friends rang me recently with a question.
Did I want a free
I didn’t hesitate to say yes…. I can
never resist a “free bee”!
There was a catch however. The DVD
player would turn itself off after about 5
Well, I should be able to sort that out… No
got a new recording DVD
player so they didn’t want the old player anymore.
“If you can get
it to work, it’s yours!”
time we visited, a large box was offered to me.
the offending DVD player,, and also a VCR.
They also had all the manuals and remotes
for these units, and all in pristine condition!
They were both Sony units and the
DVD player would have been top of the line when new.
The VCR was a HiFi model
too, worth fixing I thought.
There was also a little red race
car!… A little
race car? Well yes!
It was a
told exactly what was wrong with these units :
DVD would start
to play a movie and would then stop and go into stand-by mode.
A great deal of
money had already been spent on this unit in the past.
Apparently the whole
laser assembly had been replaced.
They were pretty cheesed off with it by now
and decided to rid themselves of it!
The VCR was “worn out” and "chews tapes"!
got home, I lost no time in hooking up the DVD player to see what
This would have to be the most elaborate DVD player I had ever seen!
boasted 2 sets of stereo sound outputs, plus a 5.1 channel set of
outputs as well.
I set it
up to play a DVD and waited.
Sure enough, after 8
it was in stand-by mode again.
Well that WAS really annoying!
to have a slightly different way of doing things.
switch does not turn the whole thing off or on.
Instead, it turns the whole
thing off or turns it into standby mode.
To then play a DVD one has to either
turn it on with the remote, or press the open / close button on the
power switch seemed a mite “dicky” for want of a better word!
I decided that I
would investigate it.
I was thinking along the lines of some weird reset problem
mechanical problem that would shut the unit down....
Time to open
greeted with the usual array of
decided to tackle the power switch
The whole power supply was reasonably easy to remove and
Quite often the power up reset function is part of these switch mode
a good “once over” was in order here.
This power switch was
odd compared to the usual arrangement.
the main part of the switch was a standard double pole
unit that switched the mains active and neutral.
The odd bit however
little auxiliary switch hanging off the back of the main switch unit.
anything like this
checked the Mains switch contacts with the
They seemed to be fine and measured as close to zero ohms as I could wish.
switch also seemed to be mechanically sound
But what of the little
hanging off the
It measured a few ohms one
and then the resistance went all over the place!
Operating the switch button revealed
it to be
was undoubtedly the source of the “dicky” switching I had observed
I traced the connections to this switch and found that it
controlled part of the switch mode supply.
Could this be the reason the
turned itself off?
I was hoping (but not really expecting) it to be this
easy! Well that
switch had to come out!
Once free of the circuit board, the
switch easily separated from the main switch.
Curious to find out what
wrong with it, I dismantled it.
to be a thin film of “gunk” on the fixed contact.
decided that a wash in Methylated Spirits was in
it. (I hoped!)
When it dried out and was re-assembled, it behaved like
switch once more!
I then installed both switches back onto the circuit
checked the contact resistance again and was pleased to find it was
gave the rest of the board a check but could not find any other
problems with it.
The DVD player was then put back together and worked
That was the only thing wrong with it!
The whole exercise
15 minutes from start to finish.
VCR that went with it!
One look at the transport mechanism was
enough to put me on the right
Also, the grease on
tracks for the loading arms was dried up.
The Video heads also
grotty, as did the rest of the heads.
I gave the whole lot a good clean
then loaded a tape and checked all of the functions…
the “worn out” VCR was back in action!
units are now set up in the bedroom so we can watch movies in bed
on those cold winter nights.
The next time I saw my friends I told them
had fixed the problems with the DVD and VCR players.
They still didn’t want
a bit guilty about how easy they were to fix).
They then offered
me a Sony
Play-Station that they didn’t want anymore….
But that will have to