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Macho Mini

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by MrBean, 2 Nov 2011.

  1. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    Hello Guys,
    Pretty excited about this one.

    How would you go fitting 8x hard-drives + a Crucial M4 SSD, a 140mm radiator, DDC pump, res, 450W PSU and Wade-8011 mini-itx into a Lian-Li PC-Q08?

    Easy, I would reckon.

    Check this space.

    As a teaser, the following components have been acquired, and running in test-setup mode in the box, aircooled, with Server 2008 R2 installed:

    Portwell Wade-8011 C206-based Mini-ITX board
    Xeon E3 1245 (3.30hz)
    2x 4GB Crucial ECC Ram
    1x Crucial M4 128GB SSD (for OS)

    1x Lian-Li PC-Q08(black)
    450W SFF PSU

    1x SuperMicro USAS-S8iR SAS Controller (to check operability in Server 2008)
    1x HP 8x SAS SFF Drive-cage, yes, the same as in Project Blackbird
    4x 74GB SAS Drives - this will make way for 8x 146GB drives in the not-so-distant future

    1x DDC 3.25 Pump
    1x SR1 140mm Rad
    Ek Supreme LTX CPU Block
    Various BP fittings
    7/16" Tygon tubing

    Will assemble with Watercooling components on the weekend, and post pics - won't take long on this one at all, everthing ready to assemble one mean mofo of a Xeon-based mini-itx FileServer :)

    @ Mods: Please move to Worklogs.
     
    Last edited: 2 Nov 2011
  2. xSoMBrAx

    xSoMBrAx Minimodder

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    I was not surprised at all until I googled for Lian-Li PC-Q08 after reading mini-itx lol

    Good luck and post some pictures or sketch with your fitting plan :D
     
  3. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    Will post pics on the weekend, thanx Mate :)

    I never do a pre-plan sketch, I have it all planned in my head.....probably whe I sometimes take so long finalising projects, haha.
     
  4. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Pics of work in progress, or it isn't a project log... Moved to Modding for now.
     
  5. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    @ Nexxo: I will post pics on the weekend, no worries.

    And it's a Worklog, I promise :lol:
     
  6. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    Heya Everyone,
    Got lots done today, and will post pictures tomorrow. Nearly midnight here, and off to bed.

    Just a teaser - system up and running on water, going very well, and full-load, around 16-17 deg C better off on the cpu vs air. Not to shabby for a single 140 with fan running at 900rpm/16db.

    Got the drive-cage fitted too, psu relocated, lots of fun - but more tomorrow when I post the pics.

    Fun I had today :)
     
  7. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    Ok, as promised, quite a few progress pics of this mod.

    Before we start off, a quick photo of the basic hardware under testing, I ALWAYS do this part before modding, as very often, you end up putting big effort into a specific mod, based on very specific hardware-bits, just to stumble at the last hurdle, due to a dead bit of kit.

    So this setup was thoroughly tested, and, as can be expected of a system based on an industrial bit of kit, dead stable. For those that don't know Portwell, well, they're a pretty big supplier of high-quality Industrial Motherboards - one of our process-control systems are based upon them.

    Here is the setup running the Wade C206 chipset-based Xeon server board - all mini-itx, with 8gb of DDR3 ECC Ram, and Crucial M4 128gb SSD:

    [​IMG]

    Over the years, I have gathered a formidable arsenal of Watercooling goodies, bits of hardware from a lot of suppliers, and one of them is the well-designed (well, I thought so anyway) Apogee-Drive from Gabe at Swiftech.

    This remains the only piece of hardware that I have ever been sponsored with (Thanx Swiftech!) and I decided to put it to good use. Before today, it was removed from its box only to appreciate its beauty.

    Ah well, in for a surprise then, is it :rofl:

    [​IMG]

    Taking it apart reveals it is the venerable 10W (blue-impeller) DDC pump, very easily modded to 18W unit - I won't do that for this effort though, as it is not needed/desired, as we have only a single 140mm rad, and one CPU block.

    [​IMG]

    and the other side:

    [​IMG]

    and a close-up of the pcb-side - if you want to convert it to the 18W-version, simply join the wire/pad on the right with the unconnected pad far-right.

    [​IMG]

    For those that read my BlackBird log, you'll remember that I fitted 2x DDC-325's to the Koolance RP401X2, and modified the original pump-housings to fit in the Koolance res -> of course, I later got the Swiftech pump-heatsink kits, and removed the original 325 housings, and kept them for later use....

    One would work well here, so let's dress up that pump then, shall we:

    [​IMG]

    and here:

    [​IMG]

    Neither the original Apogee-Drive, nor the modded 325 housing had mounting tabs, so I had to make a plan - still had one of these left:

    [​IMG]

    which was a rather nice mod for the DDC-series of pumps - I will replace this in due course with the Swiftech unit, but needed to get all hardware installed to make sure I have room for all my ideas.

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]

    Decided to get crafty with a hacksaw and file, and fabbed some mounting-tabs, which I bolted to the heatsink:

    [​IMG]

    working rather well as a make-shift mounting-mechanism:

    [​IMG]

    this would be married to the EK-140 DDC top with integrated reservoir.....

    [​IMG]

    and here:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    Next was the Gelid Wings fan, replacing the original front intake fan, and mounting the rad the the (well-designed, on purpose Lian-Li?) front bracket.

    This must be by far the easiest and quickest fitment of a rad I had ever done. Painless.

    [​IMG]

    and here, all nicely fitted together:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    Mounting the rad in its place, and playing with the pump/res, to see which orientation would suit best, and checking clearance with the original 5.25" bracket above, as this has toi be retained, as you'll see later:

    [​IMG]

    and the pump at the back, against the motherboard tray:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    Ok, time to get nekkid, as I have to fit the HP SAS-cage in somewhere:

    [​IMG]

    Did a lot of thinking on this one, many ideas where I would finally mount the cage, and, as one of my very early requirements were to keep this mod relatively simple, with the minimum fuss/cutting involved, I decided it should go where the PSU would normally go - amazingly, the opening is just about perfect to mount the cage in - I will need to fab a bezel later, but that will be pretty simplet to do.

    Marking the holes for the first mounting-screws:

    [​IMG]

    and test-fitting - I used 3 rivnuts on the side of the SAS-cage, in case you wondered:

    [​IMG]

    looking good...

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]

    then, using temporary spacers, bolting the cage to the original PSU-mounting holes - had to drill 2 new holes on each mounting-tab on the SAS-cage, but that was very simple:

    [​IMG]

    and here, with a total of 7 screws keeping the cage in position:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    Next up, drilling holes to bolt the pump down:

    [​IMG]

    again, a quick test-fit to see how everything stacks up:

    [​IMG]

    Next up, fitting the SFX 450W Silverstone PSU to...yeah, you guessed it, the 5.25" bracket - with this being a file-server, I won't need an optical drive, but, I can probably fit a slotload slimline drive just for kicks, the jury's still out on that one.

    The PSU should go in here:

    [​IMG]

    or does it....push a bit, shove it a little, a few jiggles, and yes, 4mm clearance to the top of the rails, which means it will just squeeze in under the top:

    [​IMG]

    and here:

    [​IMG]

    and here:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    PSU will be mounted with the fan pointing down, and this was done by simply using the Dremel to cut, and dressing with files, a new fan-intake:

    [​IMG]

    and mounted in place:

    [​IMG]

    and a couple more:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    With the reservoir mounted against the rear wall, and the motherboard, by original design, bolted directly to the side-cover, I had to make provision for a fill-port.

    Still had one BP bulkhead fitting from Project Blackbird, which will work pretty well:

    [​IMG]

    and here:

    [​IMG]

    of course, I had to drill the 5.25" plate too, to allow passage through it:

    [​IMG]

    The end-result is rather pleasing, and will allow quick, easy filling of the reservoir:

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]
     
  14. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    It was time to re-fit the SAS-cage backplane PCB:

    [​IMG]

    and see how well the hard-drives would mount to the cage - went like a well-oiled machine:

    [​IMG]

    The drives are not yet powered up, as I have to redo the waterloop - need one or 2 elbow-fittings from BP, which I will order this week - after this, I would be able to properly route the tubing, to allow fitment of the SAS Controller:

    Here's routing the pump outlet to rad:

    [​IMG]

    and 'semi-final' connections to the CPU, et al:

    [​IMG]

    I leave you with this shot for now, as this is the config I have the system running in, doing several tests, and see how well it goes vs stock air.

    I am pleased with the initial results, as we have a 16-deg drop in full-load temp over air, with the system maxing out at 58 deg C running Prime95. This is with the same ambient conditions, and about 30 deg C outside.

    Very happy with the result, not done yet, but amazing just how well this system was 'designed' for quick and easy watercooling. Of course, don't forget the fact that I can now fit 9 2.5" harddrives to it :lol:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    A small update - to simplify things further, I have decided to order 2 items from PPCS, and hopefully it the parcel will be here before the weekend:

    i) Coolgate 140mm Rad
    ii) Swiftech PMP-400 heatsink

    The PMP-400 heatsink will clean up the pump installation, as well as allow me to reposition it somewhat to further simplify tubing routing.

    Then, by using the Coolgate 140mm rad, I will accomplish 2 things -> get rid of the reservoir, as it has a fill-port on the top of the rad, so it wil effectively become a reservoir too.

    Secondary to this, with the additional ports on the in- and outlets, I can use one of the ports as a drain, with a BP plug at the bottom - so another small hole in the base of the case, immediately underneath the one port, and we have a neat drain-hole - to easy.

    Will keep you guys posted, thanx for looking, and keep those ideas coming!
     
    Last edited: 8 Nov 2011
  16. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    Enough pics fer ya?
     
  17. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    Hello Guys,
    Unfortunately, the parcel hasn't arrived, even though I paid over $48 for EMS service from the USA. I can bet my bottom $ it's sitting at AusPost, being delayed here in Melbourne.

    Jeesh, sometimes this just riles me, as I have so hoped to have it in time to finish the mod this weekend.

    Apologies, I will carry on with finalizing a few other bits and bobs, like soldering a more standard 10-pin Molex to replace the propietary HP one. I got the same footprint Molex male and female pcb connectors and plugs from Mouser some time ago.

    They are keyed different tp the original though, and matched pairs.... I could not find the correctly keyed Molex plug to fit the one on the HP SAS cage. A simple mod to do, so I will get that sorted, and start working on the PSU to prepare it to provide power to the SAS-cage.

    Keep you all posted :)
     
  18. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Hmmm... OK. :p
     
  19. MrBean

    MrBean Minimodder

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    Thanx Nexxo ;)
     
  20. KoSoVaR^

    KoSoVaR^ Professional Sleever & Modder

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    i dont like that you have mixed barbs with compressionfitting :(, everything else looks awsome until this point :)
     

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