Gimme back my Rodriquez CD!
October 30, 2007 2:28 PM   Subscribe

5-disk console CD player has eaten my disks and won't spit 'em out. How can I retrieve them, and can the machine be made to work as a manually opened/closed unit?

I have a lightly used, several-years-old, 5-disk-changer RCA RP8070 CD player which suddenly let out a pained grinding sound and refused to open, no matter what buttons I push. I've got several CDs inside that I'd like to retrieve, so the sledgehammer option, while emotionally satisfying, seems unwise. Prying at the door with a letter opener results in no movement. The unit has tiny screws at each of the four bottom corners (in the center of the disk feet), and a smattering of screws on the back panel.

My questions for the hive mind:
1) how can I get the CDs out of the machine without electrocuting myself or damaging them?
2) is there some simple way to release/disconnect the sliding tray from what I assume is a broken motor, so I can just pry it open and slide it back in, and continue using the player rather than buy a new one that will probably break with light use, too? I'm willing to anchor the disk trays in place so it's not a 5-disk changer anymore, if necessary.
posted by Scram to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Should just be a couple screws holding on the case. You should be able to just slide it right off and get to the cds.
posted by CwgrlUp at 2:38 PM on October 30, 2007

1) Unplug the machine. Shake it up an down gently while holding the front end toward the floor. If cd's don't slide out, unscrew case as Cwgrlup said.
2) It is highly unlikely that you will be able to trick the several sensors in the changer to allow manual use. Look in your nearest Salvation Army-like store for a cheap replacement. They usually have someone that checks if these things work, and there are many people who upgrade unnecessarily.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:22 PM on October 30, 2007

You'll have to take it apart and I'd recommend not shaking it or anything. At least I wouldn't, for fear of scratching the CDs.

My guess is the tray motor itself is fine but something else in the mechanism broke, like gears or a belt. Once inside you might be able to see what went wrong. If it's an easy and obvious fix go for it. But if not, as kuujjuarapik suggested, thrift stores carry that type of stuff. Generally a great place to find things a generation out of date: VCRs, tape players, CD players recently. But record players aren't so common now. Most of my stereo setup is vintage and a few components came from thrift stores, though most came from Craigslist.
posted by 6550 at 3:38 PM on October 30, 2007

Unplug it, pick it up and turn it upside down, Then shake the changer side downward. Some CDs should slide out. then it will probably be unblocked enough to open more naturally.

I had this happen, and when I abandoned the player, I think it still had some CDs inside, because I haven't seen them since.
posted by Riverine at 5:15 PM on October 30, 2007

Wow, I didn't even see an opening where they'd come from, but gentle shaking a few inches over the rug spilled the CDs out one by one! It was like a magic trick, very neat.

Okay, guess I'll hit the thrift shop with a set of headphones and see if any of the CD players actually work. Ask.mefi does it again--thanks!
posted by Scram at 9:50 AM on October 31, 2007

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