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Thread: Powering External Hard Drive from M2-ATX

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    Powering External Hard Drive from M2-ATX

    Ok, I'd like to have some good storage space for my carputer. Now, I was thinking of going with just a basic 40gb 2.5" hard drive on my via board for Windows, programs, etc. I'd like to add a 3.5" for media. Obviously the 3.5" are much cheaper per GB. I've seen the external cases that convert to usb so I could use that but they all seem to have a power cord. Is there a way to power this using my m2-atx? Can anyone point me towards how to achieve that. I tried searching but there's so much info here I couldn't seem to nail the right keywords for this.

    Thanks!
    Chris

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    Maximum Bitrate JimmyFitz's Avatar
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    They all have a power cord because USB has 5V to power devices. 3.5 hard drives need 12V. You can get 12V from your M2 yellow wire, but be careful not to exceed its rated output. M2's are known for causing all sorts of problems if you overload them.
    ~Jimmy

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    So what would I need to go from the ac power cord to the 12v from the m2?

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    I already do this off of my M1-ATX. Basically all you have to do is hack off the transformer from the external hard drive and wire that side up to a molex instead. Please pay attention to get the polarity right though, I'm sure you external hard drive wouldn't appreciate negative 12 volts when it is expecting positive.

    Basic illustration of power cord:

    Wall Outlet ------- Transformer ------- Hard Drive enclosure
    _____________________________^cut here (wouldn't allow spaces)

    The easiest way to get the polarity straight is to plug the thing into the wall and test with a multimeter which wire coming out of the transformer to the HD is + and which is ground (your multimeter will read 12V if your red lead is touching the + line and -12V if your red lead is on the ground)

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    Great. I have one more stupid question. Everyone keeps mentioning molex's. I assuem this is the pin looking thing to connect to the m2? I did a search for molex connectors and there's like 15 different ones. Can you tell me which I'll need to conenct to the m2 and where on the m2 it would get connected?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ckny View Post
    Great. I have one more stupid question. Everyone keeps mentioning molex's. I assuem this is the pin looking thing to connect to the m2? I did a search for molex connectors and there's like 15 different ones. Can you tell me which I'll need to conenct to the m2 and where on the m2 it would get connected?
    if u need to ask this.., then i really dont think you're qualified to install this

    kidding, anyway, the molex's we all talk about, are the same molex plugs that plug into hard drives (4 wires, 2 black, a yellow and a red)

    yellow = 12v
    red = 5v
    black's = ground

    so basically, hack the transformer off, hook the positive line to the yellow wire, and the negative to either of the grounds, and there u go

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    excellent. thanks!

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molex_connector

    You'll probably want to put a male molex on that cable with the Yellow (12V) and Black (Ground) wires running to the appropriate places on the HD enclosure power connector.

    * EDIT *

    I'm too slow. Sorry, I'm at work...

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