View Full Version : CD-ROM interface cards with proprietary creative cd-rom

November 9th, 2013, 10:40 AM
Hi there,

From a vintage computer haul i have got a creative CR-521-c cdrom player (i think its from a multimedia kit from creative) I dont know which soundcard original came with, but i think it could be a sound blaster pro..
The drive manufactured date is from february 1992.. Its a CRE-CAC drive.. They are very rare to come by.. The drive make use of cd caddys.. I also got three caddys from this haul. One was a worn out.. Have a burst on the underside and the plastic is colored yellow (like system cases do) Iam think not going to use that caddy but try to find a replacement soon..

I want to use this cd-rom drive in my 80286 build (dont know if this making any sense) but why iam want to use it in my 286 build is because of the looks of this old drive.
I have only one problem.. In that 286 system build iam going to use a Soundblaster 2.0 because of CMS sound.. But that soundcard doesnt provide me any cd-rom proprietary interface to use this cd-rom drive..

I have already powered this drive with a caddy inside.. It seems the drive light goes on.. (maybe still working drive) But i need that proprietary cd-rom interface.. Now i know that creative drives uses the panasonic interface..

But there are different cd-rom proprietary interface cards to find.. Creative made them and some other manufactures do.. And i have some questions about that, because theres alot misunderstanding about those cards.

Now that i have a creative cd-rom drive, do i need creatives own controller to use this drive? Or can i also use from other manufactures that have a panasonic interface too.

I saw that creative made a few versions of that card.. One or two provide a connector to connect the sound cable to the interface card it self and have a line out on the back..
The newer cards doesnt have that sound cable connector anymore on the board (there is really anything to connect that cable to)

Why did they skipped that part on the newer versions of that card.. Or do the newer cards uses the ISA bus to send the sound signal to the present soundcard??

And how does that output of that interface card works? Do i need to bypass it to the soundcards input??

November 9th, 2013, 11:07 AM
The drives use the MKE/Panasonic interface. It is commonly found on older Sound Blasters. Some 3rd party cards had it too. They made dedicated CD-ROM interfaces, but they aren't common or were very popular at the time. Here is one that supports all three early proprietary standards: www.ebay.com/itm/370638871760

Its way overpriced, but I'm just using it as an example.

Here is an example of Creative's dedicated interface card: www.ebay.com/itm/221303716706

Never popular in the era of "Multimedia Bundles" that packaged a sound card and CD-ROM drive together.

The interface isn't exactly complicated to implement: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~theom/electronics/cdr56x.html

November 9th, 2013, 11:22 AM
I did know that the drive need to have the panasonic interface to let the drive to work.
But iam not sure if the drive came with the multi-media kit..

But is it possible to hook it up on a seperate interface card? Because my creative soundblaster 2.0 doesnt have a connector for it?
And do it need to have a special creative made card for it? Or does it works on `others` panasonic interfaces too?

November 9th, 2013, 11:32 AM
Any Panasonic interface will work.

November 9th, 2013, 02:16 PM
And about the sound output of those interface.. Is this only for playing cds?? And why are those removed from newer versions??

November 11th, 2013, 10:04 AM
Audio: indeed for regular CDs. They were probably removed later on as there was a input connector on SBPros and SB16s to route audio from CD-ROM to the sound card. Also: many CD-ROMs had an audio jack in the front.

You can plug in any interface card or in case you want to save space: plug in a SBPro or SB16 with the connector. Or just put it away and install a regular IDE CD-ROM. That is what I did. :)

Anonymous Coward
November 11th, 2013, 04:22 PM
I've seen a number of MKE interfaces on eBay sell for next to nothing. Just be patient, and another one will appear. They're not exactly in demand, so there's no reason to pay a lot for something like that.

November 11th, 2013, 05:22 PM
Are the drives themselves still available cheap?

November 12th, 2013, 07:08 AM
I've only just discovered the caddy-based Creative CD-ROM system. While the collector in me would like it, I think I'll pass, but only because I already have the Creative 2x Drive with the old pre-MPC Sound Blaster logo (same one as on the Caddy drive I saw)