Help with Philips VAM1202/12 Alignment - diyAudio
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Old 11th December 2007, 06:17 PM   #1
Apogee is offline Apogee  United States
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Question Help with Philips VAM1202/12 Alignment

Greetings all:

I have an ESound E5 that the transport died in. I ordered what I thought was a new transport (based on the pic from the supplier site) but instead received just the laser unit.

I installed it, and it worked for a few weeks. Now, it no longer works.

What was interesting is it had trouble reading track 1 from the beginning just after I installed it, and it slowly got worse over time as it was trying to read the discs...

I didn't adjust the little pot that is located down on the laser board. I have never adjusted a cd player before....

Does anyone have the service manual for this unit? At least the adjustment page?

or

Would someone be willing to walk me through how to align it? I'm a newbie with this, so it will require patience!

Lastly, I did buy two laser units so I have another new spare in the box if necessary...

Thanks for any advice or help!

Steve

PS - The ESound E5 is awesome when it's working right out of it's single ended outputs. However, I am extremely disappointed in Cattylink as they have simply ignored my requests for help since I purchased the unit used. I was very willing to pay for service but they have just blown me off. To their credit, they did immediately respond asking if the unit was under warranty, but from that point on Snowy refused to respond further.
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Old 11th December 2007, 06:23 PM   #2
poynton is offline poynton  United Kingdom
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Hi.

There are a lot of very dodgy VAM1202's around.

For example, there has been a lot of comment on the CD63/67 thread about units from one source in the UK being very unreliable whereas units from another source are OK.

You can try turning the small trimmer on the flexible foil a bit clockwise. If that cures your problems, it's the laser.

Otherwise, try the other unit . If it performs the same, buy from another source.

Andy
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Old 11th December 2007, 09:29 PM   #3
Apogee is offline Apogee  United States
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Question Can I swap a VAM1250 in it's place?

The physical pics of the 1250 laser unit look to be identical. I haven't compared the transport yet...

The benefits are the transport has an upgraded motor and the laser will read cdr's...

I think it would be a great swap if it will work...

Anyone have both that they can compare?

Or first-hand knowledge if the swap would work?

Thanks!
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Old 12th December 2007, 05:56 AM   #4
Apogee is offline Apogee  United States
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Default Well, I don't think the 1250 is a drop in...

at least without further mods. The motor is different (better) but will need a different control circuit to power it so I'll stick with the 1202 for now...

Thanks for the tip regarding turning up the laser power.

However, what I'd really like to know is how to properly adjust it.

Also, does anyone know if the laser units come from the factory with the tracking or power adjustment already dialed in? Or, is it expected that one must adjust the unit following install?

Anyone out there willing to help out a newbie? Anatech or Mr. Feedback if either are still around?

Thanks!

Best,
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Old 12th December 2007, 07:13 AM   #5
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Hi, The VAM1202 is the later version of CDM12.1 pickup and the laser power will be factory adjusted.It is possible that the pickup is faulty, as others have said there are some very poor examples around. Any name or country of manufacture on the box ? I had same problem with CDM12.4, the mechanism looked new but the optical block was not, it looked like reclaimed part, dirty/dusty and with very low R.F. output.I returned it as not fit for purpose.Do you have access to an oscilloscope as there is no other way to be sure what is going on.There are other mechanical adjustments on the pickup to precisely align it with respect to the disc, but again these require 'scope and are at best very very hard to adjust as they cannot be done with the player running (New pickup should work out of the box).When you fitted new pickup is the chromed rail sat properly in it's slots.Turning up the laser power may only mask the problem, and shorten it's life.If you get another pickup examine it closely, make sure it looks new, and clean, it should be very well packaged and sealed.Dust and atmospheric pollution is the main killer of optical pickups.
Karl
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Old 12th December 2007, 08:52 AM   #6
poynton is offline poynton  United Kingdom
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Default Re: Well, I don't think the 1250 is a drop in...

Quote:
Originally posted by Apogee
.......................

Thanks for the tip regarding turning up the laser power.

However, what I'd really like to know is how to properly adjust it.

Also, does anyone know if the laser units come from the factory with the tracking or power adjustment already dialed in? Or, is it expected that one must adjust the unit following install?

........................

The lasers were factory adjusted and do not require further ajustment. Increasing the power output WILL shorten the laser life.
I only suggested doing so as a means of verifying if the laser was on the way out.

The correct way to set up a laser is by the 'eye-pattern'. Most service manuals will tell you the correct method - without it, you are stuck!!

Change the laser and see what happens.


EDIT - Something else you should be aware of with these type cdm's.
Clean of all of the grease on the gears and slide mechanisms. ALL of it!! Do not regrease or oil !! The grease goes hard with age and stops proper movement of the gears.

Andy
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Old 12th December 2007, 04:40 PM   #7
Apogee is offline Apogee  United States
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Thanks guys for the info.

I'll swap out the laser with the other one that I have.

I believe them to be new due to them being spotlessly clean, in original parts boxes and purchased from a reputable supplier. But who knows, perhaps I just received a bad one...

Anyway, I'll swap it today if I get the chance...

One interesting thing I noticed is on the original pickup that died, the adjustment pot is turned fully counterclockwise. I never touched it...

The unit I replaced it with is adjusted to the 3:00 position...

Seems like pretty wide variation to me.

Lastly, yes I do have a scope. Just have no idea where to clip on to see what's happening... I've never serviced a cd player before and have no idea what I'm looking for...

Also, just for the record, my scope is an older 100mhz analog unit.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12th December 2007, 08:32 PM   #8
Apogee is offline Apogee  United States
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Just swapped in the other laser unit that I had.

Player is working fine and making beautiful sounds!

However, I have definitely been ripped off by the supplier where I purchased the replacement lasers. When I removed the "new" one from the package, I was dismayed to find grease and dust on it...

The one I just installed was definitely not new even though it was in what looked like new packaging. The other unit I thought was because it was so clean when I installed it, but since it lasted less than 1 month, I bet not...

Anyway, now I am on the hunt for a new unused unit in case the one I just installed dies...

If anyone knows of a reliable source for NEW laser assemblies, please let me know.

Thanks!
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Old 10th September 2009, 10:10 AM   #9
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this delivery source could be of interest for you:
http://www.pinvan.com/CDMPRO/CDM_OP_w_box.html
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Old 10th September 2009, 06:13 PM   #10
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Default Esound laser

Been there, did that.

I purchased 2 lasers, one from China off Ebay, and one from a Head Fi member (for his Esound - backup laser). Neither one worked on my Esound. I was steaming mad. I finally sent my transport to Arthur Wells <drarthurwells@hotmail.com>. He works on these units free of charge just pay for shipping and parts. He replaced the laser and I am good to go.
I have read that the Phillips laser is now being produced in China and there are a lot of bad ones out there so beware. Glad to hear yours is up and running/ The Esound is a great sounding player.
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