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Thread: Bizarre Pioneer LaserActive behavior

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    Exclamation Bizarre Pioneer LaserActive behavior

    So I've had a LaserActive in my collection for quite awhile, but could never test the Laser Disc part until now when I finally purchased a few games. However, I definitely recall in the past being able to open and close the tray without issue (just to see that giant tray come out!)

    For clarity's sake, this is a Japanese unit, and I have a proper voltage converter to power it with 100v (I am in USA).

    So I went to put in one of the discs and the console went BERSERK and I have not been able to recover from whatever happened, I'll do my best to explain.

    1) The tray no longer opens or closes via the button on the console, or via the menu. HOWEVER, it will randomly open and close itself completely fine upon power on/off. Sometimes when opens, it doesn't seem to realize that it has opened all the way and the motors in the back will continue to spin FOREVER, even though it's already fully opened.

    2) To be further bizarre.. The console menu renders completely fine when the tray is open. In color, visible, no problem. But when the tray is closed, it becomes grey and completely distorted, almost like it's displaying in PAL? It does this with or without a disc in it. But once I manage to get the tray open (again, randomly with powering on and off) the menu is displayed normally, in color. I can also run the Genesis and TG16 PACs totally fine. All in color, no problem. It is only when not using a PAC, and only when the tray is closed, does the grey distortion kick in. The discs I have are english NTSC, but again, the grey kicks in even without a disc in it, as long as the tray is closed.

    3) Regardless of all of that, if I manage to get the tray open, manage to get a disc in and tray closed again, and even though the grey distorted video, I cannot get an LD game to launch. Once I hit play from the menu, nothing happens that I can tell. The two games I tried were Pyramid Patrol and Rocket Coaster.

    I am not an electronics expert by any means, but I did take it apart to do a poor man's job at glancing in. I was not able to see any specific things that stood out to me as damaged (wires, boards, etc).

    Is this thing just completely done for or... is there something I can do about this? Thank you!

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    I know nothing about the LaserActive but I know the Model 1 Sega CDs had a lot of problems with the disc tray mechanism. my guess is your gears are messed up or the O-rings are worn out. no idea.

    check the tension on any O-rings or belts if there are any. check for missing or worn teeth on any gears if there are any. capacitors go bad. you need a special tool to be able to check them otherwise a visual inspection works. check for leaks on the tops of them. look for any corrosion on the board that would indicate leaks. if there are batteries on the board, check the voltage. get a DMM and poke and prod around checking for continuity.

    it sounds like youve already done most of this but this is what id have checked

    check for dirty loose or corroded grounds... find a PCB layout if you can, that will help with finding the problem.. check each component one by one. look for broken traces and check for continuity along the traces
    Last edited by Aussie2B; 05-16-2020 at 10:00 AM. Reason: merged comments into a single post

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    Recently got a SECOND LaserActive and it has almost the SAME EXACT ISSUE?! Am I the unluckiest person in the world or is something else going on?! At least this new one has a working tray...

    Video of the issue:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRc6mqUOJ7U

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    I've seen similar video distortion issues on a SVHS VCR that cleared up after some capacitors were replaced. That's probably what's causing your issues, failing capacitors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    I've seen similar video distortion issues on a SVHS VCR that cleared up after some capacitors were replaced. That's probably what's causing your issues, failing capacitors.
    makes sense. and its way cheaper to just replace them than to go out and buy a fancy tool to test them. i think you have to desolder them in order to check them anyways

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    i hear these are notorious for bad caps, even in the PACs too.
    My guess is the LD game you stuck in there was the last straw for some of them in the main unit, powering a motor to spin that big disc and the laser use a lot more juice than one of the PACs ever would.

    i'd find a reputable service, i think game tech us does these still

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    Quote Originally Posted by Niku-Sama View Post
    i hear these are notorious for bad caps, even in the PACs too.
    My guess is the LD game you stuck in there was the last straw for some of them in the main unit, powering a motor to spin that big disc and the laser use a lot more juice than one of the PACs ever would.

    i'd find a reputable service, i think game tech us does these still
    Thank you for the advice. Sadly, Tech US is not taking any new repairs.. I reached out to him as well asking if he knew anyone else that would, and he said he did not know. Seems like the right move here is to find a pro to repair the device, so I'll continue the hunt for that person! I've struck out about 3 times already.

    So if anyone knows anyone, PLEASE let me know, thank you!

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    i cant think of any off of the top of my head but what ever you do, dont use the services on ebay.
    have heard so many horror stories about those

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    Quote Originally Posted by Niku-Sama View Post
    i cant think of any off of the top of my head but what ever you do, dont use the services on ebay.
    have heard so many horror stories about those
    Haha right, thanks for the tip. If you happen to think of anything, please let me know. Thanks again.

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