I wrote about SupTronics expansion boards for Raspberry Pi a few year ago. Those add features like WiFi, Bluetooth, RTC, SATA, VGA, S/PDIF, etc… I’ve just stumble upon a new model Suptronics X800 specifically designed for 2.5″ SATA hard drive and SSDs that I found on DealExtreme for $32.73 with a 5V/4A power supply, or $21.43 with just the expansion board and accessories.
SupTronics X800 board features:
- SATA connector for 2.5″ SATA drivers up to 1TB implemented via GL830 USB to SATA bridge
- HDMI port – Duplicate Raspberry Pi HDMI output
- USB – Connects to Raspberry Pi
- Power Supply
- 5V via 5.5/2.5 power jack
- Optional & recommended power supply – AC 100 – 240V input ~50 / 60Hz, 5V/4A output with US and EU snap plugs
- Powers the Raspberry Pi, i.e. a USB power supply is not needed
- Dimensions – 109mm x 85mm
- Compatibility – Raspberry Pi Model B+, Pi 2 Model B, Pi 3 Model B, and other electrically and mechanically compatible boards like ODROID-C2.
X800 HDD Expansion Board ships with a power connection wire, 4x M2.5 spacers, 4x M3 spacers, 8x M2.5 screws, 8x M3 screws, and 4x M3 screw nuts, as well as an optional 5V/4A power supply. Once you have assembled everything together it looks like the pictures below.
You’ll find the assembly manual on X800 product page.
It’s more compact than a solution using a Raspberry Pi board with an external USB hard drive, but you may prefer getting a case for your Raspberry Pi and its hard drive, and it turns out SupTronics has a bunch of those either for 2.5″ SATA drives, or mSATA drive, with or without stereo to 7.1 audio DACs via their X-Series DIY kits.
The prettiest enclosure comes with their X3000 kits. Made of aluminum allow, it supports mSATA drives up to 1TB, comes with a built-in IR sensor, a touch button for power, a micro USB OTG port to access SATA from a computer, but sadly exposes a mini HDMI instead of a standard HDMI port.
If you prefer a Raspberry Pi case for 2.5″ SATA drives, you’ll have to select a less pretty “black brick” such as their X1000K model.
One interesting features is the port on the rear panel – which looks like a parallel printer port – and can be used to access Raspberry Pi GPIOs signal using an add-on board part of the kit.
SupTronics X3000 launched last year for around $100 with Raspberry Pi, and it may priced itself out, as none of the stores are selling it anymore. X1000K mini PC kit is still for sale for about $80 and up on DealExtreme, Banggood and Aliexpress.