Reply 620 of 625, by Robert B
Nice! 2X CD-ROM drives are a thing of beauty 😄
MI-mi-MI-mi-MI-(clears throat) MITSUMI!
There is no secret that I absolutely love optical disk drives. Here I'm mainly talking about the old optical units that have a low speed rating. If I would have to give an explanation for this fact then I'll have to say that I think it is because I was optical disk drives deprived when I was little. 😁 You see, back in the day, when the floppy disk was the main way to transfer data between PCs not just about anybody could own a CD-ROM unit. Yep, when I was rocking an 850MB HDD and a CD could hold 650-700MB I really didn't have much reason to smile.
I still remember my first CD-ROM unit, back in '98, an LG CRD-8160B, 16x. Initially I was supposed to receive a Toshiba 12x but I got the LG 16x instead. 16x is way better than 12x I said to myself but what did I know back then ...
The LG 16x proved to be very temperamental. It only read silver disks and any other color put a heavy strain on the poor thing. In spite of this I used the unit for many years. Later I bought my first CD-RW Teac, BTC and ASUS units, but even if my first LG was a dud, I still preferred LG ODDs. I still have my good ol' LG GSA-4163B. That one is bullet proof, except for the rubber belt, that for sure won't last a lifetime. 😁
In todays episode I will present a Mitsumi CRMC-FX001D CD ROM with an incredible 2x speed rating which in the end had its way with me.
Yep, she got the last laugh in the end. Let's see how has this happened.
Double the speed Double the fun?
I found the Mitsumi CD ROM at the local flea market from my city sitting in a dirty cardboard box. Together with some other sisters, it sat with it ass up and only my curiosity made me pick it up and look at its face.
Just by looking at it I already new that it was a Mitsumi unit. The Double Speed string filled in the missing blanks and I knew that I had in my hands a mighty 2x CD-ROM unit.
I looked closely at it and after a thorough inspection I put it back in the box.
Too much hassle I said to myself. I knew that I could make it great again but I just didn't feel like doing it.
The following week I went again at the flea market and my thought went instinctively towards the 2x unit. Unfortunately I couldn't find it.
RIP, old relic of times gone by, I said to myself.
After several weeks I was in for a surprise. The dirty cardboard box appeared again.
BEHOLD! The 2x wonder!
How much is it? 2 EUR? Here you go sir!
On the same day I bought the Mitsumi unit I also bought a sealed copy of Windows 98 or should I say Deuxieme Edition. Not a bad combo IMO.
Even if I had many undergoing projects I decided to restore the Mitsumi unit ASAP!
As a note, no matter what you decide to tear up or restore, always make clear pictures with everything you deem to be of importance. Screws, cables, clips, etc. Even if you are absolutely sure that you will remember everything I must tell you that in most cases than not you will forget a detail and then you will have to search for hours or days for pictures on the Internet or it will take you hours to determine where everything goes back. Been there done that.
Screws or otherwise you'll be screwed.
Count the teeth as you will need it for later.
Remember the orientation.
The disassembly of the unit was in general straight forward, screws, plastic clips.
In the case of this unit to eject the tray you don't need a paper clip but a small screwdriver which fits into the small opening at the front of the unit. You have to rotate the screwdriver in a counter clockwise motion. It will take quite a few revolutions until the laser body is in its down position and only after this the tray will start to open slowly. After the tray is out a few centimeters all it takes to open it fully is a gentle pull.
After the tray was fully opened and I wanted to remove it completely from the unit I had to use "brute force" and push it upwards until the teeth from the side cleared the sprocket inside. (In the case of the newer units this is much easier to do as you only have to deal with some plastic clips.) This is why I had to make good pictures and also count the teeth for the correct position of the tray. The required force to remove the tray isn't great and the whole operation needs finesse. I'll give you more details when present how I put back the tray.
There might be another method to completely remove the tray but I didn't want to fiddle with the sprockets inside or to dismantle the unit further.
The removal of the metal case had to be done with the tray closed as it is held in place by a few plastic hooks placed at the front.
After I took apart the unit I was greeted by an all too familiar view. Yep, rust, glad to see you old friend! ^$#&^##!!!
The mechanism inside was in very good shape.
I removed the paper label that wasn't from factory and I was finally able to see the exact model of the unit.
Rusty rust rust.
To get rid of the rust inside I first tried cotton sticks and a rust removal solution but the results where kind of meh. I was successful in my attempt to remove the rust but I was left with discolored areas. This was to be expected but I needed something better as I wasn't going to let the metal looking like this.
After a short deliberation and an initial test I decided to polish the metal with a felt wheel and polishing compound. I didn't want to take this operation to the extreme and I didn't want to repair all the dings and the small imperfections. They give the unit character.
The results of the polishing stage were above my expectations.
Rust be gone!
To remove the rust from the plastic surfaces I first used a rust removal solution but this didn't yield good results.
In the end I used polishing paste, soft rags and cotton sticks. In the past, to clean the plastic surfaces I used CIF cream but the use of polishing paste was better as the results were quicker and the plastics looked better. I didn't overdo the polishing stage and I didn't use too much pressure when I polished the plastics. When I saw that the dirt was gone and the rust vanished I stopped. Afterwards I washed the parts with water and Fairy dish soap and then it was a case of drying time.
The insides were pretty clean considering the age and the origin of the unit.
Always check all the connectors for stuff like this. Pins that aren't supposed to be touching are always a bad thing.
Ever since I first laid my eyes on the PCB I was amused by the way the capacitors looked. It was as if a hurricane came and it put them down. Their position isn't random. If they were to sit upright they just wouldn't fit under the mechanism. Funny fact.
The PCB was cleaned well. It came out shining.
After "the mechanical peeling" stage the plastics came out looking nice. Some deep scratches have been left as they were. There are methods to eliminate them but I didn't want to do this.
While I was cleaning the insides of the unit I was surprised to find something interesting. After I removed a metal cover from the laser assembly I was greeted by a 26 years old fingerprint from the one that assembled the unit. 😁 For that extra effect, I decided to polish the outside of the cover and leave the fingerprint intact.
The insides of the unit were cleaned well. I cleaned the laser lens by gently touching it with a microfiber cloth dipped in IPA 99%.
No rubber belt. In the picture you can clearly see why a small screwdriver is needed when you want to eject the tray when the unit is unpowered. The screwdriver engages the small metal strip by the hole in the front. A gentle push compresses the tiny spring and the plastic cone engages the rubber wheel. The turning of the screwdriver in a counter clockwise motion ejects the tray.
After I used some silicone grease on some of the metal parts and sprockets I was ready to put everything back as it was. I must say that the original grease was still good and a great part of it was redistributed where it was needed. If something is still good why not use it?
Inserting the tray was the exact opposite of the removal procedure. I know it sounds cheesy but it is as I said. In the picture you can clearly see how I had to deform the plastic a little to clear the teeth from the sprocket. 4 teeth was the exact number. Remember to always check the number of teeth as there can be difference between units. Don't use excessive force. Common sense is the name of the game. To make it easier you can use a marker to pinpoint the correct position.
Silicone grease. I used cotton sticks to spread the silicone grease in a thin and uniform layer. Too much is not recommended.
Some assemblies required! 😁
As I said before you cannot assemble or disassemble the unit with the tray ejected. At least not without damaging something.
As good as new.
Ever since I bought my first flea market ODD I wanted to find a CD inside. Well, eventually I got my wish, but what I found inside isn't something worth talking about. I was hoping for something better but this is just a time capsule.
My job is completed! My latest and greatest project is done!
When the unit was done I was anxious to test it but something caught my attention. No SLAVE/MASTER/CABLE SELECT jumper? 40 pins interfaces aren't always the same!
Wait a minute! This isn't an IDE/ATAPI unit! Damn! I need a proprietary card with a Mitsumi interface! Damn it!
A quick FCC ID search EW4CRMC-FX001D confirmed my suspicion. https://fccid.io/EW4CRMC-FX001D Internal CD-ROM Drive * A CD-ROM interface card must be supplied with each unit.
I searched in all of my boxes for a soundcard with a Mitsumi interface but I didn't find one. Bummer. That sux!
Besides a soundcard or an add-on card with a Mitsumi interface the correct drivers are also required. I had the same problem when I restored a Creative CR-563-B 2x unit and the whole operation took some work. In the end the Creative unit was unusable as the laser was quite tired. Or should I say dead tired. 😁
All I could do was to power up the Mitsumi ODD and see if it would try to read a disk. The sounds it made and its behaviour led me to believe that it is still in good working condition. Until proven contrary I consider this unit @ 100%.
Even if the Mitsumi units are looked upon like a Cinderella of the ODDs, I was impressed by the construction, the attention to detail, the Nichicon capacitors, the ICs Made In Japan. All in all it is a solid unit.
As they say, who laughs last laughs best and for now it seems that the Mitsumi laughed last but don't fret as I'm pretty sure that we haven't reached the end of this story. I sense a rematch some time down the road, days, weeks, years, who cares, I always finish what I start! 😁
Now I'm starting to have the urge to start buying old CD-ROM drives 😁
Thanks peido. 😀
Me too. Just last weekend I almost bought another Mitsumi CRMC-FX001D CD ROM but it was missing the tray face plate, plus another 8x and 2x CD-ROM units but I said I need to chill and I took a cold shower. So NO PURCHASE FOR ME!!! 😁
Next episode will feature something newer but I applied the same principles I always do. ALL IN or ALL OUT!!! 😁
After so many ATI 9800 casualties I said I need some GREEN in my life and guess what, this GTX 470 fit the bill nicely. I had to chose from an ATI 6870 and this puppy. NO BRAINER! 😁
Excellent CD resto and looking forwards to the next!
98se:- Asus A8v Dlx. A-64 3000+, 512 mb ddr, nVidia 4400Ti, SB Live.
XP Pro:- Asus P5 Q SE Plus, C2D E8400, 4 Gig DDR2, Radeon HD4870, SB Audigy 2ZS.
Windows Home Server v1 :- Gigabyte GA-EP43, c2D E8400, Bunch of SATA HDD's.