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This review is from: NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5 Amp Smart Battery Charger and Maintainer
Pros: Works most of the time.
Cons: Random charge operation failures, switches to error mode wherein it slowly drains the battery instead of charging, does not automatically reset and start charging again. This was not due to a bad battery, possibly too sensitive to AC power line fluctuations.
Other Thoughts: Keeps battery charged when it works, but every week or 2 it stops charging and instead starts slowly draining the battery, with all LEDs rapidly blinking, indicating that it switched to error mode. It does not automatically reset, so you have to unplug and replug it to the AC line, making it impossible to leave unattended for long periods. The FAQ says this indicates a bad battery, but the battery is not old and anyway the same thing occurred with a new one.
I have no such problems with 4 other charger/maintainer brands that I have, so it's something peculiar to this NOCO G3500. Another owner with this same problem said it's vulnerable to brief dropouts or noise on the AC power mains - could be, but if there were any here they must have been very short because none of my digital clocks stopped, which they always do with power interruptions even if less than a second. If this G3500 requires a power line conditioner to be able to operate continuously then you can add that substantial cost to the purchase price.
This problem became apparent 35 days after buying from Newegg, so I can't return it to them due to the 30 day limit. BOO!
This review is from: Rosewill Armer RX304-APU3-35B - External 3.5" SATA III 6 Gb/s Hard Drive Enclosure - USB 3.0 & eSATA Connection, Aluminum Body, 80 mm Variable Speed Fan with On / Off Switch, LED Display Panel
Pros: Looks nice, fan, temperature alarm, included accessories.
Cons: HD mounting bracket screw holes not spaced quite right.
Temperature display a little lower than that shown by HD S.M.A.R.T. readout.
Possibly too small a power adapter.
Other Thoughts: So far so good. We'll see how it lasts with the additional complexity. 1 year warranty.
More accessories than what is listed in the ad & manual:
multilingual manual, small piece of tape for the temperature sensor, plastic enclosure holder with rubber feet, 40-inch (1-M) USB 3.0 cable, 37-inch eSATA cable, SATA to eSATA port/ATX bracket for a desktop PC rear panel, power adapter, HD mounting screws, and even a small Phillips screwdriver.
Some sharp edges to watch out for. When sliding in the hard drive & bracket you need to look inside with a light to align the slide tabs into the case grooves. The plastic end caps require some pressure & wiggling to get them to seat all the way.
When installing a drive, the tiny temp sensor must tightly taped down on the face of the hard drive's case. Even so, after warm-up the temperature display gives readings that are around 2.5 C (~5 F) lower than those shown by the hard drive's built-in sensor via S.M.A.R.T. data. I don't know which is more accurate, but it could be that the outside of the HD case runs that much cooler than the inside, or perhaps some spots on the HD case are warmer than others. Adding a small piece of heat-reflective aluminum foil over the sensor and more insulating tape did not change the readout.
Some of the hard drive mounting bracket screw holes are incorrectly spaced:
There are the usual 2 screw holes per side in the bracket, but the problem is that only one on each side is a slot that allows for postioning adjustment, the other is just a small round hole; therefore, if you use all 4 screws, the HD's position cannot be adjusted back and forth and it presses very hard against the wiring and components behind the front panel (at least the HD I have did this). This can be fixed (with appropriate small tools and static precautions) by reaming the small round holes into short slots 2 MM toward the rear of the enclosure.
Rated only at 12VDC/2Amps, one wonders if this is enough for all 3.5" hard drives because some are known to draw a spin-up current that is more than 2 amps, even though the running current is less; consequently, it seems possible that some larger drives might not start up successfully. A larger power adapter can easily be substituted, but there remains the question of how much 12V & 5V power can be handled by this enclosure's internal circuitry.
Pros: For fast data transfer it's better than the usual USB 2.0 enclosures, has a sturdy case, and 2 cables included - a special USB plus a standard eSATA.
Cons: (1) Special combined USB 2 & 3 cable needed (included), standard ones will not fit. Needs to have both the USB & the eSATA cable connected to your computer in order for the eSATA connection to work, as power only comes through the USB cable. The special USB socket is loose-fitting, and the cable can easily fall out.
(2) User manual does not mention why and how to use the included paper-thin insulating card that must be placed between the hard drive's circuit board and the inside of the enclosure. Unless this insulation is placed against the drive's PCB, it will be electrically shorted due to the flat steel leaf-type tension spring inside the case that presses tightly against it.
(3) Door latch is rather difficult to close far enough to latch.
Other Thoughts: It would have been much better if it had been designed with a small external power supply (wall-wart) instead of the special USB cable, so that standard USB cables could be used. As it is, the cable setup is mechanically awkward, complicated, & easily tangled; furthermore, if you lost or damaged the special USB cable, the enclosure would be useless until you found a replacement.
Why the enclosure's tension spring was placed to press against the vulnerable circuit board on the hard drive instead of its metal top is a mystery, as damage will surely result if it's not used or rips. Somebody wasn't thinking when this was designed.
Display Name: John F.
Date Joined: 07/25/05
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