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Old 21 February 2017, 02:34   #1
Adrian Browne
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A1200 External Cd drive?

Hi I'm looking to purchase a Cd drive for my A1200.
I know it can be connected via the pcmcia slot but can it be connected to another port on the a1200?

I remember some audio issues with cd drives via pcmcia? Is this an issue? Audio cables etc.

I'm not seeing many options at amiga stores. Amigakit have this one but its out of stock, but will it work on my a1200?

http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/...oducts_id=1110

Vesalia have this one http://www.vesalia.de/e_amigaslimcddrive.htm

But it seems that i need to connect it internally. i don't want to open my a1200 again. i have a cf gaming card and an 030 accelerator in it anyhow.

What is the best option? Anyone know where i can get a somewhat inexpensive external cd drive for my a1200?

I just ordered a new psu as i dont trust my old one anymore.
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Old 21 February 2017, 02:50   #2
Pat the Cat
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You got three options for connecting a CD-ROM drive - external on PCMCIA SCSI, external on internal accelerator SCSI (usually via a backplate with a suitable connector or internal/external via IDE.

It's a lot cheaper (but often more hacky) to use IDE, often starting with a buffered IDEfix style of adaptor.

The accelerators are the most expensive options.

Look up cost of writers, a good SCSI Plextor drive will cost you hundreds. SCSI CD and even DVD ROM drives can be had, but writers are pricey if you want to burn the SCSI style.

Which is why most people hack an IDE drive onto the internal IDE connector.

Once you have decided on which interface you will use to control the drive digitally, plumbing in the audio is a question of plugging in the right cables. In thoery, some clockport adaptors let you plug in a digital output from a drive (not normal audio) and mix internally with Hifi sound output, but am unsure if the currently available option (Prisma MegaMix) has such an option. Most drives lack an output to connect that way, it's pretty specialist.

EDIT: Checked, Prisma Megamix does have a CDDA header but this will need a future SPDIF add on to make fully operational. Feature is still in development, AFAIK.

Last edited by Pat the Cat; 21 February 2017 at 03:16.
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Old 21 February 2017, 10:23   #3
Daedalus
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Clockport adaptors just for mixing audio are massively overkill, as they're effectively a complete soundcard just used for mixing capability.

No, the drive you linked to on AmigaKit will not work with your A1200 without some expensive adaptors; it uses Serial ATA, which is mainly intended for newer machines with that type of interface. The Vesalia drive will work, but as you rightly point out, requires an internal connection. Still, it's worth considering as it comes with a cable already set up to take your CF card, and gives you an IDE CD-ROM drive outside your case. Not ideal, but far cheaper than the Squirrel SCSI option. With some plastic surgery it could also be fitted inside the case (I have an A1200 set up this way), but often people don't like this option. Something to bear in mind is that those slimline drives typically don't have a standard audio output.

To mix the audio on an A1200 with the output from the CD drive, you have to use the external audio ports on the A1200 unless you want to do some soldering. Passive mixers like this one are simple and can be used to mix the audio from the Amiga and a CD-ROM drive, but will reduce the overall output level a little. You need the 4-pin analogue CDDA output (which, despite the claims of the previous post, is actually "normal" analogue audio), which is what most drives that have audio out will have. Just have a look when you're buying because some drives have a non-standard connector, or no output at all, especially the slimline 2.5" types.

Alternatively, if your aim is just to play the occasional CD, you can use software such as SongPlayer to stream the audio data over the SCSI or IDE interface and play it through the native Amiga audio output. This will reduce quality a little and require some CPU time so other CPU-heavy activities may cause it to pause or stutter, and it will slow down drive access on that bus, but involves no more than the data connection itself.
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Old 21 February 2017, 13:05   #4
Adrian Browne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
Clockport adaptors just for mixing audio are massively overkill, as they're effectively a complete soundcard just used for mixing capability.

No, the drive you linked to on AmigaKit will not work with your A1200 without some expensive adaptors; it uses Serial ATA, which is mainly intended for newer machines with that type of interface. The Vesalia drive will work, but as you rightly point out, requires an internal connection. Still, it's worth considering as it comes with a cable already set up to take your CF card, and gives you an IDE CD-ROM drive outside your case. Not ideal, but far cheaper than the Squirrel SCSI option. With some plastic surgery it could also be fitted inside the case (I have an A1200 set up this way), but often people don't like this option. Something to bear in mind is that those slimline drives typically don't have a standard audio output.

To mix the audio on an A1200 with the output from the CD drive, you have to use the external audio ports on the A1200 unless you want to do some soldering. Passive mixers like this one are simple and can be used to mix the audio from the Amiga and a CD-ROM drive, but will reduce the overall output level a little. You need the 4-pin analogue CDDA output (which, despite the claims of the previous post, is actually "normal" analogue audio), which is what most drives that have audio out will have. Just have a look when you're buying because some drives have a non-standard connector, or no output at all, especially the slimline 2.5" types.

Alternatively, if your aim is just to play the occasional CD, you can use software such as SongPlayer to stream the audio data over the SCSI or IDE interface and play it through the native Amiga audio output. This will reduce quality a little and require some CPU time so other CPU-heavy activities may cause it to pause or stutter, and it will slow down drive access on that bus, but involves no more than the data connection itself.
So with the slimline vesalia cd rom drive I can just attach it internally? No soldering or mucking about required? I do have an internal cf gaming card, so i can still use this it seems. If the drive does not have a standard audio output, what would you recommend? An adapter of some kind? And will the cables sticking out of the a1200 be a problem? I think there is one opening on the back of the a1200? A little backplate exists there.
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Old 21 February 2017, 13:34   #5
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That particular one has a casing on it to be used externally, but it could be mounted internally. No soldering required, though you would have to be creative about mounting it, and will have to cut chunks out of the A1200's case, which is what I did but not everyone is happy with that approach.

As for audio, if the CD drive doesn't have an audio out, there's nothing for an adaptor to do. You can play CDs through the standard Amiga outputs using software to stream the audio as data, but that's not ideal and won't work with games that use the CD as a soundtrack for example. If that's important for you, you'll probably need a different solution with a full-sized CD-ROM drive and some sort of mixer.

Another thing to bear in mind is that not all CF cards play nicely with other devices on the same bus. Some are hard-wired to be a single master, which I guess is understandable... But it means that it's the luck of the draw as to whether your card will work with an IDE optical drive connected that way.

Last edited by Daedalus; 21 February 2017 at 13:39.
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Old 21 February 2017, 14:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
That particular one has a casing on it to be used externally, but it could be mounted internally. No soldering required, though you would have to be creative about mounting it, and will have to cut chunks out of the A1200's case, which is what I did but not everyone is happy with that approach.

As for audio, if the CD drive doesn't have an audio out, there's nothing for an adaptor to do. You can play CDs through the standard Amiga outputs using software to stream the audio as data, but that's not ideal and won't work with games that use the CD as a soundtrack for example. If that's important for you, you'll probably need a different solution with a full-sized CD-ROM drive and some sort of mixer.

Another thing to bear in mind is that not all CF cards play nicely with other devices on the same bus. Some are hard-wired to be a single master, which I guess is understandable... But it means that it's the luck of the draw as to whether your card will work with an IDE optical drive connected that way.
Yeah, basically I want to run games via the cd rom, some music cds, etc. Scsi drives are pricey I think.Another problem is that I have an easynet aga pcmcia wireless internet card. The software is contained on a cd however, so i cannot set up the internet without a cd drive. Is there a method to rip the files from the cd somehow? But i have a few cd based indie amiga games too, downfall etc. But then I would need a method of transferring files from pc to amiga I suppose. The cf card is my hard-drive. Hmm.. would this help?
http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/...roducts_id=440

Getting online is my priority really.
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Old 21 February 2017, 14:21   #7
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A CF PCMCIA adaptor like that is the simplest way of transferring files between the Amiga and anywhere else. You can easily copy the files from the CD-ROM to the CF card on the PC and then install them from the CF card on the Amiga. That should help you install most games too, so you could still play them without the soundtrack. If you need the CD audio soundtrack, or the games can't be installed though there's not much else you can do other than use a full-sized CD-ROM drive and a small mixer. You'll need an enclosure too with a power supply unless you're willing to do some messing about.
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Old 21 February 2017, 15:09   #8
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@Adrian Browne

I have had some fun with converting IDE to SATA and ESATA - you can get external slim line (SFF) external SATA optical drives - which in themselves are simple 50 pin JAE to SATA converter.

I used an IDE -> SATA Bidirectional Bridge (you can get these under £10 on eBay) and paired this with an External SATA SFF (Small Form Factor) external DVD ROM Drive.

There is a caveat to this though

1) You will need to make an external connection for the ESATA PORT
* I robbed one from a PC fly-over back-plate and made a nice little port on the side of the Amiga (A1200).

2) Your optical device will require its own power and may not come with one.
* I used a 1amp 5volt plug-pack (Wall Wart) PSU at the time

3) Not all IDE->SATA (BI-DIRECTIONAL) bridges work with the Amiga's PIO mode 0
*I bought a few from various vendors at about £4 each a few years back - some simply just wont present the device on the Amiga's IDE chain so you mileage may vary.


It is important to ensure you get one that is BI-DIRECTIONAL and works with Optical Devices this means you can use it on the host as opposed to a device. Mine, which actually worked - looks like this -



Remember if you are unsure, always ask the seller.

I hope that helps.
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Old 21 February 2017, 15:26   #9
Adrian Browne
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Well I bought the easy adf pcmcia thingie for now. I will have to wait a few weeks before I consider splashing out on a cd drive. I bought a cd tv controller, psu, and easy adf. Thats enough for now I think. Thanks for all the suggestions guys.
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Old 21 February 2017, 17:36   #10
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Squirrel SCSI is what I have.
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