Repair D-Link DHP-200 Ethernet over Powerline adapter
Also applicable to other ethernet over powerline adapters from D-Link, Netgear, TP-Link and other manufacturers
Date: July 2012
I had these ethernet over powerline adapters for two years and one day the LED indicator of the ethernet and powerline connection no longer light up. The computer connected to the adapter cannot access the network anymore. After some troubleshooting, I determined it is a hardware problem. Eventually, even the power LED does not light up fully when plugged into the socket. There was only a very faint light, barely visible. When an ethernet cable that is connected to the LAN on the other end is plugged into this unit, there is no sign of light.
Initially, I contacted D-Link in Italy to see if they can repair this under warranty. Since it is no longer in warraty, I decided to open it up. After opening up the unit, two capacitors with bulging top caught my attention. So I suspected that these capacitors are causing problem with the DC power filtering, which led to the other problems.
These are Teapo brand capacitors, one is a 16V 1000uf, and another one is a 16V 470uf. Unfortunately, as I have written in another article about capacitors, there has been a bad capacitor "plague" in the electronics industry in the last decade due to either poor or wrong electrolytic solution used. Premium brand like Rubycon, Nichicon are not used to save few cents. As a result, these cheaper capacitors have a much shorter lifespan that will render the product useful barely beyond the warranty period.
I replaced the two capacitors with high quality, low ESR (equivalent series resistance) Rubycon brand. Although desoldering the bad capacitors requires a higher heat setting on the soldering iron as the PCB uses lead-free alloy, which is harder to work with.
With the new capacitors, all the LED lit up. It detects the other unit and the ethernet connection as indicated by the LED. This very inexpensive repair did the job. D-Link may have refused to stand behind their product by (knowingly) using cheaper and lower quality components, but savvy consumers have another option.
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