Loc: Florida, USA
Here is a idea for people that are looking/learn about carputers and want a internal CD-ROM in the dash or a extra hard drive while the rest of the system is tucked away in the trunk or under the seat.
A IDE cable can only be 18 inches but you can extend it to 2 feet but might have chances of loosing data or loss in the drive/s performance. Increase the cable gauge. You can chop a IDE cable but leave a few inches left and solder on CAT5e cable in its place. Problem is you will have to run five cables since there is only eight wires to each CAT5e cable and the IDE cable is 40. Not to mention you'll have to use heat shrink to insulate the solder job.
Loc: Florida, USA
The old 40pin non-DMA cable is 30 to 35 gauge while Ultra DMA (80-Conductor) is a lot thinner and Cat5e is 24 gauge. The cable itself has a signal loss after 18" while Cat5e can handle about 295 feet.
The big reason why is a IDE cable has no insulation or protection from electromagnetic interference and limits the length of the cable to about 2ft while Cat5e has insulation/protection from electromagnetic interference and the overall length can be much much longer. That's why they came out with the 80pin IDE to try and diminish the data loss, mostly because IDE was originally used for drives that transferred 5MBs to 6MBs a second. Now there's S-ATA that can support faster drives and what not.
A lot of people over at mp3car.com have been playing with this method and seems to work out quite well. Not to mention its easier to tuck/hide the cable.
The finished product depending on how the user made it can be almost as thick as a round IDE cable or really really thick. If I was to make one I would tear off the outer sleeve on the Cat5e and wrap the wires together then ether use wireloom, electrical tape or even heatshrink to seal up the cable.
Seems like an awful lot of work to solve a problem that's easily handled with an external USB or FireWire enclosure. Even eSATA has a max cable length of 2m. That ought to be plenty for most applications. I don't mean to discourage experimentation by any means, but I don't think you're going to save any money or anything doing it this way. Particularly when you factor in all the time you'll spend trying to fabricate such a thing. Anyhow, good luck!
I could solve this a lot faster and without loss of data problems.
get yourself a firewire cable cut it in half extend the wire connect the cd-rom/dvd-rom to a firewire converter board or ide to firewire then connect the drive to a simple power source or just use the one that came with the firewire cage you removed everything from.
Now for the lost data issue.
to stop this via firewire get a firewire hub they do make them and they can run off of a 12 volt car battery i have seen it done.
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