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Atari Jaguar Cd

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5 hours ago, JagChris said:

This is what I have. Does it look like one of the problem ones?

IMG_20201218_092155.jpg

Unsure, but possibly. See this image of one of my failed ones. All x3 of the ones I had with white plastic at the end of the flexible ribbon cable either didn't read discs at all, booted games thinking they were audio CDs or had instant disc read errors after the game had loaded. I suspect these ones are newer drives not manufactured to the same specs/standards as the original. By chance I ordered one that looks just like my original Jag drive (back then called the CDM12.0 or CDM12.1) with the translucent ribbon cable and it worked great, loads CD-Rs extremely fast with no errors. Apparently there's also a lot of dud VAM1202 drives out there, units that failed QC over the years and somehow found their way onto Ebay or Alixpress. Basically my advice is to buy multiple units from different sources if possible.

 

Also save the removable spindle disc from your original jag drive, I had to reuse mine because the replacement drives spindle was too low, causing grinding noises and disc read errors.

 

This one looks ideal! Big motor, translucent ribbon cable, same spindle disc as my original Jag CD (grey), apparently from the original Philips factory. Expensive though!!

Edited by SparkTR
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7 hours ago, neo_rg said:

If possible get a replacement that has the big motors on them, most of them are the half sized one. Replace like with like wherever possible. 

Interesting. I did come across one like that but passed because my original Jag CD drive had the smaller motor, so wanted to keep it the same. I assume these larger motors read discs faster? It's so strange how there's so much variance within the same part number! If I had known earlier would have saved me some headaches.

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5 hours ago, SparkTR said:

Unsure, but possibly. See this image of one of my failed ones. All x3 of the ones I had with white plastic at the end of the flexible ribbon cable either didn't read discs at all, booted games thinking they were audio CDs or had instant disc read errors after the game had loaded. I suspect these ones are newer drives not manufactured to the same specs/standards as the original. By chance I ordered one that looks just like my original Jag drive (back then called the CDM12.0 or CDM12.1) with the translucent ribbon cable and it worked great, loads CD-Rs extremely fast with no errors. Apparently there's also a lot of dud VAM1202 drives out there, units that failed QC over the years and somehow found their way onto Ebay or Alixpress. Basically my advice is to buy multiple units from different sources if possible.

 

Also save the removable spindle disc from your original jag drive, I had to reuse mine because the replacement drives spindle was too low, causing grinding noises and disc read errors.

 

This one looks ideal! Big motor, translucent ribbon cable, same spindle disc as my original Jag CD (grey), apparently from the original Philips factory. Expensive though!!

Unless we're talking about a different end, mine is just the connectors silver color. But will grab the other kind. Thanks!

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Couple other notes:

 

While I agree the larger-motor units match the originals better, and in theory should be more robust I suppose, the three fully-working repairs I did were both smaller-motor units. If I remember right, one had clear plastic on the connector, the other two white. It really is just a toss of the dice I think with these cheap replacements. I always just order the cheapest one I can find on eBay. The one "failed" repair I did was using an extra-suspicious transport replacement: I got a "for parts" JagCD on eBay, seller claimed he had no idea what was wrong with it, but it arrived looking like someone had botched a repair, and it included a replacement transport in the box. It was also missing the lid close switch plastic rod, which is probably on sellers floor behind a table leg to this day. Right... no idea why it doesn't work. Anyway, I figured what the hell, I'd give it a go and installed the unit it came with rather than the one I got off eBay, and it got me that half-working repair. Should have known better in the first place. Other than that one, I've had no problems with the cheap eBay units. For the price (usually $12-20 with minimal shipping) you can just order 2-3 for the price of that burly looking one on Aliexpress and burn through them until you find a good one if you have the time.

 

7 hours ago, SparkTR said:

Also save the removable spindle disc from your original jag drive, I had to reuse mine because the replacement drives spindle was too low, causing grinding noises and disc read errors.

A thousand times this. Most of the cheap replacements I've gotten come with a black disc platter containing a much weaker magnet than the originals. Even if the placement and size is correct, the magnet is weak enough that it doesn't actually work: the disc isn't sufficiently clamped in place, so when the spindle spins, the disc just slips around and makes scary noises. Just pop it off and replace it. I even wrote a little guide on this here.

 

Also, don't count on getting what's in the picture on eBay. Most of the sellers who know what they're doing post generic pictures of the good grey-platter units with strong magnets and big motors, then you get the cheap ones in the mail. I got two different drives from the same seller a few months apart once, one good, one bad, but both worked fine in the end.

 

I ended up making a passable lid close switch by bending up a paperclip BTW, in case anyone else runs into this. I took a few pictures, but I've been too busy/lazy to write it up into a little guide like my other experiences. I plan on 3D printing a replacement at some point, but I've been too lazy to disassemble one of the better units to take measurements on the little piece I need to reproduce, and the paper clip is holding up fine so far.

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Thanks for the guide. I was wondering why my Jag CD would sometimes not work. It's probably due to this magnetic issue.

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Ordered the drive mech, the bumpers, now just need to order from Best Electronics (maybe) a drive latch and the stick that triggers the latch switch.

 

Yeh, this is a parts CD player that was pretty picked over, but powers up and displays!  :P

 

(I do have another working model.)

 

(hours later)

Was able to reach Best Electronics and order the missing pieces.   Reminds me of the time I fixed up a Portfolio from a thrift store that was missing about... everything.  :P

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Does anyone know what type of connector is used to connect to CD mechanism to the PCB? I suspect it's a JST XHP-6, but I think the one in the Jaguar CD is smaller.

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On 1/7/2021 at 1:17 PM, doctorclu said:

(hours later)

Was able to reach Best Electronics and order the missing pieces.   Reminds me of the time I fixed up a Portfolio from a thrift store that was missing about... everything.  :P

Which pieces did you end up getting from Best if you don't mind sharing and the prices as well? Do they actually have complete replacement lasers as well that's specifically OEM JagCD?

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5 hours ago, Clint Thompson said:

Which pieces did you end up getting from Best if you don't mind sharing and the prices as well? Do they actually have complete replacement lasers as well that's specifically OEM JagCD?

I have a VAM1202 coming in for the replacement laser.  They are all over ebay, about according to the thread about a lot of duds out there.  That should be here next week.

 

I bought new rubber bumpers, which I hope to find before the laser comes in.  (Looks around)   AHh... found it!

 

So that leaves the specialized parts and here was the pricing and other info on those:

 

20210115_105053.thumb.jpg.5070b8566d36b49448c8ffecb3ea86c6.jpg

 

A little bit for such small pieces of plastic, but vintage.  :D   Really glad we have Best Electronics.  Love the brown tape with "Atari" he ships with.   Makes the experience all the more retro classy.

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On 1/15/2021 at 9:46 PM, SparkTR said:

Does anyone know what type of connector is used to connect to CD mechanism to the PCB? I suspect it's a JST XHP-6, but I think the one in the Jaguar CD is smaller.

The connector is a JST PHR-6 for anybody interested. I'm gonna have a few replacements made up just in case.

 

In other news my prior Jaguar CD repair has failed again out of nowhere. The replacement drive seems to have failed after storing it for a month. I'm gonna buy a few big motor units and see how they fare. I've never seen a console this finicky before.

Edited by SparkTR
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3 hours ago, SparkTR said:

The connector is a JST PHR-6 for anybody interested.

FWIW, I generally just desolder the wiring from the old transport , desolder the wiring from the new transport, then solder the old wires to the new transport when replacing them.

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On 1/17/2021 at 9:35 PM, cubanismo said:

FWIW, I generally just desolder the wiring from the old transport , desolder the wiring from the new transport, then solder the old wires to the new transport when replacing them.

 

I got all the pieces in tonight, and I recycled the older JST PHR-6 connector, connecting the right wires to the connector wires.   Got all the parts that I ordered in there.   The one part that I did not anticipate was the spring on the hatch button, but I found a spring and adjusted to work.

 

At the end of it all, this parts CD player that was not working for the 15 years I've had it played a music CD with VLM and game discs for the first time!   Really exciting.

 

Really appreciate the information from this thread and the knowledge that the "optical Pick up" as it was called on the box was really attainable and affordable and a relatively easy replacement.  If you can get the one with the smaller JST PHR-6 connector look for that.  If not, the other is workable

20210119_210642.jpg

20210119_213640.jpg

20210119_213749.jpg

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3 hours ago, doctorclu said:

At the end of it all, this parts CD player that was not working for the 15 years I've had it played a music CD with VLM and game discs for the first time!   Really exciting.

Awesome! Congratulations! Given how few there are out there, I always love to hear about another CD unit rescue.

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Not having too much luck with mine. I replace the drive and it works fine directly after, but after screwing in the case and trying it again a few days later it always fails to read discs. I suspect it's something other than the drive. Possibly degraded wiring or a faulty power supply or poorly burned CDRs? 

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7 hours ago, SparkTR said:

poorly burned CDRs? 

Try these:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/50-pk-JVC-Taiyo-Yuden-White-Watershield-Inkjet-Hub-Printable-CD-R-WPP-SB-WS1-/164625490650?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292

 

Or similar. If you can, try a few different CD burners too. Higher quality CD-Rs work in my borderline CD unit, while cheep ones fail 100% of the time. Using the same media, three of my CD-R drives generally can burn disks the borderline unit will accept, the other can't. Even on the working burners, it sometimes takes a few trys. Interestingly, it's the newer no-name brand burners that can only do 12x and above burn speeds that work (The slimline $20 LG USB one works best). The older 1x and 2x capable drive that is built like a tank only spits out coasters.

 

If you have the means to build cartridges, you can use the CD verification cartridge (ROM available on these forums, but doesn't work on skunkboards and gamedrives supposedly don't work in CD units) to check whether your burn is 100% reliable, as the normal boot process only validates a few randomly chosen chunks per boot.

 

All that said, my other two JagCD units and the one I sold work with any crap disks I throw at them 90% of the time. I replaced the transports on all these drives myself with cheap ones from eBay. Just luck of the draw to some extent I think, but you might try replacing the transport one more time if you can't get anything to work. Or, it may be as you say: some other issue. Don't know if depleted caps could cause this sort of thing, for example. If it worked before reassembly but not after, you might also verify nothing is subtly rubbing or vibrating inside the case, and make sure you didn't accidentally squash the platter down too low during reassembly. My first drive's platter got jammed in transport, and all I had to do to get it mostly working again was pry the platter up a little.

 

Last but not least, don't test with Hoverstrike or Primal Rage.  For whatever reason, those are very stubborn about burning correctly. Use a tiny Jiffi CDI or something first and work up to the big stuff.

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Jagtopia is available for free download to bypass the security checks.


It's also built into several homebrew games.

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Sweet, I'll give your recommendations a shot. I'm already using Taiyo Yuden CDRs and a $50 LG burner. I've also tried at least 6 different laser mechanisms now haha, with one more on the way. A few didn't work at all, one I had to adjust the pot and a couple worked but would start to fail trying to use it a day or so later even though nothing had changed.

 

Potential point of failure I've identified are the JST-PHR-6 and cables are super brittle from all the soldering they've been through, so I'm making new ones. I noticed the Jag CD power supply is a Norcom 1.0A which doesn't look official, so I'm buying a new one. And I'm getting a decent Blu Ray burner, I've read blue ray burners produce more consistent CDR burns.

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For all the talk of use 'high grade disks' in my experience unless its pressed it doesn't matter at all what you use.

 

I've had many fails with high grade taios and many successes with no-brand wtf are these.  Also the other way around.  Given how utterly random it all is, I'd go with bottom of the shelf cheap CDs because when they don't work you haven't wasted as much cash.

Also, I'd go with throwing the entire thing out (or selling it) and holding off for the JagGD support.  Because the toilet seat really is a piece of s**t hardware.

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22 minutes ago, CyranoJ said:

For all the talk of use 'high grade disks' in my experience unless its pressed it doesn't matter at all what you use.

How many JagCD units and CD burners have you tested? It very much varies unit to unit, but for the JagCD drives that don't like CD-Rs I can very reliably get them to accept high-grade disks and get very near 0% success with low-grade disks, so it does matter. It's just that disk quality choice by itself just doesn't guarantee success.

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Yeah the JagGD will be the future of Jaguar CD games, thank god. This project is more of a matter of ego for me right now haha. I've fixed all sorts of consoles including finicky CD ones like the CD32, but this has me stumped.

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15 minutes ago, cubanismo said:

How many JagCD units and CD burners have you tested? It very much varies unit to unit, but for the JagCD drives that don't like CD-Rs I can very reliably get them to accept high-grade disks and get very near 0% success with low-grade disks, so it does matter. It's just that disk quality choice by itself just doesn't guarantee success.

Between the group, probably around 6-8.  And we've released several games on CDs, so we burnt hundreds before moving to mastered units, not to mention developing ULS and Jagtopia.  The shipped CD-R were all, afaik, taios.  But from personal experience cheapos are every bit as good, and cost less when they fail (which is just as often)

Saying that, both my JagCDs are now unplugged and boxed, and I doubt there is anything anyone could say to convince me to plug one back in :D  The best thing about the Jaguar CD unit is the spare power block for the console!

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Pretty soon the only reason to have a Jaguar CD unit is for a complete system collection. The Jaguar Game Drive will soon have CD support making the CD unit obsolete overnight.

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9 hours ago, neo_rg said:

The Jaguar Game Drive will soon have CD support making the CD unit obsolete overnight.

But... I just found the other half of my 90's CD collection for VLM use while putting away Christmas decorations in the garage!

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59 minutes ago, cubanismo said:

But... I just found the other half of my 90's CD collection for VLM use while putting away Christmas decorations in the garage!

I’m pretty sure there will be VLM music support at some point, if I remember correctly. 
 

Still, I love the jaguar cd and if I’m honest, I’m kinda sad the jag cd support is actually happening. I love that piece of garbage console and almost all it’s games. If everything just runs on the base console, I’m afraid many people will just forget the jaguar cd even came out. 
 

But then again, I already payed over €400 for mine 3 years ago, I can’t imagine paying for one right now. 

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11 hours ago, WilcoL said:

Still, I love the jaguar cd and if I’m honest, I’m kinda sad the jag cd support is actually happening. I love that piece of garbage console and almost all it’s games. If everything just runs on the base console, I’m afraid many people will just forget the jaguar cd even came out. 
 

But then again, I already payed over €400 for mine 3 years ago, I can’t imagine paying for one right now. 

 

As a (humble) collector, I see your point. 

 

But let's face it, when you have a family, you need to be reasonable. And the price of the JagCD is simply unreasonable at the moment (I'd rather buy a second Jag for 200$ than spent 4 or 5 times this price for a JagCD). And I don't see that changing in the near future. So when you love the Jag, even with all its weaknesses, the idea of being able to enjoy the CD games and homebrews for a fraction of the price is a fantastic news.

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