The AirPort Time Capsule is a wireless network device featuring network-attached storage (NAS) and a residential gateway router.

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Power Supply Failing? Or is TC Overheating?

Just recently, my Time Capsule has been occasionally shutting off without warning. It's happened several times so far this past month and a half, and I think it is from overload? To elaborate for the last failure, I was simultaneously transferring a large file from the TC's HDD to a MBP, downloading a 1GB update for a program on another MBP, and streaming a YouTube video on a Windows desktop.

It abruptly cut off everything I was doing, and there is no LED on the front while plugged in. However, while plugged in, I can hear and feel the hard drive still spinning. The TC is somewhat warm to the touch (seems to be the usual temp), but it's not scorching hot.

If I give it 5-15 minutes of leaving it unplugged and then plug it back in, it mysteriously starts working again, LEDs and all. When it turns off again, nobody knows, but it sure will be at the most inconvenient time.

My TC is sitting in a TV entertainment center, on the first shelf below the TV but there is plenty of empty ventilating room around it.

So what's going on here? Am I going to need to replace the power supply? Or is it just overheating from too much activity and it wants to cool down for a bit? I don't know what to make of these symptoms...

  • 4th generation Time Capsule (2TB)
  • Hard drive is not dead
  • Plugged into power surge protector (or power strip...?)
  • Using original power cable.
  • Bought used on eBay a few months ago, likely been in service for more than 12 months
Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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New Update!

Installed the Flextronics PSU today.

Time Capsule works good now.

So yeah, if your Delta PSU craps out in your Time Capsule, a Flextronics is fine too. The PSU was faulty all along.

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Update

For the sake of those Googling the same problem, I guess I'll update the status of my Apple Time Capsule.

My Time Capsule died again, and this time the LED is not turning back on when I plug it back in after a while (the hard drive still runs, though). So, I decided to finally dig in and see what the problem is. Looking around on Google and eBay, it seems that the reason why my problem happens is because the capacitors get blown on the PSU, and therefore need replacing. Before I ordered any "capacitor kits", I wanted to see if this was true.

Disassembly

  1. I unplugged everything from the TC, and let it sit for about 24 hours (this discharges capacitors).
  2. Flipped the TC over, and took a heat gun (on low) to loosen up the adhesive under it.
  3. Starting at the corner, carefully peeled the rubber base off. Applied extra heat as necessary.
  4. Unscrewed all the screws holding the metal plate.
  5. Unplugged the logic board power connector, SATA cable, SATA power, and removed thermal sensor on HDD (held in with some adhesive).
  6. Both the HDD and power supply were not screwed down, and thus I was able to simply lift them out of the assembly.

Different PSU Models?

Apparently, this generation of Time Capsules are shipped with varying power supplies. Commonly, they are found with Flextronics units (P/N: 614-0412, 614-0414, or 614-0440). Less commonly, in my case, they are shipped with Delta Electronics units (P/N: 614-0464). While they both are specced similary and have the same connectors, the output differs ever so slightly.

  • Delta Electronics PSU
    • Output: 12V==1.0A, 5.1V==4.3A
    • Total Power: 33.9W
  • Flextronics PSU
    • Output: 12V==1.2A, 5.1V==3.8A
    • Total Power: 34W

Upon closer observation (see the pics), there doesn't appear to be blown caps at all! It looks absolutely normal... yet it doesn't work. Guess it's another component that failed?

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Ordered new PSU

I figured that since the power supplies have similar specs and that they were all shipped on the same generation Time Capsule, it possibly wouldn't hurt to get the Flextronics one instead of Delta.

Why? The Flextronics power supplies are cheaper and more widely available than the Delta Electronics one. I like to not spend a lot of money (naturally), so I'll bite.

My only concern with this decision is if the logic boards were tweaked in design to accommodate certain PSU models during production, but I could be overthinking this. I'm still a newbie when it comes to most electronics topics.

Now I'm waiting for this Flextronics PSU to deliver, so I'll let you all know if my TC explodes or not.

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Comments:

HI, what was the outcome when you fitted the new PSU?

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Hi Bob,

The power supply swap ended up working! My Time Capsule has been working hunky-dory ever since.

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