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  1. I had two of these (DVR) broadcast TV recorders go bad. The model is Ematic AT103. The problem is they wouldn’t power up after a year or so. The recorders were bought at Walmart. The problem is the capacitor, shown in the picture as #3. The capacitor needs to be replaced. The original value was 47uf/25volts in one recorder, and the other recorder used 22uf/50 volts. I didn’t have the exact replacement capacitor; I used 10uf/50 volts and both recorders have been working fine. The location and value of the capacitors will vary a bit depending on the year of the recorder. But the capacitor will always be close to the transformer, shown as #2. The main capacitor is shown as #4. I also temporarily replaced the main capacitor, but it was OK. The AC power-in is shown as #1. When replacing the capacitor, I first soldered short pieces of wire into the circuit board, and then soldered the capacitor to the ends of the short wires. Otherwise, it is difficult to push the capacitor exactly back into the holes of the circuit board. I originally found the bad capacitor by randomly touching a small soldering iron for about 5 seconds to the components in the recorder. When I touched the hot soldering iron to the metal top of the capacitor (in both recorders) the units powered on for about a minute, and then went off. I then touched the soldering iron again to the capacitor, and the unit powered up for another minute. Both capacitors (after they were removed), tested OK with a standard ohm meter using internal 1.5 volt battery. So the ohm meter test was not useful in this case. The second image shows the defective capacitors that were removed from both recorders.
    Walmart.com also sells a similar recorder, Ematic AT102. The difference is that the 102 has the power supply external to the recorder. I also had 2 of those recorders quit working. The external power supplies in both recorders were bad; I just replaced the power supplies. However, it may have been possible to repair the power supplies by splitting them open, and touching a hot soldering iron to the several capacitors near the transformer to find the defective capacitor.
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  2. Are the tops of the bad caps bulging outward? That's a sure indication of a bad capacitor.
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  3. Absolutely no bulging on the defective capacitors. I know that useful trick.
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