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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    College Station, TX, USA
    Search Comp PM
    We're still adding DVRs as discoveries are being made. Mostly HX models at this time.

    OR rather Peter is.. I just test them.

    I've talked about possibly of using SD or CompactFlash cards as Hard drive replacements, for IDE or SATA models.

    But I also noticed LEXAR was bought by Micron last year and discontinued. They were a major maker of CompactFlash.

    But a recent experiment with m.2 in a 2003 model with an IDE adapter has (opened my eyes) to a new possibility.

    They still come in low densities (240 GB for 19 usd) and work brilliantly with a Marvell IDE to SATA adapter.

    For a DVR that needs an IDE hard drive, this may be over kill if it can't be expanded to use the extra space.. but it is what it is. For them there's 120 GB for 10 usd.


    As SSDs the m.2 form factor does experience wear, but only during actual recording, once the recording is laid down.. the reads are wear-less.

    A 240 GB drive can hold an awful lot of SP or XP mpeg2 video.. the equivalent of 50 DVD discs. There are much bigger m.2 drives, but why bother?

    I don't know the stability of m.2 over the long term.. but its got me thinking it might be a good thing to try.

    At the very least the data can be offloaded to a NAS or larger 3.5 drive at high speed across its native SATA interface, at 6 GB/s or higher.

    Nothing can change the real-time playback and recording speed of VHS tape to DVR.. but on the backend this would speed up transfers to other types of media immensely.

    I do know the m.2 was meant to be used as a laptop hard drive with lots of read and writes.. and DVRs for the most part don't do that, unless they have an electronic program guide or timeshift buffer. (And even then.. they Update that EPG only once a Day.. far less than a laptop user browsing the web.)

    Most electronic program guides data suppliers are now shutdown and the recorders are no longer updating that portion of the disk. And timeshift buffers tend to go dormant when the DVR is placed in sleep mode, or might be disabled from a menu.

    In any even however a laptop drive is a lot more heavily written too.. and these are rated for 3 years minimum.. newer ones come with a 6 year life warranty.. and the newest ones say 10 year. Stuck in a DVR.. I tend to think with their internal wear leveling they could last much longer than any of those estimates.

    The only threat to the m.2 format factor I can see is the move from m.2 sata to m.2 nvm pcie. Its a faster way to access the storage, but the old IDE to SATA adapters can't deal with m.2 nvm pcie. Legacy uses however, in older laptops or industrial equipment may put that off for a while.

    The photo is of a "tool less" spring loaded m.2 to laptop adapter.

    The anodized aluminum frame with the tiny circuit board is a threaded 2.5 to 3.5 inch format factor converter.

    The red circuit board is an SATA to IDE adapter.

    It all fits together pretty easily without screwing it in place.

    The rigid IDE connector holds fast to the cable all by itself.

    The laptop carrier is snug enough to stay put and can be removed quickly.

    Or the m.2 can be released by thumbing back the spring leveler hook.. and it pops up for removal.

    Each is about 10 usd in single quantities.

    But you only have to buy them once.

    The only consumable being the m.2 chip

    I've been thinking a flat panel extension cable could fit between the lip of the chassis and the case without drilling any holes or modifying the case.

    I started by looking for 2.5 sata flat cables.. but haven't had much luck.

    But there are m.2 flat panel extension cables.. they simply have more circuit lines.. sata has fewer.

    But this is something I have on hand.

    The goal here would be to mount the m.2 chip on the side or top of the case for easy access.
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    Last edited by jwillis84; 12th Jan 2020 at 19:48.
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