View Full Version : SCSI external cabinet

06-30-2001, 09:00 PM
First some background. I have a 8600 with the Sonnet G4 card as well as a USB/Firewire card.
I recently through auction acquired several HP SCSI harddrives, 3 9.1 GB and 2 4.2.

I'd like to set up a external cabinet for my MAC.

The drives all have 80 pin connector and, of course, my MAC has the 25 pin on the back.

Question 1
Can I attach a cabinet to this 25 Pin APPLE SCSI connector.
Question 2
How can I adapt the 80 pin drives to something that fits a cabinet, or do I need to make my own custom made cabinet?

Any help someone might offer will be appreciated.


06-30-2001, 09:48 PM
3 things.

1) Got a good price on the drives I assume? Keep reading for why.

2) The drives will physically fit into most external cases assuming you have the room. How large in physical size are they?

3) The drives use an 80-pin SCA connection. Anytime you add in an adapter into the mix, you take a risk. They were designed for hot-swap server racks. There are adapters out there. Some of us have tried and failed. Some have tried and succeeded. The moral is: Spend the $$ on your storage system that you feel your data is worth.

The drives might work. Someone with some experience will be along shortly. I just know what I have heard and read and seen. But I have never tinkered with them first-hand.

06-30-2001, 09:59 PM
Teamwork going on here. The following has been brought to you by "ChrisYip". He is unable to reply for some unknown reason, so he emailed his response. So without further ado:

"Uh oh... sounds like you have some SCA hardware - scan through the forum for info on those hot swap drives - some have had good experience (I have two hooked up on an external narrow enclosure but some have had lots of problems)

You will need adapters for the drives and that can be problematic, even in the best of times.

Your external SCSI is a narrow SCSI so you will need to use an enclosure that is set up for narrow drives (i.e. 50 pin).

Enclosures here: http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsienclosures.html

Since you have SCA hardware, you will need the appropriate adapter:
Adapters here:

But beware ....
http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsiscaadaptercrap.html (http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsiscaadapte)

.. and a narrow terminator:

Terminators here: http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsiterminators.html

But - be forewarned - the SCA drives are meant for hot swap bays on servers, not for home machines so they can be tempermental.

Hope this helps..




[This message has been edited by Dogstarman (edited 30 June 2001).]

06-30-2001, 10:01 PM
Thanks DSM... (now - let's see if this makes it...)

06-30-2001, 10:45 PM
Thanks for the good start here. These drives are 3 1/2 inch half high drives.

perhaps a 75 GB Firewire external might be better and cut my losses right now?? I did get a very good deal and the drives have all passed manufacters diagnosis, so I believe them to be good.

Oh well, ya don't get somethin for nuttin.


06-30-2001, 10:47 PM
One more thought.

My guy I got these from is a hardware salvage type of operation, goes in and bids on companies going out of business. It is very possible he can find me a hot swap drive array cabinet. Will I be able to connect that beast to my 8600??


06-30-2001, 10:52 PM
I have 4 x 4.5 GB Fujitsu SCA drives in my desk at work - the cost of setting up the adapters etc and the potential for trouble has kept them in the drawer...

As for the hot swap drive box - hmmm - hadn't thought about that... that might work...

Firewire is certainly an more attractive option.. Figure it this way - you'd need 5 adapters + cabinet + cabling (25 pin -> narrow) + terminator to gain ~ 35 GB of storage space (give or take).. how much does that cost vs a 60 GB Firewire system (either a DIY version or a pre-built unit)...

Might be better off with the Firewire option....


06-30-2001, 10:55 PM
One thought. Would the hardware backplane of the hot-swap box be recognized and compatible with a Mac? Odd. I have no idea, but maybe someone like trag will have some insight. Like I said, I don't need any more doorstops, so I never bought an SCA. My brother, on the other hand....well....you get the idea. He got em and sold em almost as soon as they arrived. The seller listed them as SCSI-2 standard connection. Yeah, OK.

07-01-2001, 03:40 AM
I use Compaq external storage cabinets with many of my machines, and have had great luck with them. I would recommend you think about a SCSI card, as that 25 pin port is dreadfully slow. You can find a cable to to connect between it and a storage cabinet, but it will be a waste of the drives and the cabinet.

They don't do anything more invasive than filter/modify all SCSI commands, ensuring that the right packets move to the right drives.

I use a Proliant 3092UW Tower & 7 drives with my 9500, via a JackHammer (I'll be trying a U2B in there soon, so I'll let you guys know if a UW Tower supports LVD).

I use a Proliant F2 storage rack & 12 drives with my 9600, via two Jackhammers, and will be moving that system to an Atto U3LD later this week.

The Compaq boxes use a hardware SCSI controller to 'manage' the bus, and they do a pretty good job of it, saving you alot of heartache. The downside is that the drive caddies can be expensive (~$20-$40ish on eBay).

Good luck!

[This message has been edited by chrismenke (edited 01 July 2001).]

07-01-2001, 11:08 AM
Thanks for all the help guys. I think I'll just adapt 2 of the 9 Gb drives and mount them inside the case and then when I need more, get that Firewire 75 GB drive I found for 375.00. Sounds like alot less work!!


07-01-2001, 11:46 AM
OWC has a Seagate Elite 9GB 5400 FULL HEIGHT 5.25" metal case with 80 mm fan that would be great to convert to use with 68-pin drives. It has HD50 connectors - and sells for just $99 with the 9GB drive (5-7MB/s thruput).

Would it be hard? It has SCSI ID selector for two drives, weighs in at 17 lbs. Mufflies noise. I really like it but don't want or need the drive (reminder when 20MB drives were 25 lbs and lifted in and out).