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28.Oct.2003



Hardware-Hack: CD-writer in original A1200 case
Update (26.10.2012, cg): integrated entire article into news item during database migration

Amiga user Egon Kohlschütter has managed to fit both a CD-ROM and an IDE harddisk into the A1200's original case. The idea is to move the harddrive to the right of the case (to the position normally occupied by the internal disk drive) and put the CD-ROM to the left side of the case. The floppy drive had to be removed to gain the neccessary space (Egon uses an external drive now) and the case had to be slightly modified. This is what the end result looks like:



Fitting the CD-ROM drive

Get an internal CD-ROM drive (or even a CD-Writer!) targeted for Laptops - these are small enough to fit into the original case. Some devices that should work are:
  • TEAC CD-224E (CD-ROM)
  • TEAC CD-W24E (CD-Writer)

These drives use a special IDE connector called "Mini-IDE", so you'll have to find a suitable adaptor. These adaptors are usually called "Slimline adaptors" (Mini-IDE to IDE-40-pins). As these Laptop-CD-drives are usually jumpered as "Master" and the internal HD should be "Master" aswell, you should also get one of the myriad of A1200 IDE devices that enable you to connect up to four drives to your Amiga.

Obviously, you'll have to cut an opening into the case - a CD-ROM not accessible from the outside is not exactly useful ;-) This image demonstrates the exact position of the drive:



Some hints for the actual case modification:
  1. open the case, remove the RF shielding and position the CD-ROM
  2. The drive rests partly on the bottom half of the case
  3. use a pen to mark the area that has to be cut out
  4. use a dremel or a similar tool to remove the plastic
  5. Powerstrip is used to fix the drive at its new position.

Moving the harddrive to its new position

The harddrive will be put where the internal disk drive used to be. Remove the disk drive and make sure that the internal disk drive connector can not be shortened by accident (e.g. by putting an old IDE or floppy connector onto it).

The RF shielding may cause short circuits too - make sure that you either remove enough of it to avoid that or put some isolating material around the harddrive.



The floppy disk drive

When booting, the A1200 will spend a few seconds searching for the internal floppy disk drive. Additionally, Workbench might complain about the missing disk drive. Both problems can be easily solved by connecting pins #1 of the internal floppy disk drive connector with the pin below it. The boot process will be slightly faster after this modification.

But with these pins connected, your A1200 will not recognise external disk drives. Therefore Egon connected the pins using a switch: The switch is closed most of the time, but you can open it at any time (even if the machine is already up and running) to access external disk drives and close it again afterwards.



More pictures

Here are some more pictures showing various details of Egon's hack:



Additional notes

The scsi.device included with AmigaOS 3.0/3.1 is not able to handle ATAPI drives (like CD-ROM or CD-RW drives), so you'll have to use a replacement. AmigaOS 3.5+ comes with an updated scsi.device, another option would be the shareware IDEFix.

Egon equipped his A1200 with the CD-RW drive mentioned above. BurnIt does not have specific support for this particular drive, but the generic driver (No. 9) works fine.

If you did not connect the pins on the internal floppy disk drive connector as described above, Workbench may complain about the missing disk drive - OS 3.5+ users should deactivate drive "DF0:" in the Workbench preferences to avoid this.

Egon can be contacted at Egone@freenet.de. Please note that his English is (quoting Egon) "pretty poor", so you may contact us aswell, we'll forward your feedback to Egon. (cg) (Translation: cg)

[News message: 28. Oct. 2003, 00:25] [Comments: 0]
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