View Full Version : Squeezebox Longivity

2012-08-31, 01:06
OK, so I'm now very interested in keeping my soon-to-be irreplaceable Squeezeboxes alive and kicking for as long as possible.

It's been my impression that the 1st component to go is often the wifi card. I've seen bad wifi cards render more than one Squeezebox dead. In fact, a friend took delivery today from ebay of a SB2 that was DOA. After removing the wifi card, it started right up and is working perfectly now as a wired SB2. I gather that finding replacement wifi cards is getting harder and harder as the required component is really not stocked anywhere now.

What do folks think? For those of us who can stay wired, should we be prophylactically removing the wifi cards from our SBs? Should I yank the wifi card out of my Transporter? I've been running it wired for years now.

What other ideas do folks have about extending the life of this gear?

2012-08-31, 01:12
Dim the displays .

And keep it in a cool but not freezing environment ,heat kill all electronics i think component life is a square function of temperature or similar .
(caps that lasts 10 years in there normal temperature span can blow in hours in 100 degrees Celsius for example ) .

So not to crammed in with other stuff in closed cupboard , keep it where it gets air circulation but not in direct sunligth .

2012-08-31, 01:15
The displays on the older kit seem fault prone too, as do the speakers on the boom if the device is run without a woofer.

My Boom needs a new display but I'm guessing they are impossible to get hold of now.

2012-08-31, 01:30
I gather that finding replacement wifi cards is getting harder and harder as the required component is really not stocked anywhere now.
The exact replacement is hard to find. I found a Polish supplier which sold them in bulk only (possibly a community buy).

However I think there are very many compatible cards which were used in laptops such as Packard, Toshiba and Acer. For my SB3. I bought such a card off ebay (from a supplier which had hundreds) which physically (i.e. component layout) looked similar through not eaxt but with same Atheros chipset.

2012-08-31, 01:44
I have only had one unit fail in 10 years, and that was a Touch that was in my conservatory which gets warm in summer, so heat is the killer. Even then, it was only the display that broke so the unit still played music. I've had to replace quite a few PSU's, but these are easy to come by and I usually replace with more robust ones.

I guess the obvious is to unplug the player if it is not going to be used for long periods (say a week) but I would not unplug if I used daily because that just creates more thermal expansion stress from heating up and cooling down.

Setting the 'powered off' screen saver to blank, and dimming the display whenever you can will help.

2012-08-31, 01:52
If you have a duet ,store the controller with the battery removed it's display is the one most phrone to be burnt out premtaurely .

And control your receiver with a phone app or similar .

I use only blank/black screensaver nowdays no clock or anything

2012-08-31, 02:10
Don't drop the SB3 on hard floor. That's what fataly injured mine, though it still played for a year or two before eventually dying.

2012-08-31, 02:24
I agree with Mnyb on the VFD displays, keep them dim(er) or even OFF (set to dark) for continuous play. My Boom & SB3 are set to Dark for Idle use, I change this to Brightest if company is here and seems interested in seeing the display.

I too have been spooked by the reports of Boom issues, mostly WiFi cards & woofer degradation & display issue. Yet my four year old Boom runs 24/7 about ten months a year via WiFi in a garage environment involving hot & humid summers and very cold & dry winters (gets down to 0 F), not a problem yet. I do use a Sub with my Boom which may help woofer longevity.

2012-08-31, 11:26
If you want to use wifi and your wifi card goes bad you can always use a wifi bridge, they will be available for a LONG time to come.

For a Touch the display is probably the most likely part to go bad, after that its the electrolytic caps, as has been mentioned it is heat over time that is the big contributor here. Next is thermal shock (turn on and turn off being the biggest contributor), then mechanical shock (dropping it on the floor). Last is semiconductor degradation. Modern chips do actually have a lifetime (the older chips have a longer lifetime than the newer chips) So the Touch being built with slightly older technology is actually a good thing. The newest chips being made today are only rated for 10-11 years, the stuff in the Touch is probably good for 25 - 30 years before the semiconductors die.

There is definately a tradeoff between turning on and off and leaving on all the time. If it's not going to be used for weeks or months, go ahead and unplug. If you are using it daily or weekly leave it on all the time. As has been mentioned probably the best thing you can do is have the display off when not being used. (or at least dimmed)

Treated with care a Touch should be able to last quite a long time.

John S.