Features of the e.SATA RAID Kit version 3
First we take a look at the packaging. What we noticed was that this system isn't in so many words a "Kit" like the previous kit we looked at but more of a package. Highpoint simply packs the controller card and external enclosure in a two strap plastic binder and sells them at a cheaper price then if you were to buy them separately. There are no added extras over buying them separately. In the controller card box you will find your card, one e.SATA controller cable, a user manual and driver disk.
In the RocketMate 1100 box you get the drive enclosure, user manual, power supply and e.SATA cable. This is simply all you will need to get the entire system up and going.
To interface the drive unit with the PC, Highpoint uses the Rocket 1511 PCI controller card. This card is a single channel e.SATA card using the HPT302N. This chip supports a single Parallel ATA interface, so without the Serial ATA controller on it, two IDE drives can be connected. To give Serial ATA functionality, the Marvel PATA to SATA controller chip is added to give access for one Serial ATA drive.
Rather than design a new port connection for e.SATA, Highpoint has elected to use Firewire ports for its e.SATA interface. Since the unit only needs four Data wires, Firewire cables and ports are more then adequate to handle the data transmissions. The Mini Firewire (4 pin) port is located on the back of the controller card and a 6 pin is located on the back of the enclosure.
Now we take a look at the enclosure. The unit is of alloy construction with a blue plastic face and back to create a rather impressive look to the drive. The unit is held together with two screws, when these are removed, the back slides out into a tray. This is where you place your Serial ATA Hard Disk. Since this is Serial ATA, you don't have to set any jumpers for the unit. Simply plug it into the connector and secure the drive down with the supplied screws. On the back the unit shows its simplicity. A 6 pin Firewire port acts as the e.SATA connector, a standard DC in power port is used to supply the drive and converter circuitry with power and an on/off button is supplied to power down the drive for removal from the system. Since we are dealing with Serial ATA, hot swapping is supported. Just shut down the drive with the on/off button, remove power and data cords and that's it, Windows detects it as a removable drive and all is well.
Installation of the e.SATA Kit version 3 is a much simpler task than the version 2 RAID kit. The controller card is straight forward. First remove the case off your PC and locate the nearest free PCI slot in your computer. Remove the back shield that covers the slot and insert the PCI card into the slot securely. Secure the card with a screw and replace the cover. This is the end of the installation of the card.
For the drive it is just as simple. First release the two screws at the back of the enclosure and slide the drive tray out. Take your Serial ATA Hard Disk and align it with the drive and power transfer module in the tray and press the drive back onto the module. Replace the tray into the enclosure and secure the unit with the two screws previously removed.
Now connect the power cable from the power pack to the back of the unit and connect the power pack to the wall unit. Connect the 6 pin end of the e.SATA cable to the back of the enclosure. Then secure the 4 pin end to the back of the PC case where the e.SATA port is now located. Power up the Enclosure with the on/off button, power the PC and off you go.
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