I recently took out a 8k loan and purchased a panasonic hvx200. after buying some additional accessories i have about 1k left. but i still don't have a way to dump the 2 16gb P2 cards in the field. my options are really expensive and aren't satisfactory solutions.


panasonic offers a 60gb p2 store for 1500, so that equates to 60 min of hd.

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they also have a hard drive version that holds 100gb for $2k=100 minutes.

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also you need a laptop to be able to view them, and the new laptops that can run fcs2 do not have a pcmcia reader to read the P2's, so you still need the p2 card reader. and then you need an external raid which will cost 1000's to finally dump them. so now you have 3 items a bunch of cables and 1000's spent. so here's what i'm looking to build my own mega P2 store, an external fan cooled raid utilizing 6 750 gb 7200rpm SATA's powered by laptop batteries, and multiple pcmcia readers housed in a very tough and shock absorbent flight case. my goal is to stream line the process and suck the data off those cards and onto a raid as fast as possible, as well as have no need for ac power, put it all in one box.

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actually i want to keep the laptop separate but room in the container to store it would be nice as well. i know just enough to be dangerous, so i need some advice from the gurus.

1. can i build an external raid that will be compatible with my g5 and a intel mac book pro?

2. how many laptop batteries would i need to power the raid for let say 12 hrs? how could i power them on and off? what would be the cheapest(within reason) way to go about this?

3. where could i find some really silent fans for cheap?

4. any suggestions about mounting them and making it really shock absorbent?

5. what would be the best way to connect the mac book pro to the p2 store, firewire or ethernet, or maybe some other way?

6. would i have to put a processor in the box as well to control the raid or should i keep it brainless and just hook it up to the macbook pro?

7. how could i best configure this?

all advice, suggestions, and comment is welcome and thanks in advance

ps. i want to make this look professional as i will be renting out my gear for extra cash