Saturday, 14 April 2018

Oyen Digital USB3.0 to 2.5inch HDD Connection Cable Review

Oyen Digital cable out of the packet ready to be connected to the HDD
Like many frustrated computer users, I find that hard drives, plugs, ports and software are in a constant state of flux.
Improvements spurred on by the marketing department might say these changes benefit the users, but a lot of the time changes are mostly driven by the desire for a constant turnover. 

The improvements, if there are any, often don't necessarily improve in the same direction that we are travelling in - often they just put us in a position where we are obliged to buy more stuff to keep our old stuff running.... 

I have two reliable Western Digital Firewire 800 portable hard drives for my Mac. These have accompanied me all over the globe on my travels. However,  since I upgraded my Apple MacBook Pro, those drives have become obsolete, going the way of the Dodo - every port on the Mac is now USB-C - which is a good design but frustrating if you have legacy equipment (read a previous post about the cost of keeping up with a new computer).

Although it is possible to convert USB 3.0 ports to USB-C, it's expensive to convert Firewire to the same - this would involve buying another $80 USB-C hub with Firewire ports - so I'd have to plug my hub into another hub. 

Ironically I bought this Firewire drive from B and H Photo Video store in NYC when it was on special - and to get it back operating with my new Mac, I found the Oyen connection cable - on B and H's website while surfing for something else...
Why not just get online and buy a cheap HDD case - there are about a million online... 

I tried researching this but the hard drives in the Firewire units are fractionally thicker than regular drives, and considerably thicker than an SSD. There are a few cases about that can take 'fatter' drives but they start at around $80+.  

I might buy one of these if I need to take the Firewire drive travelling, but for the moment it's staying on my desktop.

One answer appeared as I was surfing the 'net in this brilliant little gizmo - essentially the Oyen Digital USB3.0 to 2.5-inch HDD connection cable enables me to plug any 2.5-inch drive directly into a USB 3.0 port (I'd already removed the drives from their aluminium casings).

I was nervous about doing this but actually it couldn't have been easier. Actually finding a TORX screwdriver small enough to open the casing proved more of a hassle and involved a lot of internet searching, plus a trip to Bunnings (never a bad thing to do on a wet afternoon).

With the casing unscrewed, all that's needed is to carefully slide the drive out of its interface, and pop the Oyen cable into the same position over the terminals. You can't get it wrong because the connector will only go on one way. Plug it into a USB port and it immediately reads the drive - although I had to format the original drive using Apple's Disk Utility first, which took three minutes, then it was ready to go.

For a cost of $11, I thought this was a great buy - the main disadvantage is that you have a 'naked' hard drive that is not suitable for travel but until I can find a drive case that will hold the thicker form factor, it'll work fine on my desktop. At least it has been saved from becoming yet more technological landfill.

Now that I understand what it is I'm looking at, I have seen several models of similar connection cables on offer through Aussie companies - but as I was ordering other stuff from the USA, it made sense to not have to pay another delivery fee...

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