Internal hard disk options for the E-MU E5000 Ulltra (SATA to IDE, IDE SSD)

I’ve been trying a few different methods of connecting modern hard drives to my E-MU sampler. My aim, to reduce the noise to an absolute minimum with the side benefit of possible requiring less power from the ageing PSU.

Power

One of the quirks of the e-mu e5000 ultra and other samplers in the range, is that the power output header on the motherboard for internal hard disks has had it’s pins reversed in order of a standard PC. Plugging in a hard drive to the sampler and turning it on without modifying the power cable will result in +12v being where your hard drive expected +5v and a puff of magic smoke will signal the death of your hard drive.

SATA to IDE coverters

I tried several different converters without success until I came across the¬†WinTech 93205-GB which worked great with standard 2.5″ spinning SATA disks but although SATA SSD drives were detected by the sampler they were not able to be formatted or accessed when pre-formatted as FAT.

The WinTech has a slide switch to select between host and device. Device was selected.

Wintech 93205-GB SATA to IDE Converter
Wintech 93205-GB SATA to IDE Converter

The fix for the reverse power connection was simple, clip through all the cables and connect the red to the yellow and the yellow to the red, swap the ground cables and test with a multimeter to make sure I hadn’t made any mistakes. I took this opportunity to also solder in the tiny 5v power connector for the WinTech in series from the 5v power cable and ground.

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Doctored power cable

 

To connect the hard drive to the case I used a 2.5″ to 3.5″ mounting bracket with rubber washer to reduce vibration noise and fixed to the top mounting holes for a 3.5″ disk.

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Mounted in position

 

Lovely, barely a sound and worked flawlessly.

I wanted more though.

PATA SSD

I took to google in a quest to find myself a IDE/PATA SSD hoping that it just might work.

I was in luck. I found myself a 32GB IDE SSD on Amazon (32GB KingSpec 2.5-inch PATA/IDE SSD Solid State Disk (MLC Flash) SM2236 Controller) and a cheap 2.5″ to 3.5″ IDE converter and after a two week amble from Hong Kong I had it in my hand and ready to go.

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KingSpec SSD connected to 2.5″ to 3.5″ IDE converter

Of course the power cable needed adjustment first.

Doctored power cable for IDE SSD
Doctored power cable for IDE SSD

But I’m pleased to say it worked first time.

E-MU E5000 Ultra showing the KingSpec SSD working
E-MU E5000 Ultra showing the KingSpec SSD working

Along with the silent fan mod I did to replace the PSU fan this thing is now absolutely silent except for the initial floppy noise on boot. Excellent.