3'rd party CD-ROM summary

From: Buck Fowler (bfowler@happy.cc.utexas.edu)
Date: Sat Sep 25 1993 - 22:45:11 CDT

A little while ago I posted asking for information about attaching a
third party CD-ROM to a Sparc. I received many helpful responses; below
is a summary.

I also received a long summary of responses to the question when asked
by Darrell Schiebel (dschieb@muse.cv.nrao.edu) back in January. If there
is sufficient interest, I will repost this as well.

Thanks again to those who helped!

- Buck
From: Robert Bonomi <bonomi@delta.eecs.nwu.edu>

The Hitachi SS1700 and SS1750, have back-panel switching between 512 byte
and 2k blocking. I personally like 'em better than the Sony mechanism
that sun uses, since they are a 'dust-proof' design, with a door over the
caddy opening, that closes when a caddy is inserted. The only down-side
to these drives is that they will -not- play back (to the Sun) any audio
track from a multi-media disk. (a 'flaw' in the command set definition,
that Sony and Hitachi interpreted differently)

There is also supposed to be a Toshiba model, but I don't know which one.

Hope this helps.

From: mxs70@juts.ccc.amdahl.com (Matthias Schulz)

I know, that SUN uses the SONY 8012 CD as their CD-drives. This one boots
fine with all the SUN CD's and, and that's the neat thing, is mechanically
identical to the SONY CDU 541 (512 Byte/sec).

The only difference is the firmware. If you have both, you can do the

Exchange teh 27256 PROM in the drive with a 27512 PROM.
Burn the the CDU 541 code in the lower half and the CDU 8012 firmware
in the upper half (or vice versa).

Then, before inserting the ne EPROM, you don't put the A14 line in the
socket, but make a connection from the A14 line to Pin 1 with a 1 kOhm
to 3.3 KOhm resistor in between. (I guess, the A14 line is PIN 28, so
you just have to connect PIN 1 and the one on the other side of the

After that, take a 10 inch cable and connect A14 to PIN 14 (minus voltage)
via a switch.

Now, if the switch is closed, A14 is set to ground, which enables one of
the both fimwares and, when open let's +5 V to A14 which enables the other
firmaware. You can bring the cable out of the CD-ROM case so you can
easily switch between PC-Mode and SUN-Mode.

Be aware, that the firmware has to be licensed, BOTH firmware has to
be licensed.

QUESTION: How can you switch sector size after booting ?


From: Nico Tjandra <nt05+@andrew.cmu.edu>

    I am forwarding a respond that I got when I posted the same message
a while back. I haven't pursued this any further though! Good Luck, and
let me know how it goes.

Forwarded message:

Date: 1 Jun 1993 14:47:09 -0600
From: "Roger Ray" <Roger_Ray@plato.nwu.edu>
Subject: Re: Toshiba CDROM
To: "Nico Tjandra" <nt05+@andrew.cmu.edu>

        Reply to: RE>Toshiba CDROM

Date: 6/1/93 2:26 PM
To: Roger Ray
From: Nico Tjandra
    We are looking at any possibility about getting a cdrom for both Mac
and Suns. After hearing what you've gone through, I would like to know
who your vendor is. Did you deal direct with APS, and did they installed
the switch for you (512-2048 switch)?. Thanks for your help.


Yes, we got our Toshiba CD-ROM directly from APS. (They also sell a
Centronics to Sun cable.) They installed the switch (I had to return the
drive to them. They had to get authorization from Toshiba Tech Support in
Texas.). APS didn't charge us anything except for our cost in shipping the
drive back to them. However, I don't know if they'd do this again. Since
they had originally promised us that the drive would work with both Suns &
Macs, they may have felt an obligation to rectify the situation. Anyway, I
was impressed with their willingness to make the modification. You could
ask them if they'd be willing to modify a drive in this way for you. I'd
expect to have to pay a little for the custom work. An electronics
technician could do this job, but you'd be voiding the warranty on the
drive. We paid ~$600 for the Toshiba CD-ROM.
  I've used it to install SunOS 4.1.3 on a SS-10. And I've booted up from
CD-ROM on a SS-2 with PROM rev 2.0 (These are the oldest proms we've got).

Good Luck.
--Roger r-ray@nwu.edu

From: jk@tools.de (Juergen Keil)

Pioneer DRM-604x (has a DIP switch to select between 512 and 2048
bytes/block mode). The Pioneer is a quad-speed drive (600Kbyte/sec).

Toshiba XM-3401B (the drive is sometimes sold in a special ``sun
modified'' version; If you've bought the `PC' version, the
modification is simply done by cutting two wires (marked with '0' and
'1') on the PCB board of the drive). The Toshiba is double-speed
(330Kbyte/sec) and has a very small average seek time (200msec).

The Pioneer can read CDROM/XA formats (PhotoCDs) without the help of a
special driver; so that you cou can use Sun's sr driver for XA type
CD, too. The Pioneer's audio commands (for playing audio CDs) are
nonstandard (-> x_cdplayer, workman don't work).

The Toshiba can read ordinary CDs after the modification (with Sun's
sr driver), but for XA type CD you *must* have a special driver.
Toshiba uses the standard SCSI-II audio commands, so there are no
problems with x_cdplayer and workman.

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