[rescue] Sun machines supporting half-height hard drives

Paul H obi at frozenphoenix.net
Thu May 5 14:02:57 CDT 2005

Jeffrey Nonken wrote:

> Erm, you're right. I misunderstood the description.
> Looks like everybody's selling the adaptors to let you re-use SCA-80 
> drives, not the other way 'round.
> Pages of them show up in a search, and some vendors are putting the 
> word "RARE!" in their description. This must be some new meaning of 
> the word "rare" I wasn't previously aware of.

What you can do, which i have done[0], is to get a Female - Female 80 
pin sca cable and use one of those adapters backwards. it then will 
allow you to have an internal 68pin or 50 pin scsi buss on a machine 
that only has a sca backplane. The only challenge becomes mounting the 
drives some where and routing the cables to them. but it could be a way 
to put a 68 pin scsi boot drive in the place of a floppie or cdrom drive 
if you realy wana use 68 pin drives. you may even beable to modify some 
rails to mount the drives just far enough away from the sca conectors to 
fit a 68 pin cable to such an adapter given the other end of the drive 
will fit behind any skins for the machine, or even mount the drive 
backwards in the drive bay puting the 68pin bus on the outside. One 
could also remove the sca backplane and just use a 68pin cable, since 
most of the backplanes i've seen are fed by a normal 68 pin cable, 
though some are fed by a custom cable.

All very dirty hacks and probably more complicated than getting new 
drives or trading the drives with some one who wants them for what you need.

[0] I asembled the first adapter for a pair of CPCI Sun machines i have  
that only have an internal sca backplane with two bays on it and NO 
external scsi busses, and only a CPCI bus which i only had 4 port 
network cards for. At the time i didn't have any other sun machines 
around and had never been sucesfull in netbooting from any thing but 
another sun, so it was a way to put a cdrom drive in these machines, 
(not actualy  IN them but sitting on the desk next to them with a ribon 
and power cable leading to the drive bay) to install the os. Once I got 
the os installed the machines were fantastic. a pair of my favorite 
machines. 360mhz UltraSparc, dual powersupplies, in a rackmount case 
half the size of an Ultra2, same height half the depth.

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