Tamas
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USB HDD with RPi2

Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:12 pm

Hello,

Apologies, if this is redundant, as many seem to have similar issues with connecting USB HDDs to RPi2, but perhaps this helps.

My objective is to have 1 x power supply, 1 x RPi2 and 1 x USB HDD (using 1TB or 1.5TB Samsung and 80GB Sumvision units).

The context is that connecting the Samsung drives to an RPi1 was never an issue with a single cable, but it no longer works with the RPi2. Y cables to two RPi2 ports or increasing the amperage allowed on the ports did not help.

Here is where I ended up:
Tecknet U236 dual USB charger + RPi2 + Sumvision drive: connecting the RPi2 and the Sumvision Y cable power end to the charger, and the data cable to the RPi2.

The setup also works with two single USB chargers (used ModMyPi 5.25V ones), but the Y cable backfeeds the RPi2 (once it is running, albeit it does not allow it to start up), so a single charger appears less likely to burn anything.

Oh, yes, on that note, ** this may burn something **, perhaps the power circuitry of the USB ports on the RPi2, so please don't try this at home... ;-)

Will be testing with the Samsung drives once the USB3 Y cables arrive.

Cheers,

Tamas

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mikronauts
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:15 pm

in config.txt add

usb_max_current = 1
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Tamas
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:48 pm

No impact... HDD starts spinning up, then shuts down.

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RaTTuS
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:54 pm

are you using raspbain or noobs ?
you will not need a Y cable with the usb_max_current=1 in the correct /boot/config.txt file [and reboot]

do you get brown out warnings [flashing rainbow in the top right } ?
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Tamas
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:59 pm

Using Raspbian installed via Noobs. These are headless servers, so wouldn't be able to see rainbows.

No, usb_max_current is ineffective, does not resolve the issue with either of the two RPi2s and either of the three USB HDDs tested.

Hence the solution to power the RPi2 and the HDD from the same USB charger - which does work. It might help others, who have the same issue...

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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:11 pm

I have a number of Pis and a Pi2 with Seagate Expansion drives (OS on HDD) I have found to run reliably they all need a Y cable and powered hub. Spinup current is too high for the Pis even with

Code: Select all

usb_max_current = 1
set

asandford
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:40 pm

Tamas wrote:Using Raspbian installed via Noobs. These are headless servers, so wouldn't be able to see rainbows.

No, usb_max_current is ineffective, does not resolve the issue with either of the two RPi2s and either of the three USB HDDs tested.

Hence the solution to power the RPi2 and the HDD from the same USB charger - which does work. It might help others, who have the same issue...
What are the specs of the drive (usually printed on the case)?
I have several Pis running with external HDDs, one requires a Y cables, one an external PSUs, and the other requires nothing.

The difference is the interface / drive current requirements - usually the bigger the capacity, the bigger the current.

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RaTTuS
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:55 am

Tamas wrote:Using Raspbian installed via Noobs. These are headless servers, so wouldn't be able to see rainbows.

No, usb_max_current is ineffective, does not resolve the issue with either of the two RPi2s and either of the three USB HDDs tested.

Hence the solution to power the RPi2 and the HDD from the same USB charger - which does work. It might help others, who have the same issue...
if using noobs then you have to edit the noobs boot partition config.txt file as that is the one used .....
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Tamas
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:20 pm

RaTTuS wrote: if using noobs then you have to edit the noobs boot partition config.txt file as that is the one used .....
That is correct - unfortunately it is not effective. None of the three drives can spin up with the RPi2.

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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:50 pm

2.5 HDDs that use more than the 1.2A that the RPi USB ports can deliver wouldn't work with laptops either.

But if your power supply doesn't deliver stable 5V@2A modifying config.txt won't help.
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Tamas
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:31 pm

Well, all three drives work well with laptops, I have used Samsung drives for ages. And all three drives work well with RPi1s, that is why I was (and still am) so surprised it didn't work with the RPi2s "out of the box".

Having tried all the configuration options save for soldering the USB power circuitry, I have reverted to using a powered hub in the middle - very awkward and excessive. To be fair, my priority was to make it work, not to troubleshoot to the last bit, and it took a while to find a solution that worked for me...

The Tecknet U236 dual USB charger + RPi2 + Sumvision HDD ran well for 24 hours, none of the parts seemed to get hot or even warm.

Ran a bit of a stress test doing a full backup from the root partition on the HDD to another partition of the HDD every 10min for 2 hours, RPi temperature went from 42C to 45C then back down - seems all good. This should be higher load on the USB and the HDD than its usual mail server chores.

Now hoping that the terabyte drives will work as well... just need those Y-cables. :)

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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:41 pm

Tamas wrote:Well, all three drives work well with laptops, I have used Samsung drives for ages. And all three drives work well with RPi1s, that is why I was (and still am) so surprised it didn't work with the RPi2s "out of the box".

Having tried all the configuration options save for soldering the USB power circuitry, I have reverted to using a powered hub in the middle - very awkward and excessive. To be fair, my priority was to make it work, not to troubleshoot to the last bit, and it took a while to find a solution that worked for me...

The Tecknet U236 dual USB charger + RPi2 + Sumvision HDD ran well for 24 hours, none of the parts seemed to get hot or even warm.

Ran a bit of a stress test doing a full backup from the root partition on the HDD to another partition of the HDD every 10min for 2 hours, RPi temperature went from 42C to 45C then back down - seems all good. This should be higher load on the USB and the HDD than its usual mail server chores.

Now hoping that the terabyte drives will work as well... just need those Y-cables. :)
I use a Belkin slimline hub to power external drives if more power is needed. This allows other devices that might not run when directly plugged in to also be plugged in. It is also sometimes possible to plug the Pi into the hub so that only one power supply is needed. In cases where even the hubs power supply does not output enough power, it's easy enough to add a separate power supply for the Pi. I like this hub since it is small, however if you have devices without cables that are much wider than a cable, you can't use all the ports. They come in 4 port and 7 port versions, but I've had better luck getting enough power for the Pi from the 4 port version for some reason.

Tamas
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:47 pm

Tom_A wrote: I use a Belkin slimline hub to power external drives if more power is needed.
Thanks, will look into that. I used to use the D-Link DUB-H7, because it was very reliable and could do the "power the Pi and use as a hub" trick. Now that is another thing that didn't work well with the RPi2...

In the spirit of minimising the number of components (and consequential costs), however, I would avoid the hub, if possible.

Tom_A
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:22 pm

Tamas wrote:In the spirit of minimising the number of components (and consequential costs), however, I would avoid the hub, if possible.
I found a USB 2 slimline hub on Amazon for about $10. This was the one with the aluminum enclosure as well. That's close enough to what you pay for a power supply that it's worth the extra (you do need to buy the micro usb power cable for the Pi still) cost especially if you think that you may have power problems or need more ports.

Name of hub was belkin ultra slim and I'm still seeing them at those prices on Amazon.

Tamas
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:40 pm

Tom_A wrote: I found a USB 2 slimline hub on Amazon for about $10. This was the one with the aluminum enclosure as well. That's close enough to what you pay for a power supply that it's worth the extra (you do need to buy the micro usb power cable for the Pi still) cost especially if you think that you may have power problems or need more ports.

Name of hub was belkin ultra slim and I'm still seeing them at those prices on Amazon.
Good point, thanks. It is certainly a must have if more than one USB devices are envisioned. Did you find this works reliably with the RPi2 both being powered by it and using it as a hub?

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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:11 pm

Tamas wrote:Good point, thanks. It is certainly a must have if more than one USB devices are envisioned. Did you find this works reliably with the RPi2 both being powered by it and using it as a hub?
Yes and no. :?
I have one RPi that I am going to use as an inexpensive travel computer for when I'd rather not worry about my laptop. I have a cycling vacation that will be the first test of this. I have been able to power the Pi 2, a USB 3 flash drive, Wifi dongle, and a keyboard/trackpad wireless dongle without issue. The USB 3 flash drive and keyboard dongle are plugged into the Pi. I've got a portable drive and I believe this has worked as well if plugged into the hub.

I have another Pi that is using ethernet. It has a webcam connected and an older bluetooth dongle as well as a USB flash drive. This one gets the rainbow warning square if I try to power everything from the hub. I'm using a different charger block though that has been working fine without a hub at all. Both power supplies are rated about the same too. It's a bit of a mystery why this is the case since I would expect there to be more of a problem with everything plugged directly into the Pi compared to only having one flash drive and the hub plugged in and everything else plugged into the hub.

Tamas
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Re: Travel Computer

Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:22 pm

Tom_A wrote:I have one RPi that I am going to use as an inexpensive travel computer for when I'd rather not worry about my laptop.
I was wondering what screen do you use it with?

Tamas
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Re: USB HDD with RPi2

Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:46 pm

So, it works with the Samsung TB drive as well.

Objective:

Headless servers with minimal number of components (i.e., ideally just a power source, the computer and the HDD), which can malfunction, use energy, produce heat and cost money. The servers are deployed to provide Internet or intranet services, e.g., mail, web etc.

RPi2:
Tecknet U236 dual USB charger + RPi2 + Samsung M3 1TB HDD (with replacement USB Y cable)
Tecknet U236 dual USB charger + RPi2 + Sumvision 80GB HDD (with its own USB Y cable)

In both cases the power end of the Y cables go into one of the ports of the charger. The other charger port powers the RPi2. The data end of the Y cable goes into one of the RPi2 USB ports.
** I don't think this is how USB was envisioned and this may damage your devices, so don't try this at home. **
:)

But.. and this is the annoying part - RPi1B:

ModMyPi single USB charger + RPi1B + Samsung M3 1.5TB HDD (with singe USB cable) & Edimax Wifi
(Note that the RPi1B had just the two ports... No funny Y cables, no dual chargers - just works...)

PS. All RPis have the max_usb_current=1 setting in config.txt, it just does not seem to matter for the RPi2s...

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Re: Travel Computer

Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:47 pm

Tamas wrote:
Tom_A wrote:I have one RPi that I am going to use as an inexpensive travel computer for when I'd rather not worry about my laptop.
I was wondering what screen do you use it with?
I am not the person you asked, but I will go ahead and toss in my plans. Since I usually bring my Nook HD+ and my cell phone, my travel plans with the Pi are as follows. If I need to get on the web I can either use my phone or nook. The Pi will come in handy when I need to move files from my camera card to the usb hd I also bring. I also tote along a powered usb hub. I can connect to the Pi via ssh from my phone or nook using a terminal app. The Pi can be set up as an access point that I connect either device to and then just ssh over to the Pi's static ip address. From there I can copy files back and forth, and even set up a little mounting convention and script to help ease the amount of typing. A bluetooth keyboard works well, but at some point you are defeating the purpose of not bringing a laptop with all of the other devices you end up toting around. The other bonus will be my microsd with OpenElec on it, and also RetroPi. On the card that you set up as an access point you can install a web browser and point the document root to the location you mount your usb drives. Then bring along some movies to stream to your phone.

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