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Making your own IDE to USB cable

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by stan1976, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. stan1976

    stan1976 Regular member

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    I've seen the IDE to USB adapter cables you can buy to hook a regular drive up externally for file transfers. Has anyone ever attempted to make one? I can figure out the power part easy enough. Take a connector from a 12V PC component, a power adapter that outputs 12V and connect them, right? Is there a way I can take a USB cable and rig it to work with a regualr IDE cable. The basic reasons I want to try this is because I like to tinker, I have the extra parts laying around, and why should I pay for something I can make myself?

    My goal with this is to take an extra hard drive I have and 1-2 times a month hook it up and transfer photos and backup data for storage. I have no intention to use this as a full time device. Otherwise, I would invest in either an external drive or an external enclosure.

    Edit:
    Nevermind. I think I may have just messed up a hard drive trying it. The output of the adapter I hooked up was 1.25A and the hard drive only runs on 601mA max. I only had it hooked up for about 10 seconds and I smelled something funny. Now the drive smells a little weird. I'm just going to buy an enclosure. Luckily the drive was an older one that I didn't need.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2006
  2. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    Looks like I'm too late. They're so cheap, why bother risking it? You need to have an appropriate current limit on the drive in case something goes wrong. Overall it's the voltage that's critical, and it needs to be EXACTLY 12V and 5V. If you're a bit over, you may fry the disk, this is how faulty PSUs kill drives.
     
  3. stan1976

    stan1976 Regular member

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    I was only going to try it becaus I don't have the extra cash for one right now. I have a baby on the way and paying off bills before he gets here is priority over a drive enclosure. Would the amps from that supply have been enough to fry the drive in a few seconds?
     
  4. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    wasn't the amperage that killed the drive but the voltage if had 12v go in place of 5v
     
  5. stan1976

    stan1976 Regular member

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    So what do the numbers printed on teh drive mean?

    +12V 601mA
    +5V 559mA

    I was assuming that 12 volts was the max it would need, so as long as it didn't go above that it would be fine. Was I wrong? I'm not formally educated on this kind of thing, so likely I am wrong.
     
  6. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    what it requires to run. not enough amperage & drive won't spin. also shows you that if you take that amp # of the drive from what the psu has in total 12v say 20amps than you know how many amps left to supply other drives & boards.
     
  7. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    The maximum current supply is irrelevant, you could power something that used 1mA off a supply that could give 100A and be fine, just as you do every day with mains electricity. What's most important is to make sure the 5V and 12V rails (a hard disk needs both, 12 to work the spindle and heads, 5 to run the access circuitry) are a) stable and correct and b) the right way round. If they weren't there is a possibility that they could fry the drive immediately.
     
  8. Cpt_Howdy

    Cpt_Howdy Member

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    Im very intrested in trying this myself just for fun. Now i have the power covered with an old AT PSU, and im far from worried about frying the HDDs. I have plenty of old 1 or 2 gigers just lying around. Now ive found these two pin out pages, one for IDE http://pinouts.ru/HD/AtaInternal_pinout.shtml
    and one for USB http://pinouts.ru/Slots/USB_pinout.shtml
    and i have the cables but im at a loss when it comes to what goes to what. I have a general idea but any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2006
  9. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    Seriously why bother, just for a project to test your electronics skills? Pff, go ahead, but It ain't going to be easy.
     
  10. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    Cpt_Howdy, don't bother as it won't work just with cable as you also need a multiplexer chip besides other components.
     
  11. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    As i suspected, you can't just plug here and there, we've seen someone trash a hard disk already doing that. So what if they're expendable? Sell em! might not make much but why destroy them so unceremoniously after years of service?
     
  12. Cpt_Howdy

    Cpt_Howdy Member

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    Oh well it just seemed like something fun to do in my spare time anyway. Just for curiositys sake does anyone know what exactly would be needed?
     
  13. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    look at a pci usb card to see the chip on the card.
     
  14. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    i would not waste ye time making a usb cable here it is only a $1.99 at a local flea market..same with IDE cables..
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2006
  15. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    ireland, they want to make an ide to usb converter cable
     
  16. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Last edited: May 30, 2006
  17. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    Hmm, funny, recommended yet his experiences were far from great. I'll stick with my Akasa Integral thanks. Doesn't like switching from one PC to another with the drive still on (You get a This USB device has malfunctioned message) but turn off, spin down then turn on and spin up again and it's fine. £20 well spent, which i notice isn't a great deal less than that cable was he bought (works out at $38 atm I think). Enclosed box and everything, plus an illuminated end USB cable and a big LED panel on the side of the box.
     

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