Pioneer PL-15D II not starting properly, intermittent problem

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davidkeith89
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Pioneer PL-15D II not starting properly, intermittent problem

Post by davidkeith89 » 05 May 2019 15:37

Hi all,

A friend and I are working on a PL-15DII that on occasion, first use of the day, will hesitate to start spinning when the arm is engaged. After a few seconds, the platter will begin to spin as it should. The turntable starts normally for the rest of the day after the initial start up. Some mornings it's about a 30 second delay. The turntable can sit idle during the day for about the same amount of time as overnight, but if it finally started in the morning, the problem doesn't return that day.

Thought I'd ask the experts before diving in to it. Here are a few possible problems I've come up with.

1. The switch cam isn't engaging the start lever.
2. The micro switch isn't being activated by the start switch.
3. The micro switch is faulty, or getting there.
4. Does this motor have a start capacitor? The motor runs smooth and quiet once in motion.

Thanks.

paul401
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Re: Pioneer PL-15D II not starting properly, intermittent problem

Post by paul401 » 10 May 2019 13:42

Hi,

Hopefully you may have found the cause/answer to your problem, but if not a few thoughts.
There could be a capacitor (or two) across the motor, usually one is spark/noise suppression, the other keeps the motor running the correct way, when they fail, the platter may start either forward or backwards.

The micro switch could be failing or just dirty, try switch cleaner.

The belt may be worn and subject to some slipping on start up, as it runs for a few spins it will warm slightly, enough to then run ok.

The motor bearings may be sticky, due to old grease/ lubricant

As above, the main platter bearing may be sticky due to old grease, clean out and replace grease/lubricant. Be careful as there may be a small ball bearing at the bottom of the shaft, don’t lose it! Sewing machine oil is often suggested for spindle use.

Otherwise, if your working through servicing/fixing up the deck, see if any of the general maintenance/cleaning procedures fix the issue, if not you can proceed to further investigation.

Paul

davidkeith89
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Re: Pioneer PL-15D II not starting properly, intermittent problem

Post by davidkeith89 » 10 May 2019 14:26

Thanks Paul.

There's one capacitor, it's for noise suppression. I think we've eliminated it as a problem.

We've replaced the belt and cleaned and lubed the TT. I don't know if my friend did anything with the motor bearings. He did mention removing the motor at one point, before I got involved. Although we've lubed everything, it may be that it just needs some time to settle in. It looks as though it sat on a shelf, well protected, for a few years. It's remarkably clean and in good condition.

We're now thinking it may be the micro-switch. We haven't tried switch cleaner yet.

I've talked with the turntable repair guy in my neighborhood, and he'll be taking a look at it soon.

Compared to my other table, the innards of this one is very simple and almost Rube Goldberg. But, I'm really taken with how it sounds with my RXP3 cart. Actually seems more musical than the same cart on my Technics DD. And that I can't explain.

paul401
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Re: Pioneer PL-15D II not starting properly, intermittent problem

Post by paul401 » 10 May 2019 15:53

Hi,
I would leave the motor till last, once you have tried every other option, opening up motors can be tricky, though not always!
Try the switch cleaner, make sure to get it inside’ the switch as best you can and give enough time for it to evaporate after.
Belt drives are far simpler than DD decks, but as you have found can still have niggly little faults, which can be hard to pin down.
The 15D II is a nice deck, a follow on in from the hugely popular PL 12D, a real workhorse that for many was the first step on the hifi ladder. I picked up a Pioneer 512 for little money at a car boot sale, was going to sell it on, but have kept it as it’s very straight forward and functional deck. Looking to give it a bit of a makeover, when time permits.

You have discovered the ‘black arts’ of turntables (and hifi) quite why some components work well together whilst other combinations miss the mark, it’s hard to say, but also half the fun, especially when a piece of kit exceeds expectations.
And thanks for introducing me to Rube Goldberg, over here we described such things as being “a bit Heath Robinson”

Paul

davidkeith89
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Re: Pioneer PL-15D II not starting properly, intermittent problem

Post by davidkeith89 » 10 May 2019 16:07

It's been fun re-discovering a CEC-built Pioneer. Back in the late 70s I had a CEC-built Realistic DD table with a V15 Type IV cart. I miss that beast. After switching over to CDs, I still had a lot of records, so in the early 90s I picked up a Marantz table at a yard sale. After a few years it started to malfunction, and we were playing records less and less, and there were no turntable repair shops left. So I sold it. I. Am. Kicking. Myself. Now. for that. Decided to get back into vinyl a few years ago, and the Technics seemed like a good purchase. But, this came along and I installed my Shure RXP3 cart. Now I'm hooked. I do enjoy the voodoo of record playing.

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