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  • Woke up dead.

    My latest blog.

    Everyone's worst nightmare. You wake up in the morning, press the button to turn on a light to get dressed and..... nothing happens.

    Happened to me yesterday morning. Nothing working.
    Grabbed a mug of coffee and headed to the control room. No lights on the PC at all. Dead. El Morte.

    Out of character for me, I didn't panic at all. Just set to work.
    Few, other than those here perhaps, could understand the sinking feeling of the prospect of not having automation any longer.

    Took a quick look inside and see a cap on the PS has swollen, "so, it's the power supply". Then on another look, I see six more caps on the mother board about to blow. Oh well, I got ten years out of this mini-ITX fanless board.
    Pulled the old Hometroller S3 out of storage. Cloned the PC 240G SSD, plugged it into the HT and booted. HS starts, but XP (yes it was running XP) needs different drivers on this machine. To be expected.

    Twelve hours later, after straightening out the serial port mess (The HT actually has six onboard serial ports, most of which had to be disabled in BIOS), getting a few driver updates, etc., rebooting dozens of times, drinking copious amounts of coffee and not eating all day (by this time, I was beginning to panic a bit), the HT was running acceptably. The only thing not functioning is the sound. I can live with that for now.

    Off to shopping. Found a new board I can use on Amazon (Intel D2550MUD2) https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00N50250U/...528420_TE_dp_1
    Compatible with my existing DDR3 memory chips so it'll keep the cost lower. Ordered it, and a new power supply. It'll be here Thursday. Total cost, about $90 with priority shipping.
    Then over night, I'm thinking... what if I can't get XP drivers for it... perhaps I ought to have searched for a replacement for the original board instead.
    Checked this morning... the old board (D525MW) can still be had on eBay, but the price is three times that of the one I've ordered.
    Checked Intel's site for XP drivers for the new board. YeeHaa!! They're there; I don't need to buy a copy of Win 7, or worse... 10.
    Thinking again... what if this happens to me again.... 10 years life for a board, I'm 60.... hmmm... Ordered a second board to have on hand for a spare... Standard shipping this time, comes in at $50 more. Set for life, provided this works out.

    The sound? I think I can live without HS talking to me for a few days, although I do miss it. Meantime, the HT is working hard and makes a great hot plate for my coffee.

    Looking at performance this AM. Things are responding much more slowly than I'm accustomed to. Running three times the CPU compared to the old machine, and the HT having only 1G of ram is showing about 500 Meg available where 3 Gig was the norm. I'd dare say this poor thing is doing a lot of disk swapping.
    Last edited by Wadenut; March 13th, 2016, 06:07 AM.
    Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

  • #2
    Took a quick look inside and see a cap on the PS has swollen, "so, it's the power supply". Then on another look, I see six more caps on the mother board about to blow. Oh well, I got ten years out of this mini-ITX fanless board.

    Curious about model / MFG of this board Greg?

    I have repaired older core duo Intel motherboards with exploding caps on them. 1-2 is easy but it is a PITA with more. It would be less than $10 to fix and mostly your time. Most of the work involves removing the motherboard such that you can work on it. The actual removal of the bad capacitor and replacement is only a few minutes with the proper tools.

    You can also send the board in to be repaired where as company will replace every capacitor that could leak except this will probably be more than $50 but less than $100.

    I did this for one HS2 set up years ago where as today still have duplicate box and repaired box running (now for over 10 years) even though it is not used for HS2 anymore. After this though did DIY repair a few more. These were all Intel based motherboards.

    Here have running one Foxconn D525 24/7 (with CPU fan) and two Shuttle fanless with heatsinks. Well and two Intel motherboard D525's in two auto mobiles. They are all less than 10 years old at this time.

    I know you are a bit in to hardware tinkering such that fixing the board in question wouldn't be a difficult effort for you baby step fashion.
    Last edited by Pete; March 13th, 2016, 07:42 AM.
    - Pete

    Auto mator
    Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.8X
    Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.8X
    HS4 Pro - V4.0.5.0 - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono 6.8X
    HS4 Lite -

    X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pete View Post
      Took a quick look inside and see a cap on the PS has swollen, "so, it's the power supply". Then on another look, I see six more caps on the mother board about to blow. Oh well, I got ten years out of this mini-ITX fanless board.

      Curious about model / MFG of this board Greg?

      I have repaired older core duo Intel motherboards with exploding caps on them. 1-2 is easy but it is a PITA with more. It would be less than $10 to fix and mostly your time.

      You can also send the board in to be repaired where as company will replace every capacitor that could leak except this will probably be more than $50 but less than $100. I did this for one HS2 set up years ago where as today still have duplicate box and repaired box running (now for over 10 years) even though it is not used for HS2 anymore.

      Here have running one Foxconn D525 24/7 (with CPU fan) and two Shuttle fanless with heatsinks. Well and two Intel motherboard D525's in two auto mobiles. They are all less than 10 years old at this time.
      It's a D525MW Intel board.
      Yes, I plan to try replacing the caps. Just didn't have enough of the right values on hand and I wanted to ensure getting back up solidly as quickly as possible. Then too, the caps may or may not be the entirety of the problem. Ordered a second new board this morning just so this isn't a risk in future. Worst comes to worst, if the old board is repairable, I'll have two spares or perhaps I can just repurpose it.
      Surprised how small the mini-ITX power supplies have become compared to what I have now.
      Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have only seen leaking bad caps messing with motherboards to date. (15-20 years?).

        The other issue I have seen is with regular iTX power supplies.

        Here last week noticed that my HSDesigner VM box was over heating and shutting down.

        IE: moved HSDesigner to a VM such that I can get to it from anywhere on the network using any OS these days.

        There is two fans inside of the PS, one on the CPU, one on the video card and a large 4" fan cooling the case. I had spare fans here and replaced one in the power supply that had failed. I didn't have a 4" fan so I put a touch of oil on the bearings which probably will not last. The capacitors inside of the PS were fine.

        Here on the Foxconn went to a pico power supply (well same as automobiles). These are fanless and a bit miniature heavy duty flexible power power supplies. Thinking I documented this in the Foxconn D525 builds from a few years ago (there are a few HS folks still using these D525 machines today).

        Latest HS3 Pro box is running in Ubuntu. Power supply here for the mITX iSeries Haswell chipset motherboard is a PicoPSU which has worked fine for me now for over a year running HS3 Pro 24/7. The motherboard / CPU is fast but doesn't need a lot of power. I built two of these (one for a HS user); identical motherboards but two different cases. One running W7 64bit and one running Ubuntu 14.04 64 bit. The smallest case is the size of the mITX board. It had room for two standard notebook style SATA drives (or SSD) and an on board mSATA port which I installed a m.2 sata card in. Tiny thing a bit bigger than my thumb. I did have to upgrade the Intel based CPU fan to a server style low profile CPU fan on both of these computers. I did have the DIY on these builds in the help section. I think I have removed them as I do not see them there anymore. Both computer DIY builds were above $100 done on an a la carte fashion purchasing case, motherboard, cpu, memory, drive, PicoPSU, et al.

        BTW here have been testing HP Thin clients which are Atom based Windows 7 embedded terminals for HSTouch in Wintel use. Works fine and a tiny footprint. I've picked up these with license for around $50 (including wireless). I also purchased an expansion module for it for some $10 or so. They are not as fast as the newer Intel (Atom) Baytrail quad core mini PCs though that came with a Windows 8.1 license (which I updated to a Windows 10 PC).

        You could also go to Linux via the RPi3 which is a bit faster than the RPi2. The GUI is identical to the Wintel version and it is very low powered these days.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Pete; March 13th, 2016, 09:15 AM.
        - Pete

        Auto mator
        Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.8X
        Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.8X
        HS4 Pro - V4.0.5.0 - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono 6.8X
        HS4 Lite -

        X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

        Comment


        • #5
          Expecting the new MB today. Good thing. With the HT I'm seeing quite long delays in executing events, sometimes up to a second. Lots of disk activity as well due to the constant swapping. Quite disturbing when I walk into a dark room.
          Keeping the HT as cool as possible by sitting it on it's end with the cover off and the SSD hanging outside. Quite a sloppy situation.
          Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

          Comment


          • #6
            And 3.5 hours later.
            All seems to be working, even sound.
            Took some time to get the BIOS configured, reactivate Windows (always a cliff hanger) and install the proper drivers, but worth it.
            2x 2G memory modules seem to be incompatible with this board. Both work on their own, but won't boot with both installed. These worked with the old board. Small thing to figure out... they are physically different (likely laid out differently as well). Thinking I may have been running on 2G all along? Never checked. Worse comes to worse, I'll have one to use repairing the old board and just have to locate a new one which is compatible.

            Phew!!!

            CPU Hometroller 3 vs Intel 2550: 39% --> 9%
            Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

            Comment


            • #7
              nice story....

              well on HS2 I had sooooo much setup including sound through alarm speaker, so much automation done..

              today... i just have..... Nothing setup....

              gotta get house back together after floors, kitchen cabinets, trim, etc... then im going to sit back and get this thing going... some day...
              HW - i5 4570T @2.9ghz runs @11w | 8gb ram | 128gb ssd OS - Win10 x64

              HS - HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.435

              Plugins - BLRF 2.0.94.0 | Concord 4 3.1.13.10 | HSBuddy 3.9.605.5 | HSTouch Server 3.0.0.68 | RFXCOM 30.0.0.36 | X10 3.0.0.36 | Z-Wave 3.0.1.190

              Hardware - EdgePort/4 DB9 Serial | RFXCOM 433MHz USB Transceiver | Superbus 2000 for Concord 4 | TI103 X-10 Interface | WGL Designs W800 RF | Z-Net Z-Wave Interface

              Comment


              • #8
                Your priorities seem to be backwards. Automation always comes first.
                Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wadenut View Post
                  Your priorities seem to be backwards. Automation always comes first.
                  no my priorities arent backwards.. my wife just sees what I wrote in a mirror!!!!
                  HW - i5 4570T @2.9ghz runs @11w | 8gb ram | 128gb ssd OS - Win10 x64

                  HS - HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.435

                  Plugins - BLRF 2.0.94.0 | Concord 4 3.1.13.10 | HSBuddy 3.9.605.5 | HSTouch Server 3.0.0.68 | RFXCOM 30.0.0.36 | X10 3.0.0.36 | Z-Wave 3.0.1.190

                  Hardware - EdgePort/4 DB9 Serial | RFXCOM 433MHz USB Transceiver | Superbus 2000 for Concord 4 | TI103 X-10 Interface | WGL Designs W800 RF | Z-Net Z-Wave Interface

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Looking on the Intel web site there is a note relating to memory requirements....that states...Requires the use of DDR3 modules that are Intel XMP compatible.
                    - Pete

                    Auto mator
                    Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.8X
                    Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.8X
                    HS4 Pro - V4.0.5.0 - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono 6.8X
                    HS4 Lite -

                    X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      $20 for a single 4G SODIMM didn't break the bank.
                      Just checked. This board runs very cool, even w/o a fan. Even the D525 tended to run on the hot side.
                      Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hello fellow hardware catastrophe sufferers... Just last month the aircon in my server closet acted up and everything in there was grilled at around 42'C (107'F) for half a day.

                        The HS3 server went unresponsive until i came to ventilate the room (but surprisingly my synology chugged along without issues through that hell, so's a Lenovo workstation that runs Blue Iris for cctv) and everything went back to normal the next day, after the aircon tech guy replaced the outdoor unit.

                        The hardware failure didn't happen until about a week after... And of course it had to happen when i was away on a trip ;( i had to endure the rest of the trip with this huge itch to scratch. Soon as i got home, i went to check on the server.. Everything look physically ok, but no LED came up. Turns out the Pico PSU or its power supply bit the dust.

                        I replaced the pico psu with a spare atx psu i have, and HS3 came back up online and needed zero reconfiguration.

                        So right now i have a messy server in a petit mini itx case with a bunch of wires coming out of it to the ugly huge old atx psu right next to it. Next project is to virtualize this HS3 instance and move it to a supermicro c2750 machine...

                        Ps: My HS3 server runs on an ASRock C2550 mobo, with a fanless Intel Atom 'Avoton', powered by a Pico PSU...
                        HW: HS3 w/ Win8.1 on ASRock C2550d4i. Digi AnywhereUSB, Hubport, Edgeport, UZB, Z-trollers, PLCBUS, SONOS, GC-100, iTach IP2SL, WF2IR, IP2IR, RFXtrx433, Harmony Hubs, Hue, Ademco Vista 128BP, NetAtmo, NetAtmo Welcome

                        Google Search for HomeSeer Forum

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here utilize 5 picoPSUs (HS, MythTV, PFSense) plug 2 for the automobiles. I have gone to using the 200Watt ones although they are a bit much. The automobile ones have the intelligent stuff for powering up and powering down the PC.

                          For whatever reasons here when searching on Amazon for memory noticed only 2 sticks of 2Gb RAM rather than 1 stick of 4Gb of RAM for your mother board.

                          Here my Foxconn uses two regular sized sticks for 4Gb of RAM and my commercial style motherboard using two notebook style stick and had the power supply on the motherboard (19VDC)
                          - Pete

                          Auto mator
                          Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.8X
                          Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.8X
                          HS4 Pro - V4.0.5.0 - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono 6.8X
                          HS4 Lite -

                          X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, after buying a spare board, decided to set it up in a separate box for a drop in replacement in the event of another failure.

                            Ordered a 4G SODIMM for the first box, then the day before it arrived ordered a second for the spare. When the first arrived, no go. Realized the new boards don't support a 4G, only 2x 2G. #^^$@$&. I think I've got that straightened out now, ordering 2x 2G chips which ARE listed as supported by the board. They were cheap on eBay. Also, ordered a new SSD for the spare HS machine which will be ready to go when I need it.

                            Meantime, found a scrapped motherboard in the garage and raided it for capacitors for the dead Atom board. Tested this morning. It's ALIVE!!! I'm swimming in working motherboards. Thinking this one will go to the garage for use on my bench, replacing an old tower machine I have there. Save quite a bit of bench space there. Now, just need yet another SSD for the Atom. Will likely refurbish the tower and put it in a yard sale for $20 or so.
                            Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              lol.... u go man!!!!!!!!!!!
                              HW - i5 4570T @2.9ghz runs @11w | 8gb ram | 128gb ssd OS - Win10 x64

                              HS - HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.435

                              Plugins - BLRF 2.0.94.0 | Concord 4 3.1.13.10 | HSBuddy 3.9.605.5 | HSTouch Server 3.0.0.68 | RFXCOM 30.0.0.36 | X10 3.0.0.36 | Z-Wave 3.0.1.190

                              Hardware - EdgePort/4 DB9 Serial | RFXCOM 433MHz USB Transceiver | Superbus 2000 for Concord 4 | TI103 X-10 Interface | WGL Designs W800 RF | Z-Net Z-Wave Interface

                              Comment

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