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Servicing NeXT (Canon) MO Drives
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barcher174



Joined: 07 Dec 2012
Posts: 560

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly you'll find that when the drive starts misbehaving with the injection you will need to swap between a single position and dual position cable. Something gets set on the cube logic board that not even pulling the battery fixes which I'm guessing has to do with drive selection. I have seen this problem several times now with bad analog boards. Get some high percentage rubbing alcohol. Remove the motor from the motor board. Then let both the motor board and the analog board soak over night. Make sure the magnet from the motor is clean. Use a toothbrush to clean both boards the next day. Then try again. That sometimes works magic. What is the date code/serial number on your drive?

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Brian
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pentium



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
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Location: Kamloops, BC

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Date on the MO drive is April 1989 and I'm guessing the serial is EJX04674.

I've standalone tested the motor board again and it's still running fine so it's simply not being told anymore to start. I don't see what soaking the assembly in rubbing alcohol will do for me. :/

Also, a further test found that when attached to the machine and you perform a manual eject it WILL complete the eject on its own once the "carriage loaded" switch opens, so there is enough happening on the digital board that it can still detect the carriage position. After that however the drive will refuse to inject again until the machine is power cycled.
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pentium



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 1148
Location: Kamloops, BC

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SUCCESS!!

...okay, there were a few snags. Read on.

So I must of numged the cabling when I reinstalled that media sense switch and one of the pins were stuck. Once I freed it up and switched to the connector CLOSEST to the motherboard's ribbon cable connector I I got eject control and the drive spinning up again. Confident that things were now okay I reassembled the system fed it an MO and booted off the hard drive.





Well there we have it. It was behaving.
For a sanity check I rebooted the machine and reinserted the cartridge as soon as it would let me. Spun up, seeked, sat there for a moment before spinning down, then spun up again and the OS carried on..Uh, okay? It was reading again fine so I decided to verify that it could execute programs.



Ejected that one and fed it another cartridge. Yep, It saw and read everything. Ejected that cartridge and fed it another.

Didn't hear the motor spin up. There was three "clunk" noises, then it ejected. Pushed it back and it wouldn't inject. Huh.
Rebooted the machine, fed it an MO cartridge and went back to NeXTSTEP.



Oh dear. It choked on the MO drive. I also didn't hear it spin up. Why is it suddenly so unhappy? Manually eject the cartridge. Reboot again.


It panicked after the photo but TWO drives? Why is this so unhappy now? I haven't even touched it....Reboot and try again....



Booted fine and the fed it another cartridge. The same "clunk" noise three times, then the high pitch "VRR VRR" followed by the drive spinning up and mounting. Again, it was readable.

So for me at least my drive is running again although not completely reliably. I'll see if I can start buildisk.app and see if anything has blown up when I wake up this evening.

Edited: It was fine this evening and fine the next morning. So I restarted the machine, fed it my newly built disk and away she booted.






I'm going to make a video of the boot process. Mine seemed to boot up a LOT faster than Barcher's.
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pentium



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 1148
Location: Kamloops, BC

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't get it.
So every time you start the machine cold the drive is EXTREMELY cranky. Sometimes it makes NEXTSTEP panic, often it will say there's two drives connected, it will not boot from the OD, and when it gets to NeXTSTEP off the hard disk it will often just spin the drive up and down over and over until suddenly bam, the cartridge mounts and it's fine. Warm reboot it and now you can OD boot. Doesn't skip a beat until you power the machine off and turn it back on again.

I hate computers.
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barcher174



Joined: 07 Dec 2012
Posts: 560

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's probably the electrolytic residue on the analog board. You need to let it soak in alcohol then reflow any areas with visible corrosion. I was seeing this behavior consistently before I started doing this step. I actually run each board through an ultrasonic bath with 91% alcohol. You'll see the solution turn yellow.

Last edited by barcher174 on Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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barcher174



Joined: 07 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a positive note, I also worked on drives this weekend and got 2 additional drives working. Find anything cool in that stack of media Pentium? Also, yes, 3.3 on a 68040 will boot in about 1/3 of the time as a 68030 with NS 1.0.
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Rob Blessin Black Hole
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Joined: 05 Sep 2006
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Location: Ft. Collins, Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

barcher174 wrote:
On a positive note, I also worked on drives this weekend and got 2 additional drives working. Find anything cool in that stack of media Pentium? Also, yes, 3.3 on a 68040 will boot in about 1/3 of the time as a 68030 with NS 1.0.


Where those the December 1988 drives Awesome! I have a quite a few optical drives and if you need a second drive to help repair the first I may be able to get close to your serial number so the rev has a higher probability of being a match.
Does anyone have an Optical drive with a date stamp earlier than December 1988 and lower than EJX01804 as we may be able to figure out serial numbers correlated to dates and rev changes in production?
Best regards rob
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303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community since 2/9/93
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pentium



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 1148
Location: Kamloops, BC

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, so that is why you recommended the bath. In that case I'll go look into buying a bottle or two for the job and try on my weekend.

Quote:
Find anything cool in that stack of media Pentium?


Yes actually. All my cartridges save for one NOS cartridge I bought from someone else came from Trillium Sound Research in Calgary. They're all backups of what seems to be David Hill's machine with snippets of data from other employees. Lots of weird programs, a bunch of usenet clippings (one of which dating to 1994 regarding MO drives malfunctioning), old email, some improv files, a few presentations, his old website circa 1994 and LOTS of early code from their real-time speech synthesis program. Today said program is called gnuspeech. I'm currently working on a method to archive all the cartridges.

Edited: I couldn't resist. Wink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjAEA2ZfY_k
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barcher174



Joined: 07 Dec 2012
Posts: 560

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David actually just set up a new cube with a modified soundbox. Maybe he'll want a copy of his old data Very Happy

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pentium



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
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Location: Kamloops, BC

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have been in touch with him recently, would you be able to PM me his email? I'll see if he's at all interested in any of his old data.
I'll email Dave , by coincidence he was in Europe at the same time my dad was in the RCAF back in the 50's. Best regards Rob
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Rob Blessin Black Hole
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Joined: 05 Sep 2006
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Location: Ft. Collins, Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pentium wrote:
If you have been in touch with him recently, would you be able to PM me his email? I'll see if he's at all interested in any of his old data.

I'll email Dave , by coincidence he was in Europe at the same time my dad was in the RCAF back in the 50's. Best regards Rob
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303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community since 2/9/93
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pentium



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
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Location: Kamloops, BC

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys he got in contact with me earlier today. I'll discuss the archiving with him.
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paolo.bertolo



Joined: 24 Sep 2015
Posts: 57
Location: St Gallen, Switzerland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:34 pm    Post subject: Yet another successful refurbishment story Reply with quote

Hello everybody,

just want to share my personal experience refurbishing a MO drive.
Initial conditions: completely dead, just an almost inaudible electric buzz from the drive when connected to a power source.
I decided to give it a try and refurbish it following the very complete instructions available on this forum.

Iíve bought a cheap soldering station on Amazon with a set of fine welding tips. All capacitors bought from farnell.com website.
Couldn't find an exact match for all of them, though, so I had to compromise on the size for one of them on the digital board (slightly taller, about 7.5 mm instead of 6 mm, but it fits nonetheless) and on the voltage (opting for a higher one, but makes absolutely no difference) for a bunch of them on the motor board (rev. B).
Much harder to find the right ďtemperatureĒ requirements, 105įC are very hard to find, got to opt for 1000hr at 85į C for most of them. No problem, itís not going to be an heavy duty machine.

It took me a couple of attempts before finding a good technique for desoldering the old capacitors, surely the hardest part.
My technique: gently pull away the capacitor case, leaving anode and cathode welded in place. In this way itís easy to grasp them with needle-nose pliers. So heat up the solder on the one side of the board (320įC on a fine tip worked just fine for most of them, quick and effective) and pull the connector gently from the other until it comes off when the solder suddenly liquifies.

Then clean the holes with a solder wick and a de-soldering pump. Might take time, but surely thereís no real need for exotic de-soldering guns or stuff, can be done by a beginner like myself without making any damage.
Clean everything up very, very carefully (I've used some chemical spray for electronic boards, then cleaned up everything with a touch of acetone) and you are ready to solder the new caps in.
There too it took me a couple of shots before refining my technique, but I can guarantee that from the 4th on one would not be able to tell those soldered by hand from those soldered by machine.

On the motor board there was a lot of leaked and solidified stuff from the old capacitors, almost encrusting the motor. I cleaned it up with good old WD40 first, scrubbing the surface with a toothbrush until clean from all the contamination.

The whole refurbishing process took me one full afternoon.

When I connected the drive to an external power source (no data cable connected), the motor started spinning and didnít stop. I let it spin for a while, then switched the drive off. On and off again, at a certain point the motor was not spinning any longer, like dead. Big disappointment.
I then connected the drive to the NeXT Computer and... it just came back to life. I could mount the only optical disc I have and everything was looking fine.
Next day, however, when I powered it up everything start going wrong, with panic messages during the boot sequence.
When it was passing the boot sequence, the drive could not mount the disk, apparently it was trying to build up rotational speed and then suddenly was slowing down and on like this for some cycles until the cartridge would be automatically ejected.
So I disassembled it all over again and, following the recommendations from this forum, I cleaned all the boards (digital, analog and motor) by soaking them in alcohol (pure ethanol for fondue sets, here where I live finding propyl alcohol is kind of tricky).
I dried them up in my hot air oven, by ďbakingĒ them for some 20 mins at 60 įC.
To a closer inspection, there was still some dirt short-circuiting two of the radial connectors right under the protective plastic foil on the motor board, so I removed it as well.
A little bit of lubrication (again WD40) on the motor bearings and straight it went back in the cube.
Took a couple of false start, but now the drive works perfectly without skipping a beat or a restart, spinning smoothly and devoid of that high frequency pitch it had when it first came back to life.

For the record I also thoroughly cleaned and lubricated the optical pickup guides, load/eject gears and carefully cleaned the lens too, it was covered by a thin layer of dust. Finally, Iíve cleaned the optical disk (by opening the protective cartridge), since it was kind of soiled by dust and some kind of tiny liquid drops.

I now need to find a new replacement for the 2200 uF capacitor, the one Iíve bought at first has axial connectors but must be radial, so itís now temporarily connected via a kind of Frankenstein job.

So, bottom line, I guess I had a stroke of luck, probably the drive was not in bad conditions at all (besides the capacitors, I mean).
I had my share of fun by doing it, itís something I would definitely recommend to try to those who have a dead drive, some basic skills and the right spirit, itís not something for the faint of heart, so to speak...

And no doubt I would have never managed to achieve this result without the help of this forum, so a big thank you from my side to the whole NeXT community!
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barcher174



Joined: 07 Dec 2012
Posts: 560

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats! I think we now have a reproducible procedure for refurbishing.

Also if anyone is interested (would need to do a few drives to make it worth it), this cleaner is perfectly sized for the boards:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018IIPFK?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00
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Rob Blessin Black Hole
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Joined: 05 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Yet another successful refurbishment story Reply with quote

paolo.bertolo wrote:
Hello everybody,

just want to share my personal experience refurbishing a MO drive.
Initial conditions: completely dead, just an almost inaudible electric buzz from the drive when connected to a power source.
I decided to give it a try and refurbish it following the very complete instructions available on this forum.

Iíve bought a cheap soldering station on Amazon with a set of fine welding tips. All capacitors bought from farnell.com website.
Couldn't find an exact match for all of them, though, so I had to compromise on the size for one of them on the digital board (slightly taller, about 7.5 mm instead of 6 mm, but it fits nonetheless) and on the voltage (opting for a higher one, but makes absolutely no difference) for a bunch of them on the motor board (rev. B).
Much harder to find the right ďtemperatureĒ requirements, 105įC are very hard to find, got to opt for 1000hr at 85į C for most of them. No problem, itís not going to be an heavy duty machine.

It took me a couple of attempts before finding a good technique for desoldering the old capacitors, surely the hardest part.
My technique: gently pull away the capacitor case, leaving anode and cathode welded in place. In this way itís easy to grasp them with needle-nose pliers. So heat up the solder on the one side of the board (320įC on a fine tip worked just fine for most of them, quick and effective) and pull the connector gently from the other until it comes off when the solder suddenly liquifies.

Then clean the holes with a solder wick and a de-soldering pump. Might take time, but surely thereís no real need for exotic de-soldering guns or stuff, can be done by a beginner like myself without making any damage.
Clean everything up very, very carefully (I've used some chemical spray for electronic boards, then cleaned up everything with a touch of acetone) and you are ready to solder the new caps in.
There too it took me a couple of shots before refining my technique, but I can guarantee that from the 4th on one would not be able to tell those soldered by hand from those soldered by machine.

On the motor board there was a lot of leaked and solidified stuff from the old capacitors, almost encrusting the motor. I cleaned it up with good old WD40 first, scrubbing the surface with a toothbrush until clean from all the contamination.

The whole refurbishing process took me one full afternoon.

When I connected the drive to an external power source (no data cable connected), the motor started spinning and didnít stop. I let it spin for a while, then switched the drive off. On and off again, at a certain point the motor was not spinning any longer, like dead. Big disappointment.
I then connected the drive to the NeXT Computer and... it just came back to life. I could mount the only optical disc I have and everything was looking fine.
Next day, however, when I powered it up everything start going wrong, with panic messages during the boot sequence.
When it was passing the boot sequence, the drive could not mount the disk, apparently it was trying to build up rotational speed and then suddenly was slowing down and on like this for some cycles until the cartridge would be automatically ejected.
So I disassembled it all over again and, following the recommendations from this forum, I cleaned all the boards (digital, analog and motor) by soaking them in alcohol (pure ethanol for fondue sets, here where I live finding propyl alcohol is kind of tricky).
I dried them up in my hot air oven, by ďbakingĒ them for some 20 mins at 60 įC.
To a closer inspection, there was still some dirt short-circuiting two of the radial connectors right under the protective plastic foil on the motor board, so I removed it as well.
A little bit of lubrication (again WD40) on the motor bearings and straight it went back in the cube.
Took a couple of false start, but now the drive works perfectly without skipping a beat or a restart, spinning smoothly and devoid of that high frequency pitch it had when it first came back to life.

For the record I also thoroughly cleaned and lubricated the optical pickup guides, load/eject gears and carefully cleaned the lens too, it was covered by a thin layer of dust. Finally, Iíve cleaned the optical disk (by opening the protective cartridge), since it was kind of soiled by dust and some kind of tiny liquid drops.

I now need to find a new replacement for the 2200 uF capacitor, the one Iíve bought at first has axial connectors but must be radial, so itís now temporarily connected via a kind of Frankenstein job.

So, bottom line, I guess I had a stroke of luck, probably the drive was not in bad conditions at all (besides the capacitors, I mean).
I had my share of fun by doing it, itís something I would definitely recommend to try to those who have a dead drive, some basic skills and the right spirit, itís not something for the faint of heart, so to speak...

And no doubt I would have never managed to achieve this result without the help of this forum, so a big thank you from my side to the whole NeXT community!


Really nice write up Paolo and by the way welcome to the NeXT forums! Best Regards Rob Blessin
_________________
Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay sales@blackholeinc.com http://www.blackholeinc.com
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community since 2/9/93


Last edited by Rob Blessin Black Hole on Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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