Homemade CD Player or Stand Alone CD-ROM drive

video Homemade CD Player or Stand Alone CD-ROM drive
CD-ROM Drive plays music without computer! Can you belive it? How to build CD-player using old CD-Rom drive and PC power supply. Do It Yourself!
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lynzay_6 years ago
while this is a good example of uilising components that you have lying around and making them functional, it is quite a ridiculous waste of time for most people. especially when a discman or portable dvd player are practically dime a dozen these days. why would anyone take the time to butcher cables and put it all together, just to have a cd player that looks like a broken computer, is hung together by a thread and weighs almost a kilogram? even macguyver wouldnt jump through this many hoops to listen to a cd. and he would take the time to build a bomb from a banana and a pile of paperclips.
Xellers lynzay_6 years ago
Actually, if you found and old computer and spent five minutes with it, you could build this. I would definitely do this if I needed a CD player. (I've got like 20 CD ROM or RW drives and power supplies just waiting to be used, and I've got speakers to hook them up to)
BrianU Xellers1 month ago

For an amplifier, the small ( 42mm x 147mm x 120mm ) Lepai Tripath TA2020 chip amplifier, that comes with both a treble and bass knob and runs on 12VDC 2A for $25 or less, would work very nicely.

BrianU lynzay_1 month ago

If you were like I am - on a disability income and with too much free time and an electronic vocational background - projects like this keep the mind sharp and the hands busy in a non-physically demanding way. Even if I didn't need a CD player, or took it apart right after seeing if it worked, it may lead to a better idea and a more worthwhile project.

lol yah just buy a stero
This project is exactly what I am looking for. At our college radio station, we go through CD players like candy. And guess what, we never have any money to replace them! The college has plenty of old computers we can scavenge for free, however. This is perfect for us.
Find me a front-loading portable CD player, and I'll concede to your point here... But for my specific needs, in my small project studio, I want to install the CD player in a rack, which means opening up the lid of a portable CD player and having to access buttons on the top of it (rather than on the front) isn't possible. This is actually a VERY practical and functional solution for my situation. So, if MacGyver owned a recording studio, I'm pretty sure this is how he'd do it... ;-)
ebay search rack cd player. found one for 11$!
I'd be curious to see what you found... I bet it takes up a full-width rack space. I need it to only take up one side -- 1/2 rack, front-load, w/ controls on the front. There's a Rolls model... for $275...
Meanwhile... I just found what I hope to be the perfect power supply today at this really cool place called the Reuseum here in Boise. Can't wait to get home and try it out. Price: $7.99
The whole point of instructables is exactly to " utilise components that you have lying around and making them functional"
In my case, I have a boom box with a dead CD player that I currently hang from the ceiling in my kitchen.  I want to gut it and use the radio, amp and power supply plus an old CDROM drive to make a DIY under-cabinet radio.
jotism lynzay_4 years ago
I didn't cut 1 single wire, I just shorted the green pin with the closest black pin (well, holes in the big plug) with a 2 or 3 cm bit of solder lol.
I really like this idea. I think it is great for those of us nerds that cannot always afford to buy new things and we have to make use of what we have already. Keep up the good work ermak777!!!! Do you know how to make an internal disc drive become an external one, to actually run the player to the computer
Get longer cables
farna3 months ago

Hmmm... I like the idea, but the PC power supply is a bit large. What about using a 12V DC wall-wart and a small 5V regulator? That would make a compact power supply. Since we're salvaging parts, look at wall-warts for old telephones, especially those with built-in answering machines (even digital). I have found a couple that were 12V DC. Maybe a printer or laptop PS... Might be bale to find a similar PS with 12V and 5V DC doming out of it, that would be ideal, but I can't think of anything that has a PS like that (I'm thinking the brick with cords type). Like these:

You know, a couple wall-warts (+12V DC and +5V DC) on a cheap extension cord would probably be the lowest cost (best?) way out. Plenty salvageable wall-warts out there -- more 5V DC than 12V DC. Would still be compact compared to a PC PS, and could be mounted outside a case for the CD-ROM -- plug both directly in the wall even!

lalberti19 months ago
i saw this kind of stuff around 2005, i think. some of my neighbors are using it this way. the thing is, i wanna know how to connect this stuff to an amplifier for a better sound.
spin4981 year ago
It ain't pretty but it would go fine in a basement workshop, where nothing is pretty.
gosugenji2 years ago
If you spend a little $$$ you can get a pico psu like this one to power the thing instead of a bulky psu. The link is for reference not spam.
fjr_scoot2 years ago
great instructable - just what I was looking for - I wanted to use a cd-rom drive to make a CD-player for a blind aunt for books on tape. The easy-load feature of a computer CD-rom drive is perfect. Thanks!

11111112 years ago
Instructables is for the world community. Not just for the rich and middle classes. It reaches into the ghettos and helps people to build things they need as well as providing ideas for hobbyists.
there's broken down computers all over the world which are an ideal resource. even if I lived next door to a high tech gadget shop I would still rather build this sort of thing.
People who think it's a waste of time are missing the point of instructables.
This is a great idea. Thanks for posting it
izaic36 years ago
Anyone else get this to work? I've tried multiple cd players, and they all power up, but no sound comes out. I don't think it's reading the disc.
maneth izaic33 years ago
me tooo i have the same problem, i put the disc in, i put on the speaker, the disc turns for 5 secs and it stops......................

please if u have found the solution email me @
pnky_14 izaic34 years ago
You don't have to have one with the skip/play button but it makes it alot easier.  There are several instructables on how to add the button on  manually.  Mine worked I know that this works.  Also instead of having to use the 3.5 jack, I took the cd rom apart and soldered wires coming off of the jack and just hooked speakers up to it.  Works fine but the sound isn't very loud.  I'm going to try hooking an aftermarket cd player to the computer PSU and I'm certain the sound quality will be alot better.  Good Luck! 
zack247 izaic34 years ago
im having the same problem! if it makes a spinning or whirring noise, its reading the disc. but im not sure why it isn't playing it? maybe you need one with the play/pause/skip buttons on the front
jotism zack2474 years ago
I noticed that they (atleast my one) does not work with MP3 CD's and only "genuin" CDs (legit ones I mean)
legless jotism4 years ago
Most CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drives have the codec for reading (Red book) audio CDs built in so they can usually play any audio CD. MP3 CDs are not audio discs but data discs with MP3 files on them. Some kind of decoder is needed to play them.

Red Book Audio Specifications

The basic specifications state that

  1. Maximum playing time is 79.8 minutes
  2. Minimum duration for a track is 4 seconds (including 2-second pause)
  3. Maximum number of tracks is 99
  4. Maximum number of index points (subdivisions of a track) is 99 with no maximum time limit
  5. The International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) should be included

zack247 jotism4 years ago
in my case, i had to open the cd drive, and solder two wires to the spots where the leads for the play/skip button would be. now it works just fine. too bad you can't get any sound from the sound output on the back, then headphones aren't needed
Prajith3 years ago
hey guys how will we control the play/stop option when we connect cd drive externally to play music.....pls help.....
cfc1063 years ago
after I cut the green and black wire what do I connect them to I don't have a switch
mspearin5 years ago
that would be helpful if you had a cd drive with a play button.
its easy to add one. crak open the cd drive, and look at the front portion of it. find where the spots for the play/skip button are, and solder two wires (long enough to reach out the back) to them. voila! you can now play or skip using the cd drive! if not, then you might want to make sure you got the right connections
xgream zack2473 years ago
what shall i do next if i found and soldered both the spots, shall it be the two spots to soledered together, or separately at the back as you mentioned; and where should it be connected to the back??
zack247 xgream3 years ago
solder two wires to the two spots, not connecting them, and feed them out the back of the drive. then you connect the two wires from the back to a pushbutton switch of some sort, and you are ready to go.
Thank you for the tip!!
im glad to help. if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask
cdmaster4 years ago
this works only with traditional power supplies for computers, no dells work.
you can use any cd drive or cd r drive made before 2005

if you dont have a play/skip button, you can either solder one on next to the eject button inside or just solder the two points next to the eject button together if(if you like to listen to the whole cd)

i even added a remote to mine
Dells did not follow the standard color coding but they should work if you adjusted for their differences. Check out It has pretty much everything you need to make the supply work as a general power supply, if you are going to use it to drive the cd drive you don't need to do any of the custom lighting, and loading that he does.
a remote ??? BTW i used a caddy cd rom it also had a display really nice project it had all the controls
cent914 years ago
i have a dell power supply here which i took out from my Old dell GX1. it doesnot have a green wire. other colors it has are red, white, grey, black, orange, sky blue, purple and yellow. can i get this to work? also that my Cd-rom doesnot have a "play/pause" button nor a "next track" button etc. can i use it for playing music? kindly help.
randofo6 years ago
That is an absurdly large power supply.
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