The following are notes and other info I've received since posting my experiences with the Mecotek MK-X4000. I am posting these as documentation that the process is easily achieved and for the variations that others have used. Maybe someday web sites that supply fixes for poor engineering will be obsolete... but don't hold your breath.
I had never really replaced a capacitor before.. especially not on a circuit board.
I used 2200mfd/50V capacitors.. that's the smallest voltage I could find at my local fry's.. anyway, it boots up beatifully now.. i can't believe I did it properly!
2004-07-28:Thankyou for the write up it works wonders for me aswell.Is it possible to get a schematic diagram for the psu at least, because now after a while my unit lost the display it is completely dark the rest is ok picture fine aswell and all other functions somebody hinted it could be the supply failing at some other end , this is the reason I need the schematic.
(From Maffu: I am not able to supply the schematics for the power supply. I'm just a computer geek - not much of an electronics guy.)
2004-08-22: Just thought I would let you know that I replaced the c20 and c21 capacitors in my unit and it worked like a charm. It has brought my player back from the brink of death and a trip to the local landfil. Thanks for the heads up on the problem and the cure for it.
2004-08-24: I just wanted to drop a line and say thanks for the Mecotek fix. I was about to junk the player when I found your site recommending changing the capacitors. I've never done any electronics work, but I did have a soldering iron and I thought I would give it a try. Works like a charm now... Hope it keeps up that way.
As I don't know much about electronics, I thought I might also ask a question here. I almost never use the power button on the player, only the standby button on the remote. Is there any compelling reason for using the power button instead? Would doing this have prevented this problem?
Maffu: I used the power button quite a bit, so I don't think it would
have prevented the problem. I suspect that the cause is plain old failure
in the design phase - the engineer didn't give the capacitors enough margin for
error and put in wimpy ones instead of the correct ones.
As I'm sure you've noticed, the power button is a physical switch - it actually turns off the power instead of running through a logic circuit. The only reason I can figure for this design is to reduce the cost for the remote control system, although you'd think that would be a minuscule effect since every home-electronic unit has power control on the remote. But, as I said on my site, I'm no electronics wiz.
The only compelling reason I can see for using the power button would be to eliminate the small amount of current flow that runs through the system while in standby mode - for cost savings, or potential power-supply issues later on. But that seems kinda overkill to me.)
2004-10-21: Thanks a million for tracking down the capacitor problem with this player. Just replaced the two undersized capacitors with the Radio Shack 35v and the machine works better than it ever did. Everything seems much more "stable". With a little luck perhaps the thing will last another 10 months!
2004-10-23: Thanks for posting instructions (and pictures - quite helpful) for fixing the Mecotek MK-X4000. I had the same problem (tray not opening) and was ready to either call Mecotek and see if they want to do anything about it or buy another unit (Philips 642) But then I found your web site and said "what the heck?" So of to Radio Shack (I live in Canada) for the capacitors. But I was shy to buy the 2200 uF/35V capacitors (5 bucks each for a total of 10 dollars) so I went for the cheaper 2200uf/50V for 5 bucks a pair. Cheap parts for a cheaply build player!
From Maffu: I was not able to answer this question (pitiful, aren't I?). Anybody out there who has an answer for this person, would you please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(This was addressed to Etchie, Tomb, and myself)
Just wanted to say thanks for the tip about replacing the capacitors on the power supply. I bought an Elta 8882 two and a half years ago. Recently (2006) it started playing up, and eventually died completely. At first I thought it was the firmware, then I found your site(s). I took the cover off, and decided then and there that I would try and fix it. I figured probably three out of the four components were OK, and I would try and be nice to the environment and not throw it away and buy a new player. Elta of course said it couldn't be fixed, it would cost more than a new player just to open the cover. With help from a friend who is a hardware developer, we quickly decided that the power supply was the problem. The output voltages were way below what they should have been. My friend's comment was that the power supply was obviously cheap crap. My friend replaced the (electrolytic) capacitors, and the thing worked. He then "pimped" the power supply by putting some ceramic capacitors between the electrolytic capacitors to remove any ripple. Apparently electrolytic cap's don't like ripple - it dries them out and kills them deader than dead. So now I am happier, not just because my player is now working but also because I feel like I've done something for the environment. Keep up the good work (I don't know how you find time to do this stuff).
2007-09-27: Hi there & greetings from Berlin! I just wanted to say thanks for providing the info to get my Scott 842 DVD player fixed. I've had it for about 5 years now, and it started to die on me this year. And the issue was EXACTLY as you described, with the 2 weak capacitors, and even a Techno-klutz like me fixed it in about 5 minutes flat! Thank you again, it is a great little player and I hope it'll keep on going for many years to come. Yours, Mike T