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Thread: Fixing a melted CD drive

  1. #1
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    Fixing a melted CD drive

    I got tired of fixing the awful old CD drives on my PlayStation consoles, so I built this:

    emulaser.jpg

    It plugs in to CN701 and CN702 on the PlayStation motherboard, replacing the KSM-440ACM optical block. Working from a CD-ROM or CD-DA image on an SD card, it synthesizes a fake EFM signal and pumps it into the RF amplifier on the PlayStation's CD drive.

    The result is that I now have a PlayStation which reads discs that aren't there:

    emulaser2.jpg

    It actually works pretty well. Seeks aren't as fast as with a real disc though, because my estimation of the sled position isn't great.

    I'm hoping to make up a PCB soon, so I can actually cram it inside my PlayStation. Ideally there will just be an SD card slot under the lid.
    Last edited by SpamYouToDeath; 02-15-2017 at 12:43 AM. Reason: Fixing attachments
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    Really interested in this! Though the attachments aren't working.

    Always wondered why there wasn't a more direct type of ODE, though PSIO is neato.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanAdamKOF View Post
    Really interested in this! Though the attachments aren't working.

    Always wondered why there wasn't a more direct type of ODE, though PSIO is neato.
    I think I fixed the attachments now. Whoops.

    PSIO is probably much nicer - as far as I can tell, they replace the CD controller itself, and so can seek instantly. I'm trying instead to play along with it, so it'll only be - at best - like a brand new CD. I didn't want to cut up my motherboard, though.

    I did consider software-level BIOS hacks, but the PlayStation depends heavily on CD-DA tracks and CD-ROM XA streaming. I don't know that I could shim that.
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    I would think if you care to make a product out of this (don't get me wrong, I get why one wouldn't want to deal with it) that there would be an audience that just wants the discless aspect of PSIO without so much of the extra features, and would put up with disc speed loading times. I'd probably load up a spare unit with one myself if they were out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanAdamKOF View Post
    I would think if you care to make a product out of this (don't get me wrong, I get why one wouldn't want to deal with it) that there would be an audience that just wants the discless aspect of PSIO without so much of the extra features, and would put up with disc speed loading times. I'd probably load up a spare unit with one myself if they were out there.
    So, with SpamYouToDeath's device, one would only need a collection of SD cards instead of CDs? nice!

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    Interesting project.. I have the very first gen PS1 with original laser.. it's propped up on a piece of paper but still kinda works..
    I like your ODE idea better than the PSIO.. it's running it how it was always designed to be..

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    I stuck it on a PCB, but I don't have the right programming cable to actually flash the thing yet. Whoops. At least it looks sexier.

    emulaser3.jpg
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    Damn, sooo close to a multi-PS flash cart.

    Mna, I really hate CD-ROM loading.

    Someone should, like, make one of these for every CD system.

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    Really cool work, thanks for sharing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyranix95 View Post
    Mna, I really hate CD-ROM loading.
    Unfortunately this doesn't get rid of the loading times. In the best case, it's just like a CD. The CD DSP in the early PlayStation consoles should support up to quad-speed reading (i.e. twice as fast as normal PSX) but it would be a serious amount of work to make games actually use it. I tried a few approaches to increase the read speed, but the drive controller gets really mad if it can't maintain the speed servo. Also, it's impossible to distinguish XA streaming from a normal block read at this level - so it would definitely break FMV and XA music, even if the CD DSP and controller allowed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyranix95 View Post
    Someone should, like, make one of these for every CD system.
    I'd like to experiment with other consoles - PlayStations were just the most readily available. (I didn't want to risk my Sega CD...)
    Last edited by SpamYouToDeath; 02-27-2017 at 12:58 AM.
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    Would this be like PSIO? will it have a menu for choosing images? multi-cd games work? will you sell it or is it just for your learning/amusement? any guesstimates on the price?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aha2940 View Post
    Would this be like PSIO? will it have a menu for choosing images? multi-cd games work? will you sell it or is it just for your learning/amusement? any guesstimates on the price?
    I think I could make a menu work, and multi-CD games shouldn't be a problem (maybe I'll put a "change disc" button on the board or something).

    I'm just doing this so I don't have to fiddle with these stupid CD drives anymore. If I can get it all working together I could look into selling it. It would probably be much cheaper than PSIO.

    For now I'm just trying to get a damn JTAG cable to work. These things are super fiddly.
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  13. #13
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    With much hassle and annoyance, I've finally got a board programmed:
    emulaser4.jpg


    With any luck, this should be applicable to other CD systems, like the Turbo Duo, Sega CD, etc. It might also work on the Dreamcast - supposedly GD-ROMs are just CDs at double-density (although the Internet has been dead wrong about everything before).

    The takeaway is DON'T TRASH THOSE CONSOLES YET.
    Last edited by SpamYouToDeath; 03-13-2017 at 02:37 AM.
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    Nice work.. Looks good in there. I do wonder if it would be possible to have one of these in a NGCD?
    A drive to replace those temperamental things would be great.

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    Wow no more cd's

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    Really clever work!

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    Nice, especially if it can also be used for other consoles... let us know if you need donations! great job!
    凄いゲームを連れて。。。売った。

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    Quote Originally Posted by TotalMoop View Post
    Nice work.. Looks good in there. I do wonder if it would be possible to have one of these in a NGCD?
    A drive to replace those temperamental things would be great.
    Quote Originally Posted by massimiliano View Post
    Nice, especially if it can also be used for other consoles... let us know if you need donations! great job!
    The concept should work with any CD-ROM drive. My device just spits out EFM channel frames as given in an image file on the SD card. The precise output voltages and servomotor interpretation would change, but that's it.
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    This is spectacular and I'll take three plz. Any vids of it running? Really impressive work here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronjmill View Post
    This is spectacular and I'll take three plz. Any vids of it running? Really impressive work here.
    neo-geo.com doesn't seem to support video uploads. sorry.
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    Awesome! Definitely would want one.
    ...console emulation has no soul...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpamYouToDeath View Post
    neo-geo.com doesn't seem to support video uploads. sorry.
    So put it on Google Drive then, or Youtube unlisted.

    So now that you can load games without the CD drive, does it help load times at all?
    Official Chat: http://www.neo-geo.com/forums/misc.php?do=flashchat

    dude, you're awful at this, you didn't even tried.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripredacus View Post
    So put it on Google Drive then, or Youtube unlisted.

    So now that you can load games without the CD drive, does it help load times at all?
    He answered this above, unfortunately it doesn't really help.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpamYouToDeath View Post
    Unfortunately this doesn't get rid of the loading times. In the best case, it's just like a CD. The CD DSP in the early PlayStation consoles should support up to quad-speed reading (i.e. twice as fast as normal PSX) but it would be a serious amount of work to make games actually use it. I tried a few approaches to increase the read speed, but the drive controller gets really mad if it can't maintain the speed servo. Also, it's impossible to distinguish XA streaming from a normal block read at this level - so it would definitely break FMV and XA music, even if the CD DSP and controller allowed it.

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    SpamYouToDeath, I've seen this thread hanging around for awhile now, just dropped in to see what it's about and boy it's not what I thought it was!

    This is amazing work, and I'd definitely buy one if you start selling them!

  25. #25
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    There's a bit of work to do if I'm going to sell it - mainly, it needs some kind of graphical menu, some way of updating the firmware, and a user-accessible configuration. Right now I've hardcoded basically everything. (EDIT: Also I've only tried it on SCPH-1001 consoles - newer servo controllers might not like it.)


    Thanks, everyone, for the kind words.
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