Embarassing lack of diagnostic skills

My Squeezebox had been “playing up” for a while. The display was noticeably flickering, and moving it often caused it to stop working. Unplugging & replugging it didn’t always cause it to cleanly start up the first time.

I’d been ignoring the problem.

And then one evening it stopped working, and wouldn’t restart. I was mortified, because Logitech don’t offer a repair service for this device, and they no longer manufacture them, so it was effectively difficult to replace. To be honest, I was annoyed (with myself for ignoring the signs of impending disaster), with Logitech for no longer supporting me, and with the device itself for failing after only a couple of years of use.

The current equivalent from Logitech is the Squeezebox Touch, which uses an LCD display, and doesn’t support the highest data rates that my older model does. It’s also £260. Gulp.

So I started hunting for cheaper alternatives. Ebay was a possible source for a replacement, but would still have cost well over £100, for a second-hand unit of questionable provenance. And then I remembered a colleague who is an electronics wizard, who often offers advice on fixing problems with electronic devices. So I called him up, and he offered to take a look at it.

I wasn’t holding much hope, as I’d opened the case in the past, and knew it was full of surface mounted components. But in practice, he had the problem solved in next to no time. The culprit? This is embarrassing- the problem was the power supply. The Squeezebox was working perfectly, but the power supply was terminally ill. I ought to have checked that myself. It was an obvious thing to do. But somehow I overlooked it.

So my colleague swapped the defective capacitor (cost, ~25p) that was causing all the problems in the power supply for a new one, and everything now works as good as new.

I’m delighted it all works just like new again. But I am desperately embarrassed by my lapse in judgement, and apparent inability to debug the problem. I really should have done better!

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One thought on “Embarassing lack of diagnostic skills

  1. Pingback: Additional “squeezeboxes” « Richard's Blog

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