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Customer Review

138 of 148 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worked for just over a year...Cap bows out, 1 Dec. 2013
This review is from: TP-LINK TL-PA251KIT AV200+ Multi-Streaming Powerline Starter Kit with AC Pass Through (UK Plug Only) (Accessory)
I would have given this kit of two passthrough Powerline adapters a high rating as they just worked as advertised. Plug and play. Worked for exactly 14 months from first use. Never had to do a thing to make them work or keep them working. Then overnight one of them is just dead to the world. Pass through mains works but LEDs showing no power, no activity. Nothing. Expired. Like the guarantee I guess but cannot find my documents now. Its a brick. Tried other sockets, reset, zilch. The other unit looks OK. With an hour to closing had to do a high street dash to buy a same brand replacement for a single unit (which now look slightly different) but at least it paired with the remaining unit and crucial homework can continue.

This is the first networking item I have ever purchased with such a short life. Usually I replace tech because of obsolescence after 5 years. Well I just bought one more TP-link Powerline adapter to be sure of as fuss-free, get back online, asap. Time was short. Will try a different brand next time..

[update] After a search I see these types of devices failing for a simple well known reason. The electrolytic smoothing capacitors blow out with time. This is unforgivable as the industry went through this plague already many times. Using the cheapest electrolytic components is unforgivable for something plugged in 24/7/365. Just opened mine up and yep, a black 6.3V 1500μF has a bowed out top. Others look fine. for history of this, search 'capacitor plague'
UPDATE: fixed with one of these Capacitor Electrolytic 6.3v 1500uf Price for 5. Sprang back to life.TP-link corner screws will destroy their hidden fixing holes be careful. 5th screw in middle hidden under label so pierce through to access.
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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Feb 2014 15:04:27 GMT
Brendan says:
I have had two of these units fail after a year and a half. I wonder if the newer equivalent model is any better. I shall orde a pair of them as they are very reasonably priced at just over £15 for a pair. I shall also follow up the capacitor story (for which thank you) as I have another four older units running. Brendan

Posted on 10 Feb 2014 16:45:02 GMT
PT says:
Very useful review. Now I know what to do (and the capacitor to buy) if the same thing happens to me. Thank you.


Posted on 10 Feb 2014 17:49:28 GMT
Brendan says:
An update:
Hi, I mentioned having two failures out of half a dozen units that I have. The two that failed were of the non-pass through design (as it happens the remainder are of the pass through type).

In my failed units there was only a single screw hidden under the label. The unit then needed to be prised apart which I did. Sure enough the capacitor in question was blown. However, getting the PCB into a position to work on is a bit of a delicate wrestle. In particular the reset button gets in the way when trying to get the PCB out. The unit is not designed for repair.

I have not ordered the capacitors but if I get a flush of enthusiasm, I may just order them. It is certainly not cost effective spending your time doing the repair - you will be hard pressed to save the value of time you'll have to put in (costed at the minimum wage rate) even if you don't break the unit.

The pass-through unit type described by Andy is a little more expensive and sounds easier to dismantle; and may be better value to repair.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Feb 2014 10:18:08 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Feb 2014 10:19:25 GMT
A Cactus says:
I would not encourage the repair if you have not done much that sort of thing before. I deliberately initially just left it at this is the part to use, those of you who know how to do this then off you go. However I will add the following:

The pass through version is easier to deal with. The PCB to be freed is held in with screws and there is no tricky anti-snagging exercise with the end plate for RJ45 & reset button just slides out. There are some complex metal shapes for the pass-through mains conductors which have to be unscrewed and orientation memorised, more of a mental 3D puzzle during reassembly. Economical? didn't take half an hour and I have all the soldering kit already out on a bench. Hardest part was desoldering the holes clear which were small and one heat-sunk by large area of PCB metal.

The £1 capacitor I linked to is the correct cylinder body length and diameter to exactly fit. Most other caps of this voltage and capacity will be longer and wider; there is a flat socket the cap has to butt up against when mounted flat against the PCB.

Reassembly: Three of the 5 long white plastic columns that take the 5 case screws on mine crumbled during unscrewing so they no longer hold a thread. Brittle poor quality plastic. I had to use a cable tie round the middle help hold black & white assembly's together as only central screw and one corner now hold a thread. I deemed this just about appropriate for my use but as it's a mains device, assessment of finished result for your application will differ. Maybe use hot glue?

I like fixing stuff that breaks especially if the parts are next to nothing. I don't bill my own time, I have the tools, experience and Yak shaving is no problem for me. If you don't tick all these then yes probably best bin it.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Feb 2014 10:35:27 GMT
PT says:
" ... Yak shaving is no problem for me"

I had to look that up and, yes, it DOES apply to me! ;-)


Posted on 11 Feb 2014 18:18:57 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Feb 2014 18:22:31 GMT
Brendan says:
Whilst identifying yaks (I have a whole herd milling about in my office and studio), I turned out a box with an unused pass through device in it. The interesting question & answer was not, "why did I forget I had a spare before ordering new?" but, "the device has a three year warranty, can I make a claim?".

I now have the choice of searching for documentation - did I register it with TP Link? Or would I like to fix this and any other?" Is the warranty valid if not registered? Of course the one lying open waiting for me to search my old electronic tools in the cellar will no longer be under warranty.

If they outlive the three years warranty, is that good enough to simply dump the spent ones and have a clear conscience (I don't like chucking fixable things out and it usually takes me four or five years to admit I am not going to fix it!)

I am sure that I do not have a desoldering tool - but I notice that you (Andy Cactus) bought a cheap one that worked some time ago. But where is my fine grade flux-cored solder and my old weller iron?

Your reviews are pretty useful. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2014 09:27:11 BDT
pmoth says:
This isn't necessarily a warranty issue - under the sale of goods act, items should work for a reasonable length of time after purchase. This is clearly well under what anyone would consider a reasonable length of time before the things blow. Although contacting the seller may initially result in them trying to hide behind the warranty, persist! They have a legal duty to repair, or replace with an item of equal or better performance. In practice they won't bother repairing so should send you a new one.

May take a few emails back and forth though. Good luck

Posted on 26 May 2014 17:56:00 BDT
Mr Farr says:
I have a twin pack of the pass through plugs (TP LinkPA251KIT)that I bought from Amazon and also have three other TP link range extender plugs.
One of my av200's stopped working this morning so I went on web chat with Amazon and they are sending me a replacement within three days after which I can send back the originals.
My units were bought in August last year.

Best service I have received anywhere.

Posted on 20 Nov 2014 12:14:28 GMT
cb says:
I see many reviews like this and it seems to be that these devices do indeed fail if left on permanently. Surely it's worth switching them off overnight, if they're not needed, in the interests of longevity?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Dec 2014 21:37:15 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Dec 2014 21:37:29 GMT
Just me says:
Well, I guess you can if all else fails. But it's a bit like a plumber expecting you to turn the main stopcock off every night in case one of his weak pipe joints fails - you simply shouldn't have to.
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