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CED Digest Vol. 6 No. 6  •  2/10/2001


20 Years Ago In CED History:

February 13, 1981:
* Australian newspaper magnate Rupert Murdock buys "The Times" of
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Tess.

February 15, 1981:
* Richard Petty driving a Buick Regal wins the Nascar Daytona 500 in
Daytona Beach, Florida.

February 16, 1981:
* Pope John Paul II begins his first visit to Asia with stops including
Pakistan, the Philippines, Guam, and Japan.

February 17, 1981:
* Chrysler loan guarantees of $150 million are reluctantly agreed to by
* The Reagan administration receives backing for its plan to send
military and economic aid to El Salvador following the briefing of a
bipartisan group of senators and representatives by Secretary of State
Alexander Haig.

Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2001 07:30:17 -0800
From: Tom Howe <>
Subject: RE: Caddy Stuck in J/K Player

At 7:35 PM -0800 1/30/01, Justin Slotman wrote:
>I go to play Flash Gordon and what happens is the disc gets sucked in
but the >caddy fails to come out, and so the movie fails to play. The
only way I could >get the disc out was by taking off the cover and
manually lifting the little >hands off the removable part of the
cartridge, because they weren't letting >go.

This sounds like it could be a weak function motor, or a motor that
happened to completely fail at that moment the motor reverses direction
to eject the empty caddy. This is when the motor is under the greatest
stress, as it has to overcome the friction of the disc and spine and
push the empty caddy up the incline out of the player. It is possible to
manually eject the caddy at this point by rotating the second reduction
gear towards the front of the player, and just giving this gear a nudge
may be enough to get the gear train working again in the case of a weak

It is rarely necessary to forcibly extract a disc through the top of the
player as the load/unload mechanism can be completely cycled by hand if
you know how it works. Until recently, I had some players with dead
function motors that I would load by hand with the turntable
automatically spinning up once the disc dropped down to the play
position. If you have a couple of J/K players, you can learn how to
manually load and unload a disc by putting the players side-by-side with
the "manual" player unplugged. You learn the steps in manual
loading/unloading by observing what the working player does at each step
and duplicating that by hand-rotating the gear on the manual player.
When the disc has dropped to the play position on the manual player, it
can be plugged in to initiate playback. But I wouldn't recommend trying
this if you have only one J/K player, as without the guide of a working
player it's possible to get the function gear mechanism into an invalid
state relative to the sense switches in the player.

Instructions for installing a new function motor can be found on this
web page: --Tom ------------------------------------------------------------------------ From: "Ed Ellers" <ed_ellers> To: "Tom Howe" <> Subject: First day of CED Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2001 20:39:05 -0500 I did make it into a TV store on the first day of sales of the SFT100. The store was H.H. Gregg in Kokomo, Indiana; in those days that chain operated in and around Indianapolis, while today it's a major regional chain that goes head to head with Circuit City and Best Buy. They had the display kiosk as specified by RCA, with the FER485W 19" TV in its rightful place* and a good stock of discs in the compartment, a good sign considering how scarce laser discs were when that format was in its early stage. One thing I was interested in was whether or not the visual search mode would be clean, so I pushed the button to see...and got a somewhat dirty look from the salesman, who told me that he was making a VHS copy of the movie. I guess now we know the "real" reason for Macrovision copy protection in DVD players :-). * The kiosk was built to hold an FER488WR, which was the second-from-the-top RCA ColorTRak model at the time and had remote control; most dealers seemed to use the FER485 which was the same set without remote control. One store in Indianapolis later that year had a VEM575 monitor/receiver in their kiosk; this was the same set seen in the RCA CED demo disc, but was a strange choice since the SFT100 didn't have a composite video output. Coincidentally I had an FER488WR at the time, and in fact I still have that set though it's no longer in use. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ From: KatGlen1 Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 20:18:58 EST Subject: Re: CED Digest To: Last week Terry Collins made the remark that Laser Discs were terrible way back when because of lockup problems or snow. Well, I have some laser discs that are about 20 years old now and they once played perfectly. But now the glue has eaten into the disc material and they now have lockup problems and snow. Interesting isn't it? I pop a CED into the machine and except for minor skipping it plays fine. I would like to know if any of our readers out there remember the publication named Disc Deals? It was somewhat popular in the early 80's and was about the size of TV Guide. I just found a bunch of them that I had saved. They had interesting classifieds, letters, disc closeouts, lots of pictures of early DiscoVision discs, and articles by Rad Bennett who has been writing for Video magazines for years and years and a monthly column about CED called "CED and Me." This column was written by a guy named Henry Durkin. They said Mr. Durkin did not understand any of the technical things about CED he just enjoyed the system and writing about it. This was exactly what RCA wanted-- an average Joe who could just barely figure out how to insert the disc caddy into the player and couldn't care less about the technical side of the system. Glenn


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