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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know of an external hard drive that can be hooked up to a network via ethernet and directly to a machine via USB and have both connections be operable?

We're having a weird issue with our CNC machines at work where direct network transfers take ages but reading from USB is still very fast. HAAS (company that makes the CNC machines) was here yesterday and had no suggestions, so my thought is a network hard drive to dump files from the computers that can the machines can then read through USB...just need to know if both ports can be active simultaneously. Given how valuable machine time is on a 5-axis CNC mill and the fact that a 50mb transfer is taking nearly an hour with the current setup, cost of the setup isn't much of an issue.

So, any of you have a networkable external drive to test this on and point me in the right direction?
 

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You could maybe get just a regular USB external drive and hook it up to one PC, then from that PC share it across the network?
 

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AMD Fangirl
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^ I second this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magical Eskimo View Post

You could maybe get just a regular USB external drive and hook it up to one PC, then from that PC share it across the network?
They're configured in a similar manner currently, the problem is that grabbing the files through the network is causing a major slowdown on the mills. They read at 1MB/s through the network, I've swapped network cards in them, tried all CAT 6 runs but reading via ethernet is unacceptably slow on the machine side...thus the need for a USB hookup. Storing the files to a flash drive and then moving that from computer to CNC machine is a waste of time as well. Thus the weird setup to try and work around the issue.

Given the cost of the time we're losing I may just go out and buy a drive and see if I can't make it work.
 

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AMD Fangirl
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What about USB wireless dongles on the machines?
 

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Hmmm after a quick google it seems unlikely there's possibility of this

Source
Quote:
you cannot use a NAS's USB port to get better data transfer rates by connecting your NAS to your computer over both USB and Ethernet at the same time.
I did see somewhere someone mentioned drobo may have made something with two way firewire connections that MIGHT allow something like this to be done but you'll be paying a pretty penny for it
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A wireless dongle in the machines won't work because their software is primarily designed to do the machining and is only looking for the instruction files to do the actual machining. The only two ways they get the files are if they're sent them through the network (which is what is no longer working and their support has no solution) or if they read them from a USB drive. That's why I was hoping to use an external hard drive (the machines will just look at the USB storage, they don't care what the device is) for the mills to read from USB that our guys can send files to through the network instead of juggling flash drives. I don't want to enhance the transfer speeds by using both connections from the same computer, I just want to dump files onto the drives through the network so the mills can read them through USB.

For the money we're losing in machining time I think I'm just going to grab a drive from Best Try and give it a shot.
 
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