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MTalley's Achievements


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  1. Could be. I'm not inclined to re-cap it just yet, though. There are no leaky or swollen caps on the board (first thing I looked for). Since it works great otherwise I think I'll just enjoy it as-is. Should conditions appear to deteriorate I'll take it back to the shop and check over the components.
  2. Well, looks like my power on, 2 minute wait and enjoy routine is going to be standard operating procedure for the near term. I've played with different startup wait times and 2 minutes seems to be the minimum wait for reliable initial disc read. I'm not going to sweat the current laser settings as they're close to where they were (maybe one or two clicks above where they started) and seem to work just fine. Other than the turn-on procedure, the deck works like new, so I'm happy. Considering what they are selling for on eBay (sold listings, not asking prices), I feel like I got a great bargain for US $34 shipped. Especially since it came with original instruction book and remote and is essentially spotless condition-wise.
  3. Next off, on, try cycle - at 1.5 minutes it spit the disc back out. Turned around and put the disc right back in and it read. So far, looks like about 2 minutes is the magic number. Looking more like a component that needs to heat soak a bit.
  4. Strange. Well, as a matter of update, I turned my unit off before dinner. When we got back home, I turned it on (about an hour later) and it spit the disc out. I only tried once. I went to take care of a couple things outside and tried again (about 10 minutes later) and it read the disc right away. So it appears something needs to warm up. As a further test, I unplugged it and put it into service mode. I lowered the laser settings back down about 3 points for the low power and 2 for the high power (I think, in total, I had added 4-5 for low and 2-3 for high). I turned the unit on and, sure enough, it spit out the disc. I set a timer for 2 minutes and tried again. Worked fine. So it appears to just need a minute or two of warm-up time to work. I'm going to repeat this test (off, wait, on, try after 2 minutes) a couple more times tonight and see if it is consistent. You don't, perchance, know what the default values for the low and high laser settings are, do you? (I'll go look in my service manual).
  5. Well, it's been on for 4.5 hours, playing discs the first 1.5 hours, then idle for 3 hours. Just popped a disc in and it read the TOC fine. Also, just got back from a shopping trip where I found a commercial MD at an antique store. Listening to it now. I'm leaning towards supporting component(s) in the heat soak theory. The case never gets warm. I'll probably turn it off in a few hours, let it cool 1/2 hour, then see if it spits discs after the next startup. If it recovers after a few minutes of power up, I'm going to slowly start dropping the laser settings back down a step at a time to see if that really was a contributor to the fix or not.
  6. I'm working on a newer theory with my player now. It seems it likes to work better after it has been turned on for a bit. After last night's session of recording and playback (without issues), I was encouraged that the laser power increase was helping. Today I turned the unit on and it was spitting discs out again. I bumped up the low power laser setting one step and tried again - same issue. After three or four tries, it finally read a disc and played it back fine. When that disc was done, I popped the other one in, it read the TOC right away and I played through all of it. After listening to the second disc, I ejected it and put it away. Instead of turning the player off, I left it on. An hour or so later, I stuck one of the discs in and it read the TOC no problem. I'm going to leave it turned on and try a disc every once in a while through the rest of the day. I'm under the impression that maybe, like old tube equipment, it just needs to warm up a bit to work. If that looks like it is panning out, I'll try stepping the laser power back down a tick at a time and see if that affects operation. If it truly is just a matter of having to warm up a bit, then I can live with turning the unit on several minutes before I want to use it (or leave it on all the time).
  7. I'm assuming the lower power (0.9 mW) is the read power and the higher (7.0 mW) is the write power? I upped the lower one maybe 2-3 points. It is working much more consistently now. I did find some plastic-safe grease I had on the shelf and serviced the worm gear and slider. It made no difference in operation. The laser power bump did, though. I tried that as I had read in other places that over time the lasers get a little lazy/weaker and thought maybe it wouldn't hurt. So far it's been working pretty nicely. I recorded a full disc last night and half of a second one. I listened back to both of them. Works great. As long as I leave it on, ejecting and inserting discs works great every time. After power down, a period of time, then power up it might or might not spit out a disk with a disc error. After one or two retries, it will work fine the rest of the time it is powered on. Wish I had a laser power meter. I see a couple on Amazon, but they're US $300 or more and I wouldn't have any other use for it other than to adjust this one unit.
  8. And, it's back working again, though still a little intermittent. I turned up the laser power little by little and got it working most of the time. I don't think the sled was getting stuck as much as the laser was not picking up the TOC or whatever it looks for at the inside track of the disk. Turning it up a little made it work a bit better, so I kept trying different settings until it fairly reliably reads disks (sometimes have to push the disc back in once or twice before it picks up and reads). Experimentation continues.
  9. Well, it was short-lived. It's back out on the bench now. Exercising the sled no longer gets it working.
  10. Good news. I went out to my workshop this afternoon and exercised the sled in service mode for a while, then put it back in normal mode. It read discs and correctly identified the blank disc and the one track that I managed to record on the other yesterday during initial testing. I plugged it into my home system temporarily, powered it up and it worked fine. Moved it to its permanent location, hooked it all up, inserted a disc and it failed and ejected the disc. I put it into service mode, ran the sled back and forth a few times, then back to normal mode and it's working fine. I've recorded a couple tracks on a blank disc and played them back without problem. Looks like I might need to re-grease the sled rack at some point in time. Just using it regularly may loosen it up over time. We'll see. Here it is installed on top of my Technics M85 Mk2 cassette deck (1979). And the rest of my system - Sansui 2000X receiver (1971) and Audio Technica LP120 turntable (2014).
  11. I paid US $25. That's about my upper limit for something that might not work. When something looks almost like new and includes all the accessories, I feel you sometimes stand a better chance that it will work. Hopefully this one will with some persuasion.
  12. Thanks. I'll do that next (exercise the sled for a while). If I do re-grease, I see the EM-30L grease available on both Ebay and Amazon (Dow Corning branded). I'll pick some up if needed.
  13. Picked up a JE510 via eBay. Listed as "Powers On - don't have a disc to test with". Unit is very clean, original user manual still sealed in plastic, included remote. For $25 it was worth a shot. I grabbed a five-pack of Sony blank MD74s off Amazon to test with (still sealed). When I powered it up and inserted a new, blank disc, it worked on reading the TOC for about 20 seconds, then put the word "Eject" on the display and spit the disc out. Repeated attempts were met with the same behavior, including trying a second disc. I took it out to the bench and removed the cover. Very clean inside, no signs of any electronic issues. In an attempt to start troubleshooting, I inserted a disc, it read the TOC and displayed "Blank Disk". Well, there ya go. I brought an analog output over from my shop stereo and plugged it into the analog in and recorded about 3 minutes of music from FM. Everything seemed to work just fine. To be sure, I ejected the disc, powered down and back up and inserted the disc. It read the TOC, said there was one track. I grabbed some headphones and listened to the result and it sounded great. I put the unit back together and temporarily wired it up with my stereo. Powered it back on, inserted the newly recorded disc and it was back to searching for TOC for about 20 seconds, displaying "Eject", popping the disc out and usually displaying "Disc Error" on the display afterwards. That's where I am now. It is back on the bench and opened back up. Tell me if it is doing what it generally should on disc insert (except Step 6, of course): 1. Pulls in disc. 2. Disc starts spinning. 3. Laser sled clicks but doesn't really move much. 4. Disc stops spinning. 5. Wait about 2 seconds. 5. Repeat steps 2-4 one more time. 6. GIve up, display Eject and pop out the disc. I thought maybe there might be a problem with the sled motor or gears. I put it into service mode and, using the << and >> keys, the sled moves smoothly in each direction. It does hit the ends and go "click, click, click" if you don't stop in time. I would have thought maybe the limit switch at the inside end of travel might stop it before it did that. Ideas? I do have electronic repair knowledge. I have a PDF of the service manual, a meter, oscilloscope, bench power supply, etc.
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