Chenbro-Cleversafe-Slicestor-1440 (48 Bay SAS) Rebuild for Home Use

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by sociablewaver, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    Hey, I'm currently working on rebuilding the Chenbro-Cleversafe-Slicestor-1440 (48 Bay SAS) for home use.
    If you don't mind noise, it is fine in the current setup you get it. However, if like me, you don't want to drawn your entire home in a white noise than my current journey may be of interest to you.

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    $1,213.12 Total Investment before storage drives. I'm sure I'll end up with several other costs, but these are the main required.

    I've taken more pictures than I probably should have, and uploaded only a subset of them. Yet, there are still more than you probably care to look at. You can view the album here. I will choose certain pictures for this thread.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
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  2. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    The server came with a little shipping damage. It powers up though.
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    I found some spare hard drives I had and installed CentOS on it, and then Windows Server 2012. Neither lowered the fan speed.
    I found an option in the BIOS to take the fans of always full on. This made it a little quieter but not enough for my liking.

    I don't really like the bent metal on the front, and the front cover has two different textures. Both are black, but my minor OCD won't allow this.
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    The power supplies make the most noise. I'm unsure how loud the 6 120MM fans are. I will have to modify parts of the case to fit the new ATX power supply. This power supply will not fit the CHENBRO back planes without some wire modifications. I bought some adapters that I can modify without changing the wiring on the power supply in case I ever want to part this system out or even just replace the power supply.
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    I added the 5,G,G,12 to these adapters. Top is the original, middle is in process of alteration, the bottom is the finished product. This was a very simple process of pushing in the tabs with a small screw driver, removing the yellow wire, using the screwdriver to push the tabs back out, and finally insert the yellow wires into the 5 Volt position. It is probably a good idea to mark these wires to make it clear they are not standard.

    The power supply will go were the two rare external 2.5 SATA enclosures sit. I will remove the 4 power supplies and lower the entire motherboard and ATX back panel. This will leave a 1U gap at the top that I'll have to deal with later.
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    Test fit. I was hoping the 2.5 encloser would fit int eh 1U. Alas, it does not. :(

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    Rough placement of everything. Time to finish disassembly.

    I straightened out the shipping damage.
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    I tried spray painting over the two textures on the front panel. After two coats of black it was clear this wasn't going away. So I sanded this front panel to bare metal and then repainted. While I was at it, I decided t paint other portions of the server. I'm not much on the bare metal look.
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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
  3. CyberSkulls

    CyberSkulls Active Member

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    Looks good. It's rare to see server chassis mods, so I love the post :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. theregoesplanb

    theregoesplanb New Member

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    Interesting. Did you find most of the noise to come the PSU's fans? From my brief interaction it seemed that most of the noise was coming from the 120mm case fans. I was hoping to cut down the noise by replacing those.
     
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  5. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    The unit is loud. From my last rebuild it was the power supplies that make all that racket. If you remove just one of the power supplies, you notice a dip in noise once you silence it. Give it a try. The 120s may be loud, but not like the fans on the power supplies.
     
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  6. incorpusyehtee

    incorpusyehtee New Member

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    I'm so glad you are doing this work diary! I have also acquired one of these, and although the noise does not bother me since it is being kept in a vented basement closet, I would love to see the route to maintaining it in the event of power supply failure. I would probably end up doing a similar modification if you have good success here, just so I can have a standard ATX power supply in the unit. Reducing the noise when I'm around it wouldn't be unwelcome as well :)
     
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  7. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    Cool build!

    Curious how much quieter it will be once you load up the drives, and start drawing serious power as it seems you're planning to do as even using desktop grade stuff the fans still should ramp up RPM to keep the HDD within safe range.

    What's the name of the tool you're using to straighten up? That looks useful.
     
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  8. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    My hard disks will rarely be spinning all at the same time. So the temperature climb shouldn't be a big deal if I end up have to swap out the 120MM fans.

    The tool I used is something that really should be more useful than it is. I have had it for around a decade and have found that it works great for things like picture above, but really sucks when it comes to unscrewing a bolt because sockets and wrenches aren't handy. You can find a set here.
     
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  9. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    I had a little excitement Christmas day with a minor house fire. So the decisions I made installing the power supply were not always the best. Yes, this is my excuse. I'm sticking with it. (Fire Album)
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    Getting back to work, I need to make a bracket for the power supply. I'm not one of those people who just screws in the holes that are convenient. At least not this time.
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    I used some scrap metal I had in the garage. Once cut down to size I laid a template out on it. The template had to be reverse for my satisfaction of cutting from the outside in. To actually cut out the inside hole I used a Dremel with a cutoff wheel on it. After destroying five or so wheels I realized this was not the tool for the job. I guess I just wanted to play with the Dremel. :)
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    I used a 1/8" bit to make the screw holes that I had already dimpled from the template using a punch. Really, 5/32 or 3/16 should have been used. Once the test fit was complete, I realized I was also screwing through the template not just into the power supply.
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    I tried using an oscillating tool on the server case to fit this new bracket. Once again, wrong tool for the job. I switched to my jigsaw. And realized what a dunce I was being. The jigsaw is the tool I should have started with for the bracket.

    I should have made the bracket a little wider so that affixing it to the original case would have been easier. I ended up using rivets to save space because there wasn't enough extra space on the side of the bracket to fit a small nut and bolt. I also cut the top of the case so that it would hold the bracket without any rivets.
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    I made sure everything fit as expected and then took measurements to drill new holes for the motherboard tray. I put some thick double sided tape down to make up for the two powerblock stops built into the case.
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    The new holes have been drilled.
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    She's starting to look like a server again!
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    After installing the powersupply, boards, and other miscellaneous I can almost fill the warmth this server is sure to put off.
    Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet
    The four odd looking htings on the back are 2.5 drive enclosures. No screws required to change out the drive. I utilize Stablebit DrivePool which gives you the option of using an SSD drive as the first position of data. This way you always have good write speed. And then in the background it moves the data to disks that spin. Because of this, I have a need for 2.5 space. I'd rather not take up one of the 48 drive slots with smaller drives.
    SATA Drive Enclosures

    I'm still missing two power adapters for the back planes. I also need several more MOLEX connectors. They have all been ordered and their arrival is much anticipated as it is all that stands between me and this server turning on.
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  10. Churchill

    Churchill Admiral

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    Subscribed. Backblaze on a Budget this build is.
     
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  11. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    This might have been where I got the idea for the color red. :D
     
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  12. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    I have attached some documents I found useful for this case, motherboard, etc...
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    Updated the first post. There was a portion I did not use, and decided to go with something else.
     
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  14. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    I am up and running! It's a lot quieter. Still loud, but nothing I can't handle. I can now have a normal conversation next to it and still hear the person I'm talking to.

    The decibel reading in front of the computer is right under 70. Behind it is a little quieter.
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    I tested with three drives plugged into the 48 bays. No matter the configuration I was getting a red light on the front of the case indicating a HDD failure. This light was coming from the backplane closer to the power switch. I swapped out my adapter for the CPU cable (my power supply had two) and the light went out. Odd, the first board is wired the same way with only one fan, and it isn't throwing any lights.
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    Since I have ample VGA ports on this power supply I will rewire one for the other backplane to provide better power. I only have to rewire one pin.
     
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  15. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    So I decided before putting all my drives in to rewire the 12v wires to the backplanes.
    I found some shorter VGA cables from an older power supply in my box of cables. I chose to rewire these so safe in the wire mess inside the case.
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    There are three layers of heat shrink tube over the solder joint. I believe in over doing things. :)
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    I finished both cables. Labeled them so they would never be used elsewhere by mistake.
    Installed them in the computer. No wait.. I lied. The cable doesn't fit the chenbro backplane!!!! I can't believe I didn't check that. I now get to do it all over again.

    I did notice that even cables that came from the same power supply do not have the same pin pairs. They all match 12v/neutral.. Here are my findings for the 2nd pair of cables I spliced.
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    Time to cut the cable sleeve open!
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    What the hell. Is that a capacitor?
    This really shouldn't matter. I'll leave it in place.

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    I will plug these in to the power supply tomorrow at some point and make sure they put out the correct voltage.
    Using this set of wires will keep me from worrying about under-powering my hard drives with cheap crappy adapters.
     
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  16. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    I'm glad I decided to test this before hooking it up.

    I have all the positive and neutrals backwards. You have to move more than the single pin. I'll make a new post when I fix this error.
     
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  17. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    I undid my previous modifications on the VGA cables. I pulled the pins out of the end of the VGA cable and the two original PCI cable ends. I put the new ends on my VGA cable and put the ground on the bottom and the 12 volt on the top. I had to splice the fourth pin on the 12volt row to the third pin. This isn't really a requirement as all four of the top pins on the Chenbro are connected. The only requirement is to switch the ground and 12v rows, and cut the ground power off of the 12 volt row.

    This is the proper wiring hookup.
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    Finally, done. These test correctly according to the documentation PIN out requirements.
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    Now that I have all this extra cable I decided to gut all the power from the box, and redo cable management. I'd say it looks a lot better now.
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    My modified cables that plug directly into the power supply are clearly marked.
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    My mass of adapters. Don't laugh. It works.
    I have no idea why the enclosures converted SATA (with a pigtail for lighting the HD status lights) to MOLEX. The little LED doesn't pull enough power to merit a MOLEX connection. I used a single SATA -> Dual MOLEX -> 2 SATA bays with pigtails for the status lights.
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    Air will still easily flow across the SAS card. (I already fixed the one unplugged SATA cable in this picture.
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    The machine boots and everything runs great!
     
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  18. sociablewaver

    sociablewaver New Member

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    Would anyone be interested in me redoing this entire post with out the mistakes?
     
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  19. ncdesign

    ncdesign New Member

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    No, leave it. Others may have the same problems regarding power, and here's the solution ;-)
     
    #19
  20. Geran

    Geran Active Member

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    Could you tell me how long the rails are for this case? Mine didn't come with rails and I'm trying to find a server rack and everything I find has the distance between the vertical rails at 30".
     
    #20

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