Push or Pull Actuators
CD Drive Conversion 

Some persons with disabilities do not have the dexterity to activate the games or other devices designed and built by RCRV.  In these cases a mechanical transducer is required to push or pull a lever to activate device.  The person with disabilities may press a button that is attached to a low voltage circuit.  The person may then see the cause and effect relationship between pressing the button and the action of the game or other device.

Malfunctioning CD drives used in personal computers can be adapted to act as a mechanical transducer.  The opening and closing action of the CD tray is used as the push or pull actuator.  The motors in the CD drive generally operate at low voltage and are geared to provide enough force to trigger many devices.  The CD drive must be modified to respond to an external signal (the low voltage button press) and provide a push/pull arm.

CD drive construction varies significantly between manufacturers.  The CD drive that has been converted is NEC Model CDR-260.  Instructions are shown for the disassembly and re-assembly of the NEC CD drive.  This should serve as an example of how to perform this conversion.  However other models of CD drives may require variations on these instructions.

The following two pages provide detailed instructions on the disassembly and re-assembly of the NEC CD drive.  The The pages are quite large since they contain many pictures and will take at least 2 to 2.5 minutes to download each page on a 28.8K baud modem.
    CD Conversion Disassembly Instructions
    CD Conversion Assembly Instructions


A parts list and drawing for the additional supplies required for the CD drive conversion are available below.

Parts list

CD drive parts drawing

This information is circulated as a service to interested persons; no liability is accepted by RCRV in relation to its safety or applicability in individual cases or in relation to its installation or adaptation for which appropriate medical, engineering or other professional services ought to be obtained.  Permission is hereby give to reproduce this information sheet, drawing, or notes.  Please give RCRV and the sponsoring organization credit for any information, drawings or notes that are disseminated.  RCRV is a voluntary organization which provides assistance to disabled people utilizing the capabilities of retired technical volunteers, professional engineers, technicians and tradesmen.

2002 RCRV

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