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Directv DVR R15-500 problem

I left this morning and all was well. No one touched this all day long. Came home, and only static/snow, and the DVR blue Power light and the orange record light were FLASHING. Tried everything, pressed reset, no response. Turned off and pulled cord out, left it off for a while, still did not fix it. Directv Tech Support had me do the same thing. He also had me try pressing the down arrow below the select button while simultaneously pressing power, and tried reset and power simtaneously. No help. He said it's probably defective or overheating and they are sending me a new one. But I never give up, and I know there's a fix he didn't try - he was reading out of a manual and ran out of ideas! Any solvers out there?

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  • catmanjoe720 Dec 18, 2008

    I have the same problem. Was watching TV last night without a problem. Turned off the TV, left the box on as usual, and was woken up in the middle of the night to the clicking as the box flashed as described. Calling customer service tonight, will post any info.

  • Anonymous Dec 23, 2008

    same exact problem

  • Anonymous Jan 01, 2009

    Same deal, woke up and orange and blue lights "flickering".

  • mnvron Jan 16, 2009

    Same problem w/ DTV R15-500. Power light stays on and no others. If I pull the power cord out, wait 60 seconds, then plug back in, blue screen indicates the DVR is powering up, and it makes a series of clicking sounds for approx 30-60 seconds, then goes quiet and the tv screen goes black.

  • Korrie1976 Mar 10, 2009

    Came on an DVR 15-500 would not turn on. Unplugged, pressed all combos of RESET button and other buttons .. the power light and the record light are flickering.

  • grapeabod Mar 10, 2009

    Iam having the same problem as all the other posts. I have also tried all the same fixes to no avail. Please help!

  • vitoman389 Apr 29, 2009

    SAme problem. Lights flash. I think I had a power outage because the clock was also flashing. The hard drive is starting and stoping.

  • Anonymous May 18, 2009

    Same problem. Hard Drive is Gone

  • vitoman389 May 11, 2010

    If it's a software issue why wouldn't direct TV just figure out a fix for it or go back to a prior version???? I've had the unit for 2 years and then the issue recently happened. I ended up buying a new unit.

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I had a similar problem the orange record light was on and the unit could not be turned on. I didn't want to replace the unit since all recording would be gone. After some googling I found that the problem was related to the power supply. I found three capacitors with swollen tops 2 1000uf@10V and 1 1200uf@10v. I replaced them and everything works again.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009

  • rcheney600 Feb 10, 2011

    I had the same problem with my DirectTV DVR model R15-500. I took the advice given in previous posts. It was the 3 capacitors mentioned. I bought the Radio Shack caps, but realized what the actual problem was. This is a switching power supply, and it needs low ESR caps. The originals were probably the wrong type (or cheap). If the equivalent series resistance is too high at the high switching frequencies, the caps will overheat ( the Radio Shack units could be worse than the originals). I opened an old PC power supply, and took out 3 of the low ESR caps, a 3300uF,and 2-2200uF all at 10 volts. I put these in and it works perfectly again. Thanks very much for the help!

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I also had the same problem on my two DirectTV DVRs model R15 (i.e. power and record lights flashing when unit switched on – unit would not power up). I agree with Novurania findings, this is a power supply board issue, as I was able to swap power supplies when the first unit failed. I took a look at C7 and C8, which were the 1000 uf @ 10v capacitors mentioned by Novurania and in deed the top of the cans were slight bulked. The 1200 uf cap looked ok. Radio Shack sells electronics part and they had some 1000 uf electrolytic caps rated at 35VDC instead of 10 VDC (p/n 2721032 for $1.59 each). They were a little bigger in rating and size, but they worked just fine. I did not need to replace the 1200 uf capacitor, so I would recommend staring with C8 and C7. Both units are now working. Cost $6,97 instead of several hundred $ and another 2 year commitment to DirectTV. Hope this helps if you have the same problem :)

Posted on Sep 06, 2009

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My DVR went out also. The record button would blink but that was it would not power up or anything else. On the advise of Novurania I replaced the two capacitors 1000uf@10v and everything works great again. I lost none of my recordings and it only cost $1.65 so I am really thankful for the advice!

Posted on Jan 12, 2010

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I want to thank the participants for the tip on the power supply. My R15 had no power light and the record light blinked on and off with the power supply ticking. I did see that C7 and C8 electrolytic capacitors were both bulging. I replaced them with the 1000uf 35VDC units from Radio Shack and everything is working fine. Easy fix for under $4.00. The solder on the board requires a high heat iron so be aware of that when starting the fix. My stick soldering iron would not melt the solder. Had to go to the gun iron on the highest setting to release the factory solder.

Posted on May 16, 2010

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I am yet another user with a bad R15-500 Directv DVR. It stopped working yesterday. When connected to power it was just making a clicking sound: "click-click-click." After taking off the cover to the case, it was obvious that the sound was not coming from the hard drive (I disconnected power to the drive) and was coming from the board mentioned above. I replaced the C7, C8, and C10 capacitors (all were bulging on the top), and this fixed the problem!! My wife now thinks I'm a genius! (thanks to this message board :) ), Ditto on needing a high heat solder iron to melt the manufacturer's solder. I didn't even need to add my own solder, as I just pushed this solder to the side, and pushed it back over the new capacitors. The C7 and C8 capacitors are 1000mF, the C10 is 1200uF. My Radio Shack only had 1000uF 35V capacitors (part #272-1032, cost ~$1.50) with radial leads, which matches C7 and C8. So, I used this to replace all three (C7, C8, and C10), even though the C10 is 1200uF. The diameter of these Radio Shack capacitors are a bit bigger, but they will fit. Here's a helpful link on how to replace capacitors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCSNWi3UHf4&NR=1

Thanks Again contributors!

Posted on May 23, 2010

  • jda720
    jda720 Aug 04, 2012

    Hello, I have the same problem with my R15. However, I am not able to locate C7 and C8. C10 is off by itself and looks fine. Any suggestions? Thank You

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Same problem here -- blue power and amber record LEDs flashing on powerup.

Looked and sounded like a power supply problem, so I opened it up and noticed the bulging caps (C7, C8, C10).

Replaced with parts from RadioShack: C7 and C8 with 1000µF 35VDC, and C10 with a pair of caps in parallel: 1000µF and 220µF 35VDC...I had to enlarge the hole in the PCB with a 1/16" drill bit to get both sets of leads through (drill from the copper side, and be careful!).

All systems go.

Posted on Aug 05, 2010

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Replaced the c7 c8 c10 capacitors and everything worked fine

Posted on Mar 10, 2010

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My c7, c8 and c10 were also bulging. I replaced with the Radio Shack parts (used 1000 uf cap instead of 1200 for c10) and it didn't work.

Posted on Jun 05, 2010

  • ca_albert Sep 08, 2010

    you need to use the recommended 1200 uF 10V capacitor for c10 or else it wont work properly.

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Replaced the C7 and C8 on the power board (C10 appeared okay) C7 was bulging at the top and C 8 had actually popped on top. Reassembled unit hooked it up and worked fine...
Thanks to those that figured this out,,wife is extremely happy now!

Posted on Mar 02, 2012

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Thanks for the insite on the bad caps. One of my DVRs (r15-500) stopped working; both power and rec lights flashing. Took it apart and sure enough, both 1000 uf caps mentioned here look bad. I plan to replace them today and see how it works.

Posted on Feb 11, 2010

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  • jermat Feb 11, 2010

    Follow up to my prior post...both caps were bad. Replaced with Radio Shack parts and the unit works perfectly now! Thanks for the solution...didn't know it would be so simple.

  • Buckshot451 Sep 21, 2010

    had to use a 1500 uf and two 1000 uf but it works

  • mikeemwse Jan 13, 2011

    Thank you so much! I, too, had the same exact problem - just the C7 and C8 caps... went to Radio Shack and picked up the capacitors and now everything is good as new! As with others, my Radio Shack only had the 1000uF 35V as well, but they work fine. Had never even done any soldering or anything like that before, but after watching the suggested video and other YouTube ones, I felt confident and it was pretty easy. I used a 30 watt soldering iron and let it heat up for a long time before starting and it worked fine on melting the existing solder - probably took a little more time with the tip on the solder than a higher capacity iron, but it worked fine. Whole process took about 10 minutes - only because of lack of experience... experienced solderers probably could do in 2 minutes!

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Sweet fix. I've had two R15's die due to this problem and replacing C7 and C8 did the trick. Thanks for posting this!

Posted on Mar 12, 2015

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My DirecTV R15-500 had no lights and was dead except for a sound that was almost like a heartbeat. I found the three capacitors referenced in the other posts and all of them had bulging tops. I found the exact same rating capacitors at EPO here in Houston and replaced them and now my unit works fine. I had two seasons of Breaking Bad and Fringe and Sons of Anarcny on that machine and was afraid I had lost them. I was planning on finding an identical maching and swapping hard drives but glad I didn't have to as I had read that that won't work. One caveat, I forgot to note the orientation of the two leads as I did not think of polarity. By checking the orientation of the other capacitors, I was able to get all three soldered in correctly. There was a big dot on the motherboard indicating the location of the negative lead. E. Wilson

Posted on Sep 05, 2012

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