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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Hardware Hacking > MacBook Air SuperDrive on any Mac or PC

MacBook Air SuperDrive on any Mac or PC
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olePigeon
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Jan 6, 2010, 05:05 PM
 
MacBook Air SuperDrive for all tnkgrl Mobile

Oooooo! I might just buy one and mod it. I got one with my Mac mini server and it's awesome. It's just like the rest of Apple's line with the milled single block of aluminum. It's nice. It's also extremely quiet, especially when compared to my MacBook's SuperDrive... sounds like a jet taking off.
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shifuimam
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Jan 7, 2010, 09:11 PM
 
Why would you want to do that when you can make the equivalent on your own with the part in the article and any laptop optical drive? You can also buy the entire thing for about $40 on ebay...
Sell or send me your vintage Mac things if you don't want them.
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Jan 7, 2010, 11:10 PM
 
Because it's not the price but the aesthetics of the device. I like the aluminum SuperDrive.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
shifuimam
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Jan 12, 2010, 11:41 AM
 
Ah well, makes sense enough to me then.

Kind of lame that Apple locks down the drive in the first place. For the price, it should at least be compatible with other Macs.
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olePigeon  (op)
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Jan 12, 2010, 12:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Kind of lame that Apple locks down the drive in the first place. For the price, it should at least be compatible with other Macs.
Well, it's a technical issue. The SuperDrive is out of spec for standard USB. Most USB CD/DVD drives require an external AC adapter or dual USB ports if you want to use it to burn something. Since the MacBook Air only has one USB port, Apple had to draw more current over one USB cable than is allowed in the USB spec. This requires a special USB port on the MacBook Air (and now the Mac mini server.)

Technical reasons aside, they could have included the dual USB cable anyway. If you're on a MacBook Air or Mac mini Server, you'd only need to plug in one of the cables. Anything else, you plug in two. So, yeah, I agree, it was pretty lame of Apple to do that, but they're covering their bases; it would suck if people started frying USB ports on their computers when they plug in the usb SuperDrive and try to burn something.

Edit: The above was what I was told. Reading the mod, they say it isn't the case. Could just be Apple being an asshat. Don't know for sure.
( Last edited by olePigeon; Jan 12, 2010 at 01:10 PM. )
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
turtle777
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Jan 12, 2010, 01:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Edit: The above was what I was told. Reading the mod, they say it isn't the case. Could just be Apple being an asshat. Don't know for sure.
Actually, the mod page doesn't really rule out that the MBA Superdrive needs more than 500mA.

It only states that more power alone didn't make it work.
It is possible that with the mod, it'll still draw too much power and fry your mobo eventually.

-t
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Jan 12, 2010, 01:57 PM
 
If I do the mod, I'm gonna use a dual USB cable. Better safe than sorry. Now I need to find a white dual usb cable.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
turtle777
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Jan 12, 2010, 02:02 PM
 
Do you own a multimeter ?

If yes, why don't you measure the current it draws while reading and burning, and see if it exceeds the 500mA.

-t
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Jan 12, 2010, 02:07 PM
 
No, but I should get one.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
shifuimam
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Jan 12, 2010, 04:59 PM
 
I think you should be fine. I have a USB optical drive enclosure for laptop drives (the same kind of enclosure that the MBA uses), and it works with fine powered USB ports on all my computers. I doubt that the MBA drive requires more than 500mA; USB ports aren't capable of outputting more than that (at least not according to the spec), and I don't know why Apple would use a nonstandard USB port in the MBA. I'd wager that it's far more likely they just want to continue their long-held theme of vendor lock-in.
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turtle777
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Jan 12, 2010, 05:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I doubt that the MBA drive requires more than 500mA; USB ports aren't capable of outputting more than that (at least not according to the spec), and I don't know why Apple would use a nonstandard USB port in the MBA. I'd wager that it's far more likely they just want to continue their long-held theme of vendor lock-in.
Better safe than sorry.

Since Apple is doing *something* outside of a regular external optical drive, I'd be cautious to assume they don't overload the USB port.

-t
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Jan 12, 2010, 05:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I think you should be fine. I have a USB optical drive enclosure for laptop drives (the same kind of enclosure that the MBA uses), and it works with fine powered USB ports on all my computers.
What's the brand name? I just like the looks of the drive. If Apple is just using some other company's enclosure, I'll just buy that one.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Waragainstsleep
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Aug 28, 2012, 12:23 AM
 
The drive is, of course off the shelf, the enclosure is Apple. As is the firmware.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
P
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Aug 28, 2012, 12:30 AM
 
Zombie thread was exploited by spammer. Spam deleted, thread locked.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
   
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