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This review is from: StarTech USB3S2SAT3CB USB 3.0 to 2.5" SATA III Hard Drive Adapter Cable w/ UASP
Pros: Connects SSDs and 2.5" SATA HDDs to USB 3.0 ports and provides enough power to run those devices at full USB 3.0 specification.
Holie wow (since "holie" spelled with a "y" is considered an obscene word by the newegg censorbot) is this convenient and reliable! FLAWLESS VICTORY! Every. Time.
Actually is MORE reliable than three other USB 3 2.5" external enclosures I own from three different manufacturers.
I've connected over a dozen SSDs to various systems and It. Just. Werks. Every time. USB 2 ports provide plenty of power for SSDs (of course, data transfers are slower by spec).
Most times I can attach 2.5" notebook HDDs and they run just fine on USB 2 ports. Of particular note, the rather power-hungry (for a 2.5" HDD) Western Digital Black Scorpio 7200 rpm 750 GB HDDs connect & run just fine on USB 2 ports. I still try to use powered USB hubs when possible, just for safety & data integrity, but they don't appear required in MANY cases.
However, I have had occasional issues with other 2.5" HDDs, just minor interruptions. Normal quirks of running mechanical HDDs over USB 2. USB 3 has never been a problem, powered or unpowered ports.
Cable is "long enough" and "substantial" ... SEE Cons, too.
Cons: It is not an external enclosure. This doesn't really matter with SSDs, but for 2.5" notebook drives this can be an issue for anything other than a quick, temporary solution. Of course, no eggs off because this is an obvious feature that is clearly described.
Cable sometimes isn't long enough. Depends on your situation. For me this is rare and minor inconvenience.
On that same note, the "substantial" cable that delivers all that power & data throughput might be considered a bit stiff in some uses. Doesn't bother me: I'd rather have the power & data integrity.
Other Thoughts: I have since found another model adapter like this one, but with a detachable cable (by IOCREST). This is an even more ideal solution since I happen to also have 1 meter USB cables for those rare times when this 18" cable isn't long enough. If, for some reason, I had the need, I can even get 3 meter cables. The IOCREST has a thinner cable, slightly more flexible, but I have not noticed a performance difference between these. I highly recommend both ... which ever you can get on special (I paid $10 for each of these and am exceptionally happy with these products for that price).
Having two of these on hand has also been fantastic. Allows me to multitask on several systems while data flies over the USB 3 ports.
I've pushed drive images of over 300 GB across these cables & never had an issue.
I never use my external enclosures anymore. It's too frustrating to swap drives around them, plus all three of my enclosures have barfed on various data transfers under different circumstances, so I don't consider them as reliable.
Pros: They work as advertised.
The full strip of lights is bright enough to fill a small space with about the equivalent of a 75 W incandescent bulb. The light is "warm white," albiet with a very slightly greenish tinge. The other comment here about the lights being slightly different colors did not apply to me; both my strips appear identical, and my eyes are more sensitive than most people (thus also why I may be perceiving a slight green; others may not pick that up).
Overall power use is low (SEE: Other for details).
The lights themselves are very light weight ... BUT, don't forget, this kit is not rated to operate in a humid or damp environment, so they are very minimally produced on a fairly fragile backing. Handle with care and install in an environment well-protected from damp ... like, NOT over a stove top or in a kitchen or bathroom where they will be exposed to steam unless you seal them off properly.
Two or more strips of lights can be daisy-chained ... IF you have a large enough power adapter (the one provided isn't). SEE: Other.
On that note, the power adapter provided IS capable of supplying 36 W (as rated, I didn't test for maximum). So, you can add a partial extra strip, or daisy-chain a small computer fan into the circuit and still have enough power. So, it can drive 1 & 1/2 light strips comfortably; it's a shame it isn't rated for 45 watts, in which case it could have driven 2 full light strips.
You can cut 3-light segments off for other applications, so long as you have a convenient power supply for the segments (SEE: Other).
The construction of the power adapter and the dimmer switch feel and seem to be fairly solid, so I expect a long life expectancy. Of course, I won't know that for ten years or more.
Cons: I'm taking one egg off for the overall technical shortcomings. Each is slightly annoying, all combined lower the overall functionality.
The specifications do not list the lumens output of the lights, which would have been helpful. At maximum, one entire strip seems to provide about the equivalent light of a 75 W incandescent bulb, maybe a bit less. It's difficult to judge a "Christmas lights" strip compared to a point source.
The power blocks are a clunky, awkward design and do not work and play well with other devices that need to be plugged in. No matter the configuration of your power strip or outlet, these blocks WILL block a minimum of one other outlet, and up to 3 or even 4 in some cases. VERY frustrating.
Also, the power blocks are "vampire electronics" devices ... when not connected to anything, they still sip ~0.3 W of electricity. Weirdly, they do so in cycles, dropping to zero, then drawing ~0.3 W, and on and off regularly. You must unplug them to use zero electricity.
The dimmer switches do not behave consistently. I ordered two kits, and one dimmer clicks ON, but the lights don't immediately come on until the dimmer is moved a small bit ... however, it still draws a small amount of power (~0.3 W). At the lowest setting, the lights occasionally flick on and off. The other dimmer comes on immediately and requires a positive click off to kill the lights.
Regardless, both dimmer switches reach maximum power output of 20.3-20.5 watts when turned all the way up, with each light strip being pretty much identical. There is no positive click for fully On, the dimmer just stops turning.
If you take the dimmer switch out of the circuit and plug the lights directly into the power adapter, they draw 21.4-21.5 W each and are perceptibly brighter ... so, the dimmer switches pull back the maximum potential of the lights, very slightly.
Regarding "vampire electronics," the dimmer switches seem to add an extra ~0.1 or 0.2 W electric draw to the circuit. When connected to the power adapter, even with no light strip attached, the power draw seems to flicker at a slightly higher wattage than the power adapter by itself. I used a Kill-A-Watt and a Rosewill power meter and got the same results. Neither of those are very precise, but for qualitative analysis they are more than adequate. For comparison, I have some LED night lights that draw 0.4 watts when on, so these light strips, when completely off, draw slightly less power when plugged in.
This doesn't affect the egg rating, but the packaging for shipping was less than professional. Two entire kits were crammed into a small bubble wrap envelope, which arrived with rips and box corners visible through the package. This placed some stress on the light strips, but doesn't seem to have damaged them ... which seems to be just good luck.
Other Thoughts: Both kits were tested by mixing parts back and forth and found no differences, other than noted below. Also, testing was in a black room with white walls & ceiling. The greenish tinge was real (to me), although very faint. Overall, the lights are a warm yellow.
I've purchased several light strips before without the dimmer or power adapter. One interesting note, I plugged one of my other warm white strips into one of these power adapters (the one remaining one that is the full-length, original, strip the same length as this kit). It draws ~19.5 W of power (without dimmer in the circuit) compared to ~21.5 W power for the strips included in this kit (without dimmer). The light from the 21.5 W strips is barely brighter, so close I can not even be sure. And, the other strip (purchased almost 2 years ago) does not have the greenish tinge mentioned above. I can't explain these differences, just observing them. The length of the light strips and total number of lights is identical.
In a black 15 foot x 10 foot room with white walls and ceiling, one full strip of lights is enough to read a paperback book by. However, it is barely adequate. More light would be more comfortable. 2 of these strips simultaneously is plenty at full power, I can even dim them back to ~18 W each and the room is well-lit.
In that same room, one strip with the dimmer at about half power (~10 W output) provides enough ambient light to work at my computers very comfortably. Meaning, the light from my monitors (three of them) is balanced enough it doesn't sear my eyes and I can see my keyboard and use all the other objects on my desk. Not quite enough to read printed text easily by, but enough for just about every other task while keeping a relatively low-light environment that is very low-stress on the eyes for extended workstation sessions. I often spend 14-18 hours a day doing web development, content management and graphics, so this is a critical plus for me, all for 10-12 watts more than 90% of the time.
With very minimal effort you can clip segments in multiples of 3 lights and solder them to any 12 V source. In one of my computer cases I cut the wires to a case fan and soldered in a 6-light segment, for one example, to light the interior of the case.
As far as power adapters, I found a 4.6 amp/ 50 W adapter for a computer monitor at my local Goodwill for $1. It comfortably runs two daisy-chained light strips I bought previously at total energy draw of 38 watts. The strips are doubled up in 8-foot, opaque fluorescent light protector tubes, and connected in series in a Y-configuration along the ceiling corners of my kitchen. The back of the strips is self-adhesive, which I stuck to the shiny side of aluminum foil for maximum light reflection and also heat dissipation. With white walls and ceiling, it feels like natural daylight in the kitchen at night.
I temporarily put a dimmer in sequence with this 2-strip configuration and it works with no notable problem.
This review is from: Tek Republic TUH-3400 Aluminum USB 3.0 4 Port Hub with 3A Power Adapter
Pros: Does exactly what it should do:
• transfers at full USB # speeds
• "unobtrusive" (requires mod, SEE: Cons)
• POWERED hub
• cables are good length (SEE: Cons)
• auto detected plug & play on Windows XP, Win7 and linux
I'm buying my second one today, the other one has been in continuous service without flaw since September 2014.
Cons: No eggs off. It's a great & reliable little hub. These "Cons" are really more commentary for things that don't really merit "annoyance."
• BRIGHT LED light
Easy fix: small dot of aluminum foil taped over light and it becomes truly unobtrusive. Aluminum is good because 1) it kills all light dead and 2) radiates heat off, giving slight insurance that your LED doesn't overheat .
• cables: the USB cable is fairly stiff. Makes it slightly difficult sometimes to position the hub exactly where you want it. But, I'd rather a nice sturdy cable and this one carries power & USB 3 speeds very nicely.
Maybe the cable could be black or dark gray rather than bright blue. But you don't really see enough of it to cause an aesthetic issue.
• it's a "vampire" electronic device: even when the computer is off, if the power adapter is plugged into the hub, it draws a watt or two in electricity. I get around this by unplugging the power jack at the hub (since it's convenient on my desktop) when I'm not using the hub.
Other Thoughts: I swap this hub from USB 3 ports to USB 2 ports regularly. It is never the bottleneck ... all speeds are maximum for the devices connected.
I connect performance USB flash drives, mechanical HDDs in external enclosures and SSDs in external enclosures regularly. Often the hub has all 4 ports filled.
Never any issues with data transfers. SSDs push huge amounts of data at maximum speeds across this hub while streaming video and music from external drives, often while also transferring data back & forth across USB flash drives.
Used on a USB 2 port, the "powered" feature of the hub provides plenty of juice to run SSDs and 2.5" notebook HDDs without any other power adapters required for those devices.
All my 3.5 " external HDDs have their own power adapters, so this hub is never asked to provide electricity to those. It would be unrealistic to expect that & I just don't do it out of caution.
I've had very good experiences with Tek Republic devices for about three years now. This is a solid little performer & I'm very happy to (FINALLY!) see it on Shell Shocker sale again so I can have a second one.
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