Powering HP ProLiant SL230/250s nodes as stand-alone

Markess

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May 19, 2018
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Anyone with experience/knowledge on the 12 pin Power Cable pin assignments for the HP ProLiant SL230s / SL250s Gen 8 node?

I’d been thinking about making a custom enclosure for my next project, and after reading posts (here and elsewhere) about using Dell PowerEdge C6100 and C8220 nodes as stand-alones, I thought I’d give something similar a try. Besides being an interesting challenge, I think the form factor is perfect to fit on top of the wall unit in my home office (the “rack” being full).

While searching eBay, I ran across a SL230s motherboard auction ending with no bidders, and did an impulse buy for $14.99. I figured, if nothing else I could still use/sell the two included E5-2630s later on.

I know the SL230/250s nodes had onboard NICs, SAS/SATA connectors and can do video through a multi-function cable. But, the power connection is is a complete unknown to me. HP's documentation is no help of course, even cables in most pictures have a shroud over the plug so its hard to tell anything. I’m not a great diagnostician , so puzzling out the connection myself from just the board’s connector probably isn’t an option. So, thought I’d ask if anyone knew, before I went in for a power distribution board, cables, and etc to reverse engineer.

This is going to be a learning experience more than anything else. More for testing new things and getting more experience with virtualization than any “production” role.

Thanks for any advice or recommendations on this or anything else with the build!
 
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Markess

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Answering my own post in case someone has another idea or lands here on a google search. I had some limited success but couldn't get this to boot.

With help from the internet, I puzzled out the connector enough to get power on (+12v on Pins 1,2,3,7,8,& 9, and Ground on the rest). I used an ATX supply with PS_On connected to Ground ("the paperclip trick") so, its possible that one of the +12v is actually a standby, but I wouldn't be able to tell.

connector_12pin.png

With power applied:

1. Power button blinks yellow and the status blinks red for 30 seconds or so. Power draw stays at about 12w.
2. After 30 seconds power goes up to ~45w, the one installed CPU gets warm, and both power and status lights change to green.
3. I don't have the breakout cable for video, but have tried different GPUs in the x16 slot with no success.
4. I can connect remotely through the ILO NIC. The board reports an Advanced ILO4 license, but I can't seem to do too much. Many things report as unavailable because the system hasn't completed POST.
5. I can start remote sessions with both the Java and .Net options, but both return "No Video" and commands don't seem to do anything.

I'm guessing POST maybe isn't completing because the system is reporting no fans or power supplies in ILO? I don't know if there's a bypass key for this that I can't see because of no video? As noted above, I got this on impulse figuring if I couldn't get it to work I'd use the CPUs on something else. But, now that I've started, the stubborn part of me would like to get it to work.

Anyone have a guess on if I'd have better luck with video and viewing the POST process if I got the breakout cable to access the onboard GPU? Thanks for any recommendations.
 
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Vit K

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Feb 23, 2017
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Oh boy, oh boy, I waited this for several months. Markess, great news, big thanks for reporting your findings.

I actually bought two nodes (left and right) after success with powering c8220.
IMG_2230.jpgIMG_2232.jpg

I thought that, like with c8220, I might use compatible cable from older gen hardware called "hp dl2000 power cable"

IMG_2231.jpg IMG_2233.jpg

Sadly, it did not even powering on with it, but not burning out ether.

BTW why you should use this: Very cheap FlexLOM adapters based on ConnectX -3 that allow to run 112 Gbit Ethernet (dual 56 Gbit if Mellanox switch). Very compact form factor, you can install at least two in Thermaltake core P7 case.
 
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Markess

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I thought that, like with c8220, I might use compatible cable from older gen hardware called "hp dl2000 power cable"

View attachment 10682 View attachment 10684

Sadly, it did not even powering on with it, but not burning out ether.
I ordered a cable that looked like that one, and got something completely different, so I wound up putting my own together.

That cable you have has the Purple wire going to +5 volt standby. The SL230s power supply only makes 12 volts, so I connected that wire to +12 volts instead. That let me power the system on enough to get into the management console (ILO4) using the management NIC. You may want to try connecting that purple cable to +12v and try it.

I had to disable the management password. On the System Maintenance Switch, set slider number 1 to "on". Its item number 17 on the diagram below. Once I had access, I could reset it to something else.

Even with that, I never did get it to post completely, and never got any video. I even bought an SUV breakout cable and had no luck with that either.

upload_2019-3-11_12-52-37.png
 

Markess

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May 19, 2018
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I have a couple of working S6500 enclosures with 8 SL230s. If you need any help getting some readings off of the chassis, let me know
Thank you for the offer! To be honest though, I'm not sure what to look for.

At this point, I can get into ILO, but its stuck at some point in the POST process. And since I can't get any video, even with the SUV cable, I don't really have any more to go on. From the kill-a-watt, I can tell that both CPUs are getting power & CPUs tested OK in another system.

Looking at the ILO log, this unit had 4 separate critical overheat incidents, a couple failed Power Supply incidents, and other thermal & fan warnings over a 3 month span in 2014, and then no other logged activity until I tried powering it on. So, I'm guessing I may have a bad board that was pulled in 2014 and sat around a couple years before being cleared out/sold.
 

Vit K

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Feb 23, 2017
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Still can't get time to play with the boards. Just remembered another thing - there is a cable with a power button for the same older generation model as first one.
I have tried to source it from aliexpress different sellers, but unsuccessful in all cases. Replies were that it no longer produced or offerers a regular cable (without the power pins) .

HTB1ExH2QXXXXXcBXFXXq6xXFXXXe.jpg HTB1JrbSQXXXXXbFXVXXq6xXFXXX9.jpg HTB1Y42NQXXXXXbDaXXXq6xXFXXXO.jpg HTB1ChMmQXXXXXa.XXXXq6xXFXXX7.jpg
 
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Markess

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May 19, 2018
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Still can't get time to play with the boards. Just remembered another thing - there is a cable with a power button for the same older generation model as first one.
I have tried to source it from aliexpress different sellers, but unsuccessful in all cases. Replies were that it no longer produced or offerers a regular cable (without the power pins) .

View attachment 10915 View attachment 10916 View attachment 10917 View attachment 10918

Thanks for posting this!

I couldn't find that cable either, so I thought (there I go thinking again!) I could get around it by just shorting the "Power On" wire (the single wire on the one end of the connector in the pictures you posted) to one of the "Ground" wires on the PSU. This put the power supply in On mode permanently and, for a desktop motherboard, it should boot the system. My Kill-a-Watt showed the system drawing power, up to about 80 watts, which is what I expected for it to be booting.

But, these aren't desktops, and I suppose there may be some requirement that the system must power on via the pins that the switch is connected to in order to fully boot. That's something I didn't even think of till I saw your post. So thank you for posting this, I'll try to rig up a switch in the next couple days and see how it works.
 

Trungdv

New Member
Apr 13, 2019
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Answering my own post in case someone has another idea or lands here on a google search. I had some limited success but couldn't get this to boot.

With help from the internet, I puzzled out the connector enough to get power on (+12v on Pins 1,2,3,7,8,& 9, and Ground on the rest). I used an ATX supply with PS_On connected to Ground ("the paperclip trick") so, its possible that one of the +12v is actually a standby, but I wouldn't be able to tell.

View attachment 10562

With power applied:

1. Power button blinks yellow and the status blinks red for 30 seconds or so. Power draw stays at about 12w.
2. After 30 seconds power goes up to ~45w, the one installed CPU gets warm, and both power and status lights change to green.
3. I don't have the breakout cable for video, but have tried different GPUs in the x16 slot with no success.
4. I can connect remotely through the ILO NIC. The board reports an Advanced ILO4 license, but I can't seem to do too much. Many things report as unavailable because the system hasn't completed POST.
5. I can start remote sessions with both the Java and .Net options, but both return "No Video" and commands don't seem to do anything.

I'm guessing POST maybe isn't completing because the system is reporting no fans or power supplies in ILO? I don't know if there's a bypass key for this that I can't see because of no video? As noted above, I got this on impulse figuring if I couldn't get it to work I'd use the CPUs on something else. But, now that I've started, the stubborn part of me would like to get it to work.

Anyone have a guess on if I'd have better luck with video and viewing the POST process if I got the breakout cable to access the onboard GPU? Thanks for any recommendations.
i am using some SL230S G8. and i also want to mod like you. can you take a photo your machine after mod PSU? tks!
 

Vit K

Member
Feb 23, 2017
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Self-isolation brings it fist results: I was able to start damn thing! No fiddle with the RPS cable needed. It is only 12v for all yellows (left half), black for ground(right half) and a shorted ps_on pin. I did resistance test to make sure.
I got the picture and I will do some tests tomorrow. I don't even have coolers installed, I kept mobo more than a year in the storage box. @Markess thanks for help without your post I wont be able to figure it out. Mine board blink green 30 sec while post and then display boot image. May be you your mb is damaged, or you have bad cpu or memory installed wrong. Also initially I shorted different ground pin with and it did not work, might depend on PSU, make sure it really gives 12v.

IMG_5789.jpg IMG_5790.jpg IMG_5791.jpg
 
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Markess

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That's great you got it to boot!

I did determine that my motherboard was probably damaged. I was able to get into the BMC eventually a few months ago, and the last 30 or so log entries (from the period before I bought it on Ebay) were all for Critical system failures. Overheating, voltage, fan and PSU failures, etc. Multiple instances over a two week period ending about a year before I bought it. No successful boots logged, just Critical failures. So, I assume the board was probably bad.

It wasn't a great loss. I'd been inspired by the extensive Dell node thread here. While shoppping for a Dell board, I found this one, complete with two E5-2630 CPUs, in an auction ending with no bids. I ended up getting it for less than what a single CPU was selling for on Ebay. Once I determined that the board was probably dead, I bought a more conventional board and used the CPUs in that!
 

Vit K

Member
Feb 23, 2017
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As promised, more images. The board takes a very long time for start up (5 min+) and if temperatures are not good (as it was in my case when I can't even connect fans because don't have adapter) it will hang on power calibration with red blinking LED. Successful LED post is on one of the pictures. I was able to enter ILO setup and BIOS. Looks like it was a facebook server back in the days. Did not tried to boot Windows yet because have to source fan adapter.
 

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