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Just bought an MZ-E900 that won't play (seek problem?)

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Hello everyone. I am new to this forum, and I've come here in need of help.

I've just purchased an MZ-E900 on ebay (listed as functional), however upon receiving it I cannot get it to play discs.

Basically I pop in a standard Sony disc (both SP and LP2) and the unit spins up for a couple seconds and then spins down...

I press play, and the little operation light comes on and the unit spins up for about a second and then nothing (it spins down).

I've got both the fully charged gumstick in there along with the external dry cell, so I'm pretty sure power isn't the issue.

I've heard people mention a common "seek problem", and I was wondering if this might be that and if that is possible to fix...

Does anyone have any insight on this? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Seller doesn't know, and he's not being very helpful... May end up having to take this issue up with eBay directly.

However, in the meantime, I did glean a bit more information. The unit did not come with the factory remote, but upon plugging in my mz-r55 remote, the display powers up and reads "no disc". I press play and it still reads "no disc". I tried using a light touch of isopropyl alchohol with a cotton swab on the lens, but I'm still getting "no disc". I imagine this is why the unit spins up and then down so quickly, because it doesn't even think there's a disc, so in an effort to save battery power it promptly goes back to sleep. On other units with disc errors they generally try to read a little longer...

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I recently revived an E909 which I think must be very similar.

It's very unlikely that the laser is actually gone on a player-only unit. The power used is 1/10 of that required to record, so recording is the big deal that wears out lasers.

What I found was that after lack of use, the head transport mechanism (sideways of course) was a bit sticky. Using it with a really good Alkaline battery (in a battery sidecar case) helped some. After a few cycles of working/not working it seems to have unjammed. But each time I had to help it start by manually pushing the sled all the way to the opposite end (ie the outside of the player) of where it was apparently stuck. A pencil with a nice clean rubber eraser end seems perfect for the job without damaging anything too much. No Seekee === No Workee, if you see what I mean.

If Jim was here (he clearly isn't) he'd probably tell exactly where to lubricate. But maybe this is enough information if you are of a technical inclination, to figure out how to solve this. Perhaps someone else reading this knows about lubricants to chime in and tell me how to revive mine permanently. But simply using it, once it was unjammed, seemed to help - enough that it makes me think there is a light coating of dirt, rust or perhaps even grease that solidified enough to stop it from functioning.

Another thing I noticed was that some disks were harder to read than others. Try to avoid light coloured (eg Neige) ones. In fact once it "warms up" with a disk that it reads easily, you may find it reads other disks too (I do). For this reason, I think there may well be a matter of adjusting the laser, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it (and I couldn't get into service mode). Typically you may need to DEcrease not INcrease the laser power for reading problems, so be very very careful if you manage to get it to the point where you can diagnose it. It may even be that the voltages reaching the main board aren't high enough although the battery indicator actually shows 100%. Cleaning power contacts may help a bit, too, then.

I think this is a very low power device, and I think the tolerances on some MDs are simply not as good as on others. The disks that don't work seem to make funny vibrating noises. On the whole I had better luck with 74 minute disks than 80. When were 80m disks introduced - before or after the introduction of these models?

Hope this helps.


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  • 2 weeks later...

How's it going, davelee82? I am finding that the more I use the E909 the more reliable it gets. Some of this is the better charge I am getting into the gumstick batteries, some of it is probably getting the unit "unjammed" by usage (exercise).

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