I was looking for a watertight case to store a bunch of 3.5″ hard drives. The idea was to protect the off-line backups from water damge in case sprinklers get activated in the building. It was decided that water or dust damage was a more likely threat than fire, so the solution did not have to be fire safe.
I chose the Pelican 1525 Air case because, from the specs, it looked like it had a good fit for the drawer where we have been storing the hard drives already and because it seemed that it would accept a hard drive vertically, thus maximising use of the case volume.
The foam can be cut to fit 30 hard drives – two rows of thirteen plus one row of four. The resulting slots are a perfect fit for a hard drive – removing 2×8 square sections creates slots that are just right to accept the hard drive vertically. Enough of the hard drive protrudes above the slot, making grabbing them easy.
One caveat is that the lid is difficult to close because it is filled with foam. Thirty drives have quite a bit of surface area to make compressing the foam in the lid very hard. Our solution was to get rid of the foam from the lid, because we don’t need that much physical protection. The case will be stored in a drawer and there is no danger associated with removing the padding from the lid. If you need to leave padding in the lid, you may have to modify the foam in the lid and/or in the bottom, to either make it a bit thinner or to create notches where the hard drives come into contact with the foam.
We store three hard drives per year, so thirty hard drives allow for ten years of offline backups to be stuffed into one Pelican case.