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#21 Kelpfish

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 09:23 AM

I like the size of these storage devices. I may unload my Flash Trax and replace with a small device. Does anyone know if the user can change the AA rechargeables?

Joe
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#22 3@5

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 10:43 AM

i have used the pdx7 (http://www.compactdrive.com) as a backup to my p2000 and had no issues with it. note that i did not use it without i being plugged in to the wall as i didn't trust the rechargeable batteries that were in it.

relatively small, relatively fast downloads (from what i saw whether there was one file or 100 on my CF card it always took to the same time to download), and tons of space.
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#23 Steve Jones

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 10:52 AM

Does anyone know if the user can change the AA rechargeables?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Joe, from what I can see from the pic at this page

http://www.compactdr...uct.php?p=specs

then you can. I think you can use standard AA's, Lithium AA'a and NiMH rechargeables as well

I'll probably order 1 of these over the next few weeks....

Steve
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#24 james

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 11:25 AM

Holy cow, that looks really good! I've always wanted a portable HD that runs on AA's and the card transfer is a big bonus too.

Thanks for posting.

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#25 ssra30

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 07:07 PM

Hmmm, too bad I just asked a friend to pick up a Nexto unit for me in Singapore. I guess the PD70X has one advantage over the Nexto, AA NimH batteries rather than propriety batteries. Oh well...
Any idea what the maximum size HD it will support?

#26 echeng

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 07:28 PM

I use the CompactDrive. It is fast, when using fast cards -- faster than the P-2000, for example, and claims transfer capacity of 35-50GB on a single charge using 4 x 2500mAh batteries (included). I tend to plug it in when I use it. I can easily do a few transfers with my 4GB CF cards, but the battery meter jumps around a lot, and it often fails when I try to transfer 4GB at a time (when the battery is low, I mean).

I think I'd feel better if I were just trying to transfer 1GB at a time.

Mostly, I use it as an external hard disk back and as an insurance policy against notebook failure.

Interface is really clunky, but it works.

By the way, I bought a 100GB drive (Seagate -- quieter and runs cooler, I believe) from Newegg.com and jammed it in the CompactDrive. works fine. :unsure:
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#27 Jolly

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 04:28 AM

Hi,

I use the compactdrive (called “pd7x” over here) too. It's faster than almost any other device. A full 2GB Sandisk Ultra card is copied within ~ 7 minutes. Transfer rate is approximately. 5MB/s. It's about as fast as my USB 2.0 card reader with the same card. No gimmicks or bells. But it does its job reliable and faster than almost any other devices. Price is unbeatable too in my opinion.

Underwater photographers call for fail safe equipment: You can use this device as travel backup AA cell charger too! Just in case ... .

The unit has a minor cosmetic flaw: hard disks require a stabilized voltage of 5V (+/- 5%, which is 4.75 – 5.25V). When running the unit with AA cells, the hard disk is supplied directly from the batteries and the currency may be slightly outside the prescribed range (full batteries ~ 5,5V for example). But this is not the case if you run it with external power supply. On batteries, the firmware blocks copying if the currency is to low. That's maybe the reason for Eric's point. On the other hand, this feature avoids possible data loss, so no risk.

I have used the compactdrive a lot for almost one year now and never experienced any problems in this regard. So I can recommend this wonderful thing without any doubt. There is a successor out already, it's called PD70x over here and features a currency stabilizer for battery operation too.

Units I was very disappointed with:
Archos Jukebox Multimedia 20: poor battery performance, wouldn't accept 1GB and larger cards, poor built quality, very very slow and bad handling.
Transcend Photobank: my unit featured a very buggy firmware, hard disk did not go off when the unit has been switched off, software freezed many many times and required uncomfortable reset, much slower than the compactdrive. Finally I have sent it back to the dealer.
Ipod + Belkin card reader: Ridiculous solution. Transfer rate is strongly below 1 MB/s. Problem: Before you can empty a full card, the Ipod battery is down due to the long usage of the harddisk. You can not plug the Ipod to external power because the accessory port is occupied by the super slow card reader.

As I always have a laptop in the hotel room, I don’t need a complex and more expensive unit with display. But I need a fast and reliable unit which unloads my cards quickly in the field or even on the boat. So far, CompactDrive (PD7x) does this job for me.

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#28 mreid

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 04:24 PM

I take a 80G Smartdisk external hard disk with me. It is powered by my laptop so no extra batteries or external power source needed. It is also very compact.

#29 t-bohn

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 01:49 AM

I used a G2 Imagetank for a while with mixed results.
I want to see that the files are copied and the files are not corrupted.
Second I want more than one backup for the very possible chance that one drive brakes or gets stolen. For me the smallest possible Notebook with DVD-Writer plus a external Harddrive with CF Slot like the Nikon, Epson Imagetank etc. works best.
I can browse any file, generate additional backups on disk and have a backup if one system fails...
Right now I have a 12"Powerbook plus the Imagetank with 40GB...

Cheers
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#30 mattdiver

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 03:51 AM

I've used the P2000 on a couple of dive trips recently. I found the download speed acceptable (around 6-7mins for 1GB), the screen bright and sharp, navigating through menus is easy, and the ability to review RAW files is really nice.
It displays a D100 RAW file in less than 1s, which I think is relatively fast (although I can only compare this with my antiquated laptop).
The ability to organise pictures into albums is also very useful. The only thing that I found disappointing was that it only allows to zoom into JPEGs, not RAW files. Finally, for 12-16mp cameras, the 40GB space may be a bit restrictive, but it is adequate for 6-8mp cameras.
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#31 Arnon_Ayal

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 02:39 AM

For a storage device that need to be used when you don't have a laptop I'll take only a device that can show the real images, not just to see the names, that way you can verify that your images where downloaded from the camera.
I have a very bad experience with a simple device that in the trip to Palau was overwrite all the past images every time with the images that I downloaded from the camera.
I sow the disaster only at home, after a small hart attach I successed to recover all the images but its was because I used only small amount of the HD (3MB camera) and I don't want to be in the same position ever again
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#32 manatee19

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 06:12 AM

We use the Gmini 220 from Archos with success. Not to view pictures but just as a storage device. 20Gb capacity. 15 min to download from a 1Gb CF card, 10 downloads per charge.

CAUTION: Some of you may be aware that when using external hard drives (firewire or USB) with latptops sometimes Windows does some strange thing that prevents you from writing or reading the files. We experienced this problem at home with our multiple external drives and, for the first time last August, 3 external drives cesed to be functionnal during an assignment using the laptop.

I am not a computer expert but this seems to be a fairly common problem. We had to revert to burning CDs... not the best alternatrive on a liveaboard when you pump 8Gb/day of images. Our next move will probably be a laptop with DVD burning capacity+at least 100Gb capacity in the laptop.

We were able to retrieve the info on the external drives using Stellar Phoenix (FAT & NTFS) 2.1 data recovery program. After reformatting the drives work fine.

Would be interesting to learn about other people's experience with external drives, especially if they have seen the same bahaviour and what kind of solution they have found.

Michel
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#33 echeng

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 09:07 AM

Michel - that is very strange. I have never had an external drive stop functioning, but I typically only hook them up for backup, "stop" them, and remove them.

I burn DVDs on the road. I *think* they are finally starting to be pretty reliable.
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#34 bmyates

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 10:32 AM

Not sure if it'll work with the P-2000 (which does apparently have some USB capabilities), but I just ordered one of these Kanguru Zipper drives as a back-up for photos I put on my laptop. No batteries or cables required, and very small/compact. Also just saw announced a 40gb version.

Kanguru Zipper Pro

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#35 ssra30

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 03:06 AM

I tried out the Nexto unit on my recent trip and like it a lot. It is incredibly fast at downloading directly from CF card. With Kingston 4 GB card, it is about 3.5-4x faster than downloading it via card reader/USB 2 to my laptop.
Actually, for some reasons, downloading it to Nexto then copying the Nexto to my laptop via USB 2 still take less time than just striaght download via USB2 card reader directly to my laptop. Don't ask me why!
The unit only has one button and is very simple to use. The proprietary rechargable batteries suppose to last upto 40-50GB of download but I pretty much have to recharge it everyday with average 6-8 GB of download then copy to laptop.

Since my PC laptop only has 4 pins firewire, I can't recharge it from my laptop. The unit cannot be recharge via USB connection so mac people might like it better.

Here are a couple of links to some info on the Nexto:
http://fhoude34.free...toCF Review.htm
http://printerboyweb...XTOCF/index.php

#36 MikeVeitch

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 05:18 AM

Would be interesting to learn about other people's experience with external drives, especially if they have seen the same bahaviour and what kind of solution they have found.

Michel

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi Michel, good to hear from you again...

Well, i also just had a drive crap out on me. A 200GB Maxtor... was also able to get the info back using a restore program but now the drive is pretty much toast. Not reliable in the least.

Looks like i will have to buy some new guts to replace i suppose...bugger

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#37 echeng

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 08:31 AM

I only buy Seagate 3.5" drives now (and, I use 60GB 7200rpm 2.5" notebook drives). I will *never* buy a Western Digital drive again, as I've seen roughly a 50% failure rate among WD drives. I've aso had good luck with Maxtors, but everyone tells me to avoid them.

Who knows.
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#38 manatee19

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 05:52 PM

Hi Mike, Eric,


Mike: You might try to reformat your drive - low level format - may work. Our experience: out of 6 external drives - all Maxtor brand - 5 caused us problems this Spring. However, the culprit, as far as we can tell, is uncle Bill's OS. I did some search on the net and found other evidence of the same type of behaviour with all brands of external drives hooked to USB or Firewire cables (ours were Firewire).

We resorted to a 10-device PC/server case, with a basic P4, 1Gb RAM and an additional IDE PCI card (our drives were IDE). With everything connected with IDE connectors things are working fine... for time being... stay tuned!

Eric: We first had this weird behaviour with the desktop stuff (3.5 in. external drives.). It has happened with Maxtor AND Seagate drives later on (told you it was the OS).

The computer used for photo processing and multimedia programming is a standalone unit with NO internet connection at all. Only Photoshop, and Dataton Watchout softwares play on this computer, NOTHING else.

During our assignment in August, a different computer (Fujitsu P5010D) running on XP and hooked to external 2.5 in. drives (La Cie and Seagate), produced similar problems. We always turn off the computer before switching drives...

Another guest on the CAIV who worked in the video production field had experienced the same problems... and frustrations.

With small volume data transfer it seems fine. However, when pushing multi-GB through the cables.... sh... happens!

My best half, fellow photographer and photo editor had to spend 4hrs/day burning CDs during a full week of diving.... Needless to say we'll be doing DVD's on the next assignment and the external HD will be the backups.

Only brand of HD we now buy: Seagate: 5-year warranty... much needed in these 19Gb/picture days!

Best regards and sorry for the long post. (it costs less than a psychiatrist consultation)

Michel

PS: Just when we thought digital was perfect!
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#39 echeng

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 06:04 PM

longest. post. ever.

:)

I agree with the Seagate-only policy. I also buy everything on AMEX platinum, which doubles warranties of up to 5 years to a max of 10 years.

The WD drives that died had to be returned to WD -- one wouldn't spin up, another made horrible noises, and yet another died again shortly after reviving it with a low-level format. When a drive dies, would you ever trust it again? Nope. It gets yanked from my system at that point.
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#40 JoelD

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 07:32 AM

I'd like to apologize for this sounding like an advertisment...I do not work for IBM
and eventually all hard drives are bound to fail but...

In the daytime when I'm not looking for camera gadgets, I run a couple of server rooms and have seen a drive failure or two....hundred. I've had professional data recovery folks recover dozens of drives, and I always ask the same question of them, What drives fail the least? I always get the same answer, IBM drives.

Granted you'll pay a bit more for them, but my server rooms have had alot less excitement since we switched to them.

Just another 2 cents post....
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