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Old 09 October 2014, 21:55   #1
Berig
 
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Lightbulb Amiga CD32 Restoration

Hello! This seems to be a pretty niche hobby market now, but I'm hoping I can find someone that might know more about the Amiga CD32 than I do.

My dad worked in a hobby electronics shop in the 90s. They received one of these machines as part of a demo along with a few discs. After the failed US launch, it ended up in my dad's basement. Fast forward about 20 years I was able to rescue the machine. The power supply was missing, but thankfully I was able to find a replacement online. I haven't found any original discs to test yet, but to remove the variable of an issue with playing a burned CD game, I began testing with an audio CD.

The CD will be able to play the first track of the album, but moving to a specific song does nothing. My initial thoughts are either there might be an issue with the laser seeking gears. I opened it up and was able to move the laser unit manually, but I don't have a reference as to how much force is normal for it to move.


Last edited by Berig; 09 October 2014 at 22:03. Reason: Added Image
 
Old 10 October 2014, 00:34   #2
FOL
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Move the laser away from the spindle, turn it on, does the laser return to spindle, if so then that isn't the problem.

Id try cleaning the lens if its been in a basement for so long.
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Old 10 October 2014, 12:46   #3
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I would do all the usual things:

Clean and lightly grease all cogs and worm gears, gear sled etc.

Then if things do not improve start looking into the Laser itself! I know back along you could obtain the correct Laser assembly and replace it as DIY.

Also! It may be a good idea to get the motherboard re-capped. Amiga's are starting to get real old now, I personally have had to get some A1200's re-capped. Got more to do yet but time and money are in the way
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Old 10 October 2014, 22:52   #4
Berig
 
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Thanks for the quick feedback, I'm glad to see there's still an active community of enthusiasts to ask these kinds of questions. I was able to clean the machine up nicely, including the lens. I haven't gone so far as disassembling all of the pieces individually yet, but that might still be in the future.

This time when I loaded the album, it didn't take nearly as long to perform the initial load, and I was able to successfully skip ahead to different tracks! I wouldn't say it is working like new, but the music player seems to function correctly now. I'm going to have to see if I can find a pressed game to test.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any of my burned games to work yet. One copy (Pinball Fantasies) does recognize the disc has something on it, but locks up at the command line screen. I've seen people having different kinds of luck based on a specific system, burner, and CD-R, so there are a few other combinations I can exhaust before taking more difficult action.

I have read about some people having better luck after replacing their lasers, and I have seen at least one site that still sells them for about €22.

The idea of re-capping is new to me, but it would make sense that the older hardware could begin to cause problems. There's also an A500 in that basement that I might have to liberate as well.
 
Old 17 October 2014, 22:12   #5
mikele
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Berig: concerning CD-Rs, have you tried Philips dedicated Audio blank cd's? They are known to work with picky lens not reading any non original media.

Lens replacement itself won't do! You also need to calibrate the laser using 3 screws, takes time, patience and skills.

Last edited by mikele; 17 October 2014 at 22:17.
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Old 17 October 2014, 22:46   #6
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Hi,

I would suggest doing the following to fix it...

http://amigax.com/2010/12/13/replaci...32-laser-unit/

do the replacement first, don't adjust the 3 screws as if you replace the laser it will screw up that one
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Old 18 October 2014, 01:23   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kipper2k View Post
Hi,

I would suggest doing the following to fix it...

http://amigax.com/2010/12/13/replaci...32-laser-unit/

do the replacement first, don't adjust the 3 screws as if you replace the laser it will screw up that one
I followed a similar guide and did not adjust the 3 screws! Been working great ever since
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Old 19 October 2014, 18:41   #8
Berig
 
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Thanks for the tips, and that guide looks helpful. Shipping to the US is a bit of a pain, but at least they have the unit in stock.

I tried a few HP and Verbatim discs with some success. I'm curious now that laser positioning has been brought up. The metal plate isn't flush with the bottom of the CD tray, and I'm not sure if this is normal. Could the laser just be out of alignment?



 
Old 19 October 2014, 18:57   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berig View Post
Thanks for the tips, and that guide looks helpful. Shipping to the US is a bit of a pain, but at least they have the unit in stock.

I tried a few HP and Verbatim discs with some success. I'm curious now that laser positioning has been brought up. The metal plate isn't flush with the bottom of the CD tray, and I'm not sure if this is normal. Could the laser just be out of alignment?

the laser itself actually pops up close to the CD, the metal plate positioning looks ok
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Old 19 October 2014, 19:05   #10
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Nothing looks out of whack there. If its reading Audio CD's and not making spinning-plastic-on-plastic noises, then you are good there.

The center spindle and motor drive will automatically put the CD in the correct position. When you close the lid, there is a pieced in the lid which presses down on the CD to apply tension to ensure that there is adequate traction to the motor drive (and centers the CD as well).
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Old 19 October 2014, 21:12   #11
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I agree, pointless destroying a perfectly good CD32.
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Old 23 January 2015, 05:12   #12
Berig
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kipper2k View Post
Hi,

I would suggest doing the following to fix it...

http://amigax.com/2010/12/13/replaci...32-laser-unit/

do the replacement first, don't adjust the 3 screws as if you replace the laser it will screw up that one
I've put aside the project for a bit, but I happened upon a replacement laser on ebay, which simplifies shipping for me a great deal. It's listed as an Amiga CD 32 replacement laser, but from the picture it shows KSS-210A vs KSS-210B listed on the amigax site. Is this something I should be worried about?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281097826445

Last edited by Berig; 23 January 2015 at 05:13. Reason: Added Link
 
Old 23 January 2015, 11:55   #13
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it will be ok its just a newer revision of the lens assembly
Oh and recap it,you will find many opinions on this subject but logic tells you its over 2 decades old and they will leak so its a no brainer
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Old 13 February 2015, 03:17   #14
Berig
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kipper2k View Post
Hi,

I would suggest doing the following to fix it...

http://amigax.com/2010/12/13/replaci...32-laser-unit/

do the replacement first, don't adjust the 3 screws as if you replace the laser it will screw up that one
I have some good news! Or at least a proof of concept already. I was able to follow the steps and replace the laser. I immediately noticed faster tracking on any audio disc that I put in. I crossed my fingers and tried a few games that I had previously burned. Of course I didn't label any of them so I'm not sure what was what.

The disc I had before that would open up a command prompt some of the times after 10+ minutes, pulled up the command prompt instantly. Decent start! Four or so other discs did not work. The last one that I had was a success. Unfortunately it was a PAL game, and I have an NTSC machine, but this gives me hope for trying other roms.

I appreciate the support, and I'll see what images I can get running on this machine.


Last edited by Berig; 13 February 2015 at 05:37.
 
Old 13 February 2015, 20:27   #15
tolkien
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Anyone knows the correct ohms value of the pots un the cd32 len?
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Old 13 February 2015, 21:45   #16
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well there is this 4 hour video about tuning the laser

[ Show youtube player ]

But most of the time if you just listen to the sound the pickup makes you can get a long way.
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Old 13 February 2015, 22:04   #17
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I have seen the video but He use an osciloscope to measure It. I would like to use an ohmeter to calibrate the pots. I have done it before with a dreamcast and a ps3 but I can't find the rights values forma the cd32.
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