Stupid User Tricks

     I just recently purchased a 1996 Taurus SHO.  Always felt insecure when wife was working and had the car, seemed like ideal time for servers to break down.  And the existing car needed a new intake manifold and a bunch of front-end parts as it had 200k on it and had developed some issues.

     The Taurus came with a 6-CD player.  The player’s caddy had two CD’s in it and I added a third.  The machine would cycle through each CD but not find any content.

     Well okay I thought, the car is 21 years old, things wear out and break. I took it apart expecting the laser diode or photo transistor to be covered with dust but the thing was so clean you could perform operations on it.

     So I ordered another unit off of E-bay that was advertised as being for that vehicle but when it arrived it had a different connector and it wasn’t even the same number of pins (12 vs 8).

     So I searched for the actual model number and found one on Google and it was on E-bay and being sold by a Jaguar used parts dealer.  I ordered it.

     Today it arrived, and it had the correct connector and was obviously the same unit.  So I installed it and inserted the disk caddy and exactly the same behavior!  It would cycle through and not find any content.

     Then I had a flash of insight that, had I had it two CD players ago, could have saved me $100.  I knew from when I disassembled the original to clean it that the laser and photo transistor were on the top of the unit, therefore the disk data surface had to be pointed up, but they were all inserted in the caddy pointing down (as is the case for most “normal” CD players).  I flipped all the disks and walla!  It played!

     So the cost of two players was just money wasted, and oh I also found out when fishing the cable out from behind the trunk liner that there were two cables there, one for the connector it had, and one for the connector the other player had, in other words, the car was wired for both and you just plug-in whichever you happen to get.

     I feel SO stupid but I am also happy to have commercial free music of my choosing instead of a limited selection of crap interspersed with commercials.

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