Pioneer DV-C503 DVD player acting up?

Saturday, January 12, 2008
Pioneer DV-C503 DVD player acting up?

Do a little Googling and you'll find that a common problem with these 5-disc changers is that they simultaneously develop two problems:

1. When one opens the drawer to add or remove a disc, the drawer opens and closes automatically before a disc can be moved.
2. The machine won't read any discs. It shows "Play" onscreen, and then shows "Stop," with no indication it recognizes a disc.

A thumbs-down to Pioneer's Web site, which seems to offer no tech support or easy way to contact tech support.

For those who may have the same problem -- and who see nothing to lose by fiddling with the innards of an out-of-warranty machine (I bought mine in March 2001) -- here's what seems to fix the problem.

As always, be careful working around exposed electrical parts.

1. Unplug the unit.
2. Unscrew the lid (four black screws on right and left side, three silver screws at the top pack. (It hinges up from the machine's back, and then up and out from the front.
3. Plug the machine in.
4. Insert a disc -- preferably one you're willing to lose should this experiment go south -- either the usual way or by dropping it in from the "inside" of the machine.
5. Press PLAY and then wait for the disc you've inserted to move into place.
6. Manually give the disc a spin -- or several -- to get it going.
7. If the machine reads it as usual (front-panel display shows disc index numbers, etc.), you're in good shape. Stop the player and remove the disc and again unplug the machine.
8. Get some compressed air in a can and give the spindle mechanism (both the top disc and the inner motor drive) a several good blasts of air to remove any dust or other stuff that was probably keeping the thing from spinning up.
9. Plug the machine in and see if things work as they should.
10. If they do, unplug the machine and reassemble it.
11. Enjoy.

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