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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:06 am
Posts: 26
Location: United States
Hi all,

I've been working on a couple of 3DO's that I had in storage, and a friend brought me a FZ-10 to look at. Of course, I went online to see what the typical problems were, and I came up with the 'lube the rails on the laser sled' method. I did this, but the sled still kept getting stuck. This is the exact same problem that I am having with two of the FZ-1's that I have. If you have ever had the FZ-1 apart, you know that the only way (that I have found) to get the laser sled out is to break the 4 plastic mounting pins that hold it in. Of course, once that's done, you have a new problem - how to get the sled mounted back in the FZ-1. I think it could be done with small screws and nuts, but that's for another day - I discovered the same problem in both the FZ-1 and the FZ-10 - the small gear that meshes with the sled motor. It gets a crack in it. At first I thought it was just slipping on the shaft, so I epoxy'd it on. Same problem - it will work fine until at some point the sled gets stuck again.

Here's my theory:

The crack makes the size of the gear slightly larger - specifically between the two teeth where the crack occurs. The worm gear that drives the sled gets stuck at the crack point because the distance isn't the same here compared to the other teeth.

Here's a possible solution:

This is where I would seek outside help! Plastic 3D printers are getting more popular, and many people are using them for creative projects.

I think it is possible to either get measurements of the gear from a parts sheet online (I haven't found one yet, though), and then use that data to 'print' a new gear, or reverse engineer the gear and get that data into the 3D printer's software and ready for printing.

If I had a 3D printer, I'd be on this for sure, but since I don't I'm submitting my question to the 3DO community - does anyone think they could pull this off? AND is the plastic tough enough to take the pressure of driving the laser sled?

This is the same gear that cracks and gets stuck in the FZ-10, which is much easier to repair compared to the FZ-1 (again, I think the mounts could be redone, but I haven't had the time to do it, and without a good gear to put on there it's kind of moot point).

When lubing the rails fails, and it's NOT the laser, look at this gear to see if it's cracked. A good test is to take a small set of needle nose pliers and gently turn the worm rail one way or the other a few turns. This will un-stick the drive motor and allow the sled to move - temporarily, at least. This will let you load something like a music CD and play something long enough to show that it's not the laser that's the problem.

Here's a picture of the sled and a blow up of the gear:

File comment: Picture of the sled and gear from an FZ-1
3DO FZ-1 laser sled gear_smaller.jpg
3DO FZ-1 laser sled gear_smaller.jpg [ 185.25 KiB | Viewed 2122 times ]

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:10 pm
Posts: 625
Location: Chicago, IL
I discovered a crack in this gear in one of my FZ-1s, a few weeks ago. It was definitely preventing the lens from moving properly. I just ended up swapping out the whole CD-ROM assembly from another unit, but I'd like to fix it, if possible. Did anyone ever find a replacement gear?

And for what it's worth, I was able to remove the sled assembly and get all the way down to the gear without breaking anything. It all comes apart if you're careful.

Edit: It seems to be a helical gear, in case that helps narrow any search down.

The Retro Review Project

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