Storage Tower and Storage Tower II Q&A


Q. What storage devices can be installed into the Storage Tower?
A. Any standard size ATAPI DVD, CDRW, DVD+/-RRW and Mobile Rack (the removable hard drive kit) can be mounted into the Storage Tower. For 3.5" hard drive, you need a set of hard drive mounting brackets which is available from Addonics online store and many computer stores. For 2.5" hard drive, you will need the same mounting brackets for 3.5" hard drive plus the Addonics 2.5" to 3.5" converter kit.

Removable drive such as Iomega ZIP, MO, Interface Flash reader, Addonics internal DigiDrive or any 3.5" ATAPI device can be installed using a 3.5" to 5 1/4" mounting bracket. This bracket comes with a front bezel and is different than the bracket for the 3.5" hard drive.

Q. How are the storage devices inside the Storage Tower connected to eSATA, USB or Firewire port of the computer?
A. Depends on the interface of the drive. In the case of a SATA device, it connects to the SATA cable inside the Storage Tower. The SATA cable is connected on the other end to a eSATA connector mounted on the back panel of the Storage Tower. You can then connect an eSATA cable from the back panel of the Storage Tower to the eSATA port of any computer.

In the case of IDE or ATAPI device, it connects to the IDE ribbon cable inside the Storage Tower. The other end of this IDE cable is connected to the Addonics USIB interface board mounted on the back panel of the Storage Tower. You can then attach an Addonics USB or Firewire USIB interface cable from the back of the Storage Tower to either the USB or Firewire port of any computer.

Q. Can SATA, IDE and ATAPI devices be mixed in the same Storage Tower?
A. Yes. That is the flexibility of the Storage Tower. But be sure that you choose the correct Storage Tower model that havs the back panels with the correct connectors and cables. There are models with back panel that have both eSATA and USIB connectors. The eSATA is for SATA storage and the USIB interface is for IDE or ATAPI devices.

You can also connect IDE device to the SATA cable by using Addonics IDE to SATA converter. Or connect SATA device to IDE cable by using Addonics SATA to IDE converter.

Q. How far can the Storage Tower be from the system?
A. This depends on the type of interface connection. For eSATA, the specification is 2 meter or 6 feet maximum. We have tested the Storage Tower using 6 feet eSATA cables and notice no change in performance in data transfer. The actual distance was more like 6 feet 8" including the connecting cable from the back panel to the storage device. At this time, there is no repeater available to extend eSATA beyond this 6 feet limit.
For USB and Firewire, maximum distance is 15 feet. You can extend this 15 feet segment continuously with multiple repeater cables or hubs.

Q. What is USIB connector?
A. USIB stands for Universal Storage Interface BUS, a standard defined and developed by Addonics for connecting various storage devices to computers. Different USIB interface cable can be attached to the same USIB equipped storage device and enable the storage device to attach to computer with various interface connections. Visit the USIB tutorial page for more detail information.

Q. Do I need to shut down or restart the computer if the Storage Tower is turned off?
A. Not for USB or Firewire connection. For eSATA, be sure the SATA controller in your computer supports hot swap. You can check with your system manufacturer if you are not sure.

Q. When using Mobile Rack in the Storage Tower, can the drive be hot swapped without restarting the computer?
A. Yes with SATA Mobile Rack. For IDE, Addonics Mobile Rack has a power sensing connector on the Drive Cradle to provide hot swap via the USB or Firewire connection. Other manufacturer Mobile Rack does not have this support and thus will require shutting off the Storage Tower first when swapping out the hard drive.

Q. How can the Storage Tower be connected to my system that has only regular SATA port?
A. You can select a connecting cable with eSATA at one end and regular SATA on the other end. The is cable is available from Addonics online store and the part # is AASA2SA100C.

Q. Does the Storage Tower have RAID function?
A. No. This Storage Tower is a general purpose enclosures. There is no built in RAID function. But you can set up the hard drives inside the Storage Tower with various RAID configuration by connecting to a RAID controller. The Storage Tower provides individual drive connection through the back panel. For eSATA, Addonics offer a family of RAID controllers that allows the hard drives in the Storage Tower to be configured as RAID 0,1, 5, 10, 1+S or JBOD.

Q. Can the Addonics SATA USIB interface cable be used on the USIB connector of the Storage Tower?
A. Our testing discovered instability of data transfer using the Addonics SATA USIB interface cable. As a result, we do not recommend using this cable at this time. We are still looking into the cause of the problem. It is our goal to support all Addonics USIB interface cable on the Storage Tower.