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Old 01-21-2019, 09:24 AM   #1
Dannyx
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Angry Sony HT-CT290 subwoofer not pairing...

Good day folks. This was meant to be a rant, so it should've probably gone in the off-topic section, but I thought someone might come up with an idea nonetheless.

Sony has managed to, ONCE AGAIN, earn my loathing and my deepest sincerest wishes of extreme hate: this Sony soundbar POS came in under warranty and I had to take a look at it. The subwoofer was totally dead, so I took the back off and immediately noticed a popped IC on the amp/logic board. Since it was under warranty, I had the option to either ask for a replacement of the whole board or attempt to fix this one. I naturally chose the former, not only because this place is SEVERELY lacking in parts, but because I didn't want to risk something else popping or having different issues.

Long story short: new board arrived, subwoofer powers on but no longer pairs with the rest of the soundbar....what gives ?! The manual did warn me that replacing the main board will cause this, obviously, because the pairing info is stored on the main board, not in the BT module, but I thought for sure I'd be able to pair them again...I followed those instructions countless times, tried all sorts of procedures, but no, it's useless: it simply doesn't want to connect....what a POS...I swear, if you ever see me buying a Sony, whoever you are, you have the right to slap me in the face ! :| So now I'm basically stuck with this thing, with the thumb up my ass not knowing what to do. The board is also probably going to be deducted from my wages and possibly a whole new system if it turns out there really IS no cure and has to be replaced....great...it's like pouring salt on the open wound....

I press LINK on the back of the sub, the LED turns yellow and flashes, then I press a certain button on the remote to put the bar in pairing mode and after a while the yellow LED blinks slower and eventually turns red...like a giant middle finger...there IS some communication going on, between if I don't start the pairing sequence on the bar or leave it off, the LED on the subwoofer blinks forever, whereas if I do the pairing steps, it does attempt to link up but fails for some reason and goes to standby...

Trouble is I already reset the bar several times, so even if I swap out the busted IC (a buck regulator) for the good one from the new board, it still doesn't guarantee it will link back again to the old board...the bar itself may have other issues and the asshole didn't mention it...

Might be some firmware issue, although I upgraded the bar to the latest one - no change...so disappointed and angry at the though that I might have to pay to get this thing replaced, or worse: the whole SHOP might have to pay for it and I'll get cold stares for 1-2 months (our Big Boss usually applies collective punishments in situations like these because, granted, there was no way I could predict it wouldn't work, but you STILL have to get your money back somehow, so the best thing to do is to just punish everyone.....sounds fair >_>)
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sony HT-CT290 subwoofer not pairing...

Since you have basically nothing to loose, I would start to swap stuff from one board to the other.
So why did Sony send you a new board or even why is this board available, if no one can make it work with the rest of the soundbar, cording to the warning? I am a bit puzzled by that. There must be a way to pair that back.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sony HT-CT290 subwoofer not pairing...

The BT/WiFi card was also dead - THIS was the problem. I was EXTREMELY lucky that a colleague in charge of warranties who usually handles this stuff and was away on a 1 month holiday (which is why all warranties were assigned to me instead), had a similar dead model which uses the same card and I swapped that over FIRST, before digging up the boards - it solved the issue and it connected on the first try...it probably got killed when that 3.3v regulator IC shorted, though it appeared shorted to GND. Must've first lost its regulation, ramped its output to the max and THEN died...
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sony HT-CT290 subwoofer not pairing...

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Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
what a POS...I swear, if you ever see me buying a Sony, whoever you are, you have the right to slap me in the face ! :|
It's not just Sony. ALL of these "trendy" soundbars are over-engineered, under-built garbage like that. Not only would I refuse to work on one, but I probably also wouldn't pick one up even if it's free. And why should I - they use shitty speakers, have shitty problems... and just sound like shit in general.

That said, since your shop uses "punitive methods" when you don't fix something right... then simply don't attempt to fix it. Just call the customer right away and say, Sorry, this thing is FUBAR (okay, maybe don't use those same exact words ... but you get the point.) As curious as I am and love fixing things (even ones that often aren't worthwhile)... if I am going to be looked down on for making a legit repair attempt, then I'd rather just not make any attempt at all and use my time for something else.
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sony HT-CT290 subwoofer not pairing...

I'm afraid you can't "refuse" to repair something when it's still under warranty - you'd probably lose your job for that, but I CAN refuse to repair things which are no longer under warranty. This I often do if, like you said, they're not worth my time...even though I DO like tinkering with useless stuff just to hone my skills and learn.

I feel my skills are suffering and declining here just because there's plenty of junk I'd like to mess with but can't because of my much-older "colleague" who I've mentioned countless times so far who wouldn't let me do anything. Recently I started pulling field duties just to get away and actually do something...horrible jobs, out in the cold a lot of times, given that I've been a "shop-boy" all these years, but still better than sitting in a chair and dozing off day in and day out because I've got nothing to do... :| There's not a damn thing you can do about it other than keep calm and carry on . They also say "live every day like it's the last...(to which I'd add)...day before the old geezer retires" THAT will be a fine day, lads
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sony HT-CT290 subwoofer not pairing...

As an authorized partner sony service, don't you have the required know-how and/or tools and procedures to pair the new board?
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sony HT-CT290 subwoofer not pairing...

We did - pairing doesn't involve anything other than following the instructions in the manual, which we did but didn't work, leading us to finally swap out the BT/WiFi card. Unfortunately we don't keep a stock of Sony parts to immediately swap out when in doubt - this time we got lucky to have a similar unit lying around, otherwise I would've had to pay for the replacement...not terribly expensive, but why pay at all...
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Old 01-26-2019, 04:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sony HT-CT290 subwoofer not pairing...

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Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
I'm afraid you can't "refuse" to repair something when it's still under warranty
That's even more reason then why your boss shouldn't be charging out of *your* pocket if something doesn't work. I mean, that's just shitty policy. What if this was a $10,000 device and its part cost $2000. If it's defective, surely no employee should have to pay that out of pocket.

Of course, I don't know your place's circumstances, so I can't judge too much. But still, this sounds worse than selling rotten apples on the local flea market.
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:00 AM   #9
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Thumbs down Re: Sony HT-CT290 subwoofer not pairing...

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
That's even more reason then why your boss shouldn't be charging out of *your* pocket if something doesn't work
Yeah, I SUPPOSE that's how it should be, but when something doesn't go as planned it's considered that it's you, the technician, who didn't assess the problem correctly and, by expansion, didn't do your job right - no room for f-ups here.

That's Sony's policy at least, and I think I mentioned this before: you only get one shot, so once they've sent you a replacement for a component free of charge under warranty, if something else happens to be faulty (or worse, the part you requested wasn't the problem to begin with), you're paying for whatever needs to be replaced next...not sure if this is fair or not TBH. When I say "you're paying", I mean the service center does - how they recover their loss is up to them. In this case, if it's not terribly expensive, I believe they let it slide, but I remember my colleague down in the warranty department had to pay through the nose for a POS TV which just turned off by itself at random intervals and he just couldn't pinpoint the issue. He kept ordering parts - main board, PSU, hell, even a WiFi module - NONE of them solved the issue because the problem was in the panel (bad LED) and the cost of all those parts was deducted from his wages, because as we've seen Sony only sends the first part he thought was bad for free - NOT cool at all :| I don't want to comment on whether or not this can be considered as him not having the proper know-how to correctly assess the defect and set a proper diagnostic from the start - you be the judge of that...

On the contrary, take my case for instance: there was no way I could predict the WiFi card would also be dead, so I do not agree with me getting charged extra for it. The proper way to do it would be to have a stock of the most common parts and immediately swap them around before ordering the new one. The capital is home to the central Sony offices where I believe this might be possible, since that's where all the parts come from, but here we just have to make due with what we have...that's just how it works...this is why the guys save every piece of equipment and every board that gets left behind, you never know when you might need something off of them - long live my colleague for providing the WiFi card, otherwise I would've probably got scolded, which is worse than getting fired at this place Being told off in front of everyone for not being a good technician is the worst blow you can deliver to one's ego Whew....ok, enough rambling, sorry guys
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sony HT-CT290 subwoofer not pairing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
but when something doesn't go as planned it's considered that it's you, the technician, who didn't assess the problem correctly and, by expansion, didn't do your job right - no room for f-ups here.
With today's electronics, almost nothing ever goes as planned. So I think your boss really needs to drop that policy. The previous repair place where I used to work, we were Dell, HP, and Apple -certified repair center, which meant any warranty parts we got were directly from Dell, HP, and Apple themselves. Nevertheless, I can't tell you how many times even companies as big as HP and Apple have sent us the wrong part or a non-working one back. If our repair place had adopted a policy like that, we wouldn't have survived very long as a business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
That's Sony's policy at least, and I think I mentioned this before: you only get one shot, so once they've sent you a replacement for a component free of charge under warranty, if something else happens to be faulty (or worse, the part you requested wasn't the problem to begin with), you're paying for whatever needs to be replaced next...not sure if this is fair or not TBH.
Not only is it not fair, it is complete nonsense! You absolutely can have multiple parts fail in a system. If these were the terms that Sony gave me (as an owner of a repair shop), I wouldn't even think twice about dropping out from doing warranties for them. Either Sony sends me all the parts I need to complete the warranties, or I can just tell the customer to call them and let Sony explain why their device cannot be repaired.

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Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
When I say "you're paying", I mean the service center does - how they recover their loss is up to them.
So similar to my old repair place... except any losses from warranty repair weren't taken out of my pay check ever. Instead, they were passed onto the customers as "labor costs" and whatnot and sometimes even spread out over other services - in other words, rob Peter to pay Paul.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
but I remember my colleague down in the warranty department had to pay through the nose for a POS TV which just turned off by itself at random intervals and he just couldn't pinpoint the issue. He kept ordering parts - main board, PSU, hell, even a WiFi module - NONE of them solved the issue because the problem was in the panel (bad LED) and the cost of all those parts was deducted from his wages, because as we've seen Sony only sends the first part he thought was bad for free - NOT cool at all :|
Yes, I've had to deal with a returned PC like that at my previous job. Needed motherboard, CPU, PSU, and RAM to get one machine going. And it wasn't just one of those that was bad - I tested each component in various other PCs, and all of those components were bad. It was a Dell Inspiron PC or something along those lines - one of those late 2016 models with cheap tin can cases, small proprietary PSUs, laptop DVD drive, and a joke of a motherboard. Really Dell should have just sent me a brand new PC - it would have been cheaper for them, less work for me, and the customer wait less for the repair. Of course, they don't do that. They implement these shitty warranty policies that basically test the customers' nerves (and ours), so that hopefully the customer will give up and buy a new PC... and keep the economic wheel "turning".

That's one of the reasons I have pretty much stopped working on new PCs now. If it's something old, I might try to fix it (and it usually is fixable).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
I don't want to comment on whether or not this can be considered as him not having the proper know-how to correctly assess the defect and set a proper diagnostic from the start - you be the judge of that...
It can happen to anyone - even the most experienced of techs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
On the contrary, take my case for instance: there was no way I could predict the WiFi card would also be dead, so I do not agree with me getting charged extra for it. The proper way to do it would be to have a stock of the most common parts and immediately swap them around before ordering the new one.
Big companies will never do that anymore. They like to run a "tight ship" with the warranties and hopefully steer their customers into buying a new unit of whatever rather than getting the old one fixed. So that's why you will never ever have warranty parts on hand anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
this is why the guys save every piece of equipment and every board that gets left behind, you never know when you might need something off of them
As much as I do that myself too for my personal projects... in a big repair shop, this can quickly become problematic. In particular, once you get too many things, you won't even know what you have, and that's as bad as not having the things either.
Kudos to your colleague who actually not only saved the part but also knew where it was and what it could be used for. Staying organized is the only way to make use of junk parts. But that in itself can take a good amount of energy and effort too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
Being told off in front of everyone for not being a good technician is the worst blow you can deliver to one's ego
I would like to see your boss try that with me. I'll probably laugh my ass off right in front of him/her and not give even half a crap.

Last edited by momaka; 01-31-2019 at 08:56 PM..
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