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Ordering Custom Monster HDD Cage from ISTAR-USA

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
When i cleaned my HDD cage, i noticed something was broke, and out of curiosity i started looking on internet if better quality HDD cages were available.

Then i found the Firma ISTAR-USA which i allready knew of, it seems it has some pretty high quality 5Way HDD cages, esspecialy BPNDE range of hdd case, look here.

This one model would suit my needs perfectly, then i started to look and see if they had a similar quality single 5.25 drive bay 6 Way drive cage for 2.5" hdd. They do have one, only its not sohigh quality as the BPNDE range of hdd case.

Further looking into it, i saw that the BPNDE series allthough supports SAS/SATA has a singe connector for both of them, compared to the drive cage that i have that has a connector for each standard (5 hdds therefore 10 connectors)

Additionaly the 6 way drive cage, only supports SATA, and it has a single power connector as opposed to two power connector my currend drive cage has.

Researching further i saw they offer the possibiity to build something custom, so i said to myself:

1)What if i could have a huge cage, fitting 10x3.5" HDD and 6x2.5" HDD/SSD, each slot supporting SAS/SATA standards with 2 data connectors per drive, 2 Molex connectors each subunit (2 for the 6Way drive, and 2 for each 5Way drive), and with the ability to mount in the back standard dimension fans (for instance 80 and 40 mm fans)

So i sent them a mail if something like this was possible, they said, sure, what do you have in mind, and i said back, give me a day to complete some schematics.

Hereis what i came up with:
First the photos, then the mail i sent to him:

The first HDD Cage is basically a 7x5.25" HDD cage containing 10x3.5" HDD and 6x2.5" HDD/SSDs. This should be a single CAGE, a single Element 7 Drive Bays in height, made completly of aluminum, just as the BPN-DE350SS-BLUE is made completely of aluminum. The reason for it being a single element and not 3 different elements that can be stacked on each other is the connector configuration on the back.

Basically its a BPN-DE350SS stacked on another BPN-DE350SS and on Top a BPU-126-SA, as you can see in the attached picture.

1)Lets Talk about the Front.

The Front of the Cages carrying the 3.5" HDD can remain exactly as they are on the BPN-DE350SS-BLUE. (I must say thats a very wonderfull design u scored here.)

The Modification comes to the Small HDD Cage on top that houses the 2.5" HDD:

Where it says ISTAR USA, where the LOGO is, could it be made to have the same finish that the BPN-DE350SS-BLUE has on its upper side where the Key hole is ? Together with a Key hole, thus adding the possibility to secure each drive with the key.

Its Left side, as you look from the front, the one that is normally black and probably made of plastic on the normal BPU-126-SA, could it be made out of aluminum and have the same finish, normally with smaller round holes, as the Blue Metal Part of the BPN-DE350SS-BLUE ?

2)THe depth of the whole contraption.
As i have learned from internet, the depth of a 5.25"drive bay stands at a maxium of 8 inches, that amounts to 203.2 mm. You own BPN-DE350SS-BLUE has a depth of 197.9. The depth i want the cage to have, is a depth that allows mounting a 38mm depth fan on it back without going over the 8 inch, the standard dimension of the 5.25" drive bay, but still long enough to allow you to build the required connector, backplanes etc. I do not know what clearence the BPN-DE350SS-BLUE has inside, or if it can be made shorter, but i suppose in order to be able to fit a 38mm fan on the back, and not go over 8" in depth, it would probably have to be lower than 197.9, the standard depth dimension of the BPN-DE350SS-BLUE. Let me know if such a customization is possible at all, give the next customization, regarding the back connectors.

3)Regarding the back, i have attached an autocad drawing, and a printscreen of the drawing, in case you dont have autocad at hand, when you read the mail.

As you look from the back, the connectors are on the left side, looking at the case from the front, the connectors appear on the right.

Power connectors are MOLEX 4 pin connectors and not SATA Power.

The Data connectors are two connectors for each HDD, one SATA, one SAS, as my current HDD cage has, you can take a look here:
http://www.raidsonic.de/en/products/backplanes.php?we_objectID=7961, there is a back picture.

Regarding the dimensions, i planned a height of 125mm for the 3x5.25 pairs, the standard height of the BPN-DE350SS, for the single drive bay on top, the hight is 42mm, the standard height of the BPU-126-SA.

Width is 145mm, the standard width of the BPN-DE350SS, do note that the BPU-126-SA has a width of 146.1 according to your website. I dont suppose that would be a problem.

As you can see, the back should have mounting holes for 3 x 80mm fans, and 2 x 40 mm fans, The mounting holes locations dimension i took them from internet, supposedly between the center of the mounting holes of the 80mm fans there is suppose do be 71.5mm, for the 40mm fans 32mm, and the diameter of the mounting holes of the 80mm fan is suppose to be 4.5mm and for the 40mm fan 3.5mm. I guess you do know better, if these dimension are correct. The fans will be powered externaly, so its not a must to add connectors on the cage itself for the fans to be powered through the power give to the cage through the molex connectors. However 5 Power connectors could also be installed on the back, to power the fans through the hdd cage itself, i suppose 3 pin connectors without PWM will also suffice, i do not know if you could build a 4 fin PWM connector for the 5 fans, since that would require PWM modulation which in turn would require temperature imput, which in turn would require the addition of temperature sensors. At least this is how i would see it. None the less if such a thing is possible, without much trouble, let me know, if not, it also ok to power the fans externaly.

Also the cage should have the required openings on its back so that the fans may actually function, but you probably figured that.

Now for the required connector, i took the dimensions of 20x10 for the SATA/SAS connectors, i think as an area it is enough to reserve for said connector with room to spare. I did the same for the Molex connector.

Now if the cage has a widht of 145, i left 5 mm on the left for border purposes, probably needed mount screws, or the likes, required in the building of the cage itself, then 80mm for the fan, and 60mm for the 6 rows of SATA/SAS connectors adds up to 140mm, with the 5 mm border exactly 145. It should all fit as drawn in the picture.

Let me know if it is for you technicaly possible to build said connectors as drawn in the picture.

Thats why i "designed" the whole drive cage as a single unit, as you can see the connectors for the 6xWay HDD occupy more than its back would allow to install, that why you can take area from below to build them in. This way you can also install 3 80 mm fan, instead of the two fan two BPN-DE350SS would normaly have.

This allows the 6xDrive cage to be cooled by two 40mm fans, and still have dual SATA/SAS connectors, as well as dual Molex power. (there is no single 5.25drive bay 6 way 2.5 hdd mount that has SAS/SATA dual data connectors, dual fans, and dual Molex power, because there is no space to add the all on a single 5.25 drive bay on the back)
The power connectors are distributed as listed.

The first two MOLEX Power from the top, are for the 6xWay drive bay, the two Molex from Below are responsible for powering the 5xdrive cage from the middle, the last 2 of them are responsible for powering the 5xdrive cage from below.
So tell me, if it is technically possible to build such a wonder ?
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
The reason i am taking about it here is because of the fact that he said that the MOQ (minimum orderable quantity) is 50 pieces.
Obviously i was wanting said HDD cage for myself, i dont and cant order 50 pieces with the hopes to sell them further down the line.

The reason i am posting this in the CaseLabs forums, is because CaseLabs cases are allready equipped with a lots of 5.25" drive bay, and here more than likely are going to be people that would probably find such a monster HDD cage usefull.

I have pondered CaseLabs own drive cage that takes 3 slots, this one takes 4 hdd.
Advantage of this one, is that i can take 5 hdd per 3 slots, with only two power connectors, custom fan mounting holes, and easy swap of the hdd. And SAS/SATA compatibiity.

I will probably try to ask the guy if they could build one just for me, but it would be interesting if we could gather 50 people that would be willing to get such a thing.

I know its going to probably cost a lot per piece if 50 people do want such a thing, and know its a niche product as not every one needs 16 hdd inside their PC, not to mention the logistik of it all, me receiving the whole lot, shipping it to the people that order it, accepting money from each persons, etc, but i had to ask any way !

My personal opinion is that such a hdd cage has never been done, and something that is going to be a very high quality piece of equipement (all Aluminum), and i wish they could build it.
Most likely i wont be able to afford aquiring one, if they wont build it in lower quantities.

So guys, wat do you say ?
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Could i use KickStarter to fund such a project, any ideas ?
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
The require a minimum order of 50 to start making something like this.

I dont understand the logic behind it. It is easier to make a single one than making 50. I hate it when money is the reason such a HDD cage cannot be build. If i was milionair, i would order 50 pieces and sell the remaining on ebay.

As i am not, i cannot do that, and therefore i believe i wont be able to own such a HDD cage. Me myself, there no way i can build something like this on my own.

Im so SAD !
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Any opinions on the HDD Cage design, would anyone of you guys need such a HDD-Cage, or is it overkill ?
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