Take a broken DVD drive or CD drive and turn it into a secret stash box.
Step 1: What You Need
1. A dead DVD or CD drive. Dead meaning the drawer still operates but it does not read or write discs.
2. A 3v button cell battery and holder
3. A magnetic switch from an old alarm system or magnetic reed switch.
4. A strong neodymium magnet
5. Small wire
6. Hot glue or other glue.
Step 2: Prepare the Drive
1. Remove all of the screws from the top and bottom covers of the drive. Save the screws. Sticking them to a magnet is an easy way to make sure they don't 'wander' off.
2. Remove the circuit board at the back of the drive by snapping it out and unplugging the ribbon cables. Hang on to the board as it will be going back in at the end.
3. Remove the carriage assembly. There are usually a few small screws and then rubber grommets that hold it in place.
4. The drawer should slide back and forth. If not, inspect the drive to see if there are any other pieces that need to be removed.
Step 3: Wire the Circuit
1. Locate the motor contacts on the front circuit board of the drive. They should be marked.
2. Solder two wires to the motor. Since we want the drive to open when the switch is activated, reverse the contacts. You can test yours with the 3V button cell or two AA batteries.
3. Solder one wire to the 3V battery holder and the other wire directly to the magnetic switch contact. You wan to use the Normally Open (N.O.) connection on the switch if it has one. Solder another wire from the other contact on the switch to the other connection on the battery holder.
Step 4: Complete Assembly
1. Add the 3v battery to the holder and test the circuit by using the magnet to close the contacts on the switch. If you have it wired correctly, the drawer should slide open.
2. Hot glue the switch to the bottom cover of the case. Reattach the circuit board you removed earlier. This will give the drive a finished look in the back of the drive.
3. Re-assemble the top and bottom covers of the drive.
Step 5: Your Stash Drive Is Done!
To use the Stash Drive, close the drawer manually. Use the magnet to 'activate' the switch and the drawer will open. Add your items and then manually close the drawer. I cut out a small piece of poster board as a 'floor' to the drive. Note: Since the carriage and inside pieces have been removed the drive cannot be opened by using a paper clip in the 'emergency' hole in the front.
Participated in the
Dead Computer Contest