Home > Android, Hardware, Linux > $11 Ewell Cubietruck Case Supports 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive and Battery

$11 Ewell Cubietruck Case Supports 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive and Battery

February 28th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

We’ve already seen a way to make your own HDD enclosure with the Cubieboard, but if you’ve got the latest CubieTruck (aka Cubieboard 3) board with the dual core Cortex A7 AllWinner A20 and 2GB RAM, there’s an easier, and cheaper, way to achieve the same thing with Ewell case that supports 2.5″ SATA Hard drives and SSD, as well as a 5300 mAh lithium battery if you want your system to be portable.

Cubietruck_Ewell_SATA_case

The setup is quite interesting as there are few full ARM Linux systems supporting an hard drive on the market, especially at this price point: $11 for the case, and $95 for the Cubieboard. You can either add a 2.5″ Hard drive (320GB / 500GB), or if you are more after performance than storage capacity, a SATA SDD (60 GB) for about $60. Alternatives to this setup would be Compulab Utilite Standard for $159 (Freescale i.MX6 dual + 2 GB RAM + SATA support, no drive), and Utilite Pro for $219 (Freescale i.MX6 Quad + 2 GB RAM + 32GB SSD), which ends up about $50 more for the dual core version. Android and Linux distributions will work be fine on AllWinner, but Linux graphics and video support is however better on i.MX6, at least for now.

If you want to see how it works, Cubieboard team has explained how to assemble the case with the Cubietruck, an hard drive and a 5,300 mAh battery. There are quite a few steps, but none of them seem too complicated.

Cubietruck_harddrive_battery

If you’d rather buy locally than via Aliexpress, there’s a long list of resellers for “Cubie” products.

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  1. onebir
    February 28th, 2014 at 15:36 | #1

    Kudos to the Cubieboard team for 1) addressing this niche & 2) the very reasonable price point :)

  2. Xan
    February 28th, 2014 at 16:32 | #2

    Price point is VERY reasonable. Cases tend to be horribly overpriced, especially those for RasPi costing more than Pi itself.

    Looks quite OK too, won`t stand out too much under TV. Nice cheap XBMC kit there if someone don`t need lots of storage.

  3. onebir
    February 28th, 2014 at 16:53 | #3

    Can the battery act as a UPS? :s

  4. Passante
    February 28th, 2014 at 18:26 | #4

    Utilite Standard seems not to have SATA onboard: http://utilite-computer.com/web/utilite-standard-specifications Am I missing something?

  5. February 28th, 2014 at 19:47 | #5

    @onebir

    yes, certainly! ^_^

  6. jqpabc123
    March 1st, 2014 at 02:19 | #6

    Why everyone is focused on ARM, X86 has sneaked in the back door.

    Comparable (if not better) solutions are available for the same (if not less money), no assembly required.

    For example: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Fanless-Mini-Computer-MS100-with-Intel-Atom-N270-CPU-1GB-RAM-8GB-SSD/515258578.html

  7. Fossxlorer
    March 1st, 2014 at 03:12 | #7

    @onebir that was my first thought too :)

  8. onebir
    March 1st, 2014 at 03:23 | #8

    @Fossxlorer My second thought: even though the other PCs are laptops (=> effectively built in UPS) I’d really need a router with UPS too for it to help much though :(

  9. March 1st, 2014 at 09:40 | #9

    @onebir
    Unless you have a router / modem that can be powered via USB, then the battery in Cubietruck would do it.
    There are also quite a few low cost routers with batteries.

  10. onebir
    March 1st, 2014 at 13:12 | #10

    @cnxsoft :? I have a router/modem, but TBH it has a round power plug & I never thought it could be powered by USB. I’ll check the voltage etc.

    A lot of people are building always-on home networks these days – it might be worth researching low cost UPS options. I did check on AliEx a while back, but everything seemed quite expensive.

  11. March 1st, 2014 at 13:52 | #11

    @onebir
    I’ve also researched UPS for my home computer, because the electricity grid is not that reliable especially during the hot season and rainy season. Locally the price is about $60 to $80, but there aren’t many options online, and shipping is expensive. If something goes wrong, return shipping will be expensive too, so for this type of item better purchase it locally.

  12. onebir
    March 1st, 2014 at 15:56 | #12

    @cnxsoft Aren’t all those solutions wildly overspecified if your main computers are laptops, & you just need UPS for a router & some ARM (/Bay Trail etc) low wattage devices?

  13. Someone from the other side
    March 1st, 2014 at 20:08 | #13

    @Xan
    XBMC is god-awful on the Cubietruck (which in itself is a less than stellar piece of equipment, especially given that nasty whine it starts one you connect USB peripherals).

  14. Someone from the other side
    March 1st, 2014 at 20:10 | #14

    @jqpabc123

    Now, if someone would do a similar piece of kit with 2G RAM and a BayTrail for say 129 :P

  15. March 2nd, 2014 at 12:19 | #15

    @onebir
    Yes, it should be, but I don’t know if such product exists.

  16. vlaero
    March 3rd, 2014 at 12:12 | #16

    @Someone from the other side
    How about one of the various dual core bay trail boards we read about and then a chassis like this? http://www.aywun.com/ProductDetails.asp?ID=56
    I have one and have mentioned it before in another post. A price search in Australia shows them available for just under AU$60 (~US$52). This chassis includes the picu psu and 60W AC adapter.

    So (in USD),
    dual core bay trail board – $65
    2GB DDR3 ram – $21
    Mini-ITX chassis – $52
    ____________
    $138

    Bear in mind that you can also now get quad core bay trail – although I’m waiting to see what other manufacturers other than Gigabyte can offer – for an advertised $10 or $15 on top of the cost of of the dual core config.

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