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Old Floppy Drive Becomes New Turntable

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  • by KDan (90353) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @04:50AM (#13174471) Homepage
    That's probably the most important part of the turntable... seems like you need to rip up another turntable to make this floppy turntable with its unreliable motor...

    Doesn't sound like such a good deal!

    Daniel
  • by ReformedExCon (897248) <reformed.excon@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @04:57AM (#13174495)
    There are some times I wish I had spent a little more time studying electronics than doing other things, and this is definitely one of those times. The most impressive part of the project is the variable resistor that allows him to control turntable speed manually. Unfortunately for me, I haven't got the knowledge, much less the gumption, to figure something like that out on my own.

    I don't suppose he tested the torque of the motor to see how quickly he could get the record to playing speed. That's one of the key features that I understand to be important to audiophiles. And for the DJs, I imagine they are interested in what sort of clutch (?) mechanism there is that could help the motor recover from an accidental reversing of direction.

    Seriously, I need to go to Barnes & Noble and pick up a book on basic electronics. It's one of those itches that I just haven't had the resources to scratch.
  • What stylus? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @05:12AM (#13174535) Homepage Journal
    Use a laser.
  • Thats wicked (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Freaky Spook (811861) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @05:17AM (#13174550)
    I enjoy Vinyl and I love messing around on decks, that project is really great to see, even though the sound quality wouldn't be the best its still something I would like to try on a rainy day!!

    The idea of turntables is you get ultimate control over the music, he's taken this idea one step further & built the turntable too!
  • Use a Scanner (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pklong (323451) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @05:40AM (#13174615) Homepage Journal
    Not as impressive as the LP Ripper using a scanner [huji.ac.il].
  • by Vo0k (760020) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @05:59AM (#13174664) Journal
    In the good old times when 8 bits was the data word size, I got a vinyl record with songs of some band. And the last track was a program for ZX Spectrum - a quiz about the band. To use it you had to copy the track to tape and then load in the tape-recorder of the computer. Never got around to do this, but I still have the record somewhere.
    Not booting, but...
  • Re:What stylus? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bozho (676988) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @06:20AM (#13174716)
    Something like a laser turntable [elpj.com]?
  • by djtoucan (902997) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @06:26AM (#13174737) Homepage
    I can't see this guys site now but I made a 7 inch floppy disc turntable 2 years ago with an old tape deck head as the stylus. Gutted the 7 inch floppy and mounted it on an old 78 rpm turntable. The big problem was that the tape decks recording/playback head being used as the "stylus" needed lots of weight pressed down on the gutted floppy disk to get it to record any sounds or just to playback. The sounds that came were very poor too. From the topic seems as if he is using the whole floppy drive? Hmmm... Cant figure out how you would do DJ scratching without getting an electrical shock.... Someone msg me when it's un-slashed.
  • Re:Use a Scanner (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BetterThanCaesar (625636) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @06:32AM (#13174750)

    Standard plug: We did roughly the same thing, but with 78 RPMs. Of course, it sounded much better, because of the lower resolution of 78 RPM disks.

    http://www.s3.kth.se/signal/edu/projekt/students/0 3/lightblue/ [s3.kth.se]

  • Floppies are fun. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skids (119237) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @06:51AM (#13174796) Homepage
    Floppies are very easy to hack into something else due to the easy controls for the step motor. You don't really need to know much electronics -- just TTL. That's the whole point -- most of the electronics are all done for you. A stepper for steering and the spindle motor for drive is enough to make a little robot, for instance.

    Recently I made a heliostat [abrij.org] from one though the design could use a bit more work.

    Lately I've been mulling over the possibility that, since the FM/MFM read heads use a comb frequency around that of an AV IR remote control, it might be possible to get the data read line to activate when hit with a remote, though florescent lights would probably interfere.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @07:30AM (#13174915)
    Surprisingly enough, analog watch arms don't move with infinitely small minimum measurement. Instead, there's a succession of small slips and catches. Granted, the granularity is *much* finer than most digital devices but the arm is still jerky.

    If you had a sufficiently sensitive measuring device, you'd also find that turntables don't maintain a constant rotational velocity either. Ironically, the best (read most uniformly rotating) ones have a series of digital photogates that are used in a closed loop to maintain a more constant rotational velocity.
  • by jolshefsky (560014) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @07:52AM (#13174970) Homepage
    For more torque, maybe they should have used the motor from a LaserDisc player ... same stable operation, but able to spin heavier discs.
  • by b0rk b0rk b0rk (884832) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @08:14AM (#13175058)
    Floppy the Robot [tvdsb.on.ca]
  • by speculatrix (678524) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @08:19AM (#13175082)
    "Vinyl will never go away because analog sound IS better than digital"

    The biggest problem with "digital sound" is that it enables a huge amount of abuse of the signal and yet make it *apparently* still OK, but on closer listening the flaws become noticeable.

    Digital radio, mp3s downloads, digital TV, and all such digital delivery mechanisms have conned the consumer into expecting more choice whilst compression has killed the quality with artifacts - i.e. visible blocking on video, distortion on video.

    It's still hard to beat the quality of a quality FM radio receiver tuned to a well-engineered radio station. And for an action movie, artifact free analogue TV is better than most DVDs.

    That all said, I think that CD (44.1kHz, 16 bit) is *good enough* for most people. DVD audio, which has higher sampling rates and more bits *should* be better than the theoretical maximum quality of vinyl, subject only to the studio's ability to not ruin the sound.

  • by vinyl1 (121744) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @09:43AM (#13175536)
    I heard the laser turntable at the Stereophile show. It simply cannot compete with a conventional turntable in sound quality. The sound it puts out is thin, smooth and homogenized.

    Some of the listeners got suspicious when the demonstrator wouldn't play anything on the cheap Technics turntable he had, claiming there wasn't time and the audience wanted to hear the laser turntable. A reviewer finally called his bluff, and the $200 conventional unit easily beat his $15K beast.
  • Re:Hey (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CptTripps (196901) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:14AM (#13175769) Homepage
    If I sat you in front of my system at home and played a record, and CD of the same recording, you'd think the record was the CD. I've done this nearly 50 times over the last 4 years, and only 3 people have ever guessed correctly.

    CDs are only 16bit, and Vinyl has a MUCH higher frequency response range.

    Granted, I've got $20K+ into my system, and not everyone has an environment like that, but don't discount a technology because you don't understand it.
  • by mrdaveb (239909) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:52AM (#13176125) Homepage
    As you'll notice, the turntable you linked to is "belt drive", which is great for playing records from start to end (like most people do), but if you try to stop and then abruptly start the record again, it takes the belt some time to get it spinning at the correct RPMs again.

    Hmm. Have you ever tried using that little lever that raises the arm? Give it a try sometime!

    But seriously, he said he was using it to rip his vinyl to CD, so all he wants is for it to sound reasonable and play all the way through. Direct drive turntables are DJ-tech - as far as I am aware you won't find even an entry level 'hifi' or 'audiophile' turntable using direct drive. Belt drive helps to keep all that wobbly motor stuff well away from all that sensitive stylus stuff.
  • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:25AM (#13176398) Homepage
    Actually Stodartt was not the first person to think about reading a vinyl recod using a laser, or even the first to succeed. Philips did this for VIDEO with Laservision.

    While working on the Laservision scheme the Philips engineers realized that what they should do instead is completely redesign the system from scratch. They joined up with a group of Sony engineers working on a similar project and the result is known as Compact Disc.

    What this guy has done is to turn his floppy drive into (part of) a gramophone. In other words he has turned a recently obsolete technology into an even more obsolete technology.

    Vinyl records were a dreadful technology. They scratched, they wore out and the sound from them was distorted in all sorts of ways by the production process. Worst of all they allowed 'audiophiles' an excuse to spend $15,000 plus on equipment and then brag about it at tedious length.

    The high end market for audio equipment is essentially a high tech version of the fortune teller industry. The service is essentially a fraud; if there is a difference in sound it is negligible. People pay for it because of the flummery thaqt surrounds it.

    This guy has just discovered that you can get a high quality motor for about a buck.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @12:39PM (#13177144) Journal
    In 500 years I doubt there will be a single CD that will be playable. In 500 years you will still be able to take a pin and a paper cone and get audio out of a vinyl record. Maybe not more than 3 or 4 times, but you will still be able to hear the music.

    Therefore, analogue is better - scratches and pops and all.

    RS

  • CacheDot (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @01:34PM (#13177693) Homepage Journal
    Apache should come with a "bandwidth quota deadman's switch" that senses a spike in demand that threatens to exhaust its bandwidth (throughput or quota), then 1> populates a coral (or other) cache, and 2> issues redirect HTTP headers translating incoming requests to the cache. Such a failsafe would be even better if it included caching for other servers, and an inter-Apache protocol to notify the "REFERER" server that it should instead use the REFERER's caching, or an alternate. Such a distributed "server P2P" network would make the Web much more immune to the Slashdot effect.
  • by djtoucan (902997) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @06:14PM (#13180697) Homepage
    Wow yeah that doing it with the original 7 inch (*) mechanism and read/write head, hacking the head movement and electrical in/out for the magnetic head, Dogtanian would seem like a good idea to try.. Too bad I can't find my floppy disc turntable right now. I just checked underneath my workbench.. It was a winter project when it wasn't so hot out like now.

    About the groove tracking problem. I really didn't want the floppy disc turntable to do a traditional spiral "groove" as I was going for it to do an old tape echo like effect or a small segment loop sampler to add to a live music. I just mounted a saw shaped comb facing up on the back end of the tone arm so the tone arm would rest in a notch on the comb locking it into one section of the floppy disc. It would then stay on that segment of the floppy while I added or erased sounds with the cassette tape stylus. This created a strange effect (hearing how lo-fi the sound was) or just enough time to scratch something.

    I thought it was a 7 inch floppy as I didn't use the whole 8 inch discs cover. Just the gutted inner magnetic part. Sorry for the confusion. I couldn't double check it before I posted as it's missing now. I just hope it didn't get tossed out on the last clean up of my electronics bench.... I'll have to start over looking for another turntable to gut! Yikes!

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