Many of you may be upgrading to HD receivers for your DirecTV systems. The installers will take away your old standard def receiver when they do the upgrade but they do not have to. Tell them you want to keep it and scrounge out useful parts.
Note: You will need to get the correct sized Torx bit to remove the screws. These “security” screw bits are available at just about any place you can buy screw drivers.
The first part you want to get is the 250GB hard disk. This drive is a simple IDE drive you can use in your PC projects. Just reformat it. I have already removed the drive from the pictured unit. There are a few other interesting parts you might want to scrounge as well. You can see what I collected in the full article after the jump.
There are two main boards in the enclosure. The main board with the CPU and video processing and a power supply board.
One is a nice power supply that you can reuse as is. The specs taken from a label show +3.3VDC @ 6.8Amps – 5.0VDC @ 3.3Amps – 7.5VDC @ 2.3Amps – 12VDC @ 2.4Amps – 32VDC @ 0.005Amps. All these voltages are labeled at various points on the board. Their is a standard AC jack for input and a standard power connector for the hard disk. This power supply should be very easy to re-use. In my case, I wanted the TO-220 transistors, power resistors, and some of the huge capacitors.
The main board is mostly surface mount parts which are easy to remove but the tend to be specialized. I took only some cables from the main board and focused on the power supply board for my scrounging.
Front Panel Boards
There were two PCBs in the front panel. One was just a bunch of surface mount pushbuttons which I don’t need. The other had an IR receiver module as pictured here. The IR receiver had long though hole legs there were used to solder it down in surface mount fashion. This makes it an ideal scrounge because it has full length legs that work with our solderless breadboards. Also the pins were labeled, what luck. I removed the IR transceiver then cut/broke the PCB to save pin labels, even tacked the part back to the board so that I would have them both when I get to playing with the IR transceiver.
Scrounging the power transistors was a bit harder. These boards often have large heat sinks soldered down to the PCB. You would need a torch to get enough heat to solder the heat sink so I usually try to leave them in place, remove the screws on the transistors and remove them with a soldering iron. You can try a solder sucker or the solder wick but with just three pins I tend to heat all three with my soldering iron while maintaining a pull with long nose pliers. To make it easier I broke the PCB near the transistors and heat sink. This gave me easy access to the parts. As you can see in the picture below.
There are several tricks you will learn to remove parts once you get into scrounging. There are a few articles here at uCHobby that can give you some starting pointers.
Here are the parts I kept except for the hard disk which is probably the most important part to keep. Several power transistors, a bridge rectifier, some cables and caps. The screws include nuts and insulators for the TO-220 transistors an the gray pads in the lower right are thermal insulators. A few power resistors and the IR receiver module is there as well.
What have you scrounged/ recycled for your home electronics workshop?