Pioneer HU still works without CD drive. Add your own CD-ROM?
While I was converting my Premier DEH-P860MP (similar to Pioneer DEH-P8600MP) stereo to have a remote faceplate, I ended up removing the motorized faceplate motor/gear assembly and the CD drive, and was surprised to find out that the stereo still functions perfectly well. (Obviously without those features...) Perfect for me, because I was going to hide the head unit and just use it as an amp anyway.
Here's the powered up bare-bones system. Funny how little is left without the CD drive.
Here's all the stuff that's removed. Lower right is the CD drive. To the left is the motor assembly for the faceplate.
This opens the door to a few cool ideas:
- If you're real good, you could mount a thin CD-ROM drive (connected to your Car PC) right where the original CD player/drive was. Then install the stereo in your dash and load computer CD's through the regular stereo CD player opening. It'd be a little tricky on a motorized faceplate like this one (make sure the faceplate is open before the CD ejects!) but it'd be a lot more straightforward with a non-moving faceplate.
- With no CD drive, you could use the extra space inside the DIN case for some other circuitry or small components. (Careful of heat buildup and airflow.) This is probably what I'll do.
- If you're using a remote faceplate, you could create a somewhat smaller case for the stereo and squeeze it somewhere you otherwise couldn't. (Again, mind the heat.) Unfortunately there are a few things on the sides and back that stick up, but it's still smaller than normal. (For the extremely ambitious, you might get away with rewiring those things too and end up with a very flat stereo.)
I'm thinking this is likely to work on many Pioneer head units, but obviously I can only vouch for this one. It makes good sense for them to make the CD drive completely modular, but I was expecting to at least see an error message or something when it was disconnected.
I've operated a lot on this stereo already (and so far no smoke :whistle: ), so at some point I'll write up the switch from blue to red LED's, the disabling of the motorized faceplate (before I realized I could remove it completely), and more details on connecting the faceplate remotely. But for now I thought this was worth sharing.
Hope this inspires some projects.