Storage

Meet the fanless eWay TK-63T and install a hard drive

Justin James is building a low-energy UNIX server using the fanless eWay TK-63T bare bones system. Once he finishes the build, he'll run IPCop to act as a router, gateway, virus scanner, spam filter, firewall, VPN gateway, and more. In this gallery, Justin introduces us to the eWay TK-63T and walks through the hard drive installation.

For a complete description of his experience ordering the TK-63T and installing the hard drive, check out his TechRepublic article, Get to know the versatile eWay TK-63T--and install a hard drive yourself.

The box and drive CD-ROM for the TK-63T

Credit: Justin James and Marilyn Kay

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

10 comments
w.anderson
w.anderson

Soekris has been building a similar machine for years, here in the US. If the need is handling packets, the newer 4801 is a very good unit. We have had older 4501 models running in the closet for years without being touched. If the need is watching a DVD (with the movie ripped onto a 500 Gb {or more} external drive), then the VIA 800 Mhz chipset is able to handle the compression much better.

csbeltran
csbeltran

I see the ide cable is only 40 wire; is the speed limited to ata 33?

mdmenterprises
mdmenterprises

Hi, I must say that the unit that you are using is not a very good unit. If you would like to build a fanless system which you can also place in your car or anywhere else for that matter then you really have to use a SWAGMAN Series Micro Computer Chasis. They are just so small and will do everything you want it to do PLUS alot more. There Australian Built and are the best quality units we have found plus they can be built to just about any spec you want. The eWay looks very cheap and narsty plus if anybody out there who does not know how to install a laptop hard drive into a unit then they should stop working in IT. Thanks

Tom Wind
Tom Wind

looks like a good project to replace office computers. right now we are using Dell's - they are small, very quiet, but you cannot connect a standard cd-rom to it. You cannot also change the graphic card. Build in Intel graphic card works very good, unfortunatelly 'someone' didn't think of it and its impossible to play NFS Carbon on it, while Underground 2 works great. I think those are the only - I can think of. I remeber good old days when I was happy to buy a veeeery big pc case to put in all my hdd's and install additional fan's to cool it down. Now 500GB is nothing and you can have it in a box 1/10 of the size of my old box. What will future bring?

Justin James
Justin James

To be honest, I like the product a lot... except for the speed. To build a router, the 4801 is perfect because ot has the three NICs, the third can go to a wireless access point or a DMZ switch. The problem is the processor speed. A 266 mHz 586 class CPU just is not so hot to function as a gateway router. The 800 mHz VIA in the TK-63T is a better choice for that purpose. It really is a tradeoff. One way I might do it, for a really robust network, would be to pair the two devices. Use the TK63-T at the CSU/DSU to perform gateway scanning, and split between the DMZ and the LAN, and the 4801 at the front of the LAN to handle the full access LAN and a limited access wireless network. That would be a very effective, low power, low noise, low cost (about $300 total for the TK-63T setup that I describe in my article, running a full IPCop + CopFilter setup, and $290 + a 512 MB CF card [$20, tops] for the 4801) SOHO network. Best of all, with the two devices split out, you can put them in separate physical locations if needed. Thanks for the pointer on this one; I may have to give the 4801 a spin, especially since I may want to add wireless to the mix when I move next month! J.Ja

Justin James
Justin James

It is a standard 44 pin notebook drive cable... a 40 pin IDE cable + 4 pins for power. I double checked IPCop's boot messages, and confirmed that it is running at UDMA 33. Up until recently, SATA was rare in notebooks. I am not sure if they make any 84 pin cables this size, that carry power and will allow the drive to run at the full UDMA 100 that it is rated at. I am pretty sure that the drive controller supports it, it should support 66, at the very least. J.Ja

whd
whd

Care to give a link for the SWAGMAN?

#1 Kenster
#1 Kenster

Bigger on the inside than on the outside... 10K machines used to take up whole floors.

NOW LEFT TR
NOW LEFT TR

Found it first time - SWAGMAN Computers

whd
whd

Nothings wrong with them as long as you search the right thing. I searched 'SWAGMAN Series Micro Computer Chasis'.