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Jammed minidisc, HHB Portadisc

Subject: Jammed minidisc, HHB Portadisc
From: "Marty Michener" enjoybirds
Date: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:34 am (PDT)
After years of recording with minidiscs (MD) I met an unpleasant experience=

today, and can only thank the fates that it happened "in the lab" and not
the field! I was playing through an old disc, and I pressed <eject> which
HHB calls "Open" and the disc came out a bit as usual, but when I grabbed
it and pulled gently it would not budge any further.

I examined the disc from the open end with flashlight and specs, and I
could see the metal slider was "sprung" - wider than its normal tight
fitting form, and it was caught. Any harder pulling was obviously going to=

make it MUCH worse.

So I removed all plugs and straps and the battery pack, and removed the
screws for the TOP cover and opened it. I then saw that the top part of the=

slider had hit a piece of metal in the machine which had wrenched it up
from contact with the plastic MD. To disengage it I had to first press the=

MD almost fully back into the port, then press down on the sprung slider.

Now, the metal had widened to the extent that if I withdrew it while
preventing this engagement by gently pushing the slider top down from the
top side of the drive, THE BOTTOM part of the slider was now displaced as
well, and now caught on another piece of the machine (invisible to me),
again preventing removal! It was a kind of mechanical catch 22.

To remove the disc, I had to simultaneously:
Message: 1. 
Subject: push up from below on the slider bottom
Message: 2. 
Subject: press down on the top of the slider top
3 pull the disc out while coordinating the movement of my other two hands :=

Well for those of you lucky folk who can envision the inside of the
Portadisc, you will know that pressing up from below is not the same, since=

the drive is protected from all sight or activity below it by several
digital PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards).  My solution: place a straightened
paper clip in the port door BELOW the MD and lever it gently upward to
prevent the lower obfuscation of exit; press down from above with a pencil=

eraser to prevent the upper exit obfuscation, and pull out the MD with my
third hand.

Now it only remains to throw away the bent disc and all its valuable
recordings. I haven't gotten up the guts to do this last step. I would not=

wish this sequence on my worst enemy, not even on "W", and hope that NOBODY=

among this group has ever had, or ever WILL have, a similar jam.

I assume the disc is a total loss, barring my wanting to repeat the whole
above process. Can anyone fix it?

The other question is: did this wreck anything in the Portadisc drive?

--  best regards,  Marty Michener
MIST Software Assoc. Inc.,  P. O. Box 269, Hollis, NH 03049

"I am strongly induced to believe that as in music, the person who
understands every note, if he also possesses a proper taste, more
thoroughly enjoy the whole, so he who examines each part of a fine view,
may also thoroughly comprehend the full and combined effect.  Hence, a
traveler should be a botanist, for in all views plants form the chief
embellishment."  Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle

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