DO NOT GIVE UP. Most of the time your machine requires only basic maintenance.
On SONY machines C13 ERROR usually means the disc play cannot read the table of contents. This however is a single symptom of at least five different problems four of which can be EASILY fixed.
The most common reasons your machine cannot read the table of contents are (A) the lens is obscured or dirty. After this, it is (B) that the drive mechanism is not working so the disc cannot rotate, therefore rendering the machine incapable of reading. [C] You have inserted a cracked or broken MiniDisc.
Solution  - Do absolutely nothing. CORRECT - nothing!
Many C13 errors are no more complex than the machine being moved from one place to another leading to condensation clouding the disc lens. This is the most likely diagnosis if your machine behaves erratically showing this error infrequently. Have you just moved your machine from a freezing cold vehicle to set up in a nice warm venue for a gig? Just let it warm up, dry out and you can stop crying.
If it doesn't recover?  Get the lens cleaner if you have one. If you cannot find one, then remove the cover of the machine (one screw at the back on most machines, plus the two down either side of the machine) so that it exposes interior mechanism and look for the disc lens - horizontally mounted blue hemisphere approx. 2mm diameter - usually with a silver washer ring surrounding it. If you are having trouble finding the lens, look in the area of the mechanism that sits underneath the sliding cover of your actual disc when it is inside the machine and loaded into the play position. When the mechanism clicks back the cover, the underside of the disc is exposed to the lens below so the two will always be close by.
Next dampen a cotton bud in soluble spirit based cleaner (or if you are really desperate try JOHNSON'S Mr Muscle) and gently clean the lens. Once finished leave the unit at room temperature for about 10 minutes while the cleaner and spirit evaporates. Try loading your disc again.
Still not working?  Before you replace the cover, look carefully at the disc surface as the mechanism loads the disc into the play position. If the disc visibly rotates as you press play the unit should read the TOC. When the disc does not rotate the machine is physically incapable of scanning to read the Table of contents. However this is indicative of a motor problem. Usually fixed by gently spraying a very small amount WD40 or other moisture repelling electrical contact cleaner carefully in the area of the electric motor.
 Try using the spirit soaked swab used earlier, carefully clearing grease, hairs, dust and cobwebs from the tiny plastic toothed discs and cogs that are part of the exposed mechanism.
If after doing this the motor still fails to turn, it is either weak or dead. Either way, it is unlikely to be worth replacing, as even if you do manage to get it working again, sooner or later it will fail.
SONY MD units are generally exceptionally reliable and surprisingly few truly die although loads get thrown because owners simply don't what to do when a C13 shows up.
The actual read mechanism is different from but still based very closely upon the principles of a CD player. It is therefore robust and also far from technically sophisticated by today's modern standards.
Failed motors aside, the things that usually make a C13 fatal tend to be the usual catastrophes, like spilled fluids or debris breaking something inside.
Wear and tear needs to be at a stratospheric level for basic maintenance to be futile.
Have a go and amaze yourself.
Lastly a word about the MIniDiscs themselves.
This article looks primarily at getting the lens to do its job. But remember if you have a problem with a single disc not repeated with other discs, then it is the MD itself that is at fault. Before you go swapping discs and brands, please remember the discs are thin and delicate, but continue playing after all manner of abuses have interfered with their component parts. If any lugs or clips come adrift from your disc, get rid of the disc. Too many people continue playing them, not realising bits fall off - usually inside the player - and then do even more damage later. If your machine is sensitive to certain brands it is almost entirely the shape or construction of the disc. Buy something better and your worries should be over. Stick to all MAJOR brands, avoiding ALL unbranded or unfamiliar names. It's just not worth the risk.
Jul 12, 2011 |
Sony MDS-JE480 Mini Disc Player