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  1. This is my photographic How-To guide to adding S/PDIF digital audio outputs to my Sony MXD-D5C, which was equipped from the factory with only analog outputs. No soldering to the deck is required This guide is intended to be the companion thread to my earlier discussion: ...which in turn was inspired by: ...as well as: Adding a Digital out to MDS-JE330 Adding Digital Optical Output to a Sony MDS-JE440 Minidisc Deck Digital Optical Output Mod for Sony MDS-JE470 Minidisc Deck ...which I found here: Construction projects: Adding Digital I/Os LET'S BEGIN! Sony MXD-D5C, North America model: Goal: to build four working S/PDIF digital audio outputs, featuring a relatively clean-looking installation: ***DISCLAIMER*** WARNING: Do Not Attempt. Working with electronic equipment can be hazardous. There is a great risk of electric shock. You do not want to get The Shock. Furthermore, static discharge from simply handling your components can render your equipment useless. I cannot be responsible for damage or destruction to your equipment, reversible or otherwise. I cannot be responsible for Death, Injury, or Insult yourself or others may sustain while attempting to modify your own gear or that of others. The methods described here worked for me, but your equipment and experience may differ. This will void your warranty. ****** Background: I've had this Sony MXD-D5C 5-CD Changer / Minidisc deck for over ten years, and even though I love this unit, I have always been frustrated by the lack of digital audio output on this deck. Although I don't listen to a lot of MD's anymore, this deck is my primary CD Player in my aging home audio rack (I love the 5-CD changer). This guide will depict my successful attempt to add S/PDIF TOSlink optical and coaxial digital audio output myself. Having read the "hacking" pages of Minidisc.org many years ago, I know there are still (as of this writing) How-To articles online for adding TOSLINK outputs to certain Minidisc decks which were not equipped with S/PDIF digital outputs from the factory (see links above). However, none of these articles described the MXD-D5C specifically. I thought the internal components might be similar enough that those earlier guides would be virtually identical to what I would carry out myself, but alas, this did not turn out to be the case. However, after studying the Sony MXD-D5C service manual schematics for a few days and having extended and extremely helpful online discussions with sonyinsider.com forum administrator and fellow MXD deck owner Stephen sfbp, I was finally able to discover that getting the digital outputs would ultimately be quite easy. I am no electrical engineer, but am merely a tinkerer who likes to "hack upward" the things in my life which I feel can be upgraded with a bit of ingenuity. The "figuring out" part of the project was probably the most challenging aspect for myself, a non-EE hobbyist... followed closely by the rear-panel modifications in which I attempted to make the deck appear factory-equipped with digital outputs in the end. I had also initially hoped that I would be able to simply use one digital output for both MD and CD digital audio streams. However, not only was there no single connectable point where both CD and MD SPDIF digital audio signals would be autoswitched according to the transport in use, it was also impossible to mix the two circuits into one output cable (I did test this). With this knowledge, I decided to go all-out and make optical and coaxial connections for both MD and CD transports for maximum connective flexibility, bringing the total number of digital audio outputs to four. Some of the materials I was able to easily find at my local Radio Shack retail store. Some parts I already had lying around, but the TOSlink transmitters TOTX177AL had to come from a specific online source (http://www.digikey.com/). More on these parts soon. Here is a fairly comprehensive parts list for this mod: 1x Sony MXD-D5C Minidisc Recorder / 5-CD Changer Deck: 1x Sony MXD-D5C Service Manual 2x Toshiba TOTX177AL(F,T) TOSlink Transmitting Modules with integrated dust flap and screw-mount hole (order a couple extra - you will be soldering directly onto these inexpensive but delicate components. 10+ Qty. discount): Digi-Key Corporation (TOTX177AL Data Sheet) 1x 4-pack RCA Phono Panel-mount Jacks (only 2 jacks used): Radio Shack 1x 4-Position Dual-Row Barrier Strip: Radio Shack 2x 2-pack 0.1µF Ceramic Disc Capacitor (4 capacitors total needed) (cap code "104"): Radio Shack 1x 5-Pack 1/8-Watt 330 Ohm Carbon Film Resistors (2 resistors needed) (color code "orange-orange-brown / gold"): Radio Shack 1x 5 Pack 1/8-Watt 150 Ohm Carbon-Film Resistors (2 resistors needed) (color code "brown-green-brown / gold"): Radio Shack 2x 22-18 AWG 1/4" Female Disconnects: Radio Shack (size needs confirmed) 2x 22-18 AWG #6 Stud Size Insulated Ring Terminal: Radio Shack (size needs confirmed - it fits around the threaded base of the coax jack, and the inner diameter is 1/4" or about 7mm. Marked "2 - 6" on the part I used) 1x 16-Pack #6 Insulated Spade Terminal: Radio Shack (size needs confirmed - small, narrow spade connector, inner distance between prongs is slightly less than 4mm. Marked "1.25 - 3.5L" on the part I used) Heat-shrink tubing suitable for ~26 Gauge wire: Radio Shack 24" (60cm) x4 Colors (Red, Black, Yellow, White, etc.) 26AWG Multistrand wire (I used several 12V Power Extension Wires with Mini Pin and Socket connectors at either end, similar to these PC Fan Extension Cables at Newegg.com or even better, these Y-cables). 2x Size 8 0.5" (Very small) Steel Sequin Pins: Joann Fabric and Crafts. (Maybe there is a better true electronics component for this, but pins similar to these worked for me. Be sure you don't use a type with a plastic head, as you will be soldering directly to these very small pins). 1x 10-pack 6-32 x 1/2" Round Head Machine Screws and Nuts 1x 10-pack 6-32 x 1/2" Flat Head Machine Screws and Nuts 2x Small-diameter Round Head Sheet Metal Screws (sized appropriately for mounting the TOSlink transmitters) 1x Piece approx. 6"x2" x 1/16" or 1/32" thick Sheet Steel or Aluminum (I used a scrap pop-out drive bay cover to an old ATX PC case) Here are some tools and consumables I used for this project: Clean working space with plenty of good light Grounding Strap: Radio Shack Electronics and Hobby Miniature Soldering Iron Kit: Radio Shack 1oz. .015 diameter "High-Tech" Silver-Bearing Solder" Radio Shack 2 oz. Canister Non-Spill Rosin Soldering Paste Flux: Radio Shack Butane Micro-torch: Radio Shack Mini Diagonal Wire Cutters: Radio Shack Mini Needle-nose Pliers: Radio Shack Wire Stripper/Connector Crimping Tool: Radio Shack Dremel Rotary Tool with a stack of cut-off discs and an assortment of grinding wheels: Amazon.com 3M Scotch 23 0.75"x30' Pliable Rubber Splicing Tape: Amazon.com or Mouser.com Drill or Drill Press with an assortment of sharp metal-drilling bits Mini bench vise Scissors Tweezers Magnifying Glass Phillips and Flathead Screwdrivers etc. ****** Unplug your deck from power and audio connections and carefully bring it to your flat, clean and dry work area. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to unscrew the 6 black painted screws which affix the top cover to the deck. There are two black screws on the rear panel along the upper edge, two screws on the left panel of the deck, and two screws on the right panel as well. Set them aside in a safe place where they will not get lost: Carefully lift the top cover panel off of the deck and set it aside in a safe place where it will not get scratched or bent. Use caution when removing the top panel so as not to have the front edge bind up against the fragile front panel. The top panel is metal and has very sharp edges - handle it very carefully such that you do not cut yourself. The deck itself also has plenty of sharp edges as well. This is the first view of the inside of the MXD-D5C: We can clearly see the large CD-changer mechanism dominating the left side of the deck, while the right side houses the truly "mini" Minidisc transport mechanism, power transformer, Main Circuit Board, and the smaller Audio Board slightly above the Main Board at the rear. The smaller audio board is connected to the rear panel of the deck by three screws near each connector jack. Remove them and set them aside with the screws removed earlier. Unplug the white keyboard connector from the audio board by carefully lifting straight up so as not to bend or break the pins: Close-up view of the Audio Board's ribbon wire Connector CN305, which we will soon be tapping for digital audio signals: Very very carefully remove the audio board by gently squeezing the tips of the 2 plastic support prongs with mini-needlenose pliers and lifting the Audio Board up. Use extreme caution. You may wish to also carefully remove the ribbon cable from Connector CN305 such that the audio board may be set aside without flopping over in the way on it's own (the ribbon cable is delicate yet springy). Remember to always wear your anti-static strap and carefully handle this board only by its edges, never touching the electronic components which are soldered to it. Here is a close-up of the audio board after it has been removed from it's supports:
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