Everyone now can be an expert in anything with the help of the internet. Here’s how I DIY’d my Samsung LCD TV and saved $300 – $400.
The LN series Samsung LCD TV never really powers up instantly even when new. But the time it takes to power up the TV took longer and longer (as long as 10 minutes in some cases). The LED light on the power button would flash with clicking sound. This will eventually lead to your TV not powering up at all. Mind you, the TV is less than 2 years old. Turns out that this is a known problem with most Samsung LCD TVs with model number starting with “LN” and slew of other models as well.
The problem is caused by ‘blown’ capacitors on the power board. Samsung apparently wanted to save 5 cents or so on each capacitor by not using proper ones with ample amount of capacity to handle the load. I haven’t yet found any official recall on this issue. Anyway, legality or corporate greed aside, let’s get to the fun part.
Actually, speaking of legality, I have to mention this one thing: DO NOT attempt this fix yourself if you are not comfortable working with electronics, soldering, or anything that requires delicate, skillful pair of hands. Do not blame me if this doesn’t work for you. This fix worked in my case and I’ll leave it at that. Your TV may or may not have other problems that results in similar symptoms. Okay, now that I got that out of the way…
1. Open up the back panel. There are lots of screws back there. Make sure each and every one of those are out otherwise you’re gonna risk cracking the panel. If you have to force the panel off, chances are you’ve missed a screw or two. The panel should lift off without any resistance once all of the screws are accounted for.
2. Locate the power board. That’s the one pictured below. The area in red is where the problematic capacitors are located. You need to separate the board to work on it. Remove all connectors. (Take a picture if you’re worried that you might not remember how to put those back. But those connectors should fit only one way on specific component only). Remove screws that hold the board onto the TV (along the edge of the board, marked by the black line)
3. If you look closely, you’ll see some of the capacitors are bulging on top (normal capacitors have flat top). Some may even have black goo oozing out from the top. These are indications of a blown capacitor. These are dirt cheap. Makes me wonder what Samsung was up to. Higher rated capacitors couldn’t have cost them more than few cents a piece.
4. On the board, the location numbers are printed for each capacitors. Locate the blown ones that need to be replaced. I had 4 bad ones in my case. I got my capacitors at Radio Shack (1000uf, 35v). The microfarad (uf) is same as the old ones, the 35 volts is higher than one Samsung used, but that’s okay (actually, better).
5. Now you have to desolder the old ones out and solder the new ones in its place. You do this from the other side of the board. The location numbers are printed on the other side too so you can locate them easily. There are number of good soldering tutorials on YouTube, so go watch those first if you never soldered before.
IMPORTANT: Make note of the polarity of the capacitor leads (+, -). The new capacitor should be soldered on the same way. If this is reversed, capacitor will blow within few seconds. The polarity should be marked on the side of the capacitor usually with a stripe with big minus (“-“) sign on the negative side.
6. Once new capacitors are soldered on successfully, put everything back together. Mine worked like a charm and the whole thing cost me less than $10.