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Old 28th July 2015, 10:11 AM   #1
rob75 is offline rob75  Netherlands
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Default Looking for a CD mechanism

Hi All,

I'm new here and will introduce myself in the appropriate topic.

In my school (I teach physics and science) we are teaching pupils how to use computers to interface to the outside world. One of the courses is using an Arduino to switch on light and measure temperature.
For pupils who are really interested in technology I would like to control a CD player. My idea is to use a CD mechanism from a portable device. These have the possibility to leave the mechanism open and click the CD to the spindle. Off course, a see-thru enclosure will be made to protect from cd's leaving the mechanism.

My main problem at the moment is to find an affordable mechanism which also has the interface information available. Using the regularly mentioned CD-PRO is not an option. This is not for a state-of-art audio center, just for educational purposes.

Maybe anyone here can point me in the right direction.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Rob
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Old 30th July 2015, 03:38 AM   #2
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Well, any cheap little consumer CD player will have the transport and optical pickup, as well as all the necessary control and support circuitry. You could easily take the innards out of the chassis and mount them in a clear enclosure. The portable ones may be attractive for the click the CD on the spindle quality, but the component stereo ones - the ones that sit on a shelf - are larger and so easier to climb into and manipulate. The CD clamp is usually a magnet captive above the disc, but those magnets are easy to take out and you could manually place the magnet ring atop the disc in your setup.

Working CD/DVD players are often found in garage sales and Goodwill stores, last I looked, a long while ago, I could buy new ones for under $30, complete with warranty.

I wouldn't worry about the CD flying across the room, but I would concern myself with any possibility that young eyes might get to look into the laser pickup. That infrared laser can cause eye damage. Usually the CD itself blocks the view, but that can be defeated easily enough. Just a caution.

depending upon the sophistication level of your project, the easy way to control the thing would be to make remote activation of the panel controls. They are simple normally open switches. That would not be hard to parallel with some form of control interface. I have done exactly that for a pre-MIDI drum system for a client.

And good for you and your career. I enjoyed physics and science in school, and went on to major in physics in college.
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Old 30th July 2015, 04:17 PM   #3
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A DVD mechanism would be much safer, due to using a visible red laser
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Old 30th July 2015, 04:30 PM   #4
rob75 is offline rob75  Netherlands
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Thanks for your replies.

Getting a cheap CD player (portable or a vertical system) had crossed my mind. This may be a way to go with good short term results. Flying CD's keep popping up in my mind with a click-on mechanism without a lid. But the remark on laser radiation is a good one. Searching eBay (or similar) is the way to go then.
Electronically controlling physical switches is for pupils a kind of magic. Getting them into "tech" is the goal......

A DVD mechanism might do the trick and may also be more up-to-date.

Another possibility is using a laptop CD/DVD and controlling it through the IDE controller which is a well documented option. This also provides an option to get a cheap (used) drive.

Thanks,
Rob
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