I haven’t started the project yet, but here’s what I’m planning…
I’ve been looking for an external hard drive case for a spare 2.5" notebook hard drive. Really, it was the drive from my MP3 player, but it’s broken and the drive isn’t.
So, I’ve got a 60 GB notebook sized drive available. I can build my own portable external hard drive, that’s small, light and has lots of storage.
I started looking on the web and found so much more than I expected. Not that I found a lot of options for cases (there were a few).
I found the Macally On-The-Go external hard drive case. Of course, this one takes a notebook hard drive, maximum 9.5mm height, like they all do.
The unusual aspect of this case is that it has an internal Lithium Ion battery and a Copy button on the front, business-end of the case.
Not only can I use this as a normal portable external hard drive, I can plug any USB memory device into it, press the Copy button, and copy the data onto the hard drive. More simply, I can copy data to this unit from a USB flash drive, card reader, MP3 player (expect iPod), digital camera, and Hard Drive etc without a computer.
Still not impressive? Focus on the words “card reader.” Compact flash reader, SD card reader, Memory Stick reader, etc… And, you don’t have to have the computer — the button triggers the copying software in the unit and the power comes from the internal Li-Ion battery.
Say you’re a photographer, amateur or professional, and you want to take your digital camera on a trip. You can carry a notebook computer to copy your pictures from the camera or its memory card onto the computer. Or, you can carry a handful of compact flash or SD memory cards with big capacities.
Or, you can carry a couple (always have a backup, but it doesn’t have to be big) and the Mcally On-The-Go case after you’ve added a hard drive…
If I didn’t already have a spare notebook hard drive, I’d add a Fujitsu MHV2040AT 40GB 4200 RPM 2MB Cache ATA-6 Notebook Hard Drive, which runs about $60. My MP3 player came with the 30GB version of this drive; later I upgraded to the 60GB version.
If the camera can’t direct-connect via the USB, I can connect with a USB flash card reader..
I’d stick with a 4200 rpm drive since they run cooler than the faster drives.
So, I’ll end up with a portable battery-powered 40GB unit that can be used for downloading pictures in the field, total weight with hard drive about a pound, for about $48 (+$65 = $113 if I didn’t already have a spare drive). Maybe another $20 for a flash-card reader, but I’ve got one of those, too.
Meanwhile, I’ll be able to use this as an external USB2.0 drive with my computers — and I will have a small, light drive to take on trips.