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A CD Jukebox (a 25-year throwback...)

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by cpt_paranoia, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. cpt_paranoia

    cpt_paranoia Well-Known Member

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    This comment on the Frox speaker system thread got me thinking about someting I played with about 25 years ago...
    As my CD collection started to grow in the early 90's, I started playing with ideas for building a CD jukebox. It got the the stage of having a detailed design for the storage and picker system, with the storage being made from stacked, interlocking platters, each of which could carry 6 CDs in hexagonal pattern. The plan was that these platters would be glued together in stacks of 20, allowing storage of 120 CDs. You could then stack these 20-stacks on top of each other. The picker would ride up the inside of the stack, using the platters, with a helical umbilicus providing power & control.

    There would be a base unit containing two CD drives, allowing one to play whilst the other was changed/loaded/cued up. A cover would stack on top of the uppermost 20-stack. You would just keep adding 20-stacks as the collection grew.

    CDs could be added to the storage, either by manually sliding them into the slots, or by feeding them into a 'load slot' in the base unit.

    I'd assumed that the unit would be able to index the CDs, and remember where they were stored, and provide an index to tracks for an external controller, or to provide a display allowing selection (that was 'just the electronics', my profession, so I was pretty sure this was possible; the 'fun part' was the mechanics, to occupy my spare time).

    Like most of my ideas, it never came to anything, but a few years ago, I decided to model it up in SketchUp, again, just for fun. Here are a few pictures. I thought they might provide some amusement, whilst considering smoke_libr8tr's comment...

    Here's the view from the top, showing the loaded picker in the centre. The 'table' the CD is sitting on is a 3-part linear-slide picking arm:

    cdjb_top.jpg

    Here's a view from the underside, showing the picker climbing gearwork:

    cdjb_picker.jpg

    And, finally, here's a picture of a 5-stack, 600-CD jukebox. Note the dimensions; it wouldn't have been small...

    cdjb_600.jpg
     
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  2. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

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    That is a LOT of moving parts to deal with.
     
  3. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

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    Actual CD jukebixes have an initalization scheme where it scans every slot and makes note of if there's a disc and how many tracks on it.

    There were different ways of doing this. The most popular way was just scaling down the existing rotating record basket to take CDs and replace the turntable with a CD player.

    This was a relatively reliable mechanism since it has been in use for ages with records.

    NSM used two stacks of trays that held CDs. A mechanism would "scan" to the spot..slide the tray in to the mechanism..and lowered it to the CD player.

    Very early players just used Pioneer 6 disc players wired to the computer. Rowe/AMI did this in the combo 45 and CD units.

    I see more of the Rowe units than any other CD player.
     
    KentTeffeteller likes this.
  4. cpt_paranoia

    cpt_paranoia Well-Known Member

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    I did see a video of a commercial CD jukebox, for data archiving purposes, a couple of years ago. I'll see if I can dig out the details.
     
  5. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

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    I work on actual jukeboxes from the pre-war era up to the end of the CD era.
     
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  6. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    The AMI-Rowe models were much more reliable than anyone else. Which is why the jukebox operators bought mostly AMI-Rowe. Seeburg barely got a model or two in the CD era out, before going broke. And they used the less reliable Sony mechanisms. AMI-Rowe, Rock-Ola, NSM, and Wurlitzer used mainly Philips CDM based mechanisms and late models the CD-Pro and CD-Pro2. The 45/CD combos from AMI-Rowe did use Pioneer 6 disc changers. However, bear in mind the Philips CDM and CD-Pro mechanisms are discontinued, and all CD jukeboxes are on very borrowed time, due to lack of spare parts. The internet jukeboxes have taken over.
     

     

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  7. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

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    There's actually a thing to replace the Sony CD player with a hard drive mp3 based system. I've done it once and it was actually really nice.

    I can't remember if it was CDM11 or CDM12 that were essentially CDPro players; but the Pros can be interchanged between specific CDM modules, I think it's the CDM3 and 5 that you have to buy third party kits.

    Bruce Wentworth up in NH is still rebuilding CDPro players...so while you have to send it out; you can get them back up and running.
     
  8. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    I call the MP3 adapters practical to get old CD jukeboxes functioning again with non rebuildable players in them. And Bruce Wentworth does rebuild CDPro mechanisms, and does excellent work on them. The route a friend of mine owns is mostly 45 RPM, but there's some AMI-Rowe jukeboxes with CDPro mechanisms, and Bruce Wentworth rebuilt players are in them, his work is superb, they function like new. They serve that route well.
     

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