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pkfox

More SATA questions

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Hi all, just fitted one of these Nanopi M4 SATA Hat and  can't see how I can connect 4 drives as there is only one Molex connector - I'm probably being dumb - any help appreciated

 

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Heh. There are stupid questions, but at times you have to ask 'em, if only to serve as an example to others. I've been that example plenty of times.

Find a split or breakout cable, or make your own. I prefer to make my own: you can get parts from suppliers like Digi-Key, Mouser, Newark, etc. They're AMP Commercial Mate-n-lock.

Oddity: The power output connector on that hat is reverse gender. The supply is normally female (sockets, not pins), so finding a pre-made 1->4 splitter cable might be tough. You could get a couple SATA (I assume your devices use SATA power) splitters and make a cable chain.

Also: most consumer-type 2.5" devices are 5V only, so the 12V in is not needed (I don't bother to wire 3.3V or 12V on SATA unless I need it), and you'll want to check the specs on your NanoPi M4 to make sure you don't clobber its 5V supply (most devices are <1A; HDDs will draw more than their rated power on spinup, maybe 2-4 seconds - not enough time to cook connectors, and regulators will normally compensate for voltage drop, but hey). Given that the NanoPi M4 uses 5V in, you could bypass the board and power the storage devices directly. It's just a matter of wiring.

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Bah! I should have said that the power output connector on the hat is a standard, old-style PC 3.5" power connector, a Commercial Mate-n-lok (I forgot about the silly spelling there, too), but most likely you'd need SATA connectors for the devices - they're also readily available (and more easily locatable via search, as it's a bit tougher to find the precise Mate-n-lok). I really expected to hate the SATA power connector, but the crimp-style has lots of room to solder and add heat shrink tube. (The IDC-style is designed for 18g wire, a bit bigger than you'd need, especially if you're making a 1->4 splitter.)

The M4 seems to be another device where you can clobber the power supply if you try hard enough. In terms of 5V current, the RK3399 SOC and board needs 2-3A, 2 USB 3 can consume 2A, 2 USB 2 1A, the SATA hat itself is negigible, but 4 SATA devices 2-4A = 7-10A. Not a likely scenario, but you could do it with, say, a USB HDD, a USB Blu-ray, a couple random USB 2 devices, four power-hungry 5V SATA devices (e.g. the Samsung 830 Pro was rated at 1.6A) and the slightly overclocked RK3399. Squeezing 8A out of that scenario would be easy, at least for a short time. Not that you need to worry about it so much, but be aware that power could be an issue as you plug more stuff into the board.

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16 hours ago, pfry said:

Bah! I should have said that the power output connector on the hat is a standard, old-style PC 3.5" power connector, a Commercial Mate-n-lok (I forgot about the silly spelling there, too), but most likely you'd need SATA connectors for the devices - they're also readily available (and more easily locatable via search, as it's a bit tougher to find the precise Mate-n-lok). I really expected to hate the SATA power connector, but the crimp-style has lots of room to solder and add heat shrink tube. (The IDC-style is designed for 18g wire, a bit bigger than you'd need, especially if you're making a 1->4 splitter.)

The M4 seems to be another device where you can clobber the power supply if you try hard enough. In terms of 5V current, the RK3399 SOC and board needs 2-3A, 2 USB 3 can consume 2A, 2 USB 2 1A, the SATA hat itself is negigible, but 4 SATA devices 2-4A = 7-10A. Not a likely scenario, but you could do it with, say, a USB HDD, a USB Blu-ray, a couple random USB 2 devices, four power-hungry 5V SATA devices (e.g. the Samsung 830 Pro was rated at 1.6A) and the slightly overclocked RK3399. Squeezing 8A out of that scenario would be easy, at least for a short time. Not that you need to worry about it so much, but be aware that power could be an issue as you plug more stuff into the board.

Wow that's a lot of information I'm more confused than ever 😁 As you can probably tell I'm no hardware expert so it will probably help if I explain what I want to achieve.

 

I want to build a central backup location on my LAN using the Nanopi M4 with SATA Hat.

All the drives will be 1 TB SSDs.

 

So my question is, what cables do I need to attach 4 drives to the hat. I will check about current and voltages when I have a clear idea about how it all fits together physically. Thanks very much for your replies , they highlight how much I need to learn.

 

 

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If you need more than two drives, just get SATA power splitters and split the two SATA power plugs that the included power cable has.

If you're unsure about powering the nanopi just get a 12V laptop power supply with the right barrel jack and power everything via the SATA hat. Something like this: power supply

I am powering it via the (square) 4 pin ATX plug.

 

EDIT:

An Alternative would be a molex male to male adapter and then a molex to 4x SATA power cable. I couldn't find any male molex to SATA adapters :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, frauhottelmann said:

If you need more than two drives, just get SATA power splitters and split the two SATA power plugs that the included power cable has.

If you're unsure about powering the nanopi just get a 12V laptop power supply with the right barrel jack and power everything via the SATA hat. Something like this: power supply

I am powering it via the (square) 4 pin ATX plug.

 

EDIT:

An Alternative would be a molex male to male adapter and then a molex to 4x SATA power cable. I couldn't find any male molex to SATA adapters :rolleyes:

Hi there and thanks for replying, are you saying If I power the hat with a 12v power supply ( which I have got )  I can simply connect the drives with the black data cables that are supplied ? Sorry for newbie questions but there seems to be many different ways of powering these drives

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1 hour ago, pkfox said:

Hi there and thanks for replying, are you saying If I power the hat with a 12v power supply ( which I have got )  I can simply connect the drives with the black data cables that are supplied ? Sorry for newbie questions but there seems to be many different ways of powering these drives

I got it wrong: I assumed the 12V input on the hat was a simple passthrough, but it's not - it has a 5V 8A regulator as well (and I make an example of myself again with a stupid answer to a simple question, because I didn't do my research). Interesting, as your posts in the "Nanopi-M4 SATA HAT" thread seem to show that you can run 5V-only devices without an external supply (so I'm only half-stupid). [frauhottelmann] has the best recommendation for you (two splitters plus 12V supply). Two power supplies and a cable chain is a bit untidy, so if you're bored in the future you could whip out a dual-output supply and custom cabling. Or not.

Looks like you're using Crucial MX500s. Crucial doesn't have an easily-locatable power spec, but the photo appears to read "5V 1.7A". I'd definitely recommend using the 12V power input on the hat with four of those. If you run saturation benchmarks on them you could heat up the regulator on the hat, but I doubt it. (One way to find out, and it'd be tough to tell how it's doing without a wee thermocouple or an IR thermometer.)

It has two USB ports, too, with the tiny, irritating JST PH2.0 connectors. Nice that they put the pinout on the (back of the) board.

 

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Thanks to everyone that's replied to this thread - there is obviously a lot more research required by myself as, I can see this being a mass of cables and hot boards ( multiplied by two as I have two M4's with these hats ) I obviously need a case(s) for the drives with some connectors for power and data built in ( why don't I just buy a NAS 😜 )  wish me luck and please keep the helpful suggestions coming

 

Thanks again

 

 

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I'm the last person who should accuse someone else of overthinking an issue (as though it's a bad thing), but you may be missing an opportunity to get your boards running the way you want it. If you grab two of the the splitter cables linked by [frauhottelmann] (they're far from the only option, but StarTech is a safe bet, and those are "shipped from and sold by Amazon"), you should be good to go (for one board/drive set), since you said you have a 12V power supply. You can then grind on the details to your heart's content, with a bit of added information/experience. You might decide to stay with what you (will) have.

Pre-built systems are convenient. You'll certainly not save time (in the short term) with a custom solution, and if you save money, you're a better man (person?) than I. The benefits lie elsewhere. Not the least: you can help others here.

(Speaking of overthinking, I won't run a NAS without ECC RAM and a RAID of some sort. That gets expensive, in both time and money. But cosmic rays, man! Cosmic rays!)

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11 hours ago, pfry said:

I'm the last person who should accuse someone else of overthinking an issue (as though it's a bad thing), but you may be missing an opportunity to get your boards running the way you want it. If you grab two of the the splitter cables linked by [frauhottelmann] (they're far from the only option, but StarTech is a safe bet, and those are "shipped from and sold by Amazon"), you should be good to go (for one board/drive set), since you said you have a 12V power supply. You can then grind on the details to your heart's content, with a bit of added information/experience. You might decide to stay with what you (will) have.

Pre-built systems are convenient. You'll certainly not save time (in the short term) with a custom solution, and if you save money, you're a better man (person?) than I. The benefits lie elsewhere. Not the least: you can help others here.

(Speaking of overthinking, I won't run a NAS without ECC RAM and a RAID of some sort. That gets expensive, in both time and money. But cosmic rays, man! Cosmic rays!)

Hi there and thanks for your time, the splitters frauhottelmann mentions are of no use in this case as the hat doesn't have a connector of that type, if anything I need a female Molex -> 4 Sata power.

 

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59 minutes ago, pkfox said:

Hi there and thanks for your time, the splitters frauhottelmann mentions are of no use in this case as the hat doesn't have a connector of that type, if anything I need a female Molex -> 4 Sata power.

 

 

? I'm guessing you didn't look closely at the splitters. They're just SATA power "Y"s: each has one SATA power "device" connector and two SATA power "cable" connectors (I'm too lazy to look up the accepted nomenclature). Plug them into the power cable that came with the hat and you get "Molex" (really AMP Commercial Mate-n-lok) -> 4 SATA power "cable" (there's no wrong way to plug them together, so long as you only plug compatible connectors together and do not loop the cables; but the best way is to plug each splitter into the original cable, rather than plug one splitter into the other).

If we're still not connecting (so to speak), grab a friend and run this thread by 'em.

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On 4/3/2019 at 7:49 AM, pfry said:

 

? I'm guessing you didn't look closely at the splitters. They're just SATA power "Y"s: each has one SATA power "device" connector and two SATA power "cable" connectors (I'm too lazy to look up the accepted nomenclature). Plug them into the power cable that came with the hat and you get "Molex" (really AMP Commercial Mate-n-lok) -> 4 SATA power "cable" (there's no wrong way to plug them together, so long as you only plug compatible connectors together and do not loop the cables; but the best way is to plug each splitter into the original cable, rather than plug one splitter into the other).

If we're still not connecting (so to speak), grab a friend and run this thread by 'em.

You're probably right ( not looking at the cables closely ) I am a software engineer by trade but glaze over regarding this sort of thing. However I can report some success !!! I have one of the boards running with two 1 TB drives attached and I'm currently backing up my huge music collection to them. I've ordered some splitter cables which should arrive at the weekend. I'll keep you posted and thanks again for your help and patience.

 

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Software Engineer. Lordy. I have several hats (no pun intended): Project Manager, Lead Engineer, Engineering Manager, Chartered Engineer, Functional Safety Engineer and Dog Walker. Software Engineer, LOL. I can advise a support group? Sorry, really funny, welcome to the hardware universe :-) Dragons be here :-) Take some mysterious hardware magic with you :-)

 

If the smoke does not come out, it will be fine.  :-) :-) :-)

 

PMP oh dear, where are the paper towels?

 

 

 

Please take with best humour.  If I can help with the M4 SATA hat, post again. 

IMG_20190405_192334.jpg

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On 4/5/2019 at 8:40 PM, dogshome said:

Software Engineer. Lordy. I have several hats (no pun intended): Project Manager, Lead Engineer, Engineering Manager, Chartered Engineer, Functional Safety Engineer and Dog Walker. Software Engineer, LOL. I can advise a support group? Sorry, really funny, welcome to the hardware universe :-) Dragons be here :-) Take some mysterious hardware magic with you :-)

 

If the smoke does not come out, it will be fine.  :-) :-) :-)

 

PMP oh dear, where are the paper towels?

 

 

 

Please take with best humour.  If I can help with the M4 SATA hat, post again. 

IMG_20190405_192334.jpg

I know what you mean ( many hats and titles ) I've been programming computers since 1971 and I'm still getting paid to do so - some of my previous titles are shown below

 

Programmer

Systems Analyst

Analyst Programmer

Project Manager

Lead Programmer

Software Engineer

 

l could go on - all those different titles for essentially the same job

 

BTW I have the Pi with 4 Ssd drives working beautifuly

 

 

 

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