Pioneer 640 HS HDD/DVD Recorder Problems - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-05-2017, 04:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Pioneer 640 HS HDD/DVD Recorder Problems

Hi,

Two of my Pioneer 640 HS recorders have developed problems:

(1) One stopped responding to the remote, even after I did a hard shutdown and restart of the machine. The unit was set to respond to remote code 1. The remote was fine as it was still able to operate the other two Pioneers in the room (on codes 2 and 3). I also took the remote into another room and was able to operate a Pioneer in that room set to respond to code 1, so the remote control is working fine.

The unit that stopped responding to the remote can still be powered on and the manual controls under the bottom panel still work.

(2) The other 640 HS seems to have some kind of signal output failure. It mostly displays a black screen but occasionally the video coming into it from the satellite box can be seen briefly when it's first powered on as kind of a ghost image that flickers out to a mostly black screen with some white areas. I replaced it with another 640 HS using the existing connections and the replacement is working fine, so there's nothing wrong with the composite cables or the TV.

Does anyone know if these are problems that can be fixed? There is a local shop in my area that says they are an authorized Pioneer repair center. But the reviews for the place have been mixed, so I don't want the hassle of taking the units in to them unless these are problems that can be repaired.

Thanks,

Robbie
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-05-2017, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voranis View Post
Hi,

Two of my Pioneer 640 HS recorders have developed problems:

(1) One stopped responding to the remote, even after I did a hard shutdown and restart of the machine. The unit was set to respond to remote code 1. The remote was fine as it was still able to operate the other two Pioneers in the room (on codes 2 and 3). I also took the remote into another room and was able to operate a Pioneer in that room set to respond to code 1, so the remote control is working fine.

The unit that stopped responding to the remote can still be powered on and the manual controls under the bottom panel still work.

(2) The other 640 HS seems to have some kind of signal output failure. It mostly displays a black screen but occasionally the video coming into it from the satellite box can be seen briefly when it's first powered on as kind of a ghost image that flickers out to a mostly black screen with some white areas. I replaced it with another 640 HS using the existing connections and the replacement is working fine, so there's nothing wrong with the composite cables or the TV.

Does anyone know if these are problems that can be fixed? There is a local shop in my area that says they are an authorized Pioneer repair center. But the reviews for the place have been mixed, so I don't want the hassle of taking the units in to them unless these are problems that can be repaired.

Thanks,

Robbie
Hello: I would try Pioneer Customer support online by doing an internet search for Pioneer Electronics, and when you get to their support page

enter the Model number(s) that you are having trouble with...

..and if that does not help, they have a bunch of 1-800 number you can call depending on your type of equipment on that same page

...and if they can't help, you may ask Pioneer if they can repair your units by sending them in, or ask for the nearest reputable

and authorized Pioneer repair shop that they recommend.

This is just purely my opinion on what I would do 1st, and be very clear on what you have tried to do when you talk with them.

The very best of luck to you.....Stan
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-06-2017, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by taz0921 View Post
Hello: I would try Pioneer Customer support online by doing an internet search for Pioneer Electronics, and when you get to their support page

enter the Model number(s) that you are having trouble with...

..and if that does not help, they have a bunch of 1-800 number you can call depending on your type of equipment on that same page

...and if they can't help, you may ask Pioneer if they can repair your units by sending them in, or ask for the nearest reputable

and authorized Pioneer repair shop that they recommend.

This is just purely my opinion on what I would do 1st, and be very clear on what you have tried to do when you talk with them.

The very best of luck to you.....Stan
Stan,

I have already used the Pioneer web site to identify the only authorized repair shop in my area. I mentioned this shop in my original post.

I know there are people in these forums who are experienced at fixing some problems with these units and I was hoping one of them would respond to my question about whether they are fixable or not, before I go to the trouble of dealing with this shop.

I appreciate you taking the time to respond with some helpful advice, though!

Robbie

Last edited by voranis; 06-06-2017 at 01:37 AM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-07-2017, 12:50 AM
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The only suggestion I have is to send a PM to MICKINCT and ask him to look at your post. He is mostly known for fixing Panasonic machines, but he should at least have some insight into what might be ailing your recorder. From what I can tell, it was introduced in April of 2005, so it's a pretty old model to be expecting the manufacturer to still be servicing.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-07-2017, 07:48 PM
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As far as Pioneer USA is concerned, they never ever made any such thing as a DVD/HDD recorder, they don't even know what one is, and please don't bother them about it any more because it makes them anxious (IOW, they're absolutely useless as a repair resource). Post-2008-recession Pioneer is a forlorn place staffed by terrified souls: best to leave them be.

Your Pioneer 640 with the remote blindness may have developed a short in its IR receiver circuit, the receiver eye itself may have gone bad, or perhaps something has gone funky in the motherboard controller. If a hard reset did not fix the issue, it may be unrepairable at this late date unless you get lucky and the local repair center has a compatible spare IR receiver they can try in it. All diagnostic systems built into Pioneer recorders are operated by the proprietary Pioneer/Sony service remote: if the unit is IR blind, troubleshooting the problem could be very difficult.

Your Pioneer 640 with flaky signal output probably developed a short or cold solder joint in the connection panel, causing sporadic output signals. This is something most repair shops can troubleshoot and fix at reasonable cost: its a common occurrence with modern AV gear that tends to have very flimsy structural support for the rear connector panel (although the front panel connectors are usually the first to go).

Theres a small chance that either or both 640s have developed "tin whisker" syndrome, a consequence of the stupendously idiotic and draconian regulations the EU foisted on global mfrs some years back. This edict effectively banned durable, traditional leaded solder in favor of "lead-free" solder and circuit board traces. Of course, nobody bothered to ask electronics engineers before rushing that legislation: if they had, they would have been warned that lead-free circuits are inherently unstable and tend to grow a microscopic outcropping of tendrils ("whiskers") that short against other nearby circuit traces. This is not repairable, and the reason why the new symbol "10" in a circle of arrows began appearing on all electronics and camera gear: the "10" means the mfr can't guarantee against tin whisker syndrome longer than ten years at the outside, and the arrows mean you'll likely need to recycle the item by its tenth birthday.

Last edited by CitiBear; 06-07-2017 at 07:52 PM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-10-2017, 03:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post
As far as Pioneer USA is concerned, they never ever made any such thing as a DVD/HDD recorder, they don't even know what one is, and please don't bother them about it any more because it makes them anxious (IOW, they're absolutely useless as a repair resource). Post-2008-recession Pioneer is a forlorn place staffed by terrified souls: best to leave them be.

Your Pioneer 640 with the remote blindness may have developed a short in its IR receiver circuit, the receiver eye itself may have gone bad, or perhaps something has gone funky in the motherboard controller. If a hard reset did not fix the issue, it may be unrepairable at this late date unless you get lucky and the local repair center has a compatible spare IR receiver they can try in it. All diagnostic systems built into Pioneer recorders are operated by the proprietary Pioneer/Sony service remote: if the unit is IR blind, troubleshooting the problem could be very difficult.

Your Pioneer 640 with flaky signal output probably developed a short or cold solder joint in the connection panel, causing sporadic output signals. This is something most repair shops can troubleshoot and fix at reasonable cost: its a common occurrence with modern AV gear that tends to have very flimsy structural support for the rear connector panel (although the front panel connectors are usually the first to go).

Theres a small chance that either or both 640s have developed "tin whisker" syndrome, a consequence of the stupendously idiotic and draconian regulations the EU foisted on global mfrs some years back. This edict effectively banned durable, traditional leaded solder in favor of "lead-free" solder and circuit board traces. Of course, nobody bothered to ask electronics engineers before rushing that legislation: if they had, they would have been warned that lead-free circuits are inherently unstable and tend to grow a microscopic outcropping of tendrils ("whiskers") that short against other nearby circuit traces. This is not repairable, and the reason why the new symbol "10" in a circle of arrows began appearing on all electronics and camera gear: the "10" means the mfr can't guarantee against tin whisker syndrome longer than ten years at the outside, and the arrows mean you'll likely need to recycle the item by its tenth birthday.
Thanks CitiBear! Your knowledge is invaluable as always!
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