Home » Products » Sonnet » Sonnet Echo Express III-R Rackmount Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis

Sonnet Echo Express III-R Rackmount Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis

Echo Express III - 3-Slot Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards

Three Slots, No Compromises

3 PCIe SlotsSonnet’s Echo Express III enables you to connect three compatible full-size professional video capture, audio interface, and other special-purpose cards to your iMac®, Mac® mini, MacBook® Air, or MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt port. The Echo Express III integrates a universal 300W power supply and includes a 75W auxiliary power connector for cards that require supplementary power. Even with all that power, the III is enviro-friendly; it automatically powers on/off when the connected computer powers on/off or sleeps. The use of larger, slower-spinning fans in the Echo Express III makes it the quietest Echo chassis yet. Two Thunderbolt ports support daisy chaining of up to six devices to a single port on your computer.

Desktop or Rackmount

The Echo Express III is available in two versions, the III-D (desktop) and III-R (rackmount), to suit your workflow needs. The III-D’s form factor makes it easy to transport. The III-R mounts in a rack space 2U tall, and is just 15.75″ deep, making it perfect for use in a wide range of popular mobile racks, carts, rack-bags, and server rooms as well. The III-R even saves space for other equipment—with the optional Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit, you can install one or two mobile rack devices in the III-R’s rack enclosure.

Shipping Info Updates

Key Features

Connect Professional PCIe Cards—Use high-performance PCIe card with Thunderbolt-equipped computers

Three PCIe Slots—Support three full-lenght, full-height, single-width cards, or one double-width card plus one single-width card

Desktop or Rackmount—Available as desktop model or 2U rackmount model with space for optional mobile rack device mounting kit

Optional Mobile Rack Kit—Optional Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit supports installation of two single-height mobile rack peripherals or one double-height peripheral

Temperature-Controlled, Variable-Speed Fans—Large, temperature-controlled fans automatically operate slower and quieter with cooler cards, providing better cooling for hot cards

Integrated Universal Power Supply—Built-in 300W power supply with 75W auxiliary power connector

Rugged Aluminum or Steel Housing—Provides robust and secure protection for any environment

Fast Today, Faster In the Future—User-upgradable to Thunderbolt 2 technology and beyond

Echo Express III-D & III-R Overview

3 PCIe Slots. Desktop or Rackmount Configuration. Quiet and Cool Operation. Available in either desktop or rackmount configuraiton, Echo Express III connects three of your favorite half-length or full-length pro PCIe cards to any computer with a Thunderbolt port. Carefully engineered airflow management, and efficient, temperature-controlled fans quiety cool PCIe cards. Echo Express III allows quick access to PCIe cards; unlock and pull the assembly from the enclosure to gain open access.

PCIe 2.0 Cards Over Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt LogoToday’s ultra-light notebooks, mini, and all-in-one desktop computers now have tremendous processing power—power that many people thought would only be possible in full-size desktop computers. Smaller in size and portable, they’re very desirable. For professionals in the creative fields, this processing power alone is not enough. You need expansion slots to install specialty cards to connect various video and audio inputs, for processing data, and to connect to high-speed storage and networks. The problem is, only desktop computers (which aren’t very portable) have expansion slots, and currently available PCI Express® expansion for notebook computers has been very limited in performance—until now.

Sonnet’s Echo Express Express III-D and III-R make it possible to use full-size professional video capture, audio interface, SAS & SATA HBA, 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and RAID controller PCIe cards with your Thunderbolt port equipped Mac.

PCIe Cards

Smart Design Inside and Out

Aluminum LogoConstructed of rugged and lightweight aluminum, the outer shell of the Echo Express III-D securely protects the PCIe cards installed inside without weighing you down. The Echo Express III-R’s heavy-duty steel enclosure not only provides secure mounting for the inner assembly, but it supports maximum airflow for cooling, regardless of where it is installed in a rack. The III-R saves space for other equipment — utilizing the optional Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit, you can install two 5.25-inch form factor mobile rack devices in the III-R’s enclosure. Both the III-D and III-R include an internal 300W universal power supply with a 75W auxiliary power connector and power harness cable that provide ample power for cards with high power requirements. Two large, remarkably quiet, temperature-controlled, variable-speed fans and airflow management ensure that hot-running cards and the chassis’ components remain reliably cool. Because the fans automatically speed up and slow down in steps as needed, there is no guesswork Echo Express III-D Airflowin setting a switch position, and no need for tools to change settings. Echo Express products are enviro-friendly, automatically powering on and off with your computer.

Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit
Add Two 5.25″ Mobile Rack Peripherals to Your Echo Express III-R Expansion Chassis

Using the mobile rack mounting kit, you can install two 5.25-inch mobile rack devices inside the III-R’s enclosure, such as an internal LTO 6 tape drive plus four swappable 2.5-inch SSDs. An alternate configuration might include a Sonnet Qio™ MR pro universal media reader. Or, install one full height mobile rack devices, such as three swappable 3.5-inch hard disk drives—now you can add more devices to your rack without taking up additional rack space. The Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit includes an internal 80W power supply inside to power the installed devices, an internal fan to cool the installed devices, and mounting hardware to secure the devices and the kit itself.

Mobile Rack Kit with three swappable 3.5″ hard disk drives
Location for
Echo Express IIIR

Mobile Rack Kit
Add an Optional Mobile Rack Kit for Custom Peripheral Configurations


Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit for Added Versatility—
Add two 5.25″ moble rack peripherals to your Echo Express III-R. Install one full-height or two half-height mobile rack devices (such as an LTO tape drive and a Sonnet Qio MR pro media reader) using the optional Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit

RED Rocket Supporter

If you’re a RED Rocket user, you already know that the card normally takes up two PCIe slots—one for the card itself and another for the BNC connector bracket (for HD-SDI output). Sonnet designed the Echo Express III-D and Echo Express III-R to make the card work in one slot without sacrificing any connections. These Echo chassis include mounting holes designed specifically for the installation of two BNC connectors, enabling you to install the RED Rocket card in one slot and its BNC connectors in the Echo chassis’ mounting holes, leaving the two remaining slots open.

Echo Express III BNC Connector Mounting Holes

Designed for BNC Connector Cables—Echo Express III’s back panel has two mounting holes for BNC connectors, allowing the use of a RED Rocket card without the need for the BNC connector bracket that would normally occupy a valuable PCIe slot.

Fast Today, Faster In the Future

Echo Express III-D with New Mac ProWith announcements in the news from Intel and Apple regarding Thunderbolt 2, you may be wondering about whether you should wait until some unknown time in the future to purchase Thunderbolt products. As it stands today, there are no Thunderbolt 2 products to buy. The new Mac Pro is the only announced product with Thunderbolt 2 so far, but it won’t be available until late 2013. Sonnet’s Echo Express III-D and III-R are designed with the future in mind, and will be user-upgradeable to Thunderbolt 2 technology and beyond. Rest assured, we are moving quickly to deliver these advanced 3-slot Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express expansion solutions, and will offer an economical upgrade to this new technology as soon as possible.

For more information about Sonnet solutions, or to place an order, call (310) 922-1631

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