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Storage VT's new NAS.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Vault-Tec, 14 Aug 2020.

  1. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    So I bought this.

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    What I need from it.

    The ability to hold 4 hard drives. Possibly RAID, possibly just on a SATA expansion card or something.

    To be reasonably quiet.

    To be very reliable.

    Right now it is running dual G4 and quite a bit of RAM, but obviously that is all coming out. The aim is to make it look somewhat stock from the outside (or at least reasonably clean and not butchered).

    This is a problem for a few reasons. Usually when doing this you need to modify the motherboard as when closed in numerous Apple cases (ATX layout) some caps or sockets hit the case and need to be relocated. I got around this with my G3 mod by carefully positioning the board. However, in this instance that is the least of my worries, as this ******* is some sort of bastardised BTX.

    Having spent the last few hours brain storming I have realised that many have simply failed and given up. Those who were successful went through lots of work, which involved laser cutting and etc. Screw that. There has to be an easier way.

    Obviously the first thing I needed was a donor, with reasonable specs for a NAS build. I got this for £50 from a local place. Good thing is all of my cash is going back to autistic kids, as it is also a charidee mate. Awesome.

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    Now my initial thought was obviously ITX. Getting it to work in there would be like tossing a sausage down the underground, but that was too easy and came with limitations I had to consider. IE - one PCIE slot. I don't like that sort of limitation, and even though this thing will portray itself as a NAS it will be much more akin to a full blown server. So that is why I chose the Dell, as it has more slots etc.

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    I did not consider the PSU. Again, that was an error on my part because I assumed the MDD (mirrored drive door) was similar to the QS and G4. IE, ATX of sorts and a standard PSU. It's not. Here is a pic comparing them.

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    With my MDD being on the right hand end. Now that would explain why these are not desirable and thus very cheap. The others? pah, 30 mins of modding gets the board in. This one? yeah, not so easy. What I did clock was the PSU in the MDD.

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    At the very top of the pic. Not my pic, don't know what the numbers are for. Any way, that was when I started sweating because I found this online and wanted to cry.

    https://www.mactrast.com/2012/07/my-powermac-g4-mod/

    Dear god please no......

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    This one was the icing on the tearful cake.

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    I closed it, stopped crying and then realised that the PSU in the SFF Dell looks awful small. So I googled for a pic of it.

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    When comparing it to the drive in the G4? it's very similar. So I think I can use that. Problem is, when I calculated the wattage it wasn't enough (240w) so I popped back on the Bay and found this for £8.99 delivered.

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    So I will be running two PSUs. Getting them to trigger shouldn't be too hard, but I can always just fit a latching switch to the HDD PSU so they start before I even start the rig.

    Now my aim is to make it look clean and as unmangled as is humanly possible. And for that you need a plan, so here it is. Obviously the inside will be tidy and as managed as possible, but a full skin out it won't be. Mostly because the rig has no window (and won't either) and will be a server. So just tidy and above all safe for 24/7 operation is a must, not great looks.

    Getting the board in there though? well that's a whole 'nother mess. However, I think I have had an idea that will work rather well.

    I will install Photoshop later today and start drawing up plans, but I think I may have one that should look very clean and leave the back of the rig looking nice.
     
    adidan likes this.
  2. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    That's not a NAS, it's a boat anchor. Notice the convenient shackle points on the corners?

    :lol:
     
  3. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    The basic plan. To fit the board into the case like this.

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    Note, I am crap at drawing what I can see in my head. It just makes sense to me is all. I need it far enough back so I can create a "tunnel" cover (wrap around) from the IO of the board to the back of the case. The red indicates that, but note it won't be flat it will wrap around the whole IO.

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    Then coming to the back of the case. You can see where I will be putting the IO (red) and the cover plate (grey acryl)

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    The blue indicates where I may or may not need to cut the case. This is so I can get anything I want to to plug in. Remember, the board will be quite far back from the back of the case (deliberate). The reason I am doing it wrap around is to keep dust out, and so I can flush mount it up to the grey piece meaning there will be no gaps. Like I said, crap at this so you can try...

    Here is what will happen in the event I decide to fit a GPU or what not.

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    I would put any sockets in what used to be the Apple's old IO.

    I will be retaining the case's audio sockets though. Might cut up the PCB (or cut them off) and solder onto those so they look stock. The rest I will cut out a rectangle (grey gloss acryl) and epoxy it in so I can fit other sockets to it (HDMI for the Android console and etc).

    Oh, seems I got confused on two forums. Basically my Fire Stick has passed its warranty so crashes and crawls etc. They seem to have a detonation date, unless you fork for the £100 box. I am not doing that, I am going to fit my Android 8 core box inside this too and fit a HDMI socket for that to live in here too.
     
  4. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Forgot one :D

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    David, it has other uses. If I ever want to take a swallow dive off the roof I will strap it to my back to make sure the job gets done properly :D
     
  5. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    OK so I have been digging through the flat for modding gear. Have found loads, may as well use it (like RGB fan frames, controller etc). You won't see it but sod it, better to use it than having it lying around. Also found some power buttons etc if I can't mod the MDD front panel.

    Basically no one does this mod. It's way harder than buying a kit from Laser Hive, and Laser Hive won't sell you the kit and insist it is done in house. I think this is for two reasons.

    1. They have MDD cases for sale.
    2. It would probably need to be done on a component basis.

    Any way, sod that I wouldn't pay £100.

    I also ordered some gear.

    [​IMG]

    Obviously the PSUs I am using are a bit hoopty cable wise, so would need extensive modding (and I am not braiding in excess of 60 pins ta) and secondly I have had a brain wave, and decided to run the board etc from the 300w Delta, and the drives from the 240w Dell PSU. Which is probably Delta or some other half decent brand.

    I will be running 6 hard drives. Four 1tb and the 2tb up there. Reason? eggs and baskets. But aside from that I am pretty anal about how I store my ****, and I like drives for music, films and etc all to be separate. But, as we know putting all of your stuff on one drive has always been a terrible idea any way. And no, they are not NAS specific drives but this won't be a typical NAS.

    I am away from here a lot, so it will only run when I am here. There is no point running it 24/7, unless I desperately need some of the DATA here over at mum's. In which case I would shut it down remotely once done. Though tbh? I doubt I would do that any way, given that when I leave I switch everything off. Router, Xboxs etc. I have one kill switch that turns off the entire entertainment system.

    As for the modding? well, I am hoping to shroud in the main PSU (for the board etc) and then cut holes and epoxy the male ends into it, so I can just plug the extensions in to that. Much cleaner, much less rat nest.
     
  6. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Got to thinking today. Realised I had great success with a mining riser before.

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    I am starting to wonder about cutting the case at all, and maybe just using IO brackets and so on like this guy did.

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    I like this idea. I was thinking of fitting the board and then "off boarding" the sockets any way. The main reason? I would like to basically use every connector I can from the back of the Mac to keep it looking as original as possible.

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    The only thing I can see there I wouldn't find a use for is the Firewire port, but I can reconfigure that as a Mic in port any way. Or, if I go with a sound card I may just block the FW port off with some grey acrylic.

    Any way to conclude, I ordered two of those mining things for £7.

    I am also beginning to doubt whether I will use Freenas. It is ZFS only which does not play well with all RAID cards. In fact, it doesn't play well with nearly all of them unless you flash the firmware on them etc. So I am figuring I have two options to avoid Freenas.

    1. Set up Windows on it and just share the drives around the network.
    2. Set it up as a Hack (it's very easy on this Dell) and run OSX to share the drives.

    The pros and cons? setting up the Hack is much harder, but sharing out the drives as a server is MUCH easier. Setting up Windows is easier........

    That said there really isn't much point in running it as a hack if I am not going to use the OS.
     
  7. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Did some shopping earlier. I am usually loathe to buy stuff like this because if it doesn't work out it just sits in ruddy boxes. Oh well.

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    But aye, that gives me all of the important connections for the back, that can be remotely inside the case practically anywhere.
     
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  8. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    [​IMG]

    Just bought that for £14. It is set up as JBOD, which is what I want to run. Cables are about £7 each, will grab some of those later.

    I checked and it runs perfectly on FreeNAS with JBOD, so I will be using FreeNAS now for sure.
     
  9. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    SAS cable ordered.

    [​IMG]

    Initially it will get four hdds. Two 1tb and one 2tb. TBH that is about triple what I need storage wise.

    I will likely get a 4tb, and once a month copy over the contents of the other drives to it. It will be a proper NAS drive.
     
  10. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Ordered the last bits. I was going to invest in a rivnut kit, but there really was no point.

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    The closer I can get the mobo to the door without shorting it the better, as it creates more room when it closes in to the stuff in the case itself.

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    200mm m3 threaded rod for holding down the SAS card.
     
  11. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    OK yesterday I stripped out the Dell and gave it a good clean. Holy crap did it need one. It was absolutely filthy.

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    The RAID card.

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    The guts.

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    The Delta PSU, which I took apart earlier and converted to single MOLEX (because the braided silver SATA cables are Molex)

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    The PSUs are identical in size.

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    I chose the Dell one (well, FSP or whatever it actually is) because it has a flat fan profile which will be important later. You will see why...

    The Apple should arrive tomorrow.
     
  12. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    And yes, the board and PSU are different from what they have in them apparently. PSU was a bonus as it is smaller, but board could be a PITA we shall see... Nice it has more slots, though.
     
  13. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Arrived today. Lots of scratches. So, wet sand and PlastX it is. Front seems OK, and the top panel is matt. Just ordered some PlastX. Once the coffee kicks in I will go down and gut the sucker.
     
  14. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Did it so fast I didn't even get a pic of it whole. Ooops lol.

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    Now in the bag of modding goodies I half inched from my flat was a 200mm 180 mount Enermax Vegas.

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    I would say with a nice big hole in the bottom it will be splendid. They call this mac the wind tunnel, I would hate to disappoint.

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    Will need some jigsaw blades, not a prob.

    Did get some goodies out of it.

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    A Delta 120 and two tiny Nidec. The hardest thing and what took me the longest was this thing.

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    I had to take the whole sodding PSU apart, bend up the body, drill out rivets etc etc. What a sod.

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    Where it belongs.

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  15. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Pretty annoyed about this board tbh. It's like full size extra wide MATX.

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    It's not left me any room. HARUMPH. Still, everything does fit and the cooling should be very good given everything is right in front of that huge intake.

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    Yes, I have lost all my bloody Sharpies :(
     
  16. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    OK so here is what I have been up to. I made this first. It is held in with epoxy. It will need two holes drilled through it, and the case, to bolt in.

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    I also made this.

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    And this.

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    I had an issue. I only had window film for a bathroom. Like, etched look vinyl. When cut and stuck to the acrylic it is almost impossible to see. So the cuts were not the best, plus I was rushing because I was doing it in the house due to the inclement weather. That meant that plastic weld was off the option list, not that I have any any way. So I used a 3m clear tape (that is quite thick to fit the dodgy edges) and then epoxy bead along the joins. It worked. Not the cleanest thing I ever did, but it worked. I then cut and epoxied in the 8 pin power and 24 pin.

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    That is a "chuck together for photos very rapid assembly" Nothing is fixed or fitted properly.

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    This is how the power socket fits.

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    I also bought one of those amazing ACME holes that Bad Obsession used but screw my luck it didn't work :( I suppose I will have to cut mine.

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    Add to that a butt load of soldering and converting Apple hardware to liaise with Dell hardware and that is where I am at.

    Notes.

    The curly channel coming out mid PSUs will house the fan cables which will be plugged in under the shroud.

    I have to cut the power end of the cover so the speaker will fit. No big issues.
     
    Last edited: 26 Aug 2020
  17. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Metal work is done. The fan did fit, but it was a press fit which I wasn't happy about (hence the relief in the rear wall)

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    I can fit the board posts now. Will do that later.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    OK. So does it all fit?. Not the PSU side, but the other side of things.

    Apologies for the potato pic, but let's cover the fan first.

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    Yup, that fits OK.

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    It even works. How embarrassed would I have been if the fan I have not used since the Titan Black days didn't work. It's a little off centre, but it gets the job done. Remember I joked about it being a wind tunnel? yeah, turns out I shouldn't have made that joke.



    It's a wind tunnel alright. Thankfully the LEDs can be switched off, and I will run it at 7v. If it doesn't kick in at 7v I will get a PCI slot fan controller for it. There is no way my NAS is making that sort of noise :D Gawd, it literally blasts air out of every orifice.

    Any way, yeah, back to does it fit.

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    And quite well too. It may not look like a total shed inside after all.

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    The sound card is only there to get the slot in the correct position.
     
  19. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Drive bays are now fully attached. They screw in through the back side. PSUs are fitted perma now. Speaker has been rewired and put back in.

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    It's a wee bit skew whiff but it's all very solid. I cut my thumb open and it wouldn't stop bleeding so I had to work with a paper towel taped over my thumb lol.

    It closes nice too.


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    I wanted to drill and tap the board posts but I forgot I snapped my 2.8mm bit and I need one. So I have ordered some.

    Other than the IO plate though once the board is in it's literally done. I just need to make an acrylic IO plate at some point tonight or tomorrow and then the plastics can be buffed and it can all be put back together. I am still waiting on the latching switch, but I can literally finish the whole thing without that and add it at the end.
     
  20. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Made the IO yesterday


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    So I am literally waiting on 2.8mm drill bits and two kettle leads.
     

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