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! HELP: Jag CD can't read CDRs, where are the pots to tweak?


Kat-Atari
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Hello,

 

I just bought an Atari Jaguar off of eBay. The thing is working since it runs every COMMERCIAL with no problem. It just can't read any CDRs.

 

1. I have a friend who owns a Jag CD and he has CDRs that he has burned and they run fine on his system. The same CDRs don't run on my system.

2. I experimented and burned CDRs of my own. The CDRs that I burned work on my friend's system, but they don't run on my system.

 

I can't call my Jag CD "defective" since it runs the retail titles 100%, but I'm missing out on the homebrew titles since it can't seem to read any CDRs at all.

 

So based on the above, I think that I need to increase the strength of the laser on the Jag CD by tweaking the laser pot(s). However, before I open up my system, I would like to find:

1. Are the pots easily accessible?

2. Do I turn the post clockwise or counter clockwise to increase laser strength.

 

I would like to find out BEFORE I open the Jag CD. Thank you to any of you Jag CD experts that can assist!!!!!

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I should clarify that these were encyrpted CDs that we tried. My friend's Jag CD can run any CDR that I burn just fine.

 

My Jag CD only reads retails CDs. Since we are testing with encrypted CDs, bypass shouldn't be necessary. We did try with his bypass and Protector cart, but the same story, his runs CDRs, and mine does not (with our without bypass).

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Use DiscJuggler to burn the discs. That software works far better than IMGburn, and with it you're able to get games to boot that won't work when trying other software.

 

To get past encryption, there's Jagtopia which will let you run any game that can't boot on its own. It's free and you can burn it to a CDR.

Edited by retrogamer73
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The Jaguar CD unit is very finicky. Try using Phillips CDR disks only. If that does not work you CAN still use a bypass cart like Protector SE EVEN ON ENCRYPTED DISKS! They will definitely boot then. Also when you burn your disks burn at 2X or the slowest speed your burner can do. There is no sure fire answer to this, you have to find your Jag CD's sweet spot on your own. One thing I have tried in the past with mine (which is also finicky as all hell) is popping in the Blue Lightning disk letting it boot up the FMV intro then immediately popping in the CDR (that would not boot prior) and power cycling the system. This works sometimes with mine, although you have to do it really fast. Don't ask me to explain why this works with mine. It just does. I have tried this many many times. In all actuality putting a commercial game in shouldn't have ANYTHING to do with later booting a burned disk. But then again they say blowing on your NES carts doesn't really do anything its the motion of inserting and reinserting the cart that cleans the connection BUT WE ALL KNOW BETTER

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I should clarify that these were encyrpted CDs that we tried. My friend's Jag CD can run any CDR that I burn just fine.

 

My Jag CD only reads retails CDs. Since we are testing with encrypted CDs, bypass shouldn't be necessary. We did try with his bypass and Protector cart, but the same story, his runs CDRs, and mine does not (with our without bypass).

This is likely because the laser is wearing out. Mine did the same thing before it died. You will probably soon have to replace it.

 

In the meantime run a commercial jag CD in the drive fir a minute then switch it out and put in the CD-R. Probably buy you some time but the clock is ticking down.

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I prefer to use old cd writers that can write real 1x or 2x speed. Most drives set to 1x or 2x burn on 10x so it seems sometimes its burning low speed but then they use something like burnproof , ultabuffer, safeburn

 

Also there are cd+r discs that have a minimum burn speed most spindles I see now are minimum 10x to be reliable.

 

Also the disc itself can make a difference. I have seen people using 'black' cd's they didn't work on my jagcd but did read on pc, when I copied the disc it works.

 

But remember when the Jaguar CD was released it was not really common to use cd+r discs

 

Because making a cd at the the time the jaguar CD was released was time consuming and did cost alot, was the reason Atari made CD devkit. The idea was that people burned 1 CD with all the game assets and sounds (data) on the CD and the bootcode and program track where emulated on an Atari Falcon030 with an interface that did connect to the DSP port of the Falcon030 and that interface did connect to a flatcable that was mounted inside the Jaguar Dev CDROM player.

The CD was emulated on a SCSI harddisk.

I got this kit at home but need to install in on my Falcon030 to see how it works but that is planned later on this year.

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Hello,

 

I just bought an Atari Jaguar off of eBay. The thing is working since it runs every COMMERCIAL with no problem. It just can't read any CDRs.

 

1. I have a friend who owns a Jag CD and he has CDRs that he has burned and they run fine on his system. The same CDRs don't run on my system.

2. I experimented and burned CDRs of my own. The CDRs that I burned work on my friend's system, but they don't run on my system.

 

I can't call my Jag CD "defective" since it runs the retail titles 100%, but I'm missing out on the homebrew titles since it can't seem to read any CDRs at all.

 

As your CD unit is playing original glass mastered disc fine I doubt there is anything wrong with it, CDr's particularly the tinted ones are trouble, even on PCs in my experience they generally only play back in the drive that burnt them. That is why I only use disc that have a silver (untinted) finish that look just like glass mastered discs as they always seem to work well. I can't remember which ones I used in the past that worked really well, I think they were Imation.

 

As for fixing/adjusting you CD unit you may find the information you need here

If you cannot find the information you need there look for a flexible circuit cable (looks like a thing piece of plastic with copper tracks in it) there may be a small variable resistor mounted on it, if so that should be the dropper resistor for the laser diode, adjusting that will increase/decrease the amount of current going into the laser diode, more current = more light which may help with reading the CDr's.

However, too much current could burn the diode out so it is best to leave it alone unless you really know what you are doing as you risk wrecking a currently working unit.

 

Or you can adjust the focal length of the CD laser by adjusting the spindle either up or down by the smallest amount. But mark where it is now as a 'working' reference.

 

I would not try that for several reasons...

First, the CD optics should autofocus, so unless you CD is sitting unreasonable high that will not make a difference.

Second, the fact that the unit in question plays glass mastered CDs shows that it is focusing on the disc just fine so the adjustment in not necessary.

Third the adjustment required are likely to be too small to do manually as you are probably looking at fractions of a millimeter and you could cause unnecessary ware/damage to the spindle, disc platter in the process.

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Thank you to everyone for posting. I decided to play two retail CD games for a while, Cybermorph and Hover Strike CD. I THOUGHT that the unit was reading commercial CDs just fine, but I noticed that at random times (15, 30, 60 mins, it varies), I get a "Can't read CD error". I tried adjusting the spindle up / down as mentioned in the guide, but the "can't read" error comes up after a while. I spent 4 hours this afternoon playing CDs and adjusting spindle. If I have the spindle adjusted too far, it can't read CDs, but when I have it adjusted right, it boots into the game and seems to play for a while, until the "Can't read CD error" pops up. I think that "JagChris" has the right idea that this Jag CD is probably going to bad at some point in the future, so I'm going to file an eBay return now while I still can (I only received a few days ago).

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Had the same problem. Exactly the same. Could not get my system to play a CD-R without a bypass solution.

I burned a cracked version of the bios to an m27c020 eprom and switched out the bios eprom on the JagCD board. Viola, problem solved.

 

I've heard said that the bios eprom on most JagCD models are socketed, making for a solder free solution to this problem. My JagCD bios eprom wasn't socketed, so removing the bios eprom was a little harrowing. I ended up adding a socket though. In the end it was a pretty easy fix. I have a bunch more EPROMs with the bios burned to them already if anyone wants to give it a try.

jcdb.bin

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Thank you to everyone for posting. I decided to play two retail CD games for a while, Cybermorph and Hover Strike CD. I THOUGHT that the unit was reading commercial CDs just fine, but I noticed that at random times (15, 30, 60 mins, it varies), I get a "Can't read CD error". I tried adjusting the spindle up / down as mentioned in the guide, but the "can't read" error comes up after a while. I spent 4 hours this afternoon playing CDs and adjusting spindle. If I have the spindle adjusted too far, it can't read CDs, but when I have it adjusted right, it boots into the game and seems to play for a while, until the "Can't read CD error" pops up. I think that "JagChris" has the right idea that this Jag CD is probably going to bad at some point in the future, so I'm going to file an eBay return now while I still can (I only received a few days ago).

Don't get rid of it. You can still buy the lasers brand new for twenty bucks. I think it's the only console of it's generation whose CD you can rebuild.

Edited by JagChris
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Don't get rid of it. You can still buy the lasers brand new for twenty bucks. I think it's the only console of it's generation whose CD you can rebuild.

 

It's faulty and within the return period. Who keeps defective items they can return?

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Don't get rid of it. You can still buy the lasers brand new for twenty bucks. I think it's the only console of it's generation whose CD you can rebuild.

 

Where do you get replacement laser assemblies for the Jag CD? I'd like to have on one hand for the day when mine decides it might be done with life?

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Had the same problem. Exactly the same. Could not get my system to play a CD-R without a bypass solution.

I burned a cracked version of the bios to an m27c020 eprom and switched out the bios eprom on the JagCD board. Viola, problem solved.

 

I've heard said that the bios eprom on most JagCD models are socketed, making for a solder free solution to this problem. My JagCD bios eprom wasn't socketed, so removing the bios eprom was a little harrowing. I ended up adding a socket though. In the end it was a pretty easy fix. I have a bunch more EPROMs with the bios burned to them already if anyone wants to give it a try.

 

It seems to me that by-passing the encryption check is a risky solution for solving reading problems. During the encryption check several tracks are read and when the read data is not good the game will simply not run. When skipping the encryption check, you might be able to boot the CD but you have the risk that at a later stage in the game reading the disk will produce bad data and that you get strange symptoms (corrupted video or game crashes).

 

All the JagCDs I've seen had soldered EPROMs so I wonder if there really are JagCDs that have the EPROM in a socket from the factory.

 

 

Robert

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Before I try do I just pop the protector se cart in and cd and turn on Jag ?

Yes. Protector SE always tries to boot a CD if the CD unit is present and a CD is inserted, regardless of whether the CD is encrypted or not. See this page for more details:

 

http://atariage.com/manual_page.php?SystemID=JAGUAR&SoftwareLabelID=2048&ItemTypeID=&currentPage=12&maxPages=13

 

I don't think I mention this in the manual, but if you press and hold Option it will skip the CD boot and start Protector SE instead.

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Yes. Protector SE always tries to boot a CD if the CD unit is present and a CD is inserted, regardless of whether the CD is encrypted or not. See this page for more details:

 

http://atariage.com/manual_page.php?SystemID=JAGUAR&SoftwareLabelID=2048&ItemTypeID=&currentPage=12&maxPages=13

 

I don't think I mention this in the manual, but if you press and hold Option it will skip the CD boot and start Protector SE instead.

Thanks for the info

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