Connector Cap Mod

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Moderating drive current draw to prevent system freezes – Ronald Dy Geronimo

Plug

The finished product

An optical drive that’s just starting to spin up can suddenly draw a large amount of current. This can cause marginalized overclocked machines to crash or reset. My overclocked Athlon XP rig at 2.4 GHz at 1.75V on a 300W PSU, crashes when the following conditions are met:

  • 100% CPU load
  • DVD drive spins from zero to top speed

Cap

I removed the pins from the plug and soldered the cap to the 12v leads

I was ready for a PSU upgrade until I decided to try to solder a tantalum capacitor (16V 68uF) across the 12V leads of the connector that plugs into the DVD drive. I figured that the cap would buffer the sudden current requirements of the drive and I was right! All stability problems were solved with this very simple 5-minute mod.

I also tested with a 10uF electrolytic capacitor which worked as well. I don’t think a very large capacitor is needed for this. The 68uF tantalum was used because that was what was lying around.

Ronald Dy Geronimo

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