Pioneer AVH-7800P DVD Head Unit Scare

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timbre4

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Since 2002/2003
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Oct 18, 2002
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College Grove, TN
PRELUDE
Yesterday I needed to make a drive to pickup some cases of beer (can't get it locally). So I get in the 4Runner and turn the key CLICK-CLICK-CLICK. First time it has ever done that to me. In a rare role reversal, the Honda Civic would jump the 4Runner! It cranked and started easily as some relief. Is this unit needing a battery? Better check the sell date sticker on the 24 month warrantied battery. Hmmm.... September 2018. Got 5 years out of it!

STORY
My trip is 90 minutes each way; I make this run 3-4 times a year to stay stocked. I will use the lightning adaptor into the Pioneer AVH-7800P's AUX 1 input to catch up on podcasts on the way up and some DVD-A music on the way home. After loading up the beer and getting fuel, I get on the interstate to head back. Looking thru DVD-A discs I settle on what has become an old standby title - Stephen W Tayler's - Da Capo (copied to DVD-A). The way this deck splits the face panel by dropping the bottom half down has always been cool. I inserted the disc and the bottom half didn't move back to the fully closed position!

Would the disc even play? I ejected it to try again. I re-inserted it and it was accepted but the bottom half of the player face did not return to closed. It did start playing and I could see time ticking off on the display which is angled up in the open position. I changed to FM and AUX 1 to see if that would trigger movement. Nothing so I turned it off altogether. Still no movement. So now I began thinking I'd have to replace this head unit. They are very hard to find anymore. I've been watching an eBay listing for a year where the fellow has a complete setup NOS in the original box. He's asking $2299 for it which was about the list price back in 2006 or so when it first came out.

Fortunately, I did manage to purchase a spare Pioneer AVH-7800P head unit by itself off eBay a few years ago. Since you can't do anything with it if you don't have the matching (huge) processor box that serves as a junction for all the options plus 6.1 (!) amplification. Got the head unit for $25! So now I began thinking about how long the changeover would take, do I want to add amps so that the 5.1 laptop could be used here and so forth. Then I happened to look down at the unit and it had closed properly, left to its own devices! Whew. Back to enjoying mobile surround with the present setup, knowing that the unit has aged a bit and will eventually correct itself, just like me. ;)

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