Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Do It Yourself CD Changer

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the surprisingly-elegant dept.

Data Storage 183

SuperDuG writes "This is a true homebrew solution to saving a few bucks when it comes to cd changers. And to make it even better the whole setup is controlled by none other than linux. Seems like a nice setup to do batch burns without user interaction. Source is provided if you wanted to build your own." Not sure if this is very practical, or even if it would be cheaper than buying a changer, but it sure looks cool.

cancel ×

183 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Now that's a *true* hacker (2, Insightful)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498264)

/me bows down in awe and reverence

Re:Now that's a *true* hacker (4, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498288)

You're right : he's a genuine hacker.

I am however much more impressed by his organ [sentex.net] as he does not only need some manual skills but also a good ear to set it up.

GOATSE LINK BEWARE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498365)

I didn't know he meant THAT kind of organ.

Re:Now that's a *true* hacker (4, Funny)

DChristensen (98850) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498641)

I am however much more impressed by his organ as he does not only need some manual skills but also a good ear to set it up.

Too easy, dear god! Must...not...become...Slashdot...troll...!

I love the smell of burning server in the morning. (1)

Fungii (153063) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498374)

Foolish humans, when will you learn.

...and a genuine /. statement to be sure (2, Insightful)

numbski (515011) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498432)

"Not sure if this is very practical, or even if it would be cheaper than buying a changer, but it sure looks cool."

Ah, that statement could describe well over half of /.'s articles. :)

However, I still need to write this guy and if he's going to tear it down, I want it.

Re:Now that's a *true* hacker (3, Funny)

mistered (28404) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498528)

Yeah, Matthias has done some pretty cool projects. I like the Marble [sentex.net] Machines [sentex.net] personally. They're just so delightfully useless.

attention (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498278)

down with the gnaa. down with the gnaa. forever!

Re:attention (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498309)

only modded flamebait by a RACIST moderator. sad. :(

Re:attention (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498349)

Nope; moderation mistake - Should have been "Offtopic" - undoing.

Re:attention (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498450)

thx

Great stuff (-1, Offtopic)

Bitter Old Man (572131) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498280)

More excuses for Linux nerds' perpetual virginity

Oh no! (5, Funny)

mgcsinc (681597) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498283)

How long until the RIAA sends out a cease and desist for the publication of this "device to potentially increase the efficiancy of copryright-infringment?"

Re:Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498301)

Give it a rest, "How long until the RIAA/MPAA ________" posts are so cliche. But worse still they're not even cliche enough to troll with.

Re:Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498471)

not anytime soon, i don't think. they may try the attack on EFFICIENCY, though. moron.

"new math" (1)

Xoder (664531) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498484)

Now his "52" cd burners will be worth 104!

Great! (5, Funny)

sebi (152185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498285)

Not sure if this is very practical, or even if it would be cheaper than buying a changer, but it sure looks cool.

Nothing spells chick-magnet like a wooden contraption designed to require less movement.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498416)

It's sad that this is actually "funny".

Made out of wood? (5, Funny)

MCMLXXVI (601095) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498287)

What kind of geek are you?
Geek code 101: You are supposed to make things like this out of Legos.

Re:Made out of wood? (-1, Offtopic)

irving47 (73147) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498354)

You beat me to it... But you spelled it wrong. "Lego Bricks"

Re:Made out of wood? (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498595)

Ype. That's something I plan to do when I get home. I reckon I can make it considerably more compact as well. I'm surprised he used a linear rather than rotational mechanism. Surely that makes it rather large.

Re:Made out of wood? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498671)

He actually does have a collection of devices built out of Lego Bricks:

http://www.sentex.net/~mwandel/legos/legos.html

Re:Made out of wood? (1)

snooo53 (663796) | more than 10 years ago | (#6498727)

Now now; give the guy some credit. I swear I see a few tinker toys mixed in there! :)

SHAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498297)

Join SHAA Today, a moral organization! We have a TOLL FREE 800 number:
1-800-759-0700.
Call today to sign up over the phone! SHAA (STRAIGHT HUMAN ASSOCIATION of AMERICA) is the first organization which
gathers people from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being moral.

Are you moral?
Are you a human?
Are you a moral human?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, then SHAA might be exactly what you've been looking for!
Join SHAA (STRAIGHT HUMAN ASSOCIATION of AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time SHAA member.
SHAA is the fastest-growing moral community with THOUSANDS of members all over United States of America. You, too, can be a part of SHAA if you join today!

Why not? It's quick and easy - only 2 simple steps!

First, call us! 1-800-759-0700. Ask us the secret passcode "Why should I believe?" We'll give you some instructions and send you literature and a book free of charge.

Second, if you want to chat with us, you can connect to irc.slashnet.org and join #SHAA

If you have mod points and would like to support morality, please moderate this post up.



This post brought to you by a proud member of SHAA

Re:SHAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498330)

so this is where you found this funky 800 number [cbn.com]

Telephone Prayer Counselors
If you have an immediate prayer need, please call our 24 hour Prayer Line at 1.800.759.0700.

Re:SHAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498529)

1.800.759.0700??!??! what the hell is that some kind of website? use hyphens, you darn phool!!

Re:SHAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498669)

Can you be a member of the SHAA and the GNAA at the same time?

Five gig photo collection? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498304)

A five gigabyte photo collection?

Can we say: porn?

Re:Five gig photo collection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498433)

Not necessarily. Could be 4 MP image sof family....after almost a year and a hal f Ihave about that many! :) Ok, maybe not that bad! :)

Re:Five gig photo collection? (1)

bogado (25959) | more than 10 years ago | (#6498832)

in one month in Europe I collected 1.6 Gb of pictures. Using a 2 megapixels camera. 5 Gb is not that much if think about, if you have a relatively highres digital camera and use it much it would be easy to fill this up. My entire collection is 2.3 Gb bu it tends to grow more and more.

That device (1)

News for nerds (448130) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498305)

doesn't look like "a few bucks" cost for me to make it myself.

I rather recommend you Beowulf cluster of CD/DVD drives, daisy-chained with SCSI or IEEE 1394 or something, as usual.

Actually... (5, Funny)

UncleBiggims (526644) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498308)

Wouldn't a "do it yourself" CD changer be where you actually get up and change the CD yourself?

A better idea (-1, Offtopic)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498313)

How about a solution to the unemployment issue! *sigh*, I'm not happy today.

"a 5 gig collection of digital photographs" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498314)

"I do have a 5 gig collection of digital photographs, which I need to back up again at some point."

and i'm sure not a single one is pr0n.

ben

slashdocity ? (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498593)

Compare the parent's moderation and this one's [slashdot.org] ...

I am also sure Matthias doesn't have much pr0n on his machine : who'd backup pr0n when it can be found on that [asciipr0n.com] many [autopr0n.com] places [ninenine.com] ?

Now, these might definitely be family pics.

how to improve it (5, Funny)

calethix (537786) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498315)

" If I wanted to, I could SSH log into it while at work, load a CD in the tray, burn it, and remove it all remotely. Of course, the CD would still be in my basement, so the exercise would be somewhat pointless!"
That's simple. Just build an add on that carries it up stairs, sticks it in an addressed envelope and drops it in the mail. :)

Other goodies (5, Informative)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498318)



Be sure to check out the rest [sentex.net] of his page. Fun stuff.

WARNING ! GOATSE.CX LINK ABOVE !!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498389)

It COULD aLSO BE coNSiIDERED As BLaTAnT SHaMELEss KARMAWhoRING : MOD DOWN TO OBlIVION, NeRDZ.

parnet is teh ghey !

(will you find the hidden mAssage ?)

Damn (-1, Offtopic)

Mr.Dippy (613292) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498320)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these things /I've got nothing

Looks cool (0, Funny)

MC68040 (462186) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498323)

But still I would have preferred it in aliminium or likewise... But it's cool to see non-computer materials (wood etc) beeing used in a computer environment in that way.

(Back off all modders that built a wooden case ;)).

Re:Looks cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498439)

Thought it worth pointing out that the idea of a wood case, while it does sounds like something only an Amish IT worker would love, is something not entirely crazy. I got tired of my PC's noise and, lacking in welding and metal-working skills, built one myself.

The idea came from the pictures found here:

http://www.plasmic.dk/cocoon/en/shop.php

Mind you, mine is not just an enclosure but a real case, and it's made of solid (not laminate) wood that's been stained to match my desk. Silent and looks great.

So there.

Re:Looks cool (4, Insightful)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498444)

It's a shame wood is an underestimated material. There is nothing as easy to handle as wood. Now, what would the added value of aluminium be? price? the need to buy new tools?

Re:Looks cool (2, Insightful)

Unregistered (584479) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498616)

the need to buy new tools?

It's not a need, but an excuse to set up a metal shop in the basement.

It's shinier! (1)

Migrant Programmer (19727) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498617)

Oooh shiny!

Mislead by Title (2, Interesting)

955301 (209856) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498324)

I went into this one expecting to find a pc emulating an automobile CD changer. This is an idea I've been wanting to try out for a while. I've shelved it for a while because I have too many things going on, and lack of knowledge on my part.

Does anyone anything about emulating a cd changer's controls so I might plug a computer into the back of a stock car stereo with changer support, and fake it into driving an ogg player?

From what I gather, each system's pinout is different, but generally they all have to work the same, right?

Re:Mislead by Title (1)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498372)

I've looked at it too. Every OEM's pinout is different. You could attempt to emulate the one you'll be connecting to, but even that is tedious. I decided to just build a head unit computer instead.

Re:Mislead by Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498658)

some company made one, i cant remever where now, i did evertually find a service manuall for a kenwood cd changer pinout, and have wired my bought mp3 player into it via that, but most cd players dont have the controls to naviaget a large collection of mp3s so thiers not a huge amount of point trying to work the rest out.

breath of fresh air (4, Insightful)

the_pooh_experience (596177) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498341)

There isn't much that I plan on using this gadget for. I guess mostly its for bragging rights. That, and I hadn't hooked up anything to a PC's printer port in ages. If I wanted to, I could SSH log into it while at work, load a CD in the tray, burn it, and remove it all remotely. Of course, the CD would still be in my basement, so the exercise would be somewhat pointless!

at least he is honest. no need to justify a tinkering project under the guise that it is somehow useful. Tinker for tinker's sake I say!

I got better (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498345)

Bah, I just use my kid brother. "Yo, urchin! Fetch the next batch of CD's will you? There's a nice shiny nickel in it for you and if they get burned before 5 o'clock, a chocolate bar!"

I'm working on training my dog next.

I always wondered... (5, Funny)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498352)

...what a CD changer would look like if it was built by the Amish.

How about a dot matrix printer? (4, Interesting)

doomy (7461) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498359)

I was looking at this guy's wooden assembly and all I could think was, why didn't he use an used dot matrix/ink printer for the carriage. That would certainly be pretty interesting to play with, and would definitly be more precise, ofcourse he'd still need the up and down movement done using another motor.

say wha? (2, Funny)

qoncept (599709) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498361)

"Do-it-yourself cd changer" ? Isn't that the way a single disc cd player works already?

Another similar project using Lego blocks (4, Interesting)

WesG (589258) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498364)

Check out the Rubiks cube solver made entirely out of Lego's.

http://jpbrown.i8.com/cubesolver.html

Even uses a cam to figure out what is on each of the cubes faces!

Re:Another similar project using Lego blocks (1)

OblongPlatypus (233746) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498611)

Wow, a camera made entirely out of Legos... impressive! :)

This reminds me... (3, Funny)

Botchka (589180) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498373)

of the time when my friends dad couldn't afford a new Playstation 2 for Christmas. Christmas morning rolls around and my friend finds a Playstation 2 carved out of wood under the tree.....

Call that a geek project? (3, Funny)

eyeball (17206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498385)

Now if they were truely geeks, they would've made it out of a Lego Mindstorm kit.

Re:Call that a geek project? (1)

revividus (643168) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498423)

I know that was intended as humor, but this guy actually has made some pretty cool things from lego [sentex.net] .

To actually try to duplicate this cd changer with lego seems a little impractical.

...that is, if the phrase `a little impractical' even has any place in discussions of this sort....

Re:Call that a geek project? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#6498699)

a cd changer has been made from lego, and it has been even on slashdot, other details elude me right now.

just fyi.

Re:Call that a geek project? (1)

Jadsky (304239) | more than 10 years ago | (#6498748)

These [vslib.cz] must be the geeks you were looking for, then.

Cool but... (2, Funny)

taped2thedesk (614051) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498391)

Isn't there some way to build this out of floppy disks?

This actually addresses a very serious need (5, Interesting)

TerryAtWork (598364) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498404)

We really need a cheap CD/DVD jukebox. I've seen them at Comdex etc for $25,000. The hell with that.

Someone get a carousel CD player at Target for $100 and wire it up to a computer. There's 70,200 megs nearline.

Anyone up for that?

Changers are kinda pointless (1)

xtal (49134) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498426)

Just buy more hard drives. 70,000meg isn't actually that much anymore. RAID, remember?

Re:This actually addresses a very serious need (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498442)

You can get an 80,000 meg hard drive for cheaper.

Re:This actually addresses a very serious need (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498446)

Someone get a carousel CD player at Target for $100 and wire it up to a computer. There's 70,200 megs nearline.

Anyone up for that?

My jukebox has 200,000 megs online and takes a few milliseconds between songs. Hard drives are too cheap to bother with cds.

Re:This actually addresses a very serious need (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498469)

Someone get a carousel CD player at Target for $100 and wire it up to a computer. There's 70,200 megs nearline.

Which is roughly 70Gb?

For $100 or less you could get a 120Gb hard drive, copy the CD's to it, and they're online, none of this nearline crap.

But come to think of it, the carousel would still be useful if you wanted to set up a CD/DVD burner, and not just a reader. I have a Sony CD juke with a capacity of 400 CD's, and it was only $300.

So that would be 400 x 700Mb = 280Gb. Wow!

HELLO!!! TAPE BACKUP!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498553)

There is this thing called tape... let's see (if the data is compressible) you'll get 70Gb on one DLT7000 cart.

That means that the 10slot one drive DLT7000 library that I pulled out of a skip can store 700Gb, so I can backup and (here is the cleaver bit...) take the backup round to my mate's house so when mine burns down/gets burgled I haven't lost my data... Woo Hoo...

Admittidely I do have to persuade the insurance company that I actually owned the library but there you have it...

Re:This actually addresses a very serious need (1)

TerryAtWork (598364) | more than 10 years ago | (#6498741)

My point is three things -

One - disks die. All your data on a HD has a half life of somekind. I *suspect* that CDRs will last longer (but I could be wrong)

Two - When you move up to 18 GB DVDs your server capacity is now 1.8 Tera bits, which does not suck.

Three - you have lots of data you need but not evry day. It's a waste of capacity to keep it spinning on a HD. You should job it off to the carousel and use your HD for frequent stuff.

I think the big, cheap, long-lasting near-line thing is going to catch on in the near future.

(Maybe tape robots are the way to go....)

Re:This actually addresses a very serious need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498481)

Someone get a carousel CD player at Target for $100 and wire it up to a computer. There's 70,200 megs nearline. Anyone up for that?

Not really. Considering you can get an 80GB (80,000 megs online) for less than $100. Just rip ISO images of everything. The days of the CD jukebox are dead, especially for music. I'd much rather just rip all my discs to a hard drive. What I really want is affordable tape backup for long term storage. $1000+ for an LTO or AIT drive does not cut it. Minimum tape size should be around 100 GB.

Linux ? (1)

forged (206127) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498409)

  • And to make it even better the whole setup is controlled by none other than linux.

Maybe the poster will be sued and have SCO lawyers sending nastigrams for protecting their IP rights since this is technically derivative work ... Sorry, couldn't resist. Way too much S.C.O. FUD in the news the last few days.

Home built CD changer contraption (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498411)

Building some sort of gadget that changes the CDs in my cd tray is something I have often thought about. Mostly in the context of ripping my CD collection or burning a backup of my 5 gig photo collection.

The mechanicals
My first thought was to come up with something extremely simple, with no electronics. Ideally, the motion of the cd tray would trip some sort of mechanism that would eject the CD from the tray and insert the next one. After months of thinking, I still hadn't thought of a mechanism that had a hope of actually working.
The next idea was to pick up the CD, but how to pick it up? Vacuum came to mind, but that would get complicated, vacuum pump, solenoid valves, and all. Finally I decided to just pick up the CD by the hole, with an expanding finger, shown at right. The finger's end consists of a cone that inserts in the CD hold up to the shoulder. The whole finger is cut in half, and pivoted. The pivot is just to the right of the blue rubber band. Its a nail, which rests in a grove in either half. The rubber band is the only thing holding it together. The solenoid on the right pulls the pieces together on the back, which spreads the front of the finger, and holds the CD by friction fit. The shape of the cone is a bit tricky. It has to be made in such a way that it will hold one CD securely, but never a second. I tweaked the shape of the cone a bit after taking this photo.

the next challenge was moving the head around. It has to go up and down, as well as side to side. Stepper motors come to mind, but they do require a fair bit of electronics to drive, with 4 separate coils that need to be switched. Plus they need very precise timing, and still need some sort of "home" switch. Thinking about this a bit, I realized that plain old DC motors with a few micro switches for sensing key positions would be sufficient. The horizontal travel only needs to stop in three positions. The vertical travel only needs to go all the way in either direction. By making down travel gravity based, I didn't have to worry about mashing the stack of CDs or the tray with excessive down travel.

I mounted the pickup mechanism on a block with a hole thru it. This slides along a shaft for vertical guidance. The wheel to its right winds the string to pull the CD pickup mechanism up. Gravity pulls it down. The pickup, pulley, and gear head motor (hidden) make up the carriage, which slides on a smooth metal rod from an old Selectric typewriter (one of the shafts to hold the pinch rollers. The vertical rod also came from that same typewriter. If you ever get a chance to disassemble a selectric, do it. Its a fascinating marvel of IBM engineering from the mechanical adding machine days.

The metal rod, being very smooth, bears the weight of the carriage without too much friction. The wooden rail along the top is mostly to keep the carriage from tipping either way, and to hold the limit switches.
The carriage is pulled back and forth by a string which is driven by the motor on the left. I hadn't installed the string when I took the photo. The string is wound twice around the drive pulley, which gives more than enough friction to drive the carriage. And even if it does slip a bit, its the switches that the carriage hits that determine when to stop.

The Electronics
I was fortunate enough to have a PCB with some solid state relays on it, of the type "ODC-5" from Potter & Brummfield. Solid state relays are essentially an electronic equivalent of a mechanical relay. However, solid state relays only take about 15 miliamperes at 3 volts to drive, and so can be driven directly from digital logic lines or the PC printer port. This saved me from having to wire up a transistor amplifier to drive the relay coils with, like I did in the past. I also had some input relays. I could have hooked the switches directly to the parallel port, but the isolating relays gave me some flexibility in terms of schematic, and are handy for protecting the printer port. Hard to find printer ports that aren't on the motherboard these days, so I can't afford to blow it up.
The relays already came on a relay board with a bank of 24 sockets. I didn't need that many, so I cut off the circuit board to just 16 channels. I soldered a cut off printer cable directly to the edge connector. Luckily, the cable manufacturer followed the black - brown - red - yellow - green - blue - violet colour numbering convention, so I didn't have to probe around with the ohmmeter too much to figure out which wire belonged to which pin. The picture shows the board with eight output relays (red) and five input relays (white). The LEDs on the board are a nice touch. I actually ended up using just four output channels and four input channels. The messy wiring board towards the top right of the image is the interconnect to the switches, power supply, and motors. This also includes two mini DPDT mechanical relays (the yellow bricks on the underside). These are used for reversing the motor's polarity.
If you want to build your own setup like this, and don't want to buy solid state relays (they cost about $17 Canadian each), any old bipolar junction transistor (BJT) hooked up directly to the printer port should give you enough gain to drive a mechanical relay with. Don't ask me how to hook up a BJT - get an electronics textbook and learn about transistors.

Horizontal movement schematic

[image]

Head / vertical schematic

[image]

The Software
The software for this gadget is relatively simple. I wrote a simple command line driven program that sequences the machine through picking a CD from the tray and dropping it in the middle, and piking up a CD from the stack on the left, and dropping it in the tray. The software also has some manual controls, which I use for debugging and aligning the machine. It does do direct I/O to the printer port. under Linux, this is easy to do if the program runs as root. Under Windows NT/2000/XP, this is much more difficult. But the machine that this is hooked up to runs Linux anyway, so no issue there. Source code: changer.c
The rest is done by cdrecord. cdrecord is a suite of command line driven CD authoring programs. Obviously, the cd recording has to be done from command line, so that it is possible to run it in batch mode from shell scripts. Comes standard with Linux distributions. To my surprise, I found it also runs under Windows, provided that you have an ASPI driver. It even worked with my HP 8200 USB cd burner! So the whole setup could be run under Windows as well, although getting at the printer port is much harder.

I wanted to use this setup with my external HP8200 USB burner with my basement Redhat 7.2 Linux file server / web server box. Experiments my Linux wizard brother Markus had done earlier suggested that this should work. Running with RedHat 7.2, I couldn't get it to work, even after a kernel upgrade. It wouldn't always be usable, even though it showed up under /proc/scsi. And when it was usable, I got kernel panics when I tried to record with it. The machine has too many other tweaks and scripts running on it for me to just upgrade the whole system, so I eventually gave up, took the HP 8200 out of its USB case, and hooked it directly to the IDE cable. That worked. Seeing that I had the machine right in front of the PC, and the ribbon cable was long enough, I could even close the case and not move the machine! I subsequently bought a 4x4x24 "refurbished" CD burner for $50 Canadian from Radio Shack and used that instead.

Now what...
There isn't much that I plan on using this gadget for. I guess mostly its for bragging rights. That, and I hadn't hooked up anything to a PC's printer port in ages. If I wanted to, I could SSH log into it while at work, load a CD in the tray, burn it, and remove it all remotely. Of course, the CD would still be in my basement, so the exercise would be somewhat pointless!

I will probably dismantle it again after a few months. The relay board just has too many potential other uses. Certainly, I have no hope of recovering the time I spent building it, because I mostly burn CDs one at a time. I already ripped all the CDs in my CD collection that I like, so no point in writing bulk MP3 ripping scripts (its only an old 200 MHz Pentium attached anyway). I do have a 5 gig collection of digital photographs, which I need to back up again at some point. With the price of DVD drives and blank media, CDs are still cheaper per megabyte than DVDs.

Interesting (2, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498414)

I was thinking of doing the same by making a MiniDisc megachanger. Instead, for now, I bought a Sony CD-Audio megachanger and it worked out of the box. I still intend to go back to that idea though.

One thing I wish would be done is better control of the Sony CD changer. There are S-link projects out there but all use the parallel port, and IMO, that's too hacktastic, I'd want to continue or build a serial port S-link controller. There is some _very_ slick control software that can even ID all the discs and tracks in the changer, and you select a track on a computer and the changer will play your music. Most people would do MP3 instead, but man-machine and electrical-mechanical interfacing is cool.

Unfortunately, there aren't any Sonys that can burn discs, at least none that I know, and none that I know that can be used as a CD-ROM changer, at least affordably, so this project still has some merit.

Usefull for a small inde band. (4, Interesting)

chrestomanci (558400) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498415)

A friend of mine used to be in an unsigned Metal band. He told me that one of the most boring parts is copying CDs. Apparently commercial CD copy companies usually had a minimum order that was quite large, and always invented problems with whatever was sent to them, creating longer turn around and more hassle. The cost per CD was also quite high compared with burning their own on a CDR.

Instead, what he would do, is to setup his PC next to a sofa in front of the TV, and manually swap CDs, while watching TV. He said that if he managed 20 CDs per hour (on his 40x burner) he would be doing well, but tropically managed less than that.

It was of course, boring, and prone to error.

A contraption to automatically load, burn and unload CDs, like in the article, would have been much better. He could have loaded it up with 200 blanks, gone to bed and come back in the morning to find it jammed, but at least with ~100 CDs done :-)

Re:Usefull for a small inde band. (5, Funny)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498511)

but tropically managed less than that.

Yes, in the tropics I'm lucky to have the ambition to burn even 3 CD's per hour. (It's not the heat, it's the humidity.)

President Bush Would Use It (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498421)

http://www.weaklystandard.com

President Bush Reduces Stress in Capital Fashion

Washington, D.C. White House staffers report that the stress of the Israeli-Palestinian and Iraqi conflicts are taking a psychological toll on President Bush. Declining the counsel of some of his advisors to seek support from
a therapist, the President chose to rely on his faith and select meditation audio recordings for comfort. ?The President now has a recording for each of the 152 executions he oversaw as Governor of Texas,? a highly-placed White House source says. The source claims that the audio recordings have allowed the President to sleep soundly for the first time in nearly two months. The idea for the recordings came to one of the President?s advisors through careful observation of the President?s daily routine. ?The President sometimes would walk by the cafeteria on hamburger day and get this far away look in his eyes. We could tell he missed those simpler times back in Texas,? says the source. The recordings, provided by Texas Governor Perry, gave instant relief: ?The whimpering and sizzling sooth him. They not only bring a little of the sounds of Texas to the District, they help him remember the Lone Star State?s sights and smells as well.? While Governor Perry continues to supply him with the most recent recordings in full Dolby digital surround on DVD-Audio discs, staffers report that on particularly dark days the President only finds solace in the monaural reel-to-reels from his first term as governor.

Lazyness (1, Funny)

CompWerks (684874) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498422)

Is the mother of invention. Gotta love it. :)

is it just me.... (3, Funny)

sputnikid (191152) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498434)

or does every Flintstones episode come to mind at this moment?

Re:is it just me.... (1)

doppleganger871 (303020) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498502)

0o0o0o yea... gotta get a bird, with a beak the right shape to pick up the CD's and move them from pile, to burner, to pile... that'd kick ass...

Just have to figure out a "drip" tray, and refueling stations.

Thank God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498461)

And I was just about to buy a couple of StorageTek L700s for my company... I'll get some wood instead, far less expensive....

Incidentally, there is this thing called tape which you can backup to...

Pron (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498462)

Near the end...

"I do have a 5 gig collection of digital photographs, which I need to back up again at some point."

Call the RIAA! (2, Funny)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498463)

I wonder how many devices this counts as, given the RIAA's suspect formula? [slashdot.org] If his CDRW writes at 24x, boy is he in the s**t ;-)

Yes, but... (3, Funny)

tds67 (670584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498467)

...what about an automatic beer changer? Something that would remove an empty beer can from my hand as I sit in my lazy boy recliner, then put a fresh beer in my hand.

Now that would be progress!

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498554)

Hmmm.. several jokes occur to me, one of them involving a woman.

Just get a roomba and strap a cooler to its head, when it comes back around grab the fresh beer.

Re:Yes, but... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498596)

The beer changer feature is available in Girlfriend 3.2. However all attempts to port it to Wife 1.0 have failed.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

mks113 (208282) | more than 10 years ago | (#6498783)

It doesn't sound too hard, but the difficult part would be removing the "used" beer after it had been processed......

Oh no... (1)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498476)

...the software pirates in Asia just got an easier job.

Anyway, when it comes to mechanical widgets in computer history, nothing comes close to the IBM "spacebar button" solution.

The story goes something like this: In the sixties, IBM was running two jobs at night, but between the jobs an operator had to press the spacebar. Apparently, changing the software was impossible due to lost source or something, so this guy came up with an ingenious solution. He mounted an iron arm to a clock with a Lego block on it which would fall down on the spacebar at a given time (don't remember how he did it in detail...)

Truly high-tech IBM stuff...

That reminds me... (1)

krray (605395) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498499)

That reminds me...cool idea and all, but a little _too_ geeky even for me :) -- but since I've become a Mac head, got the iPod and got totally hooked on iTunes...

I just don't use my 300+1 Pioneer CD changer anymore. A couple of weeks ago I added in the SliMP3 player (replacing the CD player altogether) and added 2x120G (RAID-1) drives to hold the library.

Anybody interested in a _real_ CD changer?

I mean, I've tried GIVING this thing away. My brother, best friend, parents, wife's parents -- nobody wants it. Unfortunately I've gotten them all hooked on Mac's and iTunes as well. My mistake I guess. :)

Re:That reminds me... (1)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 10 years ago | (#6498711)

Sure, I'll take it off your hands..

Re:That reminds me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6498780)

Ok then -- how do I find you? No address. No email.
?

Is there a similar project (1)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498514)

with random access to CDs? Preferably scalable to a few thousand disks?

Great Hack! (0)

xChOasx (688320) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498531)

I have to say brilliant hack! But eeerm... Did you guys check his source code ? There are *gulp* gotos in there! *grinding teeth*

wow (0)

pulse2600 (625694) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498537)

Imaging a beowulf cluster of those!

Build a bridge out of her! (3, Funny)

indros13 (531405) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498560)

...Ah, but can you not also build "do-it-yourself cd changers out of stone?"

(-1, Pythonic)

The games begin, first congratulations. . . (4, Interesting)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498628)

This is definitely cool. For all the people saying this type of hack is irrelevant because of the storage difference between HDs and CDs, I must say that's rather short-sited when you consider that the form factor for optical media is most likely going to stay the same all the way into the violet laser media. So, while you could call this an out-of-date CD changer, you could also call it a cutting edge Blu-Ray changer. And commercial alternatives are insanely overpriced.
But this is certainly not the last word on the matter. I've got my own plans as well. One thing we didn't see was any kind of performance specs about how big of an unattended stack the thing could handle. I read the part where he said it was just for fun, but I'd still like to know how many he could do consecutively.
The option I'm considering is where you take a plastic housed stack of a hundred hundred discs sitting on a conveyer whith a slot at the bottom of the stack only big enough for one disc at a time to be rolled out. I think some of the commercaial solutions might work like this.

My friend did this years ago (1)

los furtive (232491) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498668)

He used spare CD-ROM motors to fully automate it. Not as classy as this one (it throws the completed CDs onto a chair), but works just as well...and he even wrote queuing software for it. I have a videoclip of it somewhere...

You can do things remarkably cheaply (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 10 years ago | (#6498746)

If you don't value your time, or care if it works reliably.

Color Coding (5, Informative)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 10 years ago | (#6498800)

From the article:
Luckily, the cable manufacturer followed the black - brown - red - yellow - green - blue - violet colour numbering convention, so I didn't have to probe around with the ohmmeter too much
In the days of the dinosaurs, when I was in 6th grade, we learned the mnemonic "BLack Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly" which reduces to black - brown - red - orange - yellow - green - blue - violet - grey - white.

They probably don't teach that particular bit of doggerel any more...

Hello? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6498805)

"And to make it even better the whole setup is controlled by none other than linux"

Could you BE any more pathetic?

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6498808)

Its supports CD,CD-R,CD-RW,DVD,DVD-RW,DVD-R and what not!, just out of the box!.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>