But today I don't see any HARDWARE device for cheap. At least it's an one time expense for your forensics work.
Sometimes I need to clone a hard drive before attempting to recover data from it. To prevent from accidentally writing anything to the drive, is there a sata drive dock with hardware write-protection?
The only thing I found cost US$250 and is made by weibetech. That's 5 times the price of a regular drive dock. Is there something more reasonable? I don't want software solution (not reliable).
As for interface to the PC, either USB2, esata, or firewire.
I'm not doing any "forensic" work, just practicing safe data handling. The makers of these devices tag on the word "forensic" to justify the high price tag.
To make matters worse no reputable dealers (e.g. newegg) are selling write-block devices. So you basically have to buy from the makers at the list price.
The alternative you suggest cost even more
Perhaps someday china would make this, then it would be a cheap-looking device that sells for $20.