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nd2003grad

Sega CD model 1 issue...

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I'm trying to get all the help I can here, so I'm posting both here and in Sega 16.  I got a rather pristine Sega CD model 1 for CHEAP.  It powers on, tray works, and it will play audio cd's--but with intermittent skipping.  It will not play games at all, backup or original.  It doesn't recognize the disks at all.  Does this sound like it needs a new laser?  I've read all sorts of conflicting info on this issue all over the web and am trying to see if there are any updated answers.  I don't have a ton of technical skill but I do believe I can successfully replace the laser or adjust pots if I know what to do.

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It could be a variety of things, but bad caps is a common issue. First step would probably be to check those and get them replaced asap. That might fix the problem completely.

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Yes the model 1 is known to have bad caps and they should be replaced. HOWEVER!, I would advise against replacing the caps on the laser assembly itself. I've now had two instances where replacing the caps on the laser assembly caused the assembly to no longer work and the local retro store near me that repairs many more systems than I do, will tell you the same. So only replace the caps on the power and mainboard first and see if that helps at all.

 

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3 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Yes the model 1 is known to have bad caps and they should be replaced. HOWEVER!, I would advise against replacing the caps on the laser assembly itself. I've now had two instances where replacing the caps on the laser assembly caused the assembly to no longer work and the local retro store near me that repairs many more systems than I do, will tell you the same. So only replace the caps on the power and mainboard first and see if that helps at all.

 

Fantastic...I don't think I have the skill to do this myself LOL.

 

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4 minutes ago, nd2003grad said:

Fantastic...I don't think I have the skill to do this myself LOL.

 

Another issue on both model SegaCD units is the game save batteries. They are tack welded tabbed batteries and I've seen two that I've replaced that were starting to leak. Both happen to be on model 2 units in fact so I also make it a habit to replace out the old batteries, install a coin cell holder in its place and put a fresh battery in there.

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2 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Another issue on both model SegaCD units is the game save batteries. They are tack welded tabbed batteries and I've seen two that I've replaced that were starting to leak. Both happen to be on model 2 units in fact so I also make it a habit to replace out the old batteries, install a coin cell holder in its place and put a fresh battery in there.

I've been intending to do this.  It's just so frustrating (I should post a photo) because this thing is so PRISTINE inside and out, and so CLOSE to working.  Nothing else even seems to be slightly off (the tray is the tiniest bit fickle, but still working well).  I have a feeling the laser isn't reading the disk right, but I hate to do all the recap and still have the same problem (I've never done a recap, managed to escape that so far with all my systems fingers crossed).

 

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There is another much simpler thing you could try as well.

 

Adjust the disc spindle the disc sits on. I had a model 1 that wasn't reading very reliably and then I noticed when I compared it with another one that was, that the spindle the disc sits on appeared to be sitting lower. So I raided it just a smidgen and it became my new primary segaCD unit for about 2 years before I changed it out with a model 2 I use now.

 

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20 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

There is another much simpler thing you could try as well.

 

Adjust the disc spindle the disc sits on. I had a model 1 that wasn't reading very reliably and then I noticed when I compared it with another one that was, that the spindle the disc sits on appeared to be sitting lower. So I raided it just a smidgen and it became my new primary segaCD unit for about 2 years before I changed it out with a model 2 I use now.

 

Is this a pretty intuitive thing to do?  I've also heard of adjusting one of the pots but to me that gets in dangerous territory.  I think you may be onto something here that may be an ez fix.

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Yes...pretty easy to do. Just have to be careful you don't break it of course, but the spindle the disc sits on is just press fit onto the drive motor. In my case I noticed it appeared to be sitting too low compared to another so I used my fingers to pull up on the spindle just a tiny bit. It was reading fine at that point. So basically in this case, the laser wasn't focusing on the disc due to the disc being too close to it. 

 

There are trimmers/pots on the laser assembly you can adjust for this, but I wouldn't advise touching those. One of them adjusts the laser power and you can easily set that too high and burn out the laser diode. The other I believe is for adjusting the timing/speed of the CD drive. I've not had a ton of luck messing with the trimmers in the past. I have an actual o'scope now that I could probably do this, but haven't had the need to try in sometime.

 

At least with the spindle adjustment, it is easy to do without affecting the laser adjustments themselves.

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Well, I tried and I wasn't really able to raise or lower it...guess I don't know what I'm doing.  The top black part moves up and down, the middle part seems fixed as does the silver part which I'm guessing is part of the motor.  I don't want to force anything.  This is MADDENING as it's so close and everything else seems in order.  I've tried it with another genesis unit as well....can you maybe tell me what part I should be pulling on?  I'm thinking it's the silver part but it's really solid.  

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You are correct..the silver part on the motor spindle is what I'm talking about. I seem to recall that I was able to get mine to lift up about a mm was all I needed and it do recall it wasn't that easy because they a press fit onto that spindle pretty tightly. But I can understand if you aren't comfortable with messing with it much. It was just an idea on something to try as I had luck with it once on mine doing something similar as I stated.

 

 

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So I kind of got in there and figure out a lot of how it's put together.  I did a bunch of research on the pots and messed with that with my (admittedly crappy) multimeter.  I only managed to make it read slightly worse haha.  I tried and tried to raise that spindle, and I've seen someone else do it, but I just couldn't make it budge without feeling like a million sega cd pieces may explode all over the place.  Very frustrating.  I'll try some trial and error with the pot and go from there...might just need a new laser I really don't know if that would help or not at this point.

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It might just need a new laser, but you're going to have to have the caps replaced anyway, sooner rather than later. Might as well get it all done at once.

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Well, I got frustrated and bought a Model 2.  Disc won't spin.  Have laser on order for the model 1, I'm determined to get one or both of these @#@# working!!!!!!!!!!  If anyone knows anything about the model 2 issue, please let me know!  This is the most frustrating system I own!

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7 hours ago, nd2003grad said:

Well, I got frustrated and bought a Model 2.  Disc won't spin.  Have laser on order for the model 1, I'm determined to get one or both of these @#@# working!!!!!!!!!!  If anyone knows anything about the model 2 issue, please let me know!  This is the most frustrating system I own!

Is the unit recognizing the lid is closed? I think the bios screen says something along the lines of "checking disc" when you close the lid as it spins up the disc. 

 

If that isn't happening, then it could be the lid switch not closing/making contact. They use a switch which is two metal tabs in a tallish clear plastic tube. When the lid closes, it flexes the plastic tube causing the two metal contacts to touch and then spin up the drive.

 

I've had to *carefully* adjust/rebend  these types of switches in the past as they tend to bend out of shape over time. I've also put a few layers of electrical tape on the tube to make it make contact sooner when it's out of shape.

 

The CD laser head has a similar switch to tell it when it reaches the travel limit. If the switch doesn't close in that case, you'll hear the gears grind something fierce as it tries to move the laser past the limit. I cringe every time that happens. 

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The switch problem is something I've heard of multiple times over the years. I would check that first. The other most common issue is the fuse blowing in Model 2 units, but I would assume the unit wouldn't even power on in that case. I suppose the laser mech could go bad, but it's not something you hear about as often in this specific model.

 

9 hours ago, nd2003grad said:

This is the most frustrating system I own!

Something to remember is that this stuff is old. Really, really old now. You could pick up a CD-i, a Turbo Grafx CD, a PC Engine DUO, a Neo Geo CD, and have just as many problems with them. It's something that comes with the territory.

Edited by Austin
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On 12/9/2019 at 6:24 PM, Austin said:

The switch problem is something I've heard of multiple times over the years. I would check that first. The other most common issue is the fuse blowing in Model 2 units, but I would assume the unit wouldn't even power on in that case. I suppose the laser mech could go bad, but it's not something you hear about as often in this specific model.

 

Something to remember is that this stuff is old. Really, really old now. You could pick up a CD-i, a Turbo Grafx CD, a PC Engine DUO, a Neo Geo CD, and have just as many problems with them. It's something that comes with the territory.

Yeah, I see your point and maybe I've been fantastically lucky, but Sega CD is basically the end of my collection.  I've already fought with the Astrocade and the Amiga and won the battle.  Super lucky with all the rest.  I don't think it's either of these things because when I put the disc in it takes me to the "cd player" screen, but unable to do anything.  I'm hoping the new laser on the model 1 works out.

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2 hours ago, nd2003grad said:

Yeah, I see your point and maybe I've been fantastically lucky, but Sega CD is basically the end of my collection.  I've already fought with the Astrocade and the Amiga and won the battle.  Super lucky with all the rest.  I don't think it's either of these things because when I put the disc in it takes me to the "cd player" screen, but unable to do anything.  I'm hoping the new laser on the model 1 works out.

Yeah, it takes you to the CD player screen if you press anything on the controller. I'm guessing the CD player itself shows up blank (no music tracks, no memory option).

 

I've had so many problems with these old systems over the years. I had a Model 1 Sega CD I purchased earlier in the year that wouldn't read discs. I've had two Turbo/PCE DUOs that failed to read discs and required the caps to be replaced. I've had multiple Game Gears needing caps replaced. My CD-i had a bad timekeeper and so the system was pretty much a paper weight. My Japanese PS2 needed the laser replaced earlier this year, and it was scratching discs. The list goes on. 

 

This stuff can be a major pain in the ass. :(

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Well, I FINALLY got somewhere with this project.  The Model 2 is functioning, the whole laser assembly was sitting too low.  I'm determined to get the Model 1 working.  I replaced the laser and I think the replacement laser is dead--it doesn't do anything and the pot where the laser strength control is is reading 0 ohms and adjustments do nothing.  Do you guys know of a reliable place to get these lasers?  I know they all come from China.  Additionally, mine shipped without the so-called "solder blob."  The system is so painfully close to working.

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On 12/9/2019 at 5:55 PM, nick3092 said:

in

 

On 4/21/2020 at 6:42 PM, nd2003grad said:

Well, I FINALLY got somewhere with this project.  The Model 2 is functioning, the whole laser assembly was sitting too low.  I'm determined to get the Model 1 working.  I replaced the laser and I think the replacement laser is dead--it doesn't do anything and the pot where the laser strength control is is reading 0 ohms and adjustments do nothing.  Do you guys know of a reliable place to get these lasers?  I know they all come from China.  Additionally, mine shipped without the so-called "solder blob."  The system is so painfully close to working.

Hi yeah I’ve bought like 4 lasers from various places , seems they all had the same issue with 0 ohms on the power adjustment pot, not sure where we can even get some that work!! 

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Do the replacements ship with some sort of anti static protection on them that requires removing a solder blob similar to what I've heard on replacement lasers for the PS2 and some other consoles? 

 

I believe with that blob intact it grounds everything and prevents power or any voltages from reaching the laser diode section to protect it from...well...ESD requiring the blob to be removed? 

 

 

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On 5/11/2020 at 10:57 AM, -^CrossBow^- said:

Do the replacements ship with some sort of anti static protection on them that requires removing a solder blob similar to what I've heard on replacement lasers for the PS2 and some other consoles? 

 

I believe with that blob intact it grounds everything and prevents power or any voltages from reaching the laser diode section to protect it from...well...ESD requiring the blob to be removed? 

 

 

I hear tell that the blob is not on the model 1 sega cd lens assemblies, checked around the net on and off for the past month looking for info, also had confirmation from the sellers that these didn’t come with the blob. Hmm but perhaps it does have such a blob on these generic units, if so I’d like to know where that blob is located, it’s quite frustrating..

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