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Thread: Converting removable Ultra160 tray to Ultra 320 protocol

  1. #1
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    Confused Converting removable Ultra160 tray to Ultra 320 protocol

    I have been in a long term process of creating a Raid 0 or 1 system for video editing. I have:

    a. A 1ghz dual processor Quicksilver with 1gb ram, one 80 and one 160 gb respectively internal ata133 set of hard drives;

    b. a Granite Digital Ultra320 internal 68 pin two drive connector with two
    mounting brackets to connect double drives inside an external scsi case;

    c. two Maxtor Ultra320 10K Atlas IV 146 gb 68 pin drives;

    d. an Atto UL4S card;

    e. Two Granite Digital Ultra 320, 68 pin external cables with two external teminators; and

    f. A scsi case.

    I am getting close to completing on the system. I don't have Softraid yet but will get that soon. I also need two good quality hard drive coolers (please suggest any reliable ones you know of).

    Since Softraid doesn't to my knowledge support Raid 0-1, I went the removable scsi route. I plan to get one or two additional Ultra 320 68 pin scsi drives when finances permit to cold swap them via removable trays and do backups via the Softraid auto-rebuild function.

    Here's my problem.

    To save on costs I bought:

    a. three Intech enclosures with removable trays, two of them mounted one on top of another inside a PC export Scsi case that I got on e-bay (all in good condition).

    One of the Intech removable tray portion of the first mounted enclosure has a very short green and yellow twisted flat cable at the back to connect a 68 pin Ultra scsi drive to it. I believe this corresponds to the Ultra 80 or 160 protocol.

    The 68 pin twisted flat tray cable becomes, via one 80 pin female and another 80 pin male connector, a female 68 pin connector at the back of the mounted Intech enclosure. The internal granite digital male connector will be attached to this female connector inside the scsi box).

    The second mounted Intech tray has, strangely enough, an unstriated yellow, untwisted, non flat cable (Ultra SCSI 40?) but otherwise is identical to the first tray and enclosure.

    The third unmounted tray is identical to the first one.

    So, in all three removable trays I need to have a short 68 pin Ultra 320 cable that connects to the circuit board at the back of the tray.

    My thought is to unscrew the current circuit board, with attendant Ultra 160 68 pin cable and 80 pin female connector, at the back of the removable tray and screw-in a new circuit board with its' own Ultra 320 68 pin connector as a replacement.

    I have spent many days scouring the internet (scsiforu etc.) for such a separate short, 68 pin Ultra 320 cable connected to its' own circuit board but have found none. If the manufacturers can make 68 pin Ultra320 removable trays with the part I need mounted via screws, surely they must get this part from somewhere?

    Any ideas where I might look to purchase this? Any places that might make this part for me on special order? I would really appreciate any suggestions for places that sell or make parts like the one I need as it would save me on costs.

    Thanks for reading this.

  2. #2
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    Hello,

    as far as I can say.

    A good quality U160 Twisted Pair (correctly twisted) cable should do U320.

    If you have older UW2 (U80) non twisted cables, remove them.

    All TP U160 cables I have (Amphenol, Granite Digital) are working with U320.

    You need U160/320 terminators, some older U160 Terminators are not working correctly in U320 mode.

    Some hot swap, removable Backplanes are not U160/320 compatible. You can use the best cables on the planet (GD) and still you won't get U320 if the backplane can't handle this speed.

    If the intech enclosure has enough power cords, remove the backplane, use a U160/U320 cable instead and place an active terminator at the back of the case. This should work without troubles.

    I had some problems with backplanes (from Infortrend, EMC; SCA to SCSI) wich are working in UW2 (U80) mode but I had no chance to get them working in U160/U320.

    Hope this is of help.

    Regards

    Nicolas
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  3. #3
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    Default Great answer Nicolas

    I think this was right on target. I too have fooled around enough with the backplanes (Glyph) and it seems to be the weekest link. Most of the twisted pairs (as Nicolas commented) work fine in U320 mode.

    If you can eliminate the backplane (with its controller) then you would be better off in the long run.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas

    Some hot swap, removable Backplanes are not U160/320 compatible. You can use the best cables on the planet (GD) and still you won't get U320 if the backplane can't handle this speed.

    If the intech enclosure has enough power cords, remove the backplane, use a U160/U320 cable instead and place an active terminator at the back of the case. This should work without troubles.

    I had some problems with backplanes (from Infortrend, EMC; SCA to SCSI) wich are working in UW2 (U80) mode but I had no chance to get them working in U160/U320.
    MacBook Pro Uni 2.4GHz with express card slot

    iMac G5

  4. #4
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    Question Unsure how to proceed.

    Hello,

    Thank you Nicolas and Rguising for getting back to me. Yes, Nicolas your suggestions were helpful. I have not been able to find any sellers on the net for just backplanes. Out of curiousity do you have the web addresses where you bought your removable tray backplanes?

    Secondly, I need some clarifications about the backplane removal. I need to get this right or I risk compromising my expensive scsi hard drives.

    You wrote:

    "If the intech enclosure has enough power cords, remove the backplane, use a U160/U320 cable instead and place an active terminator at the back of the case. This should work without troubles."

    Both the Inclose removable tray and the enclosure it fits into (which itself is mounted inside a larger Scsi case) have backplanes.

    1. Do I remove both backplanes and attach an Ultra 320 twisted cable directly to the back of the hard drive without the backplane as mediator? (I thought this was a no-no so I've probably misunderstood your suggestion.)

    2. Or do I only remove one of the backplanes and if so which one?

    3. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "if the intech enclosure has enough power cords". The scsi box has internal power cords to connect to the two inclose mounted enclosures which each house a removable tray.

    4. When you say attach an external terminator to the back of the case, do you mean the external scsi box?

    5. How will my cold swap function work if I adopt your suggestion? Does that mean I will have to attach and detach the Ultra 320 cable every time I remove the Inclose removable tray from it's mounted enclosure?

    6. Lastly, what do you think of using an internal to external scsi adaptor once I've removed the backplane? See this link:

    http://www.scsisource.com/scsi_adapters/

    (I'm thinking of this one: Internal 68pin Female to External HD68 Female
    (with L bracket for case, pictured left)

    I hope my questions make sense (it's late here in Seattle). If they don't I will be happy to clarify.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEPT34
    I have not been able to find any sellers on the net for just backplanes. Out of curiousity do you have the web addresses where you bought your removable tray backplanes?
    Most of the enclosures (Infortrend, Transtec, EMC want between $800 to $1500 for a Backplane replacement) already came with an Backplane (SCA to SCSI or SCSI to SCSI. Never bought a Backplane seperatly due to costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by NEPT34
    1. Do I remove both backplanes and attach an Ultra 320 twisted cable directly to the back of the hard drive without the backplane as mediator? (I thought this was a no-no so I've probably misunderstood your suggestion.)
    2. Or do I only remove one of the backplanes and if so which one?

    3. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "if the intech enclosure has enough power cords". The scsi box has internal power cords to connect to the two inclose mounted enclosures which each house a removable tray.

    4. When you say attach an external terminator to the back of the case, do you mean the external scsi box?

    5. How will my cold swap function work if I adopt your suggestion? Does that mean I will have to attach and detach the Ultra 320 cable every time I remove the Inclose removable tray from it's mounted enclosure?

    6. Lastly, what do you think of using an internal to external scsi adaptor once I've removed the backplane? See this link:

    http://www.scsisource.com/scsi_adapters/

    (I'm thinking of this one: Internal 68pin Female to External HD68 Female
    (with L bracket for case, pictured left)

    I hope my questions make sense (it's late here in Seattle). If they don't I will be happy to clarify.
    1. and 2. Those two bridges (wich are actualy two parts of one hot swap bridge) work together, if you remove one, you have to remove the second but you'll lose the ability of hot swap.
    This means your HD's have a 68 pin U160/320 connector and a Molex connector for power, to make those hot swapable there is a bridge on each bay and a bridge in the case to merge power (Molex) and Data (SCSI) to one connector wich can be pluged an unpluged without opening the case.

    3. If there is a power cord wich goes from the PS to the "in case mounted Backplane", you can remove the Backplanes and connect the molex directly to the HD. Then, you'll need an internal/external SCSI cable.

    4. Yes, you'll only have ONE SCSI cable left wich goes from the back of the external (PC case) to both drives mounted in the trays and back to the second external connector. You said, you have two of the trays/bays in a PCI case then it will look like this (you'll need an internal/external U320 SCSI subsystem cable):
    external connector -----------drive1/tray1-------drive2/tray2--------external connector with an U320 active Terminator connected to.

    5. you'll have to open the case and unplug the power and SCSI cable from the drive itself.

    6. U160/U320 is very picky about cables (lenght, resistance), a complete cable wich has both external and both internal connectors would be a lot better. U320 on the cheap is a no go, in my opinion, you have great HD's and a great SCSI card but, with cheap cables, connectors and terminators you'll degrade them to the speed of an old U2W or even worse.

    A good internal/external U320 SCSI subsystem cable is costly, for the price of that, you can get a 2 bay Burly here.
    http://www.macgurus.com/productpages...enclosures.php

    Just my 2 cents.
    AFAIK The Burly's work at U160/U320 (wait for Rick, Kaye, TZ to clear that) and those are new, just a suggestion before spending the same $ for something wich could work. I don't want you to buy something but for example, if you spend $90+ for a subsystem cable, I would buy a 2 bay burly.

    Pictures (or a Link) of both Backplanes and the inside of the enclosures would be a big help.

    Regards

    Nicolas
    Last edited by Nicolas; 08-13-2005 at 11:18 AM.
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  6. #6
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    Default

    You are getting great advice from both Nicolas and rguising. A couple of things I would add to this and since Nicolas asked:
    1. I have used the old Granite U160 flat TPO cables (not the Teflon) internal in my SCSI Burlys of course with their U160 external cables and U160 Terminators and that combo works fine at U320. How do I know it is working at U320? Because with my latest Maxtor Atlas 15K II drives, the ATTO Configuration Tool tells me so. Keep in mind that when U320 first came to market there was a rush by drive manufacturers to sell U320 drives even tho the U320 specs had not been fully written. So some U320 drives did not have all of the U320 specs and capabilities built into the drives. AFAIK, all of the latest U320 drives now do.

    2. I know that Granite is not fond of short U160 or U320 cables. They recommend at least 8" or worst case 6" between drives and terminator to prevent reflections which can cause corruption.

    3. ATTO Configuration Tool, I have really only used this with knowledge of what it is telling me in 10.4.x, but if you get familiar with it, it will tell you what features of your UL4S and your cabling and drives you are running at. In your case, since you have one channel, it will be the whatever is the slowest combination of cabling and drive of your 2-drive system. That might provide you with some further insight to what the worst case tray cable is putting you at.

    4. As Nicolas sez, I would start over with a Burly. All you need is the Granite internal cable that works with the 2-bay. You already have the rest of the stuff. k

  7. #7
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    Question How to embed and upload requested pictures

    Hello,

    Thank you very much Nicolas for your patient and detailed reply. Kaye thank you for your input as well. I looked into the burlies and that seems like a good suggestion. I do have burly-like scsi enclosures that I was hoping to use but of they don't work, I'll purchase a burly two bay.

    I also liked the Ultimate hard drive cooler and would like to purchase a couple. Are you satisfied with the effectiveness of their performance? How much difference will they make to lowering the operating temperature of my Maxtor Atlas 10k IV drives?

    Nicolas, you requested pictures of the backplanes and the insides of the enclosure. I have those via the help of a friend and his digital camera. However, I have never embedded and uploaded pictures to the Guru's site (let alone any other Mac help sites).

    1. Do I use Adobe go live or some other web editor to insert the pictures and title captions on this saved webpage?

    2. If I'm successful with step 1, how do I upload the edited web page and the embedded pictures to the Scsi forum of the Technical area? I have no clue as to how to do that.

    I do have the FTP application Fugu for File transfers but it requires an FTP address and a password to function.

    Any suggestion or link to a step by step on how to upload pictures would be great, as I have a few JPEG's which I would love to post.

    I really appreciate your continued support in making my raid system happen.

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up Good choice

    Quote Originally Posted by NEPT34
    Nicolas, you requested pictures of the backplanes and the insides of the enclosure. I have those via the help of a friend and his digital camera. However, I have never embedded and uploaded pictures to the Guru's site (let alone any other Mac help sites).
    You don't need a Helper Application or something else to add pictures.

    Just click on "Manage Attachments" in the "Additional Options" section below the "Submit Reply, Preview Post" buttons the rest explains itself.

    Take a look that your images are below 35Kb, use jpg or gif as filetypes.

    The Burly's are great, and painless to install. With drive coolers; you mentioned; your HD's and the ATTO SCSI card, you'll get a rock solid, high end SCSI Solution.

    Your welcome!

    Regards

    Nicolas
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  9. #9
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    Default Pictures that were requested

    Hello,

    Regarding Nicolas's comment "U160/U320 is very picky about cables (lenght, resistance), a complete cable wich has both external and both internal connectors would be a lot better":

    I should mention that I already have Granite Digital part # 7031 internal cable with two external mounting brackets, so hopefully that fits the requirements from Nicolas's point 4 and 6 above. Let me know.

    Here are the pictures that Nicolas requested. They are titled and posted in the following order:

    1. Scsi Enclosure;
    2. Scsi Enc. Without cover;
    3. Inclose Removable Tray;
    4. Removable Tray Without Cover;
    5. Removable Tray Backplane Front;
    6. Removable Tray Backplane Back;
    7. Inclose Enc. Mounted in Scsi Case; and
    8. Inclose Mounted Enc. Backplane. (the backplane number reads: P96U3-
    F-PCB REV. 1.0 VER. 1.0

    I hope the pictures post okay. Let me know what you think. The second removable tray (no pictures above) is definitely Ultra40 or 80 as it has a untwisted flat brightish yellow cable.

  10. #10
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    Hello,

    I only found the successor, PMD-96U3:
    The PMD-96U3 removable drive tray and docking bay provide durable and reliable solutions for mounting a 3.5" Ultra 160 hard drive into a 5.25" drive bay.

    The successor is for U160 only (no U320).

    The twisted pair cable on the first tray says nothing about the rated SCSI standard, sorry for saying that.

    Some EMC and Infortrend boxes, I saw, had TP cables but they were U2W or UW compatible only.

    If you already have the GD cable with 4 connectors, you can try the following in the Burly, it should work (can't say anything about the Internal 68pin Female to External HD68 Female adapter you mentioned):

    In/Out Adapter-----------HD1--------HD2-------internal Active Terminator

    or

    In/Out Adapter-----------HD1--------HD2-------In/Out Adapter and the external GD terminator (you mentioned) attached to it


    Maybe Rick (MacGurus) has a similar adapter wich is proven to work at U320.


    Regards

    Nicolas
    Last edited by Nicolas; 08-18-2005 at 04:18 AM.
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

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