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Sound Devices 664 not powering up from external DC


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Hi fellow listeners,

 

yesterday, I worked with my Sound Devices 664 without any problems. In the evening, the unit wouldn’t power up from an external power source.

Interestingly enough, it does power up from the internal power source. Toggling the menu, I can even see the voltage coming in from the external power supply.

Just as if the power switch decided to die on the right side.

So, here comes my questions for you guys:

- has anyone seen this behaviour before and if so, what was done to fix it?

- can someone help me out with a service or repair manual that shows how to disassemble the 664?

 

Thanks for any insight.

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5 minutes ago, Sebastian Kleinloh said:

Hi fellow listeners,

 

yesterday, I worked with my Sound Devices 664 without any problems. In the evening, the unit wouldn’t power up from an external power source.

Interestingly enough, it does power up from the internal power source. Toggling the menu, I can even see the voltage coming in from the external power supply.

Just as if the power switch decided to die on the right side.

So, here comes my questions for you guys:

- has anyone seen this behaviour before and if so, what was done to fix it?

- can someone help me out with a service or repair manual that shows how to disassemble the 664?

 

Thanks for any insight.

Once you got it up and running from the internal supply, did you try to then switch it over to external? Is it possible you have a faulty battery/cup/distro/power cable all of the sudden?

 

The hirose jack on my 664 once came loose after years of wear and tear and I had to send it in.

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Hey BAB,

 

thanks for your reply.

 

Sure I tried to just pull the switch over from left to right. It was as if I'd switch to the middle e. g. off position. I tried with and without internal batteries, everything else is unplugged.

And regarding any faulty battery/cup/distro: When powered on I can see that there is voltage available on the external input - when using the power supply it's 12V, when using my charged NP1 it's 15V. So the problem appears to be somewhere inside the recorder. Unfortunately so.

 

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Probably have to send it in. You could ask them if they’d send you a new switch and advice on repairing it yourself but I wouldn’t count on that. Lectro would do everything they could to help you without having to send it in but Sound Devices is not the same. Maybe years ago.. 

 

I blew something in my 664’s headphone amp last year (long story) and I’m pretty sure it cost like $400. They basically have a standard bench fee to do just about anything on your gear. They’re one of the more expensive companies when it comes to repairs.

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1 hour ago, Derek H said:

I blew something in my 664’s headphone amp last year (long story) and I’m pretty sure it cost like $400. They basically have a standard bench fee to do just about anything on your gear. They’re one of the more expensive companies when it comes to repairs.

 

I would note this bench fee includes them going through the whole machine and bringing everything up to current factory specs.  I have sent in several products over the years, and they always come back with a list of things that have been fixed or replaced (pots, jacks, even the golf pegs in one case). It's actually a pretty good feeling knowing that it comes back with "a clean bill of health" IMO. 

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This is odd and timely. My 664 has worked flawlessly since i ordered it during prerelease way back when. It is a gen one version, obviously. I'm currently on the road doing a boat load of political commercials in the Midwest. Yesterday it failed to boot on both internal AA and ext Li-on batteries. Everything disconnected. Cards out. Factory reset button pushed. No go. 😞

 

I had to record to camera-only all day (thank goodness it wasn't a Red) mixing with my 422. I borrowed a friend's 633 for today as my wife drives my 664 up to Reedsburg, WI for repair and a loaner 664. A 3.5 hour drive each way.

 

I chose the $395 flat repair rate plus pre-authorized parts and consider this a good deal. Maybe not a good deal if you only need a knob or connector replaced but a great deal if my power circuit or logic circuit is fried.

 

The Sound Devices guys have always been quick to respond to my calls and helpful. I own several products. Maybe i should pick up a 633 as people begin trading them in for 8 series recorders as a back up.

0826200759_HDR.jpg

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25 minutes ago, PMC said:

This is odd and timely. My 664 has worked flawlessly since i ordered it during prerelease way back when. It is a gen one version, obviously. I'm currently on the road doing a boat load of political commercials in the Midwest. Yesterday it failed to boot on both internal AA and ext Li-on batteries. Everything disconnected. Cards out. Factory reset button pushed. No go. 😞

 

I had to record to camera-only all day (thank goodness it wasn't a Red) mixing with my 422. I borrowed a friend's 633 for today as my wife drives my 664 up to Reedsburg, WI for repair and a loaner 664. A 3.5 hour drive each way.

 

I chose the $395 flat repair rate plus pre-authorized parts and consider this a good deal. Maybe not a good deal if you only need a knob or connector replaced but a great deal if my power circuit or logic circuit is fried.

 

The Sound Devices guys have always been quick to respond to my calls and helpful. I own several products. Maybe i should pick up a 633 as people begin trading them in for 8 series recorders as a back up.

0826200759_HDR.jpg

My heart would sink if this happened to me. I think back to all the years I only brought one recorder to set and it makes me nauseous. Now for bag work, I always bring my 552 and a zoom H4n and leave them in the car. Just knowing they are there makes all the difference.

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It was a stupid mistake not bringing MY H4n on the job. I just haven't used it in years and didn't think. I bought it for a PA to use on a low budget movie years ago to capture atmos and haven't used it since. That mistake has cost me roughly $370 in fuel and rental on top of not being able to record split audio for one day.

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14 hours ago, Sebastian Kleinloh said:

- can someone help me out with a service or repair manual that shows how to disassemble the 664?

 

 

dont think you can fix it. you have to send it in. will most probably require change of a couple of ICs. as per my experience with many 664s i have serviced over the last few years... 

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Hey Guys,

thanks for all the input. I really am glad that this didn't happen during the shoot.

I will be sending it in. Maybe I'll have Kortwich - I'm in Berlin - take a look first. If they can repair it, it would be less than half the price and way faster. Sound Devices had a store in Berlin, they closed it in the last months or so, so I would need to send it to UK. UK sends it to US - at least for the next two weeks -, they repair, send it back and I guess about a month later I'll have it back.

I'll report back, it might take a while...

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5 hours ago, Sebastian Kleinloh said:

Hey Guys,

thanks for all the input. I really am glad that this didn't happen during the shoot.

I will be sending it in. Maybe I'll have Kortwich - I'm in Berlin - take a look first. If they can repair it, it would be less than half the price and way faster. Sound Devices had a store in Berlin, they closed it in the last months or so, so I would need to send it to UK. UK sends it to US - at least for the next two weeks -, they repair, send it back and I guess about a month later I'll have it back.

I'll report back, it might take a while...

 

Zeigermann in Hamburg or Ambient in Munich possibly may know more about it since they get loads of feedback from their customers.

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5 hours ago, Mungo said:

 

Zeigermann in Hamburg or Ambient in Munich possibly may know more about it since they get loads of feedback from their customers.


Possibly true, but Kortwich is a good address for this, too. Ambient of course is or was the main service center before the Berlin shop, so maybe they are again now?

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On 8/27/2020 at 3:34 PM, Mungo said:

 

Zeigermann in Hamburg or Ambient in Munich possibly may know more about it since they get loads of feedback from their customers.

 

I brought it to Kortwich on friday. The good deal with them is, if they can't repair it they will not charge anything and send it to Audio Ltd in GB themselves. If they can do it, I'll have it back next week.

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I realize this may be a bit late now, but can you set voltage levels in the 664? This was a big problem on my 788 once that I couldn’t solve at first. The voltage warning level for Ext DC had suddenly changed to 12V, but my power distro only delivered 11.7V. This caused the machine to display some crazy switching back and forth between int and ext power. I removed ext and I could boot it normally and change the ext voltage level to 11.5V and everything was fine from them on

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21 minutes ago, Constantin said:

I realize this may be a bit late now, but can you set voltage levels in the 664? This was a big problem on my 788 once that I couldn’t solve at first. The voltage warning level for Ext DC had suddenly changed to 12V, but my power distro only delivered 11.7V. This caused the machine to display some crazy switching back and forth between int and ext power. I removed ext and I could boot it normally and change the ext voltage level to 11.5V and everything was fine from them on

 

Good idea. The voltage setting on the 664 is quite annoying because you can only set the battery type, not concrete voltages. I have set it to NiMH altough I run the machine on a 14,4 Lithium V-Mount battery. If set to "Lithium Ion", it's going to warn and shut down far too early.

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I'm very late on the draw here, but for anyone else experiencing a similar problem: the 664's external power connector is very user serviceable. I once had the retaining nut loosen to the point that the jack was floating around in the socket, so I took a look.

 

The bottom of the case comes off with 12 fairly hefty philips-head screws. (Remove it gently, as there is a ribbon cable from the main board to the word clock sockets mounted into the back side of the bottom cover.) Once inside the external power jack is secured in with a regular old hex nut, and the lead goes to the main board on the same kind of plug connector that you commonly see for CD-ROM audio in computers. It's very easy to diagnose and replace the physical connector.

IMG_2574.JPG

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I just got my 664 back from a four-day sleep-over at Reedsburg, WI.

 

What they did:

$66.77 in parts. Here's a current breakdown of what's being fixed:

- hp encoder noisy, replace

- new batteries as preventative

- change out rusty screws

- change out corroded battery tube

- resolder and reseat LCD board to board connections as this was the main failure - clean and bring up to factory spec

 

I also upgraded to the new LCD screen. It is probably twice as bright as the original. In fact i have to turn the brightness down when indoors.

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$395 flat rate. Includes a 1 year warranty on P&L.

My 664 is eight years old and needed a deep clean. They did a great job of restoring the look. I use this thing in conditions from dusty 98 deg Fahrenheit corn fields to 20 below zero blizzards. Iowa has it all.

 

Last week was the first time the unit failed.

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I had a 3.5mm headphone jack fail on my 664, beginning 2020. Obviously, still very dependable with the single 1/4 TRS, but I prefer everything is working 100%. I received the standard bench fee quote for the repair and opted to have them send the parts. I still haven't performed the repair. At the time I did not have a professional back up solution available, while waiting for the return of my main unit. I also like the idea of having the unit fully inspected and returned to factory spec and now have the Mix Pre 6 as a place holder. WAY back in the day I had two PD4's, for backup. DAT machines were terribly unreliable. Sending them in for maintenance every two years, was a give in. Still not a bad practice.

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