Bus-powered enclosure
September 11, 2012 5:12 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to reuse a 5.25" optical drive in an external USB 2 enclosure. Are there any that are USB- or bus-powered? The ones on Newegg are all AC-powered, it seems. Do bus-powered enclosures exist?
posted by Blazecock Pileon to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
I don't think there are. As pointed out in this previous thread, the power provided by the bus is the limiting factor. Bus-powered devices are designed to do so.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:25 AM on September 11, 2012

Most of the USB powered DVD drives I've seen were recased laptop drives[1] - I believe that the power consumption requirements for 5.25" internals is too high.
posted by Orb2069 at 5:27 AM on September 11, 2012

They exist more so for 3.5" devices. You just have to make sure whatever you're putting in the enclosure has low power consumption as USB doesn't have a lot of amperage.

For 5.25" you're likely to either find laptop optical drive enclosures or enclosures that require more than 1 usb slot for power. Since many 5.25" drives make use of the 12v channel, a USB supply would have to convert from 5v.
posted by samsara at 5:33 AM on September 11, 2012

It's possible. Here's a new unit from Lenovo, for example, that will do what you want. I've not been able to find a bare drive without the enclosure though.
posted by bonehead at 6:32 AM on September 11, 2012

No. Standard 5.25" optical drives (and 3.5" hard drives) all require 12v power, which USB does not provide.

If you want USB powered, you need to use one of the slim/notebook style drives.
posted by gjc at 7:26 AM on September 11, 2012

You can get a PCIe card for a desktop that has an external eSATA port as well as SATA power, letting you connect a drive up as if it was internal. You wouldn't need an enclosure then, just a box to protect it from dust.
posted by katrielalex at 8:32 AM on September 11, 2012

Even among slim USB optical drives, it is common to see cables that draw power from two USB ports. Those that pull from a single port are either really slow, or have extra circutry to smooth out the power draw. Throw in the 12v issue that others have mentioned and I doubt you'll find what you are looking for, short of some sort of hack.

Alternatively, if your computer has a full-sized firewire port, it looks like firewire can deliver 12v and up to 5w, so there might be options there. Also, Macs can deliver higher wattage over USB than speced to compatible devices.
posted by Good Brain at 8:50 AM on September 11, 2012

Not for 5.25" optical drives. The USB bus doesn't provide enough power.

The FireWire bus ought to, in theory, be able to deliver enough power but I have never seen a self-powered 5.25" FW enclosure.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:00 PM on September 11, 2012

Bummer. Thanks for the answers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:05 PM on September 11, 2012

I went for a Samsung slim drive. If I can't recycle, I might as well get BD support...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:41 AM on September 12, 2012

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