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Changing Optical Drive LED's

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Changing Optical Drive LED's
Author: Lee ?Vectrex? Huffman

Thanks to
For Providing Us With This FINE Product to Mod


In this guide, I will walk you through the steps of changing your CD-Rom, DVD Rom, and/or your CD-RW drives LED. In this example, we will be exchanging the old green LED with a nice new white one. Here is the list of materials you will need for this project:

- Soldering Iron
- Solder
- 3mm/5mm LED (depending on the drive)
- Screwdriver (philips and flat-head)

Now that we've covered the materials, let's move on to the work.

Disassembling The Drive

The First step to disassembling your drive is to remove the front bezel. You need to open your drive, and slide off the trays part of the bezel, usually done by sliding it up and off.

Then locate the various clips around the front of the drive. These can be pushed in using a flathead screw driver, which will then pop the larger bezel off.

Next you will need to remove some of the casing. This is most likely done by removing a few screws on the bottom of the drive. Just take your philips screw driver to them and pop the peice off. This will reveal the PCB underneath.

De-soldering The LED

Before we install the new LED, we need to de-solder the old LED from the PCB.

Let your soldering iron warm up for 15 minutes or so, making sure it's as hot as possible. To de-solder the LED, just hold the soldering iron's tip to the legs on the LED, causing the solder to melt, allowing you to pull the led from the board.

Now you have your old LED in the plastic place holder. Now, we will need to keep the black peice of plastic, so let's go over how we will remove the old LED from the plastic, saving it for later use.

Take the legs of the LED and bend them out so they are running horizontally. Now just slide the LED out from the plastic, and it the peices are easily seperated.

Soldering The New LED

Before we solder the new LED, we must place it into the plastic holding peice. Again this is an easy process, and just done backwards from last time.

Slide the LED all the way into the black peice, then just bend the legs down into place. Simple as that.

Now for the actual soldering. To do this, warm the solder up that was left behind from the de-soldering. Now stick the two legs of the LED into the holes on the PCB (Just like how the original LED was placed). Make sure the negative and the positive legs are placed in the right holes. After the solder is cold, the LED should be firmly in place. You may want to apply more solder if the hold is weak.

Now either cut the extra length from the LED legs, or bend it down. If you decide to take the lazy route and just bend the legs down, make sure the legs are not touching anything on the PCB, as this could cause malfunction (which is why I recommend cutting the extra length.

Finishing Up

Now all that is left to do is put the drive back together. This includes screwing the casing plate back on, then putting the front bezel back in place. Now plug that guy in and enjoy the pretty colors (or lack there of in my case).

Thanks again to ScorpionMods.Net for the support, our site appreciates it!

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