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Sony MDS JE510 unusual eject problem

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Ragodin

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This appears not to be the normal ejection  problem

When i insert a disk it displays TOC reading for some time, displays eject and then ejects the disk

If I heat the disk unit with a hairdrier for 30 seconds then it is usually possible to read and write disks.

Some background

The player hasn't been used for several years but worked well prior to storage in a dry atmosphere

I tried to find the drive belt to see if it needed replacement but couldn't find it.

Hoping someone can help

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I think I'd be careful with the heat otherwise some of the components are going to distort!

Note for read, this is a laser-only operation and this is on the underside of the disk (pointing up). The "head" you can see is the overwrite head and this will drop to the surface if a write operation is needed - writing audio data or updating the TOC.

At this point a clean and careful regrease of the sled rail would be my starting position. See here:

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks kgallen

Had a look but mine is spotless and has been in my possession since new

I tried putting a drop of Singer sewing machine oil on the top sled and using a cotton bud to clean the screw thread (at least it looks like one) underneath. No difference

I have included two videos. one shows moving the head when in setup mode and the other shows a minidisc being inserted and rejected. At around 9 seconds you can see the attempt to move the head.

 

 

Edited by Ragodin
Videos not good enough, too big
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I think your videos got truncated to 7secs. But either way I'm a little stuck now (doesn't take much!).

In Service Mode can you work the sled back a forth a few times to ensure it's running smoothly? Maybe you already did this after applying the oil (risky, I'm sure you were careful!).

This must be a mechanical thing with the heat unless there is a bad contact that makes when heated up slightly (unlikely I guess!). Clutching at straws!

My only other suggestion before @NGY saves the say is the 'ole ribbon cable trick, but you're not having the same issue as I had at the time. But I don't think you should be using that hairdryer any more!

 

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Before we take any further steps here, please do consider this advise from @kgallen:

8 hours ago, kgallen said:

I think I'd be careful with the heat otherwise some of the components are going to distort!

Even if this is that infamous "all metal" mechanism, it has some delicate plastic parts - the loading gears and the OWH to mention at first place.

Now, back to the issue:

On 3/8/2021 at 6:34 PM, Ragodin said:

When i insert a disk it displays TOC reading for some time, displays eject and then ejects the disk

Generally this is the symptom when the drive cannot read the disc's TOC, for a reason - that can be a single one of many possible, or multifold if you are unlucky.

Do you get the "DISC ERROR" message, before it ejects the disc? (If you do, see some hints here, for what to check first). If you don't and the deck just spits the disc without reading it then we probably face a another issue. To step further ...

6 hours ago, Ragodin said:

I have included two videos

5 hours ago, kgallen said:

your videos got truncated to 7secs

... it would help us a lot if we could see the load/read/eject sequence in full length.

Nevertheless, I see on the second video, that in SM you can FF and FW the sled without any problem. This is good news, and shows that at least your sled mechanism is OK. The problem probably lies with the loading mechanism, whether or not the drive properly senses the loaded disc. But no guessing - let's see some more information first.

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Thanks guys

Quick response before I redo the video

I don't get any error message it goes straight from TOC reading to eject. I guess the reason for this is that the reading head seems to get stuck and moves a very short distance before returning to its start position

 

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11 minutes ago, Ragodin said:

I don't get any error message it goes straight from TOC reading to eject.

OK, that clarifies.

Please tell me then, when you moved the sled back and forth in SM, was it only possible after "heating" the drive, or you were able to do it just at plain room temperature? If the latter, then I am leaning towards it is a sensor issue.

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33 minutes ago, Ragodin said:

Thanks guys

Quick response before I redo the video

I don't get any error message it goes straight from TOC reading to eject. I guess the reason for this is that the reading head seems to get stuck and moves a very short distance before returning to its start position

 

Hmm - isn't that a normal event? Going to start, moving in a bit, then back to outside........... the failure you then see being from what it found (or in this case failed to find).

(don't take any notice of me, it's so long since I had one of these apart I can't even remember if it goes inwards like a CD, or outwards from the centre).

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38 minutes ago, sfbp said:

(don't take any notice of me, it's so long since I had one of these apart I can't even remember if it goes inwards like a CD, or outwards from the centre).

Preamble and TOC is on the inside near the spindle. Disc reads inside to outside. (Below diagram not to scale on the "area" annotations.)

image.png

But I would agree with your earlier assertion Stephen, that reading the TOC is very little movement of the sled, The TOC is relatively very little data so can reside on a small number of tracks even on the small circumference of the inner spirals of the disc.

For the OP if technically minded, see this "technology primer": http://minidisc.org/manuals/minidisc_training.pdf

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3 hours ago, sfbp said:

the failure you then see being from what it found (or in this case failed to find).

2 hours ago, kgallen said:

But I would agree with your earlier assertion Stephen,

Gentlemen, do we have some "hidden" history of this thread you are referring to? I can't see anything before the OP's post from yesterday. Or, are you referring to another thread? How can we then link this thread to that one or to its "missing history" (if existed)? Would be great to keep all related information together, not only for present troubleshooting session, but for future readers too. The 510 is still a very popular machine for some reason, regardless of its multiple issues that were mostly eliminated from later models (beginning with the 520).

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NGY The ability to move the sled in SM did not require heat.

The videos attached hopefully will help

Also the sled didn't move this time at room temperature.

SM info.

FBIAS  head moves across the disk

CPLAY MODE head moves to centre

CREC MODE head moves to centre

DTRAK CHECK head in the centre

Scurva CHECK Focus On

Manual Command ON OF OF

Don't know if this helpful - but always hope

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1 hour ago, NGY said:

Gentlemen, do we have some "hidden" history of this thread you are referring to? I can't see anything before the OP's post from yesterday. Or, are you referring to another thread? How can we then link this thread to that one or to its "missing history" (if existed)? Would be great to keep all related information together, not only for present troubleshooting session, but for future readers too. The 510 is still a very popular machine for some reason, regardless of its multiple issues that were mostly eliminated from later models (beginning with the 520).

No, it's just I'm getting the hang of reading into Stephen's obscure comments and trying to piece together what he's getting at!

Perfectly possible I got hold of the wrong end of the wrong stick.

All we succeeded to do was disrupt the thread. My apologies! Nothing more to see here!

Please continue!

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No, you are fully right - thanks for the addition.

I was going to write a similar disclaimer myself, but I was busy trying to describe the check process itself as percisely as I can. Then as I have been working on multiple tasks the same time (as usual) with this one being only one of them, I simply forgot about it when I returned to my disrupted previous task.

Nevertheless, I honestly do hope that anybody who dares to open a minidisc (CD, DVD, etc., laser beam emitting) device for repair is fully aware of the risks of the laser radiation (not to mention those warning stickers inside these machines). And not only the laser but the live AC power contacts as well, and so on. I cannot be held responsible for any accidents if others completely ignore (or simply "dummy" enough not knowing about) such trivial precautions. And honestly, if I had to begin all my technical posts with such a warning, it would take more time just to write all that stuff down again and again than I would/could normally spend on dealing with the problems themselves.

I hope nobody considers this "ignorance", but here it is then, for now an ever: NODOBODY OPEN an MD device if you are NOT FAMILAR with all these risks and NOT EDUCATED to do such a repair!

Maybe we should create a sticky on this, and from then and on we can focus on the real stuff.

- o -

EDIT: for the sticky and/or for those who want to have more information on laser safety. (Also here, even if "less official".)

A few quotes on Class 1 lasers (like the ones in MD gear):

FDA Class IEC Laser Product Hazard Product Examples
I 1, 1M Considered non-hazardous. Hazard increases if viewed with optical aids, including magnifiers, binoculars, or telescopes.
  • laser printers
  • CD players
  • DVD players

"Class 1

CLASS 1 LASER PRODUCT

A Class 1 laser is safe under all conditions of normal use. This means the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) cannot be exceeded when viewing a laser with the naked eye or with the aid of typical magnifying optics (e.g. telescope or microscope). To verify compliance, the standard specifies the aperture and distance corresponding to the naked eye, a typical telescope viewing a collimated beam, and a typical microscope viewing a divergent beam. It is important to realize that certain lasers classified as Class 1 may still pose a hazard when viewed with a telescope or microscope of sufficiently large aperture. For example, a high-power laser with a very large collimated beam or very highly divergent beam may be classified as Class 1 if the power that passes through the apertures defined in the standard is less than the AEL for Class 1; however, an unsafe power level may be collected by a magnifying optic with larger aperture. - Class 1 laser diodes are often used in optical disc drives"

 

"There is also the optics of the laser assembly to consider as they are collimated to focus at a very close distance (the distance to the surface of the CD). Anything more than an inch or so away from that and the beam is so diffuse it couldn't hurt you (as the beam spreads out, the wattage is the same, but its dramatically spread out of a much larger area, so the intensity is much lower). But, if you don’t know the optical setup then its better to just play it safe"

 

Conclusion: see the very last sentence above, in italics.

 

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Good stuff.

This is the first post I think I've read on this forum (in my short time here) where the interlocks are effectively defeated and expose the beam so I think our comments above are worth stating at this point.

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4 minutes ago, kgallen said:

This is the first post I think I've read on this forum (in my short time here) where the interlocks are effectively defeated and expose the beam

OK, if this was the first one, then the post is deleted. You may want to delete your quote too. I won't hold ANY responsibility. Thank you.

Side note: tons of posts exist on this forum where service mode operations described. Laser radiation is possible in service mode, even if one does not intentionally "defeats laser interlocks".

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4 hours ago, kgallen said:

No, it's just I'm getting the hang of reading into Stephen's obscure comments and trying to piece together what he's getting at!

Perfectly possible I got hold of the wrong end of the wrong stick.

All we succeeded to do was disrupt the thread. My apologies! Nothing more to see here!

Please continue!

Nah, I'm the "higgerunt" one here. Guilty as charged.

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BTW I think it's probably fair to say that at sub 1mW (READ MODE) these things are safe. But of course a completely maladjusted or random failed circuit might be able to churn out more.

The time you really need to be careful (with an already-functioning OP laser) is when the power is 10x that, which it is in WRITE MODE. Fair? Also pointing out that you may eventually likely blow the laser if you leave it on for too long in the service mode write mode. Remember in write mode, you are heating things up bigtime - what if that was your eye? Sort of analogous to frying certain parts of you in a microwave, even though microwave ovens are pretty safe.

The MD lasers run at 780nm which is just barely into the infrared spectrum. It's the coherence of a laser which makes it so dangerous.

The NHS advert currently running on uk tv about stroke F.A.S.T (and calling 999) pictures someone's head catching fire - my immediate thought was "MD Laser".

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You guys were so helpful at the start which I really appreciated. However the thread seems to have gone off at a tangent.

I tried cleaning the ribbon cables as suggested with no difference in the result.

I guess that I should write off my old mini-disc machine as there is no one round here who does repairs

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1 hour ago, Ragodin said:

I guess that I should write off my old mini-disc machine as there is no one round here who does repairs

I wouldn't say that yet. You seem to have some knowledge and are happy to work safely inside the machine so if you make some careful step by step checks then you may open up some ideas or fix the problem.

We don't have a definitive answer for you. But at this point I would assume a simple problem needs tracking down since you know the machine works.

Like: have you tried different disks. Is there any difference across brands? If you carefully apply a little pressure (instead of heat) to parts of the frame does that change anything? Does the disc look like it is spinning smoothly? Is the disk seating properly? Are there different noises under different conditions of above? When you did the heating (which I advise no more), which parts were you heating which had an effect?

Feed us with some information then we might have other ideas. We don't have the machine in front of us, you do. Just treat it gently and try ideas carefully. Otherwise it will become a piece of scrap.

Kevin

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Quote

Like: have you tried different disks. Is there any difference across brands? If you carefully apply a little pressure (instead of heat) to parts of the frame does that change anything? Does the disc look like it is spinning smoothly? Is the disk seating properly? Are there different noises under different conditions of above? When you did the heating (which I advise no more), which parts were you heating which had an effect?

Feed us with some information then we might have other ideas. We don't have the machine in front of us, you do. Just treat it gently and try ideas carefully. Otherwise it will become a piece of scrap.

I have tried about 20 different disks of three brands including Sony and Hi Space, others are no name

Tried putting a little pressure but no impact. Only pressed on pieces easily reached, including the sled.

The disk looks as if it is seated properly and in setup mode I can move the head across the whole platter.

There is an occasional noise but not frequent and a little like it can't move.

I have also cleaned the rail that the little round pin on the head slides along.

So far no progress

Any other ideas I am happy to try

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Some further information

Tried all the stuff recommended by John-John. Including

  • cleaning the laser
  • putting a heat shrink tube round the slider switch
  • Oiling the wheel supports
  • cleaning the contacts on the strip connectors
  • Sent him a mail off his site but so far received no reply

After all this same problem, though again after heating the unit to shrink the tubes it worked.

On setup Cplay mode still a very high level of errors. It does however move between the three settings

 

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It might very well be that the laser is weakening. What makes a little difference to me is how the TOC reading sequence happens on his machine. Based on his video above, my observation is that the deck probably does not even get to the point where the laser attempts to read the Lead-in area. That is, to happen before it gets to reading the TOC. These two readings are done on two different reflectivity layers, that the laser also has to accomodate to. Whether or not it is a laser issue or a mechanical problem is what we need to find out. This was what I tried to get hold of in my deleted post above. Not sure how to step forward from here. I mean, I do know what I would do if the machine was in front of me. What I don't know is how to post that sequence here without being charged responsible for any possible damage or personal injury. I never ever meant here to hurt anybody or ruin their machines.

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Thanks NGY

I am not sure how to go further.

It just seems odd to me that if I gently heat it with a hairdryer I can get the machine to work.

This seems to me that it isn't a laser problem but something mechanical. Either a part which is expanded by the heat or a lubricant which is melted.

If it was a laser problem then I could increase the laser power, but don't want to do this as it could cause other problems 

Any suggestions gratefully accepted

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Don't spin too much on this "heating the drive with hair dryer". I see your point, but, as already mentioned before by others, this is totally uncontrolled and can impact many things besides the ones you mentioned, thus can make the situation worse, rather than better. Take the OP for example: say 10...20 °C increase in its temperature over ambient can result in higher laser output - and if it was the case, I could imagine if it helped. However, as  the laser diode gets hotter, its current increases, that heats the laser even more and so forth, then at a certain level the laser diode just simply burns out. How far this process gets is totally out of your hands.

Here is my rank of possible causes (based on the information I read here, and I might as well be wrong too):

- one of the sensors - i.e., either the switch  that senses the loaded disc, or the one for the sled parking position (or both, or even more).

- weak or out-of-focus laser

- spindle motor

- anything else

From this you can conclude I give a low probability of it being a lubricant problem. Normally, I would follow this order when trying to confirm/exclude causes. Nevertheless, you can check your laser power, if you have the proper gear for it - an LPM and an MDM3 test jig with a DMM hooked on, as a bare minimum. Without these pieces of equipment all you can do is to proceed (very carefully) like described here or here, for example.

And stepping back to the TOC reading process above for a moment: I can do a short video of one of my MDM-3 decks, what happens when a disc is loaded. You can then compare it to your machine, looking for any differences. I just need some quiet time to do it - will get back to this thread soon.

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Thanks again  NGY

Unfortunately I don't have the test gear, the other problem is that I don't know anyone round here who has.

So I guess I will have to keep trying to find someone locally who can help.

I could put the numbers from various tests in SM if useful

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OK Got some numbers

Laser check

  LD 0 9mW $10,   LD 7 0mW $90,   LD 0 7mW $00 or $0D,   LD 6 2mW $80,   WPmr  $80 not sure of the alpha characters

FBIAS Check 7071/00  C=02

CPLAY MODE

MID C1=6970AD=00 to 7350AD=75 ; IN C1=6192AD=00; MID C15114AD=00; OUT C1=4592AD=00

For another Sony mini-disk

IN 2650AD=00 to 2822 & 2650AD=02 to 2751, &2616AD=01 to 2785, 

MID  2770AD=00 to 3074

OUT  2841AD=00 to 3010

EEP 51 14

If there are any other readings let me know and I will try again. I only have this device so it wasn't possible to use another source for the disks

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OK, a few comments:

- Laser Power: "LD 0 9mW $10,   LD 7 0mW $90" seem to be factory settings. Good news, unless someone tinkered the trim pot on the OP - would be worth to measure it with a multimeter (although "LD 6 2mW $80,   WPmr  $80", i.e., those two figures matching each other is a good feedback - but I cannot detail it here).

- CPLAY Mode error rates: these high numbers in the multiple thousands region (especially this "7350") are worrying, they show that your laser is set off big time (or even "dying" as Stephen said)

What makes things complicated is that yes, it can be a fading laser diode, but it can just as well be a mechanically damaged OP (see some photos here), or a totally misaligned (out of focus, out of track, wrong gains, etc.) laser. Either way, it can be a cause for the deck not able to read the LEAD IN area - but it can be something else too, i.e. one or more of the sensor, as already mentioned.

Anyhow, you can try your laser whether it is still capable for some "normal" operation. If the visual inspection (MACHINE AC CORD PULLED OFF!) shows the OP is not mechanically damaged (see linked photos above), then you can try the trial and error part on the laser READ settings (i.e., the one for 0.9 mW) - and forget the WRITE settings, as it does not impact your original issue at all. You can try  going up from the $10 to $14...15 without damaging you laser, but do it only incrementally - once you see a result (i.e., deck begins to read the disc), no need to stretch the laser any further. If no result, at even $15, then reset the value to the initial $10.

The SM has a good chapter on how to properly set the laser, but the trick is you either have to have Sony's test discs, or another, known good machine to make discs you can use for these settings (preferably not a portable, as Stephen pointed out in the other topic linked above). And, this is a painfully tiresome process, may take an hour or even way more, or no success at all, if your laser is too "stubborn".

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3 hours ago, Ragodin said:

Only difference is that I now sometimes get 'disc error' but not always

This is actually a good sign - in terms it is giving us a direction to follow.

It shows, with the increased setting the laser managed to read the Lead-In area, then past the Lead-in it progressed over to reading the TOC area. There it could not then read the TOC properly, thus still could not yet recognize the disc. (The "DISC ERROR" message on the 500/510 machines is equivalent to the "TOC ERROR" message seen on later models.) In my eyes, this is a bit of progress, although there still might be other issues.

Can you compare then the actual movements of the sled (I mean, after loading a disc), to the previous state (on your video above)? I would expect now some wider seeking from the parking position, than before, as well as a few attempts from the drive to read the disc (spindle spinning up a few times, and laser giving an audible "click-click' noise, before spitting the disc out).

Now, if this machine was in front of me, and I did not have an LPM (I actually do, therefore I can obviously easily measure a laser properly, but let's just say "if", so you can give it a try if you wish), I would probably try going incrementally up above $15, maybe a few more ticks max.

Reasoning:

a) if the assumption above stands, then your laser is already going end of life soon. In that case, you can't really do anything wrong by stressing it a bit more, as it will give up soon to the ghost anyhow; or

b) if it is not fully the case - i.e., still there is some mechanical or sensor issue behind -, then increasing the READ power only (and only that much I indicated, that is about 0,3...0,4 mW  max.) cannot really burn out the laser diode. (Again, don't touch the WRITE settings!)

If no result, again, write back the original $10 value.

 

And let's then play the game this way:

DISCLAIMER: you try all this at your own risk - I must not be held responsible for any damage that might occur to your deck. I definitely have no intention to screw anybody's machine, and I would never suggest anything I am not 100% confident in that being safe and appropriate, and that I would not do on my own equipment in case.

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Latest saga

Yes I increased the power and the head moved - which is good.

Unfortunately when I took it to pieces to take the photo I must have disturbed a connection as the disc no longer turns. To verify this I used SM CPLAY and it does not get to the point of showing the errors. I tried it on IN, MID and OUT. The head moved a little each time but the disc stayed still!

Looks as if we are close to the end of the road.

BTW I contacted Sony and they said that as it was bought in 1997 they no longer maintain this model.

 

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19 minutes ago, Ragodin said:

Looks as if we are close to the end of the road.

Ah come on, don't give up so quickly! :-)

Make sure any cables are clean and seated properly.

 

19 minutes ago, Ragodin said:

BTW I contacted Sony and they said that as it was bought in 1997 they no longer maintain this model.

:-D No commitment these days you see... Good job there are these forums!

 

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