Node 2 capacitor replacement = recovery from red light of death

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
I'll update this after I get some more time to make sure it's stable and will continue to work, but after cap replacement the unit powered up and connected to the internet. It updated itself (which I think it was trying to do when it pooped out) and appears to be working fine.

I'll wait to give an all clear on this, but it appears to have fixed my unit. My guess is these all fail due to the same pair of caps being roasted by a voltage regulator. I may take it back apart and see if I can creatively mount the caps on the bottom of the PSU board to move them away from the intense regulator heat. I replaced all the caps in mine, and misread one. I put a 100v cap in a 400v spot. THAT was smokey!! I ended up dropping the original back in because it tested good with my meter.

Once I am sure it's working fine I will provide a parts list from Mouser to replace all the caps. I may be interested in buying one with the same issues as mine to repair as I could use a 2nd one here. It'd have to be pretty cheap though, cause I am cheap. :)

- Evan
 

MikeyFresh

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I'll update this after I get some more time to make sure it's stable and will continue to work, but after cap replacement the unit powered up and connected to the internet. It updated itself (which I think it was trying to do when it pooped out) and appears to be working fine.

I'll wait to give an all clear on this, but it appears to have fixed my unit. My guess is these all fail due to the same pair of caps being roasted by a voltage regulator. I may take it back apart and see if I can creatively mount the caps on the bottom of the PSU board to move them away from the intense regulator heat. I replaced all the caps in mine, and misread one. I put a 100v cap in a 400v spot. THAT was smokey!! I ended up dropping the original back in because it tested good with my meter.

Once I am sure it's working fine I will provide a parts list from Mouser to replace all the caps. I may be interested in buying one with the same issues as mine to repair as I could use a 2nd one here. It'd have to be pretty cheap though, cause I am cheap. :)

- Evan
As time goes by you might start to see these on eBay and the like in non-working order for cheap. As you said, the caps situated right next to the regulator heat are going to fail, not if but when. You might try to shoehorn a piece of heat shield of some sort in between the regulator and the caps.
 

MikeyFresh

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@MikeyFresh

There's literally no space. It's asinine how they designed this. I may take it back apart and see if it's possible to mount the caps on the bottom of the board....
I've seen very expensive PSU upgrades available for the Node 2/2i available from the U.K. but most folks wouldn't be willing to invest that kind of money in it, effectively doubling the price.

More recently, I saw a conversion board that allows the PSU to be external, available in Poland for the equivalent of $75. You still need an external 5V 2A PSU of course, but many people already have one of those, or can build one, or even use a low noise external SMPS like the Allo Nirvana.

The site is in Polish, but if you use the translate function in Chrome or Firefox you can read it in English. They even show measurements with the improvements brought by a use of an LPSU, however they don't say which LPSU, so that could be a stacked deck depending on the cost of what they used to achieve those results.
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
Interestingly enough I already have a hot rodded 5v PSU for my squeezebox that will end up getting put back away. Thanks for the link to that site.
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
Debatable. Kind of a chicken or the egg situation. If they'd used higher temp value caps they might have survived.. but if they hadn't located the caps so close to the heat sink they would have survived regardless.

The real question is, are these cheapo caps truly rated for 108c or not? Or do they just say that?

Looking at this situation, my gut says almost every one of these is going to fail at some point.
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
It's been a few days now and the node has been on constantly since the caps were changed. It's still working fine, I'm willing to call this a success.

Another interesting side effect... I was never smitten with the way this thing sounded. It would get cluttered sounding and almost distorted at some points. It sounded pretty crappy in my opinion. After changing the caps, the sound has improved enough where I don't want to put the thing into a clay pigeon thrower. so that's a plus.

I still think a good DAC needs to be on the back end of it, but that's a story for another day.

Anyone interested in a cap list?
 

S0und Dragon

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It's been a few days now and the node has been on constantly since the caps were changed. It's still working fine, I'm willing to call this a success.

Another interesting side effect... I was never smitten with the way this thing sounded. It would get cluttered sounding and almost distorted at some points. It sounded pretty crappy in my opinion. After changing the caps, the sound has improved enough where I don't want to put the thing into a clay pigeon thrower. so that's a plus.

I still think a good DAC needs to be on the back end of it, but that's a story for another day.

Anyone interested in a cap list?

Yes, Are you taking Nodes for upgrades?
 
I’m thinking that if you’ve solved this problem... why couldn’t, or more importantly, why wouldn’t Bluesound do so? What you’ve done is fantastic. Just makes me really question their customer commitment. Which, bunches up my panties even more because their product solves several issues I need to solve. /rant
 

prime minister

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You know, the idea of a super duper power supply for the Node is intriguing. I just don't know that Id be intrigued enough to spend the money on it.
 

JohnVF

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You know, the idea of a super duper power supply for the Node is intriguing. I just don't know that Id be intrigued enough to spend the money on it.
According to Mikeyfresh there is a linear power supply upgrade available for it but its not cheap. Maybe if mine goes I'll do that mod?
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
Yes, I'd consider servicing other units.

Two caveats;

1 - I don't want to do it unless I can come up with a way to move the caps or improve cooling. This isn't something that should need to be done over and over again.

2 - I will need to figure out a price, but getting step 1 sorted out first is important.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
According to Mikeyfresh there is a linear power supply upgrade available for it but its not cheap. Maybe if mine goes I'll do that mod?
Based on what I've heard, I think mine hasn't been right for a very long time. Especially with the Raspberry Pi giving it such a thorough trouncing of late. It does make me wonder what a best of the best Node would sound like.
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
According to Mikeyfresh there is a linear power supply upgrade available for it but its not cheap. Maybe if mine goes I'll do that mod?

There is a UK based linear PSU that is offensively expensive and a polish input board that allows a conventional 5v psu to be used. I'd gamble on the input board as I alrleady have a fancypants 5V external PSU. I couldn't really figure out how to order the one from Poland, so I lost interest quickly. lol
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
Based on what I've heard, I think mine hasn't been right for a very long time. Especially with the Raspberry Pi giving it such a thorough trouncing of late. It does make me wonder what a best of the best Node would sound like.

Erik, mine lived in my 2nd system for years before being moved to my main rig which was far more revealing. I think the caps were starting to fail at that point. I moved it to my main system last January.
 
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