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Thread: Powering an optical Drive ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Question Powering an optical Drive ?

    Long time lurker first time poster . Just a question about powering an optical drive and before anyone asks I have as well as ed and sitll not found a definitive answer to my question. The thing is I would like to use a slot load DVD drive whether it be slim or regular it doesnt matter(they will both look the same glassed in ) the thing is the pc will reside in the trunk area with the drive up in the console. After looking over numerous options and deciding on an IDE to USB 2.0 or firewire adapter, how do you power the drive sicne all of the ones I have seen use AC adapters Iwould really liek to avoid that route?? The ideal situation would be to use power over firewire or power over USB but the problem with that is there has not been a consensus on whether or nto this would work over a long distance. The drive here (which is way too much andI dont need any burnign capability) says tha it can support power over firewire if using the 6 pin to 6 pin connector but the one they supply is only a few feet long, would there be a problem using a much longer cable for this and if not does anyone know of a slot load plain DVD drive that could support power over firewire(or USB 2.0). Ok and if this is jsut me being stupid and I should jsut use a very long regular Molex power cable slap me for over thinking this.

  2. #2
    Newbie OrangePeel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Wellington, New Zealand


    Well it really depends what kind of drive you get. You probably can't power the drive off 1394 or USB since the current is very limited ~200mA @ 5V I believe. Your average optical drive needs both 12V for motors and 5V for logic.

    You're more likely to succeed using a slimline/laptop drive which will probably be designed to run off 5V at reasonably low current, still probably not USB.

    Easy solutions are to run an extension from your molex connector at the back to the front as you said, or you could use a couple of linear regulators to get the voltages you need from an accessory line under the dash. The 12V line probably should be regulated down using a low drop-out regulator so that when the car's running the drive isn't getting noisy 14v and causing the drive to go into overdrive. 1A regulators are probably what you need, with appropriate heatsinking probably required on 5v. The LM317 is the standard regulator to use as it's adjustable and simple to use, only need a couple of resistors and capacitors... If you want to go down this route I can probably help out. I made a separate power supply for my cdrom since my carPC only had an Ituner PW60 back then.
    89 Celica, CarPC installed, 1st bday :)
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  3. #3
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    May 2004


    I want to avoid using a case, and external power to the drive. I want to have just the little part from the slot loading to stick out, being that behind my dash i have very little room.

    I thought you could get the power from the usb/1394 from the computer
    if you use a short usb/1394 wire.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Did you ever get this figured out? I am building my car PC now and I am trying the same idea. It does not seem that the USB or firewire will give enough power. I know we can run a molex connector and hack the original AC cable, just not sure how without messing it up. Anyone?

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate Altimat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    My external DVD Rom uses an IDE to USB converter that requires 12V. I take that 12V from the black and yellow of an extra IDE drive 4 pin Molex power connector on the PSU and run a separate pair of power wires to the drive. You can do the same to get the 5V outside the case using the red and black wires.

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Austin, TX
    If you have two USB ports open, you can use one of these:

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