Cable length

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Hi I thought the max you could use on ATA133 was 18", but have seen several
24" ones around - are these OK to use?
TIA
17 answers Last reply
More about cable length
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    GTS wrote:

    > Hi I thought the max you could use on ATA133 was 18", but have seen several
    > 24" ones around - are these OK to use?

    Avoid cables beyond 18" if at all possible.
    Since they're beyond spec. you may experience decreased performance or
    other troubles.


    -WD
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    They are fine for one ATA100 device.

    "GTS" <gts123NOSPAM@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
    news:c9Nrc.412$2s.189@newsfe6-gui.server.ntli.net...
    > Hi I thought the max you could use on ATA133 was 18", but have seen several
    > 24" ones around - are these OK to use?
    > TIA
    >
    >
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Will Dormann" wrote:
    > GTS wrote:
    >
    > > Hi I thought the max you could use on ATA133 was 18", but have seen several
    > > 24" ones around - are these OK to use?
    >
    > Avoid cables beyond 18" if at all possible.
    > Since they're beyond spec. you may experience decreased performance or
    > other troubles.


    Yes, they *are* contrary to ATA specifications, but lots of people use
    'em without problems - including me, and that is with ATA/133 hard drives.
    They're frequently found in the "round cable" form and used by guys who
    have lots of HDs in a large tower case and/or who want to avoid restriction
    of the air flow - which can happen with flat cables. I prefer the type with an
    aluminum braid around them on the theory that the aluminum braid acts to help
    shield the data wires. If they introduce bit errors, I haven't noticed any.
    YMMV.

    *TimDaniels*
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    OK thanks!
    "Will Dormann" <wdormann@yahoo.com.invalid> wrote in message
    news:2iMrc.3641$MY4.3296@fe2.columbus.rr.com...
    > GTS wrote:
    >
    > > Hi I thought the max you could use on ATA133 was 18", but have seen
    several
    > > 24" ones around - are these OK to use?
    >
    > Avoid cables beyond 18" if at all possible.
    > Since they're beyond spec. you may experience decreased performance or
    > other troubles.
    >
    >
    > -WD
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "GTS" <gts123NOSPAM@ntlworld.com> wrote in message news:<c9Nrc.412$2s.189@newsfe6-gui.server.ntli.net>...

    > Hi I thought the max you could use on ATA133 was 18",
    > but have seen several 24" ones around - are these OK to use?

    In practice it almost always works, but I'd rather have a cable that
    long to be made up of twisted pairs similar to those found in LAN and
    SCSI cables. Twisted-pair cable easily supports 36" ATA100 (I didn't
    have an ATA133 controller or drive) and seemed to work fine even over
    60".

    I don't know of any reason why an IDE cable over 18" would be needed
    for a 3.5" HD, and if I had to use drives in 5.25" bays I'd rather get
    a deeper case that allows them to sit in front of the motherboard
    rather than above it.
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Timothy Daniels" <TDaniels@NoSpamDot.com> wrote in message news:<AdSdnXtqeI4BZDLdRVn-vA@comcast.com>...

    > Yes, they *are* contrary to ATA specifications, but lots
    > of people use 'em without problems - including me, and that
    > is with ATA/133 hard drives. They're frequently found in
    > the "round cable" form and used by guys who have lots of HDs
    > in a large tower case and/or who want to avoid restriction
    > of the air flow - which can happen with flat cables. I prefer
    > the type with an aluminum braid around them on the theory
    > that the aluminum braid acts to help shield the data wires.

    I don't because in many of those cables the braid isn't grounded, as
    it should be, so it can act as an antenna (receiver and transmitter)
    rather than a shield. Twisted-pair wires are much better, and many
    round cables are made with them. One maker of round cables even
    admitted that its products were merely for decorative purposes.

    > If they introduce bit errors, I haven't noticed any.

    How have you tested? Windows will slow down or turn off DMA if it
    encounters HD errors, and throughput isn't a good measure because
    drives can't sustain transfers much faster than 50 MB/s.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "do_not_spam_me" wrote:
    > "Timothy Daniels" wrote:
    > > Yes, they *are* contrary to ATA specifications, but lots
    > > of people use 'em without problems - including me, and that
    > > is with ATA/133 hard drives. They're frequently found in
    > > the "round cable" form and used by guys who have lots of HDs
    > > in a large tower case and/or who want to avoid restriction
    > > of the air flow - which can happen with flat cables. I prefer
    > > the type with an aluminum braid around them on the theory
    > > that the aluminum braid acts to help shield the data wires.
    >
    > I don't because in many of those cables the braid isn't grounded, as
    > it should be, so it can act as an antenna (receiver and transmitter)
    > rather than a shield.


    In *none* of the "round" cables is the braid grounded.
    But the braid still acts as a shield at high radio frequencies.
    Even with shielded twisted-pair LAN cable, there is debate
    on whether to ground just one or both ends of the shielding.
    With high frequencies, where the wavelength is comparable
    or shorter than the length of the cable, shielding can be
    effective without being grounded. Just the mechanism of
    reflection can be beneficial. In the case of "round" cables,
    ground "shielding" is provided by the ground wire which is
    twisted together with each data wire.


    > Twisted-pair wires are much better, and many round cables are
    > made with them.


    All the ATA/100 or /133 "round" cables which I've seen
    or heard about have a ground wire twisted together with
    each of the 40 data wires. This is not "twisted pair"
    in the sense of balanced differential signals, but the
    close proximity of the ground wire provides a degree of
    protection from crosstalk, just as it does with flat cable.


    > How have you tested? Windows will slow down or turn off
    > DMA if it encounters HD errors, and throughput isn't a good
    > measure because drives can't sustain transfers much faster than
    > 50 MB/s.


    My only test has been large file transfers between
    hard drives - which occur at about 98MB/s.

    *TimDaniels*
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "do_not_spam_me" wrote:
    > "GTS" wrote:
    >
    > > Hi I thought the max you could use on ATA133 was 18",
    > > but have seen several 24" ones around - are these OK to use?
    >
    > In practice it almost always works, but I'd rather have a cable that
    > long to be made up of twisted pairs similar to those found in LAN and
    > SCSI cables. Twisted-pair cable easily supports 36" ATA100 (I didn't
    > have an ATA133 controller or drive) and seemed to work fine even over
    > 60".


    Which "pairs" of wires would you twist together?
    How do you attach each of the 80 wires to the
    ATA 40-pin connector?
    How do you ground each of the 40 ground wires?
    How did you test for "seemed to work fine"?


    > I don't know of any reason why an IDE cable over 18" would
    > be needed for a 3.5" HD, and if I had to use drives in 5.25" bays
    > I'd rather get a deeper case that allows them to sit in front of the
    > motherboard rather than above it.


    Some people are stuck with what they already have in
    the way of case and motherboard.

    Some people use a PCI ATA controller card that places
    the controller connectors farther away from the drives
    than the motherboard's connectors.

    *TimDaniels*
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Well I have a pretty bog standard ATX case but I find the standard length
    too short if I want to have a HDD as master and an optical as slave on one
    channel - the 3.5" bays are always at the bottom and the 5.25 at the top.
    Yes I could use a 5.25-3.5" caddy but if a longer cable works why bother?

    "do_not_spam_me" <do_not_spam_me@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:101710fa.0405240352.4f67d10e@posting.google.com...
    > "GTS" <gts123NOSPAM@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
    news:<c9Nrc.412$2s.189@newsfe6-gui.server.ntli.net>...
    >
    > > Hi I thought the max you could use on ATA133 was 18",
    > > but have seen several 24" ones around - are these OK to use?
    >
    > In practice it almost always works, but I'd rather have a cable that
    > long to be made up of twisted pairs similar to those found in LAN and
    > SCSI cables. Twisted-pair cable easily supports 36" ATA100 (I didn't
    > have an ATA133 controller or drive) and seemed to work fine even over
    > 60".
    >
    > I don't know of any reason why an IDE cable over 18" would be needed
    > for a 3.5" HD, and if I had to use drives in 5.25" bays I'd rather get
    > a deeper case that allows them to sit in front of the motherboard
    > rather than above it.
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Timothy Daniels" <TDaniels@NoSpamDot.com> wrote in message news:<84KdnW6K4ZFmsS_d4p2dnA@comcast.com>...
    > "do_not_spam_me" wrote:

    >> I don't know of any reason why an IDE cable over 18" would
    >> be needed for a 3.5" HD, and if I had to use drives in 5.25"
    >> bays I'd rather get a deeper case that allows them to sit in
    >> front of the motherboard rather than above it.

    > Some people are stuck with what they already have in
    > the way of case and motherboard.
    >
    > Some people use a PCI ATA controller card that places
    > the controller connectors farther away from the drives
    > than the motherboard's connectors.

    You make good points, and for those situations I've mounted hard
    drives vertically on the floor of the case, after drilling holes in
    it. This can also benefit cooling since it puts the drives right in
    the path of the case fan.
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Mon, 24 May 2004 10:00:51 -0700, "Timothy Daniels"
    <TDaniels@NoSpamDot.com> wrote:


    >> I don't because in many of those cables the braid isn't grounded, as
    >> it should be, so it can act as an antenna (receiver and transmitter)
    >> rather than a shield.
    >
    >
    > In *none* of the "round" cables is the braid grounded.
    > But the braid still acts as a shield at high radio frequencies.
    > Even with shielded twisted-pair LAN cable, there is debate
    >

    Not true I have a round cable at home with a ground wire from the
    braid which attaches to the MB mounting screw near the ATA sockets

    I cant remember the make off the top of my head but it is black and
    very well made with a foil cover over the ends of the wire where they
    transition from the round section to the actual connectors.
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Andy Lee" wrote:
    > "Timothy Daniels" wrote:
    > > In *none* of the "round" cables is the braid grounded.
    > > But the braid still acts as a shield at high radio frequencies.
    >
    > Not true I have a round cable at home with a ground wire
    > from the braid which attaches to the MB mounting screw
    > near the ATA sockets
    >
    > I cant remember the make off the top of my head but it is
    > black and very well made with a foil cover over the ends
    > of the wire where they transition from the round section to
    > the actual connectors.


    How many wires are there which enter the connector?
    That ground wire connected to a mounting screw sounds
    inconvenient. I wonder why the manufacturer didn't use
    the ground in the connector itself - the one that grounds
    the 40 ground wires. There *are* 40 white ground wires,
    right? Who sold it to you?

    *TimDaniels*
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Wed, 26 May 2004 08:58:24 -0700, "Timothy Daniels"
    <TDaniels@NoSpamDot.com> wrote:

    >
    > How many wires are there which enter the connector?
    > That ground wire connected to a mounting screw sounds
    > inconvenient. I wonder why the manufacturer didn't use
    > the ground in the connector itself - the one that grounds
    > the 40 ground wires. There *are* 40 white ground wires,
    > right? Who sold it to you?
    >
    >*TimDaniels*
    >


    There are 40 ground wires. It is recognised by the system as a 80 wire
    cable at least it lets UDMA 5 devices run as such. The ground wire is
    inconvienient only if you connect/disconnect cables on a regular
    basis, something I'm not inclined to do. If I change a drive I usually
    leave the MB connector attached and only disconnect the drive end.

    I brought the cable from a local supplier, when I get home at the end
    of the week I will take looksee and let you know who made it. I was
    attracted to the cable because it is so much better made than a lot of
    the round cables I have seen/brought in the past.

    Having said that I have only had problems with one of these which was
    very picky about how it was routed with out causing drive connection
    issues.
    All my HD's are now serial ATA and the connectors/cables for that are
    so much easier to manage and my only real want from them now is the
    provision of a shorter cable as the SATA ports on my MB are very close
    to the back end of the DRives and the standard cables are probably
    twice as long as they need to be.
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Andy Lee" wrote:
    >
    > There are 40 ground wires. It is recognised by the system
    > as a 80 wire cable at least it lets UDMA 5 devices run as
    > such. The ground wire is inconvienient only if you connect/
    > disconnect cables on a regular basis, something I'm not
    > inclined to do. If I change a drive I usually leave the MB
    > connector attached and only disconnect the drive end.
    >
    > I brought the cable from a local supplier, when I get home
    > at the end of the week I will take looksee and let you know
    > who made it. I was attracted to the cable because it is so
    > much better made than a lot of the round cables I have
    > seen/brought in the past.


    It will be interesting to see the brand name. From my
    personal observation from looking at web photos, from
    seeing them in the stores, and from actually calling some
    of the distributors, it seems that there are only about
    three manufacturers - all of them in Asia - despite there
    being many brand names. But... I imagine that there is
    also a cottage industry since they're low tech and labor-
    intensive to make.


    > Having said that I have only had problems with one of these
    > which was very picky about how it was routed with out
    > causing drive connection issues.
    >
    > All my HD's are now serial ATA and the connectors/cables
    > for that are so much easier to manage and my only real want
    > from them now is the provision of a shorter cable as the
    > SATA ports on my MB are very close to the back end of
    > the DRives and the standard cables are probably twice as
    > long as they need to be.


    When I finally got my hands on a physical SATA cable,
    I was surprised by how rigid it was in side-to-side bending
    (as opposed to forward-and-back). Does that feature
    give you any routing problems? Maybe the cables are
    long to accomodate that stiffness.

    *TimDaniels*
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Thu, 27 May 2004 08:46:39 -0700, "Timothy Daniels"
    <TDaniels@NoSpamDot.com> wrote:


    >> I brought the cable from a local supplier, when I get home
    >> at the end of the week I will take looksee and let you know
    >> who made it.
    >
    >
    > It will be interesting to see the brand name. From my
    > personal observation from looking at web photos, from
    > seeing them in the stores, and from actually calling some
    > of the distributors, it seems that there are only about
    > three manufacturers - all of them in Asia - despite there
    > being many brand names.


    Right I've had a look and they are made by Antech. Presumably the same
    Antech who make cases. They have black moulded rubber boots at each
    transition to plug from cable with as I said a foil sheathing over the
    wires. The main cable has a woven nylon sheathing not like most of the
    cables which use a rubber tube. This woven stuff is the same as
    Enermax use on their power supply low voltage cables


    >
    > When I finally got my hands on a physical SATA cable,
    > I was surprised by how rigid it was in side-to-side bending
    > (as opposed to forward-and-back). Does that feature
    > give you any routing problems? Maybe the cables are
    > long to accomodate that stiffness.

    That sounds highly likely I just put a loose loop in the cables to
    reduce the length.

    >
    >*TimDaniels*


    Regards

    Andy Lee


    --

    It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Andy Lee" wrote:
    >
    > Right I've had a look and they are made by Antech. Presumably
    > the same Antech who make cases. They have black moulded
    > rubber boots at each transition to plug from cable with as I said
    > a foil sheathing over the wires. The main cable has a woven nylon
    > sheathing not like most of the cables which use a rubber tube.
    > This woven stuff is the same as Enermax use on their power
    > supply low voltage cables


    I've seen those cables. They might be made here as one of
    the places said, when I called them, that they could make
    them to any length that I want. I passed on it since I didn't
    know they had foil shielding and they were... uh... ugleeee.
    :-)

    *TimDaniels*
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Sun, 30 May 2004 17:48:48 -0700, "Timothy Daniels"
    <TDaniels@NoSpamDot.com> wrote:

    >
    > I've seen those cables. They might be made here as one of
    > the places said, when I called them, that they could make
    > them to any length that I want. I passed on it since I didn't
    > know they had foil shielding and they were... uh... ugleeee.
    > :-)


    Ugly don't bother me, function does! I don't see the inside of my PC
    all that often and it's not something I have any need to show off to
    anybody else....
    >
    >*TimDaniels*


    Regards

    Andy Lee


    --

    It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.
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