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This week/month/day/year I’ve mostly been…

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kgallen

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We’ll we don’t seem to have one of these so I thought I’d kick one off.


Nice for any off-the-cuff comments of what you’ve been up to (ideally with some MD content!) but you don’t think it warrants its own thread in the main forum…

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OK I’ll kick off. This week I’ve mostly been…

 

Repairing my Tascam MD-CD1 display.

 

Putting new belts in my Tascam 112 cassette deck as the old ones started squealing. We’ll they were 30 years old.

 

Raiding the charity shops in town so now I have a bunch of 50p CDs to dub to MD so I can listen to them at work on my MZ-R700.

 

Includes David Jason’s autobiography audio book which claims to be 12 hours long. Checking the disc lengths the 10 CDs will go nicely on three 74 minute MDs in LP4 🙂

 

Dub has begun! Two sessions in parallel!

 

Dub 1: Sony CDP-XE530 to MDS-JE770 including CD-Text copy (hopefully but I’m not convinced…[*]) via TOSLINK and Control- A1(II).

 

Dub 2: Sony CDP-D12 to MDS-E12 via coax then manual titling via PS/2.

 

For both it seems I can use the small RM-D10E remote that came with the 770 to setup and initiate the CD-Sync recording. Cute!
 

[*] It hasn’t copied titles. Either I’ve got the Control A1 lead still in my MDS-JE530 or the titles are copy protected… hmmm…

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This week I’ve mostly been pottering about on the beach as I’m on holiday 😀

 

Prior to that, in this site’s absence, I’d picked up a bunch of blanks and a couple of new portables. I’ve still not got around to trying to fix one of my MDS-JB980s, which is struggling to read discs (I’ve swapped it out of my office set up for my MDS-JB940 for the time being). I’ve also been doing some recording and using up some of my blanks. 

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2 hours ago, kgallen said:

[*] It hasn’t copied titles. Either I’ve got the Control A1 lead still in my MDS-JE530 or the titles are copy protected… hmmm…


I’m sure I read something recently that said CD Text titles were often copy protected but can’t remember where now 🤔

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28 minutes ago, BearBoy said:


I’m sure I read something recently that said CD Text titles were often copy protected but can’t remember where now 🤔

Well I did have some troubles a while back with this setup (or maybe to my 530 before I bought the 770).

 

I checked the cabling: TOSLINK and Control A1(II) direct from the CD to MD so clearly I need to do some more investigating why titles didn’t copy. I thought the display on the MD said something like ‘Titles Protected’ if there was an issue on this front but I don’t remember seeing that. And I did use CD-Sync which I think is also a prerequisite…

 

Last week I was ‘mostly’ on the beach (a bit) making big sand castles with my son and sitting in them whilst the sea came in and washed us all away. English East coast, nowhere exotic - but the weather was certainly better than we’re getting at home since we’ve been back!

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11 minutes ago, BearBoy said:

I’m also on the English East coast. Weather’s been a bit rubbish so far but due to clear up for the rest of the week. 

Fantastic! (the first bit!).

 

I’m now on the English ‘West’ coast, so let’s see if you’re following me… 🤔

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23 minutes ago, kgallen said:

I checked the cabling: TOSLINK and Control A1(II) direct from the CD to MD so clearly I need to do some more investigating why titles didn’t copy. I thought the display on the MD said something like ‘Titles Protected’ if there was an issue on this front but I don’t remember seeing that. And I did use CD-Sync which I think is also a prerequisite…

My bad (of course!).

 

I RTFM.

 

I was pressing Music Sync then Synchro Standby then Synchro Start. I didn’t need the Music Sync bit. Title copy works fine when I do it properly…

 

Remind me next time…!

 

Still never mind, bashing the titles in with a PS/2 keyboard only takes a couple of minutes and you get to find out what’s on the album 😂

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This week I'm on holiday leave and I have been mostly listening to the one single MD I bought and which I have recorded with a Crystal Castles album. More discs are waiting for tomorrow's pick up from the post office. My excitement level is through the roof!

Also I am about to put homebrew on my PS3 super slim so that's that 😊

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5 minutes ago, KorgerXP said:

Also I am about to put homebrew on my PS3 super slim so that's that 😊

(Old man alert…)

Is that a pint of home made beer, a game or some other piece of software? (I plump for the first but I know I’m wrong! 🤪)

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1 minute ago, kgallen said:

(Old man alert…)

Is that a pint of home made beer, a game or some other piece of software? (I plump for the first but I know I’m wrong! 🤪)

I'm wondering what is "old" is for you as I start to consider myself as such 🤣

 

Homebrew is basically any software not licenced by the original manufacturer. For example putting NES emulators on a PS2 using FreeMCBoot or other means. Any custom firmware replacing or running alongside the original as well. 

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4 minutes ago, KorgerXP said:

Homebrew is basically any software not licenced by the original manufacturer. For example putting NES emulators on a PS2 using FreeMCBoot or other means. Any custom firmware replacing or running alongside the original as well. 

Ah… clever. I should have known that.

 

I liked the beer idea while it lasted though!

 

0x33

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29 minutes ago, kgallen said:Still never mind, bashing the titles in with a PS/2 keyboard only takes a couple of minutes and you get to find out what’s on the album 

Glad you figured it out.

 

I know you’re joking (I think?) but I actually enjoy the manual elements of making a MiniDisc. In a world where I can rip a CD and then copy to my phone, complete with titles and artwork, in just a minute or two (or just stream pretty much any album ever released), I actually get some pleasure from recording music in real time and typing the song titles in manually. I’m far more likely to actually remember the song titles that way 🤣

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28 minutes ago, BearBoy said:

Glad you figured it out.

 

I know you’re joking (I think?) but I actually enjoy the manual elements of making a MiniDisc. In a world where I can rip a CD and then copy to my phone, complete with titles and artwork, in just a minute or two (or just stream pretty much any album ever released), I actually get some pleasure from recording music in real time and typing the song titles in manually. I’m far more likely to actually remember the song titles that way 🤣

Exactly.

 

I must have in excess on 100 MDs in my drawer at work. I like having a wander through them and picking something I haven’t listened to for a while. There is some junk in there (badly recorded radio programmes with FM noise) but I enjoy them all the same. Not everything is on BBC Sounds/iPlayer!

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The MiniDiscs I most enjoy stumbling across are the ones where I’d made an unlabelled (except for possibly noting the month/year) “mixtape” back in the day and being reminded of a point in time. It’s interesting being reminded of what I’d been listening to in, say, May 2001 or August 1998. 

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On my side, I was also on holiday (in Italy) for the last few weeks. Apart from just generally lazing around and eating a lot, I have been studying Japanese quite a bit. I took advantage of the fact I don't have to work to take more lessons online. On the MD front, I was back in my apartment in Rome, where a lot of my MD units are still located, so I was busy getting reacquainted with them and the many recorded discs I left here before moving to London (for the 2nd time) in 2016. I also discovered a whole stack of about 100 sealed blanks of various types I forgot I even had - including 2 unopened 10 packs of TDK Bit Clubs. 🙂

 

IMG_20210723_173129.jpg

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Yesterday evening I was mostly…

 

…trying to get a spares/repairs MZ-R700 to work.

 

- DOA but ‘was working’. However the contacts for the remote part of the headphone Jack are a bit mashed up 🤦‍♂️

- No response to battery or wall wart or disc in/out. Battery contacts clean, no sign of corrosion in or out

- Can’t get into test mode via key sequence

- wall wart power is getting in but the main power controller chip is not enabled so no internal supplies

 

- CAN get into test mode via internal solder bridge. In which case looks good. LCD and all buttons work fine. Only one error history report code 12 which is ‘Can’t read data on SYNC’. Probably nothing of significance. Record hours 0x038D = 909hrs. (Only need this to be a player). Sample check of internal voltages look good (power controller chip is outputting ~2.5V as required).

 

Open/Close switch seems to be fine - opening clamshell exits key test mode as expected. Using DVM, change in voltage can be seen.

 

Half Lock switch - not so sure. Can’t detect a noticeable voltage change on operating switch. Pull-up is internal to uC IC so hard to judge.

 

Gave both switches some spray and ‘worked’ them. No change.

 

Can’t see a mechanism to spin the disc up or move the sled in test mode Need to look harder cos…

 

- Remove test mode solder bridge and back to DOA.


Plan:

- reinstate test mode solder bridge and look for control to check sled/spindle etc

- try and get clearer picture on whether half-lock switch is working

 

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Well I've mucked about with it most of today and it's not fixed although I've learned a lot about it!

 

- Half-load switch was corroded but having taken the main PCB out for access I managed to clean it up with some switch cleaner and IPA and it buzzes out ok now.

 

This didn't fix it so I dug deep into the Service Manual and have worked through the configuration and adjustment steps in increasing depth as I took the plunge of the next deeper step and got a hang of interpreting the instructions.

 

Overall nothing has looked out of place regards electrical and laser power measurements.

 

I've ended up doing an NV reset. Checking and adjusting the voltages as instructed (already correct), checking the laser power on the 3 modes (already set correctly, laser seems good).

 

This machine can automatically adjust and calibrate itself for CD and MO discs which is neat. I can run the CD auto-adjust step (using my only MD CD, "War of the Worlds"!) and this completes successfully.

 

I can run the MO auto-adjust step and it will run, but always fails with either "138 NG 11" or "238 NG 12". NG is "no good". The two item codes 138 and 238 aren't in the R700 SM but I found them in other service manuals so I believe they are: 138=MO RF Gain Adjust and 238=RF Gain Adjustment. If the 11 and 12 are standard error codes, then 11=TOC error and 12=Data error, data could not be read at SYNC. The OWH buzzes out at 4.9 ohms both in and out of circuit, so I think it's intact. However I did run one cycle of the MO adjust with the OWH disconnected and I still got the "138 NG 11" code when I expected it to fail on a different test.

 

So overall I guess this could be bust with something like (a) OWH fault (b) issue with the photodiode receiver within the OP (c) some issue in the OP head amp circuitry.

 

Out of ideas for today...

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's oh so quiet... (Rich's Disc Pictorials don't make no sound!).

 

I have a niggle that I need to look into a little more. Sharing it for chatter. Let's talk SP (various ATRAC1 versions) vs LP2 and maybe even Type-S:

 

The only MD-CD I have is Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. But you know that. Depending on which date in the booklet is relevant it's either 1995 or 1998 so could be ATRAC1 v3 or ATRAC1 v4 maybe, but not later. Probably not relevant. It's two SP discs. The other week I did an MD-MD copy using my MDS-E10 into (one of) my MDS-E12 via coax digital so I could take a copy to work. I've been using LP2 a lot, so that's what I used to get 2xSP onto 1xLP2 disc.

 

Listening back I wasn't happy. After Richard Burton's intro speech, we launch into the big orchestral[*] intro: "Duh, Duh, Derrrrrrr..." ([*] ok, I know it was probably synths.)

 

Click. That's what I heard on the first "Duh". Click. The LP2 copy has a click right there on that orchestral strike. The LP2 encoder couldn't handle it??? Took another disc and recorded that part again in LP2. Click. Record that part in SP (will be Type R on the E12). Perfect. It's real - the LP2 encoder can't handle it!

 

So am I imagining it?

 

Any ideas? Is this a pure LP2 thing? Or is this an SP in ATRAC1 v3 (or v4) decoded and then re-encoded into LP2 artifact?

 

Anyone had any similar experiences?

 

Experiments to do:

(1) Does using a Type-S decoder help here and avoid the click? (480 or B10 to try)

(2) Do I have this album on CD (maybe?). If I repeat this recording do I get the same "click" in LP2?

 

For now I'm sticking with two discs of SP Type-R.

 

Also I bought TWOTW "New Generation". Nah, not up to the original in my view (although half of it seems to be the same instrumentation from the original version!). Discuss!

Further, that "same" strike from TWOTW NG - from CD - doesn't cause LP2 any problems...

 

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2 hours ago, kgallen said:

It's oh so quiet... (Rich's Disc Pictorials don't make no sound!).

 

 

I must have sent everyone to sleep with an overdose of budget MD's 🤣

 

2 hours ago, kgallen said:

Click. That's what I heard on the first "Duh". Click. The LP2 copy has a click right there on that orchestral strike. The LP2 encoder couldn't handle it??? Took another disc and recorded that part again in LP2. Click. Record that part in SP (will be Type R on the E12). Perfect. It's real - the LP2 encoder can't handle it!

 

So am I imagining it?

 

Any ideas? Is this a pure LP2 thing? Or is this an SP in ATRAC1 v3 (or v4) decoded and then re-encoded into LP2 artifact?

 

Anyone had any similar experiences?

 

Experiments to do:

(1) Does using a Type-S decoder help here and avoid the click? (480 or B10 to try)

(2) Do I have this album on CD (maybe?). If I repeat this recording do I get the same "click" in LP2?

 

That's an interesting one, I'd be curious to see what it is - on the face of it, it sounds like a possible encoding glitch, but a bit odd. I have only used LP2 a few times, usually when I was recording from CD and likewise wanted to fit in the last track on a single disc or something, or a very long time ago, when I lived in Holland and had cable TV / radio, I would record music from the cable radio stations from my cable decoder via the optical out. I do have a few pre-recorded MD's, but they are all in Italy and I don't have an MD deck with an optical out to attempt an MD to MD copy. 90% of my MD's are from CD's and I have not noticed any big audible artefacts on the rare occasion when I have used LP2. 

 

On a completely unrelated note, but still kind of within the overall theme of this topic, this week I was really enjoying using my MZ-E630. It's "only" an MDLP player (not Hi-MD) and doesn't have the HD Digital Amp of later Sony's (or the MZ-E720/730), but I really love this unit, it sounds really good and just looks really attractive. Very simple design, but really nice to use.. 

 

I also found a close to unused Victor XM-B22P player, so caved and bought that (wasn't too expensive). Looking forward to its arrival.

 

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41 minutes ago, Richard said:

I also found a close to unused Victor XM-B22P player, so caved and bought that (wasn't too expensive). Looking forward to its arrival.

We wanna see 🙂

 

On a similar note, I "stole" my son's MZ-NF610 to use at work. I'm currently working split between two teams so have acquired two desks. MZ-R700 upstairs, MZ-NF610 downstairs. Interesting that the NF610 is the newer model, but compared to the R700, it does seem very slow to startup the disc and the case does seem somewhat more "plasticky". Anyway they are both a source of some amusement in the office with my "legacy media collection". A member of my "new" team said "What's that? It's huge!". Really? An NF610 is 3 inches square and about 3/4" thick!

 

Also with us often lamenting the huge variety of designs of both machines and discs, it was interesting to hear some chatter in the office about how the new iPhone 13 looks just like the last one...

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1 hour ago, kgallen said:

We wanna see 🙂

 

Of course, I'll definitely post some pictures when it arrives (hopefully next week).  

 

1 hour ago, kgallen said:

Anyway they are both a source of some amusement in the office with my "legacy media collection". A member of my "new" team said "What's that? It's huge!". Really? An NF610 is 3 inches square and about 3/4" thick!

 

Not sure what your colleagues use to listen to music, but that's a bit rich, given that most modern smartphones are probably twice the size an MD player. 😆 Even my Onkyo DAP is a brick compared to most player-only MD Walkman's in my collection. I would probably get the same kind of comments as you did from my colleagues, the vast majority of whom are all younger than me...  

 

 

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On a less serious note

...

I got myself a portable laser engraver earlier in the year, for funsies

https://www.laserpecker.net/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw1ouKBhC5ARIsAHXNMI9kKZG5I2NiL0EopbPmgtg5eaFc2VsUSK_68WV3mPhpH9tz9pDq1u0aAt7NEALw_wcB

 

Amongst other things I've used it for, I've recently been burning MD related designs onto the discs themselves. 

It won't do the surface normally because they are reflective, so I coat it first with various colored makers or paint pens, then wipe them clean. Sometimes the colors remain embedded into the engraving. 

I will post more things over time - maybe make a separate thread at some point. 

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On 9/15/2021 at 4:29 PM, kgallen said:

It's oh so quiet... (Rich's Disc Pictorials don't make no sound!).

 

I have a niggle that I need to look into a little more. Sharing it for chatter. Let's talk SP (various ATRAC1 versions) vs LP2 and maybe even Type-S:

 

The only MD-CD I have is Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. But you know that. Depending on which date in the booklet is relevant it's either 1995 or 1998 so could be ATRAC1 v3 or ATRAC1 v4 maybe, but not later. Probably not relevant. It's two SP discs. The other week I did an MD-MD copy using my MDS-E10 into (one of) my MDS-E12 via coax digital so I could take a copy to work. I've been using LP2 a lot, so that's what I used to get 2xSP onto 1xLP2 disc.

 

Listening back I wasn't happy. After Richard Burton's intro speech, we launch into the big orchestral[*] intro: "Duh, Duh, Derrrrrrr..." ([*] ok, I know it was probably synths.)

 

Click. That's what I heard on the first "Duh". Click. The LP2 copy has a click right there on that orchestral strike. The LP2 encoder couldn't handle it??? Took another disc and recorded that part again in LP2. Click. Record that part in SP (will be Type R on the E12). Perfect. It's real - the LP2 encoder can't handle it!

 

So am I imagining it?

 

Any ideas? Is this a pure LP2 thing? Or is this an SP in ATRAC1 v3 (or v4) decoded and then re-encoded into LP2 artifact?

 

Anyone had any similar experiences?

 

Experiments to do:

(1) Does using a Type-S decoder help here and avoid the click? (480 or B10 to try)

(2) Do I have this album on CD (maybe?). If I repeat this recording do I get the same "click" in LP2?

 

For now I'm sticking with two discs of SP Type-R.

 

Also I bought TWOTW "New Generation". Nah, not up to the original in my view (although half of it seems to be the same instrumentation from the original version!). Discuss!

Further, that "same" strike from TWOTW NG - from CD - doesn't cause LP2 any problems...

 

Very puzzling!

I don't have any pre-recorded MiniDiscs (just a cleaning disc that has a short amount of audio on it) so I have never tried copying one. I have, however, Made plenty of LP2 recordings from CDs and never noticed any audible clicks.

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3 hours ago, BearBoy said:

I assume the discs are no longer playable after you've decorated them? Or would it be possible to decorate the top side of one in a clear case like a Neige?

 

How come you end up with so many "dead discs"? I don't think I've ever had one fail on me.

Of the 6 in the pics, 4 are on the recording/reading side. I would assume they would have problems.

The other two you can see are 'visible' from that side, but they are still smooth to the touch, so I dunno. 

I have seen pictures with stickers attached to the actual discs, then placed back in the case - I assume they still played as normal, so I guess it's possible. Takes a bit of effort to remove and replace discs without damaging the case though. 

 

Also, for some reason, the surfaces and materials I've been engraving seem to curve a bit as a result 😢 especially cases I have cracked open.

 

As to why I have so many ... I used to get bulk lots of discs from Japan auctions, in search of designs I like. 

Sometimes, those discs have been through Gojira rampages, I reckon. Or the stickers are messy to remove etc etc

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