[NetBehaviour] Hard Drive Laser Oscilloscope.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon May 1 13:03:51 CEST 2006

Hard Drive Laser Oscilloscope.

by Alan Parekh:
Filed under Electronic Hacks, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Top 5.

This project was inspired by Aftotech’s Hard Drive Speakers (page 4). 
Basically the voice coil drive circuit was located on the hard drive 
controller board and disconnected by cutting a trace. The voice coil was 
metered and was found to be 10 ohms, this was within range to be driven 
directly from my stereo speaker output.

A laser was mounted to the hard drive body, the laser output bounces off 
a mirror that is mounted at the edge of the hard drive body. The first 
mirror is top hinged and has a wire connecting it to the read/write arm 
of the hard drive. Now when the read/write arm moves the vertical 
deflection of the laser beam is changed.

The first mirror points its laser output to a second mirror is mounted 
to the center of the hard drive platter. Initially the second mirror was 
intended to be spun using the hard drive motor however the hard drive 
motor spins too fast. Instead the platter is moved by hand allowing fine 
control of the horizontal laser position.

We have all seen an oscilloscope hooked up to a speaker output to allow 
us to “watch” the music. Well now you can see a standard oscilloscope 
and a Hard Drive Oscilloscope side by side...


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