SATA adapter for internal Apple TV drive?

Cave Man

macrumors 604
Original poster
If anyone is interested, I came across this new PATA to SATA bridge that looks just small enough that it might be usable in an Apple TV to replace the internal PATA drive with a SATA drive. It would simply go between the SATA drive and connect to the ribbon cable of the Apple TV. Of course, this leads to the possibility of having a 500 gb internal drive for the ATV, and larger when those drives become available. Here are a few unknowns:

  • Will it fit inside the ATV with sufficient clearance so the bottom can be attached?
  • Will it work with the ATV? It provides a 5V line from the 44-pin ribbon, which the eSATA mod doesn't.
If I had another Apple TV I'd give this a try. Looks like the only cost would be a new 500 gb drive (<$100) and the bridge ($25 or so with shipping). Anyone willing to give it a try?
 

denlesko

macrumors newbie
Apr 10, 2009
4
0
Didn't have much luck, anyone else?

ok i got this little adapter and bought 500GB WD 2.5" SATA drive, created an image of the original ATV drive, restored it, connected - flashing question mark, tried several other methods to restore original ATV OS, etc - no luck. i would assume this little adapter just doesn't work...

crap, it was waste of time and $25!

if anyone else find out if this thing work please let me know, i will try to find some other adapter and see if that helps but at this point i entertain a thought of getting 320GB PATA drive with no adapters needed...
 

richyscot1

macrumors member
Dec 8, 2008
55
0
Derby, UK
I have recently purchased a 500Gb SATA hard drive and one of the adapters that is frequently spoke about in the forum (PATA to SATA adapter). It's all working brilliantly, and I am now the proud owner of a 461Gb apple TV.

However, I now face one last problem, it won't fit back into the Apple TV enclosure. I've attached a picture of the insides of Apple TV. The component that my new drive is fouling on is on the top left side of the picture (sorry, I couldn't edit the picture because I have no basic photo editing software :() and it appears to be a long strip of angled metal with a black foam piece secured to it. It looks to me like its a support piece for the base of Apple TV, but I don't want to start hacking away at it if it serves a more vital function (e.g. wifi aerial???)

Can anybody confirm what this piece is and what it is??
 

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richyscot1

macrumors member
Dec 8, 2008
55
0
Derby, UK
This is the adapter I used.....http://www.advantech.com.tw/products/SATA-to-IDE-(44-pin)-Converter-Module/mod_1-2QF48V.aspx

It was the one mentioned in the MACNN forum in October 2008. I managed to find a UK stockist (as I live in the UK) who would buy the adapter from Advantech for me :D

Can anybody tell me what that angled metal section is for, and whether it is ok to cut a slot in it to accommodate the adapter?? There doesn't appear to be any cables attached to it, and if I had my betting head on, I'd say it was just to support the base.

I'll post a few pictures to show you all I'm not cheating :D
 

ecifer

macrumors newbie
Apr 24, 2009
12
0
... and actually, now that I think about it... if the ribbon cable was causing the problem that Cave Man initially saw with this 44PIN-SATA Adapter, could you (potentially) plug the adapter directly into the ATV (Again, a physical size question), and then plug an extender from the 44PIN-SATA converter to the drive?
 

richyscot1

macrumors member
Dec 8, 2008
55
0
Derby, UK
Does anybody know of a SATA +power extension cable, it should really be as short as possible, no more than 50mm (2 inch, for our American friends :)), I think that may do the trick, as I could stack the SATA adapter on top of the hard drive, as it is very thin........it's worth a shot anyway.

Does anybody know whether the angled section is just a support piece??

Pictures, as promised....
 

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mikeinternet

macrumors 6502a
Nov 1, 2006
629
0
Oaklnad, CA
Is it possible for apple to announce. "now you can plug in an external usb drive"?? Would be awesome even though it kind of voids the hard work.
 

richyscot1

macrumors member
Dec 8, 2008
55
0
Derby, UK
I bought a "straight through" and 90 degree sata + power cable today with the hope of placing the PATA to SATA adapter on top of the hard drive. Unfortunately this hasn't worked, and it appears that there is no where else within the Apple TV enclosure to stow the adapter.

Therefore, my last and only option is to trim the angled section within the enclosure. I've finally attached a picture with the section in question.......so please please please can anybody tell me how important this piece is???
 

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Tilpots

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2006
4,192
71
Carolina Beach, NC

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ecifer

macrumors newbie
Apr 24, 2009
12
0
I remembered that I do actually have an SATA drive at home that I can test this all on, so I went ahead and purchased a 44pin IDE->SATA converter (Not either of the two mentioned here... It's this one: http://usb.brando.com.hk/prod_detail.php?prod_id=00854&cat_id=032&dept_id=015)

The nice thing about that converter is that the IDE is 90 degrees to the SATA... so I'm going to plug the converter directly into the appleTV (I'll have to trim the KEY pin from the apple TV, but that shouldn't be too much of a hassle). Then I'll just have a few inches of 22-pin SATA+power cable connected to the drive.

It'll be a week or so before I have all of the pieces, but I figured I'd give you a shout out just in case you haven't gone cutting the metal of your appleTv yet.
 

richyscot1

macrumors member
Dec 8, 2008
55
0
Derby, UK
I remembered that I do actually have an SATA drive at home that I can test this all on, so I went ahead and purchased a 44pin IDE->SATA converter (Not either of the two mentioned here... It's this one: http://usb.brando.com.hk/prod_detail.php?prod_id=00854&cat_id=032&dept_id=015)

The nice thing about that converter is that the IDE is 90 degrees to the SATA... so I'm going to plug the converter directly into the appleTV (I'll have to trim the KEY pin from the apple TV, but that shouldn't be too much of a hassle). Then I'll just have a few inches of 22-pin SATA+power cable connected to the drive.

It'll be a week or so before I have all of the pieces, but I figured I'd give you a shout out just in case you haven't gone cutting the metal of your appleTv yet.
I'd be very interested to see if that works. It would be great if you could just attach a nice little SATA cable, plug in your SATA hard drive and everything fits perfectly :D As you are plugging directly into the apple tv board, have you checked that the 90 degree is the correct way?? It would be a shame if the correct way, made the adapter card go towards the transformer electronics (towards the left as opposed to the right on the picture I previously posted)

Keep us all informed, this could be the answer to my prayers :)
 

ecifer

macrumors newbie
Apr 24, 2009
12
0
It is going the correct way (I had that same thought), but it's a keyed connection (eg. PIN 20 is blocked). I will try just poking through the block with a pin, but if that doesn't work, I'll trim pin 20 on the ATV.

I'm really hesitant to physically modify the apple TV, and with this setup, plus 8" of wire (Which I think would actually go AROUND the fan), then it might just work.

I'll let y'all know when it's in, and put together. My ultimate wish is to have a 500+gb ATV which (from the outside) looks completely normal.

ps- So tempted to buy the 7200.4 500Gb from Seagate... if only it wasn't back-ordered EVERYWHERE.
 

richyscot1

macrumors member
Dec 8, 2008
55
0
Derby, UK
I have bitten the bullet and adapted my Apple TV chassis. I used a Dremmel to grind a section out of the support piece.

I've attached photo's to show what I have done. I had to remove the removal pieces from the IDE ribbon, but now everything fits in beautifully :D My base is now back on, and the hard drive is working perfectly.

So......if you're daring (or stupid) enough to have a little go at the Apple TV, you can get it all to fit. :)
 

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Shuttleworth

macrumors regular
Dec 23, 2008
196
0
UK
A possible source of shorter SATA cables is an external drive caddy. I just got one today that takes IDE or SATA, and it has an IDE ribbon and power cable about 50mm long and SATA and power cable about 100mm long.
 

Cave Man

macrumors 604
Original poster
I've attached photo's to show what I have done. I had to remove the removal pieces from the IDE ribbon, but now everything fits in beautifully :D My base is now back on, and the hard drive is working perfectly.
Other than the adapter you posted above, are there any other parts you need to link us to? This is a nice job, and should be available to others.
 

richyscot1

macrumors member
Dec 8, 2008
55
0
Derby, UK
Other than the adapter you posted above, are there any other parts you need to link us to? This is a nice job, and should be available to others.
No, the only thing I used was the adapter. The existing IDE ribbon cable was used (I had to take off the plastic removal "handle"). If you're careful with the grinding wheel it's all very neat, and once assembled it fits brilliantly. I'm very pleased with the results.

To all out there that are considering doing this, I'd say just go ahead and do it (unless your iTunes library really is huge, then the Cavemans esata mod maybe a better idea ;)) the idea behind taking a small grinding wheel to your beloved apple tv, is a lot worse than actually doing it. I personally, couldn't be happier with the results. And now, as 2.5 inch drives get bigger and bigger, I can just hot swap my drives whenever I want :)
 
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