TAG Mclaren Aphrodite display problem

Rafao95

Member
Hi all!

So I was searching the internet to find a solution to my problem when I found this forum.
It's my first time, so I'm sorry if something is wrong with my first post.

A few years ago I bought a TAG Mclaren Aphrodite. It worked very well for many years, but one day it decided not to work anymore. I sent it to the UK to have it repaired. It arrived perfect, but a few months later the problem persisted. I sent it to the UK again but they told me there were no more parts available so it was no longer possible to repair. So I decided to buy a new used one. I bought one in Belgium. The only defect is the display that keeps flashing when the system is working. When it is off, the display does not flash. Also, the brightness is very low when the system is on or off. So I decided to replace the "new" display board with the older one that was working fine. Surprise! The other display is also flashing on the new system. So the problem is not the display board, but the motherboard.
I think there is a converter that cannot supply enough power to the display board when the system is working.
Does anyone have an idea what the problem could be?
Does anyone have the schematic?

I'm trying to fix the display problem first, before fix the other system (the one that doesn't work).


Thank you all!
 

AMCross

Well-known Member
there is a chip on the main board that causes this issue and is impossible to get
 

Rafao95

Member
there is a chip on the main board that causes this issue and is impossible to get
Thank you for your reply! :)

Do you know the chip partnumber? Or the chip designator on mainboard to know which one I should look at?
As I have 2 Aphrodites, I can try to make a new one.
 

AMCross

Well-known Member
its an AM29F80088 8 Mbit, 5.0 volt-only Flash Memory chip
 

AMCross

Well-known Member
IC304
 

Rafao95

Member
Hi!

I have news for my display problem.
I checked the AM29F80088 and it seemed ok.
So, I learned how vacuum fluorescent display works. It seems they are supplied with AC and DC current.
The Aphrodite display has 5V AC connected directly to the toroid. I checked and the 5V was there.
The display is also powered by 45V DC too (it has a dc-dc converter on the mainboard: IC 210). When I measured the 45V on display, it was just 33V and floating. So, I checked the dc-dc converter input and it only had 45V dc (floating too). As this converter is designed to have 45V output, it needs more than 45V input. So, I supplied the converter with 50V and the display worked perfectly.
So, the problem could only be with the toroid or the rectified AC-DC bridge. I checked the capacitor responsible for the rectification (470uF) and it was only 2nF. (old capacitor). I switched it for a new one and now I have 63V again at the input of the dc-dc converter. The output? 45V! Display flickering is fixed!
Thank you!


Next step, fix my first Aphrodite, which is not booting (it activates the amplifier relay when I plug in for the first time, but it doesn't turn off automatically after 2 seconds).
 

AMCross

Well-known Member
Hi!

I have news for my display problem.
I checked the AM29F80088 and it seemed ok.
So, I learned how vacuum fluorescent display works. It seems they are supplied with AC and DC current.
The Aphrodite display has 5V AC connected directly to the toroid. I checked and the 5V was there.
The display is also powered by 45V DC too (it has a dc-dc converter on the mainboard: IC 210). When I measured the 45V on display, it was just 33V and floating. So, I checked the dc-dc converter input and it only had 45V dc (floating too). As this converter is designed to have 45V output, it needs more than 45V input. So, I supplied the converter with 50V and the display worked perfectly.
So, the problem could only be with the toroid or the rectified AC-DC bridge. I checked the capacitor responsible for the rectification (470uF) and it was only 2nF. (old capacitor). I switched it for a new one and now I have 63V again at the input of the dc-dc converter. The output? 45V! Display flickering is fixed!
Thank you!


Next step, fix my first Aphrodite, which is not booting (it activates the amplifier relay when I plug in for the first time, but it doesn't turn off automatically after 2 seconds).
where is 470uf very useful info
 

Rafao95

Member
The toroid has a "J201 Transformer" connector. The connector that powers all DC converters.
Pins 5 and 6 (counting from the right, yellow cables) have 45V AC.
This 45V AC is rectified on the D216 diode bridge (a small black cylinder next to the red fuses).
After this rectification, 45V AC is transformed into 45*sqrt(2)= 63V DC. 63V only appears if a rectifying capacitor is present. The 470uF rectifying capacitor is the C264.
The capacitor number (C264) is the same in "board issue 3" and "board issue 2".
My Aphrodite that had the display issue is "board issue 3".
The one which is not booting is "board issue 2".
I don't know if this capacitor has the same number on "board issue 1". (I supposee these "issues" numbers are the versions)
 

Rafao95

Member
After all this time I just fixed my other Aphrodite and it's all working.

As I said before, when I plugged it into the main power supply (230V), the Aphrodite turned on the amplifier's relay but didn't turn it off. It looks like it wasn't booting. The screen said "bad disc". A few seconds later, a spark came from the double white square resistor (0.22kOhm) of the right channel.

So I decided to unsolder the 60AC wire from the mainboard to avoid another spark and major damage.

I checked all the DC-DC regulators and they were all good. Output voltages were correct. After further measurements, I found a bad connection from the CD player board to the mainboard. I had to change the flex. Looks like someone put the flex wrong and broke some pins. After that, the Aphrodite turned on and the amplifier relay turned off. It was booting!
After that, the cover cd motor started trying to close the cd cover, but it was already closed. I found that one of the interrupt cables was also broken. After soldering the cable, the Aphrodite was reading the disc (but no sound as I desoldered the amp source). So I soldered some cables and connected the amplifier's power input to an external regulated power supply (Velleman).
I checked and it was consuming a lot of current with only few volts. As I don't have a schematic, I had to draw the schematic of the amplifier part by hand looking at the motherboard and parts (only the amplifier part). I found in the right channel the 2 power transistors were changed (2SA1216 and 2SC2922). Looks like the last guy who tried to fix my Aphrodite a few years ago made a mess. So I unsoldered the transistors and found 3 broken traces of the PCB near the transistors too. Well... "what a surprise".
I turned on the Aphrodite with only the left channel and the external power supply from the regulated power supply drastically reduced the current. The left channel was working! (only with headphones)
I switched the transistors form the right channel back to the correct position and soldered some wires behind the board due to the broken traces.
When I turned on Aphrodite, I could already hear music from both channels! (This is how my Aphrodite was when she left my hand for the last repair.)
To have output sound to the speakers, it seems that the Aphrodite has another relay just for output (g2r-24 24VDC). I measured and it was dead. Maybe the reason the outputs weren't working. I decided to follow the relay's input traces to check which parts control it to make sure there was no other failed part. Surprise! I found a burnt smd diode (BAS16).
I replaced the diode and the relay with new ones and the result: my Aphrodite is new again!
The relay coil must have burned out and it must have drawn too much current and caused the diode to burn out.
Another tip for Aphrodites that don't start, it seems they have to have everything connected to start (display and cd player). Without these 2, Aphrodite won't turn on.
 

Rafao95

Member
Swapping the transistors to correct position from right channel
 

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Rafao95

Member
Wires due bad traces connection after changing the transistors
 

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Rafao95

Member
Relay G2R-24 burnt and new smd diode BAS16 which powers the relay.
This diode is not present in motherboard issue 3 (my other Aphrodite, issue 3, didn't have this diode)
 

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Rafao95

Member
I took advantage and changed the power capacitors too. They are 10000uF but already had only 8000uF. They lost 20% of capacity over time.
 

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jolaca

Active Member
WOW! Great work Rafa, congrats for your skills and knowledge, you should have tried to repair it yourself from the beginning. I wish I have the knowledge/practice to do so. I have a 100x5R tag amplifier with one broken channel, so now it is just a 100x4R.
 

Rafao95

Member
WOW! Great work Rafa, congrats for your skills and knowledge, you should have tried to repair it yourself from the beginning. I wish I have the knowledge/practice to do so. I have a 100x5R tag amplifier with one broken channel, so now it is just a 100x4R.
Thanks!
When I bought the first Aphrodite (me and my father) I was in high school and knew almost nothing about electronics. When I bought the second Aphrodite was in college studying electrical engineering. Now with my experience, this is almost like a hobby for me.

I never worked in a 100x5R. If you were in my town, I could take a look. When your amp is running, do you feel the heatsinks on both channels getting hot? If the channel that is not working is not hot, it could be a problem with the transistors. Remove the transistors and see with a multimeter if they are ok (check if they are PNP or NPN first). Also, replace the capacitors from the broken channel. Electrolityc capacitors lose capacity over time. Also, they can even spill acid on the pcb too.
 

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