[conspire] questions re firewire pci card and firewire enclosure for 30GB hard drive

Paul Reiber reiber at gmail.com
Thu Dec 28 20:14:21 PST 2006

> Rick,
> Thank you - I would rather go with the Firewire - esp since
> the IDE ribbon cable in external mode is not its intended
> use.

Hi, Darlene!

External drive enclosures perform 4 distinct functions.

1) They provide a separate power supply for the drive
2) They provide a nice case so the drive & controller aren't exposed
3) They provide some amount of shock absorption should the unit fall
4) They provide data-line connectors between the drive and the back of
the enclosure, sometimes doing protocol conversion (example: USB drive
enclosures that house IDE drives)

The only problem with using one of these enclosures is that #4 is
talking SCSI rather than firewire.  - if we simply ignore the SCSI
connectors, one of these enclosures would almost certainly meet your
needs.  They're metal cases, of good solid construction, so I'll guess
that the quality of power supply and of the shock absorption would
exceed what you'll get from more modern plastic units.

The enclosures that Mark gave us are large enough that we could
route a firewire cable directly to the drive, eliminating the need for
you to purchase a firewire-compatible drive enclosure.  We'd simply
ignore, and not use, the SCSI circuitry.

I'm unsure of what the price point is for external firewire
enclosures; if it's low enough, you might decide you like the
convenience of being able to unplug the drive's cable _on both ends_
rather than just on the computer's end... but if you're trying to save
money, this is definitely the way to go.

I've got a few of them in the back of my car, so if you'd like to
check one out, just ask at the next SVLUG meeting.


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