Converting an HP DL380e Gen8 14xLFF Server to a Disk Shelf

amp88

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Hi all. Long time reader/viewer, first time poster. I wasn't sure which subforum to post this in, but this one seemed most appropriate; apologies if it'd fit better elsewhere.

My current homelab project is attempting to convert an HP DL380e Gen8 14xLFF storage server into a disk shelf. I want to power its drive backplanes using a consumer ATX power supply and run a couple of ~1m SFF-8087 cables from the DL380e's backplane to an HBA card in my main server (a Dell R730). So far, I've made some progress, but I'm interested in getting feedback/input from anyone who's tried something similar (or, ideally, the same thing...).

The server has two drive cages: a 12xLFF front drive cage with the 647407-001 backplane + SAS expander (available in the DL380e and DL380p Gen8 storage models), and a 2xLFF rear drive cage.

The backplane for the front drive cage has two 8-pin power inputs, which are physically keyed like an 8-pin EPS12V connector, and the backplane for the rear drive cage has one 6-pin power connector, which is physically keyed like a PCIe power connector. I probed each of the power connectors and got the following readings (behold, my MS Paint skills):

DL380e_Front_Backplane_Connector.jpg

DL380e_Rear_Backplane_Connector.jpg

I used a Molex to 6-pin PCIe power adapter and modified its pins to match the 12v, 5v, and ground pins of the rear drive cage power connector above (my assumption is the 3.3v input isn't required), and then connected a SFF-8087 to 4xSATA breakout cable to the two SATA data connections on the back of the rear drive cage and plugged the SFF-8087 connector into an HBA (an HP H220/LSI 9207-8i) in a Windows machine, just to check if it would work at all. To my great surprise, when i powered it on, no magic smoke escaped anything. The drives were detected and working in the Windows PC.

I'm currently waiting on a couple of extension cables which should arrive later in the week, so I can try to power the front drive cage's backplane.

So, I'm just wondering if anyone else has done anything similar, or if anyone has any input or feedback on what I'm trying to do.

Thanks.

edit to add: I should've clarified that my final intention is to control the drives in a virtualised FreeNAS installation using PCIe passthrough to pass the LSI HBA to FreeNAS.
 

omegadraconis

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Oct 23, 2017
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I'm starting a similar project using the front lff cage and backplane from a dl380p g8 that I picked up for next to nothing on eBay. I found one post in r/homelab where someone did the same, but provided little details. They asked about power pin-out and then commented themselfs that it worked with only 12v and ground. Someone on how forums also asked about the same and came with with the same pinout.

I cannot see a reason why this will not work as the backplane is only connected to power and sas. I'm planning to test this weekend as my drive trays just arrived today and I've wired up two 8pin connectors I cut off dead psu's

Next if all my testing goes well, I will be designing an extension for the front cage to house fans and maybe a psu. I'm planning to use a manual adjustable pwm fan controller and an hp server PSU with 12v adaptor to power the fans and cage.
 
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amp88

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I got the other 2 power extension cables I needed last night and re-pinned the front backplane connectors to the above configuration, minus the 3.3v pin. I've only done 2-3 hours of testing so far, but everything seems to work OK. Drives in the front and rear bays are detected by a second server, and I was able to install FreeNAS on the second server (currently using an HP DL360e Gen8 for testing, but planning to use my main Dell R730 in the final configuration). I created a pool (I only have five ancient 3.5" drives of the same capacity for testing at the moment), and it appears to work as expected. Also, the drive LEDs on the caddies work (though I'll probably be taping over the contacts on the back of the drive caddies in my final configuration, as I won't need the LEDs), and hotplug works as expected. I haven't done any full performance testing with FreeNAS yet, but I was able to get over 500MB/s sequential with the five drives in RAID0 on WIndows, so I have no reason to believe there's a performance impact (not that there really should be).

Here's a bit of "labgore":


Let me know how your testing goes, please, @omegadraconis
 

omegadraconis

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This is my progress so far, I'll be hooking this up to another server same as you untill I can rundown another h220 hba:

I realized between this reddit thread and your post on the HPE forums was how I guessed at the power pinout.

Have you thought about fan control yet? I found a set of G8 fans for $24 with the mounting bracket. I'm planning to pair this with a pwm fan controller and create some 4pin fan connector to 6pin hpe fan connector adapters. This thread covers the fan pin-out, and googling has diagrams as well.

For anyone else following at home my part kit so far:
Backplane and cage ebay link: Disk cage and backplane
PWM FAN controller ebay: pwm controller
G8 fan link: Fans with cage

Edit: fix reddit thread link.
 

amp88

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This is my progress so far, I'll be hooking this up to another server same as you untill I can rundown another h220 hba:

I realized between this reddit thread and your post on the HPE forums was how I guessed at the power pinout.

Have you thought about fan control yet? I found a set of G8 fans for $24 with the mounting bracket. I'm planning to pair this with a pwm fan controller and create some 4pin fan connector to 6pin hpe fan connector adapters. This thread covers the fan pin-out, and googling has diagrams as well.

For anyone else following at home my part kit so far:
Backplane and cage ebay link: Disk cage and backplane
PWM FAN controller ebay: pwm controller
G8 fan link: Fans with cage

Edit: fix reddit thread link.
Nice, looks like you're making good progress. I did think about adapting the stock HPE fans, but my current plan is to buy a five pack of Arctic F8 fans instead for the ease of use (depending on how loud they are I can run them at full speed or use some Noctua low noise adapter cables I've got lying around) and run them from SATA power -> fan adapter cables.

I also think in the future when I get some higher capacity drives I won't need the rear drive cage any more, so I can do away with the 5v requirement and move to a similar HPE power supply adapter you're using, which is much cleaner overall. Then I might repurpose the 2 drive rear cage to be used as a hotplug backup station.

You also reminded me that I'll need to go back and update that thread on the official HPE forums to mention that I got things working. Thanks.

Good luck with your testing :)
 
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omegadraconis

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I've attached the cage to an HP P410 raid array and it's seeing the drives as expected. Everything seems to be humming along without issue for the last few hours. I setup a loop running the DD command writing out 10GBs to a file over and over again. I'm on loop number 198 as of writing. With 3 x 500gb sata drives I'm seeing dd write at ~170Mbs to the array, no errors so far under Freebsd (UFS only). Not bad for ancient desktop drives.

I think the rear cage looks like it would make a great hotswap dock down the road.


Pictures from the test: Testing setup.
 
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amp88

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Cool, I'm glad to see things are going well for you too. I've put about 5TB in total through the five 750GB drives I'm using for testing so far and run a few pool scrubs in FreeNAS with no errors or issues, which is reassuring. Now I'm just waiting on a few more parts to come so I can start testing in a virtualised FreeNAS (or TrueNAS core, although that's still beta at the moment) environment with PCIe passthrough for the HBA.
 
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exfiltrate

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Oct 13, 2020
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This is my progress so far, I'll be hooking this up to another server same as you untill I can rundown another h220 hba:

I realized between this reddit thread and your post on the HPE forums was how I guessed at the power pinout.

Have you thought about fan control yet? I found a set of G8 fans for $24 with the mounting bracket. I'm planning to pair this with a pwm fan controller and create some 4pin fan connector to 6pin hpe fan connector adapters. This thread covers the fan pin-out, and googling has diagrams as well.

For anyone else following at home my part kit so far:
Backplane and cage ebay link: Disk cage and backplane
PWM FAN controller ebay: pwm controller
G8 fan link: Fans with cage

Edit: fix reddit thread link.
What did the pinout end up being? I'm looking at purchasing one and would like to know. Did you come up with anything fancy to mount it?
 

omegadraconis

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Looking at the connector on the backplane its like this:
Yellows are +12v, Grey are GND. A true server also provides 3.3v on one of the pins, but for just the cage this was not needed.
Credit to @amp88 for figuring out the pinout out.

I haven't had time to dedicate to this project and I'm still sorting out a mounting solutions for the cage. I was planning to slice up the case for an old ups I have laying around, but that case was just a little too short and not wide enough. I'm looking for a 3u non-vented rack shelf (anyone have one they want to part with?) that will work for this guy. The issue is that width of this tray measures at 17 1/2 inches due to a lip/box sticking out at the sides near the top. I believe I can slice this off to fit into a shelf, put fans behind it, and then I just need to fabricate a top /shroud for airflow.


Some of advise:
  • If you need to buy disk trays, the cost will add up quickly. I got a deal on these for @$5 a piece. For 13 (I wanted a spare) this added $65 to the build. I know someone has 3d print designs on the web, if you have a printer this might make it cheaper.
  • Plan your cooling/mounting now. I thought it would be easy but, didn't measure the ups case and disassembled the whole thing before I realize it wouldn't fit.
  • The Fan controller I listed earlier was only a voltage controller, and did not genereate a pwm signal. Delta server fans don't like it. I ended up creating a circuit with a 555 to generate a 5v plm signal for my fans.
 
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exfiltrate

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Oct 13, 2020
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Looking at the connector on the backplane its like this:
Yellows are +12v, Grey are GND. A true server also provides 3.3v on one of the pins, but for just the cage this was not needed.
Credit to @amp88 for figuring out the pinout out.

I haven't had time to dedicate to this project and I'm still sorting out a mounting solutions for the cage. I was planning to slice up the case for an old ups I have laying around, but that case was just a little too short and not wide enough. I'm looking for a 3u non-vented rack shelf (anyone have one they want to part with?) that will work for this guy. The issue is that width of this tray measures at 17 1/2 inches due to a lip/box sticking out at the sides near the top. I believe I can slice this off to fit into a shelf, put fans behind it, and then I just need to fabricate a top /shroud for airflow.


Some of advise:
  • If you need to buy disk trays, the cost will add up quickly. I got a deal on these for @$5 a piece. For 13 (I wanted a spare) this added $65 to the build. I know someone has 3d print designs on the web, if you have a printer this might make it cheaper.
  • Plan your cooling/mounting now. I thought it would be easy but, didn't measure the ups case and disassembled the whole thing before I realize it wouldn't fit.
  • The Fan controller I listed earlier was only a voltage controller, and did not genereate a pwm signal. Delta server fans don't like it. I ended up creating a circuit with a 555 to generate a 5v plm signal for my fans.
Thanks for all the info, that's really helpful. What is the SATA connection for? I thought all the drives connected through the SFF-8087 connectors on the backplane.
 

omegadraconis

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On the dl380p, there are two optional rear drive cages. The rear cage is connected to the front backplane via sata cables. I saw a sata port and figured I needed to try it out, freebsd saw the drive i connected to the sata port right away.
 
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roontoon

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PWM FAN controller ebay: pwm controller
G8 fan link: Fans with cage
What kind of connectors are you using for the fans? Also, how are you converting from 6 pin to 4 pin connectors to use the fan controller. Also, do you know of any documentation or specs for the controller? What are you doing for a housing for drives and fans? Happen to be doing a similar project and like your fans and would like to work them into my project.
 

omegadraconis

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I have not had time to finish this project, but I have the cage mounted in a rack shelf. I'm still working on mounting the fan cage to the shelf and working out an air shroud. Pictures are of the current state, 120mm fans are temporary till I can mount hp fans and build the shroud. I took a few days off next week so I'm hoping to make progress on this and wrap this up before the rest of my sas drives arrive.

The 6-pin fan connector pin-out is online, HP PWM Fan Hack is an example. This project used an audino to generate a pwm signal, most microcontrollers have a pwm pinout and programming library making this pretty easy. To adapt 6-pin connection to take Gnd, +12v, and Pwm I made a pcb. This was cheap enough to have professionally made. The 6pin headers I used are 3x2 row 2mm headers from digikey: 2PH2-06-UA Adam Tech | Connectors, Interconnects | DigiKey

The linked ebay fan controller is only for voltage based control and not PWM as indicated, it would not work with hp server fans. For pwm control, I opted to build something lower tech. I built a Pwm generator based on this design: 4-wire fan control 555. It uses a 555 controller to generate a PWM signal to feed the fans. I found that while a lot of cpu fans I had on hand would accept 12v for the PWM signal, the hp fans would not. The spec page showed that the expected signal should be +5V for Pwm. I've built a homemade PCB for this, I used pci-e power connectors to power the back-plane and feed power for the fans/555. Its a is a little rough around the edges as I etched this one at home.
 
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jena

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Nice work!

Question1:
Does the drive caddy (like yours, those with electrical contacts, HP called smart caddy) has correct HDD power and HDD activity report without a motherboard?


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I bought the point-to-point version of backplane for DL380e (part number 668307-001) for $65 new.

My motherboard is from HP Z240 SFF (C236 chipset), which has 4 onboard SATA.
I need PCIE x 16 and x4 slot for 10G NIC and 2nd Nvme SSD. So I need to use a SATA-SFF8087 reverse breakout cable.
So I think the point-to-point for sure will work. I am not sure if reverse breakout cable will work with HP expander type backplane.
In the future, I can add ASM1064 PCIE to 4 SATA card to give me more SATA.
I plan to put this drive cage into a 4U network rack (12inch deep) and put a motherboard try under it.
That way I will have a less than 30L "server case" with 12 bays ;), which is shallow enough to sit on a bookshelf like a NAS.

Mine cage came with a 24pin to two 8 pin and one 6 pin cable.
My guess is the 24 pin (is not regular ATX 24 pinout) goes to the HP's motherboard's power distribution.
HP_Backplane_PowerWiring.jpeg

HP_Backplane_Cable_Label.jpeg
B=Black, Y=Yellow, R=Red

Question 2:
I read your posts a few times.
Just double check: Did you leave out all "3.3v" pins (not wired) and only re-wired 12V and GND and everything works fine?

One thing that I don't quite understand is : whether Red wire is 3.3V or 5V.
Normally, Black Wire = GND, Yellow = 12V, Red = 5V, Orange = 3.3V.
But your probing suggested Red = 3.3V.

With a multimeter, I can confirm Black Wire = GND because they are all connected to multiple ground points as well as the metal cage.
I can confirm Yellow Wires are 12V because they all connected to 12v on the SATA power connectors on the backplane (pin 13 - 15).

Oddly, on the SATA power, neither the 5V nor 3.3V is connected to the 8pin power.
Upon close inspection of the backplane PCB, I found step-down Buck-convertor chips.
HP_Backplane_BuckConvertor.jpeg
Texas Instrument 53219 Step-Down Controller and TI 86350D (I think it is the same as TI CSD86350Q5D Synchronous Buck Power Block)
Both data sheet indicated to use 5V as Gate Driven in an optimized setup.
But I think it is also possible to step down 12V to 5V all using 12V input with the right combination of resister and capacitor.

Update: I can confirm that the Vsw (i.e. output of step-down buck 86350D) is connected to SATA pin 7-9 (5V).
I think we are closer to the truth now
;)

So I am puzzled: it seems hard to confirm whether: 1) Red wire is 5V or 2) 3.3V or 3) it is simply not used on the backplane.
I am not sure what stuff on the backplane uses the power from the red wire.

PDF Data sheet:
 

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amp88

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Nice work!

Question1:
Does the drive caddy (like yours, those with electrical contacts, HP called smart caddy) has correct HDD power and HDD activity report without a motherboard?
If we refer to the Drive LED Definitions for the caddy, in my particular use case only the "Activity Ring" LEDs on the smart caddies are functional (i.e. when the drive is being accessed the activity LEDs illuminate). The "Drive Status" LED is permanently off in my case. I've never tried to test the "Locate" LED, so I have no idea if it works. It may be possible to get full functionality from them, possibly using 3rd party utilities, but I don't know for sure (I haven't looked into it much myself). For drive identification, I always write the drive model and serial number on a label and stick it on the caddy. The HP Gen8/9 LFF caddies are perfect for this, because they have a large space to put the label without blocking airflow to the drive.

In my particular case I have the two SFF-8087 ports from the DL380e backplane connected to an LSI HBA (an HP220 flashed with a generic LSI 9207-8i firmware) that's in my Dell R730 server. I run Proxmox on the R730 and use PCI passthrough to pass the LSI HBA to an installation of FreeNAS (I'm still waiting to migrate to TrueNAS Core because I've seen a few too many issues so far). When I run "smartctl --scan" from FreeNAS, the enclosure/backplane appears as "/dev/ses0 -d scsi # /dev/ses0, SCSI device" in the output. If I query the enclosure for info (using "smartctl -i /dev/ses0"), I get the following output:

Code:
root@freenas[~]# smartctl -i /dev/ses0
smartctl 7.0 2018-12-30 r4883 [FreeBSD 11.3-RELEASE-p11 amd64] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-18, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Vendor:               HP
Product:              Gen8 ServBP 12+2
Revision:             3.30
Compliance:           SPC-3
Logical Unit id:      0x5001438031d969e0
Serial number:        FZxxxxxxxxx
Device type:          enclosure
Transport protocol:   SAS (SPL-3)
Local Time is:        Tue Dec 15 11:35:56 2020 GMT
SMART support is:     Unavailable - device lacks SMART capability.
If it isn't possible to send LED commands/queries directly to the drives, it may be possible to send them through the enclosure/backplane, via the SCSI Enclosure Services (SES) protocol. I don't know, I haven't investigated. Also, for the avoidance of doubt, the "SMART support is: Unavailable - device lacks SMART capability." message above is related to the enclosure/backplane itself, not the drives. The drives do pass SMART data to the host properly, as expected.

So I need to use a SATA-SFF8087 reverse breakout cable.
So I think the point-to-point for sure will work. I am not sure if reverse breakout cable will work with HP expander type backplane.
I've never used reverse breakout cables myself, but since you're using the "668307-001" version of the backplane (with three SFF-8087 connectors, meaning no SAS expander to complicate things), I think it should work, so I agree with your assessment there.

In the future, I can add ASM1064 PCIE to 4 SATA card to give me more SATA.
I plan to put this drive cage into a 4U network rack (12inch deep) and put a motherboard try under it.
That way I will have a less than 30L "server case" with 12 bays ;), which is shallow enough to sit on a bookshelf like a NAS.
Sounds cool! :)

Question 2:
I read your posts a few times.
Just double check: Did you leave out all "3.3v" pins (not wired) and only re-wired 12V and GND and everything works fine?

One thing that I don't quite understand is : whether Red wire is 3.3V or 5V.
Normally, Black Wire = GND, Yellow = 12V, Red = 5V, Orange = 3.3V.
But your probing suggested Red = 3.3V.

With a multimeter, I can confirm Black Wire = GND because they are all connected to multiple ground points as well as the metal cage.
I can confirm Yellow Wires are 12V because they all connected to 12v on the SATA power connectors on the backplane (pin 13 - 15).

Oddly, on the SATA power, neither the 5V nor 3.3V is connected to the 8pin power.
Upon close inspection of the backplane PCB, I found step-down Buck-convertor chips.

Texas Instrument 53219 Step-Down Controller and TI 86350D (I think it is the same as TI CSD86350Q5D Synchronous Buck Power Block)
Both data sheet indicated to use 5V as Gate Driven in an optimized setup.
But I think it is also possible to step down 12V to 5V all using 12V input with the right combination of resister and capacitor.

Update: I can confirm that the Vsw (i.e. output of step-down buck 86350D) is connected to SATA pin 7-9 (5V).
I think we are closer to the truth now
;)

So I am puzzled: it seems hard to confirm whether: 1) Red wire is 5V or 2) 3.3V or 3) it is simply not used on the backplane.
I am not sure what stuff on the backplane uses the power from the red wire.
For my 12 bay backplane I only wired the 12v and GND in the connectors. From my probing the red wire was definitely 3.3v, which confused me too at first (because red is usually 5v). I ignored the 3.3v input, and I've had no problems. My assumption is the 3.3v input is only required if you wish to use the 3.3v power disable (PWDIS) feature of the SATA spec. I believe the PWDIS feature does get used in true enterprise environments, and it must be included to meet the SATA spec, but it's probably not useful for most homelabbers. If you look at post 13 in this thread, the user omegadraconis has been powering the backplane via an HP common slot server PSU and a PCIe power breakout board, which only provides 12v and GND outputs to the backplane, and it's been working for them, so you don't need to worry about the 3.3v input.

I hope some of that was helpful. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
 

omegadraconis

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If we refer to the Drive LED Definitions for the caddy, in my particular use case only the "Activity Ring" LEDs on the smart caddies are functional (i.e. when the drive is being accessed the activity LEDs illuminate). The "Drive Status" LED is permanently off in my case. I've never tried to test the "Locate" LED, so I have no idea if it works. It may be possible to get full functionality from them, possibly using 3rd party utilities, but I don't know for sure (I haven't looked into it much myself). For drive identification, I always write the drive model and serial number on a label and stick it on the caddy. The HP Gen8/9 LFF caddies are perfect for this, because they have a large space to put the label without blocking airflow to the drive.
Your post peaked my interest, I wanted to know if it was possible to use locate or other leds. A quick search turned up sesutil in the freebsd man pages, to be able to control the lights on the backplane. Seems to be working, I was able to toggle locate and fault led on the trays. Seems we cannot set the status led to anything other than amber and the "Do Not Remove" led is not working. My activity rings spin constantly, and never appear to go off.

sesutil example output:
Code:
root@truenas[/]# sesutil show -u /dev/ses0        
ses0: <HP Gen8 ServBP 12+2 3.30>; ID: 5001438030538f00
Desc     Dev     Model                     Ident                Size/Status
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        da0     SEAGATE ST3000NM0023      Z1Y468FW0000C6425GBD 3T, LED=locate
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        da1     SEAGATE ST3000NM0023      Z1ZB6KDS0000R650MA2Z 3T
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        da2     SEAGATE ST3000NM0023      Z1Y45ZFQ0000C6422ZUB 3T
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        da3     SEAGATE ST3000NM0023      Z1ZBAKPS0000C6514TVE 3T
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
For smartinfo, you should be able to query the drives directly. Smartinfo is available on the disk device, example from one of my sas drives:
Code:
root@truenas[/]# smartctl -i /dev/da0
smartctl 7.1 2019-12-30 r5022 [FreeBSD 12.2-PRERELEASE amd64] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-19, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Vendor:               SEAGATE
Product:              ST3000NM0023
Revision:             0006
Compliance:           SPC-4
User Capacity:        3,000,592,982,016 bytes [3.00 TB]
Logical block size:   512 bytes
LU is fully provisioned
Rotation Rate:        7200 rpm
Form Factor:          3.5 inches
Logical Unit id:      0x5000c5008563adff
Serial number:        Z1Y468FW0000C6425GBD
Device type:          disk
Transport protocol:   SAS (SPL-3)
Local Time is:        Mon Dec 21 15:00:22 2020 PST
SMART support is:     Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is:     Enabled
Temperature Warning:  Disabled or Not Supported
I can confirm no 3.3v fed to my backplane, I think you're both on the rigth path that it maybe used for reset for drives.
 
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amp88

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Your post peaked my interest, I wanted to know if it was possible to use locate or other leds. A quick search turned up sesutil in the freebsd man pages, to be able to control the lights on the backplane. Seems to be working, I was able to toggle locate and fault led on the trays. Seems we cannot set the status led to anything other than amber and the "Do Not Remove" led is not working. My activity rings spin constantly, and never appear to go off.

sesutil example output:
Code:
root@truenas[/]# sesutil show -u /dev/ses0       
ses0: <HP Gen8 ServBP 12+2 3.30>; ID: 5001438030538f00
Desc     Dev     Model                     Ident                Size/Status
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        da0     SEAGATE ST3000NM0023      Z1Y468FW0000C6425GBD 3T, LED=locate
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        da1     SEAGATE ST3000NM0023      Z1ZB6KDS0000R650MA2Z 3T
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        da2     SEAGATE ST3000NM0023      Z1Y45ZFQ0000C6422ZUB 3T
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        da3     SEAGATE ST3000NM0023      Z1ZBAKPS0000C6514TVE 3T
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
-        -       -                         -                    Not Installed
That looks like a cool utility. Thanks for the info :)
 

audiophonicz

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Jan 11, 2021
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Amp88,

I just created an acct on here just to thank you for posting this. I never create accts or post anymore these days, so I hope you get how big a deal it is for me. Anywhoo,

So I did pretty much the exact same thing back in Dec '19 to make a DAS that would fit in my 13" depth wall rack. Long story short, I'm going back in to update it a bit and tried to find the post from back then to get the power connector pinouts, and I found this post. Thanks for that pinout alone, but man you went alot farther into it than i did lol. Great job!

Q1: Did you rack mount it? How did you go about mounting the brackets to hold all the weight?

Q2: How did you mount the fans and PSU?

So what I did was use a rack shelf and riveted the bottom of the cage to it, along with a Dell SFF 300w PSU. I re-pinned a 8-pin PCIe Ycable to make swapping out the PSUs easier if need be. Just using straight miniSAS cables to an LSI 9206-16e (PERC H830) Unfortunately I didnt do enough fan and ended up burning out a couple SAS ports. (Fortunately the backplanes are only like $24) I was thinking about getting a whole DL380 chassis and just cutting it down to length, but now Im curious on the path you took. Hopefully we can get an update of it mounted and working. :)

Again, thanks for your post and all the effort you put in! It made a difference!

DAS1.jpg
DAS2.jpg
 
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amp88

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Amp88,

I just created an acct on here just to thank you for posting this. I never create accts or post anymore these days, so I hope you get how big a deal it is for me. Anywhoo,

So I did pretty much the exact same thing back in Dec '19 to make a DAS that would fit in my 13" depth wall rack. Long story short, I'm going back in to update it a bit and tried to find the post from back then to get the power connector pinouts, and I found this post. Thanks for that pinout alone, but man you went alot farther into it than i did lol. Great job!
Thanks for letting me know, I'm glad we were able to help out.

Q1: Did you rack mount it? How did you go about mounting the brackets to hold all the weight?

Q2: How did you mount the fans and PSU?
Sadly I don't have any pictures of my current setup; it's a mess anyway, so I'd be embarrassed to share them ;)

I haven't rack mounted mine yet, but that's something I plan on doing maybe later this year. I've been looking for a reasonably cheap rack, but nothing's caught my eye so far. My current setup isn't ideal, but I put it together as sort of a proof of concept last year. I have a Seasonic G-450 80+ Gold ATX PSU in an old PC case at the bottom of the stack, on which I've done the "paper clip" trick I can see you've also done with your judging by the black electrical tape. Then I have 3 extension cables on its outputs, 2 for powering the backplane and 1 for a Molex to fan power.

I have the original full DL380e server on top of the PC case, but I removed the fans from the server and replaced them with a five pack of Arctic F8 80mm case fans. The Arctic fans fit almost perfectly within the space left by the original HP fans, and I only needed to add a few shims cut from a 2mm thick sheet of silicone sheet to get a good pressure fit and keep the fans in place (with the added benefit of a bit of a vibration dampening effect). I've run a few different variations of drives through my testing and then almost 24/7 usage for 5 months and I don't think I've ever had drive temperatures at 40 degrees Celsius, even when I had 14 drives in total (12 up front and 2 in the rear drive cage).

Then I've got two 1 metre long SFF-8087 cables going from the backplane connectors to an LSI 9207-8i in my Dell R730 server above them.

My current plan is to swap from using the ATX PSU to using an HP server PSU and breakout board (as omegadraconis has above) and to remove the drive cage from the DL380e and mount it, the server PSU, and the fan array to a fairly deep rack shelf if I can get a rack sorted out (it's cool to see you've made this within just a 13" deep rack). I'd also like to move from the 9207-8i card I'm currently using in the R730 to a 9207-8e and maybe use some SFF-8087 to SFF-8088 cables, but I haven't done much research yet, so I'm not sure about that.

I got another full DL380e server for about £40/$55 USD (the UK company I got it from sells them very cheap when they report diagnostic problems with the iLO, but for that server it just took a couple of NAND formats for the iLO to work properly again). I'm currently using it as a backup/ZFS replication server I can experiment with before making any changes to my main setup.

So what I did was use a rack shelf and riveted the bottom of the cage to it, along with a Dell SFF 300w PSU. I re-pinned a 8-pin PCIe Ycable to make swapping out the PSUs easier if need be. Just using straight miniSAS cables to an LSI 9206-16e (PERC H830) Unfortunately I didnt do enough fan and ended up burning out a couple SAS ports. (Fortunately the backplanes are only like $24) I was thinking about getting a whole DL380 chassis and just cutting it down to length, but now Im curious on the path you took. Hopefully we can get an update of it mounted and working. :)

Again, thanks for your post and all the effort you put in! It made a difference!
Looks like you've got a nice clean setup there, and a fine looking rack. Would you mind doing a quick run through of what you've got in there, please. The box above your storage looks to be quite interesting, what model is it? Shame about the damaged backplane, but I guess that's the risk we're taking by tinkering, and the parts are pretty cheap, as you say.

Again, thanks for letting me know this thread was helpful :)