1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

SATA Activity LED

Discussion in 'Storage' started by sidewinder, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. sidewinder New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6 (0.00/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Folks,

    I have an eVGA 680 motherboard and have installed a HighPoint RocketRAID 3120 RAID controller. I have two Seagate Barracuda 3.5" 320GB 3GB/sec SATA drives in a RAID 1 configuration.

    What I want is to see drive activity on the case mounted LED. The problem is that the RAID card headers are designed for server motherboards that have their own drive fault/activity circuitry. So, I need to find an alternate method of getting what I want.

    From what I understand, the SATA power connector on newer SATA drives have a pin (pin 11?) that can be used as a drive activity source. Does anyone have any details on this? Is there a cable I can buy that has a an LED header on it that will solve my problem? Or is it not that simple?

    Any help on this would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks,

    S-
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  2. sidewinder New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6 (0.00/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    No one has any ideas or information?

    S-
  3. choppy

    choppy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,173 (0.45/day)
    Thanks Received:
    150
    Location:
    UK
    sorry, doesnt seem like many folk know, have you tried good ol' google?
  4. TechGuy New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    6 (0.00/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Pin 11 of the SATA power connector is officially "reserved", but some manufacturers use it as a drive activity line, while others use it for staggered drive spin-up communication.

    I have a Maxtor DiamondMax 10 SATA (300GB) and some Seagate ST3500 series drives and they all support drive activity signaling on pin 11.

    Hope this helps.
  5. TechGuy New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    6 (0.00/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    After reverse engineering the "special" power converter that came with my new SATA tray, it seems like the four wires that come out of the back of the SATA power connector and would normally connect to a plug at the back of the SATA tray are:

    1) +12v
    2) pin 11 of the SATA power connector
    3) a ground pin of the sata power connector, *not* connected to all the other ground pins.
    4) +5v

    My guess is that the drive has an open collector output that pulls a load to ground when active, and it is brought out to pin 11 of the power connector. Note that pin 11 of the SATA power connector is supposed to be "reserved".

    When the SATA drive is connected to the this "special" power converter, the floating ground is connected to all of the other grounds through the pins of the SATA drive. This alows an LED to be driven from wire #1 (+12v) to wire #3 (floating ground pin).

    The drive activity LED is driven from wire #4 (+5v) to wire #2 (pin 11 of the power connector).

    Of course, there are current limiting resistors for the LED's.


    Soo.............

    What is needed is a small circuit board with a male SATA power plug on one end and a female SATA power socket on the other. All of the pins would be carried through, meaning pin 1 to pin 1 and so forth. Pin 11, one of the grounds (not tied to the others, from the drive plug end), +12v and +5v would be brought out to a set of 2-pin headers to allow a power LED and drive activity LED to be connected. Encapsule the whole thing in rubber and sell it for $5.00.

    Useage would be to plug the newly created "dongle" into the power connector of a SATA drive (or enclosure!), and plug the SATA power connector from your power supply into the dongle. Plug power LED into header labeled "power" and the drive activity LED into the header labeled "activity".

    Compatibility would be limited to SATA drives that use pin 11 as a drive activity indicator line. Anyone wish to compile a compatibility list? (come on, it's a challenge!)

    Any takers out there?

    I'll buy 10!
  6. kingtiger01 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1 (0.00/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Ok, i know this is a old thread.

    "techguy", i would consider building this according to youre schematics, if you can give me a compatibility list. so i can verify i have something to test against.

    as far as price. $5.00 would have to be negotiable, due to part cost's. and shipping.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page