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  1. Member
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    I am a self-confessed newbie in the sense that I have a Pioneer DVR-510H - which up until recently seemed to operate just fine for several years.

    Lately, I am getting erratic error messages if I try to move recorded material from the harddrive to a (DVD)disk. If I try to perform a quick copy without editing the writer will make noise and then say unable to complete. If I try to use the same disk to write at 1-1 speed, I have received different errors including "unable to repair disk" and "unable to complete.

    I am able to read disks on the same DVR, so I do not think the laser is out and I have carefully cleaned the entire machine to insure it is not a dirt on the lens issue. The fan is working and the machine does not appear to suffer heat related problems. Unfortunately, recording from the HD to the DVD is a virtual crapshoot in that I have been able to record one out of the 13 disks that I recently tried. And if it matters, I have tried three different brands of blank media, so I do not think it is a media problem.

    If I did not know any better, I would just as soon swap out dvd burners. Because this drive is evidently proprietary, and/or requires some type of special format disk, maybe it is more trouble than it is worth and I should abandon my efforts.

    I did search the archives and found inconsistent opinions regarding the need for a format disk when going to a larger harddrive. Here I just want a working pioneer dvd read-writer.
    If anyone has any suggestions other than the obvious (scrap yard), I am all eyes and ears. As an afterthought, maybe someone can point me in the direction of finding a used dvd burner.

    Thank you in advance.
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  2. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hobo
    I am a self-confessed newbie in the sense that I have a Pioneer DVR-510H - which up until recently seemed to operate just fine for several years.

    Lately, I am getting erratic error messages if I try to move recorded material from the harddrive to a (DVD)disk. If I try to perform a quick copy without editing the writer will make noise and then say unable to complete. If I try to use the same disk to write at 1-1 speed, I have received different errors including "unable to repair disk" and "unable to complete.

    I am able to read disks on the same DVR, so I do not think the laser is out and I have carefully cleaned the entire machine to insure it is not a dirt on the lens issue. The fan is working and the machine does not appear to suffer heat related problems. Unfortunately, recording from the HD to the DVD is a virtual crapshoot in that I have been able to record one out of the 13 disks that I recently tried. And if it matters, I have tried three different brands of blank media, so I do not think it is a media problem.

    If I did not know any better, I would just as soon swap out dvd burners. Because this drive is evidently proprietary, and/or requires some type of special format disk, maybe it is more trouble than it is worth and I should abandon my efforts.

    I did search the archives and found inconsistent opinions regarding the need for a format disk when going to a larger harddrive. Here I just want a working pioneer dvd read-writer.
    If anyone has any suggestions other than the obvious (scrap yard), I am all eyes and ears. As an afterthought, maybe someone can point me in the direction of finding a used dvd burner.

    Thank you in advance.
    I am not familiar with the 510, but I do have a 520, and it would seem yours was the nearest prior model ? Anyway, there are some very lengthy discussions here (one for the 520 is now over 24 pages) on the subject of replacing the burner or the HDD in these Pioneer models. I recall a similar thread here on the 510. The 520 is certainly a model sufficiently well thought of as to be worth going to some trouble to repair. Very possibly your model is also.

    If you have any trouble coming up with the URLs for these earlier forum threads, let us know. Between those and what is available on Hkan's Pioneerfaq.info site, I think nearly all of the common problems and suggested solution details have been covered. The first thing to find out is what model of burner your model uses. We know, for example, that the 520 used a Pioneer A07 / 107 burner, which is somewhat difficult to find these days . . . but at least it is replaceable, apparently in sharp contrast to the more recent Pio DVDR models. No idea what the 510 used. In regard to a possibly failing burner, I think (but am not positive) that the burning function would go out sooner than the reading capability -- perhaps due to laser power requirements ? If I am right in that supposition, it would not be inconsistent with the symptoms you report. Also, in regard to media, I don't think you can rule that factor out until you have tried TYG02 (Taiyo Yuden 8x -R discs). The 520 much prefers the 8x discs, which may also hold for your model, and I don't think you can find any other quality 8x blanks at this juncture.
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47
    I am not familiar with the 510, but I do have a 520, and it would seem yours was the nearest prior model ? Anyway, there are some very lengthy discussions here (one for the 520 is now over 24 pages) on the subject of replacing the burner or the HDD in these Pioneer models. I recall a similar thread here on the 510. The 520 is certainly a model sufficiently well thought of as to be worth going to some trouble to repair. Very possibly your model is also.

    If you have any trouble coming up with the URLs for these earlier forum threads, let us know. Between those and what is available on Hkan's Pioneerfaq.info site, I think nearly all of the common problems and suggested solution details have been covered. The first thing to find out is what model of burner your model uses. We know, for example, that the 520 used a Pioneer A07 / 107 burner, which is somewhat difficult to find these days . . . but at least it is replaceable, apparently in sharp contrast to the more recent Pio DVDR models. No idea what the 510 used. In regard to a possibly failing burner, I think (but am not positive) that the burning function would go out sooner than the reading capability -- perhaps due to laser power requirements ? If I am right in that supposition, it would not be inconsistent with the symptoms you report. Also, in regard to media, I don't think you can rule that factor out until you have tried TYG02 (Taiyo Yuden 8x -R discs). The 520 much prefers the 8x discs, which may also hold for your model, and I don't think you can find any other quality 8x blanks at this juncture.
    Thanks for your prompt reply. I had no problem searching the archives regarding this model and your 520 model. I also noticed a variety of opinions as to what works and what does not. I was unable to find anything definitive on the subject and given the age of some of the posts, the DVD writers/burner advice may be somewhat moot.

    If, for example, I knew that a given burner/writer would work, I would have bought it by now and installed it. In my case I even tried using older disks (4X) to see if it was a compatibility issue. It isn't.

    I also read another poster stated Pioneer advised a proprietary formatting disk is required even if you are installing a burner rather than a hard drive. I suppose if nothing else is definitively offered, I may try taking a TIVO harddrive and trying to adapt it to the Pioneer Unit, but that was not my original intention. Until recently, I thought the Pioneer format was superior to the few I have tried and wanted to keep using it.

    Again, if someone could suggest a plug and play DVD reader/burner make, model etc., that is what I am looking for. If there is an obvious fix, well so much the better. In the past, with most computer equipment, I have been lucky enough to replace the equipment prior to any hardware failures.

    Thank you again.
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  4. Member rhegedus's Avatar
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    Try cleaning the lens - worked for me.
    Regards,

    Rob
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  5. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hobo
    If, for example, I knew that a given burner/writer would work, I would have bought it by now and installed it. In my case I even tried using older disks (4X) to see if it was a compatibility issue. It isn't.

    I also read another poster stated Pioneer advised a proprietary formatting disk is required even if you are installing a burner rather than a hard drive.
    That was my understanding also. But first would come identifying the burner model. The most drastic solution would be to open the case and take a good look. Before I would try that, I'd ask Hkan if he knows, or do a Google search on the order of

    "Pioneer"+"510"+burner

    and variations thereof. It may also be worth doing research on AVSforum, where Sean, Wabjxo, and others may have something to add.

    In any event, if lens cleaning is not the answer and the burner really must be replaced, there won't be any fix that is quick or easy. Finding the right model of burner used or surplus will take persistence. Even if you had it, the replacement procedure has a few steps and has been described as convoluted. Whether this is worth the effort is a judgment call. I already made that call for the 520, salting away the various items and spares I will be needing.

    Good luck.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  6. Your Pioneer 510 uses a standard off-the-shelf Pioneer 106 (aka A06) burner with a specially modified controller board. The bad news is these are difficult or impossible to find anymore. The good news is the 510 will accept any later Pioneer drive you can fit into it, as long as that drive has the special controller board. You can usually pick up a used Pioneer 220 or 225 on eBay for well under $100, you can remove the 107/A07 specialty burner from one of those and put it in your 510 (the chassis screwholes are in slightly different places so you need to play with it for a good fit). Note you will still need a Pioneer Service Disc and Pioneer Service Remote to make the 510 accept any replacement drive you install. The service disc can be obtained with assistance from Pioneerfaq, the service remote codes can be downloaded onto a Harmony or Phillips Programmable Remote or a Palm Pilot.

    Note that prices of a Pioneer 220 or 225 with a WORKING burner vary week to week with demand as people need them to do this "transplant". These are very common units, if the bidding goes too high on one just wait a week for the next listing to appear with less competition. Another alternative, if you're adventurous, is to find an old but still working 106/A06 and just swap its attached controller board with the one from your dying 510 burner. Same goes if you can find a working 107/A07 computer burner: you can swap its controller board with one from the burner in a used 220/225, even one whose burner doesn't work anymore. The point is to meld a working burner mechanism with the matching special controller board to create a complete replacement drive for your 510.

    For those who wonder why anyone would go to this trouble to restore a 4 year old Pioneer 510, the reason is this model has a couple of long-discontinued but still useful specialty features: it lets you mark custom chapter points using a button on the remote during normal viewing of a program on its hard drive (no subscreen or menu action is necessary), and its DV-Firewire port is of the rare bidirectional variety allowing transfer to AND from this DVD recorder to a camcorder or PC.
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  7. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Glad you turned up here, Orsetto. I had forgotten -- but was just about to add to the post above -- that you seem to have more actual hands-on experience salvaging models like these than most of us. (I do recall a specific post here about burner replacement -- by someone else who had done it successfully -- which went into the finer details of this.)

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    For those who wonder why anyone would go to this trouble to restore a 4 year old Pioneer 510, the reason is this model has a couple of long-discontinued but still useful specialty features: it lets you mark custom chapter points using a button on the remote during normal viewing of a program on its hard drive (no subscreen or menu action is necessary), and its DV-Firewire port is of the rare bidirectional variety allowing transfer to AND from this DVD recorder to a camcorder or PC.
    I suspected that there must be some desirable, distinguishing feature about this model, much as you pointed out other unique attributes for the 520 and 633. Let me mention also that there are ways and there are ways . . . and sometimes ways you might not have anticipated. In some prior post here, I mentioned seeing -- within a one week span -- Ebay auctions for two DVD duplicators that each had at least 5 107s inside. I almost bid on one of these auctions, which did not close at ridiculous prices. The bad news is that one would expect the burners in such a commercial unit to not have low mileage on them. The good news is you would have gotten 5 or more chances, and from all that should have been able to significantly extend the useful life of a 520.

    It so happens that I recently discovered an old A06 in a closet. I happen to have a short term use in mind for it, and reckon that it should have perhaps half of its service life remaining. (On the other hand, I'm still running an old 108 in one computer, which has seen way heavier use than that A06 ever did, and is still going strong, so it can be hard to predict.) I did not know that you could put a later model burner in the 510. Interesting. But you might run into some DVDR firmware issues ? I mean, no way is a 510 or 520 -- or anything prior to the 633 -- going to have write solutions for DL media. And probably not for 16x media, either. I know that when I've used Verbatim 16x in the 520, it winds up doing perhaps 4x on a "high speed" burn, and takes much longer, whereas the TY 8x fires up and gets down to business quickly.
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    Thank you for all replies.

    Again, everything seems to work on the unit except I am now unable to record at all to a dvd - which sort of defeats the purpose of the machine. The harddrive works fine and even at the slower speeds offers a remarkably decent picture on a smaller plasma screen. First I was getting some erratic errors when trying to burn to a disk. "Cannot copy" "copy error" and the like. I tried different media and it did not seem to make any difference. I tried tilting the machine and also letting it cool down with the power cord disconnected and then I was able to record 2 disks. On the third try, I was back to errors. Now, even when I try to record at 1-1 speed the picture on the harddrive (source) hangs, nothing happens on the counter and then a message is given "repairing disk" followed by the machine shutting down or by a message "cannot repair disk." This is for new media as well as partially burned disks. (I have tried most anything thinking maybe I have crappy media - but I have tried everything from Playo to Sony to Maxcell to JVC 8X to 16X without any success. These are all disks of the type that I never had any previous problems.)

    After reading the various posts here and posts of related links regarding this machine I opened the 510 up and found that I do indeed have a DVR-106-XA pioneer reader/burner. I blew out the dust (wasn't that much) and ran one of those cd cleaners (with the cleaner and the eyebrow). It did not make any difference. I took the dvd and plugged it into an old computer and it played a sample cd and dvd fine. It also played un-finalized disks too.

    Does this mean the laser and thus the player unit is fine??? Does this indicate something other that the burner, e.g., the main/motherboard, or a controller card (similar to the type that seems to be a part of the 40 pin ide cable that connects to the 106 unit - is BAD? I am embarrassed to mention this, but in my haste, I cannot recall if I tried to record with the unit, although I may have done so. In any even, the device would record sporadically within the past week, but so far as I am aware, the device has no problems reading.

    I may be able to get a hold of a DVR-106-XA for testing purposes. Would I still need to format the entire system with the firmware you folks refer to, or is this simple plug and play? If it is plug and play, are there any other units I might try so as to eliminate the DVD recorder as the source of any problems?

    An off-the-wall thought that someone else privately offered: Will another hard drive fit and work instead of the DVD unit? Sounds bizarre, but I have to ask since my neighbor thinks this is feasible. He is the one that thinks he has a 106 unit that functions. I am fearful of trying his unit for fear of being blamed if it stops working.

    I do not have a repair manual for the unit and I am not aware of a "sams" manual, but maybe someone has posted a general troubleshooting checklist or guide for this or this type of unit. A site or link would be appreciated. One last thing. I threw a lot of things in this post because my access to the net is very limited at present. So if you good people don't mind, give me as much information as you can.

    Thank you again.
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  9. hobo,

    Only Pioneer drives will work in a Pioneer dvr, and ONLY if they fit the chassis and you have the matching dvr-spec controller board for that drive. I have repaired DVR-510 recorders using the 106/A06, 107/A07, and 109/A09 Pioneer computer drives but again, I cannot state this more plainly, you MUST harvest and swap the matching controller board from a dying Pioneer dvr-spec burner or the drive will not work at all. It is also an absolute requirement that you register the new drive to the recorder using the Pioneer service disc/service remote dance.

    There is only a TINY bit of wiggle room depending on the production run of your Pio DVR: you can sometimes avoid the service remote and disc requirement if you recycle the controller board from your dead 106 by installing it in a replacement 106. Some Pio 510s (but not all) will recognize the old board and assume you put the same drive back in.

    Although it was made to use a 106 burner, the Pio 510 will accept a functioning burner harvested from a 220/225/320/420/520 (107) or a 531, 533,633 (109). Good luck!
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    Followup. I tried my friend's drive and damned if it did not work on the first try. However, the drive is absolutely filthy and it is extremely noisy telling me its life expectancy is questionable. I can try to use it, but what do you folks recommend regarding cleaning? Do I take the entire drive apart and cotton swab it? Or do I just go with the cleaning disk and keep my fingers crossed?

    Regarding the controller board on the drive itself. If I remove the board from the sick drive, will it fit on the other models you mentioned? Would I still have to re-address the system if the "old" controller board were to be used?

    In the meantime, I may disassemble the original drive and see if there is something obviously wrong, e.g., a hummingbird nest or banana leaves in the wrong place.

    Because my friend has bugged me about this, I have to ask one more time, is it in any way feasible to connect a harddrive to the cables instead of the DVD R? I have to assume the answer is no since everything is designed to handshake with the motherboard, but maybe someone has actually tried this. Friend claims he has seem someone piggy back two harddrives set to Cable select instead of one harddrive.
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  11. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Note you will still need a Pioneer Service Disc and Pioneer Service Remote to make the 510 accept any replacement drive you install. The service disc can be obtained with assistance from Pioneerfaq, the service remote codes can be downloaded onto a Harmony or Phillips Programmable Remote or a Palm Pilot.
    Hi Orsetto,

    I've already taken care of the Service Discs and Service Manuals -- for the models 520 & 640 -- and hoped I could cut to the chase by getting a Harmony remote (which I've now also done) and just pointing it at their online database, in which I had read that the Pioneer Service Remotes were included. I thought I had bookmarked a direct link for this from a message thread, either here or on AVS, but I can't find any trace of it now. I'm going to call the Harmony division of Logitech, but have this sinking feeling that they're going to reply, "Service Remotes ? Say WHAT ??"

    Have I been mistaken about this all along, and the Harmony can only be programmed manually, using one of those Pronto, Omni, or CCF files ? I've got a collection of those files, but how would I go about doing this ? I'd hate to think it was a waste getting that Harmony. This is the main reason I got it -- no problem here juggling the regular device remotes.

    EDIT: Sean Nelson recently wrote that he bought his Pioneer service remote in Canada, where they apparently are willing to sell them directly to the general public.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  12. Hey There, seeker47!

    I found the post you were thinking of: the info came from Hakan (who else ?) on December 5, 2006, its on page 23 of the thread titled "Hard Drive upgrade for Pioneer DVR-520H" (sorry I forget how to embed actual links in my posts, here is a copy and paste of Hakan's tip):

    "If you have a Logitech Harmony Remote , you can now download the Pioneer Service Remote Control at theire web site: http://www.logitech.com/harmony.

    You find it the global database. (Manufacturer: Pioneer.....Model:GGF1381 under the 'DVD Recorder' device type category). "
    I too heard about Sean Nelson and the new Canadian Pioneer Service Remote, which is a different model but apparently much the same thing. The problem with the "real" service remote is it runs approx $60 to buy which is a bit steep for a remote you will use just once every couple of years. Keep trying with the Harmony. Good luck!
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    I'm wondering, since the 510 is a 2004 model, if the FW has the Write Strategy for the disc you might be using now, 4 years later. If 1-16X, the 510 may not like them... each time you load a blank disc, the FW does 15 Power Calibration tests to determine optimum laser power and speed settings for that media. If your FW isn't "up to speed," so to speak, maybe it's saying it can't determine the correct settings to burn this disc???

    Have you tried some slow DVD-RWs, which really haven't changed as much as -Rs? If it writes OK to a slow -RW, that might be a clue?

    I don't think anyone's mentioned the possibility of a FW update, many updates are related to just that issue -- new DVD media and speeds... maybe something to try???
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  14. waxjbo brings up a good point: the Pioneer DVR-510 is a 2004 model and will naturally be incompatible with some of the newest 16x blank media. Pioneers are at least predictable in their response to a disk they can't burn: usually they will simply fail to recognize the disk or will spit it out immediately (this happens on my own 510 if I insert recent Verbatim DVD-R discs of the "MAP6" production line). My DVR-510 works well with 8x TY and 16x Sony Taiwan DVD-R discs, it has issues with most others on the current market: Verbatims are variable depending on the factory that made them, and discs made by CMC are also a crapshoot i.e. my 510 will burn most Magnavox, some Staples but no TDKs even though all of these identify as "CMC Mag.AM3".

    All that aside, the burners in the 510-520-530 series historically do not have long life expectancies- they usually begin acting up within 14 months of new and burner failure seems completely unrelated to how many discs have been burned (I have repaired 520 and 531 units that haven't burned more than a dozen discs in two years, and others that burned a thousand in the same time period). The fact that your DVR-510 lasted almost four years before showing signs of age is pretty amazing! Respect its performance by giving it a new burner.

    Regarding your friend's wish to replace the burner with an extra hard drive: this will most likely not work. A DVR is not multi-function like a computer: it is a dedicated hard-wired device. The 510 expects to find a burner attached to that particular connection with a specific DRM firmware board. If you manage to connect a hard disk instead, the unit will likely either not recognize it at all, have limited functionality, or crash completely. If your friend doesn't care if the unit is rendered unusable, it could be an interesting experiment especially if you succeed. But it seems kind of pointless to have a HDD-only recorder that is not integrated into your cable/satellite service?
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  15. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    [quote="orsetto"]
    [I found the post you were thinking of: the info came from Hakan (who else ?) on December 5, 2006, its on page 23 of the thread titled "Hard Drive upgrade for Pioneer DVR-520H" (sorry I forget how to embed actual links in my posts, here is a copy and paste of Hakan's tip):

    "If you have a Logitech Harmony Remote , you can now download the Pioneer Service Remote Control at theire web site: http://www.logitech.com/harmony.

    You find it the global database. (Manufacturer: Pioneer.....Model:GGF1381 under the 'DVD Recorder' device type category). "
    Thanks for filling in the blanks on that, and the other replies. Having installed the Harmony software, and looking through the devices they list, I'd have to conclude this is no longer the case. Which is not to say he did not see it at some previous time. Many of us have had the experience where the support branch of a company directs us to some ftp directory that the general public never gets to see, where special or unexpected items can be downloaded. But I don't see anything like this publicly available from them at this time.

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    I too heard about Sean Nelson and the new Canadian Pioneer Service Remote, which is a different model but apparently much the same thing.
    Despite the service remote model changes, is it likely that one service remote covers all of the DVDR models Pioneer has released -- or at least all of the N. American models -- all obeying the same set of codes ? That would seem to be a more economical way for them to have done it.

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Pioneers are at least predictable in their response to a disk they can't burn: usually they will simply fail to recognize the disk or will spit it out immediately (this happens on my own 510 if I insert recent Verbatim DVD-R discs of the "MAP6" production line). My DVR-510 works well with 8x TY and 16x Sony Taiwan DVD-R discs, it has issues with most others on the current market: Verbatims are variable depending on the factory that made them, and discs made by CMC are also a crapshoot i.e. my 510 will burn most Magnavox, some Staples but no TDKs even though all of these identify as "CMC Mag.AM3".
    My experience with the 520 has been somewhat different. I don't recall if it ever spit out any blanks -- other than a +R I might have put in by mistake, early on -- but I almost never offered it any "junk" media. What I found is that with later discs, like the Verb 16x, it just did not have a write strategy for it, so it dropped down to what I take to be a fallback default of 4x writes -- or maybe even slower. The burn and the finalization took way longer, but they happened. A later model like the 640 seems to be tuned for 16x SL media, although the DLs are still very long a' burnin'.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  16. I do not understand comments that a 16x disk will or may not work in older machines.
    I have a Ilo R04 [liteon] with an original DDW 451s drive. A Iltteon 5005 with an original DDW 813s drive. Both are 4 years old and had the 4-yr. old firmware installed.
    A friend has a Pioneer DVR-510 that is 4 yr. old and has the original drive and firmware.
    The liteon/ilo units burn at 1x and copy at 4x I believe that the pioneer is similar.

    All the liteon/ilo machines using any firmware, or the Pioneer, with the old original firmware, will play, burn, copy a 16x disk without problems. Thatís for Verbatim, Maxell, Memorex, TY, etc. +/- R or +/-RW

    Many of the original drives, themselves , used in the liteon standalones were known to have problems and were replaced
    My 5045 and RHD04 units have replaced PC drives because the originals were a problem with any speed or make of disk. The Pioneer is working fine, should it fail my friend has, in reserve. a replacement drive purchased some 2 years ago,

    I wonder if Haken or trhouse would comment on this issue
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  17. Originally Posted by Seeker47

    Despite the service remote model changes, is it likely that one service remote covers all of the DVDR models Pioneer has released -- or at least all of the N. American models -- all obeying the same set of codes ? That would seem to be a more economical way for them to have done it.
    They change the appearance and style but the functions seem to stay the same. There is a new one every few years: the first was based on a LaserDisc remote, the second on a DVD player remote. I haven't seen the new third-generation service remote released last year in Canada.

    Originally Posted by seeker47
    What I found is that with later discs, like the Verb 16x, it just did not have a write strategy for it, so it dropped down to what I take to be a fallback default of 4x writes -- or maybe even slower. The burn and the finalization took way longer, but they happened. A later model like the 640 seems to be tuned for 16x SL media, although the DLs are still very long a' burnin'.
    My experience with the 510, 520, and 531 models has been pretty consistent: if the recorder can burn the disc at all it figures out a write strategy very quickly, even the slower default strategy. If it doesn't like the disc, it spins it so fast it sounds like a hair dryer, then stops, repeats this spin cycle three more times and then finally spits out the disc or flashes an ERR signal on the display. So now I stock up on what works for me: TY 8x and Sony Taiwan 16x DVD-R seems to be compatible across the board with all the machines I try them in. In an emergency I'll try whatevers handy at retail, most of which is CMC.AM3 oem these days, these give me a 60% failure rate on older hardware but eventually I can get a disc or two to burn. Later when I replenish my stock of "good" discs I make a backup copy of anything important.
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    Hi seeker47 and orsetto, skimmed thru posts very quickly...if issue is whether you can download codes for Pioneer service remote to Harmony remote, the answer is yes. I last did it in November 2007 for a relative's Harmony 880. On the Harmony member's web site (http://members.harmonyremote.com), add the "device" "Pioneer DVD Recorder GGV1381". Then set up an activity (e.g., "Pioneer Service"), then update your Harmony remote. These codes from Harmony work for the Pioneer 530H and 2007 models, so probably all prior models. r/james
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  19. Thanks, james10s! Good to know the Harmony solution is still available.

    Just to clarify, all of the three known versions of the Pioneer service remote are compatible with all Pioneer DVD recorders sold to date. It is possible certain obscure diagnostic features for newer DVRs would require the newer remotes but this is highly unlikely, given that the most recent service remote was released many months after the newest Pioneer DVRs came to market. In any case, the small subset of button codes necessary to replace the HDD or burner in a Pioneer DVR are standard across the board.
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  20. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by james10s
    Hi seeker47 and orsetto, skimmed thru posts very quickly...if issue is whether you can download codes for Pioneer service remote to Harmony remote, the answer is yes. I last did it in November 2007 for a relative's Harmony 880. On the Harmony member's web site (http://members.harmonyremote.com), add the "device" "Pioneer DVD Recorder GGV1381". Then set up an activity (e.g., "Pioneer Service"), then update your Harmony remote. These codes from Harmony work for the Pioneer 530H and 2007 models, so probably all prior models. r/james
    Thanks for this info (!), james10s -- I'll check it out. Sounds like this is in & from a "User Supplied" section, rather than anything officially made available by Harmony ? But so long as it is exactly what you would get from a real 1381, I don't suppose it matters.
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    We Used to have the very same problem with our model too. It uaed to copy to all popular brands. Then it would 0nly copy to Fujitsu branded Dvd's and that only part of the time. IT used to be able to fit 4 hours or more at on one disc as well, but stopped doing even that. Until recently we had never tried Sony branded DVD-R'S/RW'S. We don't know why but now whenever we use SONY it never fails or at least has yet to fail.
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  22. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by james10s
    Hi seeker47 and orsetto, skimmed thru posts very quickly...if issue is whether you can download codes for Pioneer service remote to Harmony remote, the answer is yes. I last did it in November 2007 for a relative's Harmony 880. On the Harmony member's web site (http://members.harmonyremote.com), add the "device" "Pioneer DVD Recorder GGV1381". Then set up an activity (e.g., "Pioneer Service"), then update your Harmony remote. These codes from Harmony work for the Pioneer 530H and 2007 models, so probably all prior models. r/james
    Well, that turned out to be at least a minor fiasco -- my fault, I'm sure. I had already programmed the Harmony for the two DVDR models, about 8 pages each worth of commands as best I can recall. Trying to follow the above, I seem to have wiped out what was on the Harmony . . . and replaced it with . . . what ? I'm now seeing just one device, 4 pages worth of commands showing. The commands are unfamiliar ones like "Aside", "Bside", "3xRewind", and "TV/LDP." (Does that refer to a LaserDisc Player ?) Anyway, for sure not what I expected to see. I think I'm going to have to see how I can scrub this thing clean and start over. The "set up an activity" before downloading anything to the remote is likely where I screwed up. They don't give you a printed manual with this thing, so I'm still rather at sea in terms of operating the handset. I'm sure there must be a PDF manual on the CD.
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    mmmh...seeker47, it might not be your fault. About two months ago, I was making a minor tweak to an activity (Harmony members' site), when all the online coding disappeared. From that point on, I couldn't re-code the activity (couldn't customize buttons - i.e., select options, all blank). I didn't update my remote fearing (correctly) that I'd delete existing activities; instead, I contacted Harmony customer support. The customer service rep made some changes then asked me to update the remote. The result was that I lost all the coding for all activities. Suffice it to say it took one week for three different tier 2 tech reps to resolve the problem (and the last tier 2 rep had to involve a programming technician). So if you find that you can't customize buttons within an activity or even set up your activity, it might be the database and only Harmony tech support can resolve the problem. I've had my harmony 880 for almost 2 years, so have become fairly comfortable programming it and believe the site's website produced the error. (Harmony tech support's explanation was that I'd overloaded the database with too many customized codes...the remote should handle up to 15 devices/coding - and I have far less than that - so not so sure the explanation was on the mark. (Apart from that one glitch, the remote and site have worked well .)
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47
    [They don't give you a printed manual with this thing, so I'm still rather at sea in terms of operating the handset. I'm sure there must be a PDF manual on the CD.
    WRONG -- and I'm shocked to see this -- but there isn't one ! I downloaded a supposed PDF manual for the 880, but it's paltry and puny. If this is all they offer in documentation, that's very bad.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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