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Discussion Starter #1
Just upgraded my Panasonic unit to a 75GB drive. I was looking at the posts about RTVExtract and I would like to use it to burn shows to dvd...but it would be a pain to open up the unit everytime I wanted to do this!


I use removable drives in my non-linear edit system and my regular home PC because I found a great deal on the enclosures at Computer Geeks. They offer IDE removable enclosures w/ fan for only $7.49!!!

Link to $7.49 IDE enclosures.



The enclosures perform flawlessly and even support up to ATA-100.


I was thinking I could cut out a place in the side of the case and insert the enclosure. It would eliminate the EZ-bake enclosure and add a cooling fan to the hard drive as well!


I could pop out the drive from my replay and pop it directly in to a drive slot in my computer. No opening either case anymore.


I think it could be a good CHEAP solution. It will be a while before I can actually take the time to do this as I am getting ready to move...but I thought the idea would be a good one to post in case someone else would like to try it before I do.


Cam http://www.compgeeks.com/images/150x...GN210-unit.gif http://www.compgeeks.com/images/150x...-GN210-box.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I added the removable hard drive enclosure...but I decided not to cut up the case. The enclosure is attached to the top of the unit. It works great, runs cool, and it is not noisy! I have pics and instructions on the link below.

http://videocam.50megs.com/replaytv.htm


Have fun!

Cam


P.S. I would be interested in seeing other implementations of this method.
 

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Just ordered two of the enclosures, and looking forward to doing this on my hacked (80GB) 2020.


Regarding hot-swap: I can't imagine this is a very good idea, regardless of what the enclosure maker says. My inclination would be to cycle down the RTV so there is no ATA bus activity going on. There may still be power to the HDD -- not sure how the 2020 works in this state. What info and/or experience do you have with hot-swapping the drive in/out?


Bill
 

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Bill you are correct. Spin down the disks and power down everthing before you yank!! There is no hotswapping on the Replay at all and the MOBO does power the memory even when the disks are spun down, so to keep from frying it unplug first!! I will even go so far as to provide the HDD power from the MOBO supply instead anyway just for grounding issues since EIDE is such a touchy system.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bill...please post some pics when you get the modification done!

I have been afraid to try the hot swap feature on my Replay unit. The swap will sometimes work on a secondary drive in a pc (but not all the time). As far as the power to the drive is concerned, the enclosure has a key that locks and unlocks the drive cartridge as well as connects and disconnects the drive power.


Locked = Power on

Unlocked = Power off


Also another idea.


If you mount the enclosure on top, use the 2 led lights on the front center of the ReplayTV case to align the drive enclosure to the center of the unit (like it is on my web page) . If you wanted to add a second drive (to the right of the 1st one), then both units together will be exactly centered on the unit.


You might have to make a special IDE cable because the space between the drive 1 and 2 connectors is not long enough to connect side by side drives. Of course you could always stack the enclosures one on top of another (and use a standard cable)...but I think the side by side way would look better.


Cam
 

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Cam that is very good work. I see you even powered your drive from the internal supply. I suppose for the $7 those don't come with power... but cooling fan... those are nice enclosures! I wonder if we could do custom length 80 wire IDE cables? I thought I heard those could be longer the 18 inches since they have the extra ground. Yes I think side by side would be sharp but now I'm thinking maybe one 120 gig quaxtor would be fine and really easy. Hey a little fake pseudo 4000 going on here with the ease of extraction anyway!! We'll have to sic you on that Sampo 631 DVD player now! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
KenL,

Thanks for the kind words.

That Sampo player is really cool. The wheels in my head are already turning! The removable HD would be perfect for that unit!

As for my Replay unit...I think I am going to keep it a simple single drive system...but you never know :) The custom 80 conductor cables are a good idea. I have not really looked around yet to see if they already make special cables w/ more space between the drive 1 and 2 connectors. Maybe some of those new "round" IDE cables are set up that way.


Actually my next challenge is to see if I can hook my Replay into my home network to access the program guide data over the internet. It seems like I (and the rest of the world) have had alot of connection problems with the numbers that the Replay dials into.


Do you think I could set up a connected computer to answer the Replay unit if I hooked them together via modem? I could then set up the computer to give the dialing modem (in the Replay) access to the internet.


With all the access numbers...it seems like the Replay units might be dialing into Internet POP sites and then getting the data via internet anyway.


I would prob have to have some kind of device in between to generate a dial tone or something.


Have you heard of anyone doing something similar?


Cam
 

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Cam I can tell right now you have the potential to become legendary around here. It's been a pretty tight group. That Tivonet-esque hack has been a holy grail that has been attempted with no definitive practical success but since Sonic Blue bought ReplayTV and last summer they announced the new 4000 unit (which should ship soon) we have been preoccupied with that. There used to be this guy here "seanriddle" who was involved in that "BB connect" work. I don't know what happened to him but he seemed to have been purged from the rolls. Actually he and "toots" (who really pulled together our drive hacking -- working with "gnagflow" this guy name wolfgang to figure out the file system and give us RTVPatch) Well Sean and Dawn (toots) were interviewed by the Washington Post as hackers in this great article when upgrading (Tivo's really) was all the craze.


Check out this thread on the "replay-net" hack it's rather long.


And also for a little background history of this bunch lizard_boy made a timeline post you can check out


Of course you know about flipflops indispensable extract_rtv and there are many others I can't mention in one quick posting but hope you'll take off your hat and say awhile!


(There have been other people talk about external drives but I never saw any pictures of anything I though was worth trying myself. I really was pretty busy all summer and I think lizard_boy has probably been following most of this closer - I really just popped back in here to follow the 4000. ) Anyway welcome aboard!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info. That helps A LOT! Now I need to get a Telephone Line Simulator!

Cam
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I was thinking instead of having to unplug the unit everytime I get ready to remove the drive...I might install an on/off switch in the unit. I mean a "real" on/off that will cut the power to the unit (not like the "standby" on/off button on the front of the unit.)


Then I could press the standby button, let the disk spin down, and then hit the new switch to cut all power to the unit.


Any other ideas?
 

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Yes Cam now that would "clean" ...always hard to be reaching back there for that cord since it's on UPS backup no power strip. Hey how about some timed contraption that would trigger the present power button wait 90 seconds before nixing the AC? Nah save more time by just keeping an "ear" to the drive(s). Simple AC toggle. As for the line simulator... I don't want to "reinvent the wheel" but I think it calls for new ways of thinking... Of course with the 4000 we don't need it anymore but I was never happy with the way it was going -- try to look at it all anew (back to linux maybe)? :D I was almost considering getting rid of the landline these days...
 

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Don't have to guess with the removable caddys. All the ones I've seen and/or used have a drive activity LED on the front. No guessing here as to when it's safe to pull the plug.


And just today I ordered one of the new "Round" IDE cables.

http://www.cyberguys.com/cgi-bin/sgi...REQC=3&UREQD=4


This may work better for a side-by-side dual caddy arrangement. Will let you all know.
 

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There's another thread about this going back a bit in time. I have been doing the "removable" HD thing for a very long time.


Some tips .. You MUST somehow turn OFF the Replay before removing the drive. Not just a power down. Looking at the indicator light on the external drive box to see when it stops accessing is NOT the answer!


If you have power to the replay with it's drive removed you are asking for trouble. One of the more common problems occurs when you have the drive removed and the Replay attempts to start up a recording or maybe do a connect etc. Rare, but it CAN happen. If the replay has power to the main board and it tries to access a "missing" drive you will have all kinds of trouble.


I simply unplug the unit myself. You can see some pics of my installation at my web site. www.pcphotovideo.com. I've put the removable bay into a one device external SCSI drive enclosure, and added power and ide jacks to the rear panel of the RTV. There's info on where you can get the 40 pin IDE chassis jack on the site as well. Click on the "Misc Ramblings" link.


Do NOT use the external boxes power supply if it has one. Run the drive power from the replay internal supply out to the external box. Having two separate supplies can really screw things up. Good luck ..
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich A



Some tips .. You MUST somehow turn OFF the Replay before removing the drive. Not just a power down. Looking at the indicator light on the external drive box to see when it stops accessing is NOT the answer!
I totally agree that one has to remove all power to the replay before removing the drive. But I don't think you meant to say what you did regarding the indicator light. The drive activity indicator will tell you that there's no hard drive activity, if that's not the answer then you can't ever pull the power on the unit. Perhaps you meant "looking at the "Power" indicator on the Replay..."


The correct sequence is:


1. Turn off the Replay via its power control.


2. Wait for the drive activity LED to go off (make sure you're not near the 20 or 40 minutes past the hour point where the Replay will check for possible recordings.)


3. Pull the power on it
 

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What if the external, removeable drive was setup to be the slave drive. Would it then be possible to swap this drive with a second replay with an identical setup?


In other words, both replays would have their original drives intact. A removeable bay would be installed on each of the replays. Would a second hard drive be interchangable. I'm guessing the answer is know, but I'll wait on answers...

Quote:
Originally posted by KenL
Cam that is very good work. I see you even powered your drive from the internal supply. I suppose for the $7 those don't come with power... but cooling fan... those are nice enclosures! I wonder if we could do custom length 80 wire IDE cables? I thought I heard those could be longer the 18 inches since they have the extra ground. Yes I think side by side would be sharp but now I'm thinking maybe one 120 gig quaxtor would be fine and really easy. Hey a little fake pseudo 4000 going on here with the ease of extraction anyway!! We'll have to sic you on that Sampo 631 DVD player now! :D
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich A
...You can see some pics of my installation at my web site. www.pcphotovideo.com. I've put the removable bay into a one device external SCSI drive enclosure, and added power and ide jacks to the rear panel of the RTV. There's info on where you can get the 40 pin IDE chassis jack on the site as well. Click on the "Misc Ramblings" link.
Rich A that's a great site I don't know how I missed that before. I guess you've never had issues extending ide more than 18"? But you could use a shorter ide cable outside the box... (looks like you did) I wonder if the:
Quote:
That IDE chassis mount connector has a standard 40 pin ribbon crimp connection on the inside. The only place I could find it was "Digi-Key". DigiKey Part number is: MPL40K-ND, and the 3M OEM number is: 4640-6000
is easily available as an 80 wire chassis mount connector? Just add the round cables (and I'm liking this). Rich A how did you cut that slot for the chassis connector? I will have to read up there maybe you tell us... And as always great info on the editing!! :D :D :D
 

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Quote:
What if the external, removeable drive was setup to be the slave drive. Would it then be possible to swap this drive with a second replay with an identical setup?
No, that's not possible because the master drive holds the file information for the recordings stored on the second drive. The two work as a unit, thus the "marry" designation in the rtv_patch program.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BaysideBas


The correct sequence is:


1. Turn off the Replay via its power control.


2. Wait for the drive activity LED to go off (make sure you're not near the 20 or 40 minutes past the hour point where the Replay will check for possible recordings.)


3. Pull the power on it
BaysideBas #2 is really good point. I don't suppose we should confuse the newbies with that one but that is probably the worst time to remove power -- during that activity. I also just like to let the drive stop spinning regardless of the activity light (or is the external one you're using more of a HD "power on" LED?)


Also regarding the married drives BaysideBas have you ever tired retrieving unlinked files off an orphaned dual drive two? (PITA I know but just for recovery purposes)
 
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