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Everything posted by jim.hoggarth

  1. I no longer repair E10s except in very rare circumstances. Every one I have ever seen has a bad main board. The problem is there is no sub-chassis: the board is screwed directly onto the lower casing/ Flexing of the case causes broken joints, often under the CSP integrated circuits. Sometimes it is just the remote connector, but even so repair is an absolute nightmare. My advice: never buy a secondhand E10. And I have seen them go for ridiculous amounts, hundreds of Pounds, with no warranty. Jim
  2. I have recently rediscovered the joy of listening to #5 - Houses of the Holy. I wore my original copy out playing it. All the more because of the front cover - it really got up my father's nose as he thought it pornographic, the silly old b*****d. Funnily enough, I never bought Physical Graffiti and kind of ignored all subsequent releases. But I still love the first five albums. Jim
  3. Electronic units can be odd. Failures tend to be quite common on newly manufactured equipment, and on much older gear - the so-called 'bath-tub' effect. Perhaps long term storage 'resets the clock' to some extent, meaning that powering up after a long period is just like first applying power to a new unit - with the stress of being electrified giving exactly the same problems? I know I feel like shit when first 'plugged in' after a long sleep! Jim
  4. I have not has many Panasonic units through the workshop, but in most cases it has been the main board at fault. I do recognise the battery detect problem too, I am sure. Shame they are not the same model, otherwise you could try swapping the board across, as I also suspect the optical pickup on the read/toc error unit. Jim
  5. It looks like polystyrene cement actually does work! At the moment I am simply dabbing on the glue-post already available - I am not trying to glue down the edges at all. I know there is a liquid poly cement available which may be perfect for both jobs, as the liquid can run down the crack of each edge by capillary motion, without leaving any obvious signs of gluing, whereas this is hard with the cement in the tubes. But I thought I would try the cheaper tube glue first. I will now order some liquid, if I can find it, and let you know more. Jim
  6. I have the usual age-related deterioration of high and low frequencies, but since my first introduction to MDs some eight/nine years ago (I can't recall exactly - I know it was a birthday), I have always disliked LP4 for music. I am ok with LP2 for portable use, say while walking. But for general and home use, it has to be SP. Due to never getting into HiMD properly, I never really tried the ATRAC3 encoding modes. And I have *always* had my treble control cranked up (and sometimes the bass slightly diminished) on all of the audio units I have possessed. Perhaps my upper hearing limit has always been low, although I have always liked a very 'crisp' sound. But that said, I do remember being able to hear the 19KHz carrier tone on FM radio units - not on audio out of course as that is filtered, but by putting a crystal earpiece across the correct part of the circuit. Jim
  7. Ok, I will bear that in mind, thanks. I have ordered some polystyrene cement off ebay to try that - you know, the sort of glue used on model kits by the likes of Airfix and Revell? The disc casings don't look at all like a styrene, but it may work. And stuff always comes in useful in the workshop anyway. Jim
  8. Just had one hell of a job getting labels off a bunch of Maxell discs - but there's no guarantee the labels used were the ones that came with the discs. They have 'TITLE' printed at the top and then eleven separate horizontal spaces for writing, with alternate light grey and white background. Are these the ones you are having trouble with too? Jim
  9. Hi Qualia017. Very interesting reading, very impressed. What sort of glue do you use to reseal the MD casings after your work? I ask because I am experimenting with cleaning out and refurbishing used MDs for resale, and I am trying to work out the best way or resealing, without using 'super-glue' (cyanoacrylate) which can leave a white powder-like residue. Jim
  10. You need the RM-D10E. It's the same one used by the MDS-JB980 and the MDS-JE480. Others will work, of course. Jim
  11. The parts inside one are all Sharp, so I assume it came out of the Sharp factory. In the UK, Goodmans is a re-badger, as are now the likes of Bush and a few others...
  12. Sometimes the sled motor can quiver like this. It is difficult to be exact, but experience has taught it's either the spindle motor or optical pickup - about a 3:1 failure rate for these. But of course if you get one of these parts and replace it, it's bound to be the other. Are you in the UK? I can do repairs on a single drive unit rather than the whole deck, so postage is much cheaper. Jim
  13. The drive unit is the MDM-7X, probably the 7A or 7S1A variant. Notorious for this problem. Try moving the spindle motor (just move the spindle slightly by hand with no disc inserted). If the deck responds, it is a bad spot on the spindle motor and may work fine for months, even years, before failing again. Alternatively, if you can't hear the focus coils operating (very quite 'whipping' noise), the optical pickup cannot focus on the tracks, and will need to be replaced. Might also be worth checking to make sure the sled returns to home at power-on to exclude this motor - but beware of pushing the sled too far away from home position. The sled will be very hard to move initially, unless you help it by turning the white gear at the back manually. Jim
  14. You are a brave man taking the LCD glass off the board. When I do this, usually a few segments stubbornly refuse to work again. I must admit it does sound like the ribbon cable - especially the delayed response to update. Are you sure one of the copper lands is not cracked, or the mounting where it is 'glued' to the display board? I may have a spare if all else fails. Jim
  15. Sounds like you may have disturbed something which has made it work ok. The head failure on the N1 was a guess based on your fault description, as that's the usual culprit. But it could be the optical pickup or main board, you never know until it can be diagnosed by swapping in known good parts. The MZ-N1 is also very prone to faults caused by a twisted or otherwise damaged main chassis or casings. I have known N1's which work perfectly with the lower casing removed, then absolutely refuse to record properly with the same screwed back on. Jim
  16. Looks like I'm giving away all my hard-earned knowledge here - the R700 noise is due to the sled transmission gear rubbing against components on the circuit board. The gear warps with time, and lifts upwards at the outer circumference. The fix is a replacement plastic gear, or temporarily try to bend it down so it forms a very slight 'umbrella' shape. Or find some way of forcing the main circuit board slightly more proud than normal. The same problem can affect the N1, but this is not as common. Or it is simply a case that the motors are noisy and require replacement. Jim
  17. Definitely a fault on the encoding or recording side of the N10 then. Sorry. Jim
  18. Not really - I will never be rich. But it mans I can make a small amount of money to boost my other income, which is just a part-time job. It also means I can work at any time of the day, which helps with my various health problems as they restrict my abilities and exclude a normal '9-to-5'. Jim
  19. Hi. That's indicative of the write head cabling cracking, which is a fairly common age-related problem on the MZ-N1. The track you recorded is blank, almost certainly. And when you came to update the Table Of Contents, it erased that too. The reason is that the laser heats up the recording medium as expected, but the write head does no then 'set' the signal in the medium when it cools again. A very efficient method for erasing! Your original data is probably not lost, and if it is all recorded in LP4 it is a fairly trivial task to recover. You need a minidisc deck that can be fooled into writing a good TOC over your erased one, resulting in one single 360 minute track which you then need to edit back to it's original state with your MZ-N1, once that is repaired. A good example, and the one I personally use, is the MDS-JE520. Surprisingly, the deck you use to perform this trickery need not even support LP4, it just copies the TOC over verbatim, including the flags and settings that indicate the track is LP4. Where in the world are you? I am based in the UK, and repair these units for a living (and at reasonable price I might add). I can also recover the disc for you. Send me a personal message if you are interested. The resulting track comprises the original material recorded and any erased blocks, so may include older material that you thought already gone. In addition, due to recorded blocks filling any gaps caused be erasing, the material may not play back sequentially as far as you are concerned, although it is sequential on the disc. However, if it was a blank disc and you only ever added tunes to it, never erasing tracks or editing track markers, the disc will probably be totally sequential chronologically. This has also reminded me that I meant to look into TOC cloning using a portable recorder. I reckon it would just need a disc-in shorting switch to perform the task, that should be enough to allow a disc to be swapped without warning the unit's watchdog. I am pretty sure I came across a recorder a few years ago which had exactly this fault, and caused all sorts of amusing problems. If I ever find time.... I will add it to my to-do list. Jim
  20. I recently retested an RH1 belonging to a well known member of the forum prior to returning it from repair. It's only a few weeks since declaring it fixed, but already the annoying problem with the jog lever had returned. Up to now I have always relied to a spray cleaner to alleviate the random non-functioning of this multi-contact switch, but it was obviously not enough in this case. So I steeled myself and decided to try something more extreme. Thankfully I had a damaged switch to try this out on first, which is a good job as I managed to break it first time! But I have now developed a method of opening up this switch so I can access and clean the contacts. Not recommended for the feint-hearted! What did come as a shock is that the contacts are not precious metal, and so suffer from the same tarnish that affects many of Sony's other products, including the rotary jog dials of the NH series, many remote controls, and so on. Once I had carefully cleaned the contacts and lightly lubricated with silicone grease (hoping this will prevent the return of any oxidization for as long as possible), everything seems fine. So that is one more of the RH1's annoying little problems solved. Please note to anyone else trying this: the components are very small and easily lost. You need a very fine soldering iron, and a lot of skill using it. It is very easy to melt plastic and render the switch unusable, and all too easy to break the electrical contacts which are tiny. And should you cause permanent damage, getting hold of a replacement switch or whole display board is not easy or cheap. You have been warned! Jim
  21. If you are absolutely certain that the analogue input works all the time, every time, that rules out any part of the recording electronics. I would still guess the optical input is faulty, but as said before it could also be the digital cable or the SB output. In any case, I would expect the display on the N10 to show that the digital signal had disappeared, either by switching to analog or by showing a specific error (on this model, I think it would just be "No Signal"). Try wobbling the optical jack input plug as it is recording. And if you pull the plug out, you should see it switch to analog (ie line) input automatically, and back again when pushed back in. Jim
  22. The MC33/33/38 all suffer from the same lousy switch design. It is a constant problem with these types of switches that slide rather than push, indeed in certain cases even the push-to-make switches can suffer despite being, usually, sealed to the outside environment. The contacts become tarnished and resistive. That is, the contacts no longer act as a pure short of zero ohms, but present a random resistance across them. As the way each switch is distinguished is to switch in a different resistance across the keyboard sense line (which is an analogue rather than digital input), the switch functions are incorrectly read by the sampling ADC of the recorder unit's main processor. The switches can be cleaned but it a devilishly difficult process. On the other hand, the MC11/12 type remotes use a rotary control on the end, where the switch contacts are physically larger, wipe across a slightly longer distance, and seem to be immune to this problem for longer. But eventually even these remotes can cause problems. However, the contacts within these remote sticks are so much easier to clean. Jim PS - please also see my latest comments on the MZ-RH1
  23. You need to isolate the problem first of all. Any of three components could be at fault - the MD recorder, the SoundBlaster, or the optical cable. Unfortunately you haven't told us the model of your MD recorder, so the advice when can give is limited. If it is a portable unit, I have known the optical detect switch to fail and so it intermittently treats the input as analog. On decks, stress can cause broken joints to appear on the optical detector blocks where they are soldered onto the main board. However, if you can monitor the optical input at all times on 'phones, and material that you have heard does not record correctly, there is most likely a fault on your MD recorders main board (portable) or BD board (deck), or the laser record power is slow, or the write head is damaged or bent. But as I say, I can only guess without a model number. Jim
  24. A common fault with this remote. The physical switch becomes separated from the circuit board, and there's nothing you can do about it. Resoldering is only possible if you can remove the LCD display from the board first !!! A task even I don't want to try - yet. Jim
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