Rolling External Drive Cabinet

My stack of removable drives kept overheating, being stacked on each other. I looked around for a commercial solution that was priced reasonably, and struck out.

So, off to the tablesaw I went.

Here is the result: a 9-drive external drive tower, made from scrap plywood and a few casters from Home Depot. Each slot can take a 5.25” external case, though I only use two of those, for my offsite backups.

So far the drives are running much cooler, and RAID is rebuilding at full-steam. I thought I might need to add cooling fins, but just separating each drives’ heat from the others seems to have been enough.

The USB and e.SATA cables are bundled together, and sit beside the rack where the rest of the gear is. It would have been more elegant to have one data cable, but I’m using multiple USB controllers on the mobo for RAID redundancy. The USB cables actually help protect the e.SATA connectors from popping out. This is the worst data connector I’ve ever seen – it was clearly designed by the SAS people to keep it out of the enterprise to protect their mark-up.

The notable downside is that now I need to move my equipment rack and drive rack together. Both are on casters and there’s slack, so it’s not a big deal, but it’s non-ideal. Ideal costs $2292 more.

And yes, there’s a slight skew as I mis-measured by a bit on one side for the dados. The drives won’t complain, and I didn’t notice until after the glue had dried. Measure twice…

Should be strong enough for some drives.

Naked rack.

All geared-up.

Action shot.

Sure, I could sand and paint it, but nobody else is ever going to see it. Oh, wait.