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Thread: Thunderbolt Hub/Switch

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damien View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post

    Interesting card is this CalDigit USB3 + eSATA combo card:
    http://www.caldigit.com/FASTA-6GU3/
    I wantz it.. I wantz the precious…
    Whoa, found one more 2-port TB, 1-slot expansion box, OWC's Helios: (sorry for linking a competitor Rick):
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thund...ercury_Helios/
    Priced now at USD 349 ("holiday discount" over the usual 399), that's the cheapest 2-port TB, 1-slot box I've found so far. 50 cheaper than the Sonnet and the mLogic mLink. Gotta say looks like a black clone of the Sonnet SE.

    Here's their compatibility list:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/tech_cente...Compatibility/
    Compatible PM eSATA cards look to be:
    - that CalDigit USB3 + eSATA
    - Firmtek SeriTek/e6G 2-port
    Last edited by eric; 01-06-2013 at 12:27 PM.

  2. #22
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    About that Belkin hub. Here's the latest from CES:
    http://www.belkin.com/us/pressreleases/8798255940668

    Product page has been updated too:
    http://www.belkin.com/us/Belkin-Thun...ock/p/P-F4U055

    Highlights/lowlights:
    - We have a price sort of: $299.99 in the press release, $399.00 on the product page.
    - eSATA port is gone.
    - Still "coming soon", now it's Q1 2013

  3. #23
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    Well, I just ordered the OWC Mercury Helios TB Chasis and the CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 (2) eSATA / (2) USB 3 ports. I will report back and let you know if this works on my (2) 5 bay Burly's as soon as I receive! IF the USB3 is implemented better than my 2012 iMac, I may use it instead of eSATA - since I already upgraded both Burly's with the Lycom PM Boards that are USB3/SATA.

    What would the Speed difference be do you think between MAC/TB/PCIe/SATA/BURLY vs MAC/TB/PCIe/USB3/BURLY??? I typically only use one or two drives at a time.

  4. #24
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    No difference.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  5. #25
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    Jeeezzuusssss. Just got the CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 card installed in the Helios and hooked everything up. Guess what... it only support port multiplier on ONE SATA connection at a time! WTF??? Just confirmed this with tech support. I am beyond frustrated. On top of that, he says they only tested the card on a 4 Bay enclosure, doesn't even know if it will work on a 5 Bay. I don't know myself since a few of my bays are burned out in each enclosure, the replacement trays get here Thursday, but what does it matter anymore, I can only get 5 of my 10 bays online at a time.

    Rick, do you know of a half length PCIe card that supports Port Multiplier on BOTH ports?

    I thought I had it all worked out, once again. But here I am...

  6. #26
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    Just had thought, why not try to hook up the Enclosures to the USB3 Ports on the CalDigit Card and just... see what happens. I've already installed the drivers. Fingers Crossed.

    I really don't like the lack of HotSwapping via USB3 but maybe I'll just use that enclosure for backup drives and things that I don't mess with often.

    I just can't believe that after spending over $900 trying to hook up my Burly's to my 2012 iMac, that I am COMPROMISING on anything at all... Guess I should've bought that MacPro after all.

  7. #27
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    Okay, I have done some testing now that all 10 bays are up and running (a few of the bays had gone bad and were just replaced, they were 6 or 7 years old):

    First of all, the CalDigit card is a POS. It only supports port multiplier on one of the two eSata ports at a time. Worse, yet, it will only mount four of the five drives in the enclosure.

    I tried using USB3 and immediately had the exact same problems I was having when I hooked directly to the 2012 iMac - Improper Disc Eject Warnings, etc... That's the end of that test - I don't want to fry anymore drives. I was hopeful that CaDigit's USB3 Driver would help me work around the shortcomings of Apple's USB3 implementation, but not.

    So now, my last real option as far as I can tell, is to try out the FirmTek SeriTek/e6G Card. It says in black and white that it will support up to 10 drives . Here is a link to the description: http://www.firmtek.com/seritek/seritek-e6g/

    Anyone know if it will work? Or if there is some reason that it absolutely won't work? Or should I just buy it, try it, and report back?

    Thanks!
    Michael

    Will this card work? http://www.macgurus.com/store/ecom-p...YCeSATA4e.html

    It needs to be Full Height, 1/2 Length. Here's the compatibility list for the Helios: http://eshop.macsales.com/tech_cente...Compatibility/

  8. #28
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    Great fun you are having. Sure wish I knew why any given computer cannot mount USB enclosures reliably. It does not appear to follow any rhyme or reason. I read threads on forums bashing this or that enclosure manufacturer, but all of them never figure out why or how to get around it.

    We did a bunch of testing on the CalDigit card, it worked mostly ok with USB 3. However, I never tested it with more than a single PM enclosure on it and almost always I use drives in sets of 4. I had no idea it would only support a single PM. That really seems weird. And only 4 drives also seems weird.

    I had heard some reports about the Firmtek and issues with it on Thunderbolt. Firmtek isn't know for support, so I never followed them up.

    The only card that I know of that really works is the ARECA 1300 series. I sold one to a guy who used it in one of the expansion chassis, I am afraid I don't remember which chassis.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  9. #29
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    My opinion on USB remains as it has always been…

    It was designed originally for low speed input devices and it should have stayed that way. Unless I am absolutely forced to I won't use USB for anything high speed.. with the exception of my iPad and iPhone, I only have my keyboard and mouse on USB. Even my printer is ethernet. Everything else, and I have lots, is either Thunderbolt or Firewire
    Damien,

  10. #30
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    Hey Rick, Yeah it does seam weird, but I'm afraid it is what it is. I knew I was a relatively new adopter of TB technology, but I thought I'd be able to work it out pretty quick and easy. Sadly, it's just turned into a "try it and see" situation. I hope you don't think I'm bashing your product - not at all the case. I love my Burly's, it was one of the best investments I've ever made in my business (realized early on that a bunch of Lacie's would not be sustainable long term). I'm up to 30+ Drives all mounted in Trays and ready to rock!

    If my tone appeared directed, please forgive me, it wasn't. Just a venting of pent up frustration. Nobody's fault, just new tech and proven tech trying to commingle. This is one of the only forums that even knows what I'm talking about half the time, LOL. So, I just put it all out there. Maybe someone can help me, or maybe I can help someone else...

    I'm still bewildered that a tiny Express34 Lycom card could mount all ten drives onto my MBP (at 150Gbit), and yet I can't find a card that will do the same in the Helios Chasis. I think FrimTech might be my best bet at this point. eSata is ROCK SOLID on the new iMac, and that's what I need. I just want to hook up BOTH Burly's... Right now, I'm able to get 4 drives mounted, that means I can get real work done, so I'm good. I will work it all out in the near future, and just have more options.

    I'll take a closer look at the Areca 1300 Card for sure!

    Do you think there will ever be a Port Multiplier Board that spits out TB to TB??? That would be AMAZING...

  11. #31
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    All that Thunderbolt is is PCIe over a wire. There is no reason at all that a developer cannot marry a port multiplier capable SATA chipset to a Thunderbolt chip. Problem is, looks like the developers trying to build a port multiplier SATA chipset with SATAIII capabilities are all buggy. That'll work out in the end.

    That seems a hell of a lot easier than getting some of the Macs to work with USB 3.0. I am pretty frustrated. I appreciate more than you will ever know your kindness through these trials.

    One day we'll all look back and wonder why we had any problems at all. Until then the slog continues.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damien View Post
    .. Apple's TB monitor insists on being at the end of the chain and you want to remove a device.
    Are you sure about that? It suggests it is not possible to make two monitor setup (and why does it have an out TB?)

    By the way, I believe any hub would emulate a daisy chain therefore any TB out should "consume" the devices limit - and if so the only benefit would be to transform an end of chain device into a "in the chain" one (sorry for my pour english).

    Regards.

  13. #33
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    On my mini It is not possible to currently make a 2 Apple TB monitor setup. You can use one TB Apple monitor and one DVI Apple (or other) monitor because the Mini has an HDMI port and comes with a DVI adapter. Mac Pro's may have more TB ports.

    The TB Apple monitor has only one TB port and it is an 'in' port from the computer.
    Damien,

  14. #34
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    Hi Damien. Please see the link below - wait for pictures to scroll (or click the blue button 2 and 3): picture 2 shows two monitor with MBP (only one out TB port on MBP) and picture 3 shows the back of TBD - one TB cable other them TB port.

    http://www.apple.com/displays

    What you think?

    Regards.

  15. #35
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    I think the confusion here is that Apple changed the spec. The first 27" Cinema displays only had a MiniDisplay port, not a TB port. So they had to go at the end of a TB chain......which means only 1 external TB monitor.

    They changed the monitor from MDP to TB, so now two can be chained together, or something else can be down the chain.

    To really confuse us, they look exactly the same.......both the monitor and the port. The only difference I am aware of is the tiny symbol on the TB or MDP.

    ....IIRC.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  16. #36
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    I stand corrected…

    There are in fact 2 TB ports on the back of the Display. How is it that I can own a TB display and not know that? I must be getting old..
    Damien,

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