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Apple PowerCD "portable" CD ROM drive


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1 hour ago, TechEdison said:

It's totally useful. It's a SCSI cd reader! Could probably use that with an old mac to install one of the operating systems that were more popular on CD than floppy.

Well, I meant not that useful in the context of its time.

Considering how quickly CDROM drives spread to laptops and desktops, imho, this device never delivered on the potential of its promise.

 

Edited by MOS8_030
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9 hours ago, MOS8_030 said:

Well, I meant not that useful in the context of its time.

Considering how quickly CDROM drives spread to laptops and desktops, imho, this device never delivered on the potential of its promise.

 

PowerCD is a computer, there's a teardown thread somewhere showing the amazing logic board in the base. I did the teardown and posted the thread to set the last nail in the coffin burying any mistaken notions that the DB-25 Player/Base interconnect was a SCSI connection. It's not, NEVER try to hook the player section up to a SCSI port.

 

Don't think you're looking at PowerCD's full feature set and its place within the development timeline of Optical Media.


Mine was built in 1993, 10 years after adoption of the CD for Music distribution. (SINGLE speed to this day!) PowerCD is a full fledged, standalone CD Player with remote control ready to hook up to an Amp/Receiver or even DeWalt's job site stereo radio/battery charger. [:D]

 

It's a full featured, standalone Photo CD player, with remote control, capable of use interactively for presentations on TV or acting as a sequential or random photo display when coupled with a TV in a boardroom or living room. This was but one year after Kodak's introduction of the standard.

 

PowerCD s a full featured, standalone VCD (VideoCD) player. DVD didn't happen until 1995! Again there's that amazing (for its time) remote control. Check that lil' puppy out, looks a bit ahead of its time, right?

 

Oh yeah, there's that computer CD-ROM thing and Laptop adoption. That hit the PowerBook 5300 in mini form a couple of years later (Independence Day) and the 1400 in full form factor in 1996, three years after my PowerCD was first hooked up to my PowerBook 100.

 

Dunno, when did the first 2x CD mechanism appear on the landscape?

 

Getting back to that lovely PowerBook Gray appearance: that's a AA battery pack/computer logic board combo holding up the player section. No TV necessary for accessing all the features above from my PowerBook 100 or its Duo 230/SCSI MiniDock replacement. No AC Adapter required to set up a grayscale presentation on either. Used the 2300c/PowerCD to do standalone slideshows at industry get-togethers running off battery power wherever I wanted to set it down. Interactively remote controlled or just sitting there randomly displaying my Portfolio and pics form the last "Letterhead Meet." Of course I could have been using the 1400c I didn't get until about 2002, but anyone with any day one color capable PowerBook could have done the same.

 

'nuf said. [;)]

 

 

addendum: found a bit of it:

PowerCD base unit REQUIRED!

Looks like the link for the full teardown there is to yet another of my many Disappeared Threads. :-/ 

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
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The radial optical pickup mechanism used in these drives are very high end, used in a lot of high-end CD players of the time. 

 

Similar to the Apple CD SC that I have, uses the KSS-151A which is another high end pickup that is sought after for repairing CD players. 

Edited by techknight
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HEH! [:D] Go, o, go! Yer killin' me.

 

Why do I even bother mucking about in attempts to convey my visual thoughts in the realm of language? :blink:

 

edit: wish I could remember which CPU Philips put on that board. PowerCD is a rebadged Philips product.

 

powercdinsidesb00.jpg&key=671e06ce74ac33

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
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Ya'll make an impassioned defense for sure! :)

 

I think I have the A/V cable for the unit somewhere.

Interesting about the KSS-151A optical pickup. I didn't know anything about that.

I also think I may have another PowerCD unit somewhere in the pile as well. ;)

 

Boy, if you folks like old documents, specs, and advertising material I found a whole box full of goodies. I'll scan a few items for you in the near future.

 

Oh hey, neat-o picture of the guts!

"Rebadged" Phillips unit mostly. From what I can tell the Phillips unit lacked the SCSI interface ability.

Edited by MOS8_030
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4 hours ago, techknight said:

I have the D-5 and I think a D7. Both needed new SMD caps to work properly but they work great now ;-)

Mine works but is a little flaky. It refuses to spin up sometimes. Probably needs some work. Do you know which caps need replaced? If so please PM me the info.

Although I really don't have access to proper soldering gear to properly do SMD stuff any more.

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Do the others have battery power base units? From the logos they were players for the media, but were they capable of doing slide shows and VCD presentations as standalone embedded processor gizmos? A teardown comparison would be interesting, anybody got pics of the Kodak/Philips base unit?

 

Now I'm wondering about Software/Hardware Apple development may have done or outsourced (from Philips?) to extend the capabilities of the baseline media players? I've always thought of it as "just a rebadged Philips product" and now it's clear that it was much more than that.

 

Since SCSI is a general purpose I/O standard, I wonder if it would be possible to develop an OS to run them as an old school 8bit home computer via Small Computer Systems Interface. MiniComputers were considered small when Shugart developed SASI during the production lifetime of the Apple II! It'll boil down to what SCSI controller is inside the base unit whether such a crazy software/firmware hack would be feasible, given a capable controller.

 

Less insane would be to see if there's room for BeagleBone or Rpi wedged in at the ROM socket for WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity. Pretty neat little battery operated case we have here and so much more powerful than MiniComputers of the SASI/SCSI 1 era.

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