Introduction: How to Use a Phantom USB Port #2
If there are pins on the mother board to support USB connections, you usually get a cable (or similar) to bring those ports out the front or the back of the case.
BUT what are you supposed to do with Port 5 on a USB card? There is no USB 'A' Male to back-plate converter and the effort to wire something up for yourself is time better spent griping about the problem.
This is a higher level of ingenuity than How to Use a Phantom USB Port #1 (https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Use-a-Phantom-USB-Port-1/ ) because we are going to use that extra port to set up a pair of hot-swapable hard drives.
Step 1: What You Need:
$03.25 - 1 IDE/SATA/Mini IDE to USB adaptor*
$10.68 - 1 SATA HDD Mounting Rack
$00.00 - 1 IDE Rack with Cartridge. I priced this as $0.00 because I have them all over the place.
*Because of the fixed wiring on the SATA Rack, the extra cables here will not be needed. When searching for these adaptors (eBay is sometimes your friend), you may find some that include power supplies with Molex style power output. Don't touch them! . When I started out using these adaptors I bought three power supplies to suit. All three supplies were dodgy and one of them destroyed my "Terabyte" drive. If you decide you like these adaptors and want to use them for connecting external items, dig out an old AT supply to power up your drives.
Step 2: First Problem Encountered:
Because the distance between IDE pins and power socket varied so much, this adaptor would seem to be intended for wider spacing. You will not that it prevents the Power plug from being inserted properly (unless you want to use brute force).
Step 3: Modify the Adaptor:
Popping the case off is the easy part.
Remember that this is a cheap Chinese product. The USB cable is not very well soldered to the circuit board, and any attempt to fix silver solder with a lead solder iron is doomed. As this part is going into a fixed position hopefully where three-year-olds can't get at it, liberally use some hot melt glue to attach the molded strain-relief to the circuit board which effectively removes all strain on any of the solder cables.
If you look at the third photo which looks like it has two silicon breasts, that demonstrates how generous you can be with the glue because you don't want this moving and breaking connection(s).
Step 4: Installing the Racks:
The IDE rack is easily installed using standard screws, but then the fun starts!
The screws supplied with the SATA rack don't fit! And neither do any of those other PC related screws of which you have jars full.
So it was a long hot walk down a flight of stairs to the machine shop to find screws that might fit. Because it's an acrylic case, I needed longer than normal. What I found was:
SOCKET HEAD CAP SCREW 3-48 * 1/2
SCA0308 100 PIECES ALLOY $9.80
MICRO FASTENERS Remington NJ 08822(?) 1-800-892-6917
Micro Fasteners is a u.s. supplier, and I'm not being paid to promote the product.
Having found almost suitable screws, the next problem was the size of the head. As small as it was it could very nearly slip through the slot in the acrylic. To fix this I used some left-over mirror-chain links from (https://www.instructables.com/id/Hang-a-VESA-Monitor-on-the-Wall-Just-Like-a-Pictur/ ) my wall hanging monitor. Why drive into town, visit three different hardware stores trying to find appropriate washers? Instructables is all about innovative ideas... Requiring a mini-hex screwdriver bit also made life that little bit more interesting.
If you look closely you will that there are two rubber O-rings; one between the acrylic and the rack, the second to stop the "magic" washer from scratching the plastic. This is a past-experience modification. Last time I built an acrylic case and built the drive cage with plastic straight to drive or rack, it ended up being slightly too thin which really strained the screws holding it in place. The rubber O-rings will hopefully give that little extra width so that the cage will screw in where it's meant to fit.
Step 5: Hooking It All Up:
You see that the adaptor fits easily into the IDE socket and the power supply plug no longer fights for space.
You can also see the huge blob of hot melt glue on the right hand side of the adaptor card.
The reason the SATA cable is so untidy is because it was just so ridiculously long!
Step 6: Differences:
Because there was no construction standard as far as connect placement and separation, racks used internal trays to carry the drives.
Because SATA was properly defined from the first start-up, the racks have no trays, the drive just slides in and you close the door to lock it into place.
The SuperRack is IDE UW, so it is connected to the motherboard by 80-way cable. The other not SuperRack has the adaptor plugged into the back of it, and the black on in the middle is the SATA one with its cable connect ed to the adaptor on the back of the tray immediately below it.
Step 7: Last Connection:
The clear USB cable appears to pass between the rear USB sockets, and the colored row of sockets on the Creative Sound Card.
Once you've loaded your Master C:Drive, plugging a drive into either rack should register as a USB device----remember to "safely remove" USB items before unplugging them.
I have never tried plugging in a SATA and an IDE simultaneously. Mainly because if there is electronic damage done to either, I can't afford to lose the drive.
Just in case anyone is interested, the third connector on the adaptor is for 2.5" IDE laptop drives.
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