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Tutorial: How to build an internal 3 inch SDCard HxC drive for your Amstrad

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are you sad? Your 3 inch Disc Drives are not working safe. Replacing the Belt annoying you? Mechanics is old and faulty? Welcome in the year 2010, your hardware is 25 years old, so no wonder....

Thanks Lotharek we all got a new SD Card HxC for your CPC. But hey, wouldnt it be nice to get this thingy inside your good old Arnold, without doing rough mods or cutting out out big holes into the poor case?

Sure it would be..... i tell you how to do that.

Watch out you need the following items.

an old faulty 3"inch disc drive (  i bet you all have one or more under your bed)
Some doublecontacted perfboard
Soldering Iron / solder
Vacuum Pump for Desoldering (if you do a mistake)
40 wire Ribbon Cable
26 Pins Socket Connector
40 Pins Socket Connector
a sharp knife
a Dremel for cut, drill and to make loud noise - so all neighbours can hear you are busy in a project
an DVD Amaroy Case
3 Micro Switch Buttons
2 self glueing plastic Motherboard Distance holders
a lots of old PC Motherboard Jumpers
Patience and a big cup of coffee

Lets begin:

First we dismantle the original faulty Amstrad 3" inch Disc Drive. You will be wondered how much parts inside this old thingy.

We will just use the frame of the drive:

Now cut a perfboard to fit inside the frame. I used the Dremel for that, but you use a sharp scissor or a saw too.

Now you use a pliers and bow down and break out the little metal tongues from the frame, so the perfboard is fitting to the metal frame.

Looks nice eh? Well done, but still lots to do now....

Now you look under the frame and drill some holes into the old mounting holes from the Disc Drive PCB. You can use the old screws and drill them inside the new perfboard. At the upside you use some Tesa Strips for isolation of the metalscrews. Looks like that here:

and the downside:

See i used the old screws from the amstrad disc drive to hold the new perfboard.

Next we do a new frontplate for your old DiscDrive from an DVD amaroy case. Please open the Amaroy Case and then you cut out a piece of plastic with a sharp knife.
Its easy to do, as you see at the pictures.

Next step is to cut out the Frontplate of the Amstrad Disc Drive. So we can snap in the Display of the SDCard HxC. Please remove the Display from your HxC now and use a caliper to measure out the frame and the Display. Then you cut out the frame with a dremel. It stinks and make lots of noises, but hey we love that or?
Be careful with the old plastic. Its a thermoplast and you dont need much power to cut that out. Its easy to do. After cutting out you use a file to smooth the edges. If you have done correct, the Display snaps into old Amstrad Frontplate.

Now you cut out a Display Window in your new Amaroy DVD Frontplate. Its easy to measure and it should be possible to do this nice. Use a sharp knife and a good ruler to do that without an accident. And always remember take time to do that and you will get a nice look at your work.

Fits nice or? What a good idea by me? LOL :-) go on, you have a lot to do.....

First look WOW .... it grows and grows.....

Now open you holy CPC6128 and remove the upper case. Please be careful with the Keyboard foil shoe. Open from right to left side and you will see that here:

I bet you all know whats inside a CPC 6128 and how its looking there. But if you really open it for the first time in your life, then dont be panic. You cant nothing destroy here if you are not a really stupid tooltime worker.

Please remove the internal 3inch Disc Drive now. You need a screwdriver and open the two screws left sided the frame. Pull up the connectors and that it.
Now we can put in our new growing SDCard HxC Drive for a first look.

Wow .... yes you did it and its looking nice. But still a lot to do. So lets continue with soldering a simple LCD Cable to connect the HxC LCD Display with the board.

Its easy to do. I used some really simple Parts and PC Jumpers for connection. I had 1000 of them in my room and so i decided to use them for it. You can buy a real connector if you like a better look. I am a nerd so i am using jumpers. LOL

the scratch at my LCD was there since i open the parcel ( i swear Lotharek - i swear...) but the Display is still in function and if you solder it correct you should see that:

Well done, you did your first soldering for today and a good job if your LCD is still working correct. So next steps.....

Change the red and the orange wire of the Disc Drive power connector inside your CPC6128 and please remove the 12V spiral cable. You will never need it again in the rest of your life. The CPC has got a changed connector from Amstrad, 12V and 5v are not used in normal way.  So we change it back to normal connector. 5Volt at the correct side please. I used a micro screwdriver to hold up the little white pin and pull out the cable. Then simply change the place of it. It clicks smoothly inside....done.....

Now you drill a big hole at the left side of your new perfboard pcb and file it clean and smoothly like i did it here:

Now i crimped a CPC6128 internal 3,5" Disc Drive adapter cable. You can find the instructions to do that at the spanish CPC sites or watch out this piccy. Its speaking for itself and you can crimp it like its done here. I used the same picture and its working fine. Dont solder a Side Select Switch. The HxC Dont need a side switch. I kept the bridge open and NOT soldered together. The other bridges are soldered together like in the picture:

I cut the wires so its more flexible and fits fine into the new drilled hole of your perfboard PCB. I used some Tesa Strips to fix the cable and the connector at the perfboard.

Now you need a hotglue pistol to glue the connector to your perfboard PCB.

Its looking like a real 3"inch Drive isnt it?

Now you can mount the metal bracket back to the frame. Please install the LCD now and fix it with a small strip of Tesa or some hotglue.

You see i did a nice cable tree and its flexible enough not to hurt the HxC PCB or the LCD.

Please connect your new 3inch HxC now to your CPC and do a full function test. If its working fine, we continue now with some great case mod.

The next steps should be done very slow, with lots of patience and please do an exactly measurement for cutting out the slot and the micro switches.
The Slot is 3cm over the tableplate and its a bit tricky to do that now. But i know you can do it. Patience is most important and you will get a good result.

Lets see, drill, cut and file now:

A bit rough or? Not looking nice..... i can do that better !


Next step is to drill the 3 holes for the microswitches. I am using the same switches like Lotharek did but with an longer axis. the axis length is 8mm. I soldered 3 microswitches at a perfboard pcb in a row. The space between them is about 0.75 cm but please do a self measurement. I used the middle and did it like that:

yes yes i know there is a scratch at my case. Its there since 20 years so i am okay with that. LOL its not an accident of my case mod. It was my brother long time ago with his old digital watch...... fairy tales.... lets go back to work now.

You can see i am using self adhesive PCB distancer to mount the microswitch pcb. its so simple to do, if you drilled the holes correct you just need to press it inside and voila its done. Look here:

Do you see how smooth the SD Card is fitting in your new case mod? WOW, and there is still enough place for your sausagefingers to pull it out again. Its working fine and looks perfect.

NOW YOU ARE DONE.... Congratulations you did a great job. Lets do an intensive function test with loading a Demo or some games. If everything is working fine, you can screw the case again and you are done. I did some more mods and changed the Power LED from RED to a pink one now but thats just fun.

............... DONE for now.......

Still to do if you like:

Desolder the SMD LED from HxC PCB and add some nice LED to the CPC Case. I havnt done now, cause its so fuzzy to do that with a SMD soldering iron - maybe i will do that in future.

There is still a lot of space inside your CPC6128 now. You can add a harddisc or a memory expansion under the new 3inch SD Card HxC Drive. I will check out if its possible to add a 3,5inch B: Drive internal. Maybe i will try that with a slimline Disc Drive. The result is that you have a complete all in one CPC6128 and no external periphery at your desk. Well we will see......

Have kindly regards

Tom / Pentagon of Noob Inc. 2012

to be continued.......

Awesome work!

I was trying to came up with a similar solution but with the SD slot and the three buttons also in the front panel.


Excellent handy work Pentagon and a really neat solution. A project you can be proud of.
Maybe you should copy it over to the Wiki DIY section ?


Thank you very much, i dont know how to add that to wiki and i will not touch the holy wiki. Maybe Devilmarkus can help me to make this thread sticky and to add to wiki.

Kindly regards
Tom / Pentagon of Noob Inc.


--- Quote from: Pentagon on 14:51, 07 July 10 ---Maybe Devilmarkus can help me to make this thread sticky and to add to wiki.

--- End quote ---

I am not well known to the Wiki-Syntax, but I am sure others are.
So i give this job away ;)

Topic made sticky.


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