 on each side and one on the back. After the screws are removed, slide the cover back and up to remove. Set the screws and cover aside for re-installation later.
    Remove the cover
  3. Remove the power supplyWith the cover removed, identify the components, then remove the power supply board.
    Remove the white connector ‘A’ and set aside. You may need to pry it out with a small screwdriver by releasing the catch on the right side of it (toward components). Next, remove the high voltage connector ‘B’ and move it out of the way. It will come off a lot easier than A. You may want to mark the connectors by drawing a line across the top and bottom on 1 side of the connector. This may help you realign it later if needed. Next, remove all 4 screws ‘C-F’ from the corners of the board. Only 2 are seen in the picture, the other 2 are on the opposite corners. Set the screws aside for reassembly later.
    Now gently lift out the power supply board from the screw posts and prepare for replacement of components.
  4. Defective capacitorsIdentify the 3 capacitors to be removed. Even if only 1 or 2 are currently bulging or look bad, I would replace all three of these now anyway. They are shown as ‘bad components’ in the picture above right behind the silver heat sink and NorthWest of the yellow transformer. They are black with silver lettering and say 1000uf 10v on them. Labeled 1-3. This picture is from the opposite side. Also note there is a polarity. The capacitors have a stripe with a – on it and the circuit board is marked with diagonal lines on the negative side. If you look carefully you can see the top of the capacitor bulging and they may have traces of color or powder from the electrolyte leaking.
  5. Now comes the fun part, removing the bad capacitors. This is probably the most difficult part of the whole thing so if you make it through this you should be in good shape. Make sure you have a decent soldering iron and some sort of solder remover, a ‘sucker’, a wick/braid or similar. If you don’t have these tools or are uncomfortable using them, stop now before it’s too late.  If you are comfortable then proceed.
  6. TracesTurn the circuit board upside down and identify the locations of the 6 capacitor leads to be desoldered. The picture shows the locations. The picture was taken after the capacitors were removed, so the holes appear open.
    Now, carefully desolder those 6 locations using your wick or other remover. BE CAREFUL and do not leave the soldering iron on the connection for too long as EXCESS HEAT CAN CAUSE UNREPAIRABLE DAMAGE to the circuit board. It will also help for the tip to be freshly tinned (wipe with sponge and apply a dab of solder) so the tip is bright and shiny. This will help with heat transfer, but don’t apply too much solder during tinning or this will interfere with desoldering. Just be patient and work each lead one at a time until the solder is removed. Now, flip the board back over and grab each capacitor one at a time and gently rock it back and forth until it comes off the board. The capacitor may have fallen thru on its own anyway, if so, great. If it does not come off easily, DO NOT pull it too hard, go back and make sure all the solder is removed from the joint. When you are done it should look similar to the picture. Make sure you can clearly see thru the hole otherwise the new part will not go thru.

    Take a deep breath, you have finished the hardest part!
  7. Now you are ready to install the new capacitors. Flip the board right side up and grab the three new capacitors. Look at the following picture, you will notice the new ones are quite a bit larger than the bad ones, but don’t worry, they will fit.
    New capacitors Capacitors side by side
    You may want to remove the dab of epoxy from the board so the new cap fits a little better. It comes off pretty easy with small screwdriver or something.
    The new capacitors fit in the marked locations C205, C 206 and C207. They are all the same so it does not matter which one goes where. Just pay special attention to the polarity. The new cap has a black stripe with a – sign on it, it is also shorter. That lead needs to go in the hole with the shading (diagonal lines) near the outer edge of the board (toward the inside of the board for C207). Now, insert the capacitor leads thru the holes as described above. You can do them either one by one soldering each in between, or insert all 3 capacitors at once, then solder. Press the cap down in the board so they sit flat or close to it. Spread the leads on each cap slightly so they do not fall out when turned over. Now, turn the board over to solder them.
    Capacitor locations
  8. While soldering, either hold the cap in place with a finger, or place something under it to hold it close to the board while soldering.
    Now solder each lead in place. Clean and tin your irons tip, place the tip gently down on the angle between the board and the lead, then dab a bit of solder from the other side of the lead. Don’t use too much solder, you only need a dab, just enough to cover the hole surrounding the lead to make a small mound (look at the other neighboring solder joints for reference). Solder all 6 leads this way. I will repeat, BE CAREFUL and do not leave the soldering iron on the connection for too long as EXCESS HEAT CAN CAUSE UNREPAIRABLE DAMAGE to the circuit board.
    Leads soldered
    When the leads are soldered, cut them fairly close to the solder joint with a pair of nippy cutters. If you don’t have a pair of those, you can use small diagonal cutter or even a nail clipper.
    Leads cut
    Once the leads are cut, you are finished. You may have some flux (from the center of the solder) on the underside of the board, don’t worry about that. When you are all done it will look like below.
    Leads soldered
  9. Turn the board back over and triple check that the polarity is correct by noting where the negative (-) lead is. If something slipped and the capacitor is sitting on an angle, you can either leave it, or reheat the solder on the bottom while pressing the cap back down, then just recut the excess lead from the bottom again.
    Caps done
  10. Once the new capacitors are properly in place and soldered, reassemble it into the case.
    With the front of the case facing you, place the power supply board back on the posts with the white connector on the left side. Line up the holes on the corners with the screw posts and screw the board back into place.

    Now reattach the two leads you disconnected earlier. Line up the large white connector over the post on the board, with the black wires toward the front (the lip in the connector toward the power supply board) and press it into place gently by slowly rocking it down on the connector. You may need to use a little force to lock it in place because the clip on the connector will probably be pressing up against the new larger capacitor.  Now replace the high voltage connector on the opposite side of the board as shown. Use the alignment marks you drew earlier if you can’t align the tabs/catches properly. It is important you reinstall these leads the same way as you removed them or you can cause unrepairable damage.
    Now just verify all the leads are connected properly and everything is oriented correctly one last time.
    Power supply reinstalled Project complete
  11. Make sure the power switch on the back is off and plug the extender in. Be sure there is nothing else in the case and no tools touching, etc. Also make sure you don’t go poking around inside the extender with power applied and the cover open. Now turn on the power switch on the back and cross your fingers. If you did everything correctly and there are no other issues with the extender then the power light should come on steady followed by a steady active light in a few seconds.  If the lights have come on, pat yourself on the back, then power off the extender and unplug it.
  12. Now just reinstall the cover and 5 screws and then start breathing again, YOU’RE DONE!
  13. Now just go hook the extender back onto your tv, grab your favorite drink and relax knowing you did it yourself and saved a lot of money and time.

Here are some miscellaneous pictures of the bad components…

See the bulge on the capacitor on the left, that's definitely bad, the one on the right looks ok but was replaced anyway. On the 2nd extender, they were all bulged and discolored.
Defective capacitors
Another view of a bad capacitor, notice bulge and discoloration.
Bad capacitors
Another view of three bulged and discolored.
Bad capacitors


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