Repairing Apple TV 3

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by satchmo, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
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    Canada
    #1
    I'm not sure where the problem lies. I've tried every procedure found online, but my Apple TV 3 is still dead.
    So it's probably the power supply, power cord, or the logic board.
    I've opened the case up, and removed the components.

    Anyone know how to test the power supply? and or cord?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. winstars macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2015
    #2

    Wow! How do you open it up???

    You could check the power cable itself by trying it on another ATV. The ATV4 has the exact same cable BTW...
     
  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2012
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    Between the coasts
    #4
    Testing the power cable or power supply is not Apple TV-specific knowledge - anyone with rudimentary skills in electrical repair knows how. The fact that you ask proves just how little you know.

    What you don't know could, possibly, do you real harm (and I don't mean wasting $69).

    Most of the time I just shrug this sort of thing off. After all, the chance of receiving a lethal shock while mindlessly poking around inside a device like an ATV isn't all that high, and warnings of this sort are generally ignored anyway. People don't read the freakin' manual, people don't obey warning labels... But maybe, since people do believe almost everything they read on the Internet, I'm not wasting my time and effort.

    So, tell me, what is the "One Hand Rule," and why is it important? (And no guesses or looking it up - if you don't already know it by heart, you should not be trying to fix anything that carries electrical current.)

    Actually, you should look it up. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/avoiding-electric-shocks.html (And yes, I'm trying to make a point by choosing this particular source.)
     
  4. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #5
    To be honest if you are unsure how to test the cord you should probably just stop.

    If you insist on continuing working from the picture you provided, you'll have ~120vac on the two screws coming from the power cord. And you'll have ~3.4vdc between different combinations of wires on that tiny molex. Be nice to have a pinout (or experience). If you have all that than the only thing left is the logic board.

    Although it can be fun this isn't something worth fixing IMO. Only thing I would look for would be a bad solder joint where the power comes in on the logic board, if that looks fine toss it.

    Edit : I assuming you tried to restore the ATV via iTunes and all that stuff first right?
     
  5. winstars macrumors member

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    Dec 10, 2015
    #6

    I still wanna know how he opened it up but might not know how to use a meter...
     
  6. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    Between the coasts
    #7
    Two different skill sets. Otters can open oyster shells, birds can crack nuts. Earth's organisms have spent hundreds of millions of years honing that particular skill and incorporating it "instinctively" into our genes. Judging by humanity's "warm" embrace of GMOs, it'll be at least a few more generations before electronics repair will be encoded into our DNA.
     
  7. satchmo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Canada
    #8


    Thanks for all the safety concerns but I wasn't about to electrocute myself. My hope was some simple tester device that would determine whether the power supply was actually dead. I have no illusions of doing anything more than that. The subject matter and knowledge required is way beyond my pay grade. :)

    I was just hoping to revive an ATV3 that's been lying around. The ATV4 hasn't shown enough value for me, to jump back in.
     
  8. winstars macrumors member

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    Dec 10, 2015
    #9

    Cool video!
     
  9. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    Between the coasts
    #10
    Nobody ever expects to electrocute themselves. That's why they're called "accidents." But since the questions you've been asking are so rudimentary, I (and others) have had to assume that your knowledge of electricity (and electronic repair practices) is similar.

    I used to receive the (US) national magazine of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Each issue had pages devoted to fatal accidents involving union members. Sobering stuff, considering they're professionals who definitely did "know better." The cause was nearly always human error by the victim - a momentary lapse in judgement or procedure. Granted, most of these incidents were in highly hazardous environments, working with voltages and currents far and above what this little ATV project involves. But since the ATV has to be connected to 110-240 volts AC in order to test the power supply, you are indeed working in a potentially fatal environment - the contacts carrying that current are exposed when you have the case open.

    Anyway, you've asked us for a bit of test gear (not that you necessarily need it). That "simple tester device," is the VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter), aka "multimeter," available wherever electronics and electrical tools are sold - you needn't spend more than $25-$30 for one adequate to the task. Though $30 is a lot to spend on this particular project, it's as close to "universal tester" as you'll find in the world of electricity and electronics. I've had the same, inexpensive VOM in my tool kit for the past 40 years. I've definitely gotten my money's worth.

    I'm sure you'll find a fair number of YouTube videos on how to use a multimeter - everyone's hoping to hit the YouTube jackpot and get millions of views.

    But there's another bit of knowledge you'll need, if you get that multimeter, which is to know what voltages should be found on which pins of the power supply connector. But hey, it's the Internet - the info is out there.

    That video you shared shows a way to determine that the power supply has failed without using a multimeter, though the host ignores the possibility that the power cable failed (presumably he assumed that nobody would need to be told how to do something that basic).

    The first thing you need to do is ensure that the power cable is not at fault - why tear apart two ATVs, only to learn that it was the stinkin' cable all along? No need for fancy test gear, so long as you can find another cable with the same connector. It's a standard connector, so you may have a compatible cable lying in a box along with a long-abandoned audio cassette recorder, or plugged into a cable TV box.

    So, here's a bit of Troubleshooting 101: First, determine if the power cable is faulty by swapping cables (does the same cable work OK with a different bit of gear?). If it seems the power cable is OK, try that power supply test in the video (you'll need a USB to mini-USB cable for that). If it fails that test, yeah, you can assume the power supply is faulty. I just saved you $25-$30 (presuming you didn't have to buy any cables), and since you didn't have to open up the case, there no exposed electrical contacts to pose a hazard while you test.
     
  10. satchmo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
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    Canada
    #11
    Thanks for the detailed response. I did test the power cable and it's fine. The USB to mini-USB cable connection failed to start up the ATV, so I'm assuming it's the power supply. The challenge now is finding a replacement power supply that doesn't cost as much as a new ATV3.
     

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