Looking for mini-tower chassis with about 5x 5.25" bays

Discussion in 'Chassis and Enclosures' started by ullbeking, May 17, 2019.

  1. ullbeking

    ullbeking Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    28
    Hi,

    I'm thinking of building a JBOD or mini-ITX mini-tower that has about 5x 5.25". Mostly these will be populated with optical drives, one from each region, and designed for ripping (yes we take this seriously). I've found a solution that looks like quite nice to far: Industrial Chassis | iStarUSA Products | S-915 - Compact Stylish 5x 5.25" Bay mini-ITX Tower but I'm wondering what else is out there.

    Does SM make anything like this? If it's a JBOD-style enclose then I would like it to communicate with the server using the ODD's native (ATA/ATAPI) protocol, and terminate in PCI-e cards in the server. I don't want to have use USB adapters because then you don't get the fully accurate signal.

    Does anybody else have any suggestions?

    I've been warned away from eSATA because apparently such chassis share one controller amongt many drives. How true is this? Is it possible to use a JBOD-style enclosure while still using native protocols?

    Any help apprecated!! Thanks!

    Edit: In other words, what I would like is a nice, clean design for a small-medium JBOD tower which will let me use something like an HBA to communicate to the server. If that's possible for optical drives.

    Also, something like this: Supermicro | Products | Accessories | Mobile Racks | CSE-M28SACB but converts from 3.5 to 5.25 would be great.

    @ullbeking
     
    #1
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  2. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    353
    I've no idea if it's still a thing for modern DVD drives, but it was quite common back in the day for hacked rpc1 firmwares which essentially disables the region lock on the drive itself - it might be worth investigating if such firmwares exist for your DVD drive(s) which might reduce the number of slots you need to use.

    Also, I don't think ATAPI support is something you see on most HBAs or SATA controllers so you're probably stuck with using the onboard SATA ports. eSATA might work with this and even if you did end up hanging several drives off a single port, the bandwidth requirements for ripping are quite low - you'll be lucky to get data off an optical disc at any more than 35MB/s.
     
    #2
    ullbeking likes this.
  3. ullbeking

    ullbeking Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    28
    @EffrafaxOfWug Thank you for your reply!! I have done a lot of searching around, and I haven't been able to find a hacked RPC-1 firmware for any modern optical drive. Very disappointing. I remember that I used to do this myself to ODD's that were encased in my chassis approx. 20 years ago, but it seems to be something of a forgotten art... or not. Maybe there is indeed still an underground scene that works with hacking such firmwares. Optical discs have got a lot of life left in them in my opinion.

    Yes, I wonder about this... I did a little research and I _think_ I saw some reports of ATAPI commands being transmitted properly over fairly standard HBA's, so I'll keep investigating it.

    The things that worry me about eSATA are a.) the use of a single controller among multiple drives; and b.) I still have to find a power supply. Moreover, on this second point, every time I've had "weird problems" with computer things, it's due to power supply problems.

    I am thinking that, putting 4-6 ODD's in a JBOD might be overdoing it, because it will take up valuable shelf space that we don't have.

    Instead, I'm looking for a high quality enclosure for a single 5.25" ODD, with a SATA interface so that it can transmit native ATAPI commands. I would power it from the mains supply using a high quality power supply. (I would not trust the USB power to provide sufficient power.)

    If anybody has recommendations for good enclosures for 5.25" ODD's, with SATA or eSATA, and which can take their own PSU's, then that would be great. So far I have found this: Addonics Product: Sapphire USB or eSATA Optical Drive Enclosure The e/SATA version looks good, and I think the best option would be to buy several of them, one for each drive that is set to a particular region, and retrieve the appropriate drive when needed.
     
    #3
  4. Fritz

    Fritz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    1,862
    Likes Received:
    367
  5. j_h_o

    j_h_o Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    67
  6. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    353
    In all honesty, if I were in this situation myself I'd likely think of mounting only a couple of the drives at a time in a regular case, but I guess it depends on what your use-case is; my DVDs come out of the shrinkwrap, get ripped and transcoded, back in the case and into storage. The image files or VOBs depending on how I ripped them these days get copied on to one of the old hard drives I have knocking around as an "easier than re-ripping the disc but not the end of the world if the hard drive dies" kind of partial backup. I wouldn't see the value in having multiple region's worth of optical drives' plugged in all the time, and as I only use them for ripping the region on them is only ever set once and DeCSS does the rest; as such the optical drives themselves are only ever used for a short period of time and the region isn't important.

    Yeah, from a quick look around rpc1 firmwares don't really seem to be a thing any more, especially for the combo BD-ROM drives I'm using. I still have a couple of rpc1'd DVD drives sitting in boxes somewhere though. The oldest computer component I own in active use is actually the PATA Pioneer DVD-ROM that came with my first computer about 20 years ago.

    (Not trying to tell you You're Doing It Wrong, just that I don't know of any solutions to your specific problem but as a fellow optical media dinosaur I did consider a similar approach at some point. And no, you'll prise my optical media from my cold dead hands, etc ;))
     
    #6
    ullbeking likes this.
  7. ullbeking

    ullbeking Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    28
    I can imagine where these would be extremely useful, but they don't fit my use case. Thank you anyway.

    Normally for ripping and writing I prefer to use libraries and software that I've selected myself.

    And, besides, these specialized duplication chassis are very expensive and do too much... I'm not actually duplicating ODD's, I'm ripping them to a file server/NAS.
     
    #7
  8. ullbeking

    ullbeking Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    28
    #8
  9. ullbeking

    ullbeking Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    28
    Yes, you're absolutely right. I was thinking about this, and the idea of having five or so ODD's mounted in a single chassis all at once is a vestigial thing from when optical disks were more popular. Indeed it's much more space efficient simply to find one good quality external enclosure, and then, as you say, swap the different ODD's in and out depending on the use case at the particular time. The discs will mainly be getting ripped from, so there won't be a LOT of swapping around.

    Sure! But it depends on what exactly the media is. Most of the files are very large, precious, and in the case of music might represent multichannel recordings. Designing the system from playback to transcoding all the way down to archiving and ease of retrieval is a real challenge.

    ^^^^^ You are more articulate than me in trying to decsribe my own thoughts on this particular issue.

    After much research, I think one of these would be a good choice forward: Addonics Product: Sapphire USB or eSATA Optical Drive Enclosure

    I honestly wonder if there is still a scene for this.

    I'm curious now, what do you interpret "my specific problem" to be?

    The more I work on this the more complex it becomes because I keep discovering use cases that are real and are important to me.
     
    #9
  10. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    353
    I think it depends on what your existing chassis might be like as well; I've got a venerable Lian Li with a bunch of 5.25" bays, three of which are quick-release, so even though I don't do it very often, swapping an optical drive around is a very speedy procedure. I've also got a couple of laptop drives in USB enclosures with rpc1 firmware that I've used for ripping excursions, the only reason I don't use them at home as well is because I have the optical drives in my workstation.

    I think the only stuff I guess you could say I've ripped "archivally" are my audio CDs, DVDs and BDs I'm not so precious about (but hey, I last lost any data from my video collection way back in 2004, tempting fate etc). The fun part has always been the transcoding bit (primarily why I'm on this site in the first place is relatively high-powered workstations and decent NAS storage).

    I've never seen it before, but assuming the bridge chips aren't junk it looks ideal. If you use eSATA just be wary that sometimes eSATA ports on motherboards were wired into crummy chipsets that don't support ATAPI well, or at all. Although ATAPI over USB is, I think, pretty well supported everywhere so that's always a fallback.

    Whether it counts as a "scene" or not I don't know, but cracking of DVD, BD and UHD drive firmware is still alive and kicking in the ripping world, I think it's just more underground than it was back in the DVD glory days.

    "Problem" was probably the wrong word for me to use, I should have said your specific criteria; since I'm not actually answering your original question, I didn't want you to get the wrong impression - how many times have you seen someone ask a "How do I do X?" question in an internet forum only for some know-it-all to go "Why do you want to do X you muppet? Clearly you should be doing Y!". I didn't want to sound like that know-it-all ;)

    Some were like that back in the day, others had dedicated backplanes/motherboards for only doing duplication. Sadly there's not a whole lot of info on that site and I'm not sure it's still operational, but the cases will likely still be knocking around somewhere.
     
    #10
Similar Threads: Looking mini-tower
Forum Title Date
Chassis and Enclosures Looking for blu ray drive for Supermicro 2U chassis Today at 4:57 AM
Chassis and Enclosures Looking for a SM chassis 2U with full-height PCIe expansion and takes ATX motherboard Aug 16, 2019
Chassis and Enclosures Looking for help to identify this server (RACKABLE SYSTEMS) Aug 8, 2019
Chassis and Enclosures Looking for 8+ bay hot swap chassis. May 21, 2019
Chassis and Enclosures Looking for for chassis to support lots of ssds in decent price Apr 18, 2019

Share This Page