Looking for Industrial Computer

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Bill Caroselli

Looking for Industrial Computer

Post by Bill Caroselli » Mon Sep 15, 2003 4:06 pm

I'm looking for an industrial computer (I.E. rack mount) where the hard
drives can be popped out without taking covers off.

We are currectly using a CompactPCI system. But to change out a hard
drives requires taking covers off and unplugging the ribbon cables.

We need a set up that is easy enough for a truck driver to do. The
cPCI looked like a good idea until we saw the cableing.

Does anyone know of cPCI hard drive cards w/backplane that can be
plugged into cPCI?

If not, does anyone know of an alternate form factor?

Robert Krten

Re: Looking for Industrial Computer

Post by Robert Krten » Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:33 pm

Bill Caroselli <qtps@earthlink.net> wrote:
I'm looking for an industrial computer (I.E. rack mount) where the hard
drives can be popped out without taking covers off.

We are currectly using a CompactPCI system. But to change out a hard
drives requires taking covers off and unplugging the ribbon cables.

We need a set up that is easy enough for a truck driver to do. The
cPCI looked like a good idea until we saw the cableing.

Does anyone know of cPCI hard drive cards w/backplane that can be
plugged into cPCI?

If not, does anyone know of an alternate form factor?
Why not just use the "EIDE cartridges"? I'm not sure of their
official name, they are a plastic box that you mount an EIDE drive
into, and it then has a funky connector on the back. It makes it
look just like a regular 5.25" slot and mounts the same (I think),
but you can pop the drive out easily, and some (most/all?) of them
have a lock so that you can prevent the drive from being popped out
by unauthorized people...

Cheers,
-RK

--
[If replying via email, you'll need to click on the URL that's emailed to you
afterwards to forward the email to me -- spam filters and all that]
Robert Krten, PDP minicomputer collector http://www.parse.com/~pdp8/

Bill Caroselli

Re: Looking for Industrial Computer

Post by Bill Caroselli » Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:21 pm

Robert Krten <rk@parse.com> wrote:
RK > Bill Caroselli <qtps@earthlink.net> wrote:
I'm looking for an industrial computer (I.E. rack mount) where the hard
drives can be popped out without taking covers off.

We are currectly using a CompactPCI system. But to change out a hard
drives requires taking covers off and unplugging the ribbon cables.

We need a set up that is easy enough for a truck driver to do. The
cPCI looked like a good idea until we saw the cableing.

Does anyone know of cPCI hard drive cards w/backplane that can be
plugged into cPCI?

If not, does anyone know of an alternate form factor?
RK > Why not just use the "EIDE cartridges"? I'm not sure of their
RK > official name, they are a plastic box that you mount an EIDE drive
RK > into, and it then has a funky connector on the back. It makes it
RK > look just like a regular 5.25" slot and mounts the same (I think),
RK > but you can pop the drive out easily, and some (most/all?) of them
RK > have a lock so that you can prevent the drive from being popped out
RK > by unauthorized people...

I have used these in the past. In short, they suck. We have had very
high failure rates with them.

The application involves rail road track testing. We drive a hi-rail
(truck that goes on road or rail) down the track testing for various
properties. There is a lot of shock and vibration. We need something
that is as durable in a harsh vibration environment as possible.

Adam Mallory

Re: Looking for Industrial Computer

Post by Adam Mallory » Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:13 pm

There seems to be some companies that make SCSI solid state cPCI devices
that are up your alley.

http://www.bitmicro.com/products_edisk_ ... _scsin.php

-Adam

Bill Caroselli <qtps@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:bk4vvh$8sj$1@inn.qnx.com...
Robert Krten <rk@parse.com> wrote:
RK > Bill Caroselli <qtps@earthlink.net> wrote:
I'm looking for an industrial computer (I.E. rack mount) where the hard
drives can be popped out without taking covers off.

We are currectly using a CompactPCI system. But to change out a hard
drives requires taking covers off and unplugging the ribbon cables.

We need a set up that is easy enough for a truck driver to do. The
cPCI looked like a good idea until we saw the cableing.

Does anyone know of cPCI hard drive cards w/backplane that can be
plugged into cPCI?

If not, does anyone know of an alternate form factor?

RK > Why not just use the "EIDE cartridges"? I'm not sure of their
RK > official name, they are a plastic box that you mount an EIDE drive
RK > into, and it then has a funky connector on the back. It makes it
RK > look just like a regular 5.25" slot and mounts the same (I think),
RK > but you can pop the drive out easily, and some (most/all?) of them
RK > have a lock so that you can prevent the drive from being popped out
RK > by unauthorized people...

I have used these in the past. In short, they suck. We have had very
high failure rates with them.

The application involves rail road track testing. We drive a hi-rail
(truck that goes on road or rail) down the track testing for various
properties. There is a lot of shock and vibration. We need something
that is as durable in a harsh vibration environment as possible.

Igor Kovalenko

Re: Looking for Industrial Computer

Post by Igor Kovalenko » Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:39 pm

"Bill Caroselli" <qtps@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:bk4vvh$8sj$1@inn.qnx.com...
Robert Krten <rk@parse.com> wrote:
RK > Bill Caroselli <qtps@earthlink.net> wrote:
I'm looking for an industrial computer (I.E. rack mount) where the hard
drives can be popped out without taking covers off.

We are currectly using a CompactPCI system. But to change out a hard
drives requires taking covers off and unplugging the ribbon cables.

We need a set up that is easy enough for a truck driver to do. The
cPCI looked like a good idea until we saw the cableing.

Does anyone know of cPCI hard drive cards w/backplane that can be
plugged into cPCI?

If not, does anyone know of an alternate form factor?

RK > Why not just use the "EIDE cartridges"? I'm not sure of their
RK > official name, they are a plastic box that you mount an EIDE drive
RK > into, and it then has a funky connector on the back. It makes it
RK > look just like a regular 5.25" slot and mounts the same (I think),
RK > but you can pop the drive out easily, and some (most/all?) of them
RK > have a lock so that you can prevent the drive from being popped out
RK > by unauthorized people...

I have used these in the past. In short, they suck. We have had very
high failure rates with them.

The application involves rail road track testing. We drive a hi-rail
(truck that goes on road or rail) down the track testing for various
properties. There is a lot of shock and vibration. We need something
that is as durable in a harsh vibration environment as possible.
You need to look for products designed for such environment then. Generic
cPCI systems are not. cPCI also does address the issue of hard drive
redundancy in any way - it is totally separate domain. What you need is an
external hot-swappable drive enclosure. They are typically a 1U or 2U 19"
rackmountable format, with SCA backplane and 3 to 6 SCSI drives. Often used
together with cPCI chassis, by connecting to a SCSI card in the cPCI host
board. Some cPCI chassis have such component built-in, but it is up to the
vendor (I have only found one).

Look for NEBS-3 certified chassis - they are rated for things like
earthquakes/vibration, air-borne contaminants, etc. And SCSI drives usually
have better MTBF than EIDE ones.

-- igor

JV

Re: Looking for Industrial Computer

Post by JV » Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:06 pm

How much storage do you need? Have you considered CompactFlash?

"Bill Caroselli" <qtps@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:bk4vvh$8sj$1@inn.qnx.com...
Robert Krten <rk@parse.com> wrote:
RK > Bill Caroselli <qtps@earthlink.net> wrote:
I'm looking for an industrial computer (I.E. rack mount) where the hard
drives can be popped out without taking covers off.

We are currectly using a CompactPCI system. But to change out a hard
drives requires taking covers off and unplugging the ribbon cables.

We need a set up that is easy enough for a truck driver to do. The
cPCI looked like a good idea until we saw the cableing.

Does anyone know of cPCI hard drive cards w/backplane that can be
plugged into cPCI?

If not, does anyone know of an alternate form factor?

RK > Why not just use the "EIDE cartridges"? I'm not sure of their
RK > official name, they are a plastic box that you mount an EIDE drive
RK > into, and it then has a funky connector on the back. It makes it
RK > look just like a regular 5.25" slot and mounts the same (I think),
RK > but you can pop the drive out easily, and some (most/all?) of them
RK > have a lock so that you can prevent the drive from being popped out
RK > by unauthorized people...

I have used these in the past. In short, they suck. We have had very
high failure rates with them.

The application involves rail road track testing. We drive a hi-rail
(truck that goes on road or rail) down the track testing for various
properties. There is a lot of shock and vibration. We need something
that is as durable in a harsh vibration environment as possible.

Bill Caroselli

Re: Looking for Industrial Computer

Post by Bill Caroselli » Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:33 pm

Adam Mallory <amallory@qnx.com> wrote:
AM > There seems to be some companies that make SCSI solid state cPCI devices
AM > that are up your alley.

AM > http://www.bitmicro.com/products_edisk_ ... _scsin.php

AM > -Adam

But you still need a cable!

Bill Caroselli

Re: Looking for Industrial Computer

Post by Bill Caroselli » Tue Sep 16, 2003 1:00 pm

Igor Kovalenko <kovalenko@attbi.com> wrote:
IK > You need to look for products designed for such environment then. Generic
IK > cPCI systems are not. cPCI also does address the issue of hard drive
IK > redundancy in any way - it is totally separate domain. What you need is an
IK > external hot-swappable drive enclosure. They are typically a 1U or 2U 19"
IK > rackmountable format, with SCA backplane and 3 to 6 SCSI drives. Often used
IK > together with cPCI chassis, by connecting to a SCSI card in the cPCI host
IK > board. Some cPCI chassis have such component built-in, but it is up to the
IK > vendor (I have only found one).

IK > Look for NEBS-3 certified chassis - they are rated for things like
IK > earthquakes/vibration, air-borne contaminants, etc. And SCSI drives usually
IK > have better MTBF than EIDE ones.

We don't require "hot" swapable. But we do require easy swapable.

Each testing vehicle carries a spare drive just in case. But the
operators of these vehicles are essentially truck drivers/mechanics.
They can replace a rail wheel if necessary. But they aren't as good
with more delicate things like computer equipment.

Igor Kovalenko

Re: Looking for Industrial Computer

Post by Igor Kovalenko » Wed Sep 17, 2003 8:45 am

"Bill Caroselli" <qtps@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:bk71go$mrn$1@inn.qnx.com...
Igor Kovalenko <kovalenko@attbi.com> wrote:
IK > You need to look for products designed for such environment then.
Generic
IK > cPCI systems are not. cPCI also does address the issue of hard drive
IK > redundancy in any way - it is totally separate domain. What you need
is an
IK > external hot-swappable drive enclosure. They are typically a 1U or 2U
19"
IK > rackmountable format, with SCA backplane and 3 to 6 SCSI drives.
Often used
IK > together with cPCI chassis, by connecting to a SCSI card in the cPCI
host
IK > board. Some cPCI chassis have such component built-in, but it is up
to the
IK > vendor (I have only found one).

IK > Look for NEBS-3 certified chassis - they are rated for things like
IK > earthquakes/vibration, air-borne contaminants, etc. And SCSI drives
usually
IK > have better MTBF than EIDE ones.

We don't require "hot" swapable. But we do require easy swapable.

Each testing vehicle carries a spare drive just in case. But the
operators of these vehicles are essentially truck drivers/mechanics.
They can replace a rail wheel if necessary. But they aren't as good
with more delicate things like computer equipment.
So what is the point here? Hot or cold, you don't just swap the drives
anyway. The new drive must somehow become a copy of an old one. If you have
external RAID enclosure with swappable drives, that problem is solved - your
truck drivers swap them and the RAID takes care of the rest. It can have
either external SCSI interface or work like a NAS (NFS over ethernet).

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