Junk or Repair CD Player?

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fine-tune
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Junk or Repair CD Player?

Post by fine-tune » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:46 pm

I've used white noise as a sleep aid since I was a teenager. You can buy a single purpose gizmo that plays several
sounds like rain, ocean waves, etc. About ten years ago I purchased white noise CD's. Every few months I burn
one or two copies from the original. Since "great sound" is not required when playing a white noise CD, I use a
basic Clock Radio/CD Player. The CD plays for an hour and repeats. Those small, dinky speakers reproduce white
noise just fine. I never use the radio.

My old player lasted for years. I think it cost $40.00. Unfortunately, the model you see in the attached image has
a problem. The slightest vibration causes a momentary loss of sound. At first it seemed like a minor annoyance,
but it's getting worse.

Cheap gadgets are not designed to be repaired, but I did spend two cents wrapping electrical tape around the lid.
I was hoping it might provide some playback stability. Yes, I accept the award for "stupid idea of the year!"

I like this player because it's the perfect size for the night table next to my bed. I almost never attempt to repair
cheap devices. Opening the case without breaking something is probably impossible. Is there anything I can do
to stabilize playback, or should I donate this player to my trash?

(I'll answer the obvious question. There is nothing wrong with the CD's. They sound ok in other players.)
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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Junk or Repair CD Player?

Post by Janitor Tzap » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:44 am

10 years for a cheap cd\clock radio is pretty good. :)

Well......
First try cleaning the lense on the laser head.
Lubricate the stepper motor gearing.

While you got it apart.
Look at the ribbon cabling coming from the laser head, to the control board.
See if it has a kinks in it, and look for bad solder.

Note: On cheap stuff like this, the wiring connections are almost always soldered.
No connectors are used.
So be careful while pulling it apart.
:wink:

If you find some bad solder.
Use a fine Tip ESD Soldering Iron, with temperature control.
Those ribbon cables have a low melting point, thus they can be damaged easily.

Spray the volume control with some contact cleaner.

If it still skips, or continues to drop out.
Then the laser head has issues, time to junk it. :(


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haklesup
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Re: Junk or Repair CD Player?

Post by haklesup » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:51 pm

With even CDs becoming obsolete, I suggest you upgrade to something solid state. An MP3 player and external speaker should be easy to get. I found a tine generator app for android that makes white noise, I'm sure there are ones with the other sounds. OTOH, I'm sure you will have little trouble finding a replacement CD player with the holiday season starting yesterday

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Re: Junk or Repair CD Player?

Post by ShopRat » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:36 am

I can sympathize on the white noise. Back when I spent several years on the "graveyard shift", I bought a clock/radio/noise generator (from the DAK catalog?) to help sleep during daylight. I have no idea what's currently available.
Quick and cheap, you could try a small sheet of foam rubber (or similar) vibration damper under the player, think of the seat cushion for your hunting blind or sports stadium bleachers, or even several layers of "bubble wrap." But I have to second J.Tzap on cleaning the laser (I use Shellac Thinner and Alcohol Stove Fuel, found in the paint thinner section of home centers and hardware stores) and lubricating the gearing (would white grease/Lubriplate be good for that?). Don't forget CD's and DVD's read the bottom of the disk (a tough adjustment for us old duffers who remember vinyl :smile: ).
You might also look at how well the spindle "grips" the center hole of the CD. It's just possible that your particular design could be developing wear/age problems.

An "odd-ball" experiment; try different brands/types of blank disk and/or a different physical "burner" drive. I've read that blank disk quality may vary more than we expect. And manufacturing tolerances of drives might have you writing near one side of "okay" but reading near the other side. I once had a floppy drive head get bumped off track so it wouldn't "play nice" with other drives. I managed to bump it back on track so it worked (at least until I upgraded the computer). However, I believe these optical heads are far more sensitive to align.

I like the MP3 idea (or is that starting to go obsolete?), if you can find something that doesn't eat batteries. My impression is that portability is important in this market, meaning most available devices are battery powered. Hmm, the media center article in the October issue of N&V might spark some ideas...
Good luck,

Dale

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CeaSaR
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Re: Junk or Repair CD Player?

Post by CeaSaR » Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:23 am

**Edit**

Somehow, the preview was posted.

Moderator, please delete this message.

CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

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CeaSaR
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Re: Junk or Repair CD Player?

Post by CeaSaR » Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:26 am

Go to the local Dollar Store or the $0.99 aisle in your local store and look for the little round (or square/rectangular) jar lid grippers. These are grippy rubber mesh looking things that I also use as footing glued to the bottoms of my home-made guitar pedals. They cushion the box above while keeping it in place. You only need to worry about getting it under the feet of your little combo device. You can double up if need be and glue them in place.

Next, clean the laser lens as described above, especially if you've just lubed the worm gears that place the laser.

Now, if you do have it apart, make sure that there are no broken parts or loose screws. Then look for any possible bad connections/solder joints. If you still have problems, go get a MP3 player (saw one at the local Wally World and at a store near me called Ollie's Bargain Outlet). You can rip the white noise off the CD and convert it to MP3 and put it on the player. Then find the audio line level on the radio and tap into it with an appropriate plug for the MP3 player headphone jack. Skipping problem solved and you didn't need to buy yet another radio. Only thing you need to figure out is how to keep the player charged or powered. Since most players nowadays use USB power to charge or run, and the CD player probably uses 5V, you should be able to tap that power and rig it into the player.

One big advantage of a solid state player is that you can make the MP3 very long, but keep the size relatively small. Since it is white noise, and the radio is mono, you can make the file mono, 8-bit, 32-64k, and keep an 8 hour file manageable. That way, all you have to do is hit play and not worry if the loop function is on.

Food for thought.

CeaSaR
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Lenp
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Re: Junk or Repair CD Player?

Post by Lenp » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:47 am

If it is just noise masking and not technical needs, that you are interested in, why not build a white noise generartor?

The interstation hiss on FM, or the no chanel noise from a TV are typical, random equal amplitude signals.
Today this might not be useful with modern receiver muting systems, so an older set would be best.
Pink noise, diffrent than white noise, is wider spectrum with different power levels.

Cheap and simple, many white noise generators are based on PN junction noise.
Here is a good start point!
http://www.edn.com/design/analog/442092 ... -to-100kHz
Len

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Junk or Repair CD Player?

Post by Janitor Tzap » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:34 pm

Maybe Fine-Tune wants the Clock\Alarm\Radio features, as well as a White Noise Generator. :wink:

So, CeaSaR & haklesup suggestion of connecting a MP3 Player, or building a White Noise Generator circuit
to connect up to it would be one way to go, other than repairing, or replacing the unit.

Thou,
Upon doing a Google search.
I came up with the same Memorex Clock\Radio\CD Player for $28.00.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Memorex-Alarm-C ... 2177637252
I like this player because it's the perfect size for the night table next to my bed.
Okay, what is it's size?

Here's a unit that has an MP3 Player built in.
Image
It lists for $49.53.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/August-MB300-Cl ... 2548.l4275

That's a pretty good price.
And is cheaper than trying to modify the current CD\Clock\Radio.


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fine-tune
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Re: Junk or Repair CD Player?

Post by fine-tune » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:15 pm

The very first white noise device I owned was simply a fan inside an upside down birthday cake with adjustable
slots. As a teenager that had trouble sleeping, I remember wacking the thing many times when the fan blade or
motor needed adjustment or lube. My dog barked when the motor didn't sound right!

I just googled to see if the "birthday cake" model was still available. Marpac still sells the darn thing, as you can
see in the attached image. If you want to torture someone, send this device as an anonymous gift.

I really don't remember how many Clock Radio/CD Players I've owned. The most reliable was a Jensen model that
lasted for several years.

I blasted all crevices with compressed air and cleaned the laser lense.

In my shop I've got a several types of surplus rubber sheeting. Foam rubber, neoprene, etc. I tried various types of
rubber under the player to absorb shock. Nothing helped.

Inexpensive electronics is designed to be trashed, not repaired. That's why they're almost impossble to disassemble.

I'm sure most of you have a huge assortment of hand tools and driver bits that fit almost any type of screw made
in Europe, Asia, etc. However, removing screws does not mean the case will slide or pull apart easily! There are
usually several hidden tabs holding the case firmly together. After finding the slots or tabs, they must be pryed
apart. Almost impossible with brittle plastic. I usually cut them with a utility knife, razor saw, or Dremel tool and
apply a silicone caulk or rubber cement when reassembling. Never a permanent adhesive.

If I get the case open without too much damage I'll lube, clean, check soldered connections, etc.

I save all your replies, they're the best!

Thanks guys.
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Lenp
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Re: Junk or Repair CD Player?

Post by Lenp » Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:03 am

So....That's what that thing is!

I had one of those, only a whole lot bigger. It landed out back a couple of years ago, and yes, it was making a kind of buzzing sound too! :cool:
Len

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

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CeaSaR
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Re: Junk or Repair CD Player?

Post by CeaSaR » Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:55 am

The one I have like that in my basement is red, went on the front of an emergency vehicle, and would never be classified as a white noise sleeping aid! :D

Yes, I've seen those too. You twist the top to alter the volume, I think.
Hey, what do I know?

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