Queen of Dreams. Hyperconverged White Box Case Mod

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by lowfat, May 5, 2018.

  1. lowfat

    lowfat Member

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    This has been an on and off case mod I've been working on for like 5-6 years. First few attempts were going to be water cooled. But about 2 years ago I decided to actually build a server to replace my aging Opteron 6168 + Supermicro H8SGL-F system. I'll try to compress it as much as possible. Still not done but getting close'ish.

    When I pulled the case out of the closet it looked like this. It is a Cooler Master Stacker 830 from ~ 2008. One of the last great aluminum cases IMO.
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    Case looks like this normally.
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    As this case has zero 3.5" drives, I used some Lian Li drive cages I had laying around and trimmed them up.
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    Cut a hole in the side of the 5.25" bays to access the drives.

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    And back in place
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    I cut a piece of aluminum to cover the ugly mesh floor the case originally had.

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    Also cut a piece of aluminum to cover the back side of the 5.25" bays.
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    Cut some thin aluminum to cover up all the holes on the 5.25 bay to clean things up. JBWeld'ed them in place.
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    Drill some holes and used some counter sunk rivets to hold the drive cages in place. I'll be using epoxy over the rivets before painting so they won't be visible.
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    Cut a hole on the backside of the 5.25 bays to give access to the back of the drives. The little hole @ the top is for a few SSDs.
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    Drilled and taped some holes in the false floor and screwed in some brass standoffs. Then epoxied them in place and filed them smooth.
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    As this is a server, I don't need front panel USB, Firewire :p, or front panel audio. So I used some Bondo to cover everything except for the power button. Started sanding out all the scraps and nicks the case has had over the last 10 years.
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    More to come.....
     
    #1
  2. K D

    K D Well-Known Member

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    Nice. Looking forward to part 2.
     
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  3. lowfat

    lowfat Member

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    One of the first attempts at designing some cable management combs.
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    Also designed a simple cover to hide some more cabling near the PSU.
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    Starting work on the cables. This is the colour scheme I'll be going with. All MDPC-X. Diamond Red, Riviera Blue, Perfect Pink, Grand Bleu, XXX, B Magic, Ranger Green, Color X.

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    WIP pics of the cable management.
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    Printed some really low quality combs to assist w/ training and getting the lengths right. Will be removed.
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    On to the hard part. Adjusting the lengths of all the wires @ the PSU.
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    Printed a slot adapter for an IBM M5015 since it came w/ a low profile adapter.

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    And then the project sat untouched for the next 14 months..... Started back up about a month ago.

    When I started this, my 3d printer was not great. I've went through many printers since then and my current machines are quite a bit better. So I wanted to redo some of the combs I printed.

    Before:
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    And now:
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    A short clip of the printer in action.


    I also made the mistake of starting my wires @ the motherboard end instead of the PSU. With my method you should do the hardest curves first. I knew this but most have not been thinking. So I pulled all the wires out and did the PSU first. The combs will be cut out when finished.
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    Finished off the ever so tedious 24 pin and both 8 pin wiring.
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    More to come...... Thanks for looking.
     
    #3
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  4. lowfat

    lowfat Member

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    Designed a simple SSD mounting bracket. SSD model was design by HAS from GrabCAD
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    Printed on my Mini. Not perfect. But I just started using the printer this past week and I never print PLA. So I'll need to spend some more time tweaking the print settings.
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    Also reprinted another piece. This time on my other printer. A cover for some wiring next to the PSU.
    Short clip of the printer in action


    Pics of said printer
    'Prusa' 3D Printer. Single Z Motor

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    Pic showing the quality compared to the old printed part. These are vertical walls. Old piece is on the left.

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    And a macro of the same.

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    Pic of a horizontal comparison.
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    A few years ago I dyed a bunch of Nidec Gentle Typhoon AP-15s but I didn't have enough black ones to complete this mod. So I pulled the blades off the remaining grey ones.
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    Had a major accident w/ coolant back in 2011 and dye got everywhere. This is a hub on a fan after removing the blades.
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    Working on the sleeving for the CPU fans. Always a good idea to off the sticker so you don't melt it.
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    And if the back of the fan is visible, always orientate it so that its vertical.
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    Black blades ftw.
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    Finished the wiring for the CPU and intake fans. But black sleeve over black heatsinks makes them hard to see. I guess that is a good thing since I don't think any secondary wiring should really be noticeable.
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    Did a lot of painting & sanding on the front panel parts were the original front panel IOs were. Pretty happy w/ the outcome. Can't tell at all where I used the bondo. Still need to do a bit more work as there are a couple of scratches that I'd like to sand out yet.
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    One of the front panel IO boards I can trash, the other I needed for the power button. However I needed to remove the USB ports.
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    Came off pretty much hassle free.
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  5. realtomatoes

    realtomatoes Active Member

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    nice build log
     
    #5
  6. lowfat

    lowfat Member

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    Worked on the drive cabling.

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    3d printed small covers to cover the holes where the wires pass-through. See top right where the wires come through.
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    Had to make adjustments 3 more times to the top channel cover shown here. But now I'm able to fit all the cabling.

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    Designed a simple fan mount to blow air over my PCIe cards.
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    After printing the part I melted in brass threaded inserts so I can easily mount the fan and the bracket.
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    Easy way to make sure I drill holes in the case in the right place, is to design and print a template.
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    I just held the template to where I needed to drill the holes and then drilled the holes. See 3 vertical black screws on the left.
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    Bracket in place.
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    Printed a small cover to cover up a modding mistake I made a few years ago w/ this case.
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    Supposedly this board has onboard VGA but no VGA/DVI/etc outputs. There is a VGA header though. Bought some cheap header off eBay, dyed the ribbon black, and painted the slot cover black. The board I am using (Asus Z9PE-D8 WS) doesn't have IPMI so I need some sort of video out. I'll be building the Raspberry Pi KVMoIP here. Fmstrat/diy-ipmi
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    The storage related PCIe drives I hope I'll be using. Two IBM M5015s (which I plan to cross flash), an Oracle F40, and a 320GB Fusion-IO ioDrive Duo SLC.
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    And this is where I currently am at. Currently waiting on a pair of ConnectX-3 cards and a 12v wifi switch (so I can turn on the case's LED strips via Google Home :cool:).
     
    #6
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  7. TomUK

    TomUK Member

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    Shaping up really well, should look great when complete.

    The Raspberry Pi IPMI is great, but for less than the cost of doing it you could grab an Asus ASMB6-iKVM module which should just work with your board - and they are quite cheap, especially used ones - not as cool though :D
     
    #7
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  8. lowfat

    lowfat Member

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    Thanks.

    I honestly didn't think the ASMB6-iKVM was supported by the board. When you said something I dug harder. The only thing in the entire manual that mentions it is 'ASMB header' in the diagram. But sure enough its supported. Ended up ordering one. :)

    Didn't get much work done on the case itself as I was testing hardware/software to see what I'd end up using. At first I wasn't able to get my ioDrive Duo working in Proxmox but after doing a bunch of work and internet research I was able to get drivers build that work. :cool:

    The Fusion-IO ioDrive Duo 320GB SLC will be the ZFS SLOG and a small L2ARC. Probably won't see much action, but i did test it w/ sync=always and it handled it rather well.

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    Got a few of these in. Sonoff SVs, wifi switch (not networking switch). They'll allow me to turn off the systems led strips via Google Assistant.
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    Quickly modeled a mount up in Fusion 360.
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    Printed and melted in some threaded inserts.
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    Kinda went overboard on the superglue to give the cable some strain relief at the solder points....
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    3 or 4 more redesigns of the top channel cover I can finally fit all the wires.

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    Wired up the PCIe cooling fan straight up to the 5V on the PSU to keep things clean.
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    #8
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  9. pc-tecky

    pc-tecky Member

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    wow! just a little bit OCD, it looks labor intensive, but for a very nice looking end result.. I'm impressed!

    the power cables running along the back side, why do all of them only have one twist? did I miss something or just the luck of the draw? did the wires come sleeved? or did you have to sleeve the the wires? did you crimp or solder the pins on? I'm a bit curious about the process and the source for the parts (I've seen kits to replace the white or black plastic for UV reactive plastic parts).

    as for the strain relief, I've seen others make a tiny strip and secured them with coarse screws (for plastic) .. that way, should the module ever go bad, you can replace the bad module..
     
    #9
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  10. lowfat

    lowfat Member

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    The wires were cut, crimped, and sleeved from scratch. The power supply wiring is 1:1. Meaning that the wire that plugs in to pin 1 on the 24-pin connector @ the power supply end, goes to pin 1 on the motherboard end. Pin 2 goes to pin 2. Etc. Since each connector is opposite to each other, all the wires have to cross each other. By mounting the PSU upsidedown, each wire only needs to cross one other wire. It is sorta hard to explain unless you've looked at the wiring for a modular power supply w/ the original sleeving removed.

    There are lots of computer modding stores that sell the supplies. I use MDPC-X sleeving. If you are in the US. Mod-One is a good reseller of MDPC-X. It is very time consuming and can be very frustrating. Especially if you want to get all the lengths exact like I try to do.

    I probably could have used a P wire clip for strain relief but didn't think about it. :oops:
     
    #10
  11. _haru

    _haru New Member

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    Amazing!
     
    #11
  12. pc-tecky

    pc-tecky Member

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    Ah...Ok. I have an 24-pin ATX power extension cable... two of them in fact. Never really noticed given they are such a mess of wires. One is just 8" or so, and the other is sleeved in mesh specifically for the Intel S2600CP motherboard to fit the Intel P4000M series chassis (P4216xxMHGR). Anyways... it still looks awesome! (Very aware of the specific ATX wire pin-outs.)
     
    #12
  13. lowfat

    lowfat Member

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    Where The Sonoff SV is mounted. Excuse the mess here. Nothing can be done about those SATA cables AFAIK. :(
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    The front fan breakout cable. Excuse the poor pic. The fans go back straight to the 5V on the PSU.
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    With the fans in.
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    Earlier I posted how I printed a piece to cover up a past modding mistake. Well a couple of minutes later I edited the design and bam its now an LED mount. :)
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    Installed.
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    On to the drive cage LED mount.
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    I printed a drilling template and drilled holes to mount it.
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    Those holes are covered once the case goes back together.
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    With the LED strip installed. The strip won't be visible w/ the case side panel on.
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    The main chamber bottom LED mount. Now screwed in yet. But once again it won't be visible w/ the side panel on. Also notice the new CPU fans. I ended up having to swap them to PWM fans.
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    Where the last LED strip hides.
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    #13
  14. TomUK

    TomUK Member

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    Any idea of final system specs (or have I missed that!)
     
    #14
  15. frogtech

    frogtech Active Member

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    This is a super sick build and overall case mod but I'm wondering what about this makes it hyperconverged?
     
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  16. lowfat

    lowfat Member

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    • 2 x E5-2670.
    • Asus Z9PE-D8 WS.
    • 64GB ECC RDIMM.
    • 3x120GB Apacer Pro SSDs on a IBM M5014 in RAID5 for boot drive.
    • 320GB SLC Fusion-IO ioDrive Duo for ZFS SLOG and L2ARC.
    • 400GB Oracle F40 Warpdrive for VM/container storage.
    • 7x 3TB on IBM M5015. Mix of Seagate ST3000DM008 & ES.2s.
    • Mellanox Connect-X3. Will be a direct connection to my workstation.
    Isn't a hyper-converged machine one that combines storage and compute? If I'm wrong I'll change the title.
     
    #16
    Last edited: May 21, 2018 at 8:38 AM
  17. frogtech

    frogtech Active Member

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    I guess it is but the origination of the term (and really, it could be considered some marketing buzz phrase for all we know/care) came from combining the storage and compute of multiple boxes using a hypervisor and software defined storage such as vSAN or Storage Spaces Direct to serve as the cluster shared storage instead of having traditionally segmented 3 hypervisors dedicated for compute and bulk storage resting in a purpose built SAN array (whether or not it's fiber channel, iscsi, or some other protocol). The Dell R720/730/740 is a super popular platform for this. Otherwise generally you just have a hypervisor with some local storage.

    I'm really not super caught up on terms or things here I was mainly just asking cause I was wondering if there was more than 1 machine in a cluster that hadn't been shown yet or was in the works.
     
    #17
  18. K D

    K D Well-Known Member

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    I keep coming back to this thread to look at the custom cables. I know the amount of effort to get it that clean.

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    #18
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  19. whitey

    whitey Moderator

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    Bravo/kudos/legit! You must be a man of MUCH patience and are handy as all hell it looks like!
     
    #19
  20. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 Moderator

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    This build is sick!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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