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Laser Re-alignment

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi, I just bought a D-777 and it skips sometimes while sitting still. If I turn on the anti-shock memory, it doesn't sound like it is skipping but the sound drops every once in a while for a split second. From everything I know (which isn't much) I figured the laser needs to be adjusted / re-aligned. I called Sony who said that since the product was less than 7 years after production they would cut me a deal and charge something in the region of $99/hr. That's a little too expensive for me, so I was wondering if there was a cheap way to get this done and also to try and diagnose the problem so that I know how much it will actually cost to fix if it is the laser that needs re-aligning.

Thanks in advance,
post #2 of 19
Being the resident D777 expert at the moment...

Have sony quoted you for a new laser assembly? When the D777 is open, you'll see that it is virtually in kit form, and the whole assembly is connected by 1 ribbon connector and three sets of wires...

With me buying my D-EJ1000 in 2 days time, if you want I can look further into the D777 and see if I can see how to do the re-alignment??
post #3 of 19
I would post pictures, but my digital camera isn't up for the fine detail...

I don't think that it would be the laser alignment, with the symptons you suggest... I'm personally wondering, there are three little rubber feet that the motor assembly sits on, are any of them noticeable perished? The reason that I ask... these little rubber feet are the only moveability that the laser assembly has, and when the rubber disintegrates, it looks like the unit sits very rigidly, so even the slightest movement (even to the point of the CD??) could cause the unit to skip (think of a car with perished shocks compared to brand new ones... not good)

if you're desperately seeking a picture of what I mean, i'll try my best, but as I say, my camera isn't up to much

As if by magic, a little picture appears here although its on a nasty Yahoo page

Hopefully you'll see the three little rubber rings that I refer to though!?
post #4 of 19
sometimes my d-777 has a hard time tracking the 1st track on a cd. it will take like 30 seconds or so before it starts. any idea what is causing this?

where did you buy your d-777?
post #5 of 19
Redshifter... and, probably Hussman... Yes!

If the CDP skips in the same place on EVERY CD (I.E. Redshifter on the first track (nice and easy this one...) think where the motor arm sits when the CDP isn't in use, Track 1! (Or, if the CDP has been left in 'resume' mode for a long time, same principle applies anywhere along the pickup arm...

Basically the arm has dried out in those places, it needs re-lubing, you need to find a very thin grease (Lithium?), and apply it to the pickup arm... then do repeated track access (from begining to end of CD) until you're sure you're all lubed up, and give it another go... I'm 95% sure that that will solve your problems!

If you're brave enough to open up your D777, as well as lubing the arm, you will see a little piece of metal on the back of the laser assembly that connects to the arm... remove the screw from there, and you will see (if yours is anything like mine) clogged up, dried up grease on there too... this also doesn't help... try removing some although not ALL of that dry grease, and then put some new, fresh grease there too... should work miracles!!

I know this works, because I fixed my Marantz CDP this way, and that skipped at various places along the arm because I just used to turn the unit off (with the mains switch) mid song, and then leave it for days / weeks at a time... re-lubed, and it works as well as the day I bought it!
post #6 of 19
wow, thanks, man. i suspected it was something like that. if i skip to the 2nd track then go back, usually it starts. that probably unsticks it long enough to get the laser moving. those pics you put of of the inside of the d-777 have me wanting to check mine too. i think i'll try re-lubing. do you think synthetic bicycle grease would work?
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey Duncan, thanks for the prompt reply... I didn't get a quote from Sony on the laser assembly (i'm sure it's somewhere in the $100 range). Thanks for posting the pictures, I think I see what you mean when you are talking about the three rubber feet. If I get brave enough tonight I might pry it open and take a look inside to try and determine what's going on. As far as the lube goes...anyone have any suggestions or brand names to go with? Thanks for all the help guys.

post #8 of 19
Hey Guys...

The lube... I don't know what it was originally, it 'looks' like Lard (Animal fat - I've gotta remember this is a worlwide site...)

I caused some controversy when i fixed my CDP with WD40 (speay on oil) applied to the pickup arm... to me its fine, but according to some people it'll make the arm stick again when all of the moisture has gone... but, i did it at least 5 months ago, and its still going sweetly... so even if it were to seize up tomorrow, i'd just re-apply the oil, and away i'd go

Thinking more about this, (extra) especially if you want to apply the spray on oil, I would strongly advise removing the little metal clip (mentioned in my last post) and spraying THAT... that way you limit the chances (albeit they are very small) of the oil / grease going somewhere that it shouldn't.

Then, just put the metal clip back, screw it back, put the case back together (although don't screw it up)... put in a CD, do the quick track access thing, and then play the CD in the place you normally have the problem... Problem solved? goody goody, screw it up and away you go... Problem unsolved? just have another go?


When you unscrew the D777, make sure you know where the ESP, AVLS, and Resume switches are (on the back) and Hold (on the lid) are as the little plastic toggles can move around when the unit is undone, because they are normally connected to little micro switches and the screw that holds the laser assembly together is very small and easily lost!!!!!...


This applies more to Redshifter...

If you've unscrewed the little metal clip on the rear of the assembly, the laser will 'free-wheel' up and down the arm... you may need at this point a little micro-flat headed screwdriver (I used 1.4mm head) to remove large deposits of the encrusted white goo from the spindle near to the motor as well as lubing the pickup arm!... hopefully you'll see what I mean if you're brave enough to open up...

[2nd edit]

If you're not brave enough to take the unit apart, I presume (although don't know) that you can use a cotton bud (Q-Tip?) covered in whatever lube you're gonna use, and smear it on the screw-arm that you can see if you look into the pickup arm... then just run the laser up and down the arm a few times... try that way, its probably less scarey that way... those (in total) 7 screws, with how small they are, are VERY easily lost...

Your call, but... let me know how things go?
post #9 of 19
hey Duncan, my 777 seems to suffer from the same symptoms as Hussman's. If it is the rubber feet that is causing it to randomly drop out every so often; is there any remedy? Also are there any other possible causes that might cause the drop out?
post #10 of 19
thanks for all the extra info, you are indeed the expert. i couldn't find my small screwdriver, so to open the d-777 i stood it on it's edge and rapped it gently with a hammer until it broke open. there are more loose parts inside than i thought...

just kidding.

this weekend i think i will take the puppy apart and and try the re-lube. last night it was having more problems in other spots, too. i'll let you know how it goes, and i'll leave my hammer in the toolbox.
post #11 of 19
Originally posted by cdub
hey Duncan, my 777 seems to suffer from the same symptoms as Hussman's. If it is the rubber feet that is causing it to randomly drop out every so often; is there any remedy? Also are there any other possible causes that might cause the drop out?
The only way (in retrospect) that I can see it being the rubber feet would be if the unit were not on a stable surface... I.E. on a sofa... bed, whatever... where movement would be exageratted by the spongieness of the surface the unit is sat on...

Are your symptons at the same point, no matter what CD you play? if so... go for the re-lubing option... if not, start simple with a lens-cleaner.

The easy way to tell if your rubber feet have perished is to try and move the laser PLATFORM (NEVER the laser itself) if it feels quite spring loaded, then your feet are okay, whereas if it feels kinda solid... moves, but then doesn't freely move back, then the feet could've perished... as to a remedy, I don't have one unfortunately... but, i'm sure that replacement rubber feet can't cost that much from the Sony spares department? (go on... shock me!!)

...and remember Redshifter... Hammers are hazardous to PCDPs health!!

Wahoo!! Just 24 little hours until I can do an A/B comparison between my, then newly acquired D-EJ1000 and my D777
post #12 of 19
...and remember Redshifter... Hammers are hazardous to PCDPs health!!
so is getting hammered and working on your pcdp!

Wahoo!! Just 24 little hours until I can do an A/B comparison between my, then newly acquired D-EJ1000 and my D777
i can't wait to hear this! i'm sure you'll include both a review of the line out & headphone out. do you have a jmt penguin amp to review with?
post #13 of 19
Unfortunately not Red...

For line out, its gonna have to be with my X-Cans V2... I guess the principle will still be the same?

If not... I'll apologise in advance (but... if i'm being brutally honest, I NEVER use the line out myself)

lol @ being hammered... I don't think you'd be able to undo the screws on the D777 if you were
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
yeah the screws on the D-777 made me go out and buy a set of precision screwdrivers...mine are kinda cheap though, anyone have any suggestions on a reasonably priced set of screwdrivers for tinkering with small electronic thingies? Oh and for the grease, Radioshack, Home Depot, Walgreens and Fry's Electronics all came up short. I found a white teflon grease at a Model Train store that should work well. I'll report back hopefully tommorow (I have alot of studying to do this week for tests, and plus I have a paper due on friday).

post #15 of 19
Good luck with the fix Hussman

On the plus side, now I have the D-E905 as well, if the laser gives up in the D777... I'll just swap the assemblies over
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