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RME Fireface 800 powersupply failure
Old 3rd July 2012
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
RME Fireface 800 powersupply failure

I got a dead FF800 which I'd like to repair. I used the PS unit from a working FF800 and the dead unit came alive, so obviously the PS is dead. Off circuit, no output voltages from the PS are seen. No burnt out parts, no shorts of transistors/diodes/diode bridge, looks clean. I noticed that in the dead PS unit, there's no "click" sound heard as you power the unit on... On the working unit, you will head a click sound a second after turning it on, but I don't see any relay in the PS, the click comes from what appears to be a transformer.

I took parts from the working PS unit and places instead the one in the dead unit to see if I can find the defective part (RME doesn't let the schematic become available...). This way, I replaced all large transistors, the photocoupler, the UC3842 ic, coil and transformer. I also ran over all solder joints just in case there's a crack. So far no change except when I replaced the UC3842 which made the transformer make a high pitched noise when powering on and off (no click - and the working PS doesn't make that noise).

Before I'm going to look for a new one, any suggestions of what can be check further ? Thanks !

Here's how it looks like:

Old 3rd July 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Most of the time in those SMPS, it's a bad electrolytic capacitor/s in the output section (the right on your photo). Typically, you can see a bulging top on the failed ones. Your photo doesn't seem to show bulging, but any of them can still be bad. Replacements need to be low ESR type.
Old 3rd July 2012
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
The click comes from the relay. Looks like the component with R007209is it. But it's hard to know if that's the problem, or the circuit controlling it.

The only way is to check this out properly with a multimeter and determine which section is at fault. Start with the AC in, go to the transformer, then the rectifiers, then the voltage regulators / filters.
Old 3rd July 2012
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
I also thought that white block was a relay at first but it appears it is a a large 1uf capacitor actually... the click comes from the transformer.
Old 18th July 2012
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hi,

In my case it was failure of small electrolyte capacitor (labeled C6) (47uF/50V) positioned near pins 5&6 of small 8pin DIL IC.

I used my FF800 mostly in my lab for listening music and it was powered on all the time.
Main input switching 400V/68uF Rubycon cap still measured perfectly good, and 470u - 1000u output caps were OK too.
I did not have exact 47uF/50V capacitor so I just replaced it with 33uF/100V and unit is working perfectly.
Bad capacitor measured <1uF and 275R ESR which was REALLY BAD.
Old 24th August 2012 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GLouie ➡️
Most of the time in those SMPS, it's a bad electrolytic capacitor/s in the output section (the right on your photo). Typically, you can see a bulging top on the failed ones. Your photo doesn't seem to show bulging, but any of them can still be bad. Replacements need to be low ESR type.
The power supply seems to have died on my FF800. Caps C16 & C17 are bulging so I'm starting there. I'm having trouble finding replacement low ESR caps that are the correct physical dimensions. Do they really need to be low ESR?

The specs are 10mm dia. x 20mm, 2200uF 16V. The closest diameter that I can find is 12 or 12.5 mm--a little too big to fit comfortably. I tried including higher voltages in my search but no luck. Any help in finding replacement caps is greatly appreciated. I need to get my rig up and running!

Thanks,
Andrew
Old 24th August 2012
  #7
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Have you written RME to see if they'll sell you a power supply? If they will for $50-100, that'll probably save you a ton of time in trying to find parts. Especially if it's not just the caps that have gone wrong.
Old 24th August 2012
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I may try that if I have to, but I'd rather first have a go at of fixing it myself for about $2 in parts. According to RME I have to go through their US distributor for any kind of repair service, and I suspect that they will insist I ship the unit to them for repair. That seems to be their M.O. from what I've read on the RME forums and elsewhere. I hope I'm wrong. I contacted Synthax (their US distributor) to see if they will recommend or sell me replacement caps. We'll see...
Old 25th August 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
johnnybregar's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I tried to replace those two caps on my power supply too - ended up just getting a new one from RME. Email [email protected] and Jeff will take care of you.
Old 17th September 2012
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
Antonis2007's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hello,

i have issue with capacitor c5. i can not yet read the value because it is 'burned'. could anyone tell me it's value?

Thank you in advance!
Old 18th September 2012
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Jeff @ synthax did indeed help me out. I got a new power supply for $99 shipped. The FF800 is working great again.

@Antonis2007 - I'll try to take a look at my old ps and see if I can get a value for you.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Antonis2007's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thank you so much !

I already fixed it! Synthax did not helped me much (non).

on the other hand... RME officially send me the capacitor value!

and that's the second time i thank them publicly! not many companies offer that kind of support!


There you go... people you can trust ! Go RME!

thanx again dude!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dBlicious ➡️
Jeff @ synthax did indeed help me out. I got a new power supply for $99 shipped. The FF800 is working great again.

@Antonis2007 - I'll try to take a look at my old ps and see if I can get a value for you.
Old 8th January 2013
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
About to send my unit to Jeff as well. I currently have no power and I was hearing a weird distortion noise prior to having no power.
Old 30th July 2015
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Temptin's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I've de-soldered and identified each capacitor on the power supply, so I’m uploading this guide to help other people get the job done quicker!

Alright, so, a “dead” RME FireFace 800 with all lights blinking rapidly (see this video for example) is extremely common in units that have been used for many years, and is almost always caused by dead capacitors on the power supply. Note that the Firewire cable *and* the electrical outlet power cables must *both* be plugged in for it to display the "blinking lights" syndrome, since the problem is that the soundcard can't "handshake" with the computer via the Firewire when the power supply is broken, thus causing the blinking lights.

Here are some official RME statements about blinking lights + "machine gun sound", saying that it indicates a faulty power supply that can't power the unit anymore:
https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=2531
https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=3428

They use a cheap asian “ON-TEK OT-040F” switching power supply, which costs $100 to buy via RME (or $250 and a month of time if you want them to replace it for you), but for like $14 (what it cost me) you can replace the capacitors yourself instead. This is a guide about what capacitors you will need. Usually you only need to replace the capacitors at locations C16 and C17 since they’re the most common failures, and possibly also C26, C5 and C6. But capacitors are so cheap that I highly suggest you replace *all* of them so that you get a totally fresh power supply that will last for years to come. PSUs really wear out capacitors quickly, so be smart and replace them all and avoid having to do another repair soon!

The height of the capacitors doesn’t really matter for the most part, but no cap can be taller than 2.5cm (that’s the tallest one on the board), and all of them are of the “Direct Current (DC)” kind and rated for 105* C temperature. If you use 85* C replacements then your new ones will die faster, so really try to get 105* C!

The capacitors below cover *all* capacitors on the power supply, and they are listed as “Capacitance, Minimum voltage rating, diameter”. Your replacement capacitance must always be identical. You can always go for a higher voltage rating, but never lower. Your diameter can be the same or lower, although it is ok if it is a tiiiiny bit wider (like 6.3mm instead of 6mm will almost certainly still fit).

Furthermore, it’s important that you get “Low ESR” (equivalent series resistance) capacitors even though they are slightly more expensive. This is because power supplies rapidly charge and discharge capacitors, which causes them to heat up, and a high ESR (more resistance) causes even more heat, and heat in turn dries out the capacitor which then raises the ESR even more, which causes even more resistance and heat, until they dry out completely and fail. And a high resistance also causes more voltage drop, so the PSU may not even function properly without “Low ESR” caps. So if you want your replacement to work and last a long time, you MUST get “Low ESR” caps whenever possible!

There are several good manufacturers of capacitors with good low ESR series. Recommended often is Panasonic FC, FM or FR (from “FC: not as good, lower lifetime” to “FR: best, longest lifetime”) - although FC will be fine in almost any situation. Some other good series are Chemicon KY, Rubycon ZL/ZLH/ZLG/ZLJ and Nichicon HD/HM/HN. The series ID of these products is usually somewhere around the middle of the model name (such as Panasonic EEUFR1V471 for an "FR" series), so keep that in mind! These are all top brands, but as long as the replacement capacitor is rated for low ESR, you don’t really have to care about brand since this particular PSU isn't very hot (so the brand matters less than in things like computer PSUs). The original caps on this power supply are some cheap, totally no-name asian company.

Alright, here’s the list of capacitors you need to order for a full refresh of your FireFace 800 power supply:

68 uF, 400V, 24mm, snap-in connector type (you could use regular pins too, but this kinda voltage @ Low ESR is easier to find as snap-in anyway); if you get a snap-in version, be *very* sure the lead pitch (distance from center-to-center of each leg) is 10mm so that it fits into the holes on the board.

47 uF, 50V, 6mm

2.2 uF, 50V, 5mm

2x 100uF, 63V, 10mm

4x 470 uF, 35V, 10mm

22 uF, 63V, 6mm

100 uF, 16V, 6mm

2x 2200 uF, 16V, 10mm


When you get your bag of replacement parts, I suggest simply de-soldering the original capacitors one by one and checking its capacitance and voltage and diameter and putting in the matching replacement.

Warning: There are also little black “tubes” on the PCB that look a bit like capacitors, but they don’t have any capacitance values printed on the sides because they are actually coils (they’ve got ridged edges, from where you can see their coil wires), and they are marked “L” (for Coil) on the PCB, so do NOT touch/replace those! Also, there are ceramic (little brown, flat-ish) capacitors on the board, but those are extremely resilient and will probably outlive your life, so don’t replace those either. Lastly, there’s a big, square block that’s actually a 1 uF plastic/metallic film capacitor, but it doesn’t need replacement either since those never "dry out". We only want to replace the radial electrolytic ones, since those are the ones that use an electrolyte that can (and will) dry out over time.

One last thing: Be sure to watch the polarity when replacing! The gray/striped line on the side indicates the negative side and your replacement must follow the same orientation, otherwise it will blow up! ;-) Have fun!

Here's some more help:
A blog post (isn't as detailed as my post but has good reference photos):
Synth.nl Blog: RME Fireface 800 Repair
And a funny video of a guy replacing his capacitors:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PECD5zWV4-0
In some very rare cases, there can also be faults on the FF800 mainboard, like in this thread (but normally that won't happen since the mainboard capacitors deal with very low heat and can therefore last for decades without drying out):
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/musi...hts-issue.html
Old 24th September 2015 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dBlicious ➡️
Jeff @ synthax did indeed help me out. I got a new power supply for $99 shipped. The FF800 is working great again.

@Antonis2007 - I'll try to take a look at my old ps and see if I can get a value for you.
Was that power supply really worth $99? Is there something unique about it?I lost my power supply last year. I have many power supplies 12vdc ,near same amps but as I recall the barrel connector is slightly different on the rme? Right now when I plug one in the red light just stays on in the front of the multiface. I had a similar experience the last time I used it (4 months ago) until by trial and error I found one that made the lights start blinking and then go off. It kept it running fine for the month I used it. Then it wasn't used for the 4 months and I don't remember which power supply I used. I bought an adapter set ((5.5 x 2.5mm)(5.5x2.1mm)(5.5x1.5mm(5.0x2.1mm)(5.0-x 2.5mm)(3.5mm) but still the red light stays on. Thanks for any insight on this.
Old 24th September 2015 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbob ➡️
Was that power supply really worth $99? Is there something unique about it?I lost my power supply last year. I have many power supplies 12vdc ,near same amps but as I recall the barrel connector is slightly different on the rme? Right now when I plug one in the red light just stays on in the front of the multiface. I had a similar experience the last time I used it (4 months ago) until by trial and error I found one that made the lights start blinking and then go off. It kept it running fine for the month I used it. Then it wasn't used for the 4 months and I don't remember which power supply I used. I bought an adapter set ((5.5 x 2.5mm)(5.5x2.1mm)(5.5x1.5mm(5.0x2.1mm)(5.0-x 2.5mm)(3.5mm) but still the red light stays on. Thanks for any insight on this.
The power supply for FF800 is inside the case. Not a separate power adapter.
Any good quality power adapter should work in your case.
Old 24th September 2015 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljudatervinning ➡️
The power supply for FF800 is inside the case. Not a separate power adapter.
Any good quality power adapter should work in your case.
Thanks for the reply. I didn't realize that. I tried a bunch of them last time I hooked up the Multiface and only one would work(now I don't find it or remember which one). All of them were putting out 12vdc though as I checked with my meter. Most were from external hard drives from Western, Samsung, etc. I think there was something peculiar about the barrel plug on the original rme version. Should I put this as a new topic? If so is this the best section to do it in? Thanks
Old 19th November 2015
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hello,
I am new in this forum and I found this conversation looking for information regardind the problem I have too.

Today my ff800 power supply was damage at the same momento I switched on. I hear a small explosión inside.
I was seeking that the mainly problem people speak about is with capacitors but in my case the problem is that some components were burned. The Resistor R5 is unreadable and K4112 transistor (Switching regulator) was damage too.

I was wondering if some one could help me to find out next informations, that I need to repair it:
--> the value for R5 resistor or its colours.
--> Voltage values for the 2 connectos that supply power to the interface (1 of them is 4 pins (Blue, Yellow, Black, Red) and the other is 2 pins (red/White)

Too many thanks
Old 20th January 2016
  #19
Gear Head
 
Neve's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My FF800 died on me in the middle of a recording session. I replaced all the Power Supply caps, and bingo it's alive again, very quiet, and running like a charme.
I had almost never powered it off for more than a few minutes in 9 years !!
I have a question though, would it be worth it to replace all the electrolytic caps on the main board? What would be the benefit? Has anyone ever done it?
What other great improvements can be done to it?
Thank you for your answers.
Old 20th January 2016 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
Temptin's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neve ➡️
My FF800 died on me in the middle of a recording session. I replaced all the Power Supply caps, and bingo it's alive again, very quiet, and running like a charme.
I had almost never powered it off for more than a few minutes in 9 years !!
I have a question though, would it be worth it to replace all the electrolytic caps on the main board? What would be the benefit? Has anyone ever done it?
What other great improvements can be done to it?
Thank you for your answers.
9 years is impressive. Mine lived for about seven years of 24/7 usage.

No, don't replace anything on the mainboard. Temperatures are much lower there than in the power supply (which deals with all the high voltages), so they can last potentially a lifetime on the mainboard (which deals with low voltages and low temperatures).

If you notice problems with specific channels, then you can troubleshoot the mainboard. Just remember that it's got a large amount of surface-mount (SMD) capacitors, the little silver "water towers", as well as regular capacitors. It would be a huge job to replace them all.

Congratulations on bringing the Fireface back to life!
Old 20th January 2016
  #21
Gear Head
 
Neve's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for your answer Temptin.
I'm not sure they can last a lifetime. Electrolytic caps usually have a 10-year shelf life (not in use at all) ...
So I was wondering if newer, better caps would be a good thing in the RME.
When I service my console and replace all the electro caps, it comes to life, big time!!
I do that every 5-6 years or so. It makes a big difference.
Same thing with my vintage Fender ou Marshall guitar amps...
Old 20th January 2016
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
Temptin's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
@ Neve : Electrolytic capacitors have a 2-3 year shelf life, actually. After that they're going to be far out of spec with lots of leakage current and lost capacitance. It's because the thin insulation film breaks down and disintegrates if they aren't receiving any electricity to keep revitalizing them. The film is only reformed and revitalized by electricity and active use.

If they're in use, they will last for decades if they're operated at low temperatures. Think of all the electronic devices (like old synthesizers, TVs, radios, computers) that are decades old and still working just fine, capacitors and all.

The death of an electrolytic capacitor is caused by the electrolyte drying up. That's caused by heat. In the case of the Fireface, heat mainly exists in the power supply. Every additional 10*C temperature halves the life of a capacitor. So if it's specified to last for up to 30 years at 20*C, it would last up to 15 years at 30*C, up to 7.5 years at 40*C, etc. Now consider that power supplies are usually around 30-50*C. That's why power supply capacitors always die long before anything else.

So unless the mainboard capacitors are showing signs of aging (bulging capacitors, problems with certain channels), you won't get any audible benefit by replacing them. The actual sound performance comes from the converter chips, not the capacitors. As long as the capacitors work within their intended specifications and tolerances, the unit will keep working as intended.

If you still want to replace them, it'd be a good thing. A complete revitalization is always good if you've got the energy for it, since it resets the ticking death-clock on the equipment.
Old 21st January 2016
  #23
Gear Head
 
Neve's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I get it. Well, I don't feel like opening again it just yet.
I like it a lot the way it is and it has served me well.
Thank you fo your insight.
Old 5th February 2016
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
Temptin's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I found a couple of old photos and decided to edit and upload them here for every handyman who stumbles on this thread.

It shows what the FF800 insides look like, with the power supply in the bottom right. And it shows all 13 power supply capacitors marked with red circles.

Use this in conjunction with my post above (post number 14), which lists all of the capacitor values and dimensions, so that you can just order the parts before even opening your unit. I recommend replacing every capacitor since the original ones are junk.

The main case is held on by 7 tiny, black screws and four large silver screws (holding in the rack ears). There's also a case grounding cable connected to the top case, which you can just unplug.

To do this repair, I suggest detaching the power supply and working on it separately. Do that by de-soldering the three power cables on the top side of the power supply (the ones next to the big, blue capacitor) - just remember to solder them back in the correct order later, refer to my photos. Also unplug the two white Molex power connectors that go to the main board, but be careful; they tend to grip hard, but pulling too hard will possibly break the connectors. So try to wiggle them loose gently if possible.

The PSU uses very heavy industrial solder, so you'll need to heat your soldering iron to about 320*C (608 Fahrenheit) to desolder everything, and I recommend using a solder sucker (desoldering pump) to get the residuals off of there so that you can easily get the capacitors out. It also helps to apply a bit of fresh solder to the joints if you can't transfer enough heat to them with just the soldering iron tip. Their old solder is pretty tough to get rid of in some cases!

I also suggest carefully counting pins on the back of the PCB whenever it's not totally clear to you which pins belong to the capacitor. Some of the ones on the middle of the board are a bit tough but just look for landmarks based on nearby pins. I.e. there's a ladder of capacitors next to one of the middle capacitors, so just look for the ladder pattern on the back, etc.

Good luck, everyone! If you enjoy a couple of hours of DIY work (and $14 in parts), then it completely beats paying $100 for a new power supply via RME. And since I suggest replacing all capacitors with high-quality brands, the replacement will also last a lot longer than the officially-used noname power supply capacitors.
Attached Thumbnails
RME Fireface 800 powersupply failure-overview.jpg   RME Fireface 800 powersupply failure-capacitors.jpg  
Old 23rd March 2016
  #25
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I just got my hands on an used RME-800 which, at first, did nothing but some switching noise. After 5 minutes it came to life, but if I leave it on for 15 minutes, shut it down and directly on again, it just flickers the LEDs.

If I turn it off and let it rest for a couple of minutes it works again.

With all the fantastic information in this thread, I feel fully confident to re-cap it on my own, so I just wanted to express my gratitude!

Cheers!

Last edited by fissmoll; 23rd March 2016 at 10:42 AM.. Reason: typos
Old 22nd June 2016
  #26
Gear Nut
 
Arturo00's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My Fireface 800's psu completely crapped out on me (no lights at all). I replaced all the caps using the parts list above (thanks!) and everything works perfectly now.

The only note I will make is that the 68uF, 400V cap is *very* tight. It fits, but just barely. No matter what, DO NOT get anything larger than 24mm or it will not fit. And make sure the lead pitch is 10mm, if you go with the snap-in type.

I've attached my BOM from digikey below in case people want exact models of caps that work. There may be better options, but these worked for me. I did my best to adhere to the specs mentioned above (ie. diameter, voltage, temperature, ESR, and I tried to use Panasonic where ever possible).

And thanks to all those who contributed info (Temptin!). You saved me a lot of money

ps. my BOM is in CDN dollars.
Attached Files

Last edited by Arturo00; 22nd June 2016 at 05:37 PM.. Reason: inserted file. added clarification
Old 14th October 2016
  #27
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Many Many thanks to all involved in this post. I too had a failure and resourced this thread to bring my 800 back to life for practically nothing! Off to record again...
Old 14th October 2016 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Sir Chris's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temptin ➡️
I've de-soldered and identified each capacitor on the power supply, so I’m uploading this guide to help other people get the job done quicker!

Alright, so, a “dead” RME FireFace 800 with all lights blinking rapidly (see this video for example) is extremely common in units that have been used for many years, and is almost always caused by dead capacitors on the power supply. Note that the Firewire cable *and* the electrical outlet power cables must *both* be plugged in for it to display the "blinking lights" syndrome, since the problem is that the soundcard can't "handshake" with the computer via the Firewire when the power supply is broken, thus causing the blinking lights.

Here are some official RME statements about blinking lights + "machine gun sound", saying that it indicates a faulty power supply that can't power the unit anymore:
https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=2531
https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=3428

They use a cheap asian “ON-TEK OT-040F” switching power supply, which costs $100 to buy via RME (or $250 and a month of time if you want them to replace it for you), but for like $14 (what it cost me) you can replace the capacitors yourself instead. This is a guide about what capacitors you will need. Usually you only need to replace the capacitors at locations C16 and C17 since they’re the most common failures, and possibly also C26, C5 and C6. But capacitors are so cheap that I highly suggest you replace *all* of them so that you get a totally fresh power supply that will last for years to come. PSUs really wear out capacitors quickly, so be smart and replace them all and avoid having to do another repair soon!

The height of the capacitors doesn’t really matter for the most part, but no cap can be taller than 2.5cm (that’s the tallest one on the board), and all of them are of the “Direct Current (DC)” kind and rated for 105* C temperature. If you use 85* C replacements then your new ones will die faster, so really try to get 105* C!

The capacitors below cover *all* capacitors on the power supply, and they are listed as “Capacitance, Minimum voltage rating, diameter”. Your replacement capacitance must always be identical. You can always go for a higher voltage rating, but never lower. Your diameter can be the same or lower, although it is ok if it is a tiiiiny bit wider (like 6.3mm instead of 6mm will almost certainly still fit).

Furthermore, it’s important that you get “Low ESR” (equivalent series resistance) capacitors even though they are slightly more expensive. This is because power supplies rapidly charge and discharge capacitors, which causes them to heat up, and a high ESR (more resistance) causes even more heat, and heat in turn dries out the capacitor which then raises the ESR even more, which causes even more resistance and heat, until they dry out completely and fail. And a high resistance also causes more voltage drop, so the PSU may not even function properly without “Low ESR” caps. So if you want your replacement to work and last a long time, you MUST get “Low ESR” caps whenever possible!

There are several good manufacturers of capacitors with good low ESR series. Recommended often is Panasonic FC, FM or FR (from “FC: not as good, lower lifetime” to “FR: best, longest lifetime”) - although FC will be fine in almost any situation. Some other good series are Chemicon KY, Rubycon ZL/ZLH/ZLG/ZLJ and Nichicon HD/HM/HN. The series ID of these products is usually somewhere around the middle of the model name (such as Panasonic EEUFR1V471 for an "FR" series), so keep that in mind! These are all top brands, but as long as the replacement capacitor is rated for low ESR, you don’t really have to care about brand since this particular PSU isn't very hot (so the brand matters less than in things like computer PSUs). The original caps on this power supply are some cheap, totally no-name asian company.

Alright, here’s the list of capacitors you need to order for a full refresh of your FireFace 800 power supply:

68 uF, 400V, 24mm, snap-in connector type (you could use regular pins too, but this kinda voltage @ Low ESR is easier to find as snap-in anyway); if you get a snap-in version, be *very* sure the lead pitch (distance from center-to-center of each leg) is 10mm so that it fits into the holes on the board.

47 uF, 50V, 6mm

2.2 uF, 50V, 5mm

2x 100uF, 63V, 10mm

4x 470 uF, 35V, 10mm

22 uF, 63V, 6mm

100 uF, 16V, 6mm

2x 2200 uF, 16V, 10mm


When you get your bag of replacement parts, I suggest simply de-soldering the original capacitors one by one and checking its capacitance and voltage and diameter and putting in the matching replacement.

Warning: There are also little black “tubes” on the PCB that look a bit like capacitors, but they don’t have any capacitance values printed on the sides because they are actually coils (they’ve got ridged edges, from where you can see their coil wires), and they are marked “L” (for Coil) on the PCB, so do NOT touch/replace those! Also, there are ceramic (little brown, flat-ish) capacitors on the board, but those are extremely resilient and will probably outlive your life, so don’t replace those either. Lastly, there’s a big, square block that’s actually a 1 uF plastic/metallic film capacitor, but it doesn’t need replacement either since those never "dry out". We only want to replace the radial electrolytic ones, since those are the ones that use an electrolyte that can (and will) dry out over time.

One last thing: Be sure to watch the polarity when replacing! The gray/striped line on the side indicates the negative side and your replacement must follow the same orientation, otherwise it will blow up! ;-) Have fun!

Here's some more help:
A blog post (isn't as detailed as my post but has good reference photos):
Synth.nl Blog: RME Fireface 800 Repair
And a funny video of a guy replacing his capacitors:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PECD5zWV4-0
In some very rare cases, there can also be faults on the FF800 mainboard, like in this thread (but normally that won't happen since the mainboard capacitors deal with very low heat and can therefore last for decades without drying out):
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/musi...hts-issue.html
This is the one of the greatest threads ever. RME FF800 is an excellent interface and will always serve anyone well with good recordings. Happy to see this as it will greatly help many owners down the road to keep these great units up and running. I bought mine 2nd hand and it came with the same problem. I shipped it for repair but luckily for me there were extra motherboards and they swapped mine out for a new one for no extra charge. Hopefully won't be worrying about any issues for several years.
Old 25th October 2016
  #29
Here for the gear
 
Hi all!
Having issue with high pitched whining noise from powersupply after repairs, can somebody point me in the right direction pls?

Fireface 800, we changed all caps (with low esr type) except big one 68uF 400V. Card now initializes properly. But the noise! What next?
Old 17th November 2016
  #30
Here for the gear
 
teknine's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Don't jump to conclusions

A heads up about this, just because you experience "flashing lights of death" always do all the necessary troubleshooting. I'm really happy i didn't crack my unit open and start de-soldering caps. In my case of flashing lights, it was a dead firewire port on my computer, see video

http:www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIg7KCbz4t0
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