Like other Raspberry Pi 4 owners I’ve been wrestling with which is the best power option – can I use 2 SSDs – how do I ensure which SSD will start first – what case to use and related questions – well, I’m at an interesting peak with this right now – apart from the case part of it.. anyway, here’s a photo – in the middle of that lot is my 2GB RPi4 running all my home control on an SSD drive as it has for months now… but now I’ve a backup drive on the same setup.
Having recently purchased a dual SATA board to fit UNDER my RPi4, I completed the setup with the purchaase of an X735 v2.5 “Power Management and PWM cooling Fan Expansion Board with Safe Shutdown” which sits on TOP of the RPi4. I have tried MANY different boards, cases and hats to achieve what I have here and despite having no case, this current setup appears to be the most functional. It requires a separate power supply – I have a plug-in-the-wall 5v 3A supply (not shown, boring) which as you’ll see plugs into the power board. T
he Pi is running at a reaonasble temperature (<45c processor) despite no heatsinks though I may still fit one if I can get something into the small space available. I’m running two SATA drives, one hopefully as a backup and up to now, the Pi appears to RELIABLY always start on the second SATA – I’ve been trying to clarify this for ages with the RPi without results but here we are. If a programmed SD is inserted, that will obviously take precidence.
None of this is of course cost-effective, RPi + PSU + these two boards takes you well past a second hand laptop:-) But it works, it is on 24-7 and I’m happy.
BUT if this PSU controller appeals you will need to know this: In order to have auto power up, you will need to insert a supplied link on the board. In addition, by default, the fan does not turn on. You need to grab some free software… I found the description here – but of course if AliExpress stop selling the product that link will go dead. SOO – there is a site called Raspberrypiwiki with a link to X735. Apparently Geekworm do a 5v 4A plug-in-the-wall supply. I noted that on Amazon.es, while also noting they are also selling the older v2.0 version of ths power board shown here.
The board handles safe power-off – but I have my RPi4 on a mains UPS to be sure. With this and the bottom dual SATA controller there is no longer a use for the RPI USB-C power input which has been problamatic in the past with dual SATA drives (some say the Pi power controller has issues – I just know I could not run 2 SATA SSDs without power glitches). This lot uses up RPi USB-C but the SATA board gave me two USB3 connectors for general use – overall gain, one USB 3, one USB-C and one micro-USB.
This is the AliExpress link for my SATA board, no guarantees the link will be valid when you read this – they also have a metal case but of course if you are using WiFi on your RPI, that’s probably not a good idea. I’m using Ethernet but the case isn’t very pretty anyway. Embedded black metal heatsinks I see on the above link will not fit in this scenario. Also the “specially made” USB jumper turned out to be an unreliable short USB lead. I binned it and bought a slightly longer USB-USB lead (male-to-male).