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AppleCD 300 recapping guide (may apply to other models, e.g. 150, 300 Plus and 600)

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Hi folks. It's time to recap your CD drives! If you haven't done so already, and plan on keeping your CD drives in good working order, I recommend doing this sooner rather than later.


The reason for this is the same as Mac logic boards, as these drives also use the same type of electrolytic SMD capacitors which leak over time. The capacitor leakage corrodes the board and as capacitors lose their electrolyte, they lose their ability to function as they should.


I decided to tackle my external AppleCD 300 today, which I've put off for some time. The drive I recapped is a Sony CDU561-25. Your model may differ so be sure to check it, as the capacitors you need may be different.


Disassembly is straight forward. Remove the 4 side screws (the painted ones) plus the top two back screws holding the cover on. Slide cover off.


With the cover off, take note of the orientation of the cables at the back of the drive.




Remove the screws towards the front of the drive, holding the shielding on.


Carefully remove the cables connected to the PCB. I used a little plastic spudger tool to pull the plastic tabs holding the ribbon cables.




Take note of the orientation and capacitance/voltage ratings of the capacitors you're about to remove.


I am replacing with tantalums, so the orientation will be the opposite of the electrolytics I'm replacing.


The caps on this board are:


4 x 100uf 6.3 V

3 x 47uf 16V

2 x 10uf 16V




With the caps removed, this is what the leakage looked like on mine:



The UV solder mask, traces and solder pads on this board feel quite thin - very easy to scrape things away compared to Mac logic boards I've worked on. So be careful with this.


After cleanup/removal, things looked like this:




New caps (before cleaning off flux):




But we're not done yet! There's another board hiding at the front...this is the one that most recap guides seem to miss for some reason.




At first I thought the plastic bezel had to come off the front by pulling the plastic tabs along the top, but that's not how it comes off.


Remove the small screw towards the front, on both sides:



Before pulling the front off, you need to disconnect the ribbon cable connecting the front board to the rest of the unit:



Then you can pull the front bezel/board away.


And then you can remove the two small screws holding the board to the bezel, that will make it easier to work on.


This board uses 3 x 100uf 6.3V capacitors.




In progress:




Both boards done and cleaned:



While I was in there, I decided to re-grease a few bits:



Reattaching the boards is reversal of the removal - don't forget the ribbon cable for the front board/bezel like I did...




With the boards back in place, the shield can go back on the top, remember that the front two screws go on top of the shield, not under it.




Make sure all the cables are back in place as they should be at the back of the CD drive.


Then put the cover back on.


I also gave mine new feet, the old ones were disintegrating...




Hope you found this useful. Thanks for reading.


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Thanks a lot for this helpful guide!


FYI, my Sony CDU561-25 has a bigger board with the spindle motor attached to it instead of that small board (see the attached pictures). That's probably due to the fact that my drive is an internal one that comes with the PowerMacintosh 6100/60Av.


I'm somewhat reluctant to take out this bigger board. I don't want to damage the spindle motor...

Sony CDU561 front panel view.jpg

Sony CDU561 internal front view.jpg

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