Homemade Thunderbolt/FireWire/USB(maybe) hard drive enclosure

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by SoAnyway, May 16, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2011
    Hello community!

    Like the title says, I'm looking to build a homemade external hard drive enclosure/array/rack that supports these three standards. I'm looking to house possibly a 10TB RAID 10 array. I don't care much for the aesthetics but I do want the drives to be housed into something stable. Lastly, I've seen what I can do with a FreeNAS but it's not necessarily what I want to do. Meaning that I don't want to connect my drives to a network as I want to have it connected directly through these interfaces, particularly Thunderbolt.

    Now the reason why I want to do this is the cost. I can purchase a device like a Drobo or a similar multi-bay array but those things are ridiculously expensive, upwards of $600 on the array itself. What I want to do is something bare bones and have my drives connected to a board and power supply then to the computer, basically your standard external enclosure but at a fraction of the cost and to also be able to custom build this thing to my specific needs.

    I have looked online but I can't exactly find what I want and need. So I turn to you the community to help me out. Thanks for any help you can lend to this project.

    Here's a video of what I'm looking to do:

  2. macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2011
    Richmond, BC/Bellingham, WA
    The only difficulty I can see here is getting your Thunderbolt controller.

    I have yet come across one. And I have been waiting to put one into my HTPC/NAS ever since TB's announcement.
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2011

    I know that finding a TB controller at this point is probably not possible and it's something that I see happening months from now, realistically.

    For the moment, what is it that I need to even come close to completing such a feat?
  4. macrumors 601


    Sep 21, 2010
    I don't think the hardware exists to do this, even without Thunderbolt. Why is it important for the setup to not be a network drive?
  5. macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2007
  6. FireWire2, Feb 9, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014

    macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    DIY Penta interfaces

    You can DIY a USB2.0/USB3.0/FireWire400/FireWire800 and eSATA box fully support JBOD and or hardware RAID.

    1_ JBOD/RAID controllers:
    SPM394 Hardware RAID0,1,3,5,10 with LCD

    SPM393 hardware raid without LCD

    2_ FireWire/USB2.0 support Port Multiplier Ware bridge

    3_ USB3.0/USB2.0 adapter support port multiplier

    4_ Short eSATA cable

    5_ eSATA to SATA adapter...

    Here is how:

    Connect #2 to #5 (eSATA to SATA adapter)
    Connect drives to #1

    To use eSATA connect your system to #1 controller
    To use USB3.0 place #3 adapter to eSATA cable
    To use FireWire interface, jump the short eSATA cable to #1 to #5

    Now you have Penta interface with out breaking your bank

    make sure all the bridge powered, otherwise it wont work... lol
  7. macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    Using clock switch is a real bad idea.
    We develop a RAID product in the past using that switch and causing a lot of problems.
    I rather using

    Datoptic and Caloptic (same company) is buying from Lycom or iStar-usa
  8. macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    There is no BAD idea, but BAD design/implementation

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