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22.12.2004: 2. Broken part
Here's where the switch is supposed to be. Every time a changer loads a CD, a small metal arm hits the switch and signals the drive to stop the movement. I find this to be a poor design, as the edge of the PCB is under a stress every time the drive loads, and the board is only a few millimeters wide at this location (there's a cut-out to let the wires through).

The stereo head unit on a 1994-1998 Saab 900 does not have a CD player, which is a bit strange for an entry luxury car of the mid-90s. However, it does support Clarion C-Bus CD changers. Just plug and play.

I went on eBay and bought a Clarion RDC605 CD changer for $52. Plugged it in... and it didn't play. Here are the symptoms:

  • the changer loads the cartridge and checks every slot for CDs;
  • when you select "CD" on the head unit, the changer attempts to select the first available CD;
  • the SID displays  CD1 WAIT  for a few seconds, and then switches to the radio;
  • subsequent attempts to press "CD" on the head unit result in a brief message  CD1 TRK 01  and then the unit switches back to radio again.
If you take off the cover and watch the changer trying to load a CD, you discover that it would indeed try to pull a CD from the cartridge, load it into the player, and then do it again, and again, and then stop after a few more attempts.

 

 
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