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Scratch Build – In Progress Project: Serverama - Update! 28th July - I swear it'll be done this year...

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Phat Ass, 28 Sep 2005.

  1. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Loads of work done today, took my car to be fixed to had plenty of spare time to kill working on the door.

    The second coat of paint come out well and the only noticable marks are covered by the outer trim so arent anything to worry about.
    [​IMG]

    As you can see with the door rebuilt and in palce it not actually that much of a noticable difference so preperation for building the door can go on.
    [​IMG]

    Stripping the door down again (something i'll be pleased to stop doing) the plastic is removed and the (currently) perfect surfaces were protected by a duster.
    [​IMG]

    the nuts to hold the door nees refitting after some moved and then the back panel is replaced ready for masking.
    [​IMG]

    To protect the inside of the door plexi a full covering of masking tape gets applied making sure theres no debris underneath.
    [​IMG]

    On the otherside the edge piece need ot be taped off to prevent any epoxy seeping out onto the plexi. Doing the top and bottom first allow them to be clamped to help center the other pieces.
    [​IMG]

    Because the epoxy dried quickly thers no photots of the process, but its not rocket science :). With the 3 double sided pieces attached the more complicated piece down the hinge can be attached.
    http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~agordon/bit-tech/Door75.jpg

    Once the inner hinge cover was attached all of the outer section needed to be attached, doing this in 2 stages made adjustments much easier. The final piece covering the edge of the hinge side was attached and clamped to let cure. I can see this piece coming off at some point but for now, it'll hold, if it does come off then i'll work on something to hold it better :)
    [IMG]http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~agordon/bit-tech/Door76.jpg

    So, with the door cured and holding together for the first time without using masking tape :)D) i fitted it to the front to see how the fit was, whcihw as almost identical to before. \o/
    [​IMG]

    The door swings open through around 120 degrees, plenty of room to work in removing hard drives and see whats going on. Only work left on the door is the magnetic locks before a total ouside clean and finish of the metal.
    [​IMG]

    Ive been talking about sacrificing the top 2 bays of the HD Rack for the use of any elctronics and such which go into the case, including the switches, which until now didnt really have a home (whoops).
    [​IMG]

    Using some 1.5" wide 1/8" thick alu bar to cover this area gives me a nice solid base to attach switches and any other front mounted stuff.
    [​IMG]

    This is where i have a problem. I'm contemplating putting in a small (maybe 2 line) display here to show some basic information about the box. The problem is that having seen many of these used in other cases, ive never actually looked into how they work and are connected to the compuer, yes i know, a horrible admission :p.

    So if anyone could give me some information in the Log on the availablity, location, price and quality fo these displays, as well as how to use them, wire them up and such would be greatly appreciated. If theres a guide on this, a link to that would also be grand with some of the other info :)

    As far as designs for the layout go, i'm going to use a Buglin blue illuminated switch for the power button and a plain Buglin vandle resistant switch for the reset switch. These will be mounded on the right of the case along with other switches for controlling the HDRack fans and the neon string. a small display (also ideally blue to stick with the theme, maybe go with green for a sort of retro look and as a contrast) would go on the other side of the case by the hinge. Any suggestions on this always welcome and contemplated as always just post in the log :)
     
  2. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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  3. Shadowed_fury

    Shadowed_fury Minimodder

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    So so ace. Can't wait to see it filled with drives tbh :D Mod on!
     
  4. Rocket733

    Rocket733 Austerity - It's the only way

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    I like the way the front panel is shaping up, as far as lcds go I purchased mine with a parrallel kit for about $30 but I can't find the website I got it from. I think the ideal place is ebay if you don't mind doing some of the wiring yourself. Depending upon how much you want to spend I personally think the lis vfd's look really awesome and they run about $80.
     
  5. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Rocket:
    Thanks for that, ive been doing a bit of searching and founf some parrallel and some usb displays. Once ive seen whihc im quite interested in is this one from kustom pcs. the only thing im unclear about is the buttons and what you can actually make them control? functions on the vfd or functions outside of the unit such as fan controll, not found a great deal on them yet, but thats mainly cos its 4am and i need sleep :)

    also, is usb or parrallel easier/better?
     
  6. Shadowed_fury

    Shadowed_fury Minimodder

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    USB: Its the future, some boards already don't come with Parrellel or Serial already :)
     
  7. tm36usa

    tm36usa What's a Dremel?

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    True true, my asus A8N-SLI board only has one serial port and I need 3 (one for my palm and 2 for matrix orbital displays) so I had to buy a pci serial card. It was cheap, but seeing as not too many things run on serial nowdays, I guess its just the price you pay for better technology
     
  8. Firefox90

    Firefox90 What's a Dremel?

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    26 Hitachi 7K500 or w/e=13TB :jawdrop: :rock: Good luck connecting them all.
     
  9. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    No update yet as nothing's been done structurly. Hopefully should get some done tomorrow but for now i've been making a list of work whihc needs ot be done.

    In no particular order:

    Boot Drive mount
    Dual PSUs
    Door/HD Rack seal
    Clearcoat/alu protection
    Anti-vibration stuff
    some CDROM setup (got a plan, but havent got it sorted yet)
    Finish the panel braces
    Mobo tray extraction fans.
    HD Cooling fans
    Door magnets
    Power/reset switch and panel

    Hopefully i'll have the switches by tomorrow and i can start on those and have a look at some ideas for the door seal. Other than that i may try and work on the mount for the boot drive and source a cheap (hah!) laptop HD to use as the normal 3.5" is a bit too tall for where i want to mount it.

    More tomorrow.
     
  10. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Boot Drive

    Not much work done, just some investigation and testing into mounting the boot drive.

    Originally i was going to use the current drive mounted above the PSU (20GB IBM) but this means it'll get hot and as it turns out, too small of a gap. The drive is 1" high and the gap is around 3/4"-7/8" :(

    [​IMG]
    The only thing for it is to use a laptop HD or one of the slim 40Gb Maxtor single platter/head drives. Either of these will fit but the laptop drive is preferable as it will run cooler and leave a larger space surrounding it help cooling.

    [​IMG]
    A laptop drive is actually smaller than i thought, 100mm x 70mm x 9.5mm so using some scrap slu pieces i got a template to help work out what i could use to mount it and how.

    [​IMG]
    One option to mount the drive is using 2 rails attached to the case just above the psu, the drive would be suspended here which would reduce some of the vibration with a few washers.

    [​IMG]
    The other option is to mount the drive in the same place, but sideways. This way only one bracket is needed, although it would be harder to remove the drive wihtout removing the whole bracket. It would also be harder to route the cables.

    [​IMG]
    Using some 1/2" x 1/16" script and the templte a rough idea of a bracket and how it'd work best.

    [​IMG]
    This is fairly close to what i'll use although the sides wont be connencted as this would block the connector.

    Thats all i've dont so far, until i find a suitable drive i'll start working on door locks and CDROM plan.
     
  11. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for the info, i'll probably go with a USB display but for now i've got toher things to sort out sadly. Updates have been a bit slow recently, been looking into parts getting a new job and trying to do uni work as well as playing BF2 more again :)

    Anyway more work done here, not a lot, but enough for now :)

    Update - 20th October

    I'll start work on somemore planning for now and get back to work soon.
     
  12. Da Dego

    Da Dego Brett Thomas

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    This thing is lookin' great, Phat Ass.

    A couple questions:
    1) Noise? All those drives...and on bare aluminum. Have you thought of any type of silencing for them?
    2) Where did you get that jig? I've been thinking of making an L-beam case, and I like how yours has turned out. But that jig just rocks. How much did it set you back?
    3) What are you using to make all your cuts? You say miter box, but are you using just a hacksaw, or are you using power tools, or what?
    4) What bolts are you using that fit so flush in your countersinks?

    For your RAID issues, I have a suggestion for you. XFX is releasing a new RAID controller that shows a lot of promise. Give it a looksee here.

    May also fix some of your drive-migration problems.
     
  13. jakenbake

    jakenbake full duplex

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    nice work with the aluminum. how much does that frame weigh?
     
  14. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Da Dego:
    1) I've thought about the noice, but the drive are held in sufficiently tight to prevent any vibration, i was going to use a rubber strip to prevent this and considered doing so after the trial i did at the Lan, but there wasnt really any noticable noise so its not a concern.

    2) The jig i made from scratch using some scrap aluminium i had lying around and a clamp from another jig, the whole thing if i was to go and buy the bit would probably cost no more than about £10-£15 + clamp

    3) the mitre box is just a manual hacksaw style think, old and rusty as hell and with a 14tpi blade, but it carves its way through reasonably easily, i should geta 24tpi (ish) blade, but i keep forgetting.

    4) the bolts are just industry standard M4 countersunk hex bolts, nothing special :)

    thanks for the RAID card, i'll look into that at some point, currently considering some sort of 6 Drive RAID 5 setup, so in theory 4 RAID 5 setups of 6 200's would give me 4x1TB arrays, which would be nice also.

    Jakenbake:
    The case is actually fairly light, doesnt weigh much more than a few kilos as a frame, i'll get a more recent frame weight next time im there.
     
  15. TTmodder

    TTmodder Hammertime

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    ok who want to calculate how many dvd's that can be on 13tb :jawdrop: dude that's insane server. keep up the good work
     
  16. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    its roughly 2,700 dvd isos for 24x 500GB hds :) there should be and i'll aim for 4x PCI RAID cards. eventually i may try and find a big-ass motherboard with 4x 64bit slots but i doubt very much if it will be 9"x12" ATX sized :)
     
  17. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Having connection problems atm (been without internet for 3 days) so i'll be updating once its back.
     
  18. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Update - Fan Controller

    Spent a few days designing the fan control unit, originally using a single pot to vary the speeds of all 10 fans then use a single switch for each pair. The problem with this was finding a pot of the right value which i worked out to be roughly 10ohm. The smallest available at either Maplin or RS was 50ohm, which would give far too little movement.

    The design instead uses 5 tri-position switches with an LED above and below, One way 5V and one way 12V and each LED lights up depending on the voltage and switch position.

    [​IMG]
    Anyway, last week i ordered some switches from Farnell, one blue ring vandal resistant switch and one, what i thought plain switch of the same size. however, i was wrong and the plain switch was infact much larger. so once i get my connection back, and find out what the code for the plain version of the blue ring switch is i'll swap it for the right one.

    [​IMG]
    Originally the 2 switches (using the current large one to sapce it) were going to be at etiher side of one of the bays with the fan controls between them. The problem with this is that theres not enough space between the switches for the fan controls. So the reset switch may be reloacted to the back next to the power supply. Inconvenient, but for the number of times it'll be used, perfect.

    [​IMG]
    The top 2 bays of the HD Rack will house all the electrics (which is currently only this panel) but the current HD Rack rails are in the way so to make life easier these need to be removed and then a single plate will seperate the electronics form the HDs.

    [​IMG]
    The rails came off easily enough, although one rail on the left side came off at the same time but as it was already loose, its probably better to fix it again.

    [​IMG]
    Bought a few bits and pieces from maplin to start putting together the fan control.

    [​IMG]
    The only problem was the lack of a drill, so these holes were made with diamond files, which takes far longer than you'd expect :(

    [​IMG]
    The switch mousnts through the boards easily enough and holds then around 1/2" apart, i'll use stand-offs to hols these better later.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The LEDs go down each side of the switch positioned above and below on the circuit board.

    [​IMG]
    I took the boards home and drilled all the holes on on both pieces to make it easier and less time consuming.

    [​IMG]
    The main board will take the main 12V/5V input from a molex thorugh the HD back panel and connect the 2 sides of fans to the front section via some 2x5 IDC connectors and some 3 pin headers.

    [​IMG]
    The metal panel itself sits on the 8 HD Rail supports (visible in the next pic) and the circuit board sits on top on the spacers.

    [​IMG]
    The front panel sits in the top right bay with the power switch on the far right side. The right side of this will be partially removed to accomodate the power switch,

    [​IMG]
    To hold the front piece to the main board i was going to use metal rods (paper clips in this case) to hold it, but it turned out to be a bad idea, but it does show the IDC connectors on the board.

    [​IMG]
    Purchased the remaining parts of the assembly today and discovered a massive shortage of blue LEDs in the north east :(. The switches line up nicely in the boards although its a bit of a tight fit.

    I'll continue this update once the rest are uploaded.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2006
  19. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    [​IMG]
    Further to the LED shortage, i bought 10 new LEDs from RS components as maplin had no more of the ones i tested with. So currently (Thursday night/Friday morning) they should arrive tomorrow, these are about 1500mcd whihc is a little bright, but should still do fine.

    [​IMG]
    The mounting holes for the plastic pcb spacers also got bored out with the files, which is a little time consuming, but with no access to the drill (done between uni calsses) it was the best i had. The M3 nuts fasten on the back and hold them in place better than the clip in ones.

    [​IMG]
    With the assembly put back together the locations for the holes in the second board are easier to find and bore out again :(

    [​IMG]
    A second set of stand-offs hold the two boards together but are a bit long to fit in the case.

    [​IMG]
    The stand-offs are cut down easily enough with some clippers and the whole things goes back together again.

    [​IMG]
    As far as wiring up the board the only stuff i can do at the moment is wire the resistors inplace to half of the LEDs and all the switches. I tried to attach some of the wiring to the 3 pin headers but it didnt go well so i need an eaier way to attach them, but soldering isnt going well.

    [​IMG]
    The LEDs and switches look fairly good in their position and hopefully on saturday i should get the second row done.

    [​IMG]
    The only other work so far (upto Thursday night) is to mark out the rough grid for the holes for the switches and LEDs. The switch holes need to be elongated to allow them to move as only 1/4" of the actual switch leaver will be visible. This is because of the shallowness of the switch needed which would be fine if i could use the the micro surface mount but they only carry around 0.5-1W of power, which is too little for the 5W needed for each pair of fans.

    Another update to follow soon once ive uploaded the pictures of the other work ive done this week.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2006
  20. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    First update for a while, something of a double whammy as theres 2 posts covering the bulk of the electrics for the fan controller ive made suring my internet drought (11 days damnit!)

    This is the first part of the controller
    Update - 8th November

    And this is the second. obviously.
    Update - 8th November

    Theres more work ive done but its not off the camera yet, so i'll do that asap and upload.
     

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