Introduction: Light Up Your CD-ROM Drive's Buttons!

Picture of Light Up Your CD-ROM Drive's Buttons!

Today, I will show you how to illuminate your CD-ROM drive's buttons using just a few pieces and a couple tools.

You can wow your friends with this better-than-theirs CD-ROM drive, making everyone jealous of its awesome power.

Disclaimer:
I am not responsible for any damage inflicted on your CD-ROM drive and/or your tools, or any injuries inflicted upon yourself during this project.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

For this project, you will need only a few tools and materials.

Tools:
- A philips (+) screwdriver to get the CD drive open
- A soldering iron to solder the LED, wires and resistor
- X-acto knife in case you need to cut away some plastic around the button
- Some soldering experience. (I'd say about beginner to intermediate)

Materials:
- 1 small LED, in any color you like, it can't be a diffused one, though
- Wire that is long enough to reach from the front of the drive to the back
- 1 430 ohm resistor (Yellow, Orange, Brown)

Step 2: Take It Apart

Picture of Take It Apart

You will only need the philips screwdriver for this step. Take the four screws out of the bottom of the drive to take off the bottom. Push the white tab (shown in picture) to the left or eject the drive using a pin. Take off the front panel by pushing in the tabs that hold it in place on the side. Remove the front panel.

Step 3: Prepare the Panel

Picture of Prepare the Panel

If light can show around your eject button skip this step.

Take your X-acto knife and carefully cut away the plastic that is keeping light from shining through.
When  you are satisfied with your work, its time to move on to the next step.
Be cautious, this plastic is hard to cut and if the knife slips you may hurt yourself.

Step 4: Prepare the LED and Put It In

Picture of Prepare the LED and Put It In

Now, we will use the wire, and the LED. Solder two pieces of wire to the two wires coming out of the LED. The wire in the LED that is attached to the bigger metal piece inside it is the negative wire. Remember which one this is. Once the LED is soldered, put it near the button in the panel, and put the panel back on, making sure the LED stays in place. Route the wires in the most efficient manner so they can reach (or almost reach) the power connector on the back of the CD-ROM drive.

Step 5: Solder the LED to the Circuit Board

Picture of Solder the LED to the Circuit Board

Now we will solder the LED to the circuit board. With the wires near the power connector, we can now solder them.

First, take the resistor and solder it to the +5v contact on the circuit board, like in the picture. The voltages are usually marked somewhere nearby.

Next, solder the positive LED wire to the resistor, and the negative wire to GND, or ground. (These are the two pins in the middle, pick one) If your wire can't quite reach the contacts, scratch off some of the enamel-ish coating on the circuit board around the GND connection, (AKA ground) area to expose the copper trace underneath. Solder the negative wire to this.
Look at the pictures if this sounds confusing.

Step 6: You Are Done!

Picture of You Are Done!

Now all that is left to do is screw the CD-ROM drive back together and plug it in. Turn on your computer and stare in awe at your better-than-everyone-else's CD-ROM drive.

If it isn't working...
1. is something accidentally short circuiting? are two pieces of metal touching when they shouldn't be?
2. did you fry something by overheating it while soldering?
3. did you damage your CD-ROM drive somehow?

Comments

Crucio (author)2012-11-05

Zack,

This is actually a very cool project. I'd say it is a little advanced for many people here due to having to figure out what to solder to on the CD-ROM circuit board, but, I think what you did is great.

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Bio: I like to modify things, make things, and modify the things i make. im no math whiz or someone with perfect grammar, but i am ... More »
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