This used to be a common question on the "old" LD newsgroup (which probably doesn't exist anymore). Do an internet search for "Pioneer laserdisc" and see what turns up; I know there's some websites out there with Pioneer erro codes.
Unfortunately, in the end you'll probably have to take it in for service (I have an Elite 99 also).
The A3 error code is supposed to tell you that either the laser assembly park switch or the side turn switch are not in the proper positions. Take the top off and verify the pickup assembly is forword toward the spindle motor and the turn mechanism that holds the pickup on the track is properly aligned so the metal pin is aligned with the sliding pin on the bottom. When you initially turn the unit on the pickup should immediately start moving to it's proper rest location. If the side change switch is not working properly it will shut the unit down as the unit does not know when the pickup is at. I usually help people in the newsgroup "alt.video.laserdisc"
Your help on alt.video.laserdisc has been very helpful! I hope you will become a active member of AVSFourm and/or HTForum ( www.hometheaterforum.com ). HTF has a home theater FAQ section you may want to post some of your cleaning tips at.
That's funny that you mention "alt.video.laserdisc", because I was going to mention it until I figured it was probably (finally) dead! I used to read it all the time before AVS Forum, and I learned a lot from it--including the "deal" that was going on when I got my CLD-99 for < $1000!
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