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3.5" HDD enclosure for SBC with RPi form factor


tkaiser
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Suptronics/Geekworm sells RPi add-ons for a long time. They started with an add-on using the crappy/slow GL830 USB-to-SATA bridge but switched to a good JMS578 after some public complaints (see there also for the issues with GL830)

 

Now they offer a metal box with fan kit and for their X830 USB-to-SATA board for less than 30 bucks. Power input: 14 to 40V DC via 5.5/2.5mm power barrel jack, the SBC can then be powered through GPIO header pins.

 

Boards that should fit inside the enclosure:

 

  • Any RPi
  • Libre Computer Tritium H2+/H3/H5
  • Libre Computer Le Potato
  • MiQi
  • NanoPi K1 Plus
  • NanoPi K2
  • ODROID C1/C1+
  • ODROID C2
  • Tinkerboard
  • Rock64
  • Libre Computer Renegade
  • PineH64 B
  • NanoPi M4 (sufficient cooling will require mounting the fan not on top but next to the board)

 

Caveats:

 

With the 4 last boards you can either limit connection between board and the SATA-bridge to USB2 (the small adapter only transports the Hi-Speed data lines) or you need a standards violating USB3-A to USB3-A cable (which is said to be included with X830 -- no idea if it's also part of the kit).

 

I'm not sure how a 3.5" HDD is mounted inside the enclosure and expressed my concerns about this and potential firmware issues (as well as how to solve them) with the X830 only here: https://www.cnx-software.com/2018/06/12/add-a-3-5-hard-drive-raspberry-pi-suptronics-x830-add-on-board/#comment-554303 (there you also find some more information and link to a wiki).

 

Disclaimer: never used any of their products and not able to 'review' anything. I just thought this would be a nice combination if a 3.5" HDD should be used together with one of the supported SBC since usually 3.5" HDDs needing 5V and 12V at the same time is somewhat challenging.

 

Edit: Just realized that it's only the enclosure + fan and you need to buy the X830 board separately. Then we're talking about a pretty expensive gadget which will be kinda ugly too with USB3 equipped boards since it needs an 80cm USB cable to externally connect SBC and disk inside the enclosure. Too bad.

 

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