Laserdisc Remote Control Repair

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Laserdisc Remote Control Repair

Post by admin » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:08 am

I had one of my remote controls for my laserdisc player have a serious issue. Roughly half of the remote control's buttons stopped working. Prior to this I have played hundreds of laserdisc without any problems and there has been no change in my setup.

At first, when the tray and play buttons (on the remote) didn't want to load the disk I thought the remote's batteries went down but I changed the batteries, and tried a backup remote and same thing. The remote power button will turn on and off the machine, also the jog dial will adjust the play speeds, I can also switch audio channels, but most of the buttons including, play, stop, pause, eject/stop, etc... don't seem to function. On the player, the manual buttons for these functions work perfectly. I tried two other remotes and they worked fine so I figured it was the remote causing the problem and not the player.

I carefully disassembled the remote and cleaned it out to the best of my ability. I am happy to report that it seems to be working now. I can not explain exactly what the problem was. I wiped down all the button contacts and circuit board with a Staples brand monitor wipe. Also cleaned out the internal surfaces. Of course, it could have been just a bad contact that was fixed with simply taking apart the remote and then reassembling. The most difficult part was actually getting the covers apart as they use little plastic tabs to hold it together. Unless you have taken apart one of these remotes, you don't know where to push on the plastic. I have made a little guide that hopefully will help people as replacing these remotes that are no longer manefactured can be expensive (this one goes for about $100):
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Here is the remote on it's side. You will need a small phillips screwdriver for the back two screws.
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Here the remote is on it's back. You can see the two small center screws on the top and bottom of the remote. These will need to be removed. Be careful as they can be a little tight and you don't want to strip the head by accident.
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The inside of the remote with the back cover off. The most difficult aspect of the entire disassembly is finding the small plastic clips on the inside so you can pull the housing apart. This took some trial and error on my part, but I have taken pictures of these clips below so you should have a much easier time. Start with the ones on the bottom of the remote as they seemed to come apart easier than the top. Once you get one half of these apart, the others are much easier. I used a very thin and small flat head screwdriver in the small groove running down the sides of the remote and applied gentle but firm pressure.
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Clip locations on the bottom half.
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Clip locations for top half.
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The front (button side) of the circuit board. Note that you can simply pull the "jog wheel" off from the front. It consists of two round plastic pieces. It is not secured in any permanent way to the remote. You must remove the jog wheel as you will not be able to remove the board from the front cover without it's removal.
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Here is the front cover with the rubber button sheet. You can see the hole where the jog wheel went through the front cover.
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I noticed what looked like corrosion in two areas. This was the first. I just wiped it down and crossed my fingers that the signal was getting through. The printed circuit board connects are too small for soldering so I knew that if this was the problem, I would not be able to repair it myself. Luckily that was not the case.
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Another area at the top of the circuit board was of concern as well. There was also a firm "jelly like substance" near this area that you can see in the center between the two large lighter electronic components. I tried to wipe this off to the best of my ability.

At the end of the day, it looks like it all worked out because I just tested it and it works. Very happy right now. I hope this helps anybody that has a similar problem.
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Re: Laserdisc Remote Control Repair

Post by camusmuse » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:42 am

Very nice write up. I have a similar remote for my Pioneer LD. No problems yet, but it is a back up to my Sony. Remotes can be a real pain to fix for sure. Usually a little twisting will help determine where the tabs are. Sometimes it really comes down to "brute force and ignorance", the mantra of car stereo installs....especially when taking off speaker grilles. On of my first official installs was a late 90s BMW 7 series. And yes to remove the rear grilles, you just have to pull REALLY hard, I went back to my boss three times before he told me just to go for it....he was right, very strong spring clips. Back on topic for remotes, I have more than a few that have had to be customized to go back Still working on a Parasound remote that was crushed. Broke several traces, and yes micro soldering is no fun at all!

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