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Thread: Does heat affect CDs?

  1. #1
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    Does heat affect CDs?

    the reason i ask, is ive got an Alpine CDM9807RB car stereo and until recently it worked fine, but now the cd will play to around track ten and then start skipping before finally not playing at all, when i eject the cd its is burning hot. is this normal? if not what could be causing it to get so hot?
    hope someone can help me
    thanks!

  2. #2
    AAJ's Big Nose jkelman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longens
    the reason i ask, is ive got an Alpine CDM9807RB car stereo and until recently it worked fine, but now the cd will play to around track ten and then start skipping before finally not playing at all, when i eject the cd its is burning hot. is this normal? if not what could be causing it to get so hot?
    hope someone can help me
    thanks!
    Heat can definitely be causing the problem. What's causing it? Hard to say. could be something nearby the stereo, or could be an overheating problem with the deck itself. You might want to go to the place where you bought the deck and talk it over with them.

    The big question is: if you take the CD and play it on your home stereo, once the disk has cooled down, does it play ok or not? If not, then you definitely don't want to use that car deck until you get the problem figured out.....

    Sorry I can't be more definitive.
    Best,
    John

  3. #3
    Registered User Saundra Hummer's Avatar
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    I don't know any of the answers to any of the questions being put out about cds on any of the forums. I just have another question! Are they or are they not working on a solution to the problems that are occuring with cds. There seems to be so many things that can go wrong with them. Are they trying to over come the flaws? Is there anything in the works?

    There is a lot of money being spent on cds! A lot! It would be a pity for them to keep on issuing this expensive item, with such great music on them, to have them end up being useless, much like the old cylinders that were used back in Victorian times, they shatter with just a touch. Useless for the most part. Is this the fate of cd's? Will they too become a useless item, or ????
    Sandi from Hermosa Beach

  4. #4
    AAJ's Big Nose jkelman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saundra Hummer
    I don't know any of the answers to any of the questions being put out about cds on any of the forums. I just have another question! Are they or are they not working on a solution to the problems that are occuring with cds. There seems to be so many things that can go wrong with them. Are they trying to over come the flaws? Is there anything in the works?
    There are far fewer, at least in my experience, problems with CDs and CD players than in any prevous media. Having acquired thousands (eek) of CDs over the past 20 years, I'd have to say the number of defective items could be counted on maybe two hands. Any media is going to have certain restrictions - excess heat and cold were certainly problems for tape and vinyl, moreso I'd say - but CDs are pretty durable. Yes, you have to treat them with respect, but I don't think that any media is going to stand up to being treated, for example, like a frisbee.

    I'm not anal about taking care of my disks, but I do make sure they go from player to casewithout any stops in between. I don't leave them out on the floor or on tables. No more than I'd leave my old vinyl out of its sleeve. With very simple care CDs can last, if not forever (too early to tell), then certainly a long time. I have disks that are 20 years old and still play just fine.

    As for players, well, they are such commodity items that you just don't expect them (like anything) to last forever. My discmans get so heavily used that they typically only last a couple of years before needing to be replaced; but at the cost they are at now, that's reasonable enough, and cheaper than fixing them. Heads go, motors wear out. These are mechanical things and we can't expect them to last forever, at least not at the price we demand to pay for them.

    Overall I think CDs and DVDs are the most durable media we've seen yet in something that's broadly available. And the players, considering their price, last just fine as well.

    Best,
    John

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    A CD is plastic. "Burning hot", if literal, should result in a melted CD which could cause warpage at a minimum, actual destruction in the worst case.

    There is no reason for the CD player to be getting your CD that hot. Hot to touch, yes, but not "burning hot". Hot to warm CDs are pretty common in car CD players. The playback mechanism is jammed into a pretty tight spot.

    BTW, factory-pressed CDs are fairly indestructible if treated as you would your standard audio cassette. Do not leave them in direct sunlight, avoid leaving them in the car on extremely hot days, do not touch the playing surfaces, do not lay them down on hard surfaces, etc.

    CD-Rs and CD-RWs are another story entirely. Not only can heat affect them, bright light, particularly sunlight, can break down the dye used in making the blank.

    Later,
    Kevin

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    Registered User Saundra Hummer's Avatar
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    The thing is, we live where there are such drastic extremes in weather, Not at all unusual to have heat over 100o F. during our short, short summer, at times 114o F. and our house interior experiences terrible extremes. One year here we had 38 below zero, ice built up on the interior back porch door and we had to chop off about 4 inches with a hatchet just to get outside. It's never been that bad since, thank our lucky stars, and in the past ten years or more we have had very little below zero weather, but when we do, it is terrible and I wonder what those extremes will do to cd's?

    I was so happy when they came out, as it was such a hassle only handling the very rim of a vinyl, taking every precaution not to scratch them, making sure the needles were the very best you could find, and that they were always in top shape, as they can also damage, so I thought that cd's were a god send. Does anyone still paint the edges with a green marking pen?
    Sandi from Hermosa Beach

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    Registered User mmilovan's Avatar
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    If I may add few words about the way of reproducing CDs in various equipment.

    I've noticed that during the playback of my audio CD in my regular audio player no heat or warm is produced, and CD is perfectly cold, while playing it via Media Player into the computer unit or in my DVD/CD Audio player brings a lot of hot.

    A friend of mine caused damage (dye) on such CDs (CDR) played in that type of equipment.

  8. #8
    Registered User Saundra Hummer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmilovan
    There is some more technical things about the way of reproducing CDs in various equipment. I've noticed that during the playback of my audio CD in my regular audio player no heat or warm is produced, and CD is perfectly cold, while playing it via Media Player into the computer unit or in my DVD/CD Audio player brings a lot of hot.
    A friend of mine caused damage on such CDs played in that type of equipment.
    Thank you for that bit of information, I will make sure I don't use the computer any longer to listen to my CD's. Just my little Bose, till I can upgrade. I don't have a problem with heat in it. Such a great sound from such a small unit, wonder how good the large ones sound. They are susposed to have great outdoor speakers too. That would be good as our nearest neighbors aren't close enough to bother them, unless we were to blast the volume. Did you see the report I talked about on the Controversial and/or Informative site about loud music and lungs collapsing? Scarry for the kids with the far out units in their cars, or the walls of sound in their rooms. Others too I guess.
    Sandi from Hermosa Beach

  9. #9
    AAJ's Spammer Exterminator Tenorman's Avatar
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    You mention that it starts skipping then finally stops playing. A CD is read by a laser. If it keeps spinning then the heat from the laser is dissipated over the disc. However, if it starts skipping and is constantly trying to replay the same section, that section gets overheated, and the whole disc starts to heat up, which makes it more difficult for the laser to track accurately, exacerbating the problem

    First thing - Put in a cleaner disc - car players tend to get mucky fairly quickly.

    Try playing a disc with engine off and see if it plays right through. (Is there any correlation between the engine temperature and the skipping?)

    If you have an air conditioner in the car, is it freezing the discs you have in the car, then you put them into a hot player, then leave the car in the sun. The discs are reasonably resistant, but in common with most plastics, they do not like constant changes of temperature. A disc is a series of layers, and those layers will expand and contract at different speeds, reducing the life of your disc

    Can you get in behind the player - it could be something as simple as piece of padding come loose and is covering the ventilation holes of the player

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  10. #10
    Maniac of this Parish Sid Rat's Avatar
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    Does anyone still paint the edges with a green marking pen?

    Never heard of that one before. What was the benefit of such an action?
    Sex: There's never been a better case for it.

  11. #11
    Registered User Saundra Hummer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Rat
    Does anyone still paint the edges with a green marking pen?

    Never heard of that one before. What was the benefit of such an action?

    People used to swear that it allowed for clearer sound, as there was nothing to interfere with the laser, so it was edged with a green (kelly) marking pen, nothing else worked they all said. Others said it didn't make any difference at all, while the others swore by it.
    Sandi from Hermosa Beach

  12. #12
    AAJ's Spammer Exterminator Tenorman's Avatar
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    The theory goes like this: When the laser hits the first clear plastic coating, a certain amount will dissipate across the coating and escape through the outer edges of the CD and bounce around inside the drive mechanism and interfere with the laser. The Green marker pen (not just any old marker pen - some board markers will rot the plastic coating) round the edge stops the light disipating and improves the clarity of the sound.

    It does seem to have disappeared from sight recently in the Hi_fi press, but I still see the occasional edge marker pen in record shops.

    I have never tried it, but I have two objections to the theory

    1. The inside of the drive mechanism of most machines is now Matt Black - this will absorb most if not all stray light waves.
    2. If the light is going to stray out the edge, it would also stray out of the underside at any point on the disc since the surface above the plastic coating is highly reflective.

    Another theory at the time was putting your discs in the freezer before playing them. No theory this time but it was reputed to work. I would imagine that the lives of the discs were greatly reduced by constant thermal shock

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    Whether it was sci-fi movies or just plain imagination, many people always associate laser with "burn". CD-R "burning" drives have likely cemented this belief. However, the power of a laser playing back a CD in a standard CD player is infinitesimal. Microwatts at most. Certainly not enough to heat up the CD.

    As for the "Green Sharpie Theory", just chalk it up to those "golden ears" out there. Any off-the-wall theory about audio will find someone with special golden ears that will swear on a stack of bibles that they hear differences during playback with some obscure tweek. One of the funnier ones was the green Sharpie (it had to be a Sharpie). BTW, the green Sharpie has been superceded by the Auric Illuminator, so be sure if you're going to follow the latest craze, this is the one. If spraying this on your CDs (at a cost of $39.95 for 200 treatments) makes them sound better, go for it. I'll continue to laugh.

    The looniest theory I ever read was when guitarist Ryo Kawasaki posted to the rec.music.bluenote newsgroup that he could hear CD audio degrade with every playback. He claimed that the laser was "burning off the top layer of the substrate" and that this caused deterioration of the sound. He said this deterioration has caused him to buy 2 of every one of his favorite CDs so that in the future, when one "wore out", he could pull out the new one.

    Later,
    Kevin

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