Thursday, May 13, 2010

Extending the life of my Time Capsule? I sure hope so!

There are many reports of Time Capsules dying after 18 months of use. My favourite link is the site from which this pic was taken.

Well, my original Time Capsule lasted a little longer, even though I left it on continually 24 hours a day. It finally expired quietly just after it turned in 24 months of faithful service.
After I got a replacement from Apple and set up the wireless network, the first thing I did was to mod my device. I figured I didn't want to subject the internal elements to overheating again, so I resolved to isolate the internal power unit and place it outside of the TC.

I had read Ray Haverfield's very instructive post, but I don't have sufficient know how to tinker with dead capacitors. If you read that post you will also note the very visible
warning that replacing dead capacitors is a risky undertaking ... and certainly not for the faint-hearted.

So, dutifully following the hair-dryer guide ;-) I took apart my replacement TC, and brought the power unit with me around a popular local electronics supply centre to look for a suitable extension wire. I finally managed to find someone who was able to craft something for me from quite inexpensive parts and got an extension cable consisting of 6 wires soldered to suitable male/female connectors at both ends. Cost me something like US$5 ;-)

The whole setup before closing the TC looked like this

All that was needed was to replace the perforated metal cover over the TC. I thought it would be a better idea not to reinstall the rubber base so that there is some ventilation through the perforations in the metal plate. For the same reason, I also flipped the TC upside down. Doesn't look as neat as before, but it's tucked away out of sight behind my printer, so it doesn't bother anyone ...


  1. Well done.. and very creative. I have done a few repairs doing something similar but put the original power supply in a plastic jiffy box.

    Just from a safety point of view, I don't like the power supply exposed like that. If I had little kids around the place.. the AC end is live and you could easily get a nasty shock off it. On my website I did show how to use a cisco power supply and I am sure you could easily get someone to make up plugs and an adapter since you did that anyway to use the original supply externally.

    The other possibility is a laptop (netbook is almost perfect size) cooler. You need to remove the rubber foot, and seal it to the base around the outside edge but still leave enough gap for the fan to create positive or negative pressure underneath.. ie the air has to be forced through the TC.. doesn't matter which way.
    Ray Haverfield

  2. Thanks, Ray! Yes, I should look around for something suitable to encase the power unit in.

  3. By the time I read your post my time capsule had gone through revival I’m sure this will help the rest :)

    For those you have dead Time Capsules you are better off calling Apple. as of late they have been replacing them even if it is out of warranty (see -
    You can do it by yourself as described here (
    or I can fix it for you for a fee if you are in Canada.