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Replaced Loader in Bravo D1

post #1 of 746
Thread Starter 
I previously reported that I was unable to get another loader to operate in the D1. I decided to look at that issue again and obtained two loader units. A Sony and Lg (apparently made by Hitachi). A Pioneer will also be added to the list.
Again I was not able to get past a "2" count with the new loaders and then realized that the system is Region sensitive, because the D1 would play "All Region" disks. I placed the loaders in a computer and initialized them to Region 1, and they all operated in the D1.
My purpose for these test is to try and determine if a replacement loader will solve the various lockup, skipping, etc. problems.
I have run computer benchmark tests on all the loaders, including the D1 (Fuss Audio) loader.
I have only one DVD that will usually (about 25% of the time) cause a skipping problem, the remainder may hangup 2% of the time in the original D1 configuration.
I have NOT come up with anything conclusive yet due to a lack of time. I did verify that the Fuss Audio loader is VERY SLOW to seek a track compared to the other loaders.
I will update this thread when I have some results.....How many times can I watch the same material

post #2 of 746
Keep us up-to-date on this! This may help out the few who are having problems with some players.

There's been some posts lately about cleaning the laser lens and that's solved the problem also. Bravo may have gotten some dirty drives from their manufacturer.
post #3 of 746
Hi John,

Your efforts are really appreciated I would love to know that in the eventuality of a loader failure. I could substitute it for another. Heck if you can get any name brand loader (Pioneer, Hitachi, Sony) working in this unit you may even have the ability to add some extened life to what is looking more and more like am awesome deal. Just the idea of replacing the only moving part in the unit provides un-measurable value should this piece die.

Most would just toss the unit and cut their losses. This is worth exploring.

Keep up the good work.


post #4 of 746

Your efforts are much appreciated. Please do keep us informed of your research and results. Thanks.
post #5 of 746
Thread Starter 
My objective to try other Loaders for the Bravo D1 was the following:
1. Can other loaders (Std. Computer IDE interface) work in the D1.
2. What is the comparative benchmark Electrical/mechanical characteristics of the Loaders.
3. Will a replacement Loader solve the D1 apparent "hang-ups".
The compatibility issue for all the formats which can be used on the D1 or the Mechanical Interface was NOT addressed.

The Loaders utilized are:
a. The original D1 is a Fuss Audio #DV9929B, F/W Rev. ?
b. LG Electronics (Hitachi) STDVD-ROM #GDR-8161B, F/W Rev. 0101, $40.
c. Sony DVD-ROM #DDU1621, F/W Rev. S3.3, $70.
d. Pioneer DVD-ROM #DVD-120S (Slot loader), F/W Rev. 1.01, $70.
e. Lite-On JLMS XJ-HD166S, F/W Rev. DS14, $42.
f. Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-1712, F/W Rev. 1004, $43.

A standard computer IDE Loader can be used in the D1 player, however the Loader must first be installed in a computer to set the DVD Region 1, or the Loader will not play anything but "All Region" DVD's.

The Loaders (including the Fuss Audio) were benchmark tested on an older 1GHz, Pentium III. The relevant test results are as follows:
_____________________Fuss Audio(D1)__LG Elect.__Sony____Pioneer_____Lite-On_____Toshiba
Max Transfer Rate:________1.79X_________8X______5.5X_____8.2X______7.8X__ ______4.2X
Random Seek Time:________560ms________117ms___110ms ___82ms______86ms_______----
1/3 stroke Seek Time:______820ms________111ms___103ms ___92ms______96ms_______----
Full stroke Seek Time:______1187ms_______180ms___167ms ___162ms_____211ms______----
Layer Change Time:________100ms________860ms___46ms_____79ms _____93ms_______100ms

The "real world" testing of the Loaders in the D1 was a challenge as I only have one DVD movie that would give about a 20% failure of the original D1. I did audition additional DVD's that I have had some problems with the original D1 (batch 1 &2) configuration.
I tested the Loaders in the D1 AND IN THE COMPUTER, to rule out a true Loader Failure.

At this point I must state that some of the start problems of my present D1 did clear up after cleaning the D1 (Fuss Audio) optics.

The following are the limited short testing results:

Fuss Audio: 5% lockup at start of (20% failure DVD) disk , 0% in computer. No additional failures.

LG Elect.: 80% lockup at start of (20% failure DVD) disk, 0% in computer. No additional failures.

Sony: 0% failures, D1 or computer. Will not load Firmware.

Pioneer: 0% lockup at start of (20% failure DVD) disk, however testing for Layer Change caused the D1 to skip to the next chapter(Brandon B. observed same with non Slot Loader), but at fast forward it DID NOT skip (other Loaders were fine). There were NO failures in the computer.

Lite-On: Tested @ later date, 5% lockup at start of (20% failure DVD) disk, 0% in computer. No additional failures. Unit can have Hi RPM noise. Will load Firmware.

Toshiba: Tested @ later date, 0% failures, D1 or computer. Will load Firmware. Most responsive to D1 processor (Loading, No CD, etc) commands.

One observation was that the time it would take to start a movie was significantly shorter with any of the new Loaders, because the search pattern for files prior to a DVD starting is influenced by the Seek Time (which is very high for the D1 Loader), assembling data prior to the start of the DVD. The thruput might also be a factor. A test of loading a disk with about 300jpeg images resulted in about 1/3 the load time with all the new Loaders.

Loader Power Requirements: the Fuss Audio requires 17 watts, while the other units required an average of 24 watts. This could be a problem as I did not go into the an analysis of the D1's Power Supply output capability. It obviously did provide the required power to conduct the testing, for the short term.

The Bottom Line: The Toshiba (loads Firmware) & Sony (Does not load Firmware) was the only Loader that did not seem to have a problem (with my limited testing) in the D1. Because there were NO failures when using the Computer with any Loaders, one could conclude that there may be a problem with COMPATIBILITY of the Loader (including the Fuss Audio) and the D1 processor or the Firmware.

Obviously this is just my opinion.

post #6 of 746
Great work, John.

I wonder if the results would be comparable in the Momitsu V880.
Did the Bravo remote control operate the player properly with each loader?

post #7 of 746
Thread Starter 
Noel ..........the Bravo remote worked fine. I do not know if the Momitsu V880 would react the same as they are using different Firmware (or perhaps partially different).
At this time I am planning on keeping the Sony Loader for the D1 and will try additional longer testing with it and see if I can get any failures. If not I will see if I can modify it mechanically to fit into the D1.
I wished the Pioneer Slot Loader would of worked, then I would not have to deal with the drawer mechanical fit.

post #8 of 746
Wow John. Thanks so much for this experiment. This gives me some hope.

I've just been waiting for you guys who are way smarter than me to come up with "mods" to this player. My gut tells me that people ought to be able to start out with this player, replace the parts where Bravo cut corners to keep the costs low, and still end up with a kickin' player at a reasonable price.

I'm going to wait a little while for longer tests by you (not tests, but just more experience) to hear how it continues. But, this sounds promising. I really appreciate your insights.
post #9 of 746

Excellent work! What is involved in setting the Region 1 settings in the PC? I didn't know drives have memory to remember such things?

OT: Jason, Nice job on the theatre!
post #10 of 746
Thread Starter 
Ernie..............The DVD Loaders used in PC computers are programed for any Region by inserting a DVD from that Region (in this case 1) and playing it for a moment. Then it is locked at that Region, unless you insert another Region disk. You are normally allowed to change the Region a total of 5 times, then it will lock permanently at the fifth change. This of course does not include any hacks to allow all Regions.

post #11 of 746
You did mention trying a new un-regionalized drive, but did you try to initilize a drive for region 2? I'm sure there are many who would love to have a D1 outside of USA.
post #12 of 746
Thread Starter 
I only have region 1 disks. I do not know if the D1 strictly relies on the Loader for Region control, or they may have a redundant monitor in the processor board.

post #13 of 746
Do you have a drive hanging around (like the Pioneer 106s) that has hackable firmware so that it could be region-free and then install it in the Bravo? Just a thought.

post #14 of 746
I emailed V Inc a while back and was talking about some of my anxiety about this product due to the comments on this forum. They basically told me they were looking into replacing the loader on the D1. This should happen in a month or two it sounded like. Based on this research it sounds like they will eliminate these issues if they pick the right loader. That is good news.
post #15 of 746
Thread Starter 
Jim.............I have installed the Sony Loader for extended testing. If the longterm testing is successful (so far it is), I will look into your suggestion.

post #16 of 746
I just ordered the Sony DVD drive. I figure I can use it in my computer if it doesn't improve things with my D1. However, based on John's groundbreaking experience, I'm optimistic that it will make living with the D1 much more pleasant from a UI point of view. I probably won't get it installed into the D1 until early next week. I'll report back with my experience. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing John's extended use reports.
post #17 of 746
Ooh, a side business modding D1's!

post #18 of 746
Thread Starter 
Jason..........Don't forget that that none of the Loaders are a "Drop-in" mechanical replacement. That was not addressed in the study.
By the way, you do have an impressive Home Theater setup!

post #19 of 746

Originally posted by jrannison
Jason..........Don't forget that that none of the Loaders are a "Drop-in" mechanical replacement. That was not addressed in the study.
By the way, you do have an impressive Home Theater setup!

Thanks on the HT.

I didn't expect that it would be so simple as, say, putting it into a computer. I hope I'm up to the task. I might be PM'ing you when I get stuck -- but I'll try not to be a burden. If we can get it to work, I'll try to post a protocol somewhere.
post #20 of 746
How close of a fit is the computer drives compared to the D1 loader? Could you post some pictures perhaps?

post #21 of 746
Thread Starter 
The mounting footprint of the Fuss Audio is NOT the standard computer CD/DVD mounting hole locations. I have not come up with a mounting method, and there are other considerations...The Tray Face, the opening dimensions, etc.
I will shoot a few photos when I get something going.

One important point is that I am sure that V,Inc. will not warranty any unit that has been disassembled, let alone modified.

post #22 of 746
I too just placed an order for a DVD ROM drive. However, instead of opting for the Sony DDU1621 (which would've been a safe and prudent move), I ordered a LiteOn DVD ROM drive XJ-HD166-Black.

The rationale behind this rash decision was that Sony drives use the same hardware as Lite Ons, but, Lite Ons have better firmware on them. I did not make this up. This was distilled from reading numerous posts on cdfreaks.com and related sites. This drive supposedly is one of the more forgiving DVD ROM readers around. The fact that the faceplate is black doesn't hurt either. The retail boxed version of this drive is available from Dell for $41.

Should be getting the drive in a week or so. Shall experiment with it and hopefully, I'll be able to contribute something to this thread.

In the meantime, if anybody else has tried this drive and had terrible results, please let me know and I'll abort the order.

post #23 of 746
Thread Starter 
Just an update.....I tried to load the Firmware update from V,inc. for the D1 and it would NOT load with the Sony Loader. Had to use the original Fuss Audio.

post #24 of 746
Tried this last night, but when the D1 got to the point of displaying "loading", after about a minute it brought up an orange red background screen declaring no media files existed on the disk. Subsequent tries yielded the same thing. CD is definitely burned in ISO format, but am thinking it's a problem with the disk.

post #25 of 746
Thread Starter 
Brandon............I was able to do the Firmware update with the original Loader, that was no problem.
If you get the orange/red screen while trying to load the new Firmware, you did not hold the STOP button while turning the Power Button ON.

I got into the correct startup with the Sony Loader, but it went to 'Loading' and nothing else happened.
The disk is suppose to be in ISO format, which it is.

post #26 of 746

If you're successful at updating the firmware, please let me know which custom setting looks best with the PLV-70. Thanks.
post #27 of 746
John -

I did hold the stop button, but I may have burned the disk incorrectly (files s. disk image). Did it in OS X, which supposedly burns ISO, but I burned another copy today in Win2000 and will try that tonight.

Manendra, to be sure, I will post all results. I will not have time to do analytical viewing until this weekend though, so no holding your breath.

post #28 of 746
What do you mean "no time" BB ? What's more important, some silly job or doing all the work your friends want done now ? Better get your priorities straight.
post #29 of 746
Ain't the job. It's this short little guy who looks like me that scuttles around the house.


I shall call him mini-me.
post #30 of 746
If you haven't figured it out already, the firmware "file" is an ISO filesystem
image file. You just have to "copy" it to a CD vs creating an ISO
filesystem on the CD with the firmware file in it. The FAQ left
it ambiguous.

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