VOGONS


Reply 180 of 219, by SBLive

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CapitanOdessa wrote on 2021-10-13, 19:27:

I didn't kill it per se, but I bought a boxed LG Optical DVD Drive that seemed to be in mint condition! I plugged it in, tried to read a DVD... And nothing. Absolutely nothing. The disk doesn't even spin. It frustrated me, it looks so nice! I'm thinking about opening and trying to repair it... Somehow, although I have no idea what's inside an optical drive.

Dead laser pickup. From my experience NOS Plextors starting with the PX-W4824TA often come like that straight out of the box. When building my Plextor collection, I've gone through about a dozen PX-W4824TA and Premiums that were DOA with bad lasers. Fortunately, they use the same mechanism so you can just swap the laser pickups.

Reply 181 of 219, by SBLive

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I killed the PS/2 ports on an Asus P3B by plugging in my KVM switch while the system was on. Never ever plugged or unplugged a PS/2 device ever again.

Also killed a Dell 2001FP monitor when I opened it up for cleaning and disconnected the LCD panel from the controller board. Apparently those things are super-static sensitive and you're supposed short the connectors with dummy plugs when they're disconnected. When I plugged the panel back in, there were white horizontal lines running through the screen every 100 pixels. Sad.

Reply 182 of 219, by Doornkaat

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SBLive wrote on 2021-10-13, 23:22:

Also killed a Dell 2001FP monitor when I opened it up for cleaning and disconnected the LCD panel from the controller board. Apparently those things are super-static sensitive and you're supposed short the connectors with dummy plugs when they're disconnected. When I plugged the panel back in, there were white horizontal lines running through the screen every 100 pixels. Sad.

Damn, that's some good info!👍 I never heard about that before.😳

Reply 183 of 219, by SBLive

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Doornkaat wrote on 2021-10-14, 08:16:
SBLive wrote on 2021-10-13, 23:22:

Also killed a Dell 2001FP monitor when I opened it up for cleaning and disconnected the LCD panel from the controller board. Apparently those things are super-static sensitive and you're supposed short the connectors with dummy plugs when they're disconnected. When I plugged the panel back in, there were white horizontal lines running through the screen every 100 pixels. Sad.

Damn, that's some good info!👍 I never heard about that before.😳

Well you're dealing with a raw electrical path directly to the driving silicon on the panel itself. Very easy to fry that with static electricity.

If you ever disconnect an LCD panel from its controller board, immediately wrap the connector tightly in tinfoil. And then only unwrap it right before plugging it back in.

Also make sure you're wearing a grounding wrist strap - that's absolutely mandatory here. I unfortunately learned this the hard way.

My only consolation was that the backlight in the panel was almost dead and it's not replaceable, so that's why I decided to take the risk in the first place.

Reply 184 of 219, by zapbuzz

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Put a agp 2 card into agp 1 slot on super socket 7 modo it smoked everthing died i bet the voltages were weird but that was 2003 dumpster finds. I remember it was almost like a death in the family because windows 98se loaded better than standard socket 7 even though better stuff was out it was expensive.

Last edited by zapbuzz on 2021-10-14, 16:04. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 185 of 219, by mockingbird

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SBLive wrote on 2021-10-13, 23:21:

Dead laser pickup. From my experience NOS Plextors starting with the PX-W4824TA often come like that straight out of the box. When building my Plextor collection, I've gone through about a dozen PX-W4824TA and Premiums that were DOA with bad lasers. Fortunately, they use the same mechanism so you can just swap the laser pickups.

I've never had that issue with second-hand Premiums... PX-712A and Px-716A are a different story.

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Reply 186 of 219, by SBLive

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mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 14:34:
SBLive wrote on 2021-10-13, 23:21:

Dead laser pickup. From my experience NOS Plextors starting with the PX-W4824TA often come like that straight out of the box. When building my Plextor collection, I've gone through about a dozen PX-W4824TA and Premiums that were DOA with bad lasers. Fortunately, they use the same mechanism so you can just swap the laser pickups.

I've never had that issue with second-hand Premiums... PX-712A and Px-716A are a different story.

I've gone through 6 NOS boxed PX-W4824TAs with this issue (both the European OEM and US retail versions) and probably 4-5 Premiums (also from both US and Europe) with this problem as well.

You put in a disc and it never spins up. After about 10 seconds the status light starts blinking orange 5 times every 10 seconds and that's that. Swapping out the laser pickup from a known working drive makes it work again, so I know it's not anything else. Another symptom of a laser that's near death is the drive reads very slowly (about 4x max) and never spins the disc up to full speed. Sometimes even just stops and errors out.

Reply 187 of 219, by mockingbird

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SBLive wrote on 2021-10-14, 14:38:

You put in a disc and it never spins up. After about 10 seconds the status light starts blinking orange 5 times every 10 seconds and that's that. Swapping out the laser pickup from a known working drive makes it work again, so I know it's not anything else. Another symptom of a laser that's near death is the drive reads very slowly (about 4x max) and never spins the disc up to full speed. Sometimes even just stops and errors out.

Do you change caps on your Plextors? True, they use Nichicon, but they're 20 years old by now.

What do you do for the degraded ring shaped foam pad on the spindle motor? I've come up with something, I might be inclined to mail you some if you ask nicely 😀

Do you know if it's possible to cross-flash a PX-W5224A to a Premium? They're identical inside aside from two things:

1) The main microprocessor has had its markings removed
2) The 220uF caps have been changed for 150uF parts

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Reply 188 of 219, by imi

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zapbuzz wrote on 2021-10-14, 14:32:

Put a agp 2 card into agp 1 slot on super socket 7 modo it smoked everthing died i bet the voltages were weird but that was 2003 dumpster finds.

I think rather than voltages being messed up you probably put a card in that pulled way too much power for the mobo and blew up the VRM or something.

pretty much all SS7 boards I know of have correctly keyed slots, so putting a 1.5V card in there is hard ^^

Reply 189 of 219, by SBLive

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mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 14:52:

Do you change caps on your Plextors? True, they use Nichicon, but they're 20 years old by now.

I don't change caps unless the device is malfunctioning. I have devices with 30+ year old Matsushita caps that still test at 95% original capacity and barely any ESR on a capacitor tester so unless the cap is garbage chinesium (like TEAPO) or visibly bulged/leaked, I don't touch it.

mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 14:52:

What do you do for the degraded ring shaped foam pad on the spindle motor? I've come up with something, I might be inclined to mail you some if you ask nicely 😀

I remove it and clean the glue off with benzine. Previous models didn't have it and work just fine so I think it's not necessary at all.

mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 14:52:

Do you know if it's possible to cross-flash a PX-W5224A to a Premium?

Never tried, not sure whether it would work, and don't care to try since the only way to do this is to desolder the EEPROM and flash it in a programmer. There are sections of the EEPROM that are programmed at the factory (like model number, ID string, serial number, and all the counters - tray open, total read time, total write time, and other factory-set stuff) that would need to be "transplanted" between the two devices. At that point, you might just well swap the EEPROM chips completely and not bother with a crossflash.

mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 14:52:

They're identical inside aside from two things:
1) The main microprocessor has had its markings removed
2) The 220uF caps have been changed for 150uF parts

The PX-W5224A also only has a 2MB buffer instead of 8MB, so that makes it inferior to the Premium hardware. Also missing are the headphone jack and volume control.

Plus, we don't know what the changes in the DSP ASIC (the "main microprocessor") are between the two models (like support for UltraSpeed+ 32x CD-RW on the Premium vs only 24x CD-RW on the PX-W5224TA), so it may very well be that crossflashing will render the drive inoperable.

Last edited by SBLive on 2021-10-14, 15:52. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 190 of 219, by mockingbird

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SBLive wrote on 2021-10-14, 15:44:

I remove it and clean the glue off with benzine. Previous models didn't have it and work just fine so I think it's not necessary at all.

You're right, it's just used for the 'clunk' - for lack of a better word - for when it mates with the upper part when the tray is closed.

The PX-W5224A also only has a 2MB buffer instead of 8MB, so that makes it inferior to the Premium hardware. Also missing are the headphone jack and volume control.

Ah, ok thanks I was unaware.

Hmmm, I might try it on my TL866 now that you mention it... The only thing I'm worried about is calibration data, which would transfer over from the other drive, but since you say you regularly swap lasers, it should not be an issue.

Out of curiosity, why collect the older models (read: pre-Premium models)? They seem quite ordinary... I've not seen anything but quite ordinary burning quality with them.

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Reply 191 of 219, by SBLive

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mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 15:51:

Hmmm, I might try it on my TL866 now that you mention it... The only thing I'm worried about is calibration data, which would transfer over from the other drive, but since you say you regularly swap lasers, it should not be an issue.

There are sections of the EEPROM that are programmed at the factory (like model number, ID string, serial number, and all the counters are set - tray open, total read time, total write time, and other factory-set stuff) that would need to be "transplanted" between the two devices. At that point, you might just well swap the EEPROM chips completely and not bother with a crossflash. EDIT: I presume the DSP auto-calibrates the laser and there's no calibration data in the EEPROM like in old MiniDisc units because like you noted, I can swap lasers between units without doing any recalibration and they all work perfectly. END_EDIT

mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 15:51:

Out of curiosity, why collect the older models (read: pre-Premium models)? They seem quite ordinary... I've not seen anything but quite ordinary burning quality with them.

Because those are the original Plextors that Plextor designed and manufactured themselves. If you look inside those drives you will see the amazing attention to detail, the stupendous overengineering (a 4-gear tray eject mechanism costs way more than 2 pulleys and a belt), and the high quality of the parts used. Those are the models I drooled over back in the day.

EDIT: After the Premium, Plextor pretty much abandoned all R&D and manufacturing and just started reselling rebadged OEM drives, such as the PX-230A which is actually a rebadged BenQ 5232X with Plextor-branded firmware. Drives after the Premium are just rebadged BenQ, NEC, and BTC drives. END_EDIT

Last edited by SBLive on 2021-10-14, 17:43. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 192 of 219, by mockingbird

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SBLive wrote on 2021-10-14, 15:58:

There are sections of the EEPROM that are programmed at the factory (like model number, ID string, serial number, and all the counters are set - tray open, total read time, total write time, and other factory-set stuff) that would need to be "transplanted" between the two devices. At that point, you might just well swap the EEPROM chips completely and not bother with a crossflash. The DSP auto-calibrates the laser, there's no calibration data in the EEPROM like in old MiniDisc units. Like you noted, you can swap lasers without doing any recalibration between units.

Right, so dump desolder the chip from the Premium, dump it, and then program the PX-W5224A chip with the dump.

Regarding laser calibration - you're referring to a different kind of calibration, specifically, the one that takes place before a write operation... What I'm referring to are adjustments in the firmware based on the unique characteristics of each laser. This is something that's done at the factory and programmed into each individual drive's firmware... Just as an example, when cross-flashing modern LG bluray drives, you do in fact have to transplant the calibration data from one dump to the other... It will work without doing this, but the write quality will be inferior.

Because those are the original Plextors that Plextor designed and manufactured themselves. If you look inside those drives you will see the amazing attention to detail, the stupendous overengineering (a 4-gear tray eject mechanism costs way more than 2 pulleys and a belt), and the high quality of the parts used. Those are the models I drooled over back in the day.

Perhaps, but they do not perform well in empirical tests... Premium, Premium II, PX-W5224A, Yamaha F1, PX-716A, PX-760A - those are worth collecting... It's the write quality that counts, in my humble opinion.

After the Premium, Plextor pretty much abandoned all R&D and manufacturing and just started reselling rebadged OEM drives. That's why I laugh at people paying insane money for drives like the PX-230A which is actually a rebadged TSST (Samsung-Toshia Storage Technologies) drive with Plextor-branded firmware. Drives after the Premium are just rebadged TSST, NEC, and BTC drives.

I bought a PX-740A which is a BenQ DW1640 -- but I like it more than my DW1640 because it does in fact perform better in my read tests... I think BenQ did a bin run for Plextor.

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Reply 193 of 219, by SBLive

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mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 16:40:

Regarding laser calibration - you're referring to a different kind of calibration, specifically, the one that takes place before a write operation... What I'm referring to are adjustments in the firmware based on the unique characteristics of each laser. This is something that's done at the factory and programmed into each individual drive's firmware... Just as an example, when cross-flashing modern LG bluray drives, you do in fact have to transplant the calibration data from one dump to the other... It will work without doing this, but the write quality will be inferior.

I understand what you're saying, I'm well familiar with that. What I'm saying is that either the Plextor DSP auto-calibrates the laser and does not need what you describe at all, or I've just been super-duper lucky swapping 12+ lasers between units and all of those units functioning perfectly all on a fluke. I can't argue for certain that there's no factory pickup calibration data in the EEPROM but if there is, it sure as hell didn't stop me from swapping lasers nor impair drive performance one bit.

mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 16:40:

Perhaps, but they do not perform well in empirical tests... Premium, Premium II, PX-W5224A, Yamaha F1, PX-716A, PX-760A - those are worth collecting... It's the write quality that counts, in my humble opinion.

I could not care less about tests. I collect them out of nostalgia, not because I care about their performance. Back in the day, Plextor was synonymous with quality and having one in your system was just plain awesome. I also specifically don't care about any Plextor after the Premium since those are no longer real Plextor drives and I just don't care for DVD burners the same way I don't care for any machine without ISA slots or an OS newer than Windows 2000 - it's just not exciting or interesting to me. Thus, *my* Plextor collection starts at the old-school SCSI Plextors and ends on the Premium. You collect whatever makes *you* happy and that's all there is to it.

mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 16:40:

I bought a PX-740A which is a BenQ DW1640 -- but I like it more than my DW1640 because it does in fact perform better in my read tests... I think BenQ did a bin run for Plextor.

Let's also add BenQ to my rebadged Plextor OEM list - forgot about that one.

Reply 194 of 219, by mockingbird

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SBLive wrote on 2021-10-14, 16:49:

I could not care less about tests. I collect them out of nostalgia, not because I care about their performance. Back in the day, Plextor was synonymous with quality and having one in your system was just plain awesome.
I also specifically don't care about anything that's newer than 2003, because it's just not exciting or interesting for me. My collection starts at the old-school SCSI Plextors and ends on the Premium.

I know, I sank $300 into a PX-1210TA in 1999. That and my Radeon 7200 are my two biggest regrets. Two years later, Lite-ON were hawking their wares for pennies on the dollar... I should have waited and bought a Lite-ON, and then an F1.

Let's also add BenQ to my rebadged Plextor OEM list - forgot about that one.

Yes, and I've got the iHAS124A clone as well... It has a nice faceplate, but I bought it for read testing.

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Reply 195 of 219, by SBLive

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mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 16:56:

I know, I sank $300 into a PX-1210TA in 1999.

That was actually their worst-performing model ever, it was boo'd in reviews top to bottom. They quickly learned and fixed all the issues in the PX-W1610TA which was basically a reference-grade CLV burner, see the CDRInfo review of it https://www.cdrinfo.com/d7/content/plexwriter … px-w1610a-cd-rw. EDIT: Also I think you mean 2000, the PX-W1210TA was not around in 1999, it came out mid-2000: https://www.cdrinfo.com/d7/content/plextor-pl … a-press-release END_EDIT

So if the PX-W1210TA was your only "old-school" Plextor experience then I can understand why you think they're not great performers - that model certainly was not. And their SCSI burners from that era were simply fantastic.

EDIT2: I paid $240 for a PX-W8432TA back in early 2000 and it was a really solid burner.

Last edited by SBLive on 2021-10-14, 17:13. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 196 of 219, by mockingbird

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SBLive wrote on 2021-10-14, 17:01:

That was actually their worst-performing model ever, it was boo'd in reviews top to bottom. They quickly learned and fixed all the issues in the PX-W1610TA which was basically a reference-grade CLV burner, see the CDRInfo review of it https://www.cdrinfo.com/d7/content/plexwriter … px-w1610a-cd-rw.

So if the PX-W1210TA was your only "old-school" Plextor experience then I can understand why you think they're not great performers - that model certainly was not.

Thanks for that info sir, I might just have to see if it can match the Premium and PX-W5224A with Mitsui Silver.

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Reply 197 of 219, by SBLive

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mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 17:10:
SBLive wrote on 2021-10-14, 17:01:

That was actually their worst-performing model ever, it was boo'd in reviews top to bottom. They quickly learned and fixed all the issues in the PX-W1610TA which was basically a reference-grade CLV burner, see the CDRInfo review of it https://www.cdrinfo.com/d7/content/plexwriter … px-w1610a-cd-rw.

So if the PX-W1210TA was your only "old-school" Plextor experience then I can understand why you think they're not great performers - that model certainly was not.

Thanks for that info sir, I might just have to see if it can match the Premium and PX-W5224A with Mitsui Silver.

Hey, you never know! We might all learn something. I'd be curious to see that kind of comparison.

Reply 198 of 219, by retardware

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mockingbird wrote on 2021-10-14, 16:40:

Because those are the original Plextors that Plextor designed and manufactured themselves. If you look inside those drives you will see the amazing attention to detail, the stupendous overengineering (a 4-gear tray eject mechanism costs way more than 2 pulleys and a belt), and the high quality of the parts used. Those are the models I drooled over back in the day.

After the Premium, Plextor pretty much abandoned all R&D and manufacturing and just started reselling rebadged OEM drives.
I bought a PX-740A which is a BenQ DW1640 -- but I like it more than my DW1640 because it does in fact perform better in my read tests... I think BenQ did a bin run for Plextor.

I recently tested all my DVD writers using very bad media (bad quality CD800 and DVDDL, full to the brim) to see how they handle bad media.
After that I cleaned and relubed all drives, and that made some of them able to read these "critical" media without errors.
There was also a PX-W4824 CD writer. I also opened it and was delighted by the nice way it was built. However, it is CD only and thus of no use for me.

I read that newer Plextor drives are garbage (at least in comparison to older ones).
But I do not know which drives are so nice like the CD writer mentioned above. Today a PX-708A I bought for 5 euros arrived in parcel, will probably test it on the weekend.

What you wrote about the PX-740A, this is very disappointing. I also have a Benq DW-1640 and a DW-1620. These are excellent drives because they read difficult media without complaining, but unlike HL and Toshiba/TSST drives they don't cooperate well with a Sunplus (Startech) SATA->IDE converter.
So, I'd like to ask, do you know which drive the PX-708A actually is?

Reply 199 of 219, by mockingbird

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retardware wrote on 2021-10-14, 18:34:

What you wrote about the PX-740A, this is very disappointing. I also have a Benq DW-1640 and a DW-1620. These are excellent drives because they read difficult media without complaining, but unlike HL and Toshiba/TSST drives they don't cooperate well with a Sunplus (Startech) SATA->IDE converter.
So, I'd like to ask, do you know which drive the PX-708A actually is?

Not in the least, DW1640 is the standard media scanning drive... Test your burns with CDSpeed2000 (attached) and post the results (Use 8x P-CAV for the scan speed). DW1620 is also good for scanning, but its results are not always the same as the DW1640.

PX-708A is bona fide Plextor...

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