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Old March 30th, 2006, 11:24 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe DeRouen
Okay, I really need to get one of these. Since the price difference is so little in regards to building one myself or purchasing one on eBay, I'm probably going to go the eBay route. That said, can I add a hard drive myself? How do you set up the partitions correctly?

On some of the eBay deals, you can pay extra for a hard drive, but they usually top out at 250 or 300 GB and I want at least a 400 GB in the system.

Thanks!!
Joe

Joe, depending on the controller, you should be able to add a hard drive yourself. One of the reasons I built it myself is, I wanted to pick out the drives that went in the thing.

It took me some digging to find out the drives that sellers use to build thier duplicators, but after I did, I decided to build it myself. For example, when I priced the pre-built componants, I found that the seller was making like 200 bucks extra, even if I bought the componants from newegg. Some sellers use cheap drives. Those and other reason, I built mine. I've been very happy, and other than operator error, mine has not given me one problem.

It took me 30 minutes to put it together. If you do decide to buy one put together, ask what the controller and drives are. Make sure they are not crap.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #32
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multi-bay duplicator

hi

I got some very helpful advice/information from this thread and have just received a Wytron 399 controller from California and have just ordered 6 Pioneer 111 dvd units from a firm in Vancouver and a 9 bay box from a company in California. Hopefully all will come together shortly. I will post my experiences when I am up and running. Trying to find the box and controller in Canada was a no go.

Martin
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Old March 30th, 2006, 01:40 PM   #33
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www.amamax.com

I am considering purchasing from this site: www.amamax.com

Does anyone know anything about them, positive or negative?

The system I'm looking at uses these:

Acard 2033 Series Controller + Case + Power Supply
Pioneer 109 16x DVD+-R/RW Drives

Thanks!
Joe
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:03 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe DeRouen
I am considering purchasing from this site: www.amamax.com

Does anyone know anything about them, positive or negative?

The system I'm looking at uses these:

Acard 2033 Series Controller + Case + Power Supply
Pioneer 109 16x DVD+-R/RW Drives

Thanks!
Joe

I'd have to check my records at home for sure, but I think this is where I got my controller and maybe my case. I got my drives from newegg. I don't remember any issues with them. I think I actually remember them being very friendly.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:05 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe DeRouen
I am considering purchasing from this site: www.amamax.com

Does anyone know anything about them, positive or negative?

The system I'm looking at uses these:

Acard 2033 Series Controller + Case + Power Supply
Pioneer 109 16x DVD+-R/RW Drives

Thanks!
Joe
Yep, if you look at page on of this thread, you'll see my list of what from where. I did do buisiness with amamax
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:27 PM   #36
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Wytron

I see you used the Wytron controller. Is it better than the acard? I've heard mostly good things about both.

Joe
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Old March 30th, 2006, 03:11 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Joe DeRouen
I see you used the Wytron controller. Is it better than the acard? I've heard mostly good things about both.

Joe
I've heard good things about both as well, I believe it came down to the one I thought looked the coolest. That's sad.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #38
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Sad

It IS sad, but it's also the kind of thing I'd do, so I can't say anything! ;)

Here's the system I'm looking at. If you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them. And thanks for all the help and advice!

http://store.yahoo.com/amamax/pi1ta16xspdv2.html
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Old March 30th, 2006, 04:43 PM   #39
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I also purchased from www.amamax.com and www.newegg.com
and recommend both vendors.

amamax was very prompt with the billing and shipping. I ordered the controller, case and power supply from amamax.com and there was no charge for shipping, great deal considering the weight and size of the case.
Also everything was packaged securely to avoid damage in transit. Only minor complaint is the ziploc bag was not sealed so some of the screws were running around loose, no big deal.

I have the wytron controller and it is easy to add a hard drive. My hard drive is jumpered to master and is in a removable caddy. The source dvd-rom drive is jumpered to slave, if the hd caddy is not present it will default to the source dvd rom drive. If the duplicator powers up with the hd caddy in place it becomes the default source drive.

Works great is a real time saver
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Old March 30th, 2006, 05:27 PM   #40
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More questions

George, your system sounds great. I run an online store that sells DVDs and I'm so far behind in shipping that it's ridiculous. My current 2 DVD at a time setup just doesn't work anymore.

So how easy or difficult is the interface to use? I'm assuming you just click through the LCD display and tell it what to copy and how many to make?

I have nearly 700 GB of iso files on two external hard drives. I'll be transferring some of these - the most ordered - to whatever hard drive I get and use the externals for backups or something silly like that. :)

Joe
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Old March 30th, 2006, 05:57 PM   #41
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The interface is a bit cumbersome but easy enough to navigate and work with, once it is set it retains the info. To copy select either the original cd or image file, load the blanks and walk away. When the copies complete the drive(s) will eject, load more blanks to burn additional copies. It takes just under ten minutes for a 4gb dvd at 16x speed. Recently I throttled down the burn speed to 8x for greater compatibility.

If I remember correctly the wytron designates the partitions as a-z then aa,ab,etc. It appears to be a fat32 file system but I can not get winxp to recognize the drive. I had hoped to drag and drop the iso files I currently have but no luck. The only way I have found is to load the original disc into the source of the duplicator and rip it to the designated partition in the duplicator drive caddy. One thing to note is the controller keeps the same partition info for the drive. IE if you select 4.7gb partitions and copy a 750mb cd image you will still allocate 4gb for the cd image. There is not a way to name the partitions other than the default alphabetical letters. I assume if you have multiple hard drives in caddies you could have a very effective archive ready to copy.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have additional ?s.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #42
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Joe

I think your potential system sounds quite fine. I would ,however, check to see if they are now quoting against Pioneer's latest which I believe is the 111 version.


Martin
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Old March 31st, 2006, 03:31 PM   #43
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Athena

How about the Athena controllers? Or are they all about the same?

Joe
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Old April 11th, 2006, 06:31 PM   #44
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DVD duplicator

Well... I finally have my gear together and have fired it up but not actually run a disc as yet.

I got a Wytron controller complete with data cables, via ebay, from sandyyang78, good price(best price I could come across) and fast shipping. The 9space case I got from copycats complete with a 500 watt supply and power leads. I bought the 6 Pioneer 111 from Can computer in Vancouver. I must say I was very pleased with the service from each. Now to try the complete product. I am actually waiting for a new hard drive to arrive.
Incidentally, I had a question about the connections so dropped an e-mail off to Wytron in Taiwan and had an answer the next morning. The guy even made some suggestions to save cost and set up best. Can't beat that.

Now I still need to learn about the best way to print on or label a disc. Any suggestions?

Martin
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Old June 18th, 2006, 01:36 PM   #45
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Athena Duplicators

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe DeRouen
How about the Athena controllers? Or are they all about the same?

Joe
I built a Dup. tower with an Athena 11-1 controller. I built it into a 14 bay enclosure I bought a few years back that I had a couple of Firewire (2) drive controllers in to use for Video Production with each having an Hard Drive and DVD burner. I really never used both sets so I left one HD in and had 11 empty bays in it.

Right now I have 6 Pioneer DVD-111D burners in it (firmware 1.06 may upgrade firmware to current 1.23 once I can do it on my Mac platform). I also have a HD (in a removable Sled) and an ASUS E616A2 reader. I also have a Macpower DigitalDoc 5 to monitor the temperature at 8 points with in the enclosure. Right now I can increase it to 9 drives without removing anything and once I'm satisfied around the temperature in the case can get it 11 easy enough by removing the DigitalDoc 5 and the FW Drive but don't see this need at the current time. I use this to Dup the Video DVD projects I do in my Video Production company. I was burning through two computers and now have them free of this.

I choose this Duplicator card as it does a more dynamic HD partition in that it partitions the drive into 1 gig units and a CD will use one and a DVD will use 1 to 5 depending on the size of the project. Other units you have to configure a drive for either CD's or DVD's and each CD will use a gig and and Each DVD will use 5 gigs (even CD's on a DVD set up drive will use 5 gigs). I also used the removable Drive Sled to be able to have multiple HD's as the need arises. Current Drive is a 200 gig drive which allows for 184 CD or 34 DVD's in it's reporting function.

Another advantage of this Controller is that it allows for you to have different Burner model so if I need to scale up above my 6 Pioneer DVD-111D's and they are no longer easily available I can use the latest with what I already have. Other Duplicators require the same Burner's with the same FW to work properly.

I just built this is the last week and have only burned less that 30 DVD's on it as of yet, I'm looking forward to no longer using my Computer to burn copies. I will try to report in on my impresssions as I incorporate this into my work flow.
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