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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Solderless PMT Probe

Diagram show Back of Plugs - Wires Comin' Atcha!

[Open] - No Wire
[Closed] - Wire
[Probe] - Replace Wire with Probe, or add Probe to Wire
[Switch] - Replace Wire with Switch

Back View of Board Plug: (Wires would be coming out of the screen at you)

       | |                 | |
[ 1] [ 3] [ 5] [ 7] [  9] [11]
[ 2] [ 4]
 [ 6] [ 8] [10] [12]

[ 5]===========| |===========[ 5]       - Probe

[ 6]===========/ _==========[ 6]        - Toggle Switch         

Back View of Drive Plug: (Again, wires would be coming out of the screen at you)

       | |                 | |
[ 1] [ 3] [ 5] [ 7] [  9] [11]
[ 2] [ 4]
 [ 6] [ 8] [10] [12]

- Add Probe to 5
- Remove straight wired connection from 6 and replace with toggle switch

Items Needed:
   Stock DVD Drive Power Cable (or buy one here for $2.40 shipped)
   Switch and wires from old computer build; front panel (or buy some wires here for $3.60, without the
           switch. Radioshack should have a decent switch available.)
        Power Switch with attached wires and connectors (removed from plastic housing)
        Wire from front panel peripherals (x2; one side of one wire stripped)
   Leg of infrared LED (or any small, electrically sound, metal object to use as a probe. A pin or needle would
        work as well)

Tools Needed:
   Small flathead screwdriver or thin metal pry bar
   Electrical tape (just in case)

Completely solderless DIY Pogo Mo Thoin Probe.

I made one out of old parts, and it worked a million times better than cutting traces and soldering the PCB (MRA Hack). I'm going to order an extra cable from DealExtreme ($2.40, free shipping takes about a month to arrive) to make a permanent (ie. extra, soldered) version I can use to swap out and update firmware. The switch will be especially handy when updating, letting you power on/off the drive as needed.

I started out by disconnecting the [5] and [6] wires from the plug. The easiest way to do this (just like disconnecting the plastic housing on your front panel wires) is to pry up the small flap of plastic above the wire and pull it out. For the [5] wire, I used a long piece of wire for the front panel speaker, with metal connectors still attached. These connectors fit perfectly into the DVD power cord plug. I jammed the 'probe' (the LED leg) into this connector as well as the spliced end of another length of wire (with the connector also attached at the other end), creating a very snug fit with very little wiggle for the probe. Insert the opposite ends of your new probe wire into the [5] slots. The same was done with the [6] wire. It was removed and replaced with the power button switch. I checked all connections and the switch with a multimeter and recommend you do the same.

Update (3/10/12):

After receiving my extra DVD power cable, I went ahead and made an improved, soldered, easier to use, permanent version of this probe. The steps were exactly the same as above, but I soldered on a toggle switch from an old flash bulb, along with a green LED indicator light so I can tell whether the probe is on or off. I used a cardboard spool from some old thermal paper I found at work for the body, and closed everything up with some epoxy putty on either end. Here's my end result..

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