View Full Version : Dreamcat Disc Tray Mod
October 1st, 2007, 03:50
I've been trying this on and off for a few months now. The idea bing to have a standard 5.25" CD/DVD-ROM tray, lens (possible?), and spindle to load DC discs. This is the only site I know of with much on the topic, and most comes from the intuitive ptr.exe.
Since this topic hasn't been pressed in some time, I thought I might give it a shot, even with my minimal DC hardware knowledge.
First, what I have done... very little.
I've been operating under the idea that any laser diode will read the GD-ROM as long as the GD-ROM board is controlling it since the DC assembly is basically the same as a CD-ROM. Am I right, or seriously wrong? Would it be necessary to transplant the diode from the actual DC unit into the 5.25" unit to read anything?
I seem to remember an old DC ripping guide that specifically mentioned 2 drives that would read GD-ROM discs, but I can't remember if that was for a firmware hack or just native support.
So what I did manage to get done was get a CD-ROM drive hooked onto the GD-ROM board and move the lens around a bit. The only thing not working was the spindle... the most important and fundamental part. I could go try getting that running again, I have some legitimate ideas, but wanted to hear from anyone on the forum before I pull everything out again and make a mess.
An alternative was presented in one of the threads on this topic. It was to build the unit in the same manner as the dev kit, having the whole assembly slide out. (Pic (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/hesei/dev_kit_drive.jpg))
That's actually the way I was going for a while, but I really would like to exhaust this method first.
So I hope someone out there has some ideas. I'll try to get back on the horse this week and figure out a few things about getting the spindle running, at least.
DC CD tray thinger (http://www.dcemu.co.uk/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=15190&highlight=tray)
Dreamcast front load sliding tray.... (http://www.dcemu.co.uk/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=6849&highlight=tray)
Millenium Falcon Dreamcast highlight (http://www.dcemu.co.uk/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=133717&postcount=66)
February 14th, 2008, 00:26
You all forgot about this thread, didn't you? You all thought I forgot about it, didn't you? Or do you just not care? ...I'm betting the latter.
No matter! I plan to use this thread to chronicle my current and future failures at this mod for future half-ass modders to come!
So uh yeah. I acompliched very little over this long weekend of mine. I managed to destroy another CD-ROM and lose a few vital DC parts. I'm rather hesistant to do much at the moment because I only have three or four fully assembled and working DCs. I need to find a new place to pick them up as eBay usually just gets annoying trying to outbid or pay ridiculous shipping costs.
So here is what I have actually accomplished. Been going for this:
That's the ultimate goal I settled upon. I have recently been "inspired" to try the original disc tray mod again, but I want to talk about this for the time being.
As I've already made perfectly clear, I'm a terrible, and impatient modder. So I decided the easiest way to make this little thing was to use a disc tray. So I gutted a CD-ROM and popped on a bit of plexi for support, and now have a platform to attach the drive assembly to.
So to secure the tray, I'm guessing I'll probably use some tiny nuts and bolts. Epoxy crossed my mind, but the idea of taking that chance just makes me sick.
So at the very least, this could be easily mounted into a pair of 5.25" bays. Not the one I had hoped for, but with my limited imagination and talents, I don't think it will be too bad.
Well, not much progress at all. But I wanted to see if maybe anyone else had heard anything or attempted something. Still wish I could get a look at ptr's stuff. The main thing bothering me about replacing a CD-ROM drive spindle with the DC's is not the precise orientation, but the spindle top! I have no idea where to buy one, yet alone a magnetic one that will connect to the DC's drive.
February 14th, 2008, 08:53
It's not that nobody cares. Very few threads make it off the ground here. It's just that this particular mod has already been attempted to death, with zero success. I tried it myself but got nowhere.
February 14th, 2008, 11:39
I don't actually believe no one cared. I was being sarcastic, mostly mocking the fact that I had seemingly lost interest in the topic altogether.
But I understand. When no one responds, it's obvious what the real issue is right off the bat. And as you've seen, I haven't really been on board this thing 100% either. All of the failed or unfinished attempts at the mod are disheartening, but I got sick of reading about ideas and tests without seeing something. Googling this mod always brings up DC Emu and this board has the most information on the topic: three or four threads. So at least I'm not continuing the lack of updates, is all I'm getting at.
If I succeed, it'll be great to see how it can be done. If I fail, maybe it will keep people from wasting their time pursuing my ideas.
Either way, I do have a real hope to get somewhere on this. I haven't even tried some of my other ideas for the magnetic spindle yet, so maybe I can get a few more failed attempts into this thread, even if no one here has any interest.
February 14th, 2008, 13:41
In theory, the mod can succeed, but you'd need the right CD-Rom unit for the task, one that uses a ribbon cable the exact size/dimensions/pin-count as the GD-rom's ribbon cable. If one cannot be obtained, manual soldering would have to be done.
February 14th, 2008, 14:17
Well, I'm set on that front. I got several FFCs from Digi-Key a while back at 12 and 18 inches. They work just fine in the Dreamcast with the original laser assembly and fit perfectly into the CD-ROM, too. I have been able to test the lens contol and movement with the DC as the controller, but obviously not for data since I don't have a working spindle.
I'll get the info on the cable when I get back home today and maybe the part number if i can find the packing list or reciept online.
The biggest issue, in my mind, was always how to power the spindle. This is mostly because I never really took the time to see how a brushless motor works. But I found a shematic today that explains and confirms my initial ideas about powering the thing. But I need to get home and take a look at all the drives I have and see if what I found can be applied. If so, the only thing that should hold me back is my own inability to trace the PCB.
If that doesn't work, I have a pretty good idea on how to replace the type of motor in my CD-ROMS with an older type. I would have to find a 3-pole system and either use the controller on that or maybe one used in PC cooling fans.
Dunno, for sure, but this has me kind of excited! Wish I wasn't going out of town this weekend or next! I'll see what I can manage in a few hours from now.
February 14th, 2008, 16:14
Looks like its getting somewhere.
Good luck dude.
February 14th, 2008, 23:35
Gah! You jinxed it!
LOL! Well, I finally hit another snag! Not sure about how I will run the power to the controller, now. I still have the alternative spindle idea, but that presumes I can find one. I did, however, contact NXP Semiconductors, the fellas who do all the legwork for Phillips, and they seem like they'll be pretty helpful. I should know in a couple days if they can help or not. I just need a datasheet on the chip, itself.
But I still have some ideas and google is being more of a help now that I know what to look for. I might still be able to wire this thing up with that little fan controller after all.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.