Atomos’ latest Ninja and Shogun monitor/recorders are pretty awesome, but if there’s one thing the company should work on it is the way you remove your master caddies from the recorder. I can relate to the need for the caddy to sit really tight when recording, but it should be made in such a way that you have to press hard to get the caddy moving — so hard, you risk damaging the top surface.
Atomos may not have solved this problem, but others have. Angelbird, the Austrian developer and manufacturer of SSD technology, has come up with a solution that’s as simple as it is brilliant. They have developed an SSD master caddy specifically for the Shogun Flame, the Ninja Flame and the Shogun Inferno. It’s made of aluminium and equipped with a generous, elevated heat sink covering the part of its top surface that sits free when mounted. It’s a brilliant solution, not just because of the heat sink but at least as much because it has a “double thumb cavity”. That cavity allows you to pull the SSD out of the recorder without effort.
However, Angelbird’s aluminium enclosure is an extra. The enclosure is not part of the company’s core product range. The core product is the SSD that’s inside. Rumour has it that these are the best SSDs a professional can buy. But as I have never reviewed one, I can’t tell you if it would make sense to buy one even if you have others lying around.
So, if you want to buy only such a master caddy, you’re out of luck.
The problem with the Atomos “original” plastic caddies is that they’re rather flimsy. With an SSD, which often lacks just a little bit of height to fill up the caddy all the way to the top surface, pressing hard on the top surface risks damaging the plastic — it often bends when I do. Yet, it is the only way you can set them free from the SATA interface.
Not as brilliant or elegant as Angelbird’s solution perhaps, but I came up with a solution of my own.
All you need is a plastic sheet or some tape and a pair of scissors. I used the packaging plastic of my iPad, cut to fit the width of slightly less than the Atomos master caddy. The plastic is glossy, transparent (so virtually invisible) and thin enough not to interfere with a perfect fit of the upper and bottom parts of the caddy.
I used a piece of about 6cm and fixed about half of that onto the bottom inside with extra strong sellotape. I left about a third of the plastic on the outside as the grip. I mounted the SSD and closed the two halves. Now I can pull the plastic grip to pull the caddy straight out.
It’s not at all elegant, but it does the job and it’s better, safer and quicker than trying to remove the master caddy of an Atomos Shogun/Ninja Flame or Inferno without.