Minidisc hacking

I used a Hi-MD to trawl for the Robin’s first song of the year. Set it off at 9pm, recording from the mic. Trouble is that it split the file into one group with a bazillion tracks – about 1500. Must have tripped a new track each time the audio dipped below the meter indication and came back. This isn’t useful. There must be a way to can that other than editing all the marks out. I’d really like to not do that again.

Set me thinking to how to record the Wolves Wood sounds later in the year. What’s needed is a remote timed start. Could set all the controls to manually record and pause, then hit the go button on the remote using a timer/alarm clock module etc. Let’s see what’s inside the remote.

MD remote innards
MD remote innards

The worst part is the plug, which is not only Sony proprietary and nonstandard. The pitch of the pins isn’t on a 0.1” grid.

MD remote plug - nothing is standard here
MD remote plug – nothing is standard here

That’s just what you don’t need. Having said that, a stick remote sucks without display, and LCD remotes are on Ebay for about £23. So I could stump up for a remote upgrade and get this one to donate it’s plug to the cause.

Other than that this is a pretty straightforward resistive ladder job – the play/pause button is a 330 ohm resistor across two of the pins. The resistor values used in Sony Minidisc remotesare documented hereWhat I need now is an alarm clock module but Maplin doesn’t seem to do them anymore. Which could be loads of pain using a PIC. Or maybe a 4017 clocked in with a 4060 set to output one hour intervals. On second thoughts the James-Bond-esqueness of the PIC and LED display might be too much to resist 🙂