Motorize this CD cleaner and win $50

A while ago I had a vision of a small hand held device that would clamp onto a CD like a clamshell and spin it to 500 RPM just because I thought it would look cool. Then I thought maybe it should also play the music off the disc. And then I pictured converting CDs to MP3 on the fly and shooting them into a dumpster at high RPMs when done.

Since then I have only found a designer’s concept of a CD/MP3 player that has never been made (this cool black one)

and a simple manual CD cleaner (silver) you can buy for $12.95 at solutions.com but it doesn’t play music and it’s not even motorized:

The cool CD player up top was designed by Yong-Seong Kim. Designers like Kim can conjure up some really creative product ideas but it takes another skill set to bring it to life. The skillset of a maker, a gadgeteer, a prodmodder.

So why doesn’t someone with some prodmod skill try to make it happen?

Maybe it’s not practical enough? Everyone listens to music on their iPods. And spinning an exposed CD to 500 RPM is probably not user friendly. But so what? Make it anyway.

One manufacturer went to the trouble of designing a sleek silver clamshell cleaner, but they stopped short of adding a motor. It’s probably annoying to clean a CD manually without even a handle, so a motorized version should be worth making.

So let’s forget the music playing aspect for now. How hard would it be to add some batteries, a motor and a switch to the silver cleaning device pictured above?

I would really like to try a mod like this but have too many other things in the works. Is there anyone else in the interested in modifying something like this?

Maybe I should provide some incentive?

Ok, here’s the deal:

If you are skillful enough to fit a motor and battery nicely inside the housing to spin the disc I’ll pay you $50 for your prototype.

Only one winner will be selected for the cash prize but all the other entries will be published along with a link to your own website or blog. Even if your parts don’t fit neatly inside the clamshell package you will still be published as an entry but not a winner.

Contest Rules:

Device Operation:

The device can be turned on by any type of switch on or in the body of the product, or it can start automatically when you close the clamshell. It’s your choice but the automatic start is cooler.

Device Speed:

The CD should rotate at a minimum speed of 20 RPM (a decent cleaning speed) and a maximum of 600 RPM (around what a normal CD might do).

Entry Register:

First you need to enter by registering to the prodmod.com website.

Entry Submission:

Send me photos (JPG) of the finished prototype and a short video of it working to show me how it’s loaded, turned on and unloaded. The video should be less than 30 seconds, so you can run the disc for about 10 seconds or so. You are NOT required to send the product to me for you entry. If you do you will never get it returned whether you win or lose.


I will accept submissions until Jan 31, 2008. (even if you are not done by then send in what you have, you could still win some money if no one else completes the task)

Prior Work:

You are not allowed to win the cash prize if your project was already published or is published before being published first on prodmod.com.


Me. It’s totally subjective to my taste since I am one person but trust me, this is easy money. Your biggest competition is probably yourself.


During the first week after the submission deadline I will choose two finalists that most closely meet the requirements by reviewing the photos and videos submitted.

An email will be sent to notify you that you are indeed a finalist and your registered user names will be posted on this website.

Those two finalists must then ship the actual modified product to me for a final evaluation at my cost. I would expect the product to work as well as it did in your video and then compare the two to each other to choose a winner.

I will only pay $8.95 or less for USPS Priority mail and only for the 48 contiguous United States.

If you are outside of this area or international you can choose to ship it to me at your expense. The product will NOT be returned to you.

If you fail to ship the product to me within 10 days of the finalist announcement you will be disqualified.

The winner will be announced before Feb 29th.


If you are selected as the winner I will send you the prize money of $50 to your PayPal account only.


Publicity, bragging rights, fame. Can’t you use an extra $50? When was the last time someone payed for your mods?

c’mon this is easy money, now go prodmod!

1 comment

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