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Thread: Mac Mini Disc Grip Point

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    Mac Mini Disc Grip Point

    I'm setting up a Mac Mini for my install and am concerned about the point at witch the optical drive grabs the discs when inserted. I have to put the disc practically all the way in before it will grab the disc and pull it in. Now when the disc is ejected, it comes out the the half way point for me to remove it easily. The inserting distance is troublesome because the Mini is planned to be set back some and would need to grab the disc much sooner. Is there a way to make the drive grab discs before they are put so far in?

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    Low Bitrate sonneboz's Avatar
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    I noticed the exact same thing, and thought it was odd at first. I would assume you would have to open the drive, and physically move the wheels, which is probably near impossible to get it to continue to function properly, being it's so tight in there.

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    Well the drive didn't last long. The problem now is finding what triggers the grip. I'm pretty sure it's the black pointed arm at the top left of my image. Now how to adjust it.....

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    Low Bitrate sonneboz's Avatar
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    Isn't the disc pulled in by "wheels" connected to a servo?

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    The drive on my Mini functions the same. Almost all the way in before it grips the disk but when it ejects, it comes about halfway out.

    I suppose it is possible to change that setting but it may be more reliable or easier to replace the drive with one that works as you like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    The drive on my Mini functions the same. Almost all the way in before it grips the disk but when it ejects, it comes about halfway out.

    I suppose it is possible to change that setting but it may be more reliable or easier to replace the drive with one that works as you like.
    Replacing the drive would require more money and the ability to check the new drive's grip point prior to purchase and install. So the easiest solution for me would be to take the front off the Mini. There's a good quarter inch of material between the front of the drive and the outer edge of the case which only has the IR sensor and the power LED protruding - both of witch can be easily reworked. Obviously this will fully void the warranty, but as you can tell from me already opening the optical drive, I don't care about. With the size of the Mini, I'm surprised to see so much wasted space around the edges. I guess it makes sense if you want to hold it together with eighteen plastic tabs. Before I get to work on the case, I'm still hoping for modifying the drive.

    EDIT: Tonight I shall risk the drive and load a disc while it's open and see exactly how it grips the disc.

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    Watching this thing in action is quite something to see - so much triggered action. Anyway, here's how it works:

    As the disc is inserted, the green arm moves right. The disc then pushes the yellow and red arms back. Once the red arm hits the blue mark, the green arm retracts back left to push the disc the rest of the way in. While in use all the arms are fully retracted. Upon eject, the yellow arm snaps back and further forward to push the disc out. I think that there is a sensor under the red dot that detects the motion of the red arm.



    You could, in theory, relocate the red arm's guide point so that it's more forward, but that could raise issues with clearance once the disc is in and spinning. The other option being to take the drive further apart and try to tweak the motion sensor.

    I'm thinking it's looking more and more like replacing the drive or modifying the front of the Mini are the best options. I'll make that decision once I get to fabricating my front panel.

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    Moving the red arm's trigger point would probably make the green arm move left too soon and might fail to pull the disc in.

    On the other hand, if you are going to have to replace the drive, no harm in trying!
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
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    Constant Bitrate onepuff's Avatar
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    Are you really going to use discs that much for you to go through all this trouble. Not trying to be an *** but i very rarely use mine. Props for trying something but i would just push it all the way in with a thin piece of anything before trying to modify an optical drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    Moving the red arm's trigger point would probably make the green arm move left too soon and might fail to pull the disc in.

    On the other hand, if you are going to have to replace the drive, no harm in trying!
    That is another problem I'm worried about. I'm not sure I'm willing to mess with this thing too much. Watching it in action has made me appreciate it a little too much to desire hacking into it more. I'm thinking I'll stick to cutting the face off the Mini, the IR sensor and LED can be adjusted a whole lot easier than the drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by onepuff View Post
    Are you really going to use discs that much for you to go through all this trouble. Not trying to be an *** but i very rarely use mine. Props for trying something but i would just push it all the way in with a thin piece of anything before trying to modify an optical drive.
    Part of my anal perfectionist nature is to make things just right for what I want or need. I want it to work "right" and without any hassle, and I'm not about to take away from what's there.


    I'm holding off on any further work on the Mini it's self until I get to working on the front panel and screen mount. That way I can see exactly what's needed and not be doing extra work. I'm also still hoping for better solutions. I may end up replacing the drive for a DVD burner, but am still out on that.

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