Acorn CAO50 Multimedia Expansion Unit

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A5000 with MEU 

 Acorn MEU with A5000 

The Acorn Multimedia Expansion Unit was launched in 1993 and designed to provide multimedia features (CDROM and improved sound) for the early 32 bit Acorn computers from the A3xx through to the A5000 and A4000. As you can see in the picture it was designed to match the A5000 and A4000 with the same colour scheme, however the manual does include instructions for the A3000, A3010 and A3020 although it might look a bit untidy!

This MEU is fairly heavily marked with school security marks branded into the plastic (i.e. the red writing to the left of the Acorn badge). On the left is the CDROM drive and to the right of the Acorn logo is the Volume control and power on/off button.

 Acorn MEU (back)

 Acorn MEU (back)

From left to right the features are, Mains in, Mains out, blanking panel for expansion, Centronics type SCSI connectors with SCSI ID selector in between the connectors (the bottom connector is terminated), Mixed audio line out, CD2 line out, CD1 lineout and Computer audio in (note the 4 audio connecters are in vertical pairs left above right).

The original MEU came with either a standard podule (CAO6) or a mini podule (CAO8), to installin the host computer and connect to the SCSI connectors. I am using a Cumana 16bit SCSI interface which works quite happily.

 MEU Serial Number

 Acorn MEU Serial Number

As you can just see from the last line on the label, the MEU was made for Acorn by Cumana.

 MEU Open

 Acorn MEU with the top off 

A view inside the MEU showing the CDROM drive on the left attached via ribbon cable to SCSI connectors on the back plane. The ribbon cable has 2 spare connectors. Behind the CDROM drive is the pre amp board connected to the audio in/out connectors. In the back right is the power supply. In middle front is space for expansion.

The CDROM drive is a Sony CDU561-10 which is a 2x speed drive with caddy.

The MEU can be expanded by adding a second 5.25" device (e.g. a second CDROM drive with access via the front panel and a further internal 3.5" drive. (I'm not quite sure where you would install this!)

 MEU pre amp

 Acorn MEU Pre Amp board 

This is the pre amp circuit board for the MEU audio.

Here is an archive of the Acorn Multimedia Expansion Unit Support disc .

Here is the Acorn Multimedia Expansion Unit User Guide