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TLD



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Topic # 225872 8-Dec-2017 22:57
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I am not sure whether this would be a better fit in the Desktop Computing forum, but I think it is more DIY electronics, so I hope it is the right place.

 

I use a lot of external hard drives, and each one has a power block which plugs into a wall socket or power board.  Most of them are too wide to fit in adjacent sockets, so it is a nightmare of cables under my computer desk.  I have a new build being delivered soon (hopefully... some of the components are on back order) so it feels like a good time to tidy things up.  The new system is using one of those giant Cooler Master Cosmos II cases, so lots of room.  I have a spare computer PSU, and a 12V 15A switching PSU I bought for an LED lighting project, and it would be nice to use one of these and do away with the power blocks.  I have eight of them at this time.

 

The problem is, I am nervous about destroying the drives by doing something daft like reversing polarity.  My close sight is not flash, and the writing on the power blocks is minuscule.  Plus hard the drives are WD My Book, and the others Seagate Expansion.  I have not even looked to see if they have the same power requirements and plug polarity.  ISTR when those coaxial power plugs and sockets were introduced, there was no standard for inner/outer polarity.  I think the drives are all 12 volt, so I can use either PSU, or even spare capacity from the computer PSU.  (It is 1200W which is way OTT — don't ask about the overkill.  This is one of the items on back order and the builder, PC Media of Blenheim, could source my first choice 1000W PSUs.)

 

So any input as to whether you'd risk it, and what plugs and sockets to use in a central multi way power block?

 

Thanks





Trevor Dennis
Rapaura (near Blenheim)

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  Reply # 1915520 8-Dec-2017 23:39
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I know what you mean about the wall warts they are a right royal pain in the ..

 

From my experence external hard drive wall warts are almost always 12V center positive.

 

Are these external drives used at the same time?

 

Have you thought about a dual hard drive dock or multi drive caddy?

 

Something like this?

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/external-storage/other/auction-1487477621.htm?rsqid=167850df948746909d355f18c5731987

 

John

 

 





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  Reply # 1915522 9-Dec-2017 00:01
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You should check the hard disk but the WD and Seagate hard disk I use have the same plug and same polarity, voltage etc. I've even used one PSU with the other before. If you just had 2, you could check the power supplies you have and see what their maximum output is and check the hard disks and what their power requirements are. It's possible one could power 2 HDs without exceeding the maximum rating so a simple splitter would work. But I suspect 3 is unlikely so that means you still need 4 PSUs.

 

So just be careful when wiring, triple check everything including with a multimeter if possible. I assume either the data is something you can afford to lose or it's already backed up but if it will still be troublesome if you kill one, with that many hard disks could you ensure at least one is backed up in such a way that the loss won't be an issue? If so, after having triple checked everything, attach each plug to this hard disk and make sure they're all fine. If you properly checked the specs of each hard disk, if it works with one it shouldn't kill the others.

 

However I'd be cautious with using a computer PSU. Especially a 1200W one. PSUs are a lot better than used to be especially given the very low idle requirements common nowadays but with a 1200W PSU, are you sure it's going to be fine with no demand on the +5V, and likely very little on the +12V? 8 hard disks, even external ones still isn't likely to be much of a load.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1915530 9-Dec-2017 07:34
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Why do you have so many external drives? Buy one 8TB drive for inside your computer, and one 8 - 12TB external drive for backup. You might be able to open your existing drives and put them inside your PC, though some don't have standard SATA interfaces. I have something like three hard drives and two SSDs in my PC.





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  Reply # 1915535 9-Dec-2017 07:59
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3.5 inch externals use the 12v supply with no regulation into the HDD, so I would be wary of deviating too much from 12v which may happen as other drives spin up and down depending on the cable losses and regulation of the power supply. If the 12v 15A one is a brick style one I have found so many of those the be poorly regulated and have a BS current rating on them. If made for LED they probably will just sag the voltage to limit power, which LEDs will be fine with but HDD will not be happy.

 

I have a shelf full of drives in the next room over from my computer to get that clattery old mechanical stuff away from me where I dont have to hear it. All the wallwarts fit fine in a couple of HPM 5 way wide spaced powerstrips, which from memory were about $15 or so.





Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 1915544 9-Dec-2017 08:23
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Thanks for the input.  It certainly sounds doable.

 

Ther 1200W PSU is what is coming with the new build.  I have a spare 580W Corsair PSU I was thinking I could use, but with if the drives are all 12V only, the LED PSU might be better.

 

I have a lot of drives because of editing video which takes a lot of space, and takes forever to edit, so I like to keep it backed up.  The external drives have been added over a period of time, and the first ones were only 1Tb.  The most recent drives are 4Tb, but I did pick up a 3Tb I saw reduced at Warehouse Stationary not so long ago.  The new build will have two NVMe 512Gb, 1Tb SSD, 512Gb SSD, four or five assorted HDDs and the externals.  About 32Tb in total.

 

Any thoughts on plug and socket for the PSU end?  I could use the same on each end.  They would take up the least amount of space I'm thinking.

 

I'm having to make major modifications to my desk to fit the Cosmos II case, and I was thinking I'd make a housing for the externals with a fan to pull air across them.  They do get warm.  At that time I'll have to pull everything out so I can tell for sure what plug size and polarity is.

 

Bugger, just read the last post again, and it looks like I need to be wary of the 12V 15A LED supply.  I'll have a closer look at it later, but now I am thinking I could just use the 1200W PSU in the new build.  It will easily have the capacity, and I wouldn't need to mess about with relays or whatever to switch on an external PSU.  Although, come to think of it, the externals are permanently powered anyway.





Trevor Dennis
Rapaura (near Blenheim)

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  Reply # 1915612 9-Dec-2017 11:25
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I like things to be simple. I put all my working disks in my computer, and I prefer small numbers of large disks. Ditto for backups. For video I'd also prefer a single larger SSD, but that could be expensive.

 

Does SSD make things a lot faster for video? I tend to keep caches and working files on SSD, but bulk video on hard disk. I only do family video though.

 

Just about to order myself a 6TB media disk from Amazon for about US$190, NZ$280, to replace my 2TB media disk that works fine but is full. I'm tired of moving data around when it fills up.





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  Reply # 1915618 9-Dec-2017 11:40
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timmmay:

 

I like things to be simple. I put all my working disks in my computer, and I prefer small numbers of large disks. Ditto for backups. For video I'd also prefer a single larger SSD, but that could be expensive.

 

Does SSD make things a lot faster for video? I tend to keep caches and working files on SSD, but bulk video on hard disk. I only do family video though.

 

Just about to order myself a 6TB media disk from Amazon for about US$190, NZ$280, to replace my 2TB media disk that works fine but is full. I'm tired of moving data around when it fills up.

 

 

Its a little better when scrubbing the timeline but I am only using low bitrate 1080p 60 files. Might help more with export time on good 4k stuff.





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  Reply # 1915654 9-Dec-2017 13:27
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1200W is a heavy duty PSU!  Have you put your requirements into a calculator to make sure you're sized right?

 

 

 

http://www.coolermaster.com/power-supply-calculator/

 

 


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  Reply # 1915736 9-Dec-2017 17:43
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Sounds like you need a NAS

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  Reply # 1915759 9-Dec-2017 18:34
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A DAS or a NAS is worth considering, rather than faffing around trying to keep a whole bunch of external drives connected, powered and organised.

 

I have a bunch of USB external hard drives, but after a yes of so of being in hard drive hell with multiple drives connected and being juggled, pretty much use them only for backup now. Get a DAS if you only need to access the disks on one machine, or a NAS if you have more than one machine. Advantages are:

 

  • big storage pool - easier to organise stuff
  • much tidier in the workspace, a NAS can even be in a different room
  • versatility - you can point all your desktops, laptops, tablets, phones and media streamers at a shared NAS
  • a RAID5 or RAID6 array will give fault tolerance if a drive fails, and
  • a RAID5 or RAID6 a striped array will be faster than individual disks.

Just remember you still need backup, which is what you should use those external drives for. Raid gives a degree of fault tolerance and uptime while a filed disk is replaced. It is NOT a backup solution.

 

 


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  Reply # 1915765 9-Dec-2017 19:31
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Check how the computer PSU has been constructed. The cheap designs use a single transformer with different tap off points to get 12V, 5V, and 3.3V all from the same transformer. Problem is you need to keep the load on each output at a similar % of its max load. If you put lots of load on the 12V line. But only have low load on the 5V or 3.3V lines. The 5 and 3.3V lines will have their voltage increase. And the over voltage protection circuit will keep on tripping.

Far better are the type that use the transformer for 12V only. And they have DC-DC buck converters to reduce the 12V down to 5 and 3.3V. This type is perfectly happy with max load on the 12V rail. And no load on the 5V and 3.3V rails. Seasonic X series are 1 brand that does have the better type of design.





TLD



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  Reply # 1915859 10-Dec-2017 00:10
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gehenna:

 

1200W is a heavy duty PSU!  Have you put your requirements into a calculator to make sure you're sized right?

 

 

 

http://www.coolermaster.com/power-supply-calculator/

 

 

 

 

It's way more than I need, but there are supply issues with my first choices which were Cooler Master and Corsair 1000W Gold.  The builders couldn't source either of those, and suggested an EVGA 1000W unit that had a tiny form factor case which I didn't like the sound of.  Cooling was likely to be a factor, meaning flat out fans and noise.  So they came back with the OTT EVGA 1200W P2.   The strange thing is, this is one of the items on back order.  Go figure.





Trevor Dennis
Rapaura (near Blenheim)

TLD



603 posts

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  Reply # 1915861 10-Dec-2017 00:17
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timmmay:

 

I like things to be simple. I put all my working disks in my computer, and I prefer small numbers of large disks. Ditto for backups. For video I'd also prefer a single larger SSD, but that could be expensive.

 

Does SSD make things a lot faster for video? I tend to keep caches and working files on SSD, but bulk video on hard disk. I only do family video though.

 

Just about to order myself a 6TB media disk from Amazon for about US$190, NZ$280, to replace my 2TB media disk that works fine but is full. I'm tired of moving data around when it fills up.

 

 

It's as Richard has said.  I use Premiere Pro which is hard on resources.  With compressed CODECs like H.264 the drive needs to supply the data fast enough for the system to uncompress it on the fly as you scrub through the timeline.  Current NVMe drive speeds have made it a non issue though, and you can have project files, and cache and even exports on the same drive.  The Premiere Pro Hardware forum is the go to place for this sort of information

 

Incidentally, there is a wonderful thread over there right now with lots of people upset that the mega bucks they have spent on high end X299 and X399 systems are not as snappy as they expected.  They are OK with Premiere Pro, but slower than their old systems with Photoshop and After Effects.  I am hoping that I have struck a balance with the 7900X which can hit 4.5Gz with one core, which is all Photoshop needs.

 

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2411358

 

I have some spare time tomorrow, so will pull out some of the power blocks and see what spec they have.





Trevor Dennis
Rapaura (near Blenheim)

TLD



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  Reply # 1916027 10-Dec-2017 15:24
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It looks like I am in business, and that they all use the same configuration.  I'll take a feed from the computer PSU to the back panel, and from there to a distribution board.

 

 

 

 

I need to work out the DC power plugs and sockets, but I think it is this one. 

 

https://www.jaycar.co.nz/2-5mm-dc-power-line-female-connector-10mm-shaft/p/PP0511

 

https://www.jaycar.co.nz/2-5mm-chassis-male-dc-connector/p/PS0518

 

Or a better option for the distribution board socket

 

https://www.jaycar.co.nz/2-5mm-bulkhead-male-dc-power-connector/p/PS0524

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Trevor Dennis
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  Reply # 1916030 10-Dec-2017 15:45
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TLD:

 

It's way more than I need, but there are supply issues with my first choices which were Cooler Master and Corsair 1000W Gold.  The builders couldn't source either of those, and suggested an EVGA 1000W unit that had a tiny form factor case which I didn't like the sound of.  Cooling was likely to be a factor, meaning flat out fans and noise.  So they came back with the OTT EVGA 1200W P2.   The strange thing is, this is one of the items on back order.  Go figure.

 

 

I recently got the EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G2 and it's been fantastic.  They make a great PSU.  Almost completely silent, and very efficient with the 6 HDD's I've got in there. 


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