IT types – what is this hard drive connector?

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  • IT types – what is this hard drive connector?
  • nerd
    Member

    Akai MPC 1000 hard drive tray

    This is an adapter tray for an AKAI MPC 1000 and 2500 hard drive.  These MPCs are 15 years old now and this (official) part is no longer available.  A third party part is available but it’s $50+postage+VAT+import handling, so probably close to £100.

    The adapter part has 50 pins which plug into the MPC and a 44 pin IDE connector which you plug a 2.5 inch hard drive into.

    This is a long shot – does anyone recognise or have an idea as to what the 50 pin connector is.  If it’s something standard then I might be able to source an adapter.

    Thanks!

    Premier Icon scc999
    Subscriber

    Can you post a pic with some more detail of the 50 pin connector?  I think SCSI is 50 pin, but from what I can see, that’s not SCSI?

    *Edit: Or describe it in some detail?  two rows of 25 pins / sockets, single row of sockets etc

    Si

    nerd
    Member

    I don’t actually have one, so I’m only going by what is on the internet!  I could disassemble my MPC 1000 to see what the pins are on the actual machine.

    Here’s a link to an image showing the connector head-on

    http://www.pssl.com/images/ProdImage02/1500/HDM-10.jpg

    I don’t think it’s SCSI.  Could a SCSI to IDE converter be that small?

    Ta!

    keir
    Member

    had a quick look online and it appears the circuit board is a converter from laptop IDE on the drive side to a connector that will fit the unit.

    nerd
    Member

    My best guess was a 50 pin 1.8″ micro IDE connector, but I’ve never seen one in the flesh/ metal&plastic!

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    I would think IDE as well but you really need the photo from the other side

    nerd
    Member

    Thanks.

    Ah, from the other side is a 44 pin IDE connector.  I know that much!

    It’s the 50 pin connector which is a mystery. 🙂  That’s the little one at the front of the tray.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Yeah, the drive side looks like a 2.5″ IDE (parallel ATA) connector.

    The board side of the interposer could be literally anything, it’s whatever the manufacturers wanted it to be.  It’s not necessarily any sort of standard at all and IME is highly likely not to be.  It doesn’t have to connect to a common component like a hard disk, it’s a bespoke part for that particular device.  I’ve seen this sort of thing loads of times in laptops, and I’ve never seen two the same.  My 17″ Dell can take two hard drives and the interposers for each drive are completely different from each other.

    Plus, physical connections aside, who only knows what sort of electrickery is going on on the PCB.

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    50 pin would be 2.5″ IDE (counting the pins on my spare 2.5″ drive I have here).

    Edit: ah, looks like 50 pin is the drive side for a 2.5″ and the external side is some proprietary connector to fit to the device.

    What you really need is a long winded video showing how to fit one of these with some funky music 😀

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    50 pin would be 2.5″ IDE (counting the pins on my spare 2.5″ drive I have here).

    I think you’ve miscounted.  2.5″ ATA is 44 pins.

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    Oddly I counted 44 then wrote 50 later.

    Premier Icon funkynick
    Subscriber

    It looks a little like an old centronics connector… they used to be used on old printers and the like when parralel interfaces were all the rage!!

    That comes in a 50-pin size…

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Centronics is D-shaped.  That’s just a PCB edge connector.  Look at a ZX Spectrum joystick (etc) interface for example.

    Premier Icon funkynick
    Subscriber

    If you look on the link in the OP’s second post then you can see the angled edges on the end of the connector…

    At 6:00 in this video you can see the mating half…

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gpvVq3zywaY

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Centronics doesn’t have angled edges on the female connector (ie, on the caddy), it’s the surrounding shielding.  The sides of the ‘tongue’ should be straight.  The mating side does look like Centronics but I don’t think it is, the height of the gap doesn’t look deep enough.  You might be right though, it’s bad to tell.

    SCSI-1 did actually use a Centronics connector – I’ve half a memory that I’ve seen something very similar to that video on the back of very old hot-swap server hard drives – so there’s a logic here that could suggest it’s some sort of converter, but there’s no circuitry on the interposer that I can see so that feels unlikely.

    So if it is a Centronics plug but not SCSI, then I’m not aware of any sort of standard ATA > Centronics interposer. If you were to rig something that fitted physically you’d still have the issue of how it was wired electrically.

    Premier Icon Stuuey
    Subscriber

    It reminds me of an ultra wide scsi connector.  It’s strange that an IDE is on the other end though.  Fifteen years ago a board of uwscsi sockets / hard drive rack would have been available and cheap.  They may have used it for IDE drives.

    nerd
    Member

    Thanks for everyone’s input.

    Here’s a link to the 3rd party connector:

    https://www.mpcstuff.com/akai-hdm-10-hard-drive-install-kit-for-mpc-1000/

    As Cougar wrote, there is no circuitry or components on the converter board, it’s just tracks connecting the pins.  I could probably make my own for a fiver if I know what the 50 pin connector is! 🙂

    Might be time to buy just some connectors and then see which fit.  Disassembling the MPC is easy, I’ve done it already to fix the pads and I’ve got to do it this weekend to solder some new switches in.

    Premier Icon funkynick
    Subscriber

    Nerd… my suggestion would be to take the MPC apart and have a good look at the mating part, take photos, post on here etc… some scale would make it easier to identify.

    My guess is it was used in the unit as the connector is quite robust and can be used for blind mating… I think it is probably a coincidence that it was also used for SCSI.

    The PCB is, if you are lucky, just a pin to pin but I wouldn’t be that surprised if it wasn’t 1 to 1, and some tracks were crossed over etc…

    nerd
    Member

    Thread update!  Thanks to a very helpful post on the MPC-forums by a nice German man, it turns out that the connector is one of these:

    https://www.digikey.co.uk/en/product-highlight/3/3m/mini-delta-ribbon

    Thats a 3M Mini Delta Ribbon (MDR) connector.

    I think I can make an adapter from 2 connectors and some ribbon cable.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Huh.  Who knew.

    Still got the thorny issue of wiring a 44-pin connector to a 50-pin one though.  Have you got a decent photo of the original board so you can follow tracks?

    nerd
    Member

    The nice guy on the MPC forum has laid it all out.

    I’m going to ask my dt teacher friend whether they have a PCB making machine at his school. I’m pretty sure we had one 25 years ago!

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber
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