AM21 Repair

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by hdtvluvr, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr Legend

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    Mar 1, 2008
    Has anyone repaired their AM21?

    My HR44 started rebooting, showing the Hello starting up screen, then switching to the Almost There screen and then turning off and back on loop. I got the HR44 replaced a month ago. Well this week the same thing started happening again. I called AT&T and they scheduled a service call. While waiting, I began reading forums, etc. and finally decided to just unplug all of the DirecTV equipment (HR44 and AM21) and start over. I plugged the HR44 in and it booted and I had TV. I did a red button reset twice and each time the HR44 started up correctly. I then plugged in the AM21 and did the reset. All I got was the looping as mentioned above. I did a couple more resets with the AM21 attached and still looping. I unplugged the AM21 from the HR44, did the reset on the HR44 and it came back up correctly. The blue light on the AM21 was on.

    So now I'm wondering about a repair. I opened the AM21 and there are 17 capacitors inside. None appeared to be leaking and none had bulges. I have ordered all of the capacitors and intend on replacing all of them. Has anyone attempted this? Any success? Anything else to look for or replace?

    BTW, I cut the cable tie in the attached photo so I could get the #'s off the capacitor. It didn't break from heat decay.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

    6,545
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    Sunny Florida
    I had an AM21 go bad, stopped receiving anything. LCC's are now appearing on secondary market. One bid open now. They were $75 months ago, now seeing around $50 w/ shipping. Having compared the LCC and AM21, the LCC has better multipath performance and is so much smaller.

    But if the capacitors work, all the better. Good luck
     
  3. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    Dec 28, 2007
    The LCCs suck. I got one during a dispute (because of the size lol) and the audio drops out all the time.
     
  4. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    I would rather invest $20 for ESR meter, you could easily check the capacitor without de-soldering!
     
    Rich likes this.
  5. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr Legend

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    Mar 1, 2008
    Thanks! I didn't know these existed. I've ordered one and will check the caps first.
     
  6. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Keep us posted on how the repair goes.
     
  7. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr Legend

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    Mar 1, 2008
    I will. I'm waiting on the meter and the caps. I made the attached color key today.
     

    Attached Files:

    242424 likes this.
  8. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    This time, while you are waiting, I would take DMM and will measure all voltages: DC values and AC (noise, ripples)… Fluke 189 have the nice mode - measure DC/AC voltage simultaneously.
     
  9. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr Legend

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    Mar 1, 2008
    I have a DMM but it won't do DC & AC simultaneously. Are you saying to measure the voltages across the caps?
     
  10. sstv

    sstv Legend

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    Jul 30, 2006
    DALLAS TX
    Hi All
    I had a AM21 and now I have a LCC. The LCC works as well as the AM21. My LCC is hooked up to a outdoor ant so it gets everything available. I would get a LCC rather then repairing a AM21 if a LCC was available.
    SSTV
     
  11. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    You can measure sequentially, NP.
    Just make a table of each rail for future reference. If you cannot separate original DC rails, do measures at caps. Soon you would discover finite number of voltages ...
     
  12. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    Dec 28, 2007
    You don't have constant audio drop outs? and flakeyness? Are you going through an AVR?
     
  13. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr Legend

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    Mar 1, 2008
    I did purchase an LCC and installed it yesterday using my attic antenna that was connected to the AM21. I'm still going to try to fix the AM21. It is now a challenge to get it back up.

    I'm not an electronics expert, but have repaired other electronics by replacing bad caps and resistors - when they showed signs of failure.
     
  14. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    It is good case to step up in your experience.
    Measuring is first step of real repairman ;)
     
  15. sstv

    sstv Legend

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    Jul 30, 2006
    DALLAS TX
    I don't have audio dropouts. standard hookup to a hr54
     
  16. sstv

    sstv Legend

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    DALLAS TX
    I wish I had known you were going to buy a LCC, I got three of them and would have given you one. Back in the day, if you had a problem they would send you another LCC so I quit calling and fixed my problem myself.
     
  17. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    what was the problem and how you did fix it ? tell us please
     
  18. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr Legend

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    Mar 1, 2008
    Yep, I wish I had known you had spares. I would have paid shipping at least. I really hated to buy one but some sub-channels are worth watching and regular ones too during storms when the D* goes out. I looked at AM21's on eBay but at those prices and their age, just didn't know what I would be getting so decided on the LCC.

    I'm still hopeful I can get the AM21 working. If so, I'll put it back and use the LCC if it dies again.
     
  19. sstv

    sstv Legend

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    Jul 30, 2006
    DALLAS TX
    The LCC connection to the HR54 was intermittent. This was found by wiggling the LCC. Every LCC did it so it was a HR54 problem. Duct tape fixed it.
     
  20. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    OMG ! :)
     

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