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Old 06-25-2016, 11:37 PM   #1
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Default Why is my CD player...

I have an old CD player/radio/tape deck thin from 1998. It's been a long-lived thing with no problems except some noise when it moves to play a CD.

Anyway, I keep it in my car and it's been in there for a few years. I take it out and listen to it while working, but a few days ago it started acting up.


I'll plug it in and there will be sound for a little bit, then it goes silent, after removing it from the hot car.

The CD player works, the power cord is fine, the tape deck wors (even though I don't use it), the radio and volume button works when it does have sound, but it just for some reason goes mute.

I don't know what to do. Have I screwed it up leaving it in the hot and cold year temperatures? Anybody have any suggestions?


Right now I have it indoors in air conditioning, plugged in with the volume going, waiting to hear if it changes, but hours have gone by and it is still silent.
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Why is my CD player...

Temperature extremes and age can damage solder connections in electronics. Chance are, this is what has happened. It is also possible that one of the components is failing due to age (and he aforementioned temperature extremes).

You have two options: find someone who knows electronics to open it up and evaluate it for repair, or dispose of it and get yourself a new machine.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why is my CD player...

Thanks for the reply, Dngrsone


Dngrsone or anybody else:

I have a friend's solder here and a multimeter -- is there anything I can try to do myself?

I only found one person on Craigslist offering electronic repair and they want $30 just to open something up for the first hour.


A new CD player isn't in my future, the I.R.S. recided it needed more of my money than the economy.
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why is my CD player...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tharpdevenport View Post
... the I.R.S. recided it needed more of my money than the economy.
I hear that.

Keeping in mind that nothing may be immediately visible, and your solder skills may or may not be up to the challenge, you can at least look into the problem.

Unplug the device and remove any batteries (yeah, obvious right? you'd be surprised), then open up the unit.

First, I'd take a look at the speaker wires where they connect at the speakers themselves. Depending on your machine there could be one large speaker or several, usually in pairs (stereo, go figure). These are usually among the last things to be soldered in during assembly, and done by hand rather than a machine like most of the main board. Then examine where the speaker wires attach to a circuit board. Again, these are usually hand-soldered.

If you have more than one circuit board in there, then look at the connecting wires or pins and see if there are any problems there. Use magnification and strong light if you have it.

After that, then I'd look at the solder connections on the circuit boards.

If you are going to resolder something, then you want to use solder-wick or at least a solder extractor to remove the old solder. If it's cracked, dull grey solder that doesn't want to melt, then you'll want to flush that garbage out with clean solder-- Sometimes I have to hold solder wick on one side of the joint and melt fresh solder in the other side until I get all the junk out (it helps that I have a microscope to see all this), but this is atypical. Once you have removed the old solder, then resolder your joint, but don't overdo it-- too much solder can be almost as bad as too little.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why is my CD player...

That's my mystical, magical journey/assignment for tomorrow. :-)

Do I have to worry about any static discharge, like when working inside a computer?
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why is my CD player...

Technically, any component is susceptible to static discharge (lighting will fry practically anything short of a Norse god), but practically, only microcircuits (IC chips) and certain transistors are sensitive to static levels that are generated through daily activities.

Computers are full of these components; stereos, particularly older models, less so. So use common sense, and the tools you have at your disposal, but don't go investing in a static work station just for this foray.
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