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I have a Harmon-Kardon theater AVR520. It irregularly shuts itself off. Over time it can loose station frequencies in memory. Replace CMOS?

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  • claurenc
    claurenc Aug 16, 2008

    I do not accept the first solution. Other suggestions?

  • claurenc
    claurenc Aug 18, 2008

    Thank you. Your analysis makes sense. Will look to see if can replace the CMOS chip. I have done reset by unplugging, and reset memory using two buttons on the console. Did not fix it.
    Cliff Laurence

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4 Answers

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  • Master
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U just give the miscroprossesor a lil reset follow me:

Yes, you can try to reset the microprocessor.

First, place the Master Power switch in the fully off position. For most models, this involves gently pressing the switch until it unlatches and the word "OFF" appears on the top of the switch.

Then unplug the power cord. Wait at least 30 minutes before plugging the cord back in and turning on the receiver (remember to place both the Master Power switch and the Standby/On switch in the "ON" position).

If the receiver still doesn't work correctly, try doing a software reset of the microprocessor. The procedure is different for each model, and can be found by downloading the owner's manual on the product page or support page for the model. The procedure is usually described toward the back of the manual on the same page as the troubleshooting guide. Bear in mind that the processor reset erases all of your configuration settings, and you will have to reenter them just as you did the first time you set up the receiver.

If your receiver is functioning correctly some of the time, or for some inputs or features only, we strongly recommend that you reread the owner's guide, especially the sections on first-time installation and system configuration. Many times it is possible to correct a problem simply by changing a setting in one of the receiver's menus.

If the Power Indicator remains red without changing to amber or green, this indicates that the receiver is in protection mode. Check your speaker wire connections to make sure no bare wires or strands are touching more than one terminal. If your speaker wires are okay, then your receiver needs to be brought to an authorized Harman Kardon service center

Posted on Aug 17, 2008

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  • Master
  • 6,966 Answers

Hi,

Based on your post, two concerns:

  • Auto Shutdown - To my knowledge, HKs are rated at 4 ~ 6 ohms speaker load. But based on experience, they are very picky on speaker impedance especially when driven above average volume setting. If it is a speaker mismatch, you could try another set of speakers rated at a higher impedance say 8 ohms. It is also possible to use lower impedance but must be wired in series to your current speakers (thereby resulting into a higher impedance). Alternately or additionally, you can try using an appropriately rated UPS or voltage regulator as those used in desktop PCs. This is meant to address a finicky power supply of the HKs;
  • Memory Loss - A common problem with most HK models. Unfortunately no known solution other than keep it plug in. With the UPS as above mentioned, might help likewise. (I am aware that the unit is supposed to keep its settings for a couple of weeks.) Am not sure if your particular model has a firmware upgrade feature though, which if it has might just be a possibility.
Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards. Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Aug 17, 2008

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  • Master
  • 624 Answers

Sometimes a factory reset can solve unusual problems.
Here is the procedure from the service manual. Try this and see if it is helpful. If not, you have problems that will require getting the unit serviced unless you are a good electronic troubleshooter and have the proper tools. If that is the case, I can email you the service manual and the service update for this model that would require a modification for some intermittent audio problems this model is known to have by Harman Kardon. I work at an authorized Harman Kardon service center and have all the service data available for this model.

Here is the reset procedure:

To reset back to factory specs, first unplug the unit
from the AC wall outlet and wait at least three
minutes. After the pause, reconnect the AC
power cord and check the unit’s operation. If
the system still malfunctions, a system reset
may clear the problem.
To clear the AVR 520’s entire system memory
including tuner presets, output level settings,
delay times and speaker configuration data,
first put the unit in Standby by pressing the
System Power Control button. Next,
press and hold the Tone Mode and the
FM Mode Selector buttons and hold all three for three
seconds.
The unit will turn on automatically and display
the RESET message in the Main
Information Display Y. Note that once you
have cleared the memory in this manner, it is
necessary to reestablish all system configuration
settings and tuner presets.
NOTE: Resetting the processor will erase any
configuration settings you have made for
speakers, output levels, surround modes, digital
input assignments as well as the tuner presets.
After a reset the unit will be returned to the
factory presets, and all settings for these items
must be reentered.
If the system is still operating incorrectly, there
may have been an electronic discharge or
severe AC line interference that has corrupted
the memory or microprocessor.
If these steps do not solve the problem, consult
an authorized Harman Kardon service depot.

You may not like this solution, but it is a very common problem for all types of electronic equipment and is more of a problem with equipment that generates a lot of heat (like amplifiers do)

Having bad solder connections on and around the microprocessor and the amplifiers circuit would cause this type of problem. After a few years of use the solder connections can get heat stressed and get ring cracks on them. This would explain the irregular operation.

I have been repairing home theater receivers since they started making them and have seen this problem on many occasions.

Look at the circuit boards and see if the solder is anything but shiny silver color. If they look dingy or clouded, or have a ring around the area where a component lead is soldered, you would need them to be resoldered. If you have a soldering iron and have decent soldering skills this can be fixed very easy. The hardest part is getting to the solder side of the boards. Just a touch of new solder is enough to make them as good as new again.

The AVR520 is not a newer model, in fact I think it is over 5 years old, maybe closer to 10. That would also make the case for having bad solder connections a valid solution.

Let me know if you need any more help from me by addressing any post you make directly to me, otherwise I will assume that you are not interested in getting help from me and will not bother you with information you may not be interested in.

Good luck and I hope you get your problem fixed,

Dave

Posted on Aug 17, 2008

  • Dave DeGain
    Dave DeGain Aug 17, 2008

    There is a type-O in the reset procedure, where is says "hold all three for three seconds" it should read "hold for three seconds". I am sorry about the type-O

    Dave


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  • Master
  • 10,594 Answers

I think it has dry solder joints in power supply or amplifier area. No need to replace any CMOS ICs. Please check above said areas.

Posted on Aug 16, 2008

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