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Fried 2nd Pioneer Elite Receiver - Help Needed

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

New to the forum, but was hoping there are some techs that can shed light on a very frustrating situation I'm in. I will try to make this as short as possible, but I want to include as many details as I can in hope of somebody being able to help.

Last night, my setup was a Pioneer Elite plasma display, a Pioneer Elite SC-07 receiver, DirecTv, Apple TV, Denon Blu Ray, PS3 and a Wii, along with a Monster Clean Power unit and Monster Surge unit (not sure model #'s, but the huge expensive things), Sunfire Sub, 7 Klipsch speakers. Everything was working fine and has been since I first setup the receiver 3-4 months ago.

Brother (more knowledgeable than I at this stuff) comes over to run through the receiver speaker setup and double check I have everything on the optimal settings.

Somewhere between going through the setup, installing a cool components fan, and tinkering with the Monster surge box the video to the display goes out never to return again.

StarPower came out and tested the display, which was fine, and concluded that the HDMI control card (?) must have been fried somehow, possibly by static. They took the receiver and I'm waiting to hear back.

Tonight, I hooked up an older, barely used Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH receiver, and only attached the DirecTv, AppleTV and PS3 to the HDMI ports. Went through speaker setup just fine, watched AppleTV for about an hour, and somewhere between that and trying to play PS3 the identical thing happened, I have audio but no video. Just like the other receiver, if I plug in the mic to do a setup now, the menu no longer appears on the TV so that's telling me it's the same problem.

I have some amateur theories/possibilities about what might be the cause:

- On the cool components fan there's a small temp gauge attached, and one end of it is exposed (not sure if intentional) and you can see a circuit board. On both systems this was sitting on top of the receiver.

- PS3. In searching online I've seen a few cases where a PS3 fried some equipment, but it usually involved a large spark which didn't occur in my case. Strangely, when troubleshooting my first receiver, I hooked the PS3 directly to HDMI port on my TV and after running the PS3 for 5 minutes, received a "PS3 system is too hot and will now shut down" message, which I've never ever seen, despite playing it for 3-4 hours straight without any problems in the past.

- Apple Airport Express, I recently plugged one in right behind equipment rack, about 3-4 days before first receiver went out, and then after my setup tonight was working fine, plugged the AE into the wall. Shortly after this is when the video out on 2nd receiver.

- Switching HDMI cables in and out of different ports with the system on. I'm worried that this might be an obvious no-no, and I'm guilty of it in the past, but never caused any problems. I only recently read in my manual that the receiver should be unplugged when plugging in an HDMI cable.

- Faulty HDMI cables. I'm using either Monster M1000's or AudioQuests, so quality is high and since audio appears fine, I doubt it would be a cable doing this.

Any input as to what could be the problem, or any suggestions to avoid this in the future will be welcomed with arms wide open.

Thanks,
Jeff
post #2 of 9
I am currently using 4 Airport express units, and have gone through a few others. I doubt it is that.

A bad cable could fry a board. Not sure about HDMI cables though. I would think if some wires were shorted, you would have had problems sooner. But that's just a guess.

Hot switching HDMI cables is something I have done a fair amount of times. I would not worry too much about that. I am not saying nothing bad can't happen, but it seems unlikely. I understand that your manual tells you not to do. I guess prudence dicatates that you don't hot swap cables if they are not designed for it. I just think a lot of people would be blowing components if this was a common problem.

Given that the cool components fan is non essential, maybe even on the paranoid side ( I don't use any fans with my receivers,) maybe you should go without it. The case should be grounded, so it should not cause issues though.

I guess we can't rule out your TV. You hooked up two receivers to the TV, and seem to have potentially damaged two AVR HDMI output circuits?

I guess you are sure this is permanant? I always suggest unplugging everything from everything, and starting with a simple connection. For example unplug speakers, power conditioners, source devices, everything...from the receiver. Unplug anything to the TV. Leave the AVR off for awhile. Then plug it back in to the TV and see if it's menu comes back on.

All this being said, people do run into odd problems sometimes. So maybe in your case, something that is not a problem for 99.9% of AV owners is tripping you up. I think you have been pretty thorough covering your bases. And I am glad I am not you, no offense, because you have to be pretty paranoid now. I wish I had more ideas for you. I am just typing out as I am thinking about what I would do if I were you.
post #3 of 9
I guess the 1st thing I would ask is if you have everything plugged into the same circuit. If you do then I would ask if this is a shared circuit or dedicated. If shared what is the additional load.

I ask because you could be browing out your equipment. The weakest link would go first. In this cause the Video board on the receiver.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies.

Michael:
I figured the Airport Express would be a long shot, I've many Apple products and they all have worked fine without any trouble. The tech people that came to look at the receiver tested the TV then looked at the receiver and concluded it was a problem with that. They ran my DirecTV box directly into the TV and it worked fine. But I supposed over time the TV might be damaging the receiver. It's fairly new too, and haven't had any problems.

I haven't used any cooling fans until I hooked up one to the first receiver, which went out soon afterward. My brother is the one that uses fans on everything, and gave a large one to use. I set it up on the 2nd receiver that went out, so I'm still wondering about that. Attached to the fan is the Advanced LT Controller by Cool Components (I can't insert URLs yet). This has an open circuit board at one end and, while having hardly any currant, made me nervous setting it on top of the metal receiver case.


tcfish19:
My equipment is plugged into a Monster HTS 5100, which is then plugged into a Monster Voltage Stabilizer AVS 2000.

My brother was adjusting some of the switches/buttons on the PowerCenter because it was reading 119.5 instead of 120. Probably 30 minutes later is when first receiver went out, and this same setup was used on 2nd receiver too.

Thanks...
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Been thinking about the possibilty of the TV causing the problem, and that could explain why when I plugged my PS3 directly into an HDMI port on the TV the PS3 all of a sudden said it was too hot and needed to shut down, which it's never done in the past.
post #6 of 9
HDMI Cables can carry voltage in some cases and HDMI is a two way street. So it could be the TV causing the problem and the fact that the Video board keeps getting fried.

I'd call Pioneer today and open a case. I'd hook up Component cables till I knew I had a cause and fix or you might blow more boards on the rest of your equipment.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
UPDATE:

Well it turns out neither receiver was actually damaged, but it was the HDMI ports on the TV that were going out, and eventually went out completely. It took a lot of troubleshooting and testing, plus a technician looking at the first receiver, to figure this out. The component output on the TV worked fine, and I was able to get a picture randomly when I would plug a device directly into an HDMI port on the TV, which added to the confusion as to what was actually the problem.

My old TV was taken away for repair, and is still under warranty so that's good. What's even better is now there's a Pioneer Kuro 500m setting in it's place I bought for $1900 new. The old display will go in another room since we've only had 1 TV in the house, and not having a backup is very difficult livin'.

Anyways, thanks for the help and pointers...
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffylube View Post

UPDATE:

Well it turns out neither receiver was actually damaged, but it was the HDMI ports on the TV that were going out, and eventually went out completely. It took a lot of troubleshooting and testing, plus a technician looking at the first receiver, to figure this out. The component output on the TV worked fine, and I was able to get a picture randomly when I would plug a device directly into an HDMI port on the TV, which added to the confusion as to what was actually the problem.

My old TV was taken away for repair, and is still under warranty so that's good. What's even better is now there's a Pioneer Kuro 500m setting in it's place I bought for $1900 new. The old display will go in another room since we've only had 1 TV in the house, and not having a backup is very difficult livin'.

Anyways, thanks for the help and pointers...

Good to hear that the problem was solved, glad that did not happen to me.
post #9 of 9
BUMMER! I hate to breath life in to a dead issue, but, this just happened to me, on the SAME receiver.

Since I have multiple items to test with, I isolated the problem to being the Pioneer unit, same as the OP's. First, I had connected my new computer to my receiver. Then, when the port it was connected to didn't work, I grabbed my computer LCD, which is HDMI. It worked. I assumed it was a sync compatibility issue as I was setting my computer up. However, when I finished installing my OS, and plugged my computer back in to my receiver, it still didn't work! I also had noticed that my receiver no longer "clicked" when switching between the HDMI port I had plugged my computer in to, hdmi2 vs. hdmi1 and hdmi3. I thought this was odd.. and thought it was a problem with port2, so I plugged my computer in to hdmi1, which didn't work either then! This made me think it was either BOTH ports, or a bizarre sync issue. So I replaced the DVD player originally plugged in to port 1 - and it didn't work. I had already switched which hdmi cable I had tested this with.. so, I plugged the computer in to hdmi1, which was certainly working because I had just been watching my DVR - which would proof positive tell me if it was a sync issue from my computer or hdmi1 and 2 had spontaneously failed, perhaps they were both on the same fuse - not the kind of thing I could find a thread explaining. After testing my computer on hdmi1, I was certain. Of course, this could mean that my video card was doing something damaging, which, only selectively damaged all 3 ports on my receiver and NOT my 22" LCD nor my 46" TV when plugged directly in... or, the pioneer unit had a particular sensitivity/weakness that caused failure.

Does anyone have any advice? I've had the unit about 18 months, but, i never filled out my warranty card. I truly hate the hassle ..
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