A fellow reefer mailed me their Ecotech Radion for repair service as it has long been out of warranty. The unit turns on briefly before shutting down. The fan is clean and spins fine with no problems. The light appears to be an XR30 Gen 1 with upgraded LED clusters. Let us begin with an initial visual inspection, shall we?
For an older light, one would expect a fair amount of corrosion on the main board. This light is certainly no exception.
Even the main controller had a quite a bit of corrosion.
The wireless board was not in a much better shape.
And all connectors were in a rough shape.
Now, all of this corrosion may not have been the primary cause of the failure, but leaving it on the board is going to be asking for trouble later. It is time to give the main board a bath (or two)!
First, the wireless chip needs to come off. We find more corrosion around and under the chip as well.
With the wireless module removed, the board is ready for a really good, but gentle ultrasonic cleaning.
And a quick rinse to displace any cleaning solution on the board.
Now let us see if the cleaning made any difference.
Let us look at the connectors.
I would say that is not bad for a quick rinse! But will the light work now? Not a chance! There is a bit more fun ahead!
XR30 has 6 channels to control different sets of LEDs. Each channel is handled by a circuit of MOSFETs, op amps, relays and inductors. To save some space (and money), Ecotech is using 3 dual MOSFETs. One powers two different LED channels. Here is an example of what they look like below.
On this board, the middle MOSFET shorted on both channels. This means at least 2/6 LED channels will not work unless they are replaced. Let us remove and replace.
With the burned-out MOSFET replaced, the board is mostly happy again. In fact, it now works perfectly with a good known working set of LED clusters.
But the lights still will not fully turn on with the original LED lights. It is time to examine the clusters. Oh, boy!
Of the total 32 LEDs across 2 clusters, 19 (!) were burned-out or shorted. A typical picture is observed below.
All of LEDs will have to be replaced. There was certainly some corrosion under the LEDs.
But it is not anything that cannot be fixed!
We are ready to do some baking.
And one can see the final product.
But wait! There is more! After connecting everything together, some LEDs would still not power on. It turns out that the main connector on the cluster has some pins disconnected due to age and corrosion. Here you can see that I am moving the pin with my pick.
We will clean up and reflow all the pins.
And while we are at it, we might as well touch up any other non LED components on the board.
And with this, the light is working again!
But there is even more! Despite a very good ultrasonic cleaner, the micro USB connector on the main board was corroded to the point that it would not make a stable connection. Without the USB, connecting the unit to Ecotech live is going to be a problem.
First, we’ll remove the bad connector and clean up the pads:
Put a brand new connector in place and solder it in.
And with that, the repair of this old Radion light is complete. It received many brand new LEDs, the majority of them are newer models with similar specs to the originals. They will provide even more intensity with less power consumption and will last longer. The board was thoroughly cleaned from corrosion and had a MOSFET and the USB connector replaced.
We can make your Ecotech Radion work again. Head over to the Mail-In Repair section to find out how to send us your device for repair.