Automated CD ripper build from Lego and other parts

[Paul Rea] decided it was finally time to get rid his CD and DVD library by ripping the data onto a hard drive. He has a rather extensive collection of discs and didn’t relish the thought of ripping them one at a time. So he set to work building his own automatic CD ripper/duplicator.

Right off the bat he had several specifications for the build. He wanted it to be platform independent, reliable, and cheap to build. We think he really hit the mark, but he does mention that he’s got a second duplicator build in mind already. This version makes heavy use of Lego parts for the arm and gearing. The base has a stepper motor which swings the arm in an arc which reaches the input pile, the optical drive try, and the output bin. The arm itself has a two-part wooden gripper that is positioned over a CD and uses a limiting switch to sense when the vertical orientation is at the proper point for gripping a disc. We enjoyed reading his log as he discusses the various building challenges he encountered and how each was overcome.

We’ve seen a few other builds like this before. One of our favorites is from way back.

Comments

  1. Ted says:

    “He has a rather extensive collection of discs and didn’t relish the thought of ripping them one at a time.” So instead he opted to spend twice as long building this contraption. ;)

    It’s ok, I could relate!

    • Shadyman says:

      Well, building something is fun. Doing something repetitive like inserting disc after disc is boring. ;)

    • Dario says:

      i once had to read a book to find the names and some stuff. I wrote a program to find nomes and stuff enclosed by “”. It took me a days and half playing with the code, and in that time i’m sure that if i wanted i could have finished the book.
      But oing the program and then just copipasting the output was way less bothersome than reading all the text looking for names….

      I think that building that cd changer is a win, he might have taken more time to make it that it would have taken to do it by hand, but imagine the usefullnes of it if you want to write 40 dvds to make a full backup of your hdd……i would even pay to have one of those.
      (but i buy hdds instead of dvds to make backup :P )

      • Kris Lee says:

        This is fantastic idea! But because nobody really wants a backup but the restore then you just have to run the system backwards to build the restore afterwards.

        Only problem is that to backup 1 TB you’ll need about 125 double layer DVDs.

        With double layer BluRay the needed disc count is reduced to 20 but it would cost 4 times more than equivalent HDD.

  2. ryanf says:

    The part I like best about this is the gripper mechanism for the CD’s. It has to be the simplest idea to pick up a CD that I’ve ever seen. Not that I’m any kind of expert on CD gripping, but it just looks simple and effective. I wish I had this when I transferred my CD collection last year. Nice job!

  3. Hackerspacer says:

    Independent, reliable, and cheap to build.

    Except you only get to choose two.

  4. Can someone PLEASE make a custom drive that recovers messed up pressed DVD-DL disks?

    I hate having half a movie because the )&)(!£$ing layer transition is messed up.

    Suggestions:- custom firmware on a cheap £20 drive and modify or upgrade the laser to increase read power beyond normal levels to increase the SNR.

    Someone also suggested “burning” a DL pressed disk as a way to re-fuse the disrupted adhesive enough to recover the disk, if this works it could save people a lot of hassle.

    Ideas, slave two drives together so that the steppers and spindle motors are synchronised.

    Alternate idea *2, make your DVD disk into a Lightscribe by sticking on a transfer.

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