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 Post subject: Suspending a Raptor in a new Shuttle Zen (pics)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:20 pm 
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Updated: 2/29/04

It was a toss up where to put this, either here or in storage. I chose this forum as the topic is specific to the Zen.

The new Zen from Shuttle leaves just enough room to suspend a hard drive without using the 5.25" bay. All that need be done is leave out the removable drive case that fastens below the floppy bay. Without any added cooling in an ambient temperature of 21-22C the drive running idle is stable at 41C. An hour and 45 minutes of running two simultaneous processes of CPUburn on a P4 3.0 Ghz with the CPU @ 1.325 volts netted a 1C increase in idle drive temp (though this CPU turned out to be unstable at this voltage). The top of the case was very warm to the touch while CPUburn was running so I imagine the internal case temp was pretty high. I don't yet have any software to test loaded drive temps so idle temp is going to have to do for now.

=============================================

The Parts:

Update: Copper wire is not needed!

Click images for a larger pic.
Image

Across the top is a green mini bungee strap. It, like all the other parts, came from Home Depot. The bungee straps come in a pack of 8 and multiple color options for your viewing pleasure. They are 10" in length. I used 2 of them to suspend the drive. The pack of 8 costs about $2.00.

Below the strap is a 25 foot roll of nice soft 18 guage copper wire. I used about 6" of it. :) The roll costs about $3.00. -not needed

To the left of the roll is a #10 x 5/8" sheet metal screw. It came in a bag of 10. I used 4 of them. The bag costs about $1.00

Beneath the roll and slightly to the right are 2 of the white 1/4" ID plastic clamps. They came in a box of 18. I used eight of them. The box costs about $1.00.

Below the screw is a quarter for scale. Total cost for parts was about $7.00. If you have this stuff lying around, it costs nothing. :) -total updated cost is about $4.00

=============================================

The Demolition:

Image

I chose to cut the hooks from the bungee straps with a pair of wire cutters. This left the already clamped cord ends in place, making the cords the perfect length for suspending a drive in the Zen. The clamped bends that the cords come with work as a natural knott to prevent the cords from passing through the clamps.

The metal wire of the hooks is thin and simple to cut if you have a good pair of wire cutters. You end up with a pile of loops like pictured above.

=============================================

Assembled:

Image Image

A nice feature of using this suspension method is the ability to tilt the clamps providing an excellent means of fine tuning both the level and depth of the drive after it's installed. Just loosen the screw, twist as needed, and retighten the screw. This is especially helpful given what little clearance there is for the drive.

There is no need to drill or cut any part of the case for this installation. The #10 sheet metal screws fit securely into existing holes in the case. You'll need a good pair of wire cutters, a flat head screwdriver, and a phillips head screwdriver.

=============================================

Suspending hard drives seems to be pretty old hat around here but as the Zen is pretty new I'll be glad to answer questions anyone might have.


Last edited by Copper on Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:43 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 2:10 am 
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Nice post - nice work. It seems the 'new' standard for the hdd at right angles to the optical will make this possible on many SFF so I expect this to become a well referenced thread!

Working on a new Biostar SFF at the moment with the same recipe in my head: will need the future owner's ack to drill out a silly extra bracket that exists on the Biostar to latch the hdd tray though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:12 am 
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Thank you for the detailed parts description and installation, Copper! I'll follow your instructions on my next drive suspension, for sure.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:19 am 
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Copper, very easy to read and excellent detail, should make the job a lot easier for others to do.

Do you think it's possible to fit two HD's into the Zen, suspended or unsuspended?

Thanks,
Dan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:04 am 
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Hi Dan,

dannybruk wrote:
Do you think it's possible to fit two HD's into the Zen, suspended or unsuspended?


The answer to both is yes. Both options, suspended and unsuspended, have sacrifices though. You could use the stock dual 3.5" drive bays to install 2 drives unsuspended. I don't have any of the quiet drives that are often referenced here at SilentPCReview to compare with, but I can tell you that you wont be happy with even 1 Raptor installed unsuspended if you want a quiet system. The seek noise from an unsuspended Raptor in the Zen is horribly amplified by the case. I imagine that installing 2 Raptors unsuspended would be double jeopordy. Suspended, however, tames the Raptor. Seek noice is still audible, but faint.

You could suspend 2 drives if you are willing to forgo using an internal optical drive. The 5.25" drive bay could then be used to suspend the second hard drive. There is not enough room that I can see to suspend two hard drives without using the 5.25" drive bay to suspend one of them.

====================================

Thanks for the compliments everyone. I'm glad to pass along some ideas that others can try.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 9:58 am 
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dukla2000 wrote:
will need the future owner's ack to drill out a silly extra bracket that exists on the Biostar to latch the hdd tray though.


I added an additional note to the OP about tools. The Zen fortunately has all the necessary holes for installation. So I thought I'd add it to the post. Your note prompted me that it might be a question someone might have.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:06 pm 
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Unsuspended you can definitely have 2 HDs inside along with an optical drive in the 5.25" bay. Shuttle prepacks a cable for you that only has one HD connection and another cable for two HDs, separate from the 3rd cable it gives you for the optical drive.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 3:10 am 
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Well, I finally bit the bullet after seeing Copper's setup and how easy it seemed. I went to Home Depot and bought the bungee cords, plastic clamps, and metal screws. Final cost was $5.11, but would've been .78 cents cheaper without the 2nd bag of screws that I didn't need. I left the wire hook on because the cutters I had were too puny to cut through them (they were for making RJ45 cables...). The photos might not show it, but there is no metal contact with the harddrive. The hard drive still moves when the case is moved around, but is still pretty snug given the little leeway the IDE cable gives you.

Idle temp is still around 39-40C. The difference in noise when it is seeking is amazing. I didn't know suspending would stop THAT kind of noise, since I didn't think the noises it was making was related to vibration. I can still hear the HD over the 1800RPM fan if I listen for it, or when it is constantly seeking (loading a game, running defrag), but standard seeks I don't notice.

Thanks SPCR and Copper.

http://home.surewest.net/rlaw/DSC00793.jpg
http://home.surewest.net/rlaw/DSC00794.jpg

Now, if I could only make the single fan more quiet... =D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:27 am 
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Quote:
The difference in noise when it is seeking is amazing.


It is isn't it!!! :)


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