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Thread: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Hi,

    I hope someone can help me, I have an Autopilot Digital.
    I noticed the "Low Cell Amperage" came on, did all the usual, checked all the wires, fuses, even purchased a new cell (unfortunately).

    Still same problem so I opened up the unit and looked at the main control board.
    I saw that the top left three capacitors and one more to the right was burned out.
    And possibly the top left two relays.

    (Added an image showing the top left burned out capacitors = brown, should be blue)
    And possibly burned out relays
    [attachment=0:2lbzyo3v]IMG_0425.jpg[/attachment:2lbzyo3v]
    So the options I have is to spend $500 on a new board, OR get the capcitors and relays from an electronics store and solder them in and see if it gets it going (I do have an electronics background).
    I figured since I have to purchase a new board anyway, why not try the least expensive way first?

    So I was wondering if anyone had the ratings on the capacitors and relays used or even a schematic of the main control board showing ratings etc.

    I would greatly appreciate any help I can get and even possibly someone playing Mcgyver with something similar and some tips?

    Thank You,

    Daniel
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  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    ratings are written on those capacitors, if you look on a side you should find it

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    What makes you think the caps are "burned out"? Capacitors come in many different jacket colors, not just blue. Are the top of the caps bulging? It's kind of hard to tell from the picture.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    It looks like a "typical" bulging cap problem. They have been the bane of the electronics industry for 10 years or so. You can google around and get a history of the problem.

    I've seen this in computers, power supplies, and about every type of electronic device you can thing of.

    Many times you can just buy replacements at Radio Shack, and solder them in and it works again. I've not looked at mine to see if they are bulging or not. I hope not.

    Read the ratings on the side, there is a voltage rating and a size. Get the same size and make sure the voltage rating is larger than what is already there. Make sure you get the polarity correct on the caps as they will be marked. If your comfortable with electronics it should be no big deal, but YMMV and its not my fault if you blow them up. Exploding caps are pretty cool to watch

    The first thing I'd do is call AutoPilot to make sure there is not a recall, or to check that it isn't covered under warranty somehow. They may have seen this type of failure and be willing to work with you to get it fixed.

    dave
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Thank you very much.
    After I wrote up the post, I opened it up last night again and they are definetely burned.
    I did not notice this the first time I opened the unit up, but if you know to look for a bulging cap, you will notice it.
    They are 1000uF 50V capacitors btw.


    I also called a friend that used to work for Autopilot and he told another friend to come by and have a look
    at it today. So hopefully he can do a product recall on it, we shall see.

    Anyway, the strange thing is that everything else works fine and the only current warning I get is: "Check/Clean Cell"... So this is really what to look for as a last resort after you have checked everything else (cell cord connection etc.)

    Thank You.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    I am having the same exact problem. My unit will display check/clean cell. I tried to get some warranty on the cell but they are telling me that since I bought the cell prorated that there is no warranty, that really sucks. I should have known that at the time of purchase. I like the pool pilot digital but I think that these units are not designed to be totally outdoors. My plastic enclosure started to crack this year and I can hardly see the display. Most of these units are made to last just over the warranty period, some last longer than others. I have osme friends that own an auto pilot unit that is 12 years old and still going. The unit only has a potentiometer and 3 leds. I wish they would still make them like that. This is the reason why I went with autopilot 4 years ago, now everything is starting to fail.

    Andres

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    [attachment=1:m8g5mqvv]DSC02617cropped.JPG[/attachment:m8g5mqvv]
    Same issue - different capacitor. We had a storm last night and the circuit breakers were tripped. When I turned the breakers back on my Autopilot 220 did not have power. Opened up the unit and one of my capacitors was blown. It looks like it is pretty easy to replace, but I don't know the size because the sides are blow off (see pic).

    Does anyone have a component diagram, or know the ratings (uF/voltage)of this cap? Maybe the numbers can be seen if you look on your unit. I will give customer service a call tomorrow to see if they know the answer.

    Thanks

    [attachment=0:m8g5mqvv]DSC02616cropped.JPG[/attachment:m8g5mqvv]
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    22.5K Vinyl IGP, Hayward DE progrid filter, 1.5 HP super pump, AutoPilot SWG, Jandy Heater

  8. Back To Top    #8
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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    If it came out of the spot marked MOV-1, then it is NOT a capacitor, but an MOV(metal-oxide varistor?) They are supposed to be surge arrestors, for lightning protection. Try Radio Shack. Good Luck.
    22 x 40 IG vinyl lined, 23,570 gal.
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  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    New2me,

    That's exactly what it is. Good eye!
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Thanks for the clarification. Sounds like it did what it was designed for - just hope it did it before any other components were destroyed. I will pick one up and post results.
    22.5K Vinyl IGP, Hayward DE progrid filter, 1.5 HP super pump, AutoPilot SWG, Jandy Heater

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    The MOV will protect your equipment in case of a surge, it did exactly what it is supposed to do. Most power strips have them inside for surge protection. You should be able to find out the rating and replace it. I wish that was the problem with my unit, mine turns on but displays clean cell/check cell, that is a different story. I am going to take the board out and inspect a couple if one, also, the relays are involved too.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Picked a MOV up at Radio Shack (only one they carried), but still not powering up. I was trying to probe some points on the board with a voltmeter to make sure it was getting power. I get voltage at the input, and across the tabs with 'EMI' on them, but not much further.

    Its going on day two with no pump/filter. Does anyone have any troubleshooting tips and/or know how to change the wires to get power to my other equipment until I get this fixed?

    Thanks
    22.5K Vinyl IGP, Hayward DE progrid filter, 1.5 HP super pump, AutoPilot SWG, Jandy Heater

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Well... we too have a similar problem. Warning! Low cell amps!

    Testing it shows 0.0 volts and 0.2 amps.

    I was about to buy an SC-60 cell, but our cell still looks good. I checked fuses, cables and all connections. Ours had previously burnt out at the banana plug connectors, therefore we had to bypass those a few years ago. Our unit has been kept indoors from the time of installation... very well taken care of for about 4 years now.

    I am surprised that I did not notice the burnt part on the board, but something is definitely burnt.

    It looks like we will have to buy another board and not long from now we will need a new cell as well. With this AutoPilots costing so much, I am not sure we would not be better off buying an Aqua Rite and not worry with replacing parts on this unit. We can get the Aqua Rite for less than the board and cell combined... and at least have all new equipment and a fresh warranty to deal with.

    [attachment=0:cev8zvft]poolpilotburnt.jpg[/attachment:cev8zvft]
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    13000K 15x30 Doughboy 52" A.G.vinyl
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  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    DanielFlorida ,

    Did someone look at your autopilot?
    22.5K Vinyl IGP, Hayward DE progrid filter, 1.5 HP super pump, AutoPilot SWG, Jandy Heater

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    That is exactly were they fail. Yours looks a bit more drastic than mine because looking at your picture it seems that some of the traces on the board are burned. I order all new capacitors for mine because mines are ready to blow. But after inspecting my board last night I noticed that area of the board runs hotter than the rest. My board has heat signs underneath which can tell that this board runs hot on that area. Also the area where your board burned, underneath there is a component attached to the casing of the unit. The casing serves as heat sink, that could be burned. This componen likes like a bridge rectifier, I might be wrong. I have not done component level troubleshooting in a while. The bridge rectifier will convert the ac voltage from that big round transformer into dc current. I am also looking at the goldline unit, it looks very nice, and instead of spending so much money on the autopilot I rather start with a fresh unit and with all the warranty. Capacitors are know to fail, especially under these conditions in Florida. Good quality capacitors are rated for 1000 hours of use at temperatures of 105 degrees continuously. Imagine this units working all day in the florida heat, with not much ventilation. Maybe these are elements that these companies should consider when designing these devices. Thank you for posting your pics and info, every time we learn more. I will let you know how it goes when I replace those caps next week. If any one is interested you can by the capacitors at www.digikey.com.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    This is realy weird. Our did the same thing this week. Got the low cell amps message then I read these post and looked at our board and sure enough it was the same capacitors that are fried. You can even smell it. Sounds like autopilot needs to do a recall!
    22,000 Gallon inground gunite
    Pentair Intelliflo pump
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  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    My apologies Jeff, to my response on the other post. I replied before I read this string.
    Anyway, I will address this with my engineering dept. to see if there's a trend.
    I'll do what I can.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Unless there is some sort of recall and something is done very quickly... we are moving to CircuPool. Actually, I think we will be moving anyway. They offer a 7 year warranty and their replacement cells are a LOT less expensive. For $849 we can get an entirely new system.
    13000K 15x30 Doughboy 52" A.G.vinyl
    1 HP Hayward D.E. filter
    TF 100 Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    I think Sean brings up a good point, he needs to check with his engineering department to make sure this is just not coincidence. I am only speaking for myself but once people feel that the unit did not last long enough they want to try another brand. I ordered my caps already, they should be here next week. If my nit gets fixed, I will be happy again if I can get another 2 more years of service. Other than that, I think goldline will be my next unit. Thank again to everyone for leaving input on this thread, the pics are great and we are all able to compare problems.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Here's what AquaCal AutoPilot Can offer you for non-warranty circuit boards.

    You must contact our customer service for a Return Goods Authorization Number (800-786-7751).
    Send your control system/circuit board to our factory in St Petersburg, FL (we are not responsible for chemicals needed in the interim)
    We will inspect and call you with a repair cost, IF IT IS REPAIRABLE.
    Bench Charge to inspect - $35 (billable up front charge - regardless of if the board is repairable)
    Labor (not included in bench charge) - $95/hr (estimate 1-2 hrs for most diagnostics and repairs)
    Cost of replacement part
    Shipping to and from the factory.

    Considering a replacment board has an MSRP of $941, this is certainly a good option.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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