Sunday, May 12, 2013

How to defeat the standby circuit in the Seleco BS700 tv chassis

Some time ago my 14" Seleco TV started to exhibit a problem:
exactly 5 minutes (and when I say exactly 5 minutes, I mean exactly 300 seconds) after startup, it turn back to standby (here is a post about that here).

I 've found this problems is related to the processor's NVRAM (C.I.1 - NVM3060) that lost its content.
I managed to reprogam it (using the ponyprog programmer I have written a post about), but the solution wasn't definitive. After a while the NVM3060 lost its content again and the problem raised as before...

So, to get around the problem,  I decided to try to defeat the standby circuitry. I've requested help on some repair forum with no success, so I dived a little in the bs700 diagram. I was not able to fully understand how that circuit works, however I was able to realize that grounding Pin 16 of the TV processor should have done the job. And it does! This is what T1 and T2 manage to do depending on the various ORed conditions required to exit the standby mode (press P+ OR press P- OR command from the remote OR ...) . T1 in particular keeps pin 16 down to ground through R14 while the TV set is running.
A side effect of this approach is that every 300 seconds the screen flashes black for less than a second. This is due to the processor still trying to turn the tv in standby as the default sleep time times out; it's a command internally executed by the processor I cannot do anything about.

So the modification more than trivial as ground jumper is very close to R14. Just have a look at the following pics to see how I've made the connection.

Good luck with your bs700!


A cd palyer error's dance (aka, how to monitor read errors in a CD player with TDA1541 chipset)


Hello everybody!

Today I wanted to investigate the behavior of the error signal in one of my Philips CD-670 players.

The error signal is coming out from the decoder chip (SAA7210)  to advise the following interpolation &digital filter chip (SAA7220) that errors have occurred while reading samples out from the playing cd.
Under usual operations the error rate should stay very low and consequently the error signal stays low as well, should measure only rare pulses randomly distributed in time. (BTW the signal is active high, so when I say low, .. I mean 0Volts). Under these conditions the SAA7220 chip is able to replace erroneous samples with "artifacts", new samples computed by mean of a linear interpolation between the last good sample in the stream and the first good one after what is called an "error burst". The ability to interpolate samples covers up to 8 successive errors (max error burst length equals 8). The played music is affected by the process, but people, at least those with normal hearing, usually do not notice anything.
The entire process allows the player to recover read errors mainly due to scratches and dirt (eg. fingerprints) on the CD plastic support.

But monitoring the error signal in a working player can lead to some interesting surprises.
Let's  connect the error signal to an oscilloscope and let's try to play a CD-R that sounds good and doesn't display problems during the start up sequence, as well as during play, searching or track skipping.
The TOC is read in a shot ..and when playing almost no errors are detected. That is normal as long as there are few errors or error bursts randomly distributed in time. Only during the process of skipping from track to track errors burst are present, in particular during the positioning on the new track. They suddenly disappear as soon lining up is completed.

Now let's see what happens with another CD-R. This one has been burned by myself some years ago.

The following text comments out the video.. Fisrt of all the player takes longer to read the TOC and sometime fails (this can be viewed as a first warning signal saying that something is not ok with that CD..). The error signal is almost the same as before in playing the first 7-8 tracks, but going forward and forward (track >9)  the error signal gets crazy.  It shows the funny "error dance" exploiting a lot of errors bursts (please note that to see the dance I had to use a digital scope in "avarage" mode and .1mS/DIV). So I found that you can be in presence of a significant amount of error bursts even when a player plays good sound, at least by ear listening. You begin listening to the interpolation artifacts only when the error rate is very high. The more natural consequence is that I would like to have a error signal monitoring system telling me if the CD I am playing is good or not. Nothing more simple that installing a LED connected to the error signal  itself. BUT I am not sure if the electrical characteristics of the signal allow for the driving of a LED without disturbing the signal envelope - I was afraid about the rise and fall times of the single error pulses.... So I managed to implement a "driver" using an opamp in unity gain configuration. I chose the LM258N because it was the best performer rail-to-rail opamp among those I had available in my junk box. In particular it showed the best performance in getting closer to the lower rail (0volts). And here is the final result.
 (see also this related post)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Again on Philips CD670 and the CDM/2 cd transport

During the last year BOTH my Philips CD670 cd players have began to express annoying symptoms:
  • randomly unable to read the TOC even with CDs that yesterday successfully played many times;
  • randomly stopping playing with "error" message on the display (mainly when playing your preferred piece of music of your preferred cd...), even with CDs that yesterday played ok many hours;
  • being very very very sensitive to mechanical shocks (I was attempted to use them as earthquake warning tools ...). Even a strong "bass" tune could lead to  the "error" condition as well as my son just walking by in front of it - the cat didn't have the same effect, however...).
Those symptoms led me to think I was facing a tracking problem, so I started investigating the servo controller board.
To make a long story short, here is the result: BOTH players showed the same problem: a crack in the same point of the same strip of the flat ribbon PCBs inside the CDM2. Certainly a design flaw that  manifested itself years and years after production.

The problem is due to the clip keeping the tape in place in the CDM2 frame.
This clip is designed in such a way that it pushes on the tape not in a uniform manner, but on the two outside edges. After years of little stress,  the underlying ribbon strip starts to have continuity problems and eventually breaks.
This is emerging as a potential recurring problem which can affect many CDM2 still out there and can also be the cause of the bad reliability reputation of the CDM2.
Some self explanatory pictures follow.

I also add some pic and information gathered during the troubleshooting process.

The culprits (item 51 in the exploded view in the service manual).

The fix on first player

The fix on second player

Laser current test point - first player
A socket has been installed to facilitate future measurements. The service manual states that 50mV should be present across resistor 3102. The pot was set for 45mV to preserve laser life.

Laser current test point - second player
There is non need to install sockets here. Jumpers are available on the other side of the PCB that are connected to resistor 3102... 

Eye pattern on first player 

Eye pattern on second player (much better!)

Jitter of master clock. Similar on both players...

Useful to know: the cd-660/670 players have service modes available for troubleshooting.
Turn on the player while  simultaneously depressing FTS + TRACK< + TRACK>. The player starts in service mode 0 showing a 0 on the display. SM 0 is a sort of standby mode you can use to check various static signals and voltages.
Pressing TRACK> the uP tries to reach service mode 1. SM 1 is still a standby mode, but the focus has been set up. If the player is not able to reach SM 1, the a focus servo subsystem has to be investigated. To reach SM 1 a disk has to be present in the player. With no disk in the player you can monitor the 16 attempts the uP performs to get focus: useful to track both mech and electrical problems. As in SM 1 the laser is turned on I use this mode to adjust the laser current.
Press TRACK> again to reach SM 2. Spindle motor is now on focus is kept but tracking is still disabled.
Press TRACK> again to reach SM 3 where tracking is turned on. Players stay in SM 3 for about 60sec then jump back to SM 0.

Do you have found this information useful? Please support my effort. Thank you!

(see also this related post)