The MEGACD nightmare


I finally got it!! Since it was released, I dream of it! What? the MegaCD1 !!!
A CD drive for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis

It's a japanese version, it's like new from the outside (and from the inside too!)
But that dream soon became a nightmare!
Follow my

Sunday, 5th September 2004

11:00 AM

I connect it.

What the....??!
"Disk check" and the red light who blinks...
Nothing else...
I press pad...nothing
I reset...nothing
I switch off/on...nothing
What ever i do, nothing else than MegaCD logo animation and music

11:20 AM

Internet...the world who always save me!
I read the SX forum...I found common problems diagnostics
- Bad adaptator (I try original 110V, i try Genny one, i try another Sega...nothing)
- Fuse (not the problem...MegaCD power on)
- Bad CD...perhaps a bad CD inside ? does it mean I need to open it ?!

11:45 AM

My girlfriend call me!
The tray is open! then it close open again...and close...
"Why the red light blink?" ask my girl friend....If I knew....

12:00 AM

I move the MegaCD...there is a strange noise inside...bad!
The tray now open and close without end
Time to eat and think about it...
We're sunday, I have something else to do :)

05:30 PM

No way..I have to open it....
I'm afraid...I don't like it, specially laser stuff....and I'm not a super electronician
My digital camera's battery is full...let's take some pictures while I'm in...

First, I remove the 2 blacks screws near the Genny connector


then the 6 golden screws at the rear of the MegaCD


It's a little hard to open but when you understood, it's ok...
Play a little with the Genny connector and be sure the Lock (at the right) is closed (it's easier like this)


I remove the metal (shield?) protection and now look at the CD Drive


The loading drawer is closed
I remove the clamper (?)


Strange....the optical block isn't aligned...
I remove the 4 black screws aroung the CD Driver to release it


The optical block is REALLY bad aligned!
What the hell made this ?


07:00 PM

The MegaCD is opened...CD Drive is out...I'm looking at it...
What the....! a broken part!

Between the 2 switches, there is a platic leg...who is broken!
The PCB where all of this is soldered is so too much down. If you look at the pictures, you'll (perhaps) see the PCB isn't parallel to the CD Drive
I put the switches back in their holes, remount all and try...
Same thing....
"But why the red light blink?" ask my girl friend....again

08:00 PM

The MegaCD is open...again
The 2 switchs are again out of their holes, the PCB and the optical block still too down...
I put plastic bubbles to be sure the PCB won't go down again

The CDDrive is back in the MegaCD, the broken part can't move because on this plastic bubbles...

Remount all...
Ohoh!!! Change!

I now can press Start to access the menu
Open / Close with this menu works
I saw the RAM (hmm...Lunar saves)
I put a CD....

"But why the red light blink?" ask my girl friend....
"Because..." Wait....there is something written under the lights!!!

Green + Red light on = CD Access
Green light on only = CD In
Green on + Red blinking = CD Out <=== WHAT THE ?!!!
Green blinking only = Stand by

So it's that !!! The MegaCD always think the CD Drive is open
But why Open / Close works on the menu ?!

Time to eat...I need food and water!

09:00 PM

Fonzie is on MSN
I explain him what is going on...

I look further this CD In / CD Out problem...
I open the MegaCD with tray open

Strange...the optical block is aligned and down (normal)
I saw (not on the picture) a switch is pressed with a plastic stuff at the end of the tray

I look the connector of these switches

1. LO
2. LO
3. Out
4. Gnd
5. In

So it's that....these 2 switches are here to tell the MegaCD if the tray is open or close (In or Out)
I remount all and try....nothing better

10:00 PM

Fonzie explain me how a CD Drive work :
The tray close and the spindle table (optical block) goes up , the CD is then on the spindle

So why the spindle table doesn't go up but, worst, go down left!
It is attached to a black thing...with something like white oil...
From the bottom, I can use a screwdriver and rotate it.....the spindle table goes up!!!
It is now at the right place, the cramper fit (with its magnet) to the spindle

Of course...I never noticed but, if you understand how a CD drive works, you must have
- the spindle table up and "glued" to the cramper (to be sure the CD won't move) when the tray is closed
- the spindle table down (to let the CD go with the tray) when the tray is opened

I remount all, all is like it must be!
Power ON
Samething on the red light...
Why ?!!!!
The MegaCD is still thinking the tray is open....

I open the MegaCD...optical block is down...again...

Sleep...It's now all I bed...


Monday, 6th September 2004

06:00 AM

....the only thing i found broken is this plastic leg near the CD In/Out switched
....the MegaCD always think the tray is open ...which mean, always think CD Out
...I saw, with the tray open, the CD Out switch worked

The CD In switch!!!!!
I'm sure all is near these 2 switches!

I need to find
- the default optical block position (i'm pretty it's like then I put it up, tray closed)
- the default states of the switches....CD Out, i think it's ok...but does it mean the CD In must be in ON way ? How ? I don't see nothing on the hole....

Well...I'll test it later

01:00 PM

Time to share my currently state with the world....

Sunday, 17th October 2004

01:00 PM

This time, I'll got it!
I open it again and manage to open the tray while working with the bad aligned block.

The block could go down and up because, at the rear, it is in two "U". What to do think I found ? Yes...the left is broken!
So when the block go down, nothing keep it aligned and so it turn a little to the right, when it go out of its left "U"

As I can't change the broken "U", I think I must put reversed "U".
My girlfriend (this time, I ask her when I got a problem) told me "a pen hat?" No, but it gives me the solution : a pen

I cut a litlle part and make it as a "U" then put it on the block like this :


Ok, now the bad aligned block is corrected!
Let see this CD In switch.

Playing with the CD Tray, I found that when it's open, the block move a little.
So the open/close tray has an impact on the block.

After some hours, I found that the wheels which control the open/tray weren't at the good angle.
Now it's ok, the CD In is activated!

How does it work ?
When the MegaCD opens the tray, it first makes the block down.
When it closes the tray, at the end, it makes the block up and when the block is up, the CD In switch is activated.
Here is a little video showing this : HERE

I mount all and try...nothing!
I re-open it and found the CD In again in the wrong position....Again, it's because the part where it is is broken.
I remove the lights protection to see how all work when it's power on.

05:00 PM

I found the wheels were again at the wrong angle!
Let's test again now

The red light doesn't blink!
I put an audio cd

Yes! I can listen to Jamiroquai!!!!!!

I put a game.

Wait! It's perhaps the game!! I want to believe!
I put Wonderdog in it

Wow! What an ugly game!
Hurry, put Silpheed!

and so...? It hangs....

I make several tests with differents games...The CD works, doesn't work, only play audio....
It's seems I have some others problems!!!

This time, I think it's a common one : ugly lens. Since I opened it and worked on it a lot, I think the lens got some dust.

Ok, I'll finish all of this later. The main problem is for me corrected and it's enought for today!!!

Kaneda Happy Happa!