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Workshop: Pioneer DVD-115 get's a digital out

Jani send us this modification for the Pioneer DVD-115. He added a digital-out that is missing on most versions of this DVD-ROM drive. Using a digital-out and a soundcard with digital in (i.e. Soundblaster Live series) you can record your CDs without loss (i.e. the CDs that your audio-grabber really dislikes). Additionally you'll get a higher quality Audio-CD playback. Okay, here's the modification:

How i built Digital Audio Out (CD S/PDIF) on my Pioneer DVD-115

The main reason i am writing this, is that i bought a sound card which has CD S/PDIF in and since my DVD did not have one i decided to do some research in the subject. Before i continue, i must warn that any warranty on the player will be lost, and do not blame me if something breaks if/when you attempt to do this.

The pioneer DVD-115 Tray model i bought does not have a CD S/PDIF connector on the back. Some sources say that the Slot-in version has one S/PDIF (?? - not verified at the moment). There seems to be different versions of these players, my DVD-115 Bulk does have a headphone and volumecontrol on the front, where some bulk models don't. I even found some older Pioneer DVDs which had the CD S/PDIF connector, it was from them i got the idea to explore this further for my model.


Pioneer DVD-115 Backside.
Notice at the far left, there is a place for a CD S/PDIF connector. What first confused me, was that the connector, CN 701 at the left had 5 soldering holes, but the normal CD S/PDIF connector only uses two. Since i knew how the plastic connector looked like i decided to test if the two pins in the middle are the ones with signal and ground.

CN 701 connector, to the leftmost on the picture above this

I bought a CD S/PDIF cable at the local shop, cut the other connector away and soldered the wires, Ground to Ground and Digital Out to the Digital Out wire. If you can't figure out which wire is Digital Out and which is Ground, imagine a connector at CN701 and think which way the connector on the cable is supposed to be inserted into it. The pin/wire to the right, even closest to the powerconnector, is Ground (propably black).

Unclip the plastic marked with red to easier get the wires trough from below.

The soldering was a bit tricky, of course you need to remove the bottom cover. On the same side where the non-existent CD S/PDIF connector is, there is a black plastic (marked with red on the picture above) about half the way to the front which should be bent a bit so the circuitboard will loosen slightly. It is easier to get the wires trough to the soldering side. Just remember that the soldering side is mirrored on the component side and vice versa.

Close up of the soldering, two of the holes to the S/PDIF are filled with solder.

Use a stripe trough the bigger holes near the edge to tighten the cable. I also put some electric tape over the soldering to minimize the risk of the soldering to touch the housing. It might be a good idea of or if putting tape that it is somewhat heat resistant, the player gets rather rather warm when using it. 

Before i did this i could not get any sound at all with Digital CD, but now i have sound on that too. There was even a slight differance in the sound, the CD S/PDIF sound is better.

It seems that all the electronics for the digital out connector was there, but the connector was left out, for what reason?.. just to save some money, or is the DVD-115 in some way faulty so they did not release it with the connector... Or is it only the bulk versions which do not have the connector?.. And there is one more question left, what are those other 3 holes on the CN701?... :)

I have been running my S/PDIF for a week now, and i haven't had any trouble.

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