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Multi USB board better than Adaptec

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  • Adaptec
  • USB
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
July 10, 2005 9:01:01 AM

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

I used to think that Adaptec was the standard for controllers, etc.
Just about anything associated with disk drives. At least they're
used a lot, so the beta testing is usually done by the time I buy
something.

Unfortunately I've had bad luck with their USB controllers.
Had been using he combo USB/Firewire, the 5100 (6 USB
ports total) and the 4000. The usb boards work until there are a
number of drives plugged in..the unpredictable errors. Often they all
power down when the 4th drive is plugged in. They tend not to
power up portable 2.5" drives that my laptop handles easily.

Who else makes a good USB board, preferrably with lots of
channels? I've seen a few generics around, usually with an
NEC chip. DO those do any mbetter? Any change that they
will perform better than the Adaptecs?

I'm looking for a bit more power out (not sure Adaptec really
supplies 500ma, but small drive srartup surge is higher than
that.

And the mystery of the board halting when x number of hard
drives are plugged in... (x usually being 3 or 4)...that's a tough
one.

Anything known to work well under those circumstances?

More about : multi usb board adaptec

Anonymous
a b G Storage
July 10, 2005 12:16:50 PM

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

The USB spec says 500ma, where each port has a 600ma fuse.
That won't spin up a 2.5" drive, which requires 1000ma spin up.

Many controllers have a 1100ma fuse per pair of port. One drive works.

The best you can hope for is power 3 drives on 6 ports.
Why not use a single 3.5" drive instead?

"_B" <_B@nomail.org> wrote in message news:q5o1d15iek30e8vitlppa18ml70md2tjfi@4ax.com...
> I used to think that Adaptec was the standard for controllers, etc.
> Just about anything associated with disk drives. At least they're
> used a lot, so the beta testing is usually done by the time I buy
> something.
>
> Unfortunately I've had bad luck with their USB controllers.
> Had been using he combo USB/Firewire, the 5100 (6 USB
> ports total) and the 4000. The usb boards work until there are a
> number of drives plugged in..the unpredictable errors. Often they all
> power down when the 4th drive is plugged in. They tend not to
> power up portable 2.5" drives that my laptop handles easily.
>
> Who else makes a good USB board, preferrably with lots of
> channels? I've seen a few generics around, usually with an
> NEC chip. DO those do any mbetter? Any change that they
> will perform better than the Adaptecs?
>
> I'm looking for a bit more power out (not sure Adaptec really
> supplies 500ma, but small drive srartup surge is higher than
> that.
>
> And the mystery of the board halting when x number of hard
> drives are plugged in... (x usually being 3 or 4)...that's a tough
> one.
>
Anonymous
a b G Storage
July 10, 2005 8:47:58 PM

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

>"_B" <_B@nomail.org> wrote in message news:q5o1d15iek30e8vitlppa18ml70md2tjfi@4ax.com...
>> I used to think that Adaptec was the standard for controllers, etc.
>> Just about anything associated with disk drives. At least they're
>> used a lot, so the beta testing is usually done by the time I buy
>> something.
>>
>> Unfortunately I've had bad luck with their USB controllers.
>> Had been using he combo USB/Firewire, the 5100 (6 USB
>> ports total) and the 4000. The usb boards work until there are a
>> number of drives plugged in..the unpredictable errors. Often they all
>> power down when the 4th drive is plugged in. They tend not to
>> power up portable 2.5" drives that my laptop handles easily.


On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 08:16:50 -0700, "Eric Gisin"
<ericgisin@hotmail.com> wrote:

>The USB spec says 500ma, where each port has a 600ma fuse.
>That won't spin up a 2.5" drive, which requires 1000ma spin up.
>
>Many controllers have a 1100ma fuse per pair of port. One drive works.
>
>The best you can hope for is power 3 drives on 6 ports.
>Why not use a single 3.5" drive instead?

That'll teach me to post when I'm so tired. I was actually
referring to 3.5" drives when I said that the ports 'power down.'
The 3.5" drives are in external powered cases, and I use lighted
(color coded) cables to keep track of what's going where. The drive
cases are powered, so presumably zero current draw. The cables
themselves can't draw more than a few mils to light up their LEDs.

Still, after plugging in the 3rd or 4th drive, the cables go dark and
the drives go offline. It looks like the entire Adaptec USB board
shuts down for some reason. This seems like the same thing that was
happening when using normal USB cables, which is why I got the lighted
ones--to see if I could find a pattern (I haven't found one. Seems to
be number of drives). I've tried a few different boards (all Adaptec)
with the same result. Maybe the Adaptec design is the problem. They
seem to be OEM'ing some cheap drive controllers, so maybe it's the
same deal with their USB controllers.

Now, re 2.5" drives: I've found some drives (USB-powered this time)
that will power up via single USB cable on laptops. The same drives
fail to power up via the Adaptec USBs in the workstations. I'm
talking about a single drive now. You'd think that Adaptec could
manage that if a laptop can.

>> And the mystery of the board halting when x number of hard
>> drives are plugged in... (x usually being 3 or 4)...that's a tough
>> one.

I guess I'll have a go with a generic USB board. Most are using NEC
controllers these days with little external circuitry, so I suppose
most are similar.
Related resources
Anonymous
a b G Storage
July 11, 2005 2:02:00 AM

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

"_B" <_B@nomail.org> wrote in message news:q5o1d15iek30e8vitlppa18ml70md2tjfi@4ax.com
> I used to think that Adaptec was the standard for controllers, etc.

Yes, with SCSI.

> Just about anything associated with disk drives. At least they're used
> a lot, so the beta testing is usually done by the time I buy something.
>
> Unfortunately I've had bad luck with their USB controllers.
> Had been using he combo USB/Firewire, the 5100 (6 USB
> ports total) and the 4000. The usb boards work until there are a
> number of drives plugged in..the unpredictable errors.

> Often they all power down when the 4th drive is plugged in.

How much power can be drawn from the PCI slot again?
So where are the external power connectors on these cards then?

> They tend not to power up portable 2.5" drives that my laptop handles
> easily.

Your laptop isn't using PCI cards.

>
> Who else makes a good USB board, preferrably with lots of
> channels? I've seen a few generics around, usually with an
> NEC chip. DO those do any mbetter?

Do they have an external power connector?

> Any change that they will perform better than the Adaptecs?
>
> I'm looking for a bit more power out (not sure Adaptec really
> supplies 500ma, but small drive srartup surge is higher than
> that.
>
> And the mystery of the board halting when x number of hard
> drives are plugged in... (x usually being 3 or 4)...that's a tough
> one.
>
> Anything known to work well under those circumstances?
Anonymous
a b G Storage
July 11, 2005 4:45:29 AM

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

On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 22:02:00 +0200, "Folkert Rienstra"
<see_reply-to@myweb.nl> wrote:

>"_B" <_B@nomail.org> wrote in message news:q5o1d15iek30e8vitlppa18ml70md2tjfi@4ax.com

PS: A couple side-thoughts...

I was thinking about the 1/2 amp per port spec. Given that there's no
visible buffering on the Adaptec 5100 (6 ports), that would imply a
total of 3 amps at 5 volts. An NEC USB chip (unheatsinked) would be
dissipating 15 watts.

Of course the latter has no obvious bearing on the problem I'm having,
as I'm not powering the external 3.5" drives via the USB bus.

Another interesting but unrelated thing: I can power up an external
Seagate 2.5" 100gb with a single USB connection on its own cable.
I just picked up a small retractable cable (same USB A to mini-5) and
it won't power up the drive. Odd.

>> Who else makes a good USB board, preferrably with lots of
>> channels? I've seen a few generics around, usually with an
>> NEC chip. DO those do any mbetter?

In regard to NEC chips: I've noticed that just about everyone uses
them. On my shopping trip today I compared lots of USB boards incl
IOGear, ADS, Micro Innovations (generic), HP, etc. Prices from $20 to
$50+ but all seemed to use the same general layout and NEC chipset.
The cheapest (MI) and most expensive (HP) appeared to have identical
PC board artwork. Not sure if all components were the same, but I
wouldn't be surprised if they came off the same assembly line.

The Adaptec 4-port also uses NEC. Not sure about the 5100 (5 external
ports, 1 internal). In fact, the 5100 is the only 6-port board that
I've seen. Anyone know of others?
!