A Mitsubishi Clarion PE 2527KA car stereo was brought in by a
mechanic from my local garage. Its CD player wasn’t working and although I don’t
usually do this sort of work. I agreed to have a look at it when I saw that he
had gone to the trouble of bringing in the correct wiring harness (Aerpro
Anyway, I connected the red (pin 11) +12V ACC and yellow (pin
10) +12V Constant BAT leads together at my +12V supply and connected the chassis
to the negative. I then switched the radio on and pressed the DISP button until
the display showed "0000", after which I punched in the security code I had been
given. This is done by pressing each successive preset button from 1-4 the
prescribed number of times, according to the Security Code digit allocated to
Items Covered This Month
Mitsubishi Clarion PE 2527KA car stereo player
TXD5777 AV receiver
PX42VP4G plasma TV
Hitachi 52-inch plasma TV
When I finally had the number fully displayed, I pressed the
DISP button again to activate it.
I then put a CD in and you could hear it try to spin before
quickly stopping with the display showing E_ _6. This meant that the laser was
unable to read the TOC (table of contents).
Disassembling this radio requires the removal of a fair bit of
hardware and also involves desoldering the PC board from the case. Having done
that, I then propped the CD player up at an angle so that I could inspect the
laser. I could now see the sled motor move as the spindle motor spun and also
the laser beam lens trying to focus.
Next, I ejected the CD and cleaned the laser lens with a cotton
bud before repeating the play function. It still wouldn’t play and was still
displaying the E6 error.
The upshot of all this was that either the laser was low
emission and/or the spindle motor was worn out. In fact, I have been caught out
too many times quoting for just the laser only to find out later on that the
motor was on its way out too, so I tend to err on the side of caution here.
The problem was that the cost of a new mechanism plus the
labour to install it was about the same as a new cheap generic car stereo
(incidentally, the radio also needed a new set of 10 x 9V 6.5mA lamps). I
thought that the client wouldn’t go for it but the garage pointed out that
fitting a new stereo meant a lot more labour on their part when it came to
installing it, rather than just putting the old one back in. In addition, the
original car stereo matched the rest of the car.
Having been given the go-ahead, I ordered the parts from
Clarion and they arrived promptly. I fitted the lamps first. This was a fairly
fiddly job and I managed to break one of the 22nF capacitors that looks like a
resistor connected to the volume control switch. I had to choose a very thin
replacement, as there is very little room for it.
Next, I fitted the CD servo to the new mechanism, taking care
not to break the flexible cable to the laser. I then plugged it back into the
main chassis, reassembled it all and switched on. To my frustration, the CD
displayed exactly the same fault – an E6 error!
Now my excuses for being a dill are as follows: (1) I am a
semi-senile TV technician; (2) I had had a hard week; and (3) I hate audio
repairs. Clearly, I needed help.
It took an emergency help call to Clarion to find out what I
had done wrong. With infinite patience the tech-nical officer first politely
er I really was a technician and then went on to explain the
cause! Apparently, nearly all laser assemblies are shipped with an anti-static
solder short installed. I should have known this and removed it as a matter of