My Philips CDI605T/20 needed repairs before I can fully use it. Some of them was mandatory for operation (Timekeeper), some of them to make it easier on the ears (fan, optical disc drive tray). I already had experience with a Mini MMC chassis on the very similar consumer player CDI220/00 and knew what awaited me inside (its service manual helped a bit). It is actually possible to perform these repairs without taking the entire case apart (see shortcuts). I took special precautions and made photos of each and every step to be able to put everything back together in the end.
I began with removing the case and the bezels of the extension cards on the rear. Make sure to slide out the lower card first, otherwise its metal plate will grind on the solder side of the upper card.
Next, I removed the rear panel. There is some weird white-greenish debris on it that I cannot wipe off, probably caused by improper storage in a wet basement. Luckily, there is as good as no rust on the metal parts. I’ve found only very tiny spots on some of the port shieldings. Maybe I will take the whole case apart someday, to give it a proper sanding. The debris is also present on the right side.
The bottom has collected many fingerprints over the years.
This is a shortcut to access the Timekeeper chip (yellow rectangle). If you remove the floppy disk drive as well, you can access it from here and try to desolder it. I strongly advise against it though, as it is soldered from both sides. Even with a powerful desoldering gun, you won’t be able to do it alone, and the bulky case gets in the way.
To have full access to the optical disc drive, I removed the bezel of it and the front panel. Shortcut: While it is possible to remove the ODD with the front panel in place, it will be much harder, especially when trying to put it back inside because of the tight space.
Optical disc drive tray repair
Philips CD-i players with a tray-loading mechanism have some common failures: The rubber belt gets loose or decays and the grease dries over time. This causes the tray not to move at all or to get stuck or to make an annoying screaming noise whenever the tray is opened and closed. The belt and grease of this drive are still fine.
The screaming noise is caused by the big wheel with the rubber belt, but one drop of grease on the small part with the gears gets rid of the noise for good.
Disassembly – right side
To access the next parts in need of repair, I removed the floppy disc drive assembly. This gave me the first clear view of the MMC panel with the Timekeeper (yellow rectangle).
At this point, I noticed a tiny SMD capacitor that had fallen off one of the boards. It took me a while to figure out where it came from. An inspection of DVC with a microscope revealed that it wasn’t missing one but two SMD capacitors. It is possible that one of them was ripped off when I bumped the DVC in the lower extension card, but the other one was in the middle of the PCB and must have been missing before.
Then I removed the riser for the extension slots and the fan. Note the connectors on the right side, they have the same size and are therefore easily mixed up.
The fan was actually in a pretty good shape and only needed light cleaning. The noise that it emits is probably by design. I will have a look for a suitable silent replacement (like the one that I found for my CPS2) at a later time.
Plenty of plastic parts, screws and connectors later, and I was finally able to remove the Mini MMC panel.
I fixed the MMC into a PCB holder to be able to access it from both sides and rotate it when needed. As mentioned before, the Timekeeper chip was soldered from both sides and my desoldering gun needed additional support from a soldering iron on the other side.
Then I fitted a 28-pin socket and a Dallas clock chip (DS1643-100). The DS1643 is compatible with all functions of the 8K NVRAM Timekeepers (MK48T08B / M48T08).
The power supply was the last part on the right side that I removed to take pictures. All that’s left was a bunch of cables and metal parts.
Then I assembled the right side again to run some tests. I tested various settings, including time/date and configuration of the additional ROM/RAM memory via the TOOLS menu. All the settings remained in the NVRAM, even after I disconnected the power for some time.
Disassembly – left side
Even when the tests were successful, I wasn’t done with taking pictures of all PCBs. The left side of the player contains the CD panel and some more panels plugged into it, namely audio, video encoder and emulator. To remember the cable routing, I took some pictures on the way.
This is the empty left side of the CD-i player and it’s as far as I will go to disassemble it.
After that, I put everything back together and ran some final tests, including CD, floppy and hard disk drives. Everything worked as expected and even the OS-9 shell didn’t give me weird error messages anymore. This concludes the Philips CDI605T disassembly and repair for now. I still have more to do, e.g. repair the DVC. I didn’t want to take any chances to damage something by running it with the missing components and put it aside for now. I used newer 22ER9141 R3.0 DVC without the case for the final tests and had no issues with it.
Close-up pictures of the components
And here are the close-up pictures of the removed components in the order that I removed them.
- Philips CDI605T extension card 22ER9132 “EXTENS CDI605T”. It features 4 MB memory and Thin Ethernet (10BASE2), SCSI, parallel port connectors. There are eight Motorola MCM54400AZ80 1Mx4 chips and free space for eight additional chips. (I wonder if it is possible to upgrade it with more memory.)
- The Digital Video Cartridge is a 22ER9424 R2.1. It features 1 MB additional memory. Note the missing capacitors (I removed 2433 again after I noticed that 2307 was missing as well).
- Mitsubishi MF355C-299MG floppy disk drive. It has the controller “FDC FLOPPY” attached to it.
- Extension slots riser “FMV SPECIAL”. It connects the extension cards to the MMC.
- MMC panel (Mini Multi Media Controller) – the mainboard of the first generation CD-i players. It has 1 MB of memory , as every other CD-i player (Base Case system). The last picture shows four of the eight Motorola MCM514256AZ10 256Kx4 DRAM chips. I took the pictures before removing the Timekeeper.
- The power supply supports 100-120V and 220-240V (50/60 Hz).
- This is the front panel. It contains a lot of plastic parts and also some PCBs. “Stop panel” is actually the eject button.
Close-up pictures – left side
- The CD panel “CD-PAN” occupies the whole left side of the player. It controls all functions of the optical disc drive and has several sub-panels attached to it that feed the audio/video outputs, as well as the connectors for the external emulator. Additionally, it holds the main power switch, which is protected with a small plastic cap.
- APU panel (Audio Processing Unit).
- Video ENCODER panel for both PAL and NTSC.
- The EMULATOR panel provides connectors for external CD emulators.