External Slim IDE Drive to USB Power Mod

Introduction: External Slim IDE Drive to USB Power Mod

About: I like to build, scavenge material from junkyards, tear up machinery and stuff.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, today I will cover the process I underwent to adapt an internal 50pin IDE optical drive to be used as external via USB, using a common, cheap, chinese adaptor and a 50pin-44pin mini IDE adaptor.

Step 1: The Recovered Parts and the Problem

I found this optical drive and the 50pin-44pin adaptor in an old cash register-computer.

Using this with the pictured USB adaptor proved not to work, as the CD drive requires 1.5A of current, too much for a USB port.

Mini 44pin IDE differs from standard 40pin IDE as power is carried to the device with a single data+power cable.

What I had to do was to supply power to the drive by other means...

Step 2: Locate the Right Pins

First of all, we need to know which pins supply the power.

By looking at a schematic I found online, I located the right pins:

41-42 +5V

43 GND

44 ? (was not connected)

All is left to do is to isolate these pins from the USB adaptor and rewire them to another power input.

Step 3: Choosing and Modifying the Power Connector

Floppy power connector!

Small enough to fit on the board, easy to recover from an old floppy drive.

I will be mounting it vertically, so I snipped off the plastic wings and straightened the pins with a pair of pliers.

Step 4: Fitting the Floppy Power Connector on the Board

Now we need to actually fix it on the board, and there was enough room to the side, next to the audio header.

I marked the spots which will match the pins, then proceeded to drill four 1.5mm holes. No need to be super precise.

It sits perfectly in place!

Step 5: Preparing the Connectors for Rerouting

Now we need to remove the pins, as we will be using the pads underneath them for soldering.

First off, detatch the plastic from the main connector by sawing it to the PCB.

Now just unsolder the pins, helping yourself with a screwdriver to lift them off the pads.

Step 6: Soldering the New Route

I used a bit of rigid phone wire I had laying around, just solder the wire on the right pads, as pictured.

Step 7: Soldering the Other End to the Power Connector

Route your cables to the power connector pins, making sure they stay as flat as possible.

As you can see, I bent the pins outwards, which will help hold the connector in place, then soldered the wires. Both the middle pins are GND, either is fine, but I wanted to distanciate + and -.

I also removed the +12V pin, as it is not needed and I did not want 12V flailing around. Just pull it out the back of the connector with pliers.

The three bent pins are then snipped so to fit on the board without protruding.

Try a quick connect test to see if power is delivered, power only, no USB adaptor needed.

Step 8: Insulating and Overall Fixing Everything in Place

Insulation is important, shorts are not pleasant.

Hot glue is love, hot glue is life.

The more, the better.

I also applied it around the floppy connector, to help it stay fixed in place.

Step 9: Looks Like It's Done

All done!

The USB adaptor miraculously fits, whew.

I also made a quick Molex-floppy adaptor, as I didn't want to pull the actual floppy power cable out of my PC case. I already have a Molex coming out of it.

It powers up all right, and reads the CDs I put in it, I guess it works.

Thanks for reading, hope it helps!

Step 10: "It's Not External If You Need a PSU Connector!"

It is if you have random wires coming out of your PC, or if you make this:

Molex SATA floppy external power supply

Be the First to Share


    • Cold Challenge

      Cold Challenge
    • Make it Glow Contest

      Make it Glow Contest
    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest



    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is cool! I never knew that something like existed!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I didn't know either until I found it by chance, I fear that 50pin-44pin adaptor is a custom part, but perhaps someone will find it useful anyway.