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PCI Express Docking Stations

Docking Stations provide an easy way to use PCI Express (PCIe) cards, with a Notebook PC, or to add further slots to a desktop or industrial computer. This provides the advantages of ease of access to the cards and produce a system with almost limitless functionality. So for example, with Spectrum PCI Express boards installed, you could have a signal capture system, waveform generator and bus analyser all in one chassis. By insertion of different PCIe cards it is possible to produce a system with almost limitless functionality

Combining a docking station with a Notebook PC allows greater portability for operation out in the field, within vehicles, or simply as a way to move between different test rigs, without having to carry around a heavy desktop PC. This solution helps utilise the investment you may have already made in a Notebook / Laptop PC. Below is information on the Magma ExpressBox EB3T-V3, manufactured by One Stop Systems Inc., which fulfills this requirement nicely.

Another potentially very useful application is to combine the docking station with industial specification compact computer. Normally the lack of PCIe slots and capability to remove excess heat stops the installation of PCI-Express cards, but with a docking station this is no problem. The Magma EB7 model will provide seven additional slots. Magma™ PCIe Docking Station / expansion systems are essentially transparent to the installed card and "plug and play" to the PC system, therefore extra drivers are not normally required, just those for your PCIe card.

As an experienced U.K. distributor of docking station systems, both in terms of their application and support DataQuest Solutions is here to gladly offer further technical advice and the full range of products, so at any time please feel free to contact us concerning your requirements.

Triple PCIe slot model ExpressBox EB3T-V3

PCIe Docking Station, three full-length PCI slots

The ExpressBox EB3T-V3 provides a simple and neat enclosure for up to three full-length PCI Express cards. Ease of access to cards installed in the makes the EB3T-V3 an ideal companion for testing and design work. The three internal interface PCIe slots are electrically x8-lane, however physically two of the slots will allow a x16-lane card to fit. Cooling is taken care of by a 80mm speed-adjustable fan neatly fitted at one end of the light aluminium chassis. For very high power cards we even supply an additional turbine fan; however please note that this takes up one card space. The EB3T-V3 docking Station can accept a wide-ranging AC supply (100-230V). The supplied U.K AC cable simply plugs into the back, with other AC cables types available on request.

The EB3T-V3 has a Thunderbolt™ 3 interface. Most commonly found on Apple® Macintosh® computers, it is now being introduced on the latest Windows™ computers too as USB-C. For older computers it is often possible to use a Thunderbolt 3 adapter card. We presently do not provide the adapter cards, however we can provide the Thunderbolt cables as an additional purchase (active and passive - see below). EB3T-V3 devices can be daisy chained together as dual porting is provided on the chassis.

  • Easy Plug and Play installation
  • Caters for all sizes of PCI Express cards even full length
  • Slots for cards have x8-lane PCIe Gen3 technology
  • Suitable for any notebook or desktop PC with a Thunderbolt port
  • Lightening fast Thunderbolt 3 features bandwidth speeds up to 40 Gbps
  • Dual Thunderbolt ports allows daisy-chaining of the EB3T-V3 units
  • Low noise high efficiency 300 Watt internal power supply
  • Provides dedicated power and cooling for PCI Express cards
  • Slide-back lid provides quick access to installed PCI Express cards

      Cover removal

sliding back the docking station cover for access to card bay

Quiet fan for card bay

Easy fan removal. Jumper setting allows speed change

            Simple PCIe card installation.

Insertion of full-length PCI-Express card into TB3F Docking Station

Here a full length PCI-Express card is inserted vertically into the backplane slot of the 3-slot EB3T-V3 Docking Station. Full-length cards get additional support by guide rails fixed to the rear of the chassis. The lid is then slid back into position and held firmly in place by a thumb screw.

This solution can be carried with minimal effort to any site and a shoulder bag is included in the delivery.

For more technical details, please follow the links below:

link to the detailed specifications for Expressbox 3 slot Docking Station Three slot PCIe Docking Station data sheet

link to the manual for the Expressbox 3 slot Docking Station Three slot PCIe Docking Station manual

Seven PCIe slot model EB7-X8G2

PCIe Docking Station. Seven PCIe slots

For even greater numbers of cards up to seven PCI Express slots are available in this unit. Hot-swap of cards is possible and the 550 watt power supply allows high powered ½, ¾ & full-length PCIe boards to be fitted. The 4U high chassis may be rack mounted if required. The EB7-X8G2 is available with bandwidth, 4000 mega bytes/sec. Please use the data sheet at the bottom of this Web page for more technical details on the PCIe slots and their performance.

Up to four additional hard drives can be fitted. For this an optional drive cage is required, order code: RDRIVECAGE. Please state if required at time of order. A third-party PCIe hard drive controller card is required too; however many are available on the computer market and quite inexpensive. This can then be fitted into one of the seven available PCI slots of the EB7.

link to the detailed specifications for 7 slot Docking Station Seven slot PCIe Docking Station data sheet

Specifications overview

EB3T-V3Three (all card lengths up to 312mm)371mm x 110mm x 200mm 2.72KgExternal 100 to 240V AC
EB7-X8G2Seven (all card lengths up to 312mm) 483mm x 450mm X 178mm 11.84Kg External 100 to 240V AC

Interface for desktop and notebook PC'sInterface for desktop and compact PC's
PCI_express card for interface The Thunderbolt connection ony requires a standard Thunderbolt 3 cable and Thunderbolt 3 port in the Notebook or desktop PC. Up to 5 Gbytes/sec. (40Gbps)† performance depending on cable used (active or passive).

Suitable for EB3T-V3.

Optional additional purchase.
Order code EB3T-CAB1.0-A; (active 1 metre 40Gbps † colour black).
Order code EB3T-CAB1.0-P; (passive 1 metre 20Gbps † colour white).
PCI_express card for interface Low profile eight-lane PCI-Express interface card option to slot inside a desktop / compact PC. Data transfer bandwidth 2 GBytes/sec. (4GBytes/sec. duplex)†.

Suitable for: EB7-X8G2.

Included in delivery.
† Streaming bandwith given theoretical maximum. Actual bandwidth performance may be lower due to other hardware components and drivers.

OS compatibility:- Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, Mac OS X® (versions 10.4 +),
Also Windows Server 2008 onwards, Linux®, Oracle Solaris®.

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