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Slingbox Solo bulging Capcitors
Views of this topic: 14723
May 7, 2010
5:54 pm
Brandon C
U.S.

Forum Posts: 1559
Member Since:
April 19, 2010
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It seems like a lot of people have tried all kinds of tips or tricks when it comes to figuring out why their slingbox Solo is not working properly to no avail.

If you have tried just about everything to get your Solo working you may want to take it apart and look at the capacitors in it.  I have seen several people mention that theirs went bad and that is what was causing their problem.

What you need to do is open up the box and look for what is called a bulging capacitor.Here is an example.

The one on the left is good and the one on the right is "bulging" if you see this then you need to replace the bulging capacitors.

They are inexpensive and easy to replace if you are familiar with working with them but if not then you can take it to a TV or electronics repair shop and they can do it for you.

Even if you decide not to get them repaired you at least know why your slingbox Solo is not working properly and you can quit trying to troubleshoot it.

May 12, 2010
10:06 pm
jin
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
May 12, 2010
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thank you so much for the heads up brandon,

 

so having encountered both this fairly common issue of not being able to connect longer than 10 minutes and sling media's UNSCRUPULOUS catch-22 "one year warranty" where you essentially are forced to pay them $30 to get them to honor it - i said screw it, i'm going to rip open the box and see if the capacitors are indeed the problem:

they are - or at least one of the capacitors, the middle one.  it's a bit hard to see because i had to reduce the size of the photo small enough so that i could post it but still, you should be able to tell that the middle one is convex while the other two are flat or even a bit concave.

here's a close up look at the bulging one:

that silver part bulging upward is part of the cap.  here's another view:

and here is a compare/contrast to a capacitor next to it that is NOT bulging (one on left is not, one on right is faulty):

 

 

and finally a solo picture of how flat a non-faulty capacitor is:

 

so at least for me, this was a hardware problem that they would NEVER have been able to diagnose with their substandard customer service reps who are trying to walk you through home networking 101 when the problem is SLING MEDIA'S SHODDY MANUFACTURING.

so spread the word peeps.  i've already emailed the watchdog at maximum pc and will send links to engadget and gizmodo.

it took a certain brand of customer neglect and bad faith to get me worked up enough to actually take the effort to get to the bottom of this.  well if this is what you wanted slingmedia, congratulations cuz you got it.

 

jin

 

p.s. especially if it's anyone from the press, websites, etc, i have much higher res photos i can send to you if you'd like.

 

 

May 12, 2010
10:16 pm
jin
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
May 12, 2010
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btw,

nobody else should take apart their slingbox's just yet.  slingmedia may actually end up doing the right thing and honoring your warranties (whereas ripping it apart like this probably violates it - again, catch-22 anyone?  hahahaha) but FYI because it took me HOURS wrestling with that fing plastic brick before i figured it out:

there are four screws UNDER THE RUBBER FEET of the slingbox solo.  you have to rip the footpads off in order to start the process of getting in.

after you unscrew those screws under the feet, the black main chassis comes apart in HALF.

now you'll see the red plastic.  flip it upside down - there are 5 screws at the bottom.  unscrew that and you can finally pull off the case and have access to the innards.

 

---------------------------

i guess if you are out of warranty, you have the option of servicing it yourself.  i heard the capacitors are under $5 each and if you're not handy with a soldering torch, you can get the work done pretty cheaply at an electronics or tvrepair shop.

good luck everybody.

sigh

such great technology that deserves better than the people at sling media...

ugh.

 

jin

May 13, 2010
3:59 pm
Brandon C
U.S.

Forum Posts: 1559
Member Since:
April 19, 2010
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Great post Jiin!

If you would like you could put together a full article for the front page with larger pics, etc. or if you want to email me full size pics to admin at placeshiftingenthusiasts .com I would be glad to do it.

 

 

May 13, 2010
8:55 pm
jin
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
May 12, 2010
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hi brandon, 

thanks much.  but i owe my discovery entirely to you and someone name kodec whose lone post and capacitor specs lead me to the discovery.

 

thank you also for the invitation to do a full piece on it with full sized pictures.  i will put together a package over the weekend with along with a dissassembly guide and i'll upload it or email it to you for your editorial approval and final posting.

May 13, 2010
9:26 pm
jin
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
May 12, 2010
Offline

as a digression, i was contacted by  a William Mintun who's the senior online customer service guy and he too wanted to "clear the air" and tell me how "erroneous" my "conspiracy theories" are.

first of all - i have no conspiracy theories concerning slingmedia.  with manufacturing this slipshod, i highly doubt they can pull off anything so strenuous.

my thoughts on slingmedia is NOTHING SO EXOTIC.  it is simply calling them out for being more concerned about their own LIABILITY and covering their own butts than caring about their LOYAL CUSTOMERS.

in my reply to him, i essentially outline these questions:

 

1. how much of our time does he feel slingmedia is entitled to WASTE in pursuit of diagnosing this problem?

he finds that the current rigamarole of PAYING $30 to have someone read you a procedure script regarding software settings and fiddling with that for hours perfectly fine - read the experiences of other people who've tried to play the game their way - they've been advised to CHANGE ROUTERS and have been thumbing their noses waiting for slingmedia to send them a POWER BRICK to see if that does it.

SRSLY - the question must be asked - do they have a right to ask for WEEKS of our time to fulfill their legally required warranty obligations?!

let me put this in perspective - if TOYOTA were to follow the same procedure when their accelerator pedals were sticking under the floor mats, every driver would have had to PAY TOYOTA to get on the phone with them and drive around under various conditions, for as long as they feel is necessary before you could bring it in and have them look at it.

 

2. what POSSIBLE OVER THE PHONE DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE  would lead to a diagnosis of FAILED CAPACITORS?!?!?!?!?!

if they thought about this for ONE FING SECOND - it would be CRYSTAL CLEAR that NO possible phone conversation could lead to that conclusion!

again, read the experience of people who have tried to play the game by slingmedia's rules.  i have not read ONE INCIDENT in which someone was diagnosed over the phone that it was a hardware issue with the slingbox and was invited to send it in.

also, you get people who are advised to BUY ANOTHER ROUTER and then maybe swap out the POWER BRICK?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

they feel that their procedure is sufficient to diagnose THIS PROBLEM that we have - FAILED CAPACITORS.  excluding INSANITY, it is GLARINGLY OBVIOUS THAT IT CANNOT POSSIBLY... BY DEFINITION!!!  the ONLY way you can know if you don't take the symptoms at face value (which they are not - which they are assuming is once again a mere software problem), you CAN'T UNTIL YOU RIP THE FING THING OPEN LIKE I DID AND TAKE A LOOK.

EXCEPT

EXCEPT

through the PROCESS OF ELIMINATION where they run you through EVERY. OTHER. POSSIBLE. POTENTIAL. PROBLEM.

ANYONE ELSE SEE THE PROBLEM WITH THAT?!  is OUR TIME WORTH NOTHING TO THEM?!  THEM WHO INSIST THAT WE PAY THEM $30 to make good on their LEGALLY BINDING RESPONSIBILITY TO HONOR THEIR WARRANTY?!?!

 

3. WHAT IF IT ***IS*** bulging capacitors sling media?!?!?!

are YOU going to pay me my hourly rate for the time that i spent to get you to the fing point where you shrug your shoulders and say, "gee, well that's everything on the tech script... you got me... wanna send that box in?"

do you REALIZE how much you have antagonized and pestered and nickel and dimed your customers, your FANS by torturing us and putting the burden of proof on us instead of recognizing that FAILED CAPACITORS COULD INDEED BE THE PROBLEM and having a SANE procedure for ascertaining that in a SANE manner?!

SERIOUSLY, is there ONE CASE where you guys said to ANYBODY - ANY ONE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS with the dropping connection problem - "hey, that sounds like failing capacitors to me"?

recognize - the very UNLIKELY HOOD of you saying that is a HUUUUUUUGE PROBLEM if it is indeed the capacitors.

 

again, i have to come to the conclusion that with a company that won't call something a duck even if it looks, quacks and walks like a duck, that they DON'T care about their customers and are only concerned with their liability and their bottom line.

that being the case - let's hit them at their bottom line then.

 

if that's the only appeal that will make them change their untenable warranty policy, let's start putting the screws to them.

 

sigh - it's unfortunate that it must come to this.  you'd think that they'd want to preserve their reputation.

oh well, as they say, you reap what you sow.

 

jin

 

p.s. especially if you have or know of peeps who have this problem and aren't getting the help they need, spread the word and DIGG IT! http://digg.com/gadgets/Slingbox_Solos_defective_capacitor_issue

 

May 14, 2010
6:44 pm
Brandon C
U.S.

Forum Posts: 1559
Member Since:
April 19, 2010
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I am surprised Will talked to you. Did he call you or email you or what?

Of course this is not any conspiracy deal. The $30.00 deal has been a issue since they came out with it. It confuses people when they have a 1 year warranty but if the call after 90 days they are charged a support fee.

They do refund the $30.00 if it is a hardware problem that is covered by warranty but they don't tell the customer that up front.

It's all about explaining to the customer when they call how everything works, what they should expect and explaining everything before starting to try and fix it.

You won't see them intimating anything at all about poor or weak hardware. They just don't do that.

I have seen a ton of people with power supply issues and have never heard any acknowledgement back or a KB article from Sling Media on how to check for a PS problem.

I guess that's why we and the members are here. To have the ability to suggest to others what to check without having to worry about stepping on any ones toes.

 

May 14, 2010
7:27 pm
jin
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
May 12, 2010
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he wrote me.

 

and while i think that the $30 is insulting, it's not a dealbreaker if they refund you that money if it's a hardware problem.

 

but as i said, if it IS failing capacitors, there is NO test that they can run from a customer service call that can identify that.  their only (and idiotic way) to diagnose the hardware problem is do EVERY OTHER conceivable test until the only possibility left is a hardware problem.

 

and as we have seen, this includes advising people to buy NEW ROUTERS and dragging the process along by shipping power bricks.

 

srsly, from failure to a new slingbox (if it is a failed capacitors issue), HOW LONG would that take?!

 

they're not even making a GOOD FAITH EFFORT to see if capacitors could have gone bad by asking a whole lot of folks to send theirs in and TAKING A LOOK THEMSELVES.

 

as i say again and again, THEY ASSUME IT IS ***NOT*** a hardware problem.  ???  because of magic?  cuz they've been good?

 

this is stupid, inconsiderate and imo unscrupulous behavior for a company.

 

getting a batch of bad capacitors doesn't make them a bad company.  to err is indeed human.  but to brush that possibility under the rug and make identifying a failing component an almost impossible and weeks spanning ordeal - that makes them villains.

 

jin

May 18, 2010
11:01 pm
jin
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
May 12, 2010
Offline

hey brandon,

 

sorry i haven't been able to put together a full piece on my capacitor issue and it looks like i'm not going to have time to in the near future.

could you still do an article (basically editing my post with whatever insights you can add) if i send you the hires photos?  also, where can i send or post those photos?

 

thanks much.

 

jin

May 19, 2010
5:53 am
Brandon C
U.S.

Forum Posts: 1559
Member Since:
April 19, 2010
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10

Sure can do.

Just email the pics to admin @ placeshiftingenthusiasts dot com and I will put something together.

Thanks!

May 19, 2010
7:27 pm
jin
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
May 12, 2010
Offline
11

thanks much brandon,

 

the emails are on the way with hires photos rar'd up.

 

btw, it seems that they closed the previous "help my slingbox is disconnecting" thread and made another one with the assurance that their "engineers" are working on it.

 

lol...

 

that just makes me laugh sooooo hard.

 

what kind of engineers are these?  that they're apparently afraid to use a screwdriver... sure, it's a phillips head but you'd figure they would have taught them that in their "engineering" classes.

 

if slingmedia had engineers worth the name, they would have had people simply send in some defective units and LOOK at the caps.  an engineering feat evidently SO STRENUOUS that it is beyond slingmedia to EVEN CONTEMPLATE OR IMAGINE doing such a thing.

 

srsly... what are those engineers doing if not looking at the caps FIRST?  are they afraid of violating their OWN warranty?!?!  hahahaha.... sigh... gag... gauging the position and tidal forces generated by the moon perhaps?  tea leaves?  casting lots?  desperately trying to stuff their own heads into their own rectums?

 

ugh... such a cool product (in theory).  such a bunch of ass-covering douche bags running the joint.

 

anyway, i've sent off for my HAVA HD Platinum confident and comforted in the knowledge that they can't - simply CAN'T - be any WORSE than slingmedia.

 

good fing riddance and i hope they get what they deserve.

 

jin

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