Friday, 20 March 2015

Another Nerd Post

The Network Media Tank (NMT) has been mentioned in an earlier post.  It’s our little black box that is the equivalent of a DVD recorder.  However, instead of recording to a DVD is records and plays back from an internal computer hard drive.  As our collection of recordings got larger we’ve had to upgrade the size of the hard drive until we reached 2TB.

After moving onto Waiouru I converted the NMT to run on 12V.  This; in combination with the conversion of the TV to work on 12V; has eliminated the need to use the Inverter.

We’ve continued to record TV programs and consequentially ran out of free space on the hard drive. The resolve this two 2TB hard drives have been externally connected to the NMT making the large internal hard drive obsolete.  Except an internal storage drive is required for recording purposes.  It seems a waste to use a massive 2TB hard drive just to record the odd TV program.  Furthermore, the hard drive generates heat which has to be dissipated by a small internal fan.  The fan uses electricity and is starting to get noisy.

Today I conducted a small experiment.  The first task was to open up the NMT and check whether the docking port (the connector plugs) for the existing large 3.5” internal hard drive were the same as a smaller 2.5” internal hard drive.  You can see the large internal hard drive in the photo below.  It’s the silver thing with the white label.  The second red arrow points to the small fan.

After removing the large hard drive I tested whether the surplus smaller 2.5” hard drive plugs were compatible with the sockets in the NMT.  They were!  However the 2.5” driver is obviously smaller.

I need to make the smaller drive sit firmly in the cradle previously occupied by the larger drive.  What I have done is to take a short length of single sided window masking tape and cut it down the middle along its length.  These two pieces of tape were then placed on top of each other on the underside of the smaller drive holding it in place in the cradle.

The NMT was reassembled after cleaning the fan.  Everything is working and the new 2.5” hard drive will record and play back.  The new drive has 12.5% of the capacity of the original 2TB hard drive.  We don’t need that much recording capacity and the drive also produces heat which means the fan is required.

I have plans for a further enhancement.  You may recall the modifications to the notebook computer about 9 months ago.  As part of the modifications the 32GB mSATA SSD stick was removed and replaced with a larger capacity stick.  32GB of storage is about all we need in the NMT.  The stick is very small and being solid state with no moving parts, generates very little heat.  If I can replace the smaller hard drive with the 32GB stick then it will eliminate the need for the fan and reduce the power consumed by the NMT.  How small is the 32GB stick.

It’s rather small when compared to the internal hard drives.  I think this is going to work.

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