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Montag, 6. August 2012

On the go image backup for 10€ only

While traveling I am very cautious about image loss. I regularly switch memory cards to minimize the impact of defect cards. The only thing missing so far was a quick and easy mobile backup solution

Since a cloud based backup is no solution due to the huge amount of data and service availability I was thinking of getting one of these image tanks. But I just could not get myself on spending 300€ for a mobile hard drive with a SD Card slot.
my mobile backup solution: smart phone + USB hub + sd-2-usb adapter + external USB HDD

But finally I found the perfect solution:

  • small USB hub with power supply (8€) 
  • a USB OTG (on the go) cable (3€)
  • a SDHC - USB adapter (0€, came with one of my cards)
  • my old 2.5" 250 GB external USB hard drive (0€, already there)
  • my Samsung Galaxy S2 (0€, already there)
--> saved 290€ :-)

Now I can copy the content of my SD cards everywhere where I have access to 110V or 220V power supply!


Copying a full 8GB SD card (Panasonic SDHC, class 10) from my Nikon D90 to the external drive took 12 minutes.

Some remarks:

  • You need a smartphone with a USB host controler and USB OTG (on the go) support
  • I use the regular file browser that comes with Android 4.0.4
  • If you whant to use a external HDD you need an active USB hub with power supply
  • The hub I got does not offer power suply fot the USB host (our smartphone), maybe there are others that could also charge the phone while it copies the data.
  • Should also work with compact flash cards or memory sticks, just get the correct card-2-usb adapter
  • Some posters on the net suggest to connect the HDD and the Card first to the hub, before connecting it to the phone (I do not know why. I did not have any problems during my test. But will do anyways, because why not?)

Final note of caution

I also read some post that talked about broken HDDs and hung up phones. So try at your own risk. Don't sue me! :-)


  1. Do you use an app on your phone to do the copying, or do you do it old-school via a shell?


    1. Hi,
      just use the regular file browser that comes with Android 4.0.4. Both devices show up as USBDeviceA and USBDeviceB and I just copy the complete contents.