DIY CD Autoloader


From the German Hackerspace Ffm comes this extremely robust DIY disc autoloader (translated)! We hope your German isn’t too rusty…

[David] was tired of copying his CD collection by hand, so he set out to make an open source DIY disc autoloader. His first prototype was this one, which we have to admit gets style points (it made use of a gaming PC tower as the enclosure).

One of his goals for the project was simplicity, and with that in mind he created a driverless solution, using mechanical actuators to do everything — all you have to do is plug in your computer to the drive. It makes use of a gripper taken from a notebook optical drive and a series of counterweights to pick up and deposit the disks. The frame is made of aluminum extrusion and the major functional brackets are all 3D printed.

To see it in action, stick around after the break. We personally like the use of the counterweight pulley in the back!

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Floppy Autoloader Takes The Pain Out Of Archiving 5000 Amiga Disks


Archiving data from old floppy disks can be a tedious process at best. Poorly labeled disks combined with slow transfer speeds put it high on the list of things we would rather not do, and it turns out that [Dweller] was of the same opinion. With an estimated 5,000 floppies in his collection, he finally decided it was time to clean house.

With no idea of what was stored where, he decided the best way to go about the process was to read all of the disks, archiving everything, saving the sorting process for later. He originally started by building a floppy autoloader out of Lego Mindstorm parts, which looked good on paper, but performed pretty poorly.

He came across an old floppy duplicator on eBay and figured that since the machine was built for handling gobs of disks, that it was the perfect base for his autoloader. He pulled the mechanical bits from the machine, incorporating them into the rig you see above. He swapped out the duplicator’s brains for an Arduino, which allows him to batch copy his disks and save a picture of each label with little effort.

He says that the system works great, making his life a lot easier (and less cluttered!)

Check out the video below to see his floppy autoloader in action.

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