For a couple of years I have been using this Topfield single tuner TF6000COK tuner to watch Digitenne (Dutch DVB-T service). Recently the reception got really bad and I tried to find out what was wrong with it. After rescanning all channels didn’t help I googled and came across a great page describing my problem.
The page is in Dutch and explains the bad reception can be caused by a faulty capacitor in the power supply. It would not be the first time for me to find a dead capacitor causing trouble. Some years ago there was a huge issue with motherboards and power supplies failing due to a bad series of capacitors, known as the capacitor plague. Measuring the 5V on the antenna output of the tuner confirmed the power supply issue, as I only measured about 3.5V.
So I opened up the box and voided the warranty like I love to do
I replaced the capacitor C206 with a 470µF/25V one and reseated the psu board and measured the antenna output again, it as 5.02V this time. I tried out the tuner and voila, it worked fine again!
In just 5 minutes of soldering and in about half an hour total if you include searching for the page and waiting for the soldering iron to heat up the problem was fixed. It makes me wonder how many devices are thrown away every day that might be as easy to fix as this one if only more information would be available and more stuff would be open source with schematics available online. Maybe more people would try to fix stuff instead of throwing it away. This fix required simple soldering but I have had ‘broken’ TV’s that just required a new internal fuse to operate fine again, a fix that took less time than this one actually.
It reminds me of an initiative called Repair Cafe, it’s a cafe where you can bring broken household electronics (amongst other things) and skilled people will try to fix it for you. It is the only one of it’s kind as far as I know in the Netherlands. It would be great if more electronics would (tried to) be fixed and less thrown away in the future, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.