Secret CD-drive Stash

This Instructable will show you how to make your own secret CD-drive stash in which you can put your important CDs,DVDs or other flat objects.

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Step 1: What You Need:

To make your secret CD-drive stash you'll need:
-A CD drive (preferably one that you don't need anymore)
-A drill with a 5/32inch bit
-A screwdriver
-Soldering equipment
-Tape (preferably vinyl electrical tape)
-Clear, epoxy-like glue
-Wire (might not be necessary)
-Double-sided mounting tape
- A dremel or a saw
-A 4 AA battery holder
-4 AA batteries
-A pair of earphones (they'll act as a key to your stash)

Step 2: Opening the CD Drive

To get started, we have to open up the drive.
In my case I had to first take the front cover off (pic #2) before being able to open the drive itself.
Make sure not to break anything and to keep all screws.

Step 3: Gutting the Drive

Next up is taking out the circuit board of your drive. Put it aside for later steps.

Step 4: More Gutting

Now you'll need to take the plastic structure out of the drive and turn it over(see pic #2) to take out the CD-reading apparatus (see pics #3 & #4). The CD-reading apparatus isn't relavent for this project so it can be thrown away.

Step 5: Simple Step to Secure Your Stash

A simple but important step to secure your stash is to take out the plastic piece which is there so you can open CD drive with a paper clip (see pic #2). Since you won't use that mean of entry, you can might as well remove it. The piece should come off easy.
Insert the plastic structure back into the metal case when you're done (see pic #3).

Step 6: Making It Look Like a Real Drive

If you want your secret stash to look like a real CD drive, you should take the circuit board and cut it 1¼inch/3cm from the end where the connectors are. Make sure to have some srew holes on your cut-off piece for stability (see pic #2). After it's cut (see pic #3), put a dab of glue where the cut-off circuit board belongs (see pic #4) to give it extra stability. If you can't find a place to put glue don't worry because as long as you have screw holes, the part won't move after we put the drive back together. Now put the cut-off circuit board to its place to finish this step (see pic #1).

Step 7: Gutting the Circuit Board

To finish off the circuit board, take out your soldering equipment and desolder following parts:
- The audio plug
- The potentiometer used to regulate the audio threshold
- The switch which is pushed to open the CD-slot
Picture #2 shows the circuit board before gutting - picture #1 after gutting.

After this step, you can throw away the leftover circuit board.

Step 8: The Mean Entry

To open your stash when the project is done, you'll need to modify the audio plug.
What we want to do is put the switch behind the audio plug, with the button in it, so when we plug in our earphones, the drive will open.
Try to insert the button of the switch into the back side of the audio plug. If, like in my case, it won't fit, you'll need to take out
your drill and the 5/32inch(~4mm) bit (see pic #2) and widen the back of the audio plug
so that the button of the switch fits inside (see pic #1).

Step 9: Doing Some Glueing

Next, you'll need to glue in the front components. These are the potentiometer and the audio plug (see pic #1).
Make sure not to glue the back of the audio plug shut .
Also make sure not to use too much glue, as this will likely be seen
from the outside when the project is done.
Glue the front button too so it won't break off later (see pic #2).

Step 10: Soldering

Now you'll have a bit of soldering to do. First though strip the ends of the wires of the motor, as they might be attached to a connector (before: see pic # 2 ; after: see pic #3).

If you don't know how to solder watch this video: (thanks go to CuriousInventor).

You'll also have to check if the switch fits behind the audio plug. In my case (see pic #4) I had to snip off the metal mounting bracket to fit the switch (for finished switch, see pic #5) behing the audio plug (see pic #7).

Before soldering, make sure the wires from the battery holder are at least 6 inches long. If not, take some wire and make them longer.

Now take out your soldering equipment and solder the
blue/black (negative) wire from the motor to the blue/black (negative) wire of your 4 AA battery holder,
the red (positive)  wire from the battery holder to one side of the switch and
the red (positive) wire from the motor to the other side of the switch (see pics #1 & #6).

At last put the wired switch behind the audio plug (see pic #7) and secure it with a few dabs of glue.
Try not to put any glue around the front of the switch, as this might block the button itself.

Step 11: Mounting the Battery Pack

For the 2nd last step, take out your double-sided mounting tape, put some on the bottom side of the battery holder (see pic #2) and stick the battery holder on the metal cover you took off earlier.
Make sure that the battery holder is placed somewhere in the middle of the cover so it doesn't come in contact with other parts of the CD drive.
Also make sure the wires going from the battery pack are as close as possible to the switch & motor.

It is also highly recommended to cover the soldering joints from the previous step with some tape (preferably vinyl electrical tape) (see pic #3).

Step 12: Last Step!/Problemfixes

So, at last, all you have to do is screw the drive back together. Don't forget to insert the batteries and make sure the wires aren't hanging out o the drive. If you like, you can put a dab of glue in each screwhole to make it really thiefproof. :)
Now take out your earphones and plug them in to the drive. If your drive opens, you're done!
Have fun hiding your secret documents and other stash!

Comment, rate & follow!
Your drive didn't open up? No problem, here's what you should check for:
  1. The most common mistake is faulty solder connections that break easily. Check & possibly redo these.
  2. Check if the wires got stuck in any gears or other relavent parts of the drive. It might help to tape the wires together.
  3. You could've gotten the motor's polarity wrong. To solve that, just switch the wire connections of the motor or the battery holder.
  4. The switch could not be attached correctly. The button itself should be inside the audio plug so that when the earphones are plugged in, they push the button.

There's still something wrong? Just post it in the comments and I'll give my best.



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    19 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 12

    If you leave the headphones in does that not just keep the button down and close it again? If not how do you get it to close.

    It's a nice idea but i think it would have been easier to use the jack as the actualy switch. For example solder one wire to the ground contact (sleeve) and the other to either of the contacts (tip or ring) then providing the jack isn't a 'normally closed' jack with a sprung break contact when you plug in headphones the circuit is completed allowing the current to flow through the headphones and then throught the motor and so on.

    Or would that not work?

    7 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 12

    That would possibly work too, good idea.
    About your first question: The drive won't close when you leave the earphones in, although you should take them out when it is open because leaving them in will drain the battery. To close the drive simply push the CD holder back in.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Not if you complete Step 5 and remove the plastic piece that enables you to open the drive with a paperclip.

    If you keep it in you would have a plan b.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 12

    okay. I like it, i just wish the storage was the size of the drive, instead of only being that little flat space. Mybe if you took of the liitle tabs that hold the front cover on and glued the cover to the disc draw front then the whole front would come out when you pressed the button?


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 12

    That might work but even if you did that you wouldn't get more storage space because the inner plastic structure that holds the disk draw would still be in the way. If you did manage to get the front cover to come out with the disk draw you would also have to lengthen the wires to prevent them from ripping off when the front comes out. But it is a good idea to get more storage space!


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 12

    yes you would have to lengthen the wires. Hardest part would be finding a way of keeping the draw etc. supported whilst gutting as much as pssible to make room.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    i do this all the time, but i use a paperclip in the manual eject hole, its much simpler, and i can reuse the drive if i ever need to


    8 years ago on Introduction

    a very unique idea to use headphones as the switch!
    a further step to keep it more safe would be to use some sort of security screw that is hard to get open, like the screws nintendo used to use.

    8 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The screw nintendo used to use could be open using a bic pen lol :-)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    true but that was just an example.
    theres also those triangle screws, i dont know of any way to get those out but messing around with a flathead screwdriver.

    --on second thought it could be easier to just weld the case shut or something.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Weld? Who doesn't have an dremel?
    My point is just, any thing you do to protect it, we still will be able to take it.. it's why, I guess, he call this a secret stash, and not a safe ;-)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    i suppose youve got a good point there.
    but i think that this was done the way it was because no ones really going to think theres anything but cd drive inside a cd drive, unless theyve read this instructable, that is.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    after reading instructables, you can't really thing anything you see still has it's original fonction Lol :-)