Kingwin KF-201

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Feature rich mobile hardrive carrier – Joe

SUMMARY: Attractive looking mobile carrier with a nice feature set.

Kingwin KF-201

The good guys at Kingwin were nice enough to send us a sample of their latest mobile drive rack model #KF-201. I guess Kingwin hired some industrial designers to “de-industrialize” the look, because this latest model certainly looks more attractive than the utilitarian designs of earlier models.

The LCD

LCD

The default display setting.

displays a good deal of information:

  1. Temperature inside the carrier (C or F)
  2. Slave or Master drive designation
  3. Alarm Bell (if it goes off)
  4. Fan Status
  5. Temperature Status (thermometer “pops” if temp exceeds set limits)
  6. Drive access indicator (upper left image)
  7. Total drive hours/days elapsed time

There is a pretty good instruction manual included with it that I would not lose. Setting up the functions is not difficult – the three front buttons are for SET, UP and DOWN.

To display what’s called HUTR (Harddrive Usage Time Record), hit the UP or Down button. Drive time is measured in hours and days.

Note that the LCD displays Master or Slave drive designations. There is a dipswitch at the back of the carrier

Dip

which allows you to set up the drive with the cover closed. This is done with three small cables (red, green and yellow)

Open

located at the back of the removable carrier. You hook these up to the drive jumpers (carefully recording settings) and you can then adjust the drive for Master or Slave without removing the drive from the mobile carrier. Dipswitch four designates Master (up) or Slave (down).

You remove the carrier by flipping the lever to reveal the keylock.

Lever

There are three lock positions:

  • Power ON and drive irremovable
  • Power OFF and drive irremovable
  • Power OFF and drive removable

Once you unlock the drive, the arm swings out and you remove the drive from the sleeve.

Inside the removable carrier,

Inside

you can see a small PCB at the front which holds the LCD and the buzzer, which is loud enough to wake you up if the temps go over your setting. You can set temps in 0.5C increments. The back

Back

shows the power, ribbon cable connector and fan.

Finally, at the back of the carrier

Thermistor

is the thermistor which measures temps inside. I checked it using a digital thermometer and found it to be accurate within +/- 0.5C.

To test it out, I mounted a Western Digital 10G drive in the mobile carrier, monitored temps and found:

Location

Temp

Front Intake

19.1 C

Rear Fan

20.1 C

LCD Temp

25.1 C

HD Temp¹

24.4 C

¹Measured with a digital temp probe at the top of the HD.

One thing I would watch for – the thermistor is easily covered by the drive cable, so check it to be sure it is not smothered. A fairly easy mod: Clip the thermistor off the PCB and extend it to monitor drive temps directly by taping it to the hottest part of the drive.

All told, Kingwin’s KF-201 has a bunch of nice features – I particularly like the elapsed time counter. I found the fit and finish very nice – the cover was tight and there was no “loose” feeling to it. If you need a mobile rack with enhanced features, this is an option to consider.

Thanks again to Kingwin for sending this our way.

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