Pioneer 510/610/710 owners listen up! Intermittent ops? - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 4 Old 10-03-08, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Lorenzo, CA 94580
Posts: 106
Pioneer 510/610/710 owners listen up! Intermittent ops?

These sets were manufactured with a design flaw that is only now coming to the surface. In the past 2 years we have seen uncountable numbers of these Elites exhibiting erratic, intermittent performance. Most owners don't know to TURN OFF THEIR SETS UNTIL REPAIRED. They keep using them until something worse happens.

This is caused by a much too thin soldering job on the underside of the PS - power supply - board, evidently done by a very improperly set up solder flow machine at their factory. The board worked fine for the first few years, then many of the solder joint points started going to a "cold solder joint" condition. This is characterized by blue flashes, unstable brightness/light levels, lack of picture, erratic convergence operation, and sometimes downright shutdown. It gets worse as time goes by, until it either goes out entirely or takes something else out, downline from it. These degenerating connections are like needed dental work - it never gets better on its own, and neither do these degenerating connections.

Other boards can be taken out by this because intermittent conn's at the PS board cause spikes to be shot downline into the rest of your set. This can cause great damage in there. The set was not designed for filtering of such spikes, it was designed for flawless connections at all boards for the life of the unit - 10 years minimum. When connections start going hinky, as they are now doing all over the continent on these Elites, intermittent connections on the PS board - often resulting in deadly spikes - are the basis of every event you experience as unstable operation.

As such, the boards downline from such spikes are completely vulnerable, and the effects of such spikes can be lethal to those boards downline.

So if you are currently viewing video on your Elite - or non-Elite version - of HDready from this vintage and it has had any of these intermittent problems, STOP USING YOUR SET NOW. Shut it off before another minute goes by, unplug it from the wall, and don't use it for extended video viewing sessions again AT ALL, until fixed. If your set is currently on and has been for awhile today, and has had any of these intermittent events happen already so far, another one of those intermittent connections could be getting ready to let go right now, as we speak.

To do otherwise is to be playing Russian Roulette with your multi-thousand dollar set. I have seen sets where they continued using the set while hurt to such a degree that 2 very expensive boards downline from the PS board - the deflection and convergence boards - were damaged as a result. That set didn't even get fixed, because of all the now much more extended damage to it. If you nip this in the bud and get your PS board taken care of before it causes any damage downline, your expenses will be minor. If you wait, chances they will be major and you may even lose your set.

The remedy is near complete resoldering of that PS board, to a professional grade level. Including the huge number of tiny pads in there, and without ever once creating even ONE solder bridge between 2 things that should NOT be touching each other, in the final product, no matter how close together 2 pads are to each other in there. It's very painstaking work.

You can get a new board for it, but your unit was set up using the original board, the one it came with. Voltage regulation only has to fit within certain parameters, and changes in it from one board to another can affect the precision of circuits downline from the PS board. So I recommend the resoldering of your original board over getting a new one in there. I actually have 3 original boards here right now, awaiting my loving attention. They are being sent to me from all over the continent. I resolder them, send them back, and they never have problems again. Others resolder just those joints that are now bad, and they have to deal with this all over again a year or 2 later, when new ones start to let go. My boards never need resoldering again, I have been doing this for years now, and am running at 100% repair rate.

If you are a professional grade soldering person, by all means do it yourself. Resolder everything in there that goes anywhere and connects to anything that was part of the original solder flow operation, whose connections will now be dull and lifless, where they should be shiny and gleaming, as they are in all the other boards in the unit. You can leave off resoldering heat sinks, test points and anything that was added later, with the good shiny solder, like the thick gray wires.

Everything that was part of the original solder flow op that has not been resoldered yet, needs to be resoldered. This will restore the board to the same level as all the other boards in there, NONE of which have ever had any of these intermittent connection problems.

This will restore stable operations from then on.

Feel free to send that board to me if you wish, and I will resolder it to 100% efficacy. If you want to do that, send me an email to my regular email address of bob at imageperfection dot com (sorry, spambot aversive). I will send you back an emailout with details.

If you get a local repair person to do it, chances are he will only solder the visibly bad joints. It will work, and for longer than any warranty period, but will eventually go out when new joints start to let go. He'll be in the clear because it didn't fail again within his warranty period, but you will be back where you started, minus his fee. Boards I resolder don't go out again, because of the comprehensiveness with which I do it. I KNOW what it needs, and won't allow anything less to be done to it than whatever it takes to FULLY restore it.

Mr Bob

PS - Many of the x20 series are having the same problems. If your board is vertically mounted to the bulkhead, it's the same board as used on the x10 series, and will have exactly the same problems, requiring exactly the same remedies.

Last edited by Mr Bob; 10-03-08 at 01:52 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-04-08, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Lorenzo, CA 94580
Posts: 106
Re: Pioneer 510/610/710 owners listen up! Intermittent ops?

This just came in over at the AVS thread, Problems with Pioneer Elite 510, about the same thing. Includes my answer -

taylor814 wrote: View Post
Hi Mr Bob
ANOTHER unit with the blue screen flashing problem.... What a relief to find this forum. Thanks to everyone who has added to it over the years.
I bought my PRO 510HD in January 2001. The first unit I received had "spots" showing on the screen. After the "factory authorized service tech" came out to look at it and almost took the cover off the back that holds the mirror...then proceeded to try cleaning the crt's and mirror (leaving lots of streaks to the mirror and who knows what scratches to the new crt lenses) advised me that he needed to replace one of the CRT's. Needless to say that was unacceptable to me (the set was 3 days old!) I called my dealer and firmly requested a new unit. New one showed up in a week.
For the most part this set had been great until a few days ago. (used average 10-15 hrs/wk).That's when the screen started to flash. So yesterday I started searching online and found this forum. Say no more.
I teach automotive at a community college. There is an electronics department that is always bugging me for car repairs, so its their turn now. I will pull the P/S board and get them to check/repair the solder connections. I can solder wiring but don't think I'll try this one.
On another note...
I got HD via satelite last year (Bell Expressvu PVR 9200- same as Direct TV I think) and the Display in 1080i Full seemed to be too tall. It was cutting the top off the screen. I called the Dealer because I had bought an extened warranty and it was still covered-just barely. They called the authorized service center who sent out the SAME GUY that I had years before.
He proceeded to adjust the Verticle size and left when it looked ok.
As soon as I switched to a DVD input (480p) the picture was horribly too wide.
Obviously changing the setting in 1080i affected the 480p. Turns out that the 1080i was a bit too wide as well.
Frustrated and lacking all confidence in the repair tech (the only one here in Victoria BC that works on Pioneer Elite) I was able to purchase the manuals and do adjustments myself. After recording the settings I played with the verticle & horizontal size, a bit with the horiz. phase and got it looking better in HD and 480i.
The end result is that in HD the screen outer edges are missing a small bit of picture (network logos, sports scores and such) but I can't seem to get it any better without causing another issue.
Is this common to these units? Looks like I might have to live with. Other than that I love the TV.

I would love to get an ISF Cal but unless you're taking a holiday up here some time.. Can you recommend anyone? Hard to find someone with the right experience to service these TV's.

Thanks again for all the info you have posted. I feel much better knowing I can get the screen flash fixed...
STOP USING YOUR SET NOW! ANYONE WHO'S SET IS IN THIS CONDITION, HAVING INTERMITTENT PROBLEMS, STOP USING YOUR SET NOW. This very minute, if it's on right now, turn it off and unplug it before you have a possibly catastrophic event, rather than just a "tickler" event, which is what usually preceeds a catastrophic event in this case. Shut it down and discontinue using it until fixed PROPERLY.

I have said many times on this thread that if you do continue to use the set for video viewing while in this intermittent-event condition, you're playing Russian Roulette with it. Those hinky connections generate spikes that have been known to take out boards downline from the PS board. They are like needed dental work - they are degenerative, and never get better on their own, only worse. One owner called me after having used his set many times after it started having problems, and now both the conv and defl boards had become damaged. He never fixed his set because the expense was now thru the roof for him. If your set is still at least running properly, I can save your PS board for minimal expenses if you send it to me right now, BEFORE continuing to use the set until something majorly bad happens to it.

And trusting a community college for the resoldering op is as bad as trusting a fully competent repair tech to know anything about the cleaning and calibration process. You already learned how much this repair guy knew about optics cleaning. You have now discovered how much he knows about overscan reduction. Are you really going to trust a community college for the resoldering op on your $5000 unit???

That said, the other problems you're currently experiencing are only to be expected on CRT tech. Reducing overscan ALWAYS hoses your picture before being redone back to its former coherency, and should be handled by someone highly experienced in that op, ideally to the tune of YEARS worth of tried and true experience.

Do NOT use that tech again. He's probably an excellent repair tech, but for the cleaning and calibration process, he obviously knows just enough to be dangerous. Even if it involves flying me to Victoria, don't use him again! My passport is ready, if you want to get it done right.

If you want to play with it with professional counseling and an expert's ear beside you, call me and set up a phone coaching appointment. They are emminently affordable when it's a $5000 set, and the response I have had from my participants on such calls has been over and above anything I would have ever imagined. At the very minimum, 100% positive.

Your set has not been hosed TOO much yet. But don't take any chances on unknown factors like local repair techs. They often do MUCH more harm than good, when it comes to anything related to calibration.

Do you realize that if he had successfully removed the upper-half slanted plastic rear of your set, your mirror would have slipped out of its slots in the bulkhead and taken a nose dive into your front screen sandwich, scoring it with gashes and possibly breaking the mirror, whose shards could have then indellibly scratched and scored your irrreplaceable lenses? I have seen that happen, and been called in for replacing the entire mirror and the scored screen, on a 710 years ago. I saw what an irresponsible mover did to a Sony's lenses, when something heavy dropped onto the slanted back of that set, breaking its mirror and sending shards down and into the lenses. It was not pretty.

PIONEER OWNERS, PLEASE LISTEN UP! Don't take these things lightly. You have a set most of you paid $5000 for. Treat it with the respect it deserves. Fly me in if you have to, either singly or with others to help defray the plane flight expenses.

But PLEASE get these things done right!

Mr Bob

Last edited by Mr Bob; 10-04-08 at 12:45 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-06-09, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Lorenzo, CA 94580
Posts: 106
Re: Pioneer 510/610/710 owners listen up! Intermittent ops?

Just to show what these sets are capable of -

This is from earlier this year: Screenshots from my latest out of town calibration, in Seattle, a Pioneer Elite 720 CRT. More later:

Read more: Not all Pioneer connection problems are solder-related. - Home Theater Systems - Electronics and Forum - HomeTheaterShack

Last edited by Mr Bob; 12-06-09 at 06:26 PM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-14-11, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Lorenzo, CA 94580
Posts: 106
Re: Pioneer 510/610/710 owners listen up! Intermittent ops?

Mr Bob wrote: View Post
These sets were manufactured with a design flaw that is only now coming to the surface.
Oops, there is a misprint here. There is no design flaw in this PS board. It is a PRODUCTION flaw. Not a design flaw. In fact, it's miraculous that these PS boards just keep on ticking, considering the punishment they take when parts of them are letting go, years down the line.

When resoldered correctly, they restore 100% reliable operations again, we never again have to worry about blue flashes, fluctuating brightness, intermittent ops or shutdowns. At least not from that board anyway. If it shuts down because the convergence ICs go out or because the deflection board goes out, oh well. That's rare but it happens. Fact is, the PS board never goes hinky again when resoldered correctly the first time.

I guaranty it. For the life of your set, if it ever has intermittent problems again because of cold solder joints on the PS board, I will take care of that situation again, no charge.

Not just for a year. For the life of your set.

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510/610/710 , listen , owners , pioneer

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