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HELP! CD Autochanger won't read any CDs

Discussion in 'In-Car Entertainment' started by comdw, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. comdw
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    comdw Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 13, 2003]
    My 6 CD Autochanger (S3 Bose/Concert system) won't read any CDs. it was working fine and seemed to just stop reading CDs at all one day (there probably was a period where it had the problem intermittently as well.

    I've tried a few original un-scratched CDs in all the slots and it just says 'ERR1' on the display every time and then moves on to the next disc with the same result.

    Assuming its just a dirty lens, can I use a normal CD lens cleaner in the autochanger (any recommendations?) or is it time for a new autochanger?

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  3. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 15, 2003]
    Yeah you can use a normal lens cleaner CD. I had the same problem with a mates A3 when we were retro-fitting an Audi changer he got off ebay. Thought it was a duff unit as it wouldn't read anything. Whipped off the cover and gave the lens a few pokes with a cotton bud in lighter fuel, as a last resort, and it worked brilliantly. They get filthy being in the boot, and it doesn't take much to make them fail.
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  4. comdw
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    comdw Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 27, 2003]
    Well I've finally got the the autochanger stripped down, but can't really get good access to the laser to clean it without taking it apart any further (too scary).

    I've got both sides of the black cover off (and removed all the side rubber "thingys" and the spring on each side. Now from the bottom, I can see the back of the laser easily but wouldn't be able to accurately clean the laser. From the other side the laser is covered by several scary tiny mechanical bits. So how do I clean the laser properly?

    Also is there any other household stuff that would be good for cleaning apart from ligher fluid as I know its very similar to other things?
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  5. tomsinclair
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    tomsinclair Member

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    [Sep 28, 2003]
    Use a cotton bud and meth's very good for cleaning and leaves no residue
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  6. teknobod
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    teknobod Member

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    [Sep 28, 2003]
    Unfortunately, meths does leave a residue. Some people suggest using isopropyl alcohol which doesn't leave any residue but unfortunately depending on the manufacturer of the optic, this can cause the lens to go opaque (then you need to replace the optical pickup).
    Sony did sell some "special" optical pickup cleaner, but I wouldnt be surprised if it was just soapy water!!
    I would suggest using a slightly damp cotton bud (water is fine) and make sure you use a dry cotton bud to finish.
    Hope this is useful.
    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
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  7. comdw
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    comdw Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 29, 2003]
    In the end as I couldn't even see the laser (but knew where it was), I bent a cotton bud at right angles and just wiped it over the lens (hopefully). I left the cotton bud dry as I couldn't see the lens to make sure I left no water there.

    Anyway to test it out I put the changer back in its case, but didn't screw it all back together. When I connected the cd changer back in, it read the discs fine first time. So I put it all back together and screwed it back into its clamp in the boot, but now it won't read any CDs again! You can hear it spinning the CD and the laser move back and forth a couple of times but it just isn't reading.

    I think perhaps I don't need to clean the laser anymore, but something to do with the way the player is mounted is affecting the laser alignment.

    Any more ideas?
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  8. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 29, 2003]
    If you have to invest in a replacement, there are usually some units on ebay that go for about £100, as you'll get stung for at least £229 from a dealer.
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  9. comdw
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    comdw Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 29, 2003]
    I've now managed to eliminate the lens from the equation as I powered it up with the case off and could see that the CD wasn't even being spun as the laser tried to read it!

    I suppose it basically amounts to the same thing unless I can find a loose wire somewhere....

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  10. teknobod
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    teknobod Member

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    [Sep 29, 2003]
    The laser needs to achieve focus before spinning up the disc.
    The lens will hunt up and down about 3 times and if it manages to focus it will then spinup the disc and read the TOC (table of contents)
    Unfortunately the symptoms you describe do point to a faulty optic in some way.
    It is always worth checking with the dealer what an exchange unit would cost (as opposed to an outright purchase) as a laser replacement will probably cost in excess of £100 and a second hand purchase from any source may go faulty in a short period of time and you may still have to pay for a repair.
    Second to mechanical faults, the optical pickup is a common replacement part in most CD players.
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  11. comdw
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    comdw Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 30, 2003]
    so presumably it is worth having another go at the cleaning (although i still can't manage to actually see the lens unless I can find a small dental mirror or something!).

    Failing that obviously I'll have to weigh up the options. I'm quite interested in getting something that will replace the changer with some MP3 device (either a changer that plays MP3 CDs or something with a big hard disk in), but I have no idea how to work out what will fit and be compatible (possibly with an autoleads adaptor?).

    Then I'd have to work out whether to sell the old changer for spares/repair or repair it first and then sell it!

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  12. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 30, 2003]
    It's definately worth cleaning it again, but use some lighter fluid, or nail varnish remover on the cotton bud. If it's old enough to have a build up of dirt, it will need more than a cursory wipe.
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  13. glen_jai
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    glen_jai Member

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    [Oct 12, 2006]
    Hi there, just to revive this thread, as I'm currently experiencing the same problem.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to get to the optical pickup?

    Cheers,

    Glen
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  14. A3_Turbo
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    A3_Turbo Swaying towards IHI....

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    [Oct 12, 2006]
    Hi There i have the 6cd autochanger and bose headunit spare just sitting here if you need a replacement just make me an offer for it?

    Jason
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