Before attempting any electrical calibration or modification of a laserdisc player it is important to ensure that the machine is mechanically sound. In addition , dirt and dust inside the player and around the optical assembly degrades performance. For best results from the duplication process it’s important that the player is in the best condition possible.
In this guide I will walk you through the steps to disassemble the top-deck of the player so all mechanical parts can be inspected and cleaned.
You will need a Philips screwdriver, some nylon gear grease, an anti-static (ESD safe brush), some small cable ties, lots of kitchen roll (for wiping away old grease) and some hot soapy water to clean all the plastic parts. A soldering iron and some solder is also required as a switch needs to be removed and reattached as part of the disassembly and assembly process.
WARNING: Ensure that the player is disconnected from the mains power before removing any covers from the player! When working inside the player caution should be taken not to damage or dirty the optical assembly, keep all tools and removed parts of the player away from the laser optics.
Removing the disc tray
Start by removing the top and bottom covers from the laserdisc player; simply remove the screws from the sides and back of the player and slide the lid about 1 cm backwards, then lift off. Flip over the player and remove all the bottom plate screws. Once all the screws are removed simply lift up the cover from the front of the player. Now flip the player back over to the top-side.
The next step is to remove the disc tray. The easiest way to remove the tray is to power up the player and hit the eject button so the tray is out of the player, then turn the player off and disconnect the power (if this isn’t possible you will need to remove the tray eject motor – instructions for this are below). The disc tray is held in by two metal stops (one on either side of the tray) and a plunger shown in the following picture:
Remove the plastic stop from the plunger mechanism and then unscrew the metal plate. Also remove both metal stops from either side of the tray. The tray can now be removed by pulling the tray gently out from the front of the player.
Removing the front frame plate
Unscrew the four screws holding the crossbar in place and remove the crossbar:
Next remove the four screws that hold the front panel (there are three on the top and one underneath). The panel is also clipped on the top and bottom so you will need to unclip the plastic (carefully as the tabs are easily broken) and the front cover should drop away from the metal frame.
Once the front-cover is removed simply pull out the two connectors and the front-panel is completely loose.
After removing the front-cover remove the plastic T-piece from the power button shaft. The machine should now look like the following photograph:
To remove the front part of the frame start by unscrewing the two screws in the front of the drive:
Next remove the two screws holding the front frame onto the deck and the two screws on the underside of the player:
Finally remove the screw on the left side of the front frame and the matching screw on the right:
Note that the screws holding the front frame to the deck are shorter than the other screws; don’t get them muddled up (note: this only seems to be true of some players; others have identical length screws).
Removing the tray loader module
Next we will remove the top gear and shaft from the tray loading mechanism which is held in by two copper-coloured screws:
To remove simply unscrew the two screws and lift the shaft up and out of the deck:
Now flip the player over and locate the tray loader module shown in the following picture. There is a single cable running to the mechanism; unplug it from the tray loader module:
Unscrew the 3 mounting screws from the tray loader mechanism:
The tray loader module should simply lift out. Now is a good time to check the loader belt for wear and replace if necessary.
Once removed the underside of the deck should look like the following picture:
Left-side slide mechanism removal
Flip the player over to the top-side and slide the white locking plates towards the front of the player. Next remove the single screw holding the left-side frame in place:
The left-side frame should lift up and out of the player:
Now unscrew the four flanged screws holding the left-side of the tray assembly:
Remove the disc clamping mechanism from the plastic part of the deck. The plastic part of the deck should now be lifted free of the metal deck: