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Everything posted by kgallen

  1. I’m pretty boring - anything really on decks from 93 to 13! Sony would be the main interest, the only other MD stuff I have is Tascam.
  2. Hi Jonas, it sounds like the lens detached. Do you give it a clean before re-glueing and avoided glue on the surface? Did you get any further with this? Might be worth looking up the drive number (MDM) and seeing if this is used in another deck [*] you could use as a donor. I’ll have a check… [*] Sorry my mind was still on your E11 - of course this is a ‘common’ 500!
  3. A bit late, but before trying anything more drastic, considering it was working well and looks intact, I would do the ole remove and reinsert cables/ribbon cables inside, to remove any oxidisation. Ping back if you’re still around and want more info.
  4. That would be really interesting @Richard! Similarly do you have any catalogues etc for decks or maybe Hi-Fi MD systems?
  5. Thanks @Richard! Loving the Disc Pictorials! 🙂
  6. Cheers @BearBoy for the endless encouragement! Here we are back together and in the flight case. Chaka is playing again…!
  7. Just so you know I haven’t been sitting on my MD-behind, just reporting that I’ve finally fixed (fingers crossed) the intermittent display on my first (of 2) Tascam MD-CD1 combo decks. This deck is a tidy example I bought a few years back, although I did pay a bit through the nose for it on eBay (about £220 if I remember correctly - far far more than any other deck I’ve bought!). It actually arrived damaged (and not from shipping) - it must have had a knock on the front as the MD pitch control knob was impacted. Internally I had to rebuild one end of the front panel PCB and replace the Alps encoder both of which were broken. Otherwise it worked well until one day when I turned it on - it powered up then went off… one of the power supply regulators emitted the magic smoke. Fortunately I was able to identify the part and find a replacement (on eBay again!) which once fitted got the machine working again. More recently the display has been intermittent until that also finally went off and never came back on (otherwise the machine worked fine). I had a look at it a couple of times but couldn’t find the issue. I had another bash today after swatting up a bit more on VFDs and watched one of Dave Jones’ EEVBlog videos on the subject. Subsequently I identified that the AC cathode supply was dead (the -36V supply I had long suspected was in fact fine). After a bit of debug and falsely suspecting one of the X1/Y2 caps it turned out to be as simple as bad solder joints. Now cleaned up and resoldered I’m happy to report we’ve had good behaviour on a ‘soak test’ for the past hour or so. So not an exciting story but a good outcome anyway. 🙂 (Interesting track playing - little message for all of you out there in MD-land!)
  8. For completeness, this was the reply I put on Tapeheads.net: "The Service Manual I just downloaded for the 20ES says it uses an MDM6A drive. The schematics show a CX2656 DSP which would make this machine ATRAC1 Type-R. Confusingly the SM lists the pin out for the 2654 ATRAC1 4.5. Maybe there was a late change to use the newer chip which is why we find confusing/conflicting information for this model."
  9. I saw that but as yet I’ve not seen any other evidence it is indeed Type-R (issue date, front panel, service manual). Sony UK have most of the MD user manuals up on their site now, but 22ES doesn’t feature! Was it a Japanese only model?
  10. From pictures I can find of 20es and 30es, none proclaim Type-R and all proclaim ‘Wide bit stream’ so I think these are all 2654 ATRAC1 4.5. The 50es is even older so at best that is the same if not ATRAC1 4.0. All mighty impressive decks regardless and as many say once you get to ATRAC1 4.0 any SP audible improvement is highly subjective!
  11. There’s a Japanese 22ES on eBay and there is nothing on the front panel proclaiming Type-R, which they would shout about. It says ‘Wide bit stream’ which is what the 520 has on the front. I would conclude CXD2652 ATRAC1 4.5.
  12. From the release date on minidisc.org of 5/98 and the use of 2654 I think we can be pretty sure this is ATRAC1 4.5 the same as the 520/920. Looking through the descriptions for those 3 JA series models of that time they mention Type R or a DSP part number that is not consistent with the description, so I think there are a few errors there. Type R came in 1999 with the x30 family. Just my 2p worth!
  13. kgallen


    This external DAC idea is intriguing. Anyone actually find this is worthwhile audio wise? My bet is that most of these external DACs are using the same chipset Sony have been using in all but their earliest machines.
  14. Since we’ve been back online, everyone else has shared their recent exploits so I’m shamed into sharing mine! Not too much to show for the work yet but I’ll share what I’ve got. Essentially I’m building an interface between DMX and Sony parallel. The idea is to allow me to trigger sound effect and music cues on my MDS-E12 minidisc decks from my Zero88 FLX lighting console. So far I’ve designed and built the Sony parallel interface board and the DMX receiver board. This will interface into an Arduino that will interpret the DMX messages and drive out signalling on the Sony parallel interface. The parallel board will drive all 5 input channels and receive all 3 output channels available on the E12. I’ve been waiting on connectors which have been on back-order since May and only just arrived this week! ETA: Oh no they didn't - CPC sent me 9-way when I ordered 10-way. Still stuck then... (I’m currently out visiting family so on iPad so sorry if the formatting is not up to standard!)
  15. kgallen


    We’ll have to explain that to non-UKers under 45! With that last post it just told me I’m now ‘Apprentice’! Not bad for 712 posts!
  16. kgallen


    I just had a browse. Prices are pretty high - usual silly BIN prices but the half decent machines are getting good bids. I’ve put some search watchers on 940 and 980 just to see what comes up. As you say a repairer is the best bet for a keen price!
  17. kgallen


    You do well with finding these high spec 9x0 machines John. Clearly I’m not looking carefully enough, those spec machines always seem to be a ton plus for me! You’re also doing well finding those 4x0 machines at a good price as donors!
  18. Exactly. Needs to be fairly extreme usage to hit the limit. Sony of course balanced space for metadata versus payload (music) data in the MD spec. Not devised by dummies! Clever chaps them Sony engineers!
  19. From the MD FAQ: The titling capacity in the Minidisc UTOC is as follows: There are 255 name blocks available, each one able to hold 7 characters, so the absolute maximum for all tracks combined is 255*7=1785 characters. The number of name blocks used by a track is: (title characters+6)/7 (rounding quotient down to nearest integer). The disc title is handled just like any other track title (the disc title is placed on track #0, which is actually the MD's free list). So, each track that has a title takes at least one of these blocks. This means that if you have 255 tracks, all must have titles of 7 characters or fewer, or some tracks must go without titles. It also means that MD does not have the capacity for a disc title plus 255 track titles, one track (or the disc) would have to have an empty title. In addition to these limits, certain units may not display or allow entry of long titles, for example Sony's MDX-U1 car player only displays the first 32 characters of a title.
  20. Yes that’s correct. Indeed and 8 character title takes 14 bytes. It’s modulo 7 as title blocks are 7 bytes long.
  21. Yea sorry I wasn’t clear. What I mean is 7 bytes of storage are taken as a minimum so titles of 1 thru 6 characters still take a 7 byte block on disc. Agree you can have 1 character titles. I could have made that up!
  22. MD has a track limit (I think 255) and a total character limit for titles (and with I think a minimum of 7 per track). The titles limit should be pretty hard to hit. I’ve hit it once with an audio test disc that had over 100 very short tracks but very long descriptive titles. I’ll look up the spec - probably in that MD primer doc on minidisc.org ETA - beaten to it!
  23. The master of the house has rung so I shall answer! I’ll answer slightly generically as I don’t own either pieces of kit… The management summary is it’s possible you will stress the PSU and the machine. However I would expect enough design margin in both for it not to be an issue in the lifetime of both. To be sure I’d have to check the spec on the power supply/charger chip in the machine. The issue for me here is that the power supply is single voltage type so I suspect it’s based around a transformer. It’s also likely the output of the PSU is unregulated. This means the output voltage will be load dependent, so measuring the voltage with a high impedance voltmeter will probably give you a high reading and we cannot tell what the voltage will be under the load of the machine and/or charging the battery. However it’s likely to be on the high side but by how much is hard to say. The machine will have a fairly elaborate and undoubtedly well designed power supply circuit that will be deriving the multitude of digital and analogue supplies required inside the machine. Similarly the charger for the battery will be based around a proper charger chip that will assess and charge the battery with the correct voltage and current profile. I would expect both of these to have adequate input supply headroom to tolerate a slightly high input supply. But to be sure the chip specs would need to be checked. I haven’t done any maths here considering supply tolerances to know what the range could be. However I recall we did go into this a little a while back on another thread. The boring advice is to find a charger that suits your local supply. I suspect there are a few Sony power supplies that you could use with appropriate specs. For a short while you could probably get away with the Japanese charger. At user risk.
  24. BearBoy and I have made it to Rookie, and Richard is now at the heady heights of Apprentice! ...and I thought my career promotions were over!
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