Archive for the 'Repairs' Category

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Marantz Fixed

After scratching my head over the broken Marantz I finally determined a cause of death.

Some friendly folks at diyaudio.com brought to my attention that the failure I experienced could have been caused if the speaker outputs were crossed, thus overloading the Darrington transistors.

Thinking back to the day it happened I had pulled out the receiver earlier in the day to hook up a Sega Saturn (which only produces stereo sound. eg: no center channel used) after playing that for a while the system was shut off. We returned hours later intending to play Xbox 360 (which is setup for surround sound. eg: center channel is used) and when the system was switched to the surround input by the harmony remote moments after being powered on is when it sparked an popped.

The crossed speaker wire theory fits because a few stray strands could have easily been grounded to the chassis or the other side of the speaker output when I pulled it out for use with the Saturn and then that channel wasn’t used until hours later when it popped.

Also there is no indication of any other component in the unit failing. Having 6 identical amplification circuits I was able to test  the dead circuit agains the working ones and aside from the part that blew everything checked out ok.

After researching parts I found that the transistor that blew is discontinued… replacing it would cost me $10 worth of parts + $8 shipping. that and I was a bit worried that maybe I was missing something and the next time I powered it up it would pop.

I decided to simply reconfigure the amp internally. Since it’s a 6.1 Receiver and I never use the Rear Center channel I basically just re-pinned the amp connector to use the rear center channel amp for the Front Center channel. then I removed a few other key component from the original Front Center Channel to ensure that it wouldn’t receiver power.

After putting it back together and testing it works great… just as it always has.

Since I’ve got a new receiver now I’ll be selling off the old one… I’ve got all of the original accessories, manual, even the original box it came in. I figure considering it’s age and what happened I’d probably let it go for $120 or so.

Marantz SR6200 Marantz SR6200 Marantz SR6200

I’m also going to get rid of the two Component Video/Optical switches I’ve got as well as the HDMI switch I’ve got and I’m thinking about selling off my PS1 and Gamecube as well since I don’t use either anymore.

Crash and Burn… Litterally

So Wednesday night my desktop locked up, which was quite unusual, then it was running slow so I shut it down and it never came back up. It wasn’t until Thursday night that I was able to determine that the Windows Partition of my primary hard drive had crashed. Somehow the formatting had become currupted such that the PC could see the drive but had no idea what was on it, or how things were stored.

My brother had dropped off his PC, which wasn’t working right, so I spent time fixing his (which turned out to be driver incompatability issues… this is the third time this year where I’ve seen windows update upgrade drivers to new versions that don’t work… yay). Once that was squared away I got to work on building another PC from scratch so that I could not only get back online but use it as a tool to help recover (or at least determine the extent of damage to) my crashed hard drive.

I spent most of my day on Saturday working on this… Saturday night however my Marantz SR6200 decided to catch fire… this was turning out to be an expensive weekend. Thankfully shortly after the fire I was able to finish diagnostics on the crahsed hard drive and repaired the borked formatting…

Saturday night this is how my office looked:

My Desk Saturday Night

From left to right: an Xbox I just finished fixing, my post fire SR6200, the PC I threw together, and my desktop with it’s hard drives pulled out the side.

The desktop is running well enough to get my files backedup but in general it’s acting like it’s got brain damage, some programs just flat out wont run, others will run for a while and then just stop working, and it’s a whole lot slower than it was before. I’ve got everything backed up now and a new hard drive on order. In the mean time I’m using the piece-built PC, it’s only a P3 700MHz but it gets the job done.

While finding the source of the fire in the Marantz wasn’t easy, it became pretty clear once I unbolted the amplifier board…

Burnt out Marantz SR6200 Burnt out Marantz SR6200 Burnt out Marantz SR6200 Burnt out Marantz SR6200

It looks like a major transistor failed. The part was an SAP16 NPN 1413 Darlington transistor made by Sanken Electric. I found replacements online for $2 a piece. Hopefully nothing else was damaged and the receiver will be back up and running with a fresh replacement.

Even if I do get it running again I’ll probably just sell it and buy a new Receiver. I’ve been shopping around online and a comparable replacement is in the realm of $1200 new… that’s with similar power and audio quality in addition to new features like support for HDMI 1.3a and HD audio formats.

I’m looking heavily at the Marantz SR6003 or SR7002 to replace this receiver, if anyone has any suggestions let me know.

Evapo-Rust Mini Review

So I had these bolts and eccentric washers that I took off my car and replaced and really I didn’t even need to. The old ones were coated in surface rust so I decided to try some stuff to take it off.

I had read a few raving reviews about Evapo-Rust and seen some videos so I decided to give it a shot. The stuff looks like anti-freeze but it feels slippery like dish-soap on your fingers. It’s pretty expensive too this bottle cost just under $9 and it was barely enough to do the hardware I was cleaning. Though it’s supposedly reusable so I dumped it back in the bottle once I was done.

Here’s a picture of my hardware beforeI did anything.

 Evaorust Test Evaporust Test

Notice there is both surface rust as wella as this thick black stuff. That thick black stuff is rubberized undercoating because the previous owner of the car had it coated to prevent rusting and it got on some of the bolts. It looks really nasty but it doesn’t harm anything. Apparently Evapo-Rust doesn’t harm plastic or rubber so I went into this assuming that it would leave theundercoating stuff (which kind of sucks becaus it looks ugly).

I dumped the whole bottle of of the stuff in the bottom of a cut-up water jug and just dumped all my hardware in there. Supposidly it does it’s work in a matter of minutes but I was on my way out so i just left it for the night.

Evaporust Test

The next morning after rincing off the hardware it looked like this:

Evaporust Test  Evaporust Test

 Some patches of rust still remained but it was mostly cosmetic as the parts were all smooth to the touch. As suspected the undercoated parts were still narly. I decided to try a 2nd application to see if it could get rid of the rest of the crap to make them completely clean.

 Evaporust Test Evaporust Test

 I’m pretty happy with the outcome, if I want to remove the undercoated parts I’ll have to use paint stripper or a wire brush but on a whole the Evapo-Rust did it’s job. $9 might be a bit much but considering that all of this hardware NEW from Nissan cost nearly $100 to replace, I’m fairly certain that next time I take off some bolts I’ll clean them with this stuff before deciding to replace them. At least now the parts are clean enough that I’ll be able more easily sell them and recoup some of the money I spent on the new parts.

Refinish Restorer

After getting harassed by a co-worker for having ugly faded plastic cladding on my Vehicross, I finally got around to trying out the Refinish Restorer product I imported from Germany. I am so incredibly happy with the results, you have no idea.

BEFORE – AFTER

1999 Isuzu VehiCROSS Clear turn Signals, Nitto Terra Grapplers Vehicross with Refinish Restorer

Fixed Simon

Rudy found an old Simon game from 1986 (the date on the box) that wasn’t working…

 Simon 1986 Simon 1986

 I cracked it open…

 Simon 1986 Simon 1986

…and fixed it up!

Simon 1986 Simon 1986

then I “tested” it for about an hour.

Cleaning up the Vehicross

So yesterday I registered, the Vehicross, after which I had the oil changed with a full synthetic and had the coolant flushed and replaced, and changed the air filter.

Today I spent some time cleaning up the cloudy headlights…

Ugly Cloudy Yellow Vehicross Headlights YUCK!

Ugly Cloudy Yellow Vehicross Headlights Half Done!

Vehicross Headlights All Done… it looks like new