Please help fixing Pioneer PDR-555RW - Page 3 - diyAudio
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Old 16th May 2010, 02:27 AM   #21
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Wow, what a great thread!

I was offered a 555 for $50 and was researching the deck to see whether I should buy it - still undecided and looking for input from users.

I've had my share of problems; a Sony MD recorder that shows DISC ERROR and was never able to find the problem, so I hesitate when I see threads like this with folks spending countless hours getting the thing to work but kind enough to post their findings.
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Old 17th May 2010, 03:25 PM   #22
afecu is offline afecu  United States
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Monty_,

Here's my take on it:

If the 555 won't recognize any CD media, then don't buy it.

If it does, and the seller will let you take off the covers, then you can see whether the Elna cap has leaked or not - if it hasn't, then buy it and go with Stephen's advise and clip the Elna cap out.

If it has leaked, you'll at least have to take the board out and clean both sides, and probably you'd want to clean the traces too, so the board doesn't die later on. So then it depends on how much work you want to put into it, but if it's still working it ought to continue to work.

$50 is a good price for a working unit (and even better if it comes with the remote).

Good luck!
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Old 18th May 2010, 05:15 AM   #23
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Default Mysteriously, my unit works again

I found this forum today after finding, to my surprise, that my unit is suddenly working again after having sat idle for about nine years. I did not fix anything, I only turned it on. After it started acting up I moved on and bought a 509, which has been great - and I use it for analog recording. There were times when I saw that "CHECK" message on the 555 but the end came when all the display would do is seemingly race through all of the characters.

Now that it seems to have magically repaired itself I'd like to snip out that troublesome cap mentioned above. How would I recognize it?

The pots are noisy - is that a simple fix?
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Old 18th May 2010, 09:40 PM   #24
afecu is offline afecu  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDRBurner View Post
Now that it seems to have magically repaired itself I'd like to snip out that troublesome cap mentioned above. How would I recognize it?
Here's what the supercap looks like (this is one that has not yet leaked). The markings are ELNA and 5.5V1.0F. It's pretty much in the middle of the large board on the right side that runs the whole depth of the unit. (Sorry, I don't have a photo handy of the whole board.)
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Old 18th May 2010, 11:16 PM   #25
afecu is offline afecu  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afecu View Post
I wrote: One thing I've noted is that the CD-R's from all of these units don't test so well for errors.
I did another test and it looks like my PDR-555RW is in fact giving very nice burns. They seem better than those from my PDR-509, which may have had more use before I got it. But both test CDs are fully readable.

Also, I was reminded that the Memorex media I was using before is lousy (I KNEW that, really I did...).
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Old 25th May 2010, 09:28 PM   #26
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Thank you, afecu, for the picture. Removing that part was easy. No leakage on the board but there is a bit of corrosion on the part - it looks like rust creeping from around the backside of the silver-colored center, along the edge where it meets the blue outer section.

After taking the unit out of storage it read four or five discs then started to fail to read discs and gave me its "CHECK DISC" message. Then, after removing the cap that message still displayed but the last few discs have been read fine. It seems to be working.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 10:56 PM   #27
cheryl is offline cheryl  United States
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Yes, great thread guys. I have a PDR-555RW that was working fine but barely used. I was mostly listening to pre-recorded CD's. Then I moved the unit to my 30 year old Audionics amp, preamp, and Nakamichi 581 cassette deck with the intention of recording some of my old cassettes to CD and dumping the cassettes.

Well, it went from reading and playing pre-recorded CD's to "Check Disc" on any and all media. I could sometimes trick it on CD-R's and CD-RW's by pressing the "Record" button while it was trying to ascertain which media it had. I could also sometimes get it to play a pre-record by pressing "Play" just as the tray closed. But 99% of the time I got "Check Disc". I unplugged it a zillion times to no effect.

Then I found this excellent thread. I opened it up and found the capacitor that Steven mentions. It hadn't leaked anything and everything was absolutely clean as a whistle. There isn't even any dust in the interior -- it looks brand new. Anyway, I removed the capacitor and it did help. It will now recognize CD-R and CD-RW except that it seems to take longer than I recall in the past. I was also able to record and finalize a CD-R. But the darn thing still gives a "Check Disc" on pre-recorded CD's.

Anyone got any suggestions? I also disconnected the cable from the servo to the laser as Steven instructed. Other than the cap and doing the disconnect/reconnect, I haven't touched anything else. Like I said, the interior is spotless and I couldn't see any obviously burnt or melted components. Could it possibly be a laser alignment problem? If so, is there an easy fix for that?

At least I should be able to record my cassettes now --at least the ones that sound okay, which would be the ones recorded on my Nak.

Last edited by cheryl; 3rd July 2010 at 11:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 4th July 2010, 07:24 PM   #28
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Of the dozens of 555RW's(and it's variants) I have worked on and or upgraded, with the exception of one actually bad laser(would not even play a cd), and one unit dropped hard in shipping that caused the platter to slip down the motor shaft a bit(also would not even play a cd), EVERY symptom of ANY kind with these units has ALWAYS been caused by leakage from the memory backup cap. EVERY time.
This leakage is not always obvious, nor is there always visible leakage from the cap. So, it is always required that one removes that main board to inspect the color of EVERY through-hole connection point(those vapor-deposited 'plate-through hole') and re-inforce(by punching through the hole with a pin/needle and soldering through a very fine wire top & bottom) each and every one that looks significantly darkened or otherwise suspect. I can virtually guarantee that this will fix your problems.
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Old 4th July 2010, 08:24 PM   #29
cheryl is offline cheryl  United States
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Thanks for replying Stephen. I was hoping you would still be out there.

The top side of the main board looked great (even checked with 5x magnification) but I did not pull the board to examine the other side.

I probably won't get a chance for a few days, but will pull the main board and check the back side per your instructions as soon as possible.

The CD-R that I recorded played fine in the vehicles and other decks so the laser must be in proper alignment.

Thanks again. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 6th July 2010, 05:45 PM   #30
afecu is offline afecu  United States
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Cheryl,

I believe Stephen disagrees on this, but I'd suggest you try increasing the laser power a smidge. I had to do this on one 555RW for it to write reliably after I changed the supercap, and as I recall it also fixed problems in recognizing some media. It's the pot marked "PB.PWR" and I turned it clockwise about 1/32nd of a turn.

I'll second Stephen's suggestion to check the underside of the board, though if you don't see anything at all on the top, the bottom is probably also ok.

Hope this helps!
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