How To Replace a Roku PhotoBridge Power Supply
SummaryPower supplies on the Roku PhotoBridge have been failing for many people on the Roku forums. Symptoms are that the power light no longer comes on, the unit is cold to the touch, and component pass-through no longer works. Those under warranty can have them replaced free of charge, but many have failed after the 1-year warranty period. Roku charges $75 as of late 2005 (previously $50). At this price (or if it goes higher) some people feel it is cheaper and faster to do it yourself. This guide descibes how to replace the power supply.
Credits: Thanks to olllllo, barrygordon, improv, and all of the other folks on the Roku Forums who described their repair jobs. Without their pioneering work I wouldn't have had the knowledge (or nerve) to try this.
Warning: This project requires making electrical connections and electrical power, both AC and DC. Though these instructions describe what I did, the power supply or PhotoBridge you have may be different, and these instructions may not work. Also, as with most electronics, the PhotoBridge is likely not forgiving of wiring errors. If anything in your setup doesn't seem to match these instructions, please post to the Roku PhotoBridge forums before proceeding. There are several people there who have undertaken this repair and can give you guidance.
What You'll NeedShopping List:
Step 1. Open Your PhotoBridgeRemove seven (7) screws:
Slide the case off toward the back and set it aside.
Step 2. Unscrew and loosen the Power SupplyRemove four (5) screws:
Step 3. Cut Power Supply Wires Close to the Old Power SupplyUsing wire cutters, cut the 6 wires that go to the power supply. Make the cut as close to the power supply as possible so you have plenty of wire left. You can remove the connector from the PhotoBridge motherboard, if that makes it easier, but I didn't find that necessary.
Step 4. Cut 8 wires off of the New Power Supply Connector CableFind the new power supply connector cable. Identify eight wires labeled as follows. Line the power connector up with the power supply motherboard and read the labels on the power supply motherboard.
Step 5. Connect the Wires using Crimp-On ConnectorsNow you have to connect the wires from the PhotoBridge motherboard connector to the connector coming from the power supply. Unfortunately the wire colors don't match up, you'll have to match them up yourself, using the markings on the boards. Match 3.3V to 3.3V, 5V to 5V, and ground to ground. The wires on the Roku that need connecting are as follows:
to make the connections, use crimp-on connectors from Radio Shack. Strip about 1/4 inch of wire from the two pieces of wire. Insert them into the crimp-on connectors. It may help to twist the end of the wires to make sure they don't get bent. Then take pliers and squeeze the crimp-on connector tightly around the wire end. Repeat for the second wire.
Step 6. Attach Wires to DC JackCut two 6-inch peices of 18-gauge wire. Solder them to the DC jack's protruding rear terminals.
Note: Don't solder the other end of the wires to the power supply board yet or you won't be able to attach the jack to the case!
Step 7. Attach DC Jack to CaseMake a 7/16 inch hole in the back of the case (first confirming the hole diameter for the jack you purchased -- it should be printed on the back of the jack package). You can either drill a hole or use a punch.
Remove the nut and washer from the DC jack. Slip the wire through the hole from the back of the PhotoBridge. Insert the jack and attach the nut and washer from inside the case. Screw on tightly.
Step 8. Attach DC Jack to Power Supply BoardNow solder the two wires from the DC jack to the two pins on the power supply motherboard.
Determining which wires match up is a little tricky. The DC power supply can have positive on either the inner pin or outer shell. It should be labeled on the brick or can be tested using a voltmeter. On the new power supply board, negative is the pin closest to the outside of the board, and positive is more toward the center.
Step 9. Attach Power Supply Connector to Power Supply BoardFold down the plastic shield flat against the motherboard. Remove the old power supply washers from the metal mount points. Test fit the new power supply motherboard, positioning it so one of its screw holes near the back lines up with the mount point on the PhotoBridge case. Note the outline of the power supply motherboard in the case. Remove the power supply and apply electrical tape to cover all parts of the metal case that would be underneath the new power supply motherboard. Apply a double layer to rule out any contact.
Use one of the screws from the old power supply (black ones) to screw the new power supply into place.
Step 10. Double Check Electrical and Mechanical ConnectionsLook over the electrical wire connections. Make sure positive and negative wires from the DC Jack go to the right pins on the new power supply. Make sure the 3.3V, 5V, and ground wires match up between the new power supply and the PhotoBridge motherboard.
Check that the power supply is securely attached to the case. Check that the DC Jack is firmly screwed to the case.
Step 11. Attach Power Cables and TestFirst make the internal connections. Attach the power supply to its connector cable, and attach the PhotoBridge connector to the PhotoBridge motherboard.
Attach some sort of TV or monitor to the PhotoBridge outputs.
Plug in the power supply brick, then plug the DC connector to the PhotoBridge. The PhotoBridge power light should come on and you should see the Roku logo on the monitor. If this seems to be working, disconnect the power before the final step...
Step 12. Close the CaseMake sure all of the cables are folded neatly within the case. Make sure the power supply connector cable is folded over since it is fairly tall.
Slide on the PhotoBridge top panel. Replace the seven screws you removed in the first step. The repair is now complete.
Enjoy your revived PhotoBridge!
Gotchas and Things to AvoidDon't try Insulated Crimp-On Pin Connectors 10-Pack: Model: 64-3095. The round pins don't fit the square connector holes of the new power supply.
Extra CreditThis section describes alternative or additional improvements that can be made to the PhotoBridge. I have not tried these projects yet, details are left to the reader.
Copyright © 2020 Andrew Oliver