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  #1  
Old 08-14-2017, 10:43 PM
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Pioneer LC-V300 LaserKaraoke Autochanger

I always wondered if someone was crazy enough to make a multi-disc changer for laserdiscs. Turns out Pioneer was.

This four foot tall 150+ pound monster can hold 72 double sided laserdiscs which are played on a vertically moving double laser (two players sharing the same spindle) player.
Someone uploaded a clip on youtube of my unit being advertised by Pioneer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8GADxWKEKM
There were two of them sitting at a recycling center in Seattle. They wanted $350 each, presumably because one was recently listed on ebay for $637 but failed to sell. I wasn't about to blow $700USD on them for the reasons below but was able to negotiate down to $330 for the two. One was then loaded in my car for the trip home. The other is still in Seattle at a friends house until my next trip down in a few weeks.
Both are in very good condition. I was told however that when they plugged them in for testing it at least homes the transport but this one at least did no such thing. One of the fuses are blown. "Tested" my ass.
It says all over thing that it has "Digital Audio" but the back of the unit only has the usual composite out plus left and right RCA audio. No actual digital audio output. There is also a 25 pin D-sub connector so the changer can plug into the CO-V300 which apparently controls everything and does extras stuff like text superimposition and librarian functions. Neither machine came with one and the recycler said he did not see any come in either which means aside from some very limited functionality available form buttons inside the front of the changer there isn't a lot else it can do. :/
Thankfully however Pioneer silkscreened the pin designations for the port on both the rear interface bracket and the PCB the wire harness plugs into. Here is that pinout:

Code:
DB25----Name---Wire Color---PCB Connector---Name

1-------GND------BRN------------1----------GND
2-------DTA0-----RED------------2----------DATA0
3-------DTA1-----ONG------------3----------DATA1
4-------DTA2-----YLW------------4----------DATA2
5-------DTA3-----GRN------------5----------DATA3
6-------REQ------BLU------------6----------REQ
7-------RSTB-----PRP------------7----------RS
8-------TSTB-----GRY------------8----------TS
9-------RDWR-----WHT------------9----------RW
10------EXIST----BLK------------10---------EX
11------SELECT---BRN------------11---------AV
12------RELAY----RED------------12---------+12V
13------N/C
14-25---GND
There are other jumpers with silkscreened names but even without the controller there's not much more I can do without the service manual. I can find it floating around however. (Document number: ARP1850) This website even lets me preview a few pages before I pay for it but alas it is not already on ManualsLib.com. For the CO-V300 I can't even find a picture of it let alone a hoard of websites trying to sell me the service manual. (Document number: ARP1851)
I'd love the idea of consolidating my entire laserdisc library into two autochangers as there does not seem to be anything preventing you from using it for anything other than karaoke but I'm simply over my head on this one. Is there anyone in the laserdisc community who can shine a better light on the units or at least an idea of the signalling protocol it expects so a microcontroller replacement could be made up?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CGS_7675.jpg (56.6 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg CGS_7687.jpg (37.6 KB, 23 views)

Last edited by MIPS; 08-15-2017 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:47 AM
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I got no answers for your questions, but I just wanted to say that's an awesome find!
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:52 AM
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The digital audio is probably more a reference to it being able to decode the newer digital audio tracks on 'newer' LDs. Early LDs were IIRC stereo analog audio only, digital added surround and multi-language stereo soundtracks with commentary, etc that helped make LD a cult premium format.

Neat find I sorta want one now....

IIRC someone made a LD music video jukebox too.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:16 PM
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Nice find MIPS, First time seen that monster.It looks like a refrigerator. I wonder how many times those white flatflex cables had to get replaced or unseated through its life time.It would be interesting to see the service manual but its not worth paying for a copy if that is probably was downloaded somewhere else for free like Freeservicemanuals.net, Elektrotanya, Freeservicemanuals.info, manualslib.com or similar hifi sites and posted on a pay site.I refuse to support those pay sites for that reason..

Last edited by centralradio; 08-15-2017 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 08-17-2017, 11:17 PM
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Nope. None of those sites seem to come up with anything. Not entirely surprised though. These units seem to be nothing short of unheard of.

Have a few more photos of the front opened up, BTW.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CGS_7676.jpg (72.0 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg CGS_7677.jpg (75.2 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg CGS_7684.jpg (56.1 KB, 22 views)

Last edited by MIPS; 08-17-2017 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIPS View Post
Nope. None of those sites seem to come up with anything. Not entirely surprised though. These units seem to be nothing short of unheard of.

Have a few more photos of the front opened up, BTW.
Wow.Thats a beauty Mips.Will worth the service manual purchase.
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:53 PM
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Could it be a playback unit for some low-power, unmanned station of the day showing all the out-of-copyright LD's they could find?
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
Could it be a playback unit for some low-power, unmanned station of the day showing all the out-of-copyright LD's they could find?
From the video in the OP Pioneer sold a variant of this model that was marketed for CATV broadcasters. I can totally see in the 90's one of the many Japanese media outlets distributing episodes of programming on laserdiscs and the autochangers would hold several days of programming and movies but it must of been WAY more expensive to setup than a conventional cassette autochanger.

Anyways I'll have to wait until next weekend to buy the service manual, then I can start really poking at it.
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:43 AM
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Well that was a waste of $6. Paid for the service manual, got redirected to the download link and...

Quote:
Can't connect to mysql server: remote_down@127.0.0.1
$*&@ing useless websites.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:31 PM
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Well that was a waste of $6. Paid for the service manual, got redirected to the download link and...



$*&@ing useless websites.
That really sucks . Sorry to hear that.I would report that to the credit card company.It sounds like fraud to me.

Thats why I dont bother with corrupt pay sites .I dont support their bad corrupt habits,I dont support their retirement .I wait and hopefully a manual will show up on a free site somewhere.Most of the time they download it for free from a free site and put the same manual on their pay site.Some stuff I end up waiting up to a couple of years and it finally shows up on a free site.One thing does drive me nuts on this forum and other forums is somebody says they have a service manual and dont want to share it publicly with the rest of members on this forum or other forums.They say quote" I'll sent it to you PM or Please PM your email and I send it to you".
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:16 PM
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It took about 24 hours but I got an email back from their technical support.
Apparently their datacenter is in Florida, so I'll have to forgive them for the initial unavailability, because it isn't like there's a giant storm rolling through the state or something....
I managed to get the PDF directly emailed to me in the end. It's a 30mb pdf but it is indeed the entire service manual.
Unfortunately the CO-V300 and the communications protocol is not discussed.

Last edited by MIPS; 09-10-2017 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIPS View Post
Unfortunately the CO-V300 and the communications protocol is not discussed.
I wonder is there is a way reverse engineer it. Like reading the program off a MCU in the system or something?
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:51 PM
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It took about 24 hours but I got an email back form their technical support.
Apparently their datacenter is in Florida, so I'll have to forgive them for the initial unavailability, because it isn't like there's a giant storm rolling through the state or something....
I managed to get the PDF directly emailed to me in the end. It's a 30mb pdf but it is indeed the entire service manual.
Unfortunately the CO-V300 and the communications protocol is not discussed.
Oh thats great news Mips.Too bad on no info on the communications protocol circuits . .Probably power outages from Irma was the problem with them..
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:54 PM
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I wonder is there is a way reverse engineer it. Like reading the program off a MCU in the system or something?
I really need to see how the CO-V300 works. There are clearly four data lines going to and from the unit and I know 4-bit data buses exist for other embedded interfaces. It just makes things a little bit more complex.
If I had access to a working system I could attach a Logic Analyzer and just log the transmitted data as I entered regular commands form the controller. From there it is separating each portion of the command and repacking it for an Arduino to emulate.

Or of course, find a CO-V300.

As for reading commands directly from the onboard CPU that might be a challenge as the CPU and ROM appear to be integrated into the same chip. There might be data lines leaving the chip for whatever reason but the chip seems custom fabricated, else I would of expected something like an Intel MCS-48.
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
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Or of course, find a CO-V300.
Almost like clockwork, a complete system appears on ebay.
The price is a little....eh....but the photos help to shed a tiny amount of additional information on the controller:

-The front panel of the controller is quite basic. The remote is not much better, but I wasn't expecting such things as direct frame access or jogging. Perhaps a "hidden feature"?
-The controller also goes by the name "Autochanger Commander". This currently results in several hits for other auctions for controllers not compatible with this unit.
-The controller has Channel 3/4 RF in and out
-The controller supports a "billbox" presumably the devices that accepts money to operate it if necessary. It can be turned off.
-The controller has a control line for the amplifier and its pitch and tone bending abilities.
-There is composite and stereo RCA outputs.
-The controller has the ability to control UP TO FOUR LC-V300 AUTOCHANGERS. IF you were insane enough to have four of them, that means you could cram a library of 288 double sided laserdiscs into your home theater/karaoke bar and never need to touch them.
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