How It’s All Going To Work – Electronic Skip Protection.

Electronic Skip Protection is a beautiful thing. When switched on, the CD player will buffer a certain amount of incoming audio from the disc in RAM. When something happens to make the disc skip, the player plays this stored audio from RAM while it figures out what the hell is going on with the disc and fixes itself, making for lovely skipless playback on the listener’s side. My CD player stores 10 seconds of audio for anti skip purposes; other CD players store different lengths of audio.

The bend I will be doing is performed by making the RAM used for skip protection sad.

Here’s the inside of my CD player (with some work already done):


I wouldn’t say I’m a particularly tech-savvy lady; I don’t really know too much about what I’m looking at. However, something I can deduce is that there’s some IC somewhere that does something anti-skip memory related. So I looked at this thing here


And googled it. SM5859AF. Nippon Precision Circuits anti-shock memory controller. There’s a data sheet freely available online. Key thing:


A0 through A9 – DRAM addresses 0 through 9. These go to the anti skip memory. There’s also YDMUTE, a “force mute” pin that I’ll be exploring later. Exciting!

And so we follow the leads from A0 through A9 down the line and end up at the magic box just above the screen – the anti skip RAM.


This is where our journey, consisting of randomly bridging pins, begins.

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CD Player Circuit Bending – Hi.

Hello! Welcome to my portable CD player hacking journey.

My intention is to modify an old portable CD player (easily purchasable on ebay) and turn it into a disgusting noisemaker, then put it in a pretty box that makes it easy to interact with. This will be done primarily by abusing the anti-skip mechanism of the CD player. The model I am using is the Sony D-E301 Discman from 1997, though bear in mind that any other CD player with anti-skip features can be used for a project like this. Here is the outside of my Discman:

It’s grey. The lid claims to be heat resistant. A nice thing about this discman is that it’s old and the buttons are not located on the lid as they are with many other (particularly more “modern”) portable CD players. The meaty guts of the thing that we will be doing all of our poking around in is very easily exposed and messed with without doing too much screwing around with the case. I like this. More to come.

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