filed in Modifications on Jun.08, 2006
One month after I got a 3.5″ IDE drive external enclosure I had the idea to replace the single and very short IDE cable provided with the enclosure (the one, yellow in my case, that connects the hard drive to the very controller) with a conventional (long and grey with 3 connectors) Ultra ATA IDE cable. I also used a ‘Y’ Molex extension cable to be able to power the two drive.
Please check the power consumption of the drives you want to connect before doing such a manipulation. You are very likely to destroy your power adapter if you attach too power consuming drives to your external unit.
To test if it was possible to connect two IDE drives to a single external firewire/usb IDE controller I attached my hard drive and my DVD burner to the controller using a ‘normal’ IDE cable and connected the Molex connectors. After I turned the power the two drives seem to be working porperly, hence I plugged the firewire connector to my computer then the two drives mounted successfully and worked like a charm!
To make the ‘extended’ external enclosure look a bit more robust I drilled a 5mm hole at the back of the enclosure to allow one Molex connector to get out of the enclosure and drive the DVD Burner. The IDE cord just finds its way through the back of the device.
Please also notice that I taped the cables with thick tape to prevent the cable from being cut by the sharp metallic areas of the enclosure. The white arrows on the picture bellow show the IDE cable and Molex cable ways out of the enclosure.
This mod is really quick to make, easy and ideal for users that travels a lot! Hope you found that mod interesting.
Apparently some controllers won’t accept two IDE drives connected. The one present in my external HDD enclosure is an Oxford. Click to find prices for the MaxInPower external drive enclosure used in this mod.