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  1. #1 RedDrive Internals 
    Senior Member Paul Leeming's Avatar
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    WARNING: This may void your warranty so don't blame me if it doesn't work afterwards!! This thread is posted for informational purposes only.

    Since we are a rental company as well as a production company we have had many different hands operating our camera. Unfortunately it's hard to keep a constant eye on things even though we go along as DIT to assist with both the camera and workflow on set.

    In the course of one of our recent rentals we found that someone had been placing the camera on the ground with the RedDrive's plug supporting the entire weight of the back end (since it is physically deeper than the cage that holds it - bad design flaw). The result was that the RedDrive's plug came loose inside the enclosure:



    Being in Japan and having jobs coming up I didn't relish the idea of sending it back to Red HQ for something that was probably an easy fix (and the drive still works fine with the plug loose since it is cabled internally with flexible cable also), so I elected to open it up and fix it myself.

    A quick background about me, I owned and ran my own computer company for several years so I'm pretty familiar with computer equipment and fixing things like this.

    To cut to the chase, the LEMO plug is held tight by a nut and grip washer inside the RedDrive's back plate:



    I decided that since it was in close proximity to the circuit board and delicate components, I didn't want to tighten it whilst still attached to everything else. I could see that it was attached at the board by a removable plug, so I decided to pull the entire guts of the enclosure out to remove the LEMO and back plate totally from the rest to prevent any nasty slips or knocks on the drives themselves. This was a matter of unscrewing the four small Philips head screws that run along the drive's retention groove and carefully sliding the board and drives out as a complete unit (I've removed the SATA plug adaptor in the photo - more on that part below):



    With that done I was able to carefully pull the other end of the LEMO plug off the main board so the back plate was free of the delicate stuff:



    From there it was simply a matter of tightening the nut properly with enough torque so that it is not as likely to come undone again the next time.
    Paul Leeming
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  2. #2  
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    And mayby a drop of finger nail polish on the threads after they are tightened down.


    CHUCK
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Paul Leeming's Avatar
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    Haven't heard that method before Chuck, I'm guessing it acts like Loctite?

    Anyway, here's a photo of the drive specs as installed in our unit (specs might silently change in later RedDrives depending on HDD availability and price/performance I guess):



    I was surprised to see 5400rpm drives there, figuring that Red needed the fastest possible drives to move that amount of data. Oh well, I guess in RAID0 they give more than enough MB/s so why overspec if you don't need to?

    One of the things that jumped out at me as a potential problem was the SATA connector linking the two drives to the main circuit board:





    With the RedDrive being carried around in the camera case all the time when not in use (though it's padded) and having nothing physically locking that connector to the SATA plugs, there is the potential for the connector to vibrate loose. Ours wasn't flush with the SATA plugs on the drives when I pulled the internals out, indicating this scenario might have been developing already. Could this be the cause of some RedDrives out there suddenly stopping?

    Here's an exaggerated example of what I mean (I pulled it out further to demonstrate, ours wasn't this far out initially):

    Paul Leeming
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Paul Leeming's Avatar
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    To prevent this happening in the future I came up with a quick and easy solution which you can probably do without opening the full drive up.

    This is how it might look if you pull it out and there has been excessive vibration:



    Here's how it should look when flush:



    My solution was to grab a small piece of case foam (make sure it's a non-conducting type) and place it onto the back of the connector board as shown:



    With that resting there I then placed the front plate of the enclosure back on. As you can see below it sits proud with the foam there, which is exactly what I wanted.



    Push the front plate down and screw it back together and you end up with a nice little piece of soft foam giving just enough pressure to prevent any vibration from moving the SATA connector board off the plugs themselves.

    And that's it! The drive is back together and working flawlessly with a nice tight LEMO plug and no possibility of connector board separation.

    Hope this helps!

    Paul
    Paul Leeming
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Harry Clark's Avatar
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    Paul,
    Very nice work. Foam seems like a good idea; it it likely that small movements of the foam will create a static charge, or does this require rubbing? (my elementary school science is slipping away here)
    I agree with Chuck about the nail polish. Or maybe threadlocker.
    Cheers,
    Harry
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  6. #6  
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    Yeah Paul it's an old trick. Easy to remove with finger nail polish remover (acetone). If you are going to use locktite be sure to use one of the nonpermenate types.


    CHUCK
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  7. #7  
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    Be careful not to use conductive foam, though (as used for handling computer chips) or you might cause a short-circuit.

    Regards,

    Uli
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  8. #8  
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    Paul,

    While you had the case open, did you try using different harddrives? Just wondering about future upgrade ability.


    Mahalo,
    Dusty
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Paul Leeming's Avatar
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    Dusty, I didn't touch the drives at all since they are working fine and I'm all for "if it ain't broke don't mess with it"! :)

    I posted the photo of the HDD specs so that people can search out benchmarks etc in the future if they decide to replace drives themselves. If my RedDrive dies though I will probably do just that instead of sending it back to Red for replacement. I figure it'd then be a worthwhile experiment to drop a pair of SSDs in there which match or exceed the Hitachi specs for data throughput etc, but for now I'm happy to leave working stuff alone.

    Regarding the foam type etc, I'm not aware of the case foam being conductive but for anyone else trying this, I guess make sure your foam isn't conductive as an additional step. I'll amend the guide above with that bit of info also. So far our drive hasn't skipped a beat so I'm tipping the foam I used isn't conductive. :)

    Cheers,

    Paul
    Paul Leeming
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Paul Leeming's Avatar
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    A benchmark comparison which includes the model of Hitachi HDD found in my RedDrive:

    http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/...mobile160.html

    Paul
    Paul Leeming
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