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I too have had issues with speaker drop out and always thought it would be relays as most electrical issues are generally mechanical in nature, ie faulty switch or poor connections. Anyway I confirmed my suspicions one day by waiting until I had another dropout and I removed the cover. I gave the relay a very light tap with the end of a screwdriver and away she went. BEWARE OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE SERIOUS CONCERNS AROUND MAINS VOLTAGE BEING EXPOSED.


My thanks to RIPVANWINKLER and his well laid out instructions. Read all his posts (noting the 2nd photo for the diagram).


My additional advice is as follows.


1. I had one further screw attached to a vertical board at INSTRUCTION 6. It will be obvious, just a little further forward than the one described.


2. Definitely remove the RCA terminal block (4 screws) as it makes life easier.


3. I would draw the outlines on the board as per picture, It makes it much easier to recognise each time you take your eyes away.


4. I decided given the various responses that more than one speaker was going to drop out and choose to clean up all 4 relays. Here is my most important tip and I learned the hard way. When unsoldering use a solder sucker or wick to clear away the old solder. Once the relay is out, again clear as much solder as possible off the relay pins but take care not to apply heat for too long as you may melt the relay base and cause the contacts inside to misalign. Again clear the circuit board of excess solder. I didn't do this and inadvertantly broke off one of the circuits buried inside the board as I pushed the relay back in. More on this later.


5. All 4 of my relays came apart without problems, no broken tabs, I used 2 craft knives. I cleaned my contacts by folding a piece of fine (600) emery paper in half 4inch x 1inch, thus having a two sided piece. Then I placed the paper between the contacts and gently squeezed the contacts with my fingers whilst rubbing back and forth half a dozen times. They should shine when finished. Interestingly my initial faulty relay had small black spots on the contacts so I was on the right track. I also did the same trick as CJDNZL and halved the gap with a pair of fine nose pliers (but make sure there still is a gap).


6. Back to my problem. My broken circuit happened to be on the centre speaker, I worked out that this relay is only half used, one set of 2 pins are not connected to anything. Where as the other relays have both a left and right channel of course. My broken circuit was on the coil side (one of the 2 pins away from the other 4). I couldn't reconnect the circuit as it was so thin. I traced with a magnifying glass where it went to but it terminated at another spot where soldering a jump wire was impossible. But luckily one of the other relays also terminated at the same spot so I went back and placed a jump wire between my naked pin and the other relay. And all was well.


7. It was very satisfying to have fixed it but I could have saved a couple of hours by cleaning up those pins.


Good luck to everyone and thanks for the posts
 

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on my ONKYO TX-NR515 the back right post cuts out if when i tighten it too tight, thats when it cuts out if i tighten just a little bit it works fine can the post itself need tightening????
 

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A further thing to check with the VSX-816 relays is the contact spacing. Because these relays flick every time the unit is turned on, and because the contacts inside the relays are quite long and thin, the outer contacts can get pushed back away from the inner contacts thus causing a poor connection. Bending the outer contacts toward the inner ones (but not touching) cured the problem with my unit.

See photo in post #12 by RipVanWinkler above for the insides of the relay.
 

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Hello all:


I am fine with screws and wrenches and cables and parts, but bad with soldering and desoldering. I tend to melt things I shouldn't. So I'm hesitant to take the relays off and put them back on...


What I'm about to ask, I'm not saying to just be argumentative... I wonder if, on reflection anybody questions this fairly invasive process? Occam's razor-ish thoughts.


I notice that several of you (here and elsewhere) *do* report the problem returns after messing with the relays. Even more with retouching the solder (both here and in other discussions).


When it comes to the earlier suggestions (touching up the solder):
  • Is there some reason to believe, of all the soldered things in this amp, there's something about the relays that gets particularly badly done at their factory?
  • Is there something special about the relays that makes those solder connections more prone to being cold, or oxidized? (For example, because they handle the power driving the speakers?) Are they subject to more thermal expansion and contraction?
  • Is it possible that the cold joints are elsewhere in the system, but that disconnecting and reconnecting everything relieves stresses on the PC boards and *that's* what actually fixes the problem for some of you?


(I might be the guinea pig on this one -- I've taken everything apart, but not touched any solder yet. Maybe I'll just put it all back together again and see if the problem is gone for a while...)


My own pseudo-empirical observation is that if I keep the receiver cool, I seem to avoid dropouts. I have a fan pointed down through it. It also seems to have to do with the kind of input signal -- if I'm bringing in an analog signal that already has some decent "volume", then I don't get dropouts at all. If I'm bringing in a digital optical signal, that's much more likely to start dropping out after about half an hour. (These observations could be just me seeing things that aren't really patterns. But at least it's not because, for example, I tend to watch 2 hour movies via optical, and listen to half-hour CDs via analog... I tend to put on a jukebox player of music through analog and listen for hours at a time.)



So, across the three year lifespan of this thread, have we settled on "it's the relays"? I guess... that an intermittent relay problem *could* explain why when people mess with their speaker cables it can fix the problem temporarily sometimes... the relay would flick on and off in response to going between 4(6,8,16) ohms and infinite resistance and back?



(Hopefully past contributors will see my message and come back to say whether their fix has stayed fixed...)


Thanks for all the help here!


Kevin
 

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One more question/thought:


Since everything about the relays except the solder joints is on top of the board... has anyone just pried them open from the top without desoldering them, cleaned the contacts, and put the caps back on? I'm kinda temped to sacrifice the relay case tabs if I have to, and use a tiny dab of glue to reassemble, if I can access the sides of them from the top without harming anything else nearby, and without touching an iron...


Kevin
 

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Fookesfam here again. I've had no further drop outs since cleaning all my relays. As per my earlier post my problem channel had the telltale blackspots and no others so I'm sure that is the cause of the drop outs. The questions remains why did it fail. I don't know. I suspect that maybe there is insufficient power to the coil side and it's not pulling the contacts hard enough together therefore causing poor contact, subsequent carbon buildup and eventual failure. Bending the arms to halve the contact distance may help with the weak contact theory. Or they could be poor quality relays. Your idea of removing covers in place has merit and I would be tempted myself should it occur again. Just take care not to lever on the relay too much risking a solder joint breakage.


Good luck
 

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Just wanted to say thanks for this thread and step by step tutorial. My center channel (VSX-816) was also cutting out. After desoldering, cleaning and reducing the gap all is well again.


Thanks.


Before



After
 

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First let me say thank you! I haven't done the fix yet but I will definitely look into this.

I was scared at first to even think about opening up the case to look inside as I never have before. But seeing this thread makes me confident.

This same problem happens with automotive relays all the time. The carbon buildup from the contacts making contact then disconnecting sometimes will spark and leave a sooty type residue on the contacts.

This makes all the sense in the world but I have 1 question.

Will this cause a crackling noise (not really cutting out completely but once in a while it may cut out)? Mostly it crackles at higher volumes and certain background music tones (right rear channel). I also verified it is not the speaker or the cable as I've switched speakers and it is brand new cable.

If so, I will conquer this quest this weekend and take pics and let everyone know how it goes.

Thanks again for the thread and thanks to those who keep coming back to help.

Kalvin
 

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So I went ahead and did it! I was worried at first because it did seem like alot of screws to remove but after removing screws and moving circuit boards out of the way it was pretty easy. I never even took it all the way out of the case. I propped it up and just worked under it. It went better than I thought.

In all of the excitement of de-soldering and re-soldering I didn't take but one picture. It was of the relay. I did not bend the arms as it looked pretty close to me. I used a rougher grit sandpaper (was what I had laying around) just hit it a couple scuffs and it works great!

It seems like you'd be able to take the case off the relay without removing it with an xacto blade (very fine tip) but if I ever need to do this again that is what I will do because now I can remove the Relay cover without taking the whole board out. Yet it stays in place when I am not taking it apart.

I went ahead and moved forward with the soldering portion because I was afraid of taking it apart only to find that it was a cold solder joint or something.

anyways, if you have a single channel doing this, I would go ahead and try this trick. Worked well no more crackling!!!
 

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I just completed the resoldering and reed check on my vsx-816k and thanks to the information on this thread it went off without a hitch. :) thank you guys for taking the time to put this together!

Now I have to track down why the subwoofer is out most of the time. It's plugged into the preout naturally and the cable works proper. Does anyone know where I should be looking on the internals to repair this as well?
 

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Pioneer VSX-816 K Fan stays on, Clicking sound in all speakers

Hello,
I have a Pioneer VSX-816 K, I've had Problems on and off with it for the last 4 year with speakers cutting out and I have done what I have found in posts with the relay, removed the relay cleaned the contacts inside and re-soldered all the stress points and got the speakers working again and have done that for the last 4 years and always have got it fixed but the last time the other day the front right speaker stopped working and can only hear a little muffle when only that speakers is connected and the system cranked, so I did what I normally do and got the right speaker to work but now.. here's my problem now the fan stays running when it should only run with speakers connected and the volume up high, but now it just stays running with nothing connected and the volume all the way down and when you change modes from tv to dvd or what not, the fan clicks off for a quick second and then back on and you can hear the clicking in the speakers even with the volume down, kinda like when you connect a AA battery to a speaker it makes click sound. which my stereo does on all speakers which makes me think that some kind of normal current is going to the speakers and not audio current. Anyone Know what the problem is and or how to fix it? all help would be great, I love this stereo and I don't have the money to go out and buy a new one, this one I got at a garage sale for 5 bux, pretty sweet deal and it's lasted 4 years with little fixes hear and there but now I can't figure out this problem or find anything online. Any Help Would Be Very Very Grateful. Thanks.
 

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The newer receivers (mine is a vsx-822-k) no longer use relay's that can be opened up. I am ordering a replacement to see if it fixes it though. had to use findchips.com to locate one. Here is what mine looked like after dremeling the cover off:
Pretty sure it is the problem. I'll post back if the new relay fixes it.
 

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