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SCSI to USB. How?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by T-Bird, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Hi.

    A sweet while ago I posted this here question on the "Recording Gear & Equipment", for a very specific purpose, but zero luck :(.

    So, in hopes of the older generation of computer hardware nerds hanging out here rather than over there, I'd like to try my luck here with a much more generalized question.


    Would something like that one work for back and forth communication between a SCSI device like a Iomega ZIP (for example) and a PC.

    If not, what would?

    The Gyro Gearloose in me imagines a ZIP-disk to USB adapter DIY plans being out there somewhere, but surely something like that doesn't exist?


  2. Iomega zip uses the old style parallel printer port, not scsi (unless they made a scsi model at one time). There are USB zip drives as well. The parallel version works on machines running xp, not sure about vista, 7, or 8.

    The adapter in question would work for a scsi peripheral however, such as cd/dvd rw's, scanners, hdd arrays, etc...
  3. Hi.

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    They sure did ;).

    But, the Iomega ZIP was still just for an example.

    Have You used such adapters Yourself?

    Just asking because I'd like to get some hands-on experience before going that route. ~100€ is a lot of dough for the application I intend to use it to, moreso if it doesn't work.

    The 'net is filled (relatively anyway ;)) with stories about SCSI-USB conversions to be somewhat difficult to acchieve.

  4. I would never spend that much for a cable. Especially not one that isn't at least usb 2.0 compliant or supports a majority of scsi devices. For roughly the same amount of money you can get a cheap adaptec scsi controller for your pc. If you're dead set on a cable, there are cheaper ones out there. But regarding your question about having firsthand experience with them, the answer is no, as I do not own any external scsi devices anymore.
  5. Hi.

    Thanks again for Your reply.

    Actually, I would pay that much, IF it'd work.
    Would "pay" itself in a matter of weeks in saved time. Not to mention the convenience.
    And since quite a bit of converting takes place in there, DIY isn't an option AFAIK.

    Unfortunately the PC route most probably isn't even an option at all, the media on the USB end has to be FAT16 DOS formatted, and the data is stored on the root of that said media.

    If everything else fails, I'll probably buy a USB zip-drive, and use that, but I'd rather not use two mechanical devices well over a decade apart in mfg date + a fail-prone cartiridge in the transfer. The cost is AFAIK about the same as it would be with the cable, but the reliability would be IMO shot.

    Or, if all else fails or isn't readily available for a reasonable cost I continue doing it the snail-pace way I'm doing it ATM.

  6. Can't help on the bi-directional aspect*, but I've been using an Adaptec USB2Exchange connector for about 6 years or so. It was a bit fiddly to set up, but once I'd beaten it into submission it works well between my SCSI Epson A3 scanner and Win XP.

    No idea how it'll fare on Win 7 or 8. That's a joy for the new year when I plan a major upgrade.

    *(Actually, it must work bi-directionally, since I can control the scanner from Photoshop.)

    Seem to recall paying about GB£45.00 for it

  7. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    It wouldn't do this. USB for storage is dicey enough due to potential problems in error handling.

    I would get a PCI card. If I didn't have a PC with a PCI slot I'd pick one up from a junkyard. PCMCIA or PC-CARD in a notebooks also works but the controller would be more expensive.
  8. Hi.

    Thanks for the link Pete, checked that out, but it's becoming more and more clear to me that I'm on a wild goose chase here :(.
    NOTHING on the 'net suggests this can be done. Quite the contrary.
    I must admit that I find that pretty perplexing though. Once upon a time in not so distant past, there were adapters available to be used to cross-connect all sorts of computer related stuff. Somehow that all started to change before the turn of the century I assume.

    Upon further searching, the PC route through the SCSI seems to be impossible indeed.
    Unless a virtual drive can be "formatted" FAT16. Something I doubt very much, but then again I'm no wizard when it comes down to computers.
    I do not want a FAT16 HDD computer just for the sake of it working, I'd guess no "modern" OS runs on that.

    If You have any stand-alone solutions other than USB, I'm open to suggestions.

  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    I had a SCSI Zip Drive.

    Those things were awesome compared to floppies, but as soon as 256mb USB drives came out for 1/6 the price, everybody dumped their Zip drives in the trash.

    Anyway, have you thought about an eSata drive?
  10. They made all three types -- which may be part of the solution
    here. What is the ultimate goal of the OP? It sounds like it
    is to read some Zip disks. Why else would you want to hook
    up a Zip drive?

    If that is the case, it may save you a lot of time and aggravation
    to simply buy a USB Zip drive. I just saw one for $33 on ebay.
    Why buy crazy hardware (e.g. USB to SCSI adapter) that costs
    twice as much?

    Zip drives were awesome in their day. Compared to a floppy
    drive they were huge and fast.
  11. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Buy a cable, it will work.
    Transfer your data, save it on a modern media and ditch your Zip antiquity.
  12. Hi.

    Nope, the primary goal is not to read ZIP disks.

    The primary goal is to transfer tracks in .wav format easily and fast back and forth between a PC and a Fostex VF16.

    The ultimate goal is to backup (more complex than just the tracks) song data in USB media.

    I can -and I am ATM- using S/PDIF optical to transfer the tracks, but the tracks are saved on two tracks (L/R) into a row separated by a locating pulse. (tracks 1&2, pulse, tracks 3&4, pulse, tracks 5&6, pulse, etc.)
    Since it happens in real time, saving (/loading) time is used tracks/2 times the lenght of the recording. Then the blocks of two tracks has to be separated on Audacity or something more advanced to be processed.
    If and when I want to transfer the tracks back to the VF16, I have to re-arrange the tracks back into two track form, and the locating pulses also have to be exactly right.

    The VF16 has a SCSI port for avoiding all that hassle.
    A simple device or a cable that would allow me to connect a USB media to the said VF16 is what I'm after.

    Like I said earlier, the media on the opposite end to the SCSI has to be DOS FAT16 formatted if PC compatibility is desired, which obviously complicates things.

    Saving/loading the song data might be somewhat easier as the VF16 is capable of formatting the media to the required FDMS-3 format.

    The ZIP drive is the "original" method of fast transfer and backup for song data, but since then the technology has advanced a tad ;).
    Not to mention that the "original" method has become obsolete and unsupported.

    Once again, the Zip was an example, someting people are more familiar with, and the very last resort for me if everything else fails.
    In fact, the ZIP is the very thing I'm trying to get rid of :).

    Are You sure?
    Because the more I read about SCSI<>USB, the more convinced am that nothing as simple, if anything, will :(.

  13. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    You will always find ways to recover data from old medias. I recently picked up pictures from a 5"1/4 disk.
    As said there are cables on eBay for way cheaper than you quoted.
    Now using them day to day doesn't make much sense, expecially in the times of 16gb usb keys for 10 bucks and 3 Tb external hard drives.
    Another solution could be to buy an used USB Zip drive off eBay, which you are likely to pay for less than the price of the cable.
  14. Hi.

    Sure, but I am not trying to recover anything, I'm looking for a method of easier, more convenient data transfer between two seemingly incompatible systems.
    Not to mention the backups, that I won't be able to do as effectively with the S/PDIF I'm using now or the ADAT that I have nothing to connect to a PC for.

    Yep, agreed, the very reason for this here thread ;).

    Like I've said, that's the very last resort.
    The time saved would be pretty much neglible then.

  15. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Linux and FreeBSD will read fat16 just fine.

    I highly doubt that today's windows versions do not but have no way to tell.

    I'm also not sure why you say "virtual drive".