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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday was my lucky day. A friend of my mom's dropped by, brought something for her that his sister sent, and said that he's also got something for me again.


Next thing i know, he takes out this DVD player. He told me it's got problems recognizing discs and that his sister was about to throw it away, and i was like "ow crap, this is gonna be a PITA to fix". I don't have an oscilloscope, and from experience, DVD drives are almost impossible to fix without one. I've fixed dozens of CD-ROM/RW drives but only succeded to recover a couple miscalibrated DVD drives.


Well, i hooked it up, dropped an MP3 CD inside, and what do you know, it started playing. Hmm, nice. Tried a DivX, didn't recognize the disc at first but i tried again and it worked flawlessly. Dropped a DVD in - it struggled a bit but started playing the disc no problem. However it would only recognize certain DVDs, and it took an awful load of time to do that.


I noticed that the power supply had a very loud whine, which varied with the unit's load. So i took the thing apart, removed the PSU board and started messing around. The caps were seriously underdimensioned, so i swapped one on the input and three on the outputs with bigger ones, and added two extra Y capacitors (which were supposed to be there in the first place) and a choke coil (for which i drilled my own holes and rewired the PCB). It's always nice to have a blown PC PSU lying around.
I also made some little heatsinks for the MOSFET on the mainboard and the smaller ESS chip (sound decoder?) as they were getting quite hot.


So after doing all this i put everything back together and it's all working fine. It still takes up to a minute to recognize certain discs, but it now plays back everything i throw at it.
The transformer has still got that annoying whine, but i'm gonna fix that later, have to find some lacquer to dip it in.


It's one of those "supermarket brands", it's a Vestel-manufactured player based on the ESS Vibrato II chipset. It had some issues with Romanian subtitles, special characters were displayed wrong and the subtitles were pretty small, but i found a customized firmware which fixes the subtitles, and they display perfectly now.
And it has everything one might need on the back - 5.1 outputs, optical and coax out, S-Video, Composite, SCART. It can output LPCM up to 96kHz, has downmix and sound compression options, and aspect ratio/pan&scan settings. One little annoyance is that it loses audio if i seek through some DivXes, but you can't beat it for free.


So here's my free home cinema. The Nokia TV i got for free from my neighbours and fixed for $7 worth of caps, and now the free DVD player that i fixed for free. I also have a 5.1 Dolby Prologic system that i got for $15 and fixed the satellite amp for $10, but i was too lazy to wire that up to the DVD.


If you want pics on the inside work too, i'll do that later. I have to go now and i didn't take any pics during the repairs.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, but it was good while it lasted. I burnt a DVD with some movies i had around but never got to watching, and it happened to be a Memorex brand DVD. I broke my first CD writer with Memorex CDs so i knew i shouldn't have used that disc but oh well.


The player wouldn't recognize that DVD so i thought i'd open it up and try to tweak it a bit. I got it to load everything else almost instantly, and play all clips on a scratched disc that wouldn't work before. But the stupid Memorex disc still wouldn't work. So i tweaked the pot one step further, and bye bye it went. It doesn't recognize any DVDs anymore. I reset it to its initial position and still nothing.


Now i got a DVD player that only plays CDs. Effing great. Well, i still got The Lord of the Rings on CDs so i guess i'll watch that...


Lesson learned. Never ever ever buy Memorex discs, they are evil.
 
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