Five Disc Changer in a Classic Mac

I childishly ordered a Nakamichi MJ-5.16, 5 disc SCSI CD-ROM changer from the US a few weeks back, not sure if it would work in my beige beasts. It arrived earlier today, so I popped it into my 9600 (after a false start where I forgot to set the SCSI ID). Other than the SCSI ID, no other jumpers were required for my setup, although there is a Termination option if required.

As expected, the drive wasn’t recognised by the stock Apple driver, so I dropped in the the 5.3.1 “works with almost everything” version, which recognised the drive and mounted the disk inserted into the first of the 5 positions only. This was promising, but not good enough, so I removed it and continued onwards.

The drive uses “LUN” to provide a number of sub devices under a single SCSI IDs. Macs have supported this since SCSI Manager 4.3 and the Quadra 840av, but it doesn’t appear to have been implemented in many drivers, so I set about testing every driver I could find. After a couple of hours I finally found that the drive fully worked with FWT CDT 4, specifically after installing the Jukebox optional software.

The software gives a few options and an extra menu next to the Applications Menu and seems to work exactly as required.

The only issue is that ejecting 5 discs takes a couple of minutes and is quite an involved process!

The strangest thing about this drive is that they can be bought at reasonable prices, despite being a bit of a novelty, even though SCSI drives usually demand a premium. Sadly the listing I got mine from is gone and alternatives are double the price. Happy hunting.

Leave a Reply