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Disassemble, clean, and fix this Magnavox CD-i

>> Saturday, May 30, 2009

Todays project is to disassemble, clean, and fix this Magnavox CD-i I've had sitting in a box for years. With all the 3DO activity, I was getting nostalgic for all those failed 90s systems. I never really sat down and gave this thing a proper run-through. I got it about 6 years ago simply because I was looking for a VCD player, and this one had the MPEG card already in it. Looking at it now, it needs some serious work. This thing is in rough shape.

Here you'll see the CD-i badge on the case. Pretty classy looking logo on this unit. This Magnavox player is one of the cheaper ones produced. The style is meant to look more like the game consoles of the day, rather than a high-end piece of A/V equipment like the Philips models. Similar to what Panasonic did with the FZ-10 3DO unit.

Pretty much the only way to fly. Below gave the CD-i a dedicated MPEG video decoder, which allowed it to use full-screen video at high frame rates. Games like Dragons Lair and Space Ace are good showcases for it.

Below is the DVC connector slot. Substantial looking. I swear this looks like a NuBus slot, but I'm not sure. It would make sense, since this hardware shared many similarities to Macs of the day. If you're not sure what NuBus is, hit the Wiki link to learn more.

Then we get the EM Shield back in place. Or at least that's what I call it. I was surprised by the amount of rust spots on it when I took the case off. I cleaned them up so that it wouldn't be an issue later. The top right corner is a particularly bad bit of surface rust. I scrapped off the majority and treated it. Hopefully it doesn't get much worse.

On the next picture I'm redoing the glue on the CD-i badge. Obviously, the glue that held on the badge has crystallized over the last 17 years. I'm going to scrape it off and redo it. Also note the difference in color between the area that was covered and the rest of the unit. This thing is filthy. These vent slots were packed with dirt. Cleaning little bits like this is always a pain.

After a good washing (pro tip: use a scrub brush and dish soap), the player is ready to be reassembled. The black vented piece you see is the DVC installed.

Now lets give it some shine. An old trick I learned back when I worked in an arcade is to use furniture polish to keep the plastic shiny. It helps replenish the moisture in the plastic, and gives it a nice finish. Depending on how dried out the plastic is, you may need to let it sit for a bit. I let this one soak for about 15 minutes.

And here's the final product. The player is light years from how it was when I pulled it out of storage. I'll have to keep on the polishing of it; the plastic is really quite brittle at this point. However, the system is about as clean as it can be. The logo is now attached quite securely, and I buffed it up to help it shine again. If you're interested in learning a bit more about the CD-i (and if you've read this far, you probably are) then check out the rest on Interactive Dreams. Here, you'll find links to a wealth of information regarding the various players and manufacturers.

A minor modification: I noticed that the CD lid had warped on the player, which caused the lid not to close properly on the left side. This was a problem because of this tab. It's responsible for pushing down on a small pole, that in turn, pushes a switch on the board that lets the player know the door has been closed. After some trial and error, I mounted a spring on the tab, so that it extended further down and hit the switch, but didn't create more stress on the already warped plastic. Works great.

This was the problem: I tried a few internal solutions involving springs, and also some silicone grommets, but no dice. My hope was to have the pole sit higher on a spring, so that the warped lid could hit it, but unfortunately, the pole was then not far enough down to hit the internal switch. So, I settled on the not entirely elegant spring on the lid solution. Not the prettiest, but it'll work until I think of something better. The top of the pole is pretty beat-up. That's from me pushing it in place with a small regular screwdriver. Whoops.

Even though Philips flat-out denied that the CD-i was simply a game console, the fact that they promoted it in gaming magazines at the time said otherwise. Shaping this one like a console only proves what a lie that was. They just didn't have what it took to compete with the big dogs. Thanks to Commander Tim!

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Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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