SATA and Cables

  Tabvla 14:42 25 Apr 2006

I have a spare Maxtor 160Gb SATA disk. I purchased an Enermax EB305C enclosure to house the disk. The specification of the enclosure says that it is suitable for both IDE and SATA disks. The enclosure is supplied with all necessary cables, screws etc.

However, on attempting to install the disk in the enclosure I have what I think is a problem because the power and data cables cross each other and the data cable has a twist. My understanding is that with SATA disks you should never let the power and data cables cross and that the data cable must not twist.

Does anyone know if it is OK (or not OK) to install a SATA disk with data and power cables crossing each other?

Thanks in advance.

  GaT7 15:34 25 Apr 2006

Even though the Enermax EB305C spec (click here) doesn't say, I'd imagine, as it's from a reputable brand, the cables/connectors will have some sort of 'shielding' so crossing over shouldn't be a problem - see the 'key benefits' under External SATA lower down in this link click here.

I also reckon (but don't take it as an absolute truth) that SATA data cable twisting is OK, but the cable shouldn't 'fold' flat.

If in doubt, contact Enermax tech support at [email protected] (from click here). Good luck, G

  rmcqua 15:41 25 Apr 2006

SATA data and power cables are nowhere near as fussy as you have been led to believe. Don't worry about them crossing or bending, so long as you don't bend them into very sharp angles.

  Tabvla 17:44 05 May 2006

I have installed the disk - with crossed cables - and after a week of testing everything seems OK.

So "rmcqua" seems to have been correct. SATA is not as fussy as one is led to believe.

Interestingly enough - and in reply to Crossbow7 - the cables are not shielded. The only shielded cable is the USB external cable.

  GaT7 13:52 06 May 2006

"The only shielded cable is the USB external cable." - wouldn't that be the only cable that really requires shielding? G

  Tabvla 15:15 06 May 2006

Perhaps.... but ... What I don't like is that inside the enclosure the pin-outs from the PC-board are arranged in such a way that the power cables and data cable from the PC-board to a SATA disk must crossover each other and because of the confines of the enclosure must be in actual physical contact.

Even the manufacturer in the installation instructions makes a specific note that these cables should not crossover - but then gives you a picture of an IDE disk where the connectors are arranged so that the cables don't cross.

I come from an electronic circuits design background and from many years of experience I know that some of the most difficult to determine problems are caused by the fields that surround cables - even at relatively low power.

So I suppose there is an element of paranoia in my view... :)

  GaT7 21:41 06 May 2006

Thanks for that Tabvla. I understand now : )

I don't think there's any paranoia in your view. If the install instructions specify they shouldn't cross over & clearly they HAVE TO, there appears to be something wrong with their instructions or a design fault(?). Or, the cables are shielded internally & so not visible?

Contact their support to put your mind at ease - email provided above. G

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