Still having power issues

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Still having power issues

Unread postby atarioldskool » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:06 am

I’ve got hard kernel 5v 6a psu
WD 1TB black edition 2.5 sata hdd
Using hard kernel 3.0 USB to sata bridge board
Using hard kernel Bluetooth dongle
8bitdo fc30 pro Bluetooth controller

I’m still having power issues since the day I got my xu4.

When I first power on my XU4 it sound fine constant stable fan noise, as soon as my HDD powers up the fan noise from the XU4 drops and my HDD starts to make this annoying noise (like metal cluncking together , metal scrapping) it’s the best description I can give of this noise!

1) the fan noise drops a lot as soon as the HDD power up = that suggest to me that it is struggling for power ?
2) my hdd starts to make this annoying noise when it first powers up, and also whenever I am flicking through games list (as I have my games scraped with mini video clips ) and sometimes my system crashes as it couldn’t cope with me flicking through my games list !! - I presume this is something to do with peak voltage when the HDD needs to read or write ? As everything sounds perfect including the HDD when my system is idle -

I have tried new replacement psu (5v 6a) , tried new usb 3.0 to sata bridge board , tried new usb power cable for the bridge board, tried connecting it into USB 2, also tried the other USB 3.0 slot but no joy!

I am still here trying what other things I can possibly do to not have this power issue , it is really P’ing me off now and getting mad. - as I know the XU4 is an amazing little board but I’m getting really fed up with this power issue!!

WHAT ALTERNATE things can I do ??
Can I use a 6v 6-10A psu on it ? - what is the maximum voltage I can / could use for this board ? I know 5v is what is recommended but surely that is like a nominal voltage ?

Could I potentially modify something on the XU4 or on my HDD so it gets that little bit more power hat it needs ??

Is their such thing as a seperate power cable for a sata 2.5 HDD ?

I really need to do something
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Re: Still having power issues

Unread postby rooted » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:30 am

Nothing over 5.25 volts, I don't know why your having such an issue but I have to guess there is an issue with the hard drive.

I think something like this may solve your power problems.

https://www.amazon.com/UNITEK-Converter ... B00GLL41MA
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Re: Still having power issues

Unread postby atarioldskool » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:54 am

rooted wrote:Nothing over 5.25 volts, I don't know why your having such an issue but I have to guess there is an issue with the hard drive.

I think something like this may solve your power problems.

https://www.amazon.com/UNITEK-Converter ... B00GLL41MA


Hey rooted.

That looks like a good solution.

But to be honest I didn’t really want to fit another power input into my Atari case, so I was thinking if this (my idea) would work?

To buy something like this link
https://m.banggood.com/USB-2_0-To-SATAI ... gKD4fD_BwE

Rather than having 1 seperate psu for the XU4 and another seperate psu for the HDD

could I possibly buy a new psu 5V but with more amp ? Let’s say 10A and then from the jack connector put a splitter / connector cube on and split the power cable into 2,
So 1 power cable will go to the XU4 and the other power cable will go to the HDD?

So basically 1 psu and Split the out cable into 2

Would this work ??
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Re: Still having power issues

Unread postby mad_ady » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:43 am

In theory it would work but the psu for the sata adapter also supplies 12V. You can try to skip that and it should be fine as long as the 10A PSU can provide at least 6-7A.
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Re: Still having power issues

Unread postby atarioldskool » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:09 pm

mad_ady wrote:In theory it would work but the psu for the sata adapter also supplies 12V. You can try to skip that and it should be fine as long as the 10A PSU can provide at least 6-7A.


I found this on amazon would you say this would work perfectly ?
As to be honest I didn’t want 2 lots of power cables running into my Atari shell

I would rather have this smart looking case besides my Atari console
Or better still I can hide this in the cupboard and have like 1.5 meter usb cable running from it so all out of site

https://www.ugreen.com/product/1371-en.html#ad-image-0

this thing seems to do the job it’s like a shell / cradle but it’s own dedicated power source, looks kind of neat, and if I get a 1.5m usb cable I can hide the dam thing too

Only doubt I have about it, is will it power itself off when no action as in, when my xu4 is off will this detect theirs nothing reading or write? and will this thing power on when my xu4 switches on by detecting a single ?
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Re: Still having power issues

Unread postby mad_ady » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:16 pm

The HDD should go into sleep after a period of inactivity, though it will still be powered. It depends on the sata controller used.
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Re: Still having power issues

Unread postby atarioldskool » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:24 pm

mad_ady wrote:The HDD should go into sleep after a period of inactivity, though it will still be powered. It depends on the sata controller used.


So is that a good thing or a bad thing ?

Sorry pal but I’m not very good with computer components .

And I presume the sata controller is built into the cradle as it’s just usb from the cradle to the xu4
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Re: Still having power issues

Unread postby mad_ady » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:02 pm

Normally you would want your disk to go to sleep (spin down) when not being used - typically after 5 - 30 minutes of inactivity. This keeps the disk cooler and preserves the bearings (keeps them for wearing down).
The disk may have an internal controller that monitors things and commands it to go to sleep (WD green disks usually park the read heads after 8 seconds of inactivity - which is bad), or the SATA controller or attached computer can send a SATA command to spin down the disk. It's not mandatory for the controller to do so (for example, Hardkernel's USB-SATA board plus can be reprogrammed with a different sleep timer). Things running in the OS can keep the disk awake (like periodically reading SMART attributes, temperature), and that can be bad.

You can force the disk to go to sleep from the OS (e.g. as a shutdown step), but others have complained for HC1/HC2 that the disk wakes up on its own shortly after - so you'll need to experiment.
It's hard to say what will happen just by looking at their product page.
They do say this, though:
Intelligent Sleeping Mode for Power Saving

The hard drive case will switch to low power consuption standby mode automactically if no data activity within 3 mins, but can be easily awaken by with data transmission

Which means the controller will put the disk to sleep, but IMHO 3 minutes is too aggressive. Consider the case where you play mp3 files from the disk and each mp3 file is about 3.5 minutes in length. What would happen would be the disk would spin up, read a file (and cache it to RAM because it's small), be idle for 3 minutes, spin down, and 30 seconds later would have to spin up again to read the next file. Too many spin up/down cycles can reduce the disk's lifespan.

What they don't say is what chipset their controller uses (e.g JMicron), and you can't know how well UAS is supported on it. In the worst case, to avoid instability, you may need to disable UAS support for it on the XU4.
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Re: Still having power issues

Unread postby atarioldskool » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:32 am

Just to let you all know that I have finally sorted out my problem .

Basically I split open the usb cable that came with the bridge board and I basically gave the hdd a direct power feed from the jack connect that goes into the xu4 -
So now my xu4 fan does not slow down and my HDD DOES NOT make a signal sound it’s desd silent, just like when it is connected into my laptop.

So basically the xu4 cannot push out enough power through the USB port to power an external HDD sufficiently.
The HDD was starving for power.

Down side to this is that I got to remember to make sure I flick the switch off on my Atari shell otherwise the HDD stays on.
After I do a soft shutdown through ES.

For those that don’t know, my xu4 is placed in an actual Atari 2600 woody shell with the power switch actually functioning.
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Re: Still having power issues

Unread postby rooted » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:04 am

atarioldskool wrote:So basically the xu4 cannot push out enough power through the USB port to power an external HDD sufficiently.


Usually it can with a good power supply, something is strange about your device or drive.

Glad you got it sorted.
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