Drive trays that slide out All The Way?



I am replacing the CD burner in my cd duplicator with a DVD burner. I swapped it out with a LITE-ON 4x and it works, but the tray does not fully slide out the last half-centimeter or so, so the robot arm cannot pick and drop discs successfully. I can manually pull the tray out the last 5mm and the robot is happy, but that will not do.

The drive that was in there was Plextor, and I recall all my other Plextor drives to be good about the mechanics of pushing the tray out the full distance is is supposed to go.

I have also tried a Pioneer, and some other off-brand I got at MicroCenter (retailer in US). The were both weak on the tray extension mechanics to the extent that one could not lift out a CD or DVD from the tray in a direct vertical motion without bumping the top of the inside of the drive.

I am trying out a : Plextor 8x Internal DVD±R/RW/CD-RW Drive
Model: PX-708A : next, but it will be a couple days before I am back at the store.

Can anyone tell me if the above plextor, when hitting the open/eject button, fully extends its tray so that one can vertically lift the media without snagging the inside of the tray? Can the tray be manually pulled out any further after hitting open/eject?



I have a PX-708A, and when the tray is opened, it does not open any further when I pull gently on it. (It does wobble a slight bit.)

I hope that this is the information that you are looking for.


The newer LiteOn chassis is 170mm, and has a slightly shorter drawer. Looking at the drives in my sig, whith all 4 open, the 2 LiteOn drive drawers extend about 1/2 CM less than the Pio and NEC.

You cannot lift a disc straight up from the LiteOn drawer, it has to tilt and move forward a bit. The Pio and NEC allow you to lift a disc straight up.


my 811 lets you remove or place a disc in ver. i have a sony 530a thet opens about 1/4 of an inch more so you might want to try one of them


thx for the info. ill post my results withthe plextorl im also creating a how-to for the primera duplicator drive replacemet.



the plextor for some reason is not recognized within the robot. All others so far have been so I am not sure what the problem is. I am going to try another brand tomorrow.


Originally posted by joehahn
the plextor for some reason is not recognized within the robot. All others so far have been so I am not sure what the problem is. I am going to try another brand tomorrow.

Have you tried the various master/slave settings?

Also, try shorting the DMA jumper. In a minority of cases, the drive will work better in this configuration. (That’s what Plextor support told me when I contacted them on a different issue.)


What did you find? I can’t seem to find any drive that extends all the way out.

My only hope is to try to find an older sony or pioneer.


[QUOTE=bqproductions;2130907]What did you find? I can’t seem to find any drive that extends all the way out.

My only hope is to try to find an older sony or pioneer.[/QUOTE]

My solution to the problem with contemporary drives no longer pushing the tray out all the way has been:

  1. Remove the drive tray end: eject the tray, grasp the tray end by the bottom and slide it upward.

  2. Remove the drive faceplate: depending on the drive, there are several plastic clips on the faceplate that click into rectangular holes in the metal case.

You can replace the tray end at this point if you want to, but I usually don’t.

Removing the faceplate may give you enough clearance for a robotic picker to clear the case and drop/pick discs. But usually one additional change is necessary:

  1. Cut a semi-circular moon shape out of the metal top (and bottom, if your duplicator stacks drives or rejects directly below the drive(s)) of the drive case to give even more access to the tray circle.

I use a manual nibbler tool and make several dozen little nibbles per drive to create the crescent shape. I prefer this over a dremel, as a dremel is more likely to leave aluminum dust everywhere unless you completely disassemble the drive first.

All of the above will void the drive warranties, but pretty good drives are now in the $25-30 range, so that’s not a big worry.

I’ve used this technique on about ten drives for robotic duplicators and it has worked well.



One reason that you can’t get the trays to fully extend is because the firmware used on the drives purhcased off the shelf is different from those used in a Primera, Rimage, etc. Even if you buy say a 716 and are replacing a 716 the manufactures use different firmware that controls the throw of the drive tray differently to the correct distance for the autoloader. In the case of Rimage, each drive is calibrated from the factory so no arm alignment is needed. Last I checked Primera and Microtech still required manual adjustment.

This is not to say that you can’t get another drive to work, it will just slightly more difficult. Best thing to do, if possible, replace with the same type of drive and download the lastest drive firmware from the manufacture.



It’s true that much of the time the firmware flashed into drives installed inside duplicators is a duplicator-maker specific firmware. Among the differences, sometimes one difference is lengthening of the tray throw (but of course, there may be several other differences). And yes, it’s always best to avoid flashing a drive with a consumer-level release because it may cause the drive to no longer work correctly in the duplicator.

If you want to ensure that the drive works correctly with the manufacturer-supplied duplicating software, it is also best to stick with only the drives (and duplicator-specific firmware) that they explicitly support. The software may require drive features available on a subset of drives or behavior-related timings related to the drive that the robotic parts need to be choreographed with.

I’ve always wondered what, exactly, is done to change the drive throw. In terms of hardware, I’ve found there’s a single tray-extended toggle - when the tray goes beyond a point, it is activated. Perhaps standard firmware tells the tray motor to stop xx microseconds after receiving the toggle signal, while duplicator firmware waits xx+yy microseconds to run the motor a bit longer. Or perhaps the duplicator firmware runs the motor until a hard stop is reached (tray out as far as it goes).