Introduction: Stand Alone CD Player

Picture of Stand Alone CD Player

This is the follow up project from my cd player adapter project I did earlier to make a stand alone cd player. Other computer recycling projects I did were the Case/Safe and the EPFU.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
This is my version of how to make a stand alone cd player using your old and useless computer case.

Here's a bunch of things I used to build mine and you'll probably need:

  • hacksaw (to cut the sheet metal)
  • electric drill and various drill bit sizes
  • bench vice
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • metal file
  • an old computer case (preferably with both doors)
  • wooden planks of various sizes
  • cardboard box
  • paint i.e, (spray paint)
  • lots of screws
Of coarse, to build a functional stand alone cd player, make sure yours has a play button and a headphone jack and volume knob if you want to use the front part. To get audio at the back of your CDROM directly to your computer speakers, you'll need the audio
cable that plus into it and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Step 2: Shaping the Case

Picture of Shaping the Case

The shape and size of the case all depends on the dimensions of the CD drive tray and the CD drive itself. Since my tray holds 3 drives, it made the case relatively shorter than if say it had 4 slots.

The dimensions of my case are: 
L x W x H 
9in x 7 1/2in x 6in

To begin the layout, I marked a centerline along the side door to divide it into two symmetrical halves. That means that the handhold indent, or at least that's what I call it, is also divided into half. 

To make the most out of the door, I decided to make the top, parts of the sides, and the back of the metal case out of the sheet metal and cut out the excess metal useful for other parts.

After all the dimensions have been marked out, the metal can be cut and prepared for bending. I used two planks of wood the hold the metal in a bench vice and used a hacksaw to make the cut out.

The metal file is used to remove the sharp edges of the cut metal.

Step 3: Drilling the Holes

Picture of Drilling the Holes

I decided to use three equally spaced screws to hold each side together and three screws on the bottom tab as well. The holes for the mounting of the feet were also marked out in appropriate positions and the holes were drilled.

The positions for the holes for the power port and the audio jack were marked on the inside by putting the halves together and noting where the jacks overshadow the back, so to speak. The same procedure goes for mounting the tray inside the case.

After the positions for the holes are marked (the red lines on the right), the appropriate size drill is used to bore the holes.

Step 4: Covering Up the Metalwork

Picture of Covering Up the Metalwork

I used cardboard to hide the metalwork in the CD holder compartment and to give the project a more appealing look. It will be later sprayed black for a better look.

The wood I used made the bezel 1 1/8" thick and fully covers the gap between the tray and the case. It also allows a 1/4" thick lip to over hang the case itself.

This mean the pieces will have a groove cut in them and 45degree cuts at the ends to form the corners.

Step 5: The Jacks Placement

Picture of The Jacks Placement

I made the details for making the power adapter in my other instructable. It basically consist of a 5v and 12v voltage regulator powered by a laptop charger. You can also find more info on this page.

I basically choose to put the power adapter in the corner because the corner offer additional strength and opportunity for better heat transfer.

The audio jack basically went in the other corner.

Step 6: Gluing the Parts Together

Picture of Gluing the Parts Together

After the parts are painted or sprayed with your creativity, the parts can be assembled and glued together.

Step 7: Final Showcase

Picture of Final Showcase

Well, this is the final product of all those steps. This is my third computer recycling project with the first being the Case/Safe and the second being the EFPU. I hoped you found this project useful in some way.


deeppu (author)2013-05-15

how you make the circuit? plz upload photo of circuit because i am confused.

pvtrobertearl (author)2012-11-04

Could I uses a power supply from an on computer to puwer the cd drive to play through speakers

MrJentis (author)pvtrobertearl2012-11-04

Yes you could, that's if you don't mind the cumbersome bulk it adds.

profpat (author)2012-08-27

nice project!

lacking is the amp for the speakers..

profpat (author)profpat2012-08-27

something like this, which i assemble using prefboard and two tda2002 ic amplifiers - 12volts d.c. 5 watts output per channel..

MrJentis (author)profpat2012-08-29

That's a nice amplifier you've made there, but it wouldn't work with the laptop charger I used in my setup because it was just barely enough to power the CDROM and nothing else. Besides, my design was as simple as possible and used the computer speakers as the audio output which already have a built-in amplifier and volume control. An additional amp along with the CDROM and bigger speakers would have required a beefier power supply which would most likely need a large and heavy transformer and not as compact as a laptop charger. I hope you see what I'm getting at here...

profpat (author)MrJentis2012-08-30



this amp will work with just a 12volts 1ampere ac-dc adapter/charger, i know laptop charger gives around 19V- 3.49amps and above..

MK3424 (author)2012-08-26


emerson.john (author)MK34242012-08-27

Thanks for the link, that's a good trick! Back in the old days of computer service the linear motor that drove the head stack was sometimes called the actuator, sometimes the voice coil!

sroy5 (author)2012-08-27

good post & thnx .I wl try it more pc component recycle tute.

RocketPenguin (author)2012-08-18

To complete this geek set, you must have HDD speakers! I hopefully (If i don't forget) will have a picture of my setup with some hdd speakers!

What are HDD speakers?

farna (author)2012-08-26

With a USB to IDE adapter added you could use a small single board computer like the relatively new Raspberry Pi ( to add juke-box and video features. Would be nice little multi-media device then, and kept to the size of two cd-rom drives even with power supply built-in. Has TV output as well as HDMI, though I don't know if it's powerful enough to do HDTV decoding. Of course you could go all the way with a full featured SBC like this -- -- or maybe a mini ITX board. At 6.7"x6.7" (170mmx170mm) it's a bit big though (the SBC in the link might be a bit too big as well, couldn't find the size in mm or inches, just in "mils".

DrizzleFrizzle (author)2012-08-17

it would be cool with a monitor so it could play movies

al_packer (author)DrizzleFrizzle2012-08-26

They have something like that--it's called a "laptop".

Wyle_E (author)DrizzleFrizzle2012-08-18

To drive the monitor, you need the video subsystem that's usually part of the motherboard, so you might as well get an obsolete computer. You don't need much RAM and you can run one of the smaller Linux distributions. Not using Windows lets you use a really cheap machine that has been wiped before being junked by a corporate office, since the corporate mind regards a computer without Windows as waste.

e5frog (author)2012-08-26

It would be fun to be able to use the kind of drive that only has the eject button - control it through the IDE interface.

Nicola Tesla: Why HDD speakers, don't they sound like crap? ;-)

aamin5 (author)2012-08-26

wow, sheer bad luck...i just gave my old pc away for recycling 4 days ago...wish i had seen this before!

Nice fun little project, kudos!

amandaghassaei (author)2012-08-17

cool project! how hard is it to find a comp cd player with the control buttons still on it?

MrJentis (author)amandaghassaei2012-08-17

funny you should ask. I have a few that doesn't!

randofo (author)amandaghassaei2012-08-17

Not too hard. I have a box full of them. I'd say about 1 in 4 drives you pull from an old computer has this.

About This Instructable




Bio: My favorite hobbies are learning how to do new and cool stuff from more experienced people and building DIY (Do It Yourself) projects. They involve ... More »
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