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Old May 9th, 2005, 08:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Portland, OR
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DLT connection fiasco

I work at a tiny dv-only house, and my boss wants to add copy protection to our DVDs when we send them for replication, which means we have to start mastering to DLT. He bought an old Quantum TH5BA DLT drive on eBay on a whim, and now we're trying to figure out the best way to connect it to a G5. He finally got a SCSI card (an Adaptec PowerDomain 29160) that we could install in the G5, but he discovered that the drive has a 50-pin interface, while the card's only external port is a 68-pin. Now I want to know whether it's possible to connect this drive.

Does anyone have experience using 50-pin-to-68-pin conversion cables (which some places market) or with SCSI-to-firewire converters? The 50-to-68 solution somehow doesn't seem too reliable to me, and I don't know anyone who's tried the firewire adapters. Would one of those be a good solution?

The SCSI card does have an internal 50-pin interface, so one option my boss considered was running a cable from inside the G5 to the DLT drive. This didn't strike me as a great option, but I have never tried a hack like that. Would there be any risk involved for the hardware other than maybe pinching the SCSI cable?

I would appreciate any help or advice because we are trying to get one of our projects to the replicators by the end of the week, preferably with copy protection.
Zach Mull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: La Jolla, CA
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Similar situation

Hi Zach,

I was wondering if you ever sorted out your DLT drive problem. I too am working at a small production copy and already finished my first project and used somebody eles DLT drive to send it to the replication center. However now we would like to have our own DLT drive for future projects. We also have a G5 and know we need a DLT4000 drive but dont know which card and cable would be the best option. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Tague Hurley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 09:54 PM   #3
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Hi Tague. The solution is simple, and Jake Russell gave it to me on the Apple user forums. All you need is an Atto host adapter. I have a UL4S card (the PCI-X version). If you want to have another SCSI device chain you can get a UL4D, but if you only want to connect the DLT drive then you don't need to spend the extra cash. This is assuming that you have a G5 with the oddball PCI-X architecture. If you bought one of the newest models with PCI-E then I'm not sure what you'll need. The customer service at Atto is excellent, and they'll recommend the right card for you. For the DLT4000, you'll need a cable with an active terminator. It should have a Centronics 50-pin connector on one end and a 68-pin fast/wide SCSI on the other (the 68-pin end should have the active terminator). Hopefully your DLT drive has a terminator on it already. It should come with one. If not then you'll need a 50-pin Centronics terminator to terminate the chain. The last piece of the puzzle is to make sure the drive is on when you boot the G5. I originally thought that the drivers from Atto weren't working, but I discovered that I just need to turn the drive on before I boot. The SCSI adapter and the DLT will both function without the Atto drivers installed as long as you remember to turn it on first. It's a minor inconvenience to reboot after I finish building in DVDSP, but it's much better than pulling my hair out trying to get the software to recognize the drive. Best of luck.
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