This post is about the repair of a Pioneer CLD-V190 laserdisc player, I bought in “working condition”. When plugged in and turned on the player made a very loud clicking noise and the video and audio was subpar (this format was known to have good quality video and audio). For the purposes of this post I wont go into the details of how the player works or its history since that was done on the time line.
So first things first, lets tear it apart. It was obvious from the symptoms (so I thought) that there were two issues, one it doesn’t play clearly (so I assumed the laser was misaligned from shipping ) and the annoying clicking noise. Since the easiest fix in my mind was to fix the clicking noise, I chose to look at that first.
It was fairly obvious that it was coming from a worm gear assembly attached to the area where the laser mechanism pivots. But that was all that was obvious. From the view of the picture above all I could see was that the gear was spinning and not stopping where it should hence the clicking noise. Unfortunately more of the unit had to come apart (see the next couple pictures).
Will all of the bottom boards out of the way the tray that holds the laser head and the worm gear in question could be removed. At this point it became obvious that the the worm gear had a slot in one of the gears which should be moving the laser pivot up and down (I assumed so that the laser would move out of the way when loading and unloading a disc). After playing with the pivot I realized the pivot would block a light sensor when it was level, hence causing the worm gear to stop. I found some references to a similar model with the same issues on Reddit and the fix was a missing pin that would go into the pivot rail and engage with the gear driven by the worn gear. Fortunately this piece was still floating around in the machine (see below).
I epoxied the piece back in and reassembled the player and not only was clicking gone but so was the poor image. This pivot acts sort of like a course focus, without it working the laser was too far out of the focal plane to focus normally. Overall this is a nice player than can play a few different formats including CDs, its marketed as a karaoke laserdisc player.