I know that I was fed up with my Onkyo, and I know I have replaced it with a shiny new Sony model, but when I discovered a YouTube video walking the viewer through the simple process of mending the exact fault I was experiencing I figured I had nothing to lose. So I started to collect the parts; first of all I needed a new soldering iron because the one I had was pretty much in welding territory. I purchased a Weller mini 12W one which seemed as good as any. I should mention at this point for full disclosure that I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. I’m not an electronics expert and only have a basic overview of electronic components based on what I learnt about two decades ago at school. All I’m doing here is using common sense and following the instructions of the video, which advises you replace five specific capacitors on the HDMI control board – I therefore take no responsibility for you breaking your amp even more, blowing your house up, electrocuting yourself, or anything else that may happen if you follow these instructions. Once replaced, this should fix the common fault associated with HDMI switching. In my case, the fault caused the amp to display nothing on the screen output from the HDMI port when switching between HDMI sources, unless you wait for about 10 minutes and then power-cycle the amp. Also, component pass-through to HDMI didn’t work at all.
Right then, replace the capacitors? What are they then? I found these two images on a forum (so they’re not my photos, I’m not taking credit!) detailing the top and bottom of the HDMI circuit, the capacitors to replace have been marked with a blue marker pen. In the video, these surface-mount capacitors are replaced with similar surface-mount capacitors. Most forums however suggest you buy the barrel-type capacitors specified as “100µF 25V”. I decided that these latter ones would be a lot easier to solder, and purchased these ones from Hobbytronics.co.uk. Once they’d arrived I assembled the rest of my tools: some solder (which I already had), metal tweezers to hold the components and (importantly) act as a heat sink during the solder process, a marker pen, and some pointy nosed pliers.
Now, I’m going to assume you have already opened up your amp, unscrewed the HDMI ports, removed the ribbon cable from the HDMI board, removed the strange 4-wires from that other port on the board by pushing the port down and pulling the wires out of the grippy thingy, then unplugged
Step one, use my marker pen to mark up the capacitors to remove – I didn’t want to remove the wrong ones because that would be far too much effort in the long run.
Step two, remove one of the old capacitors from the circuit board. This is easy, get your pliers, grip the capacitor and wiggle until it comes off. You’ll end up with two pins sticking up, so wiggle those off too, and finally remove the plastic base that was underneath the old capacitor.
Step three, work out which way around my new capacitors needed to go – I needed to make sure the polarity is correct or things could go bang. Turns out that the existing capacitors have a less-than-semi-circle black section marked on the top. This black mark corresponds with the squared edge of the border on the circuit board underneath the capacitor. Take a close look at this border and you’ll notice it is a square with two corners cut-out. Now take a look at your new capacitors and you’ll see one side has a grey stripe. The pin on the capacitor on the side of the grey stripe needs to be soldered to the contact nearest the squared edge of the box (opposite to the edge with the cut-outs).
Step four, trim the excess from the pins on the capacitor. I went for about 15mm on each pin.
Step five, use your soldering iron and solder to weld the new capacitor to the correct pins on the board. I can’t really give you many tips here because this bit takes practise – just make sure you use your tweezers or a crocodile clip attached to the contact you are soldering to act as a heat sink otherwise you could blow something else up. The ultimate aim is to make sure the capacitor is attached securely to the contacts on the board. You may want to practise your soldering on something else beforehand to make sure you have your technique right.
Step six, repeat steps two-five for the remaining four capacitors, then put your circuit board back in the amp, screw it back together, plug it in and test it. In my photo, you can see the new capacitor attached to the circuit board in the centre of the image. Also note the two old capacitors yet to be replaced top left and bottom right coloured red with marker pen, the fourth capacitor has been removed (just to the right of the new one – you can see the box marked out on the board). The fifth and final capacitor is on the reverse side of the circuit board.
Mine worked straight away – well chuffed. No including the cost of the soldering iron, I spent £2.30 on the capacitors, £2 of which was the delivery charge. I also spent an extra 30p on spare capacitors just in case I made a mess of things. My Onkyo TX-SR606 is now as good as new.