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Focus Enhancements FireStore
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Old April 29th, 2018, 09:26 PM   #1
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Putting an SSD inside a FiresStore

Not sure how many people are still using these, or even care, but someone just gave me an XHA1s that I wanted to use as an additional camera from time to time, so I wanted to refresh my old FireStore.

The drive inside is a 2.5" PATA/IDE drive that uses a 44 pin ribbon cable to connect to the guts of the FireStore. There are now some fairly inexpensive PATA SSDs available out there with 44pin connections. Would I have to mount the drive and format it to Fat32 to work inside the FireStore?

I have read that if you use drives of a certain size and let the FireStore format it, you will get multiple partitions, which I'd like to avoid if possible.
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 03:36 PM   #2
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Re: Putting an SSD inside a FiresStore

Well, I just went for it.

Received the Zheino 2.5 Inch IDE Pata 44 Pins 128gb SSD MLC Solid State Drive from Amazon. I put the drive into an old 2.5" drive enclosure I still had laying around that used a PATA/IDE interface. I used Windows disk manager to format the drive in NTFS first.

Once it was formatted, I used a free program called fat32format that allows you to format larger drives in Fat32, to format it again in Fat32.

I removed the old IDE drive from the FireStore and replaced it with the SSD. I turned on the FireStore and it booted up with no messages or anything, and said that I now had 633 minutes of recording time.

I'm curious about how much longer the battery will last with the SSD and whether heat will no longer even be an issue.
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: Putting an SSD inside a FiresStore

Outstanding. That's the hearty do-it-yourself pioneer spirit that I applaud on DV Info Net -- congratulations!

Pics?
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Old May 3rd, 2018, 05:19 AM   #4
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Re: Putting an SSD inside a FiresStore

I should have done a step by step. It actually isn't too hard to take apart. There are six long screws on the back. (Two of them are underneath the battery so you'll need to remove it). Once they are out, then you can pull the two halves of the FireStore apart very slightly, enough to see the rest of the things that need to be disconnected. First there's the ribbon cable for the drive (either from the board or from the drive) and then there are two smaller plugs that I think relay information to the front display. Then you can completely pull it apart, remove the screws holding the drive in.

There are a few tricky things...there are plastic inserts that form the frames around the various plugs that have to be slid into place before you screw the thing back together. I also drew an arrow on the ribbon cable just in case it mattered.

Attached is a pic of the display with the new record time.
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Putting an SSD inside a FiresStore-2m4d4co.jpg  
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Old May 3rd, 2018, 08:34 PM   #5
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Re: Putting an SSD inside a FiresStore

That's awesome. Does it feel "Snappier"?
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Old May 4th, 2018, 12:15 AM   #6
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Re: Putting an SSD inside a FiresStore

The disk functions that I have tried so far are all a lot faster. I only had a small video that I recorded as a test so I'm not sure how much faster the transfer speeds are. You'll still have the bottleneck of the IDE interface and the firewire.

One thing I noticed with the XHA1s is that it reports "time remaining" next to the DV control icon on the display. That was kinda cool.
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Old May 4th, 2018, 07:22 PM   #7
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Re: Putting an SSD inside a FiresStore

Which Firestore are you using?
How did you find a PATA SSD?
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Old May 4th, 2018, 07:30 PM   #8
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Re: Putting an SSD inside a FiresStore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Roo View Post
Which Firestore are you using?
How did you find a PATA SSD?
The model I have is the FS-C. I think it's essentially the same as the FS-4 HD. The PATA SSD I bought was on Amazon and was $90 with Prime.

Here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com/Zheino-128gb-Solid-State-Drive
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Old May 23rd, 2018, 04:21 PM   #9
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Re: Putting an SSD inside a FiresStore

So I finally shot a full event using the upgraded FireStore. When it had the mechanical hard drive inside and you hit the stop button, it looked like it was flushing data to the drive. When I hit stop this time, it didn't do that and I was worried, but when I got home all my footage was there. FireWire is still a slow transfer than USB 3.0, but I was happy with the results.

I use a free program called MTS file joiner to merge everything into a single clip. The whole workflow went exactly as I hoped.
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Old May 25th, 2018, 08:06 AM   #10
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Re: Putting an SSD inside a FiresStore

That's excellent news, thanks for the update!
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