Monday, December 22, 2014

pcDuino3 Nano - Adding a SATA Disk - Connecting the Drive

This is another in the series documenting my setup of a new home server with the Linksprite pcDuino3 Nano.  A listing for the entire series can be found here.  More information on the pcDuino3 Nano can be found at Linksprite’s website and the pcDuino website.

One of the things that drew me to the pcDuino3 Nano as a replacement for my home NAS system was the ability to connect a SATA disk to it.  The pcDuino3 and pcDuino3 Nano both have a SATA host port and a 5v power connector.  The 5v power connector limits you to 2.5” SATA drives.


My original plan was to use a SATA dock to house and power the drive.  However, this didn’t work out as the pcDuino3 Nano has a SATA host port which is a different connector than an eSATA port.  This left me with a problem as I was using a 3.5” SATA drive which requires 12v and 5v and the pcDuino3 Nano only supplies 5v.  I overcame this problem by using a cable with a SATA power connector on one end and a 4 pin molex connector on the other.  This allows a 3.5” SATA drive to be powered from an ATX power supply or anything with a 4 pin molex connector with 12v and 5v. 

In my case I had a power adapter that supplied both voltages and by cutting off the original power connector and replacing it with a 4 pin molex male connector I was able to supply power to the disk drive.  While I was at it I cut off a USB micro b connector from a wall wart and connected that to the 5v lead to power the pcDuino3 Nano.

As shown in the picture below I used an old external USB drive enclosure for the drive.


After checking all the connections I plugged in the power adapter and booted the pcDuino3 Nano.


Unknown said...

What kind of power supply is that?

digitalhack said...


It is one I had hanging around. I think it may have been from an old external USB drive.


Unknown said...

Amazingly convenient. I never heard of an adapter with both 5V and 12V before!

Anonymous said...

Nice! Do you use a LiPo backup battery with your PCDuino? If you do...
When power fails and the PCDuino is on battery, does the battery also run the SATA power port, or does the SATA disk get powered off?