Technique for Alleviating the Sony MDS-JE500/510 Self Turn-on Bug Works Beautifully

Chris Stanley
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
15 Nov 1998

I purchased a Sony JE500 from London Drugs in Vancouver, B.C. in May of 1997. I gather the Canadian JE500s are made in Malaysia, where the defective JE510s are also made. By about January 1998, the unit had developed what has been dubbed as "The Phantom Turn-On Bug". Initially, I was content just leaving the unit unplugged, or plugged in, but with a disc inserted while the unit was off. However, by about June 1998, the unit started degrading to the point where one would get grinding gears just after having ejected a disc, or after having turned the unit on after its being unplugged for a day or more.

Over the past summer, I had read-up on other people's experiences with trying to deal with Sony over getting the problem fixed satisfactorily - something nobody seems to have been able to do. Sony appears to be outright ignoring the problem, maintaining they have never encountered it. When I attempted to contact the Sony repair centre in Coquitlam, B.C., I was fed the same line!!

At this point, Pioneer released their MJ-D707 in Canada (, which I promptly bought, having found the Pioneer CD player I bought in about 1988 to be a first-rate machine which is still going strong. I found the Pioneer MD deck to be built to the same standards of quality as their 1988 CD Player - in a phrase: "Built like a brick out-house, with performance to match!!" I'll submit a more detailed review at a later date.

Anyway, on to the point behind this ramble. I was delighted to see the "In The News" item that was posted on the MD Community Page on the 10th of November indicating that "Joe Redifer has made a page describing how to alleviate the MDS-JE510's self turn-on bug". I promptly went to work following his very detailed instructions, and found that they solved the problem completely!! Anyone who either reads through his instructions or attempts the repair themselves will find themselves amazed at how simple the solution is - yet Sony is apparently refusing to lift a finger to produce a modified part followed by a recall. Essentially, all that would be required for Sony to do to fix the problem would be to simply move a small switch forward 1/16th of an inch on a small circuit board!! The problem is ultimately due to this switch being too far away from a post that depresses the switch when there is no disc in the machine (the solution provided by Mr. Redifer simply involves moving the post closer to the switch, either using electrical tape to enlarge it, or by slightly bending the post!!)

That said, I just wanted to indicate to the readers of the page that someone has tried the posted solution, and found that it works perfectly. I highly recommend that anyone who is comfortable taking apart electronics implement this fix.

Matt Berrey adds:

I would just like to concur that the directions for repairing a Sony MDS-JE510 work!! (Thanx to Joe Redifer and his web site how to shim the microswitch). My tip is to make sure you do not make the electrical tape tube too long because it will grind along a metal bar and cause the motor to jam. Also do not make it too thick because this will cause the insertion motor to twitch and make it hard to insert a MD. Good luck fellow MDS-JE510 users on repairing your machine!! Matt Berrey ([email protected])

Dave Benson adds:

Just wanted to add my name to the list of successful MDS-JE510 owners who have experienced the turn on bug and fixed it using the posted fix. There were no hitches.. One ribbon cable was not pictured out of the whole thing.. but it is mentioned to "remove all the ribbon cables", other than that the pictures are complete, and the whole thing is very much appreciated.

Gerrit Dijkstra adds:

I got a Sony MDS S38 from a friend of mine. He couldn't use it because of the grinding after ejecting the disc. The repair shop wasn't able to fix it. After looking on the internet I found that another Sony MD had symptoms which sounded the same;

Indeed, the drive mechanism is the same. I welded a little piece of copper wire to the mechanism (instead of the tape mentioned in the fix-page) and my troubles are also over!

Return to the MiniDisc Community Page.