Scythe Kama Connect 2 Page: 1
Introduction
 
Here's something straight from the 'why didn't we think of that ourselves?" category. If you're like us, you probably have a mass of spare SATA and PATA drives floating around, probably with all kinds of cherished data on them. In days of old, you'd have to find some fiddly enclosure for them, or - gasp! - open your case to install the things to get at those precious ones and zeroes. However, for those who work 'on the road' and right out of a laptop, the options available to allow connectivity of these devices are very restrictive to say the least.
 
Japanese company Scythe has heard your pain and subsequently manufactured a product that will allow you to connect to SATA and PATA devices with a minimal amount of fuss. The Scythe Kama Connect 2 is a Plug-n-Play ready device that will allow you to connect virtually and SATA or PATA enabled devices via a powered universal adaptor. Let's see what Scythe have to say about their Kama Connect 2:
 
Upgraded version of the Easy-to-connect S-ATA & ATAPI drives via USB port, Kama Connect 2 is available! Plug-n-Play ready & allows you to connect S-ATA & ATAPI drives simultaneously! The friendly universal AC Adaptor (100 - 240V, 50/60Hz) and carrying pouch for both 2.5/3.5inch HDD are included for frequent travelers!
 
Scythe Kama Connect 2
Scythe Kama Connect 2
 
Lets have a look at the Kama Connect 2's specifications
 
Specifications
 
The specifications were taken directly from the Scythe Kama Connect 2's Product Page.
 
Model Name:
Kama Connect 2

Model #:
SCUPS-2000

Manufacturer:
Scythe Co., Ltd. Japan

Dimensions:
90 x 62 x 20 mm (Unit)
115 x 57.5 x 32 mm (AC Adaptor)
107 x 77 x 13.4mm (2.5inch HDD Carrying Pouch)
151 x 108 x 29.5mm (3.5inch HDD Carrying Pouch)

Compatibility:
- S-ATA Drive (2.5/3.5inch HDD, Optical Drive)
- 40-pin ATAPI Drive
- (3.5inch HDD, Optical Drive, IDE/EIDE, ATA33/66/100/133 Ready)
- 44-pin 2.5inch HDD

Compatible O/S:
Windows Me/2000/XP/Vista

Build-In LED:
Power On/Off & Access LED

AC Adaptor:
Input: 100 - 240V, 50/60Hz
On/Off Power Switch Built-On Unit Type
 
The options available to you with the Kama Connect 2 are amazing, especially when you consider that alternative products really only allow for 3.5" and 2.5" HDD connectivity via an USB powered dock. Nice touch Scythe!
 
Let's head over the page to have a look at the Scythe Kama Connect 2 in a little more detail...


Scythe Kama Connect 2 Page: 2
Packaging
 
The Scythe Kama Connect 2 comes packaged in a sturdy cardboard box that displays the usual amount of advertising that we have come to expect from Scythe. The front cover shows off the connectivity options of the Kama Connect 2 and the rear shows the adaptor in a little more detail.
 
Packaging front Packaging rear
Packaging side Packaging inside
 
The unit itself is housed within compartments of cardboard and should adequately protect the unit if dropped during transit. All things considered, the Kama Connect 2 is well packaged and should arrive in one piece at your doorstep. Included in the package are:
 
* 1 x Silicon for a 3.5" HDD
* 1 x Silicon jacket for 2.5" HDD
* Power Adaptor and cord
* 4-pin cable for power supply
* USB cable
* Installation manual
 
Let's have a closer look at the Scythe Kama Connect 2.
 
A Closer Look
 
After taking the contents out of the packaging we can see what is included a little clearer. The Silicon HDD boots are made from good quality rubber with breather holes in the bottom and a flap that can be fixed to prevent damage to your drives by them sliding out.
 
Package contents 3.5" HDD silicon boot
Power supply
 
The power supply is ROHS compliant, manufactured by Coming Data and appears to be of good quality.
 
The Scythe Kama Connect 2's adaptor is made from lightweight plastic, and feels quite sturdy. The switch feels very robust and not cheap.
 
 
Kama Connect 2 adaptor Kama Connect Adaptor_2
 
The Scythe Kama Connect 2 really does provide a lot of connectivity from such a little adaptor. However, there are some caveats to bear in mind: you can't connect 2 x IDE devices simultaneously (although IDE + SATA is fine); you cannot connect 2 x IDE and 1 x SATA devices simultaneously, and the adaptor does not support NCQ or 3GBps throughput.
 
3.5" IDE 2.5" IDE
SATA
 
Let's head over the page to see how easy the Scythe Kama Connect 2 is to install...


Scythe Kama Connect 2 Page: 3
Installation
 
Installation of the Scythe Kama Connect 2 is as easy as connecting your chosen hardware, inserting the power plug and USB cable into a spare USB port and switching it on. You can see that I chose to use a trusty old Pioneer DVR-A06 CD/DVD drive and a Seagate 7200.10 80GB SATA II hard disk drive.
 
The blue LED that you can see shines steady and is indicative of power getting to the unit, the red LED shows HDD activity.
 
Scythe Kama Connect 2 Scythe Kama Connect 2_2
 
One thing that does warrant a mention here though is that the supplied USB cable may be too short (setup dependent of course). For those of you who have the desk space available and have your chassis on the desk itself, then you should be fine. However, for those who have their chassis sitting on the floor, you may run into trouble when trying to get the cable to stretch that far. Owners of notebooks shouldn't encounter any problems.
 
Let's head over the page to see how we're going to test the Scythe Kama Connect 2...


Scythe Kama Connect 2 Page: 4
Testing Methodology
 
I must admit that I was quite stumped initially as to how to test the Scythe Kama Connect 2. I mean basically you connect all the leads, connect your chosen storage devices and then power it on....and it should work, right? Although, it's hardly the kind of performance testing that you'd expect from us at Overclock3D. Anyway I've chosen to assess the Kama Connect 2 on two fronts: compatibility and speed.
 
Compatibility
 
Scythe market the Kama Connect 2 as being compatible with ME/2000/XP and Vista flavours of Windows, and that the unit is universally 'Plug and Play' compliant. Unfortunately, I seem to have lost my copy of Windows ME :p and I don't have a copy of Windows 2000, so XP and Vista will have to do. I will be installing the Kama Connect 2 on machines running Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista to ensure that there aren't any compatibility issues.
 
Speed
 
Any storage device connected to the Scythe Kama Connect will essentially be transferring data via the USB bus. Now the USB 2.0 bus has an absolute, or raw data rate of around 480Mbps which would be pretty impressive if we could achieve that kind of bandwidth. However, the effective rate (read: realistic data rate) is around 40Mbps or considerably higher for bulk transfers if no one else is sharing the bus. I decided to test the HDD over USB 2.0 bus speed using HDTach vers. 3.0 for XP, and Sisoft SANDRA for Windows Vista.
 
Now on with the testing...
 
Test Results
 
Compatibility
 
I'm happy to say that the Kama Connect 2 played happily together with both Windows XP and its younger sibling - Vista.
 
Vista detect
 
Both the Pioneer CD/DVD burner and my Seagate SATA II drive were installed as USB devices. Mmmm...SATA II/PATA over USB.
 
Scythe Kama Connect 2 installed
 
Speed
 
As I expected, my 80Gb Seagate HDD was turned into an 80Gb flash drive in one swoop. Although the speed isn't what you would expect from the HDD, it was certainly functional and perfectly acceptable for transferring files.
 
HDTach results
 
SiSoft Sandra reported similar findings in Windows Vista.
 
SiSoft SANDRA
 
Let's head over the page to see what conclusions we can draw from todays review of the Scythe Kama Connect 2...


Scythe Kama Connect 2 Page: 5
Conclusion
 
So how well did the Scythe Kama Connect 2 perform during todays review?
 
To be honest, I really do think that the Kama Connect 2 is a great little item for providing additional connectivity without too much fuss. It's relatively compact, and as such, can be easily stored in a notebook carry bag or even permanently installed on your desk space. For those wanting to use it 'on the road' and away from a mains power supply, unfortunately you are all out of luck unless you happen to have one of those cigarette lighter power inverter gizmo's.
 
The overall presentation of the Kama Connect 2 is everything that we've come to expect from Scythe - solidly constructed and most certainly fit for a purpose.
 
The Scythe Kama Connect 2 can be purchased from Quiet PC for £25.00 inc 17.5% VAT.
 
The Good
Solid construction
Relatively small footprint
Connectivity options
Facilitates perfectly acceptable read/write speeds
• Innovative
 
The Mediocre
• USB cable could be longer
• Requires mains power
 
The Bad
• Nothing to report
 
 Innovation award
 
Overclock3D would like to thank Scythe EU for providing todays review sample
 
Would you be able to utilise the Scythe Kama Connect 2? Feel free to tell us about it in our forum