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VHD/CED Videodisc [Closed] Thorn / JVC VHD videodisc player 3D01 - resources?

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crustytv
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Update:

Well, it would seem, shipping the VHD player with the disc inside not only damaged the education disc due to it coming away from the platter lock, it also damaged the very fragile stylus/cartridge. I managed to get two "brand new" VHD discs, neither play, and the original education disc likewise refuses to play. You can see it repeatedly trying to read the starting info of the disc, but eventually it gives up and returns the carriage to home.

I looked at the tiny stylus under a microscope, I cannot be 100% sure, but it certainly gives the impression of being chipped. I believe when the disc became dislodged from the platter during transit, the disc slid sideways under the locked carriage which houses the stylus/cartridge. It was then free to bounce and slide, hitting the stylus vertically and horizontally. My playing this disc upon receipt likely dislodging the fracture, hence why I got an initial picture albeit jerky and stuttering, then nothing thereafter.

To be fair, the auctioneers would not have known the potential for this damage to occur and the disc coming free. Even if they did know, they could not remove the disc as it was missing its case, which is required to execute a safe removal/storage. They would have had to remove the case and try to figure out how to release the disc, and then carefully store to ship. Therefore, no one to blame really, just one of those unfortunate things.

Where does that leave me? Well, unless I can source a replacement VDS-1100 (rocking horse poop) cartridge, this 3D01 VHD player becomes just be a static display item.

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Posted : 29/04/2024 12:34 pm
jcdaze
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Just a thought but might it be worth enquiring if the stylus could be re-tipped. There are a few companies that offer this service. 

 
Posted : 30/04/2024 9:24 am
crustytv
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Nice thought, Jim, but highly improbable.

Although termed a "stylus", that is where the similarity starts and stops, they are two different beasts. It's unfortunate that CED & VHD discs are often referred to as being very like vinyl records, they are not, other than they are both round that's where it ends. As we all know, records have grooves, a player's stylus tracks in the groove for sound reproduction.

A VHD disc, as well as CED use a specially coated conductive disc. On VHD, there are two tracking pits, and one information pit. The tracking pits are used to precisely control the electrode on the information pits. CED and VHD are also different to one another in that CED uses a spiral and VHD used concentric circles. CED spins at 450rpm whereas VHD at 900rpm, the electrodes in both are also different. However, both retrieve information from reading the varying capacitance between the special electrode (the so-called stylus) and the disc. This electrode is machined to a fine tolerance, for example the VHD system has ten times the surface area contact with the disc than a vinyl record stylus.

Thus, a record player stylus "re-tipper"would not have a clue as to how to correctly reshape/cut a VHD electrode/stylus. Even if somehow he/she could, retip, the alignment would most certainly have been skewed due to the microns removed, resulting in read errors such as I'm experiencing now. These electrodes were disposable parts meant to be replaced.

Personally, I think both the CED and VHD were a folly, a pointless dead end. Compared to laser the discs, VHD & CED discs eventually wear out, so do the electrode/styli's. Laser was far superior in that regard being optical, and we were yet to learn about some laserdiscs suffering rot, decades later. Hence, both CED & VHD were a short-lived format, the latter never making it market other than in Japan. Both consigned to just footnotes in the media war's history, one format (CED) pretty much ending a large, prestigious company (RCA).

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Posted : 30/04/2024 10:03 am
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slidertogrid
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I have contacted a couple of mates in the trade that I thought may have serviced the occasional machine back in the day, unfortunately neither can remember ever carrying spares and unfortunately both have moved workshops since the '80s so if they did have any left over parts they would have been disposed of when they moved.

  Two very long standing repairers / dealers in Peterborough have closed fairly recently  but again the buildings have been cleared, in fact one place was sold and subsequently demolished, not a brick remains! It was always a very long shot but worth a try... There aren't many of the old dealers left but that is the sort of place something might show up, maybe?  As we have seen in the past it in incredible what does turn up.  Good luck with the search Chris... 

 
Posted : 30/04/2024 10:33 pm
slidertogrid
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Just a thought I see in the first post Lucian mentions he had two of these players is it known where the other one went?

 
Posted : 30/04/2024 10:49 pm
crustytv
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Hi Rich 

Thanks for trying, as you say a long shot but worth trying. 👍 

As these devices were not released to the public market only to business and education, it's very doubtful any high street dealers, especially non Thorn dealers such as independents, would ever have carried stock. 

I don't know how Thorn sold to businesses, (@jayceebee & @jcdaze will) I suspect Thorn had a special arm that handled those types of contracts, I further suspect there must have existed a division that was backed up by a sales, technical support and repair teams. Any such spares will have long been consigned to waste, but as you say, who knows what may turn up in the future, I never thought I'd find a 4K TV let alone two of them.

From watching Techmoan when he covered VHD, the Austin Rover group dived in on the format and from the disc I had, the education system too. Techmoan sourced his players from Japan, where it was released to the public. The first machine he got would not read discs. He then purchased a VDS-1100 cartridge/stylus from over there too, but that also failed to get the machine reading discs. He ended up getting another NOS machine which did work.

There is of course a possibility the fault is not stylus related. What I perceive as a chip might in fact be how the sapphire anode is meant to look. The trouble is nobody, myself included, has any knowledge of these devices, nor is there any service information to assist. All I've done here is make assumptions based on circumstantial evidence, such as the loose disc resulting in damage to its surface, coupled with the visual appearance of the anode. It might easily be a coincidental fault having now developed, resulting in the system being unable to read the tracking pits to enable the info pit to be read, to load the disc.

A second machine would certainly be useful to use as comparison and for spares. As for the other machine Lucien mentioned above, I've no idea. It may still exist in his vast stores, and it may come up in a second auction which I believe is a possibility based on the success of the first auction, we shall have to wait and see.

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Posted : 01/05/2024 4:50 am
crustytv
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Just happened upon this, only 3.23 mins long but right towards the end laser, CED and VHD (albeit indirectly about Japans offering) get a mention. I've also many of the VCRs featured, to the point I could probably recreate this Tomorrow's World feature with an update....... "..... and 44-years later....... they're all dead!"

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Posted : 01/05/2024 7:25 am
slidertogrid
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I like the way the presenter carefully handled the disc by the edges and yet judging by the fingerprints on it it had previously been mauled by someone who had been eating chips! I remember the Tomorrows World demo of the CD player where they showed how durable a CD was in comparison to a record. Yet I found CDs to be very vulnerable to damage if one picked up a few marks from being in the car they soon skipped and jumped! I remember putting one in the player and it just chanted "Na na na na" My friend quipped "Oh is that Showaddywaddy?"  😀 

 
Posted : 01/05/2024 9:34 am
Jayceebee
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Posted by: @crustytv

I don't know how Thorn sold to businesses, (@jayceebee & @jcdaze will) I suspect Thorn had a special arm that handled those types of contracts, I further suspect there must have existed a division that was backed up by a sales, technical support and repair teams.

That was handled by Radio Rental Contracts, I don't know about other regions but up here in the North East D.E.R. did the servicing but oddball stuff like Philips N1500/N1700 VCRs and later VHD players were swap out items and returned to Sandiacre near Nottingham for repair. None of these ever appeared in our workshop to my knowledge.

If I come across anything VHD related Chris whilst in Japan you'll be the first to know.

 

John.

 
Posted : 01/05/2024 9:06 pm
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crustytv
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Posted by: @slidertogrid

As we have seen in the past, it in incredible what does turn up.  Good luck with the search Chris...

Rich from now on you shall ever be known as 'Mystic-Rich', I thought the chances were nigh on impossible, still I set up a saved search that would automatically notify me should a VHD stylus appear on eBay. 20-days later I get a notification delivered to my inbox, one had turned up and in the UK!!!!

20240524 152132
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Until then, the only ones I had seen were past sales in the USA or Japan. I can't help but wonder if my recent posting about this player on the forum was the catalyst for someone's memory to be jogged. The listing stated this stylus had sat in their workshop for the past 30-years.

As I suspected, the original stylus in the player was damaged during transit, so here we have the rare for the UK Thorn 3D01, finally up and running. I'm over the moon that the player is now a working piece for the museum.

For now, it's sitting under the TX100 atop the Ferguson 3V55, not sure if that's the TV it will end up living with the 51A2 dates from 1986.

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All I need to do now is find the super rare 3D01R remote control for the unit, as I cannot access any features of discs and especially on the education VHD disc, that requires you make selections via the remote. So any folk out there looking in, if you have one knocking about in a draw wondering what on earth it was for, contact me via the contact page on the menu above, and I'll make you more than a fair offer.

Below is a photo of the remote I'm looking for, the background you can see the 'M.I.S.T.' Education disk.

vhd 301d 5

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Posted : 24/05/2024 2:47 pm
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Jayceebee
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That's great news, so glad to hear this. Don't forget about the TopTel remote you have, I would be very surprised if it didn't have a code for at least some very basic functionality but it might take some time to find using the search function.

John.

 
Posted : 24/05/2024 5:33 pm
Lloyd
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That’s great that you got a stylus Chris! That old saying ‘good things come to those who wait’ and all that.. I’d be wary of trying to play that damaged disc in it now though, just in case it chews up the new stylus.

I’m not sure if I’ve missed something in previous posts (I’ll go back and check in a minute!), how does the disc get out of the carrier thing?

 
Posted : 24/05/2024 6:11 pm
Cathovisor
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Wow - that's brilliant news, great to see it working again! I needed cheering up today - I think I may be scrapping that effing Yaris before long 🤬 

 
Posted : 24/05/2024 6:35 pm
crustytv
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Posted by: @lloyd

I’m not sure if I’ve missed something in previous posts (I’ll go back and check in a minute!), how does the disc get out of the carrier thing?

You didn't miss anything, Lloyd, and it is very remiss of me not to have mentioned this key function.

When the caddy is inserted, a couple of posts engage into each side of the caddy, this unlocks the end of the tray. This section is then grabbed by a cradle that retains this extracted section, at the same time it also holds the very edge of the disc. As you withdraw the outer shell of the caddy, this disengages the grip, resulting in the disc dropping onto a spindle where three locks spring (see below) outwards gripping the centre part of the disc, and it then spins up to 900rpm. When the disc is finished, or you press eject, the whole process is reversed. When you see the flashing eject light become steady, you insert the outer caddy, which releases the disc grip (see below) and the extracted end of the caddy, resulting in it being locked in place as you remove it. All quite ingenious.

As an aside, I briefly mentioned unlike C.E.D. player's VHD from the get-go was a multistandard device. Supporting PAL, NTSC and I believe SECAM, and that the device auto switches, how does it do this? Well, simply by notches appropriately cut out (see below) in the left and right end section of the caddy that is retained when the disc is inserted. These notches operating or not, a set of microswitches (see below) located in the rear of the 3D01 where the caddy is retained, again beautifully simple in its implementation.

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microsw

Sadly, C.E.D. VHD were all a little bit too late to market. Especially when you think RCA without internal politics could have brought C.E.D. to market a full 17-years earlier, meaning in the 60s the world could have had videodisc instead of the end of the 70s.

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Posted : 24/05/2024 6:36 pm
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crustytv
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Posted by: @jayceebee

. Don't forget about the TopTel remote you have, I would be very surprised if it didn't have a code for at least some very basic functionality but it might take some time to find using the search function.

I did look in the book and although Thorn is mentioned, nothing listed for the 3D01. I did look at their website, again nothing.

https://www.cme.it//meli2/help12.php?idm=gb&mtm=f1

It does mention that you can put the TopTel into two types of discovery mode, which might offer a very slim chance of it giving some basic function. I'm not holding my breath, due to the device not being commercially available.

In addition to finding the 3D01R, I'd dearly like to find the service manual, operating user guide and publicity documents for when it was released to businesses. All a tall order, but after one miracle who knows, maybe it's not totally inconceivable they may all eventually turn up.

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Posted : 24/05/2024 7:02 pm
slidertogrid
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Hi Chris I am delighted that you have found a stylus, Now for this week's lottery numbers...  😀  I wish!  I have only just seen your post, I haven't been on the forum much recently as I have been feeling very unwell with what I suspect was Norovirus or a really bad cold. It is impossible to see or even speak to a Doctor these days and to be honest I doubt there was much they could do in any case so it just had to take it's course, recovery has been very slow. I haven't been ill like this for donkey's years! On the mend now though and cheered up by your news! 

Rich. 

 
Posted : 25/05/2024 5:06 pm
Cathovisor
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@slidertogrid Pleased to read you're getting better but if it was Noro you'd really have known about it as you'd have been stuck in the bog for some time. There do seem to be some nasties going about though, not least of which is a new version of Covid...

 
Posted : 25/05/2024 6:15 pm
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