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Pioneer CLD-1450 Mods

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Lately I've been fiddling a bit with the Pioneer CLD-1450 laserdisc player, fixing an AC-3 output on it. I've written a step-by-step procedure for managing it without a service-manual, and it's included below.

The shop I bought the player from (LASERDISKEN in Denmark) had made some improvements on the player, namely installing a switch for selecting either the modified or the real NTSC-signal. They also made it possible to select between the Analog or Digital soundtrack, via the "TV/LDP " button on the remote. When I already was taking the player apart with the AC-3 mod, I thought I'd try figuring out how these improvements were made. The Analog/Digital selector I wasn't so lucky with (If someone knows how it's done, please let me know!) But with the other I was, and thought I'd share the knowledge, so read on:


The player will only output a modified NTSC signal (so-called Pseudo-PAL). If you have a multi-standard TV you can get a much better picture by modifying the player to output the real NTSC signal.

This mod is extremely simple, no service-manual or obscure components required, one little switch is all you need. You don't even have to loosen any boards.

To make it easier understanding this I have drawn the mod. It's attached to this post (1450ntsc.gif - 8670 bytes). So download it now and take a look.

Remove the top-cover and view the player from it's right side. The mod is done on the board on the top, the one with the Scart-connector on it. You need to find jumper J168 and J195 and jack CN71. The wire who goes to pin 1 on CN71 you must cut off, and soldered a bit of wire which goes to the switch. Then cut jumper J168 in the middle, and solder wires to both pieces of it, going to the switch. (Be very fast when soldering to the pieces of the jumper, or else they will loosen on the other side - or use a pair of tongs to take the heat away.) Lastly, solder a wire to jumper J195 (this is ground-connection) going to the switch.

Drill a hole on the back-panel above the Scart-connector, mount the switch and that's that.

When the switch is set to "PAL" everything is exactly like before the mod - you get the same Pseudo-PAL signal out. When set to "NTSC" all the conversion-circuitry are by-passed and the player delivers a superb NTSC picture.

If you now test it out with an NTSC-disc and find that you get a black and white picture when switched to "NTSC", well, then your TV wasn't multi-standard after all. Go seek out the salesperson who told you it was, and give him/her a good shelling! - or fill up that person's post-box with dog-shit or something...

Note: When playing PAL-discs you should set the switch to "PAL." If set to "NTSC" all playback not in the right speed (i.e. trick-play with CAV-discs) will give a black and white picture.

And why stop there, it's possible to get an even better picture out of this player - at least theoretically. The two video-outputs are not identical, as one might assume. The Video Out on the Scart-connector is better than the RCA Video Out. That's because the RCA output has a much longer signal-path, it goes through two jacks (the CN71 mentioned above is one) onto another board, and also drives the RF output. The Scart is a lousier connector than the RCA, yes, but it could be worth trying it out.


The Danish guys also offered to do a S-Video output on the player, but I didn't have 'em do that. When using the real NTSC-signal I don't think you would gain a better picture, because the signal is composite from pick-up to output. But with the Pseudo-PAL the signal gets separated via a comb-filter, converted, and then made composite again before output. You could then, if the S-Video output is made before the signal is made composite, get a better picture. But why bother - you get the best picture using the real NTSC-signal.


This is a step-by-step procedure of the AC-3 upgrading, no service-manual is needed. The circuit can be found at Mr. Hunter's Web-pages:

Excuse me if I get to detailed here, I don't think you are a bunch of bubbling morons, but better than being to vague... okay, here goes:

You must have the tray out to be able to do it, so push that eject-button, power the soon-to-be messed up machine off, and pull the plug out.

The signal-tapping can now begun.

On this big board (ASCB-board) you shall find the AFM RF-signal, the MUTE-signal, and Ground. The jumpers on this board are not numbered (which makes it sooo easy to explain this!)

A good placing of your homemade AC-3 board would be to put it in the empty pocket just behind the front-panel (at the right, seen from the front). Just use some double-sided tape, that's good enough.

It now remains to find +5V and -5V, but we won't take it from the big board, because it's to difficult explaining the jumpers (not to mention I'm boring my head of writing all this). So now, mount the two other boards back in place.

We shall get +5V and -5V from the PALB-board (the upper board, with the Scart-connector on it). In the middle of this board you find +5V on jumper J151 (it's even printed +5V there). You find -5V on jumper J152 (printed too!) Remember, yes... fast, fast fast, with the iron.

Drill a hole on the back (above the Scart-connector) for the RCA-jack, then solder the coax and C2 to it, and voila! Your single reason for living has gotten even more precious.

Mods for turning the 1450 into a double-sided player, with a Gamma-Turn Mechanism!!
(Not really.)

And a good day to ya all.