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Sony MDS-JE510/S38 Phantom Disc Problem - electrical tape fix really works!

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Recently I purchased a Sony MDS-S38 from a seller on Gumtree. The seller sounded decent, genuine and nice so I got a friend to collect it as it was in a town far from me. Yeah, risky I know without testing it first but sometimes you get a good feeling from talking to the seller and the way the ad is presented etc. I paid £65 and it looked in good condition with a fully-working remote and manual.

I get it home and set it up. It's a nifty little unit. All was good, it recorded fine, playback was fine... however a short time later a few problems appeared.

I would be quietly doing something else in the same room and the machine will wake up and start ejecting a phantom disc. It can seem like it's possessed by an electrical angry spirit or something :)

In my case I first noticed it when ejecting a disc. I even took a short video to show the problem:


Anyway, yesterday I had some time and decided to Google the problem for a fix and according to the MiniDisc.org page for the unit - some people have cured the problem using some basic tools.

See the "Problems" section here: http://www.minidisc.org/part_Sony_MDS-JE510+S38.html

Anyway, I followed this guide http://snnake11.tripod.com/ ...and, feeling very skeptical when putting it back together, was surprised that it really does seem to fix it!

The photos in the guide are not for the MDS-S38 but the drive mech seems very similar, I didn't disconnect all the ribbon cables as the guide says either. I just disconnected two ribbons cables connecting it to the motherboard. My other tools were a big Philips screwdriver and a smaller one along with some electrical tape.

Fingers crossed it will stay OK for a while. Maybe the electrical tape is enough to shift the position of the microswitch by the crucial millimeter it needs to cure the deck of this problem? I dunno.

Just thought I'd share!


About the deck itself, my impressions - I really like the small footprint of it. Space is a at a premium in my small house and it kinda matched the Xbox 360 which I have sitting on top of it. Recording is pretty straight forward (one button labelled "Music Sync") although the digital synchcro recording does not seem to stop auto-magically on no signal like newer decks. Also the remote is "fat" and I prefer the slim remotes as it's easier to hold. There is no volume control on the remote either meaning I have to get up and fiddle with the volume on my speakers. It has two digital sound level EQ meters which is a big preference to me on my decks (I just like the old school way they move in tune to music). I would have liked MDLP too but I'm finding that using SP makes me more choosy in crafting a compendium to fill the disc. It seems 74 or 80 mins is just the right length for me in these busy days.




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