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Old March 16th, 2009, 04:38 AM   #1
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eSATA - Bad Connector Design

Am I alone in not being impressed with the connectors used for eSATA. On my new Dell system, if I so much as look at the lead the wrong way, the connection breaks/makes VERY easily.

There seems to be some acknowledgement that this is an issue as you get some eSATA leads that come with a spring clip that keeps it better retained.

Pic below shows the type i mean.

Anybody got a good link to a cable they would praise highly?
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Last edited by Alastair Brown; March 16th, 2009 at 07:39 AM.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 07:24 AM   #2
 
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If you find one, let me know, please? I haven't found anything very secure either. It's abou the same integrity as a 4pin 1394 connector.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 07:49 AM   #3
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eSata connector are crap, one of my 500Gb HDD's eSATA plastic broke off, they would to replace the drive saying it has physical damage! Can you believe that, as if its my fault that the eSATA connector has a designing flaw. These things just break for no good reason.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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Prevailing opinion seems to agree with you

eSATA connectors are of poor design. I think it's one of the reasons why Apple
avoids dealing with eSATA. A storage device should not have a cable connection that
breaks connection by barely being jostled but that's what many are experiencing with
eSATA.

Hopefully they redesign the connector for the next generation and add alot more stability and durability.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #5
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The connectors are poor. I avoid touching them at all. If moving my PC case, I pull the cable and re-attach after moving to avoid problems. It is a small price to pay for such fast external storage, IMO. I've been using them for about two years and I guess I've just accepted them. I was very irritated with them initially but over time I got used to them.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 04:44 AM   #6
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I was wary of this as well, but was able to cut at least half the risk out, by buying a E-sata to Sata cable and then threading the cables into my case and directly onto the sata slots of my motherboard. My case has little rubber gromits where water-cooling tubes can be inserted, but they're perfect for the cables.

The drives respond just like my other drives so I can capture right onto them with no problems.

What I hate, is that some of the drive-cases are molded poorly, so in a couple cases (once with one of mine and once with someone else's) I had to use an x-acto knife to make it a little wider.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 04:51 AM   #7
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I dont have a solution so far. This will be of interest though.

USB 3.0 will crush eSATA, FireWire: Blogs - Under the Microscope - ZDNet Australia
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Old March 19th, 2009, 06:29 AM   #8
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The red cables are the absolute unmitigated pits worst sinful piece of cut price profit taking innovation ever malignly visited upon humankind.

The plugs (jacks in americaspeak) seem to shove onto flat pieces like HDD's circuit boards themselves. Providing the conductive foil on the boards does not detach and roll back like on some video boards, it is a valid and proven method used for years.

The cable fit into the plugs is poor and they eventually come apart. A noisy cooling fan and let's face it we put up with them, is enough to shake the cable into resistive or open circuit. either at the joint or internally.

All the things need to work properly is a longer shoulder by about five more millimetres and a positive retention clip which appears to have been introduced and maybe a wire hairspring retainer down each side of the socket to keep the plug centred and firmly clasped.

Thin down the plastic insulation to make the cable lighter and more pliant and it is a good innovation.

The cables themselves are not compliant and exert more stress on the already inadequate plugs and sockets. One would be tempted to imagine that certain failure was one of the design parameters.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 06:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hart View Post
The red cables are the absolute unmitigated pits worst sinful piece of cut price profit taking innovation ever malignly visited upon humankind.

The plugs (jacks in americaspeak) seem to shove onto flat pieces like HDD's circuit boards themselves. Providing the conductive foil on the boards does not detach and roll back like on some video boards, it is a valid and proven method used for years.
Actually in America the plug is the male end and and the jack is the female end just like in Australia.

In my experience the SATA plugs without the lock work better. The release always seems to be awkward to press and damage can be done trying to release it.

John
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 03:33 PM   #10
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Alistair,

I'm pulling out what's left of my hair over this issue as well! I purchased a Dell XPS Studio 435MT in January as my primary edit computer. I purchased a Fantom 1TB external drive with USB and eSATA connections. After installing Vegas 8.1, DVDA, Quicktime Pro and a few other goodies, I connected my HDV camera to begin digitizing all the footage I'd shot over the last 4 days. But my eSATA drive wouldn't mount; I tried and tried, checking BIOS (it was there) but I couldn't get Vista 64-bit to recognize it. Finally I connected it using USB and voila! the drivers installed. Then I reconnected using eSATA, and it worked for just one day. When I powered up the computer the next morning, my eSATA connection was gone (from BIOS as well).

I notieced that there is an electrical "pop" heard through my monitors when the eSATA cable is plugged/unplugged from the computer, and I've begun to suspect an electrical issue is at work here?

I spent a whole week on the phone with Dell XPS customer support. They escalated the issue up the ladder, and I actually recieved a replacement system last week. But alas, still no eSATA connection. I've now requested an RMA for the Fantom drive and cable ...

This is nuts!
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 04:11 PM   #11
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I bought a new eSATA cable, just to be safe, when they replaced my system, and have only been brave enough to use one caddy of my two possibles.

On my second system, so far, it's worked great.

Here's hoping I dont regret just typing that!!!!!!!!
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Old March 24th, 2009, 07:54 AM   #12
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Why did Dell replace your system? I was pleased with the XPS customer support, better than standard Dell support for sure.
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Old March 24th, 2009, 08:12 AM   #13
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My eSATA connection died after behaving like your did. Have a sniff of the port and if it smells a little bit burnt (as opposed to the normal electrical smell) then it may be a gonner.
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Old March 24th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #14
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Could not get my Dell to recognize my eSATA drive. BIOS gave device not detected error. Bought a second drive to see if the drive was the problem. Nope same problem. Spent a week with a very helpful Dell tech on the phone but could not get it to work. Dell has sent me a new MoBo and is sending out a tech to install it this Friday. Hopefully that will do the trick. Dell support has been very friendly and helpful (and understandable) but unsuccessful.
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Old March 24th, 2009, 02:37 PM   #15
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That sounds like three of us with Dell XPS systems that have had the same problem. They were going to replace my MOBO, however, as my system was barely out of the box, they just sent a complete new one.

As far as the search for a good connector goes the nice spring loaded ones I mentioned appear to only be available for internal SATA connections not eSATA ones.

Anyone else found anything worthwhile?

If not, I can feel a Blue-Peter moment coming on!
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