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Everything posted by NGY

  1. This would definitely be worth to try. However, I would proceed like this: - conclude the two desks TOSLINK back and forth tests to exclude any issues with the decks' TOSLINK inputs/outputs. Just for the peace of mind, that this part is also all OK on both decks, then - find a source device that does have a coaxial digital output (tv for example, DVD player, another receiver, etc.), instead of converting the existing CD deck's optical output. It is not yet confirmed, that it is OK or not. If the problem lies there, that would make the test with the SPDIF converter useless too.
  2. OK, thanks. That clarifies. I give up then for now - maybe new facts come after the remaining tests.
  3. OK. In that case, can you please send two photos, similar to the ones I attached above? Just out of curiousity, I never seen a 520 besides those variants.
  4. OK, new day, new ideas. I know you got a lot of ideas recently, still I would prefer to follow one path at a time until it concludes to somewhere, either solution or dead end, then and only then move forward to the next, in order not to mix things in your head. Without the intention of hijacking Kevin's and other's thoughts and ideas, I'd like to get back to your setup and the selector switch as a possible cause. I could not sleep last night, because this case in my mind (not true, I could :-) ). One question to you: can you please confirm which version of 520 you have (see photos below)? From the information you provided so far I would conclude the first one (US/CND). However, on your drawing I see an MD deck with only one TOSLINK input and one output. I suspect it is not taken from a 520 documentation, is it? The reason I am asking it is this: If you happen to have second type of 520 (EU and others), then my theory of the unstable switch is probably wrong. I can explain the "why" later. If you have the US/CND version, you must have two optical inputs. In that case, can you please do your recording tests via TOSLINK first via OPT1, then repeat it with OPT2 - but without changing anything else, except for moving the optical cable from socket 1 to 2 and set the switch accordingly. Your source can be either your CD or the other MD deck. If my theory stands, you would get skips only in the second part, not the in first one. Again, explanations later, after you did the tests, and if this made any sense. 520 ver. 1 (US/CND): 520 ver. 2 (Europe and others):
  5. NGY

    Test Jigs

    Indeed. It also already worked in the x70 decks, so they fixed it with the new generations coming out.
  6. I have re-read some posts above. So funny, how a small typo suggests a totally different meaning to a given sentence (even if in the context it could have been straightforward): when I wrote "sudio" above, I wanted to type audio in fact, not studio - and it resulted in a totally different thought path for you, that I just realised... See, letters "a" and "s" are next to each other on the keyboard, and given my crippled left little finger, I do this typo quite often. I am always keen on correcting all those typos (or other mistakes) I made, but I simply cannot always notice them. Sometimes I don't even understand what I wrote previously :-) . At the end of the day, English is a foreign language for me, so I am not supposed to understand everything written in English :-P .
  7. NGY

    Test Jigs

    Both are factory defaults for the 7mW laser power. Good. In fact, the x40 families (as well as other models that use the very same MDM-7 flavour, like the PC3 and the S50, and possibly others too) have a glitch in their firmware. The odometers will never begin counting (see more about this here). Too bad, because these very four are my machines I use the most on daily basis: 640, 940, PC3 and S50. I will never know, how far they got ... :-(
  8. There you go. Thanks Kevin! This would have been my next "quick and dirty" test too, right before recommending to properly clean the switch with some electrical contact spray. But just as of now, I can't hold my breath :-) . (I think he has a a non-Europe version, and the Coax option is not there on his 520-s.)
  9. Very good. Now we know, that your lasers are OK on both 520 decks. This is the most important thing in the given case. The "Cannot Copy" thing has already been answered by Stephen - it has nothing to do with the skips, fortunately. However we are not yet done with the 2 decks TOSLINK test - we want to understand both decks' in/out TOSLINK connections are working OK. They are, I am sure, because you got the "Cannot Copy", message, that means both decks were able to properly interpret the digital signal coming in, and activate SCMS, as Stephen noted above. But if you want to have it confirmed, please use an MD that has a recording from analogue source (see my words above: "(and making sure the audio material on the test disc was recorded originally from an analogue source)" - typos corrected). When doing the test, the source is this MD, and on reverse direction too, so you swap your discs too. TOSLINK will never have any interference with other analogue audio or even power lines. Never. That's one of the main points using optical connection between A/V devices. What can go wrong? Let me ask back, to see whether or not we could already reduce the possible causes: - now, analogue recording between the two decks is fine, no skips, no errors. What is the case, if you do an analogue recording from your amp? Use any source - Phono, CD, video, tv, you name it. Any skips? If all OK, take the next one: - now, if you use the direct TOSLINK connection between your CD player (just remove the coax digital line for the time of the test) and the MD deck, your 520's input switch is set to "digital", what is the case? Any skips? ( If still there are, I still keep to my theory of the faulty source selector switch.) I wait for your answers and we take it from there.
  10. I think there is more than that. I.e., the cables to and from the front panel, especially the headphone's mini pcb. Or the PSU wires.The drive is talking to the main pcb on digital lines anyway, and if that could cause any audible noise, it would be that "typical" digital noise. I remember I worked on an S38 then a 500 too, with similar problems. And weird enough, it was the tiny audio cable that brings the audio signal from the main pcb to the headphone board. It could play in as well, that the flat copper grounding sheet of the panel was not properly put under the screw that seems holding the front bezel but it does the earthing in fact.
  11. NGY

    Test Jigs

    Read laser powers all seem factory default. That's good news. Apart from the third one, others look fairly "new", hardly used. That's great news. You may want to add the 7 mW settings ($XX) to this little table, then it will begin telling you some good pattern (for later use, w/o an LPM). Now: if you take your nice new jig and DMM and measure IOP values for the 7mW laser power (that's what matters anyhow, for estimating the laser's state) in LDPWR CHECK, you can compare the values you measured with the second IOP numbers above, respectively. When done, I can explain what conclusions you can draw from that data.
  12. Great to see that the noise is gone. My bet would be either on those little grounding strips that connect different parts to the chassis, or, some of the internal cable connectors. Oxidization of the contacts can show such problems.
  13. Welcome to the forum. So the hiss appears on both the RCA line out and the headphone too, does it? Is this noise at equal level in both (L/R) channels? What is the case in normal playback, any noise? Try this: set the input to analogue, connect an RCA audio cable to the deck's analogue input jacks, at the other end of the cable shortwire the mid pins to the shield contacts per channel, then press rec pause and set the input level to 0 dB (default) - is the noise still there? This is not related to the pick-up, it most probably has to do with the analogue circuitry (or the D/A converter) part of the deck. Edit: can you possibly take and post here a short video with this noise audible, so we can hear it?
  14. OWH is a critical component (=many users break it accidentally, not knowing how delicate and fragile it is), that means it is frequently found missing or being busted in machines sold/bought on the internet. I believe it is very rare that someone keeps them "on stock", unless having multiple decks and prepared for the future. Those people who repair decks for a living, will not probably sell either, for the scarce supply of those important spare parts for their work. Nevertheless, if you don't get other offers that you like, drop me a PM with your e-mail and I explain which way I can try to help you from my end. Please note though, that postal services are suspended to and from certain countries these days, for the pandemic.
  15. NGY

    Test Jigs

    Khmmm... I thought you already had one ... ;-)
  16. NGY

    Test Jigs

    Nice job, congratulations. You will see it is going to be a very useful tool. I would write on it which pin is for what, with a permanent pen. This will help you later to quickly and properly hook up your DMM. You set your DMM to "mV", the range is 100 mV (maybe 200 mV or something close, depending on your meter). Then you hook up the DMM like this (section 5-6-2 in the 520 SM): positive lead to pin 5 (="I+3V") and negative lead to pin 4 (="IOP"). When you get to “LDPWR CHECK” in service mode, you can read the actual IOP values in mA. There you go. Edit: I use these cheap test hooks off ebay (for example). These fit on the standard 2mm pin DMM probes. Edit 2: I just realised these linked and pictured are for soldering onto wires. But you get the idea - I will try to find another link though, for the fit-on type. Edit 3: OK, I can't see one now, but anyhow, these ready-made hook leads are sold for peanuts too:
  17. Now, this is the advanced level :-). If you never entered the Service Mode on your decks before, please consider this "WARNING" first: in Service Mode, a single wrong step can make your device useless, or can kill your optical pick-up (essentially the laser). Therefore, please be VERY cautious what you do there. Since this high risk involved, I don't feel very comfortable to be the one who'd recommend or tell you how to enter Service Mode. Nevertheless, you may want to consult the 520's Service Manual for the details. Again, be careful.
  18. Nope. In Service Menu, under ERROR DP, you can check the usage of the given machine's laser. This tells us the age and probable condition of it. Please do NOT change ANY settings there just as of yet. Let's go step by step. You got all the directions, please go through accordingly - we must exclude possible causes one by one. There are multiple issues here definitely, and all you experience is an unfortunate "same on both decks" situation.
  19. TOSLINK uses a red LED as the light source, not a laser. But on that note, yes, even a LED can provide insufficient light to drive another device's TOSLINK receiver, for multiple reasons. One, being dirty or objected by other means. Two, a cheap plastic Chxxxse "glass fibre" optical cable. Three, dry solder joints on the PCB. Etc., you name it - but I don' think this is the issue (might as well be - please do the two decks tests to rule this out).
  20. Again, this must be related to the source device and/or the cabling. TOSLINK receivers on both decks going south the same way and the same time is not really probable. And I keep my theory of the faulty source selector switch. No, it is not correct. A broken RCA cable can show such a symptom. When either the middle wire or the shield is broken only, and only partially, say it still conducts electrically but the impedance is too high for the decks audio input circuits. Under a certain voltage treshold the signal will be considered as silence. Indeed, it should not. Now you are getting closer. I believe you have multiple issues here, so you need to begin solving the case step by step. At very first, I would connect the two decks via two, known good RCA cables, and try to record back and forth between the two decks, from a known good MD disc containing known good audio material. If no skips, your lasers are OK. Next step is - as Kevin already suggested above - repeate this test with two known good TOSLINK cables between the two decks (and making sure the audio material on the test disc was recorded an originally from an analogue source). If no skips, all TOSLINK cables and transmitters/receivers on both decks are OK. Then we go from there.
  21. Hmmm.... that's interesting. Normally, an MD deck uses laser power when writing to disc. From whatever audio source connected to the deck via whichever audio connection.
  22. I am afraid, you won't find NOS parts these days. The best way is buying used decks from lower classes (you can find them between $5...50, depending on your patience and luck), and salvage the OWH from them. The 30ES and the 555ES should not be too hard, any cheap decks with MDM-5 or MDM-7 drives, respectively, would make it. The 3ES might be a problem though, that's an early model, and those lower-end decks that have similar drive inside are not popping up for sale anymore, for long time now. This does not mean, you cannot find one, just not that easy, like a 330 or similar. If you ask me, I would not bother much with the 3ES, for that old ATRAC "predated the Boer War", unless your goal is to restore the deck to its working order and preserve it like that. Edit: BTW, if the OWH is "just" bent, it can be brought back to life in most cases. Delicate job, but doable. Even broken ones can be saved if all parts are there, if one has really steady hands and good eyes (or glasses :-) ).
  23. Sounds like insufficient laser power for writing. What do the odometers show? On both 520's. This supports my assumption above, too. I really don't believe, if this was related to the discs. One disc, maybe two, OK, but not all of them. To compare: I had ~1400 discs, and only two of them was defective. One was a cheap Bestmedia, the other one was a TDK color. Nothing else ever. I recorded on multiple different decks and portables, in those rare cases when I did experience an issue, it always turned out that the problem was not media related.
  24. Of course you were not serious. I just imagined, that someone is butchering those machines and trying to fit the pieces, like dr. Frankenstein :-) . I fully agree with the "think-out-of-the-box" thing.
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