View Full Version : CD lens cleaner: the ultimate irony

Scabrous Birdseed
13-02-2007, 09:30:15
my stereo has stopped recognising some CDs as being valid, so I bought a CD lens cleaner to see if that would help. This comes in the form of a CD with little brushes on it, which you're meant to run in the player.

Except, of course, it doesn't recognise it as a valid CD.


13-02-2007, 09:36:13

it's a cruel world

doesn't the drive even do a spin on start-up? i would have thought it has to rotate the disc to check if it's valid or not too?

Scabrous Birdseed
13-02-2007, 09:42:02
Except CDs run inside to outside and the brushes are along the outer edge. :(

13-02-2007, 09:52:00
You can get a can of compressed air and just blast the inside of the drive. It may make more dust settle on the lens but it's worth a try.

miester gandertak
13-02-2007, 10:17:05
:lol: brilliantly brilliant

13-02-2007, 12:54:50
...or dip it in a sink filled with piss.

21-02-2007, 10:42:18
isn't that a bit extreme? why bother taking it all the way to Holland!

25-02-2007, 11:52:47
Turn the gain/bias up.

Old trick which used to rescue PSX/PS2. Optical pick ups have a gain potentiometer on or around the lens. The psx one was a small silver thing on the ribbon from the motherboard to the lens, on home audio equipment they are usually but not always found on the pick up carriage, usually big yellow things. It will be the potentiometer closest to the lense itself.

Take your player apart find the potentiometer mark it's current position and tweak it about 1/16th of a turn clockwise and see if it improves anything. If not try a little more, it's really a case of trial and error if you go to far the drive will make a horrendous clicking noise as it tries to track on a portion of the disc that doesn't exist, but don't worry you can't damage the pick up by doing this. If you take it to far you can always undo it back to where it was.

I've rescued about 50 various optical drives doing this, from PSX's up to musical fidelity cd players all have continued to work and so far non i have adjusted have come back for readjustment.

The reason it happens is that over time the carriage wears which takes the lense further away from the surface of the disc, this causes poor tracking, all you are doing is increasing the gain so that it can cope with the microns of difference between one disc surface and another. Usually the problem is most apparent on CDR's.

You will be able to tell if this is your fault by listening to the drive if it is spinning all discs and then returning the invalid disc message open it up, when you insert the disc again if you can keep an eye on the pick up it should shuffle near the inner edge of the disc as it tries to pick up the data stream, before it fails and rejects the disc.

One word of caution, make sure you put the top of the cd assembly on when you try and run up discs otherwise they will just try and jump off the pick up. Usually you can get to the pick potentiometer from the rear of the drive assembly to make adjustments.

I wouldn't expect anything to be wrong with your lense, if it is tracking any discs then the lense is clean enough.

26-02-2007, 14:52:54

Provost Harrison
01-03-2007, 14:01:37
I've had this problem with the sat nav system in my car (although I will be able to get it fixed as it is under warranty) where the spindle seems to have stopped working and it just doesn't spin the disc.