Question about Cambridge Soundworks 88CD CD Player

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Screen shows 88.88 and system will not start - Cambridge Soundworks 88CD CD Player

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About 90% sure it is the aluminum electrolytic capacitors. My unit starting acting flaky (wouldn't turn on, clock went haywire, etc). The failure was intermediate. I did a wholesale replacement on the aluminum electrolytic capacitors and it works like a champ. Coincidentally, my LCD TV of about the same age failed at about the same time and for the same reason. These capacitors have a finite life and will often fail after about 10 years.

If you are not versed in electronics repair, you'll need to find someone who has the tools and skills to do the work. The circuit board uses a ground plane which is very difficult to solder and requires either an under-board heater or hot air rework gun to preheat the plane. If you (or someone you know) is well versed, then this is how you do the repairs:

Remove the four screws on the back of the unit. Gently remove the back cover. The circuit board attaches to the cover you're removing and there are a number of connectors you'll need to disconnect between the board and main unit.

There are probably 6 screws that hold the circuit board, two that hold the aux board (base control, aux input) and one that holds the power cord retainer. Leave the aux board attached to the main board. Remove all of these. You'll also need to desolder the AM antenna wire. This is a short, black wire that connects between the circuit board and copper shielding on the cover. It solders into a ground plane, so it can be difficult to reflow the solder. Look for the round capacitors with a polarity marking. These are the ones you want to replace. Write down the voltage and capacitance for each aluminum electrolytic cap. Measure the lead spacing (critical) and case size (less critical). I used Digikey and matched the lead spacing, voltage, capacitance exactly. I matched the case size to the closest size available and got the lowest ESR value available. The lower the ESR the more effective the capacitor can move charge into and out of the capacitor (improving its effectiveness).

There is a black heat sink that wraps around the board. If you remove the heat sink, make sure you note which regulator has a plastic bushing on the screw. This regulator has a positive voltage on its case and you will short the regulator without the bushing (it also has an insulating pad that sits between the heat sink and the regulator case).

When replacing the capacitors, you'll need to pre-heat the ground plane in immediate area of the capacitor you're desoldering (or soldering). You can use an under-board heater, but if you set the temperature too high the bottom mounted components can fall off. I used a hot air solder station and heated the plane. While the plane was hot, I used my solder station and desoldered the parts. I did the same (hot air then solder gun) to install the new parts.

Unfortunately I didn't document my repairs that well (sorry, no photos). I did install the regulator bushing on the wrong regulator (hence my warning above). It took me several attempts to figure out what I had done wrong.

Good luck,
Kevin H.
Augusta, GA

Posted on Nov 22, 2014

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