Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

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mikemacdee
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Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by mikemacdee » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:51 am

I have a Panasonic with the retractable CD tray. Last time I busted the thing out was probably roughly a year ago: I've kept it stored in my closet all that time. It was always in its original box, styrofoam blocks and all, and stored on its side. I busted it out with the intent of adding new games to my library, but now when it loads data it makes that ugly rattling noise mentioned in a few other threads, and I don't remember it ever doing so before.

So far the only game whose performance suffered (and never used to) was Monster Manor: the intro movie froze and crashed, so I re-loaded the game and skipped it, only to find the CD audio skipped on Map 2. As far as I remember, I never had problems with that game before. I've only tried a few other games with it so far, so I don't know which other games are problematic. I considered trying Monster Manor on 4DO to see if the problem persists.

Even if the source of MM's problems is simply that it's scratched up, that still doesn't explain where the rattling came from. Have I damaged my machine by storing it on its side? Or is this just a matter of age?

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by 3DOKid » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:15 am

Sounds odd. It should be fine, nothing particularly exciting in a 3DO. Maybe a piece of plastic inside got brittle over the years, and gave up the ghost?

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by mikemacdee » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:14 pm

Fun new update: now it won't run games. Turns on, shows the logo and all that. I put a game in, it sits on a black screen. And these were games I was playing only 12 hours ago.

I'm assuming this means the system is kaput and I have to get a replacement.

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by NeoGeoNinja » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:58 pm

mikemacdee wrote:Fun new update: now it won't run games. Turns on, shows the logo and all that. I put a game in, it sits on a black screen. And these were games I was playing only 12 hours ago.

I'm assuming this means the system is kaput and I have to get a replacement.
Sounds like a laser issue tbh, especially as the system seems to boot fine.

(p.s. I like your Conway Estate site btw. Been there before now)

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by 3DO Experience » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:25 am

Does the CD tray come out any more?
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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by mikemacdee » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:54 am

Thanks, NeoGeo!

Yeah, the tray still works fine. The system boots normally, and I can put games in and take 'em out. It's just not reading the disks at all: once a game is in, the screen goes black and it doesn't even make much noise. Not sure if there's even a sound of anything struggling to work. It just sits there humming.

So I give up, take the game out, close the tray, and it's back to the REAL idle animation.

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by SillyPerson1 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:33 am

Have you tried a lens cleaner disc? It might be that some dust has settled on the lens perhaps :? You might be able to clean it another way, but I had a similar problem with my PS1 when I dug it out a few months back and found that the lens cleaner disc did the trick.

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by mikemacdee » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:31 am

I got a Topzone lens cleaner disc today, but I'm not sure if it's the best brand to use for a 3do, or if it will even work at all. Lens cleaner discs seem to require that you run them like audio discs, and if the lens isn't reading anything, I don't see how it's supposed to clean itself. Do I just put the disc in and let it spin for awhile? Also, any brand recommendations?

Hope to hear new replies soon. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by goldenband » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:35 am

Is there any reason to use a lens cleaner disc, rather than just opening up the FZ-1 and gently cleaning the lens with a Q-Tip and 91% (or higher) isopropyl alcohol?

I did that with my first FZ-1 and saw an improvement in disc read success, and it's a pretty standard thing to do on disc-based systems. My impression is that lens cleaner discs tend to be harsher and more abrasive than that approach, but maybe there's a downside I'm overlooking. The FZ-1 doesn't require any major disassembly to get at the lens, IIRC.

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by mikemacdee » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:45 am

I tried opening it first, and removed the four outer case screws, but it wouldn't open: the corner closest to the power cable refuses to separate. If I could open it, I could probably use the little brush that came with the disc to clean the lens, but it feels like it won't open unless I break it. Unless there's a step I'm missing.

EDIT: Both 3DO's are labeled FZ-1, but the print on the one I'm trying to fix is larger than the print on the other one, if that matters.

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by goldenband » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:52 am

Huh, that doesn't sound right -- I don't remember having any trouble opening my FZ-1, or needing to "snap" anything to unlatch it (as is the case on, say, the ColecoVision).

I guess a brush could work, but 91% isopropyl and Q-tips should be part of your arsenal as a retrogamer anyway. :) If you play cart games, it's an absolute must -- the oxidized stuff that comes off old contacts is pretty hard to believe sometimes.

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by mikemacdee » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:58 am

I found 409 works pretty well on NES cartridges, but I got a vial of the isopropyl now, which came with the cleaner disc. And for carts, I recommend a butter knife wrapped in a dish towel instead of q-tips -- no risk of cotton debris getting stuck to the game innards.

If I can't open the machine, my only option now is to blast compressed air into the open cd-rom (with no power sources, of course) and hope that does the trick. Otherwise I dunno what else to do. It doesn't rattle like it's broken or anything, so it has to be the lens.

Think maybe that one corner of the 3DO needs to be jarred loose a bit somehow?

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by mikemacdee » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:14 am

UPDATE: I got the system open finally, and used a q-tip dipped in isopropyl to clean the lens, but still no change.

So I took a video of the system in question trying to read a game disc, in the hope that someone on the forum can better diagnose the problem. With headphones you should be able to hear the sounds it makes when it tries to read the disc (and sits on a blank screen, like I said). You'll also notice the long delay when retrieving the disc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSqeg6A3iK0

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by Saffron » Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:25 pm

Maybe the laser needs to be adjusted. Have you tried if it can reproduce audio cds? If it works right then it's probably a matter of the lens intensity. If it can't read even audio cds, it could be also mechanical.
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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by mikemacdee » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:01 am

I haven't tried music CD's yet, but I wouldn't know the first thing about adjusting either problem you mentioned.

I did take a photo of the console when I opened it up and wondered if this weird orange stuff is normal or not:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a289/ ... wbdy4w.jpg

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by mikemacdee » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:45 am

Nope, it won't play audio cd's either.

And don't forget the OP says it was rattling a lot before it stopped reading discs altogether -- since it stopped recognizing discs, it doesn't rattle anymore.

Any suggestions?

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Re: Did My 3DO Storage Method Damage It?

Post by Aer Fixus » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:00 am

That sounds like a broken/cracked gear. On one of the 3DO I repaired recently, the previous owner super glued the gear back together and onto the rod where it should be. It worked just fine, although slightly louder than normal. (if you are interested why it was still broken and I had to fix it: the remaining problem was that the previous owner added way too much grease and might have plugged the cables in wrong, although supposedly other people had fidgeted with it before I got my hands on it, so that could have been their doing)

Maybe you could attempt to super glue it back together if it's broken? The other option is finding a replacement. Replacements can be found in random other CD drives. I've never searched for one, so I don't know which drive models have compatible gears, although it's going to be a lot more than ones with compatible lasers. And even then, they may be just as brittle and could break like the last one. Maybe you could 3D print one (if you do, provide the 3D model for the community. The PC Engine community pays $10+ for replacement gears for their units. I think most of us can agree that open information is best. The whole deal with Saffron and the Opera De-Compiler just proves that things should be open from the start. Otherwise, things can get lost and then we are back to square one when we want to make improvements on an old project)

Make sure when you do repair it, lube the rails so the gear doesn't re-break (or if it's not actually a broken gear, make sure the rails are lubed anyway).

And I highly doubt your storage method broke it unless you manhandled it before or after. It actually sounds like a fine storage method. Bad storage methods would be in a garage where it gets excessively hot or cold. Alternatively, really dusty or moist places can harm electronics.

Edit: if you do decide on super glue, be aware that it will be more difficult, although not impossible, to correct any mistake (or fix that particular problem in the future if you want to).

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