Anyone interested in cases with masses of 5.25 inch bays

Falloutboy

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Oct 23, 2011
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Just finished designing my own case based on the look of the case labs magnum but mine takes two xl-atx motherboards and has 26 5.25 inch bay slots, room for a 19 inch 1U Rackmount device and lots of slots for cooling water or otherwise.

I am presently validating the motherboard trays as being 100% compliant before I have one produced and then produce the entire case.

Heres a pic if anyones interested.

Latest And Greatest.jpg
 
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Falloutboy

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Oct 23, 2011
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Any idea how much these would cost and XL ATX, will that also be SSI EEB?
Haven't gotten as far as cost yet. as for SSI EEB i believe they are:
12 x 13 inches ( 305 x 330mm )

where as XL-ATX is
12 x 9.6 inches ( 305 x 244mm)

There is definitely enough room in the case to support the SSI EEB standard but the following parts would need a rework on my part.
Motherboard Tray ( including updates to hole locations for board mount points ) ( Two units )
Motherboard Tray Backplate ( 2 units )
Motherboard left and right slide rails ( 4 units )
Case divider panel. ( 2 units )

Also this might decrease the amount of water cooling space available by one unit as the tray that acts as a mount point for an internal rad would be compromised by the extra motherboard length.

For reference what I have done above - was done in 15 days learning CAD from scratch - on a trial version of the product, it all would depend on how long it would take to alter the above parts over and above the base price ( which of course I don't have yet ) in order to know if it was a viable option.

Once I have one XL-ATX tray validated ( which verifies my design against the ATX spec ) I will have a better idea of what the build cost will be - getting that part done is basically the acid test for if the whole thing will work.

If this works out I may instead of getting units built sell the plans so you can go to any local metal work shop and get it built this of course will save a huge amount in shipping costs because even though this is a 1.6mm Thick aluminum build I still expect it will weigh in excess of 30lbs and even though it can be flat packed no problems it would be very costly to ship.

As with anything though if anyone throws enough money at it - it will happen - let me get the first unit sorted ( mine ) and we will build on it from there, I may even produce a version that can take 3 boards 1 Left, 1 Right, 1 Upper, Watercooling if wanted and still have Rackmount space in the case.

Let me know if you are still interested and I'll keep you updated as things progress.
 

kapone

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May 23, 2015
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Interesting. Could be useful in my scenario where I run two workstations at my desk. Would consolidate two cases into a single one, and use the 1U space for a a switch or something.

Although in all fairness I don't need ANY 5.25 bays... :) Both systems are run off of m.2 SSDs, which are onboard, and I don't need water cooling. Any chance of a smaller version with just one 5.25 bay each, but still be able to install XL ATX/SSI EEB motherboards? :)
 

TLN

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If you have accessto CNC equipment, I'd look into storage-oriented solutiuon, that can take stock Intel/HP/Dell cages. Find a modern one (8x3.5", 16x3.5") and try to fit it. It's usually better build than any 5.25" racks and backplane is a good thing.
 
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frogtech

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26 seems like an odd number, why not make it 24 or 30 so you can fit an even number of mobile racks into it?

I'm suspecting the high # is so that the chassis can accommodate a wide variety of mobile racks that go into 5.25 slots. With 24 you could fit 8 5.25 to 3.5 cages for 32 drives. (assuming the variety that converts 3 optical bays into 4 3.5" hot swap).

I'd be heavily interested in this but in a single-wide version only (so 12 5.25 instead of 24) and without all the watercooling potential. But for me it would depend on the cost.

It would be odd for OP to design the standard around OEM drive cages since they might not always be available for sale.
 
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Falloutboy

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Oct 23, 2011
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Interesting. Could be useful in my scenario where I run two workstations at my desk. Would consolidate two cases into a single one, and use the 1U space for a a switch or something.

Although in all fairness I don't need ANY 5.25 bays... :) Both systems are run off of m.2 SSDs, which are onboard, and I don't need water cooling. Any chance of a smaller version with just one 5.25 bay each, but still be able to install XL ATX/SSI EEB motherboards? :)
Would have to be something I look at after I get the initial unit built, would not make much difference in height though as the Motherboards are mounted vertically back to back with a nine cm cable space between with one PSU high and the other low so that the fans on the PSUs blow over the PCIe slots furthest away from the CPU ( for cooling my 9361s). This would also mean that you could probably have 3 1U or 1 1U and a 2U or a 3U Rackmount appliance in the upper section.
 

Falloutboy

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Oct 23, 2011
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Why so many 5.25" bays? Many optical drives?
1 Blu Ray BDXL on one side takes one slot, on the other with the Rampage V Exteme Edition 10 there is a 5.25 bay device which is for Hi Fi audio this leaves 12 5.25 per side using 4 to 3 enclosures that allows for 16 3.5 inch HD's or 5 to 3 enclosures allows for 20 HD's.

I'm running Raid 6 arrays.
 
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Falloutboy

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Oct 23, 2011
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26 seems like an odd number, why not make it 24 or 30 so you can fit an even number of mobile racks into it?

I'm suspecting the high # is so that the chassis can accommodate a wide variety of mobile racks that go into 5.25 slots. With 24 you could fit 8 5.25 to 3.5 cages for 32 drives. (assuming the variety that converts 3 optical bays into 4 3.5" hot swap).

I'd be heavily interested in this but in a single-wide version only (so 12 5.25 instead of 24) and without all the watercooling potential. But for me it would depend on the cost.

It would be odd for OP to design the standard around OEM drive cages since they might not always be available for sale.
Both sides have 5.25 inch rails and in my case I am using the IStar Sata/SAS 4 in 3 bays but from what I have seen the dimensions and hole sizes line up with the original 5.25 inch standard ( very hard to find document now)
 

Falloutboy

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Oct 23, 2011
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Once i've got this all sorted I will be looking at making a rack that horizontal mounts SSD's so they can be popped in and out much the same way as 3.5 inch HD's in 5.25 inch bays - haven't measured anything up yet as at the moment ATX tray validation is more pressing. I spoke to some of the local sheet metal shops this morning and have already struck a problem with the tray design, my choices are pay $8000 for them to have a tool created that can have a bend radius as tight as I would like it with such a small lead space or use CAD to redesign the tray so the bend radius isn't so tight around the lead space - I funnily enough have opted for the second choice :)
 

Falloutboy

Member
Oct 23, 2011
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If you have accessto CNC equipment, I'd look into storage-oriented solutiuon, that can take stock Intel/HP/Dell cages. Find a modern one (8x3.5", 16x3.5") and try to fit it. It's usually better build than any 5.25" racks and backplane is a good thing.
One thing I am considering in the long run is dropping the water cooling in the top vented section and vamping a hard drive rack storage area in there - have to measure to ensure it fits and do some load calculations to make sure that the ALI will take that much weight up high without needing structural supports.
 

Falloutboy

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Oct 23, 2011
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I realize it's been a long time since I've posted on this but I have had a sh*tload going on and all sorts of hassles to deal with but I think I've finally finished the design for those who want to have a look here is a pic.
The case is approx 841mm tall by 630w x 655 depth it has a gap in the middle for running
Two slide out EATX motherboard trays, supports
supports two EATX motherboards one normal one reversed ( as in upside down ) so that if you have lighting you can see both sets going. Supports two ATX power supplies
Supports upto 26 5.25 inch devices or if you use converters like me 32 3.5 inch drives and two blu rays.
Builtin area with cover plate for a network switch.
Locations for two to four large radiators in the top section - two per side.
Is designed to be fully disassembled and flat packed.
Both left and right doors open out.
Single fan in each side at the bottom of the case to help cool those raid controllers.
Vertically mounted PCIe Graphics card so that you don't lose your second PCIe slot to fat video cards.

It will take a while but I am going to have design validation started in September when I will be having test components built for the motherboard tray .
Case.jpg
 

TLN

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That's basically caselabs cases.
I'd prefer to have 3.5" drives on the inside and have a fine mesh panel on the front instead of 5.25 bays, but it's good to have options.
Might be crazy idea to have switch betwen mobo trays with ports facing back (kinda sandwitch) - just came with that idea, might be not so good.
Also, I'd go with asym design, i.e. left part of a case is wide and have slots for vertical videocards, while right part is slim, and doesn't have vertical graphics card mounts.