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Apple Time Capsule Repair Type3

I keep trying to figure out easier and cheaper methods to do the repair.

But this idea is also to keep things as simple as possible for those with limited resources available... time, money or equipment.

I will try all the ideas as TC's come in for repair. And others report success with the methods, or issues they are having.

As in Type 1 repair we are simply trying to source the correct voltage from an external supply rather than internal...
So this leads me to the very simplest repair...

1. Just use a 5v plug pack
Pull out the hdd and mount it in a USB enclosure. Many of you will have done that anyway to recover your files.
Power the TC board with 5v dc. You can use a simple wall adapter. Check around on ebay. They tend to overstate the current rating so buy 5v 3A plugpack type and you should have plenty of current.. or buy a little module and encase it. A suitable module is pictured below.. these are extremely cheap on ebay and for running LED lights in cars. With enough current available you could even replace the disk with a laptop one which are easily available now in sizes up to 750GB or even 1TB. 

I didn't think the TC would run as a wireless router but it does. So you get effectively an AEBS out of your TC. For some people that maybe adequate. And as far as the Mac is concerned it is still a TC. 
DIY method. Cut off the existing power plug for the board.. work out following the pictures below the pinout for 5v (pin 1, 2 and 6) and Gnd (pin, 3, 4, and 5). 
Simply wire it to a dc socket.. done. easy peasy. 

2. Just use a 12v plug pack
We need just two voltages... from original supply 12v 1.2A and 5v 3A.
Now the actual current required will vary depending on the hard drive... check the hdd as they do vary ... For instance a 750GB WD Green drive, 0.7A 5v and 0.55A 12v and Seagate 7200.12 500GB is near the same... that is a bit less than earlier drives. The only 12v supply required is hdd, so 12v rating can be as little as 0.6A. And total current for 5v is around 2.2A.

The obvious way to do this is using a single regulated 12v power supply since they are readily available. Anything upward of 3A will be fine. Using a single voltage so a single connection with just an ordinary 2.5mm dc socket, and can be powered from a SLA battery on float at 13.5v. Note if you do this the supply must be regulated to no more than 13.5v as that is the limit for 12v line on the hard disk.

Updated 2nd March 2011
I have found a much simpler to use dc converter..

So to do this mod you will need 2 KIS-3R33S modules which are cheap as from ebay or a few electronics companies.. if people in Australia want them email me.. I will get a stack and sell them at cost plus letter postage. This is so much better than the LM2576 and similar chips or made up modules you might buy which might be rated at 3A but the heat sinking is so inadequate. These modules use a MP2307 3A, 23V, 340KHz Synchronous Rectified Step-Down Converter. You can download the pdf for the chip. But it isn't necessary to read or understand anything much about how it works.. Just it is highly efficient using built in switching transistors and without need for rectifier diodes by using synchronous transistor switching. You will also see complicated diagrams on various websites of how to adjust the voltage.. None of that is necessary. The module as is, puts out 3.3v but has a voltage adjust pin. All you need to do is solder a 10k ohm resistor between voltage adjust and gnd, and the module will output 5v exactly. (you can get any voltage from about 9v - 3.3v by using various value resistors). To get greater range of change you will need modify the internals. But for us that isn't necessary.
Now I recommend to use two modules.. it does get a bit hot running the TC and hdd.. but it is simple to use two, one to power the board and the second one to power the 5v of the hdd. The 12v supply is directly from the external power supply.

Parts required.. 2 modules.. $1 each.
2x low esr 1200uF 6.3v or 10v Capacitors.
4x 10uF 16v tantalum or low esr type caps. (you can basically use any size you like as they only bypass the supply)
1x 2.1 or 2.5mm dc connector socket.. good quality screw bulkhead mount type.. well worth the few dollars as they fit nicely into one side of the existing AC hole.

Recover the leads off the original power supply or buy a XH 6 pin socket.. you can get them from hobby suppliers pre-wired. And a SATA power connector.
A few bits of wire. Solder and a decent soldering iron.
I suggest a scrap of pcb to mount everything on.. but it is not required.. you can just solder them up and wrap it in tape.
Total cost less then $10 but you need to buy a 3A 12v power supply as well.. get a good quality one for powering LED screen or the like. Ebay is a great source around $10-15 for a reasonable one.
Each of the pictures below will enlarge if you click them to fairly high res shots so you can see it.. although I am a bit ashamed!! Still it is quick and easy and I worked with valve radios and TV's so point to point wiring is in the blood.

I used a scrap of pcb, and drilled holes that matched the old power supply. I also broke off the shroud around the board connector so I could use a piece of inline socket.. You can use IC sockets or inline socket, and solder a single cable to each pin.* Then coat the top with epoxy. If you want to be extra neat use the old socket from your existing dead power supply. This is then wired to a standard screw bulkhead dc connector.. buy the best grade one you can as it carries a fair bit of current.
Chris from UK finally discovered the correct socket.. it is a JST
XAP-06V-1 Well almost.. you still need to clip off a couple of pieces of plastic to make it fit fully. They could be a special for Apple just to make life hard to replace.
I have now started using a standard 6 pin XH plug and simply clip off the plastic tags in the way.. it does not have a clip but fits snug in the socket and will never come out. XH are a big advantage as you can buy ready made and wired sockets which are used in RC model control.. cheap on ebay.

Here is what the board looks like on the other side. This is fairly crude point to point wiring guys, as I was testing concept. Just glued the modules to the board.
I will design it with a proper etch pattern, but that makes it harder for some in having to make a board. You don't need to even use pcb.. anything that will hold the parts will be fine. A piece of copper or Aluminium would also work great, as long as it is used as Gnd only and insulated from all the cables. Something that helps conduct the heat away. It doesn't get over hot but it makes sense to keep things as cool as possible. Note I completely removed the fan. It is not required.

This is simple as you like.. I scribed the board so half was ground and half 12v.. that made it easy to power the modules, and then soldered directly to the modules to take 5v .. one line to the SATA power connector and one to the board connector.
I soldered a couple of tantalum caps in front of each module to provide supply bypass and the main capacitor 1200uF directly to the 5v terminal on the module.

Just a close up to show you how I soldered the 12v wire to convenient spot to power the hdd. The 10k resistor is just soldered from v-adj pin to Gnd pin.

You can see my previous sins in trying to get power into the TC.. But the standard dc bulkhead fitting will go nicely in one side of the AC hole. With power plugged in I doubt anyone is going to pay attention but the plastic is so thick there is not a lot of thread left to use a washer.

Ok, this is to stop all the queries about how the board connector pinout is configured.
Let me write this in full, Time Capsule board pinout so google can pick it up.
Click the picture and you will see the details. This is simple to anyone with a multimeter.. and I recommend you buy one if you are going to start playing. The gnd on the board is connected to the metal frame so just use your meter. Easy peasy.
There is an arrow next to pin one, which is the top of the picture.. and it goes
1-- 5v
2-- 5v
3-- Gnd
4-- Gnd
5-- Gnd
6 -- 5v

To make it absolutely clear.. here is the board shot with correctly color coded plugs.
Standard computer code.. Red 5v.. Yellow 12v.. Black.. Gnd.
The wires can twist up.. please check sata power pinout if unclear.
If you cut the wires from the original supply wrap red tap around the bundle of 4 wires before you cut.
Wrap black tape around the bundle of 5wires before you cut.

Another little module has come up.. for car led systems.. huhhh.. so your car is festooned with lights.. we call that bogan in Australia.
Whatever they are... this is just the right little box for us.. if you planned a perfect design for Time Capsule replacement supply then this is it.. they are $4-5 from HK.

This very simply hard wired in.. you can use the recovered plugs from the old supply or XH 6 pin and sata standard power plug.
You can even just use a piece of terminal strip to connect all the wires.. I have ordered bullet connectors and will make a kit.. with the main module using bullet connectors you can easily unplug it to replace.

I even stuck this one on the CRO to check the ripple.. about 20mv on the 5v line.. which is ok. So no external capacitors.. they are all encapsulated in the little unit.
The C155 unit is just the right height to fit.. the color coding of the wires is a horrible mess.. don't worry about it.. but think before you connect.
I have had one fail and opened it to find the same module I use.. with a 100uF 25v capacitor on both input and output.. IMHO this is not enough capacitance on the output so you will need to put a 1000-2000uF 6.3v or more capacitor in the line. 

I was going to use this in a kit but the quality is not good enough. 

Please see.. Time Capsule Power Supply Repair Kits
I keep developing the unit and type of converter.. but I am trying to get high reliability ones.. 

They are based on the type 3 repair using either a pair of KIS modules or a single KIM-055L ..  very good little modules that use very high efficiency converters.

3. Some other ideas.

Actually if I could find a cheap and simple nominal 24v to 12v converter as well, then you could power this off a laptop power supply which are also cheap and readily available... or an ITX car supply for a reasonable price which again could supply both 5v and 12v lines from something like a laptop power supply is also possible. But cheap and easy is what we are after. ITX supplies are a bit expensive.

Just do the conversion as per the type1 but instead of molex connector, use a dc connector, which is smaller and lighter. Or even just solder the wire directly inside.

The plastic AC socket which lifts out with the original power supply can easily be replaced with a scrap of PCB, and with a suitable plug to go into the TC main board we could produce a simple replacement kit. Just lift out the original supply and plug in the new one... 5min work once you get that wretched rubber sheet off the base.