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More Info on the Laser, Calibration & Diagnosis ON
More Info on the Laser, Calibration & Diagnosis ON –
I've done some more work on the question of Laser Calibration in the light of some experimental findings. This has led to some revised thinking as we have probed deeper (I and my famous mate round the corner). But first some updates on technology.
The not-surpsrising but barely hitherto reported finding was that it took 10 seconds longer to load a DVD-R copy (Princo) of GTA3 than to load a DVD copy. (I shall re-burn the original on Traxdata and see what happens).
So thinking things through and discussing them with my mentor, this is what we've come up with.
The PS2 Laser
Each laser unit (the Optical Pickup Unit to which I will now refer as the OPU) comes calibrated from the factory to provide the minimum size focussed spot on the disk. The calibration is placed on the side of the OPU where there is a sticker with legend stating the DVD and CD milliamperes drawn from a stable voltage supply for this optimum focus. That calibration would have been performed at the factory using the pots on the OPU. It amounts to the laser beam intensity.
This mode in the PS2's System Configuration menu has been frequently raised in the forum as some means of magicking the PS2 into reading DVD-Rs. It really is the time now to take a serious look at what it means.
If the OPU is set to fixed parameters (via the pots) to deliver the smallest spot, then what kind of calibration is provided by 'Diagnosis On'?
The next level of laser control, given fixed laser intensity power, is the focussing mechanism. This control is represented by the voltage sent to the focusing servo (the mouse click sound is part of this when the disk cannot be easily seen). The Diagnosis ON calibration would, we believe, seek to minimise the voltage drawn from the BA58 and hence its temperature. It would seek a strategy whereby with the laser focussed on the groove centre, voltage to the servo would be zero.
We shall be conducting experiments with Diagnosis ON to validate this thinking over the coming days.
All CD/DVD units have a BIAS setting which varies the focus servo voltage by c. +/- 1.7v. PS2 is no exception. This circuitry is on the BA58 chip. The disk will never be exactly parallel with the laser lens. So as it tracks it has to re-focus as the groove moves up and down. On poor media, you might hear clicking as the lens tilts to try and find the groove again or maintain focus.
We have observed that while the disk is spinning, the laser is ON. We will confirm that this is the case in game play using GTA3 as the example. We can't see why a game should be different from a DVD movie.
If that's the case, then an analogy might help to understand why the laser optics are not stressed by poor media. If you have difficulty reading a book because the print contrast is poor, does this stress the electric light bulb you've got switched on? Of course not.
It's nearly the same with the laser OPU. It may have to be active for, say 5% more because it is only on because of the time required to run the game. But that would only shorten the laser's life by a few weeks over a couple of years or more. And that can be avoided with good DVD-R media.
So, comments welcomed.
Charlie_ps2, in continuation to our last discussion,
i have had good results with diagnose mode, I had a dvd 'thegetaway' and before diagnose the intro was skipping, upon using the diagnose mode all skipping has stopeed and the game plays flawlessly!!
Also I have found the best cheapish media so far to be the trakdata dvd-r.
Also please note: I have been told (from a knowledagble source) that datasafe classic's have a problem and don't work on v4 ps2 - so please take note!!!
What would be interesting to know was what noises accompanied the pre-Diagnose ON disk activity that is not there now.
The thing for me was no difference in noise, but within diagnose mode it just seem to 'fine tune' some problematic games!!!
I will test out 'vice city' this weekend on a traxdata and let you know how i get on.
My laser is tuned to optimal yet data safe classics dont work AT ALL!!, and the white label etc are not the best of dvds especially for a laser hog like vice city, I will continue tests using the traxdata and vice!!
I can report some strange observations with v4 PALs. Of all the machines I chip, the v4 gap is always a pain. It seems VERY sensitive to timing issues, and the lengths of the wires DO seem to make a real difference. I mount the chip over the hole in the board to keep the wires real short.
I've always used FWS gen2 and gen3 DVD-r without a problem in V5 and V7's, I mean ALL of them work EVERY time. I've been noticing problems with them not working 100% in v4 gaps and have previously put it down to poor lasers, as I assumed my media was fine.
I changed brand to Datasafe/datawrite with silver labels, when the FWS ran out. These seemed to produce the same results as the FWS.
The last batch of DVD-r I got are white label Datasafe's, but were claimed to have the same die as the silver labels. They have proved to be pathetic in V5 and V7, with about 1 disk is 6 working. The strange thing is that most of the ones that don't work in a V5 or V7 will boot fine in the previously mentioned v4.
All these observations are for DVDs burnt at 2x on a pioneer A03. The white labels increased to about 2 or 3 in 6 success when burnt at 1x.
I even have a v4 that reads Bulkpaqs flawlessly !
- v4 gaps have very different laser setups to V5 and V7.
- All DVD-r are not equal, even if the manufacturer claims they are
- If you've got a problem, try burning slower
Any comments welcome.
Re: More Info on the Laser, Calibration & Diagnosis ON
Re: More Info on the Laser, Calibration & Diagnosis ON –
Can you provide a pic of what this sticker looks like?
Originally posted by charlie_ps2
The calibration is placed on the side of the OPU where there is a sticker with legend stating the DVD and CD milliamperes drawn from a stable voltage supply for this optimum focus.
PS2 v7 Messiah 2
Pioneer DVR-105 fw v1.30 2x4all
just to clear a few misguided judgements with dvd-r. These discs are all made by the same company and have the same g03b dye
"traxdata" "fws" "neo premium" "all4mats" "unbranded ritek".
You will also notice how hard these are to get hold of now, the reason being they have been discontinued and are being replaced with 4x media. The discs are all manufactured under licence by ritek, the main disc producer.
Most problems with dvd-r that people suffer from is the actual speed they are burning the discs. 2x will just not cut it with the ps2 - they need to be done at 1x and, as described by Charlie, it's made even worse when the games are streamed off the disc aka gta vice city and the getaway. Streamed means the game is actually being drawn in real time as the game is played. If the data cannot be read off the disc fast enough it simply fails aka disc read error or the loading screen pops up.
I really dont understand how the diagnose mode is helping at all. In fact it shouldn't. When the optics are factory set, an eprom also is set in the ps2 containing these optic's value's; this data never changes at all. All diagonostics does is bypass the eprom data and allow the optic calibration to work out of spec at larger range. This has been tested by scope. As soon as the ps2 is reset or turned off, the wave length returns to the eprom factory set data. The diagnostic mode only works if set every time the ps2 is turned on, otherwise the ps2 runs set to the eprom value's original calibration settings. hope this info helps.
Entity, I think I have to question you on the Diagnose ON matter. You say that it is the optical wavelength that is varied. I don't see why that should be; 780nm is the DVD-R wavelength. What would varying that accomplish? I suppose if the DVD-R was burned off 780nm it could "resonate" better but burners don't do that. I note you say it has been tested by scope. Perhaps you could be specific here as to what was measured on what scale and units of measurement. Indeed I can't see how you can vary the frequency of the laser diode which is property of its matter at the given voltage and pot resistance.
You could alter the power level by changing the applied voltage (but what internal mechanism would there be in the PS2 for this - dynamic potentiometers? No.). You could also alter the power level be changing the resistance to the applied voltage; same argument applies.
So that leads us to speculate that the Diagnose ON mode controls something realistic like the Tilt and Bias on the focusing mechanism. Have you considered that, EnTiTy?
I put Diagnose ON with the DVD-R copy of GTA3 and it didn't make any difference.
Here is my input of the topic of PS2 laser. My PAL V3 30002 model ps2 just broke. It had only been about 1 1/2 years of use. Therefore I would like to point out what I did to burn out the laser so damn fast. Firstly in the end only the DVD aspect of the laser failed, reading CD based games was ok so that this is a very important and interesting point.
I didnt get it modded so it has nothing to do with a modchip however I use AR to disc swap the backup. All I do is play DVD-rips on very cheap CDR media. Only for about a few months later I started using DVDR. The only 2 brands I use is verbatim and pioneer. Verbatim is great and no problems at all BUT I have experienced a problem with pioneer dvdr with one game and that is MK5 during the making video within the game (freeze somewhere near the end of the video).
The biggest mistake I consider doing is the use of DVDRW. I did exact copies of both DBZ game, one on verbatim and the other on pioneer DVDRW. The DVDRW look more than 5 times longer to load to the point that it was getting annoying. The dvdr was fine and playing very smoothly. The ditched that project since it was obvious that it was doing harm. After that I contiuned playing FFX (original DVD) and poof next time I started up the PS2 intended on playing again, it wouldnt read. ALL DVD formats (dvd movies as well) were producing a disc read error in the browser of the PS2 and would not boot.
CD-R may cause the ps2 to one day stop reading DVD?
DVD-RW was terrible on older V3 models but heard they were OK on V5+ models?
DVD-R may cause the ps2 to one day stop reading DVD?
DVD-RW may cause the ps2 to one day stop reading DVD?
But please also note that my ps2 broke in the end by running an original PS2 game which to tell you the truth, I dont do often (how ironic LOL)
my 2 cents cheers