The NVR that I use to store my ip surveillance camera video just died.  it has been running continuously for 14 months.  My experience with electronic equipment that runs 24/7 is that things tend to die in the 3-5 year timeframe.  Usually it's the power supply, especially if it's a wall wart.  Or with NVRs, DVRs, or network storage, it is usually a disk drive.  The unit is an Amcrest NV4108-HS 8-channel HD NVR.


I noticed that the unit was not functioning when I tried to view some recorded video.  When I checked it there was no power indication (no LEDs lit, no fan or disk noise).  I was hoping that it was just the power supply (12V, 2A wall wart) but unfortunately it looks okay with a resistive load.  So, now I'm on to troubleshooting it.

Amcrest NV4108 NVR

NVR with Power adapter


I had initially tested the power supply with a 25 ohm load, so I tried again with a 5.1 ohm load just to make sure it could handle the 2A rated current.  The voltage dropped a couple of hundred millivolts but that was probably due to the small gauge wire.  So, the power supply looks fine.


I put a DVM across 12V to ground and measured a dead short.  The current limit on the power adapter must be protecting the adapter from damage.


Here's a look at the inside of the NVR:

NVR inside view


And a closeup of the PCB:



A close inspection of both sides of the PCB did not show any obviously damaged or burnt components.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a schematic for this board.  I'm pretty sure that it is manufactured by Dahua who is an OEM supplier for Amcrest and many others.


I identified a couple of components that I thought could possibly short the power supply.  The first was obvious - a 220uF electrolytic capacitor that is just behind the power jack.  I removed it but the short was still there and the capacitor checked out okay.  I was hoping to find other electrolytics or voltage regulators (I assume that there is at least a 5V regulator).  I did find an adjustable regulator but its input is not attached to 12V.  Wish I had a schematic......

Possible bad components


I did not pull the heatsink off what I assume is the primary ASIC mainly because I doubt that it would be directly tied to 12V.  At this point I think that I may just give up unless someone has any good ideas.  Normally, if I had a schematic I would try to push some current into the rail and try to determine where the short is.  Without a schematic it would be hard to figure out where to measure.  If I felt lucky I could just crank up the current and watch for the smoke but I'm not in the mood to try that.


Unfortunately, I was hoping to use the NVR as a video source for my Path II Programmable project so I need to think about a replacement.  The Amcrest unit functioned very well but it is quite disappointing that it had an early death.


At least I should be able to repurpose the case and I'm pretty sure the hard drive is still good - I guess I should verify that next.