Repairing a dead TP-Link TL-PA211 Powerline Ethernet Adapter (Part2)

This post follows on from my earlier one where I opened up my broken TP-Link TL-PA211 Powerline Ethernet adaptor ready to replace the faulty capacitor.

The repair didn’t take very long and was quicker than dismantling the adaptor! To fix the unit you’ll need the following

  • A soldering iron (I have this one)
  • Solder (not sure what type mine is)
  • Some way of removing the old solder (De-soldering pump or braid. I used braid)
  • Some flux to clean up the hole after removing the old solder
  • A replacement capacitor.

Some comments from my last post suggest it’s possible to use a higher rated capacitor but I’m not sure what the benefit the higher rating brings. Please leave a comment if you can enlighten me 🙂

I used the braid to soak up the solder around the legs of the broken capacitor. Eventually you’ll be able to pull the capacitor off the board. I needed to use the braid a little more to clean the holes to allow the new capacitor in. This was how it looked after removing the faulty part:

PCB bottom with capacitor removed

PCB top with capacitor removed

I then cleaned up the hole with some flux. I applied the liquid flux I have with a small paintbrush; this helped me to make sure it only went on to the surfaces I intended to solder.

Now you can push the new capacitor in making sure it is the correct way round. The negative side should line up with the white part of the printed guide on the PCB.

On the underside of the PCB let the solder flow into the gap between the leg and the edge of the hole. It should fill the gap and, when cool, provide a nice strong connection. If you push on the capacitor there should be no movement below.

The crudely cut legs of the new capacitor

If you are happy with your soldering you need to cut the excess wire from the legs.

 

 

 

 

A broken joint from too much flexing (right joint is damaged)

Whilst replacing the capacitor I noticed that I needed to carry out another quick repair. Because I hadn’t de-soldered the connections to the pins of the plug the PCB had remained attached during the repair. The regular flexing of these as I replaced the capacitor had caused one of the joints to split away from the metal strip. I managed to fix this joint by applying heat from the soldering iron to it and letting the solder join back onto the metal.

Pushing the PCB back into the case was quite tough as there is very little room to manoeuvre with the network port and reset button getting in the way! After some pushing and shoving I got it back together and plugged it into the power socket. No smoke or flames appeared which is always a good sign after doing work such as this. All three lights then came on and the unit started talking to my network as if nothing had ever gone wrong.

A Restored TP-Link Adaptor

A Restored TP-Link Adaptor

 

Hopefully, when I upgrade to the 500Mbps versions of these in the future, TP-Link may have a unit that will last a bit longer.

12 thoughts on “Repairing a dead TP-Link TL-PA211 Powerline Ethernet Adapter (Part2)

  1. Thanks for this. Already thrown a faulty one of these away and then a 2nd went (and had 4, one was a spare). I decided the internet may hold the answer. I found your blog and on opening my TL-PA211 I discovered the same faulty capacitor. just ordered them off eBay – now to dust of my old soldering iron….

  2. Great work. Same thing just happened to me, a pair stopped working within 2 weeks of each other. Opened one up… yep, same cap.

    Thanks for posting.

  3. I’ve had 4 of these die on me now (1x PA211 and 3x PA511). Just moved house a few weeks ago. so I think the electrics in the new house are not as smooth as the last place where they ran happily for over a year. After finding your posts, I’ll be having a look to see if the failed ones died due to the capacitor and replacing with the higher rating caps if so.

  4. Many thanks for the info! Very useful, mostly because I tried to contact TP-Link support and had no answer…(my PLC’s were still under warranty).
    Following your instructions, I repaired two of my four TL-PA211 (by the way, I bought 4 capacitors for change the other two in a presumably near future). I only found 2200 µF, 10 V capacitors, but they worked fine). I succeeded extracting the PCB from the AC pins without damaging them and I also was able to put again them in place. The trick is to do both operations very gently, the PCB always rotating around the edge opposite to the AC pins. After replacement of the PCB to its final position I checked the electrical continuity between each AC pin and its PCB connection, also to be sure that not short-circuit existed, because an unwanted folding of the L-shaped metallic connections.
    Thanks again!

  5. Thanks!
    Using your advice I was able to repair my TP-LINK – TL-PA211 for 69p instead of a £35 replacement. I was surprised that Maplin did not stock a similar capacitor but got them on eBay. 1500uf 10v.
    I first used two knives simultaneously to lever open the bottom two bayonet catches.
    I found de-soldering the hardest job. I should probably have practised on some junk first!
    Thanks again,
    Pat.

    • I’d already written off my chances of repairing mine so was prepared for them to not work after getting hands on with the soldering iron. Amazingly they’re still working!

  6. Unfortunately they did not learn to make it better.

    My TL-PA250KIT showed the same issue after just one year of opperation.

    PCB is different but the 1500µF 6.3V Elko looked completely the same as mentioned in the posting part 1.

  7. Many thanks for this excellent article. I would not have thought to try a repair, but have now done one successfully. A couple of tips from my experience:
    1. To remove the white cover after removing the screw, use a small screwdriver to force the black part outwards at one side of the unit. Then use the same screwdriver to lever the white cover up. It’ll come up about an eighth of an inch. Then do the same on the other side. The whole white cover should then come off easily.
    2. I had a lot of trouble removing the solder from the holes where the capacitor goes (I am only a moderately skilled solderer). I used a 1mm drill bit to drill the holes out, and that worked fine.
    3. I found putting the board back in was a lot easier than described in the article. You have to feed it in from the power end so that it slides under a couple of lugs on the black part. I used a piece of stiff card to hold the power tabs out of the way as that end of the board slipped in.

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