max ide cable length

Anyone have experience using long ide cables? I know the spec is 18" and there seem to be quite a few using 24". I would like to use 36" in a tall tower (Aopen HX08) .

Here's why: to hook up 2 RAID drives in the top 5.25" bays to a modded Promise 66 PCI card. I put 'em up there to keep them cool (ripped off the front bezels), in the lower 3.5" basket they were overheating all the time. Now, the 18" cables are stretched tightly right across other cards, partially blocking my side blowhole, and generally a pain in the keister. Otherwise the raid works great (thanks THG -- resistor hack!).

Anyway, some people are of the opinion that with very long cables (>24") there is a serious risk of reduced performance and data corruption. Let's say I am quite familiar with those... theories. I have ordered the 80-wire, UDMA 66/100 cables in hopes of ameliorating these risks.

My question is, has anyone actually tried 36" long cables, and what happened? Do they work or no?
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  1. Worked fine for me. Got them <A HREF="" target="_new">here</A>.

    I found that they were a bit long. The distance between the ATA100 ports and the top bay is about 13" and the length of the port to slave section of the cable is 24". With the rounded cables, the whole point is to have more airflow and too much cable length defeats the purpose.

    "Now drop your weapons or I'll kill him with this deadly jelly baby." :wink:
  2. I'm using a PCI controller card, not the onboard ports. I don't mind if they're too long, at least I will have the ability to experiment with different arrangements including running them up the front of the case (behind the bezel) if need be. The HX08 has a terrible 'choke point' between the upper and lower compartments, among other ventilation design flaws. Too bad because it's quite well made and it wouldn't have cost them anymore to produce if they had put another 10-minutes thought into the design as regards ventilation.

    Thanks for the info, glad to hear you got them to work.
  3. Yeah, I know what you mean about the hole between the sections. I've been thinking of widening it or maybe pinning back the cables and putting in some sort of chimney to channel the air through.

    "Now drop your weapons or I'll kill him with this deadly jelly baby." :wink:
  4. I made a chimney for it out of a long slim pill bottle with the bottom cut out and couple of left-over HS fans crazy-glued on the ends (air flow in same direction of course) and jammed it in there. Seems to help.
  5. 18" is the maximum length at which maximum throughput is guaranteed. This
    length is even more critical at 66 and 100 speeds.

    Thanks for your interest in Cables To Go!
    Hope this information helps!
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    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: []
    > Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2001 5:41 AM
    > To:
    > Subject: max ide cable length
    > An Ask The Expert question has been submitted from CablesToGo
    > web site.
    > Name: David Smith
    > Email:
    > Question:
    > What is the maximum recommended ide cable length? I've been told it is 18", and that going over this spec will slow down data transfer and even risk corruption. Are these problems alleviated by using an 80-wire (UDMA 66/100) cable?
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