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Everything posted by NGY

  1. Greetings to everyone - I am a newbie here, though not new to Minidisc. I entered the MD world in about '96-97, when I bought my MZ-R3 in a Duty-Free shop at London Heathrow, while waiting for connection. It was an amazing piece of kit that time, and I must say, the MD technology is still a fantastic engineering achievement in my eyes. I have been reading the forums since about two months now, mostly seeking for repair tips - having a couple units I bought recently second hand (mostly fairly cheap), with the intention of bringing them back to life and preserve. And, already a big "thank you" for the forum - I already managed to fix my MDS-JE510 unit, that did not accept discs, ejecting all with C13 error. Following Jim Hoggarth's instructions, I turned it back to fully functional, and it still holds since then. Now, I am in a project of repairing the unit in the subject. I tried a couple of things but still not yet there. This 530 arrived with a broken OWH (Overwrite head), that had clear signs of previous failed repair attempts, thus the machine was play only, but otherwise working OK. As a first step, I took a 100% OK OWH from a fully functional 520 unit, built it into the 530, but then the 530 still did not record, i.e., when ejecting after a record session, the disc remained blank. Testing the same OWH back in the 520: all OK. (BTW, I finally fixed that broken OWH from the 530, tried also in the 520, and the 520 just can record properly with this repaired one.) Error history in Error Display Mode shows E04 and E09 alternating ("Address cannot be read" and "Playback retry error" respectively). Then I took the service manual and began performing the checks (except for laser power and traverse signal, as my old oscilloscope gave up recently), and the only error I could find is a "7350" error in self-recording (and focus bias) check, obviously, as no data was written to the disc. Apart from that, the deck seems all fine, functioning as it has to. Having the idea the focus could be out of range, first I created a continuously recorded test disc in a spotless 330 unit, then put it back to the 530, and checked the focus bias with that. It went all OK, continuous play test showed all error rates below factory specs. Repeating the same procedure with a continuously recorded disc made with the 530, I got back to the "7350" error - as nothing was written on the disc. I am stuck here, I have no idea, why the unit is not recording, as everything seems OK. This particular deck run only 38 hours of recording, and 418 hours of playback, and looks like new - would be great to have it fully functional again, especially for the Type-R ATRAC. The schematics of the OWH drive circuit is fairly simple, pairs of diodes and transistors, plus a capacitive coupling to the writing coil - all these parts look robust on the BD board, I cannot even imagine they blew (or the IC driving the transistors?). I could only check the diodes, they seem to be OK, however, I have no means to check these special transistors. As soon as I can get my hands on another oscilloscope, will check the writing signals on a good unit, and compare with the 530, to see ho far the signal gets, and when it stops. But before that, if anybody with some experience can give me their view, whether I am going the right direction, or something else needs to be checked/adjusted. I am aware, that the time I will probably spend on fixing this may not worth it, and I may buy another unit at a lesser cost, but hey, this is a hobby, and I looked for some challenge :-) . Should I not succeed, I will put up the unit for parts, if it can help others to fix theirs. Thank you in advance and apologies for the fairly long post.
  2. Agreed.
  3. Yes, this is a way to make a copy of an audio content. I did not go this route, as I had the belief the OP wanted to "read that format and transfer the data through its USB output". Few things might be worth to mention: - making a copy via the digital audio output (should that be coaxial or optical) of a MD deck to a PC soundcard (or another MD recorder) will result a similar, but not exact copy. The digital signal on the optical (coaxial) output is a decompressed ATRAC audio, not the original ATRAC data. The copy on the PC will suffer another compression, whatever the format will be. The difference might well be marginal or even unnoticeable, I just wanted to make a note this is not a real transfer in the digital domain. - a copy via the digital output is only possible, if either 1) the original recorded material is a first generation digital recording, or 2) the receiving PC sound card can eliminate SCMS. - if the aim is just to save the audio content of the original disc whatever it takes (and sound quality is at second priority), then even a simple analogue copy is possible, once the disc is released and is found readable by another MD player device.
  4. "Full backward compatability with std-MD system -- records SP/Mono/LP2/LP4 format audio to std-MD discs and uploads std-MD recordings to PC in PCM, Hi-SP or ATRAC3 format audio files. Uploading is in no way restricted (unlimited uploads of mic, line and digital recordings are permitted)" [Quoted from here] Sony had always been making all efforts to restrict copying digitally recorded audio, and part of this they put limitations everywhere, on what and how could be copied. Although several HiMD recorders can play standard MD discs, only the MZ-RH1 is enabled to copy such discs to the PC.
  5. Yes, it is (given the conditions and disc you described). (As mentioned before) you may want to consult the SonicStage user manual (as well as the MZ-RH1 manual).
  6. My first idea was that the main processor detects an error and sends the standby signal to the relay driver circuitry. But there can be multiple other causes that led to this symptom. One thought: before replacing those filter caps, it might be worth doing an ESR check first. An acceptable ESR value might save the time of the replacement.
  7. I am afraid, the only device that can transfer this audio via USB is the MZ-RH1. And for that SonicStage is required (available from the download section of the forum). I will look into the MDS-JE302's service manual, to figure out how can a stuck disc be released. Yes, it is one of the first devices, and has one of the problematic mechanisms. The disc can definitely be removed, the question is just how much must the device be stripped down. One thought, without any intention of disappointing you: unless the audio on that stuck disc is something a unique recording like a live event or so, it may not be worth to take all the hassle of removing a disc, finding an MZ-RH1, installing SonicStage (can be a real pain, depending on the OS), and so on. Might be easier and faster to look for that music on the net, and download it. And it is not only the trouble, but also the sound quality - that deck had ATRAC 3, a very early version, with known limitations and artifacts.
  8. Can you share the make and model? Would help to figure out, how to release the disc. There are many, many MD players/recorders - decks, walkmans, etc., with different mechanisms. Success of the MD to PC transfer: it depends on how that disc was originally recorded/formatted. If it was a legacy MD recording (ATRAC audio), only an MZ-RH1 can transfer the content from the disc to the PC. If it was formatted as a HiMD disc, a couple of HiMD models can do the transfer (audio or data). (If it was a data MD disc by any chance, it would need a dedicated data MD player/recorder.) File format on the PC: you may want to refer to the SonicStage manual for possibilites (many) - you would need that software anyhow, for the transfer.
  9. Thanks for the link and the quote. Interesting reading, and makes sense. I could not notice a difference between the two 940-s though. True, I did not make any A-B switching back and forth listening tests, that would have probably given a good evidence. I will dig my photos out I took when compared the two units' internals.
  10. Ja333es display problem

    Great job, congratulations. I am getting envy now :-) !
  11. I wonder if anybody here has some comparison of the "regular" Euro/US/Japan vs. UK Sound/Edition (etc.) decks? I am really curious, whether it was just a marketing trick, or it does have to do with the sound. My observation is that the UK version 940 is actually missing a relatively large piece of circuitry (blank areas on the main board), that exists in the normal version. So the question is, it is the case of the "more with less"? Unfortunately, all my service guides discuss the regular versions only. If someone possess service manual(s) for the UK versions, I would love to read and compare them.
  12. Ja333es display problem

    Sounds a bit long. It is not a problem from resistance point of view, however, long cables can pick up electromagnetic noise, like an aerial. What you can do though is to fold the cable in Z or Omega shape, making sure the folded parts cover each other precisely - in other words, wires won't get over a neighbouring one, to avoid interference. And no need for very sharp edges, to avoid cracks. In your case keeping the 125 mm distance beetween the two ends you first make a fold at ~100mm, then at ~75mm from the first one, making the Z. In the middle you will have triple layers, consuming about 225mm of the length, plus ~25-25mm-s at the ends Once this is done, you may want to tie it together with a piece of adhesive tape.
  13. Ja333es display problem

    Yes, 0.5mm pitch 50 pin can make it in a 1mm pitch 25 pin socket. I found this, but looks tooo long: here. But that guy has other width/length, may be worth asking. What is the length of your cable, Chris? I can also check my spares box. And whether or not is it an inverted cable (contacts on one end are on the back side of the ribbon).
  14. Ja333es display problem

    That's right - seems both edges of the cable are damaged. Yes, NC stands for "not connected".
  15. Ja333es display problem

    I took a look at the schematic. The leftmost (topmost on the second photo) pin is for the -36V, that gives the cathode a negative charge (heating AC is delivered on pins 5 and 6). The Rec LED is driven from pin 24 (second from other end).
  16. Ja333es display problem

    Yes, this cable looks broken, and most probably not only the two left lines - see how the whole thing is wrinkled. Bad handling for sure, for several times. If you tell me which connector it is, I can check, whether or not it was the cause for the dark display. And such a cable you can replace yourself easily. New cables are available on ebay for example. Just look for the proper pitch (inches or millimeters beetwen two lines), if you don't find a cable with the exact number of lines, buy a wider one, and cut the excess wires using a pair of scissors. (There is a method of repairing such a broken cable, but it is kinda time consuming, plus requires thorough attention and an easy hand)
  17. Ja333es display problem

    That dark spot is all right. It is there on nearly all VFD-s - see my second photo above. Cathode filaments are OK, this is good news. You may need to check the cathode voltage, and the VFD controller chip, whether or not it gets the proper supply voltages and signals (latter one would require an oscilloscope though). If you don't feel comfortable with such measurements, I would suggest to stop here, and take the unit to a service. Without much experience, even a test tip put to a wrong position (say, accidentally shorting two pins) can cause further damage to the unit. But one thing you can do without big risk: if you have a DMM, set it to AC Voltage, and measure the voltage across the VFD cathode, i.e., on your photo, the leftmost and the rightmost pins of the display. Those are both double pins, that means you can touch either one of a pair, but the best way is to point your probes between the twin pins, that can give you a relaxed, firm position to do the voltage check. If you measure something like 3...5 Volts (AC), then the circuitry that drives the cathode is OK.
  18. Ja333es display problem

    If you mean the brown stain around the pins of CN751, that is most probably some residue of the soldering flux (rosin). Not a problem normally. How strong is your electronics vein? There are some test points that can be checked with a DMM, to see where the signal is lost. But first, how about your display's cathode filaments?
  19. Ha. I just sold my "UK Sound" 940 two weeks ago. Had two 940 anyhow, so one had to go to release some play budget. I sold it locally for ~130€, with an RM-D10M remote. (I still have a very nice 930, not a UK Edition though. PM me for detiails, if interested.)
  20. Ja333es display problem

    What exactly is the problem with the display? Is it completely dark? Several things can happen. The quickest checks, that don't need much testing gear: - check if all those flat cables are seated properly - check for any electronic components that look burnt , also, for dark brown or black spots/stains on the PCBs - check if those tiny cathode filaments inside the VFD are not broken. Two photos below are from different models, but give you the idea The left one shows intact filaments, the one on the right shows the topmost filament broken: .
  21. KMS-260 vs KMS-262

    I wish I could reach him. Tried several times, on several channels, no reply. I would need a good 530 BD board - he probably has one pulled off.
  22. KMS-260 vs KMS-262

    PhilippeC is right, it should fit. A couple of notes though, you might want to consider: - there were at least three variants of the KMS-260. While all those are pin compatible and share the same frame (therefore all three would fit mechanically and electronically the vast majority of the Sony MD decks), the laser power is different, and the deck must be set up accordingly - either way, once you replace the OP, for proper settings (for the sake of longer laser lifetime) an LPM is necessary, as well as a test jig, to measure the IOP. These are both very sensitive values, and a wrong or loose setting can kill the laser in a relatively short time. (Not mentioning that the deck may not be able to read, write, or both, if settings are way out.)
  23. I am looking for these Sony minidisc remote controllers: RM-D22M RM-D21M and RM-D49M. If you have one for sale, please let me know in a PM. I have an extra RM-D15M, that I can offer for trade in, if someone needs it. Until I find them, can somebody owning these help me out please with the IR codes of the buttons. If you don't have the necessary gear, it is enough to boot your MD deck into display/buttons test mode (AMS+REC), and the last step of the diagnostics is the remote test - any buttons pressed will display a code on the display. [UPDATE: model name corrected]
  24. I have finally bought an RM-D21M. Would have never expected one popping up here on home soil (my W1 might well be the only one in the country, but certainly there are not many), then it happened by chance, and I almost overlooked it. Remote cost ~19€ that I think is a fair price for such a rare item. With that, this thread is now --- SOLVED ---. Thanks to everyone.
  25. We had a brief discussion about coaxial SPDIF switches >> here <<. My experimental board got finally put together, and I have been testing it since a few days, with my 930, 940 and JA20 hooked up. I have attached the project files [projectfiles.zip] for those who want to build their own. The schematic is very simple, and can easily be developed further, like when someone needs more inputs, or wants to change channels with push buttons or IR remote instead, etc. Components cost about 12 Euro, plus the "soapbox", that is just a cheap small project box, to protect the board. I did not feel making a fancy techno looking chassis, even the rotating knob is from a salvaged 510S. The device has three SPDIF inputs and one SPDIF output (that is galvanically isolated, to avoid ground loops). It works from a 5...6V DC adapter. One LED is lit when the box is powered up, three others are lit respectively to the actually selected input channel, also matched by the position of the rotary switch (*). I chose a 4 throw switch, and used the leftmost position for muting the output (only the power on led is lit) - can be handy when swapping cables, for example. (*) One comment on the board: depending on the actual rotary switch model, switching order can be different. I had to tinker the board after it turned out, that the switch I bought worked the opposite way. In practice it meant I had to swap the connections of LED1/LED3 to pin C2/C4, also, ground pin B4 instead of B2.