A passing interest in external USB hard drive enclosures turned into a mini project when an AMS Venus T4 was spotted at a local computer store. Four hard drives in a compact, rugged and more importantly, nicely cooled enclosure looked an interesting choice. A purchase price of 120 dollars made it jump into the shopping basket and come home for a test drive.
The DV Archive server was keeping its 500 GB internal drive and 160 GB external USB drive full and was handing the external USB drive with no trouble so a quick decision was made to see if the T4 could be made into a 2 TB external video storage box for the hawg. Four seagate 500 GB drives on sale at Frys later we were home and putting the beast togather. Assembly was a snap and the "cut to length" power and data cables make for a neat looking finish with decent air flow across the drives.
Configuration was a snap. Literally as everything is set with a DIP switch on the back. The options are limited to whether the drives are to be considered a single volume JBOD or four individual drives. The box can be set to turn itself on when it is plugged into a USB device or by the power switch. The box in the fractured lab was set to turn on when it detects USB for power fail recovery and as a single 2 TB array. A single 80 mm fan sucks all the heat out of the box very nicely without a lot of noise. The kill-a-watt meter shows the little array drawing just over 60 watts on startup and settling down to just under 50 after the drives come to speed.
Performance is about what one would expect from an external hard drive. Nothing to write home about but more than adequate for a storing standard definition video files for serving about the house. Two terrabytes of bulk storage in a compact, well designed enclosure for under a grand makes the AMS Venus T4 an attractive option for non-redundant storage here in the Fractured Lab.
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