I want to make an external hard drive enclosure

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by j-mods, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. j-mods macrumors newbie


    Feb 16, 2011
    Uinted Kingdom

    I wasn't sure where to post this.

    I want to MAKE my own external hard drive enclosure since i have a lot of the parts that you would need, but i don't have a wiring diagram.

    I am doing this for fun, so please don't tell me to buy a kit.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    What wiring do you need to do? You'll likely need to purchase, if you don't already have one, a circuit to convert from SATA to your port of choice on the enclosure. If using SATA, that board may just take the 12V and 5V inputs and pass it on to the drive.
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Are you intending to build the entire interface board from raw components? An in-between alternative would be to buy a pre-built USB to SATA controller board, and then build your own 12V/5V power supply for it.

    If you're going with bare components, you would presumably need to map the pinout of the controller chip to a SATA connector on one side and a USB connector on the other, plus supply it with necessary power (probably 5V, which may come directly from the USB port even if the drive isn't bus-powered--I have enclosures that work that way); the pinouts on the chip should have either come with it or be available from the manufacturer. Past that, it should be just a matter of power circuitry to supply the controller chip with whatever power it needs, and the drive with 12V/5V power via a SATA power connector, the pinouts of which are easy to find online.

    You should probably also put a voltage regulator in there, in case the power brick is out of spec--I had a cheap slimline external enclosure that required 5V in and had no regulation at all, so when I accidentally grabbed the wrong brick and gave it 7.5V, it fried an $80 blu-ray drive (the $10 controller itself, being bus-powered, ironically survived).

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