EU Rackable NM46X 12-LFF chassis 60€ BO

fl0w

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Oct 28, 2015
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Sorry for reviving this thread. I'm trying to get the roamer board working, but I'm unable to access to the roamer menu. I get the host console redirection, but when I press Ctrl-6 nothing happens. Anyone has succesfully accessed to the roamer menu? I'd like to access to the menu to allow host to control LCD display.
I guess cabling is done properly as I'm able to control host OS from the RJ45 serial port.
 
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fl0w

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By the way, I finally managed to put a good watercooling solution to cool an Intel Xeon D CPU (motherboard is a Supermicro X10SDV-4C-7TP4F). Originally it was an AIO watercooling taken from an old Alienware Area 51 computer, I found the kit on eBay but the loop was half filled with air and the pump was nearly dead. I replaced the pump with a new one and the tubing with some Tygon R3400. For the moment CPU temp is around 35/36°C, I'm waiting for the hard drives to warm a bit, I'll post the real temperatures.


 

hmartin

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Very nice! Certainly much more professional than the hack job I did on mine. I crafted a duct out of cardboard to take air from the 1U passive heat sink I have on the CPU:


The CPU idle temperature is barely above ambient, and since this is idle 99% of the time, that's good enough for me:


With three Arctic F8 PWM CO fans (BMC controlled at 1400RPM) plus the TFX 80mm fan, it is nearly silent.
 
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hmartin

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Do you use the motherboard and CPUs that came originally with the case?
Nope, that thing was a screaming space heater. The motherboard is from a Fujitsu TX140 S2 with an additional ASM1166 SATA controller.
 
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DieBlub

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Dec 11, 2017
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Hi, what kind of HBA would be a good cheap option for this box? I was also thinking of getting a Gigabyte GA-C1037UN with an Celeron 1037U and some cheapo DDr3 for it. Does that sound good?
 

fl0w

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Hi, what kind of HBA would be a good cheap option for this box? I was also thinking of getting a Gigabyte GA-C1037UN with an Celeron 1037U and some cheapo DDr3 for it. Does that sound good?
A mobo with a PCI slot? Forget about it. The main issue with these mobos will be the cooling of the CPU.
 

DieBlub

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A mobo with a PCI slot? Forget about it. The main issue with these mobos will be the cooling of the CPU.
You are right, sorry I must have overlooked that. I thought it was PCIE. I'mma think about something else.
 

hmartin

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If you are concerned about the motherboard fitting, why not just convert it to use as a DAS (as mentioned in reply #36)?

You are right, sorry I must have overlooked that. I thought it was PCIE. I'mma think about something else.
Socket 1155/1150 motherboards are dirt cheap and so are Xeons for these sockets. I don't know why you'd look at any consumer motherboard when you can have a workstation/server grade motherboard & CPU for under 50€ (shameless self-plug)
 
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fl0w

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I'm gonna remove the Roamer board from the case. I ordered this OLED USB display to give it a try:
And I will rewire the front RJ45 serial port directly to the motherboard, same for the power/HDD LEDs and the power button, I ordered this kit:
I will post some pictures when it will be done :)
 

savjee

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May 8, 2021
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Hi everyone!

I pulled the trigger and bought one of these as well. I went with the Arima model:
Rackable Arima NM46X 2x AMD Opteron 2214 HE 16GB RAM 9650SE-12ML

I payed 45GBP for the server and 54GBP for shipping (UPS). Took 3 days to arrive (Poland -> Belgium).

The hardware is ancient, so I'm not going to try to re-use any of it.
I'm just interested in the case (short depth 19", 12 bays) and the SATA backplane.

The plan:
  • Swap the motherboard with a standard ATX one (Reusing my old desktop, Z77-DS3H with a Core i5 3570K)
  • Swap the PSU for an ATX model. The current power supply is a bit loud and it make a "clicking" noise
What I found so far:
  • The 9650SE RAID controller is a total write-off. It does support JBOD, but it doesn't give direct access to the drives.
  • Reverse breakout cables work (as mentioned here)
    • SFS8087 connector on the backplane to 4 regular SATA ports on my motherboard.
    • Backplane supports 6Gbps
    • The LEDs on the backplane keep working (green for power, blue for access)
    • This makes me wonder if I even need an HBA card. My board already has 5 SATA ports, so I could also buy a SATA card to extend that to 12. Thoughts?
  • Fitting a regular ATX motherboard inside this case:
    • Is entirely possible. The standoffs are in the right place
    • You will need to cut the front grill of the case to match the IO of your board. I did first rough cut and will clean it up later (maybe with a 3D printer IO shield)
    • Airflow won't be ideal. On consumer boards, the RAM is to the right of the CPU, which blocks airflow. (Not a real issue for me, as I'll be using it primarily as a NAS).
    • You'll need a low-profile cooler & normal RAM sticks (nothing with fancy coolers).
    • The power button and status LEDs use regular Dupont cables, so they can be wired to any motherboard. The built-in display is something else.

Some pictures of my process so far:

IMG_1132.jpg
IMG_1151.jpg
IMG_1182.jpg
IMG_1169.jpg
 

fl0w

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Take a look at my build, you'd better mod the case to fit an SFX PSU and 120mm fans. That would allow to cool the CPU with a 120mm AiO watercooling.
 

hmartin

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This makes me wonder if I even need an HBA card. My board already has 5 SATA ports, so I could also buy a SATA card to extend that to 12. Thoughts?
You don't need an HBA. I bought an ASM1166 SATA card with 6 ports, plus the 6 SATA ports on my motherboard, it works fine.

You can also 3D print more drive caddies if you want some spares: 3.5" HDD Caddy for Rackable Systems Server by greenedge

The power button and status LEDs use regular Dupont cables, so they can be wired to any motherboard.
Be careful here, the power/reset buttons run through the roamer and have a polarity! I had no end of problems with the first motherboard I installed because it would not pass POST with the buttons connected. Come to find out, I had put the header on "backwards" and there was a floating current on the power button pin which really messed with the board. Once I figured out the buttons have a polarity and corrected it, things were fine.

Take a look at my build, you'd better mod the case to fit an SFX PSU and 120mm fans. That would allow to cool the CPU with a 120mm AiO watercooling.
A TFX PSU will fit without much modification and be much quieter, I only had to dremel for the power connector. I'm using Arctic F8 PWM PST CO in mine, since I am not a professional at hacking up steel to fit 120mm fans, unlike @fl0w ;)

You can also install a blower fan in the area to the left of the motherboard, to blow air through a 1U CPU cooler like the Supermicro SNK-P0046P. Or some Noctua 40mm fans.
 
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savjee

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May 8, 2021
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You don't need an HBA. I bought an ASM1166 SATA card with 6 ports, plus the 6 SATA ports on my motherboard, it works fine.
Thanks for confirming this! If I understand correctly, bandwidth will be limited if I use a multiplier, but that's not a huge issue when using something like Unraid where you're limited to single disk performance most of the time anyway, right?

Do you have any issues with your card? Some people complain about ports/disks disappearing and the card needing to be rebooted.

In the meantime, I wired up the power button, status LED and HDD activity LED. I didn't go through the roamer board, and just wired them directly using shortened dupont cables. Thanks for the headsup about the polarity! I double-checked my connection and everything is working now.

IMG_1192.jpg

A TFX PSU will fit without much modification and be much quieter, I only had to dremel for the power connector. I'm using Arctic F8 PWM PST CO in mine, since I am not a professional at hacking up steel to fit 120mm fans, unlike @fl0w ;)
I actually went ahead and installed an ATX power supply that I had laying around. It's rather big, but still fits fine with a regular ATX motherboard. I struggled to cut the metal because I'm not a pro either, and I don't have the correct tools..

IMG_1195.jpg

Thanks for recommending the Arctic fans. I had already bought them after reading one of your previous posts ;)

You can also install a blower fan in the area to the left of the motherboard, to blow air through a 1U CPU cooler like the Supermicro SNK-P0046P. Or some Noctua 40mm fans.
Good idea! Right now I'm using this low-profile CPU cooler: SilverStone SST-NT07-115X. It has a fan on top, so I'm hoping that'll be enough. I run a relatively light workload (Proxmox, Home Assistant, Unraid, and some containers). I already ran prime95 with the case open, and the CPU barely hit 60°C (underclocked CPU). Let's hope it'll be fine once everything is properly closed up.

Also 3D printed an IO Shield to hide the insides. If it restricts airflow too much, I can add some mesh to it.

IMG_1197.jpg

All that's left now is powering up the backplane and closing everything up. I'm planning on soldering the original connectors to a regular Molex connector, and then connecting that to my PSU. I believe you did something similar? I saw some shrink wrap on one of your photos.
 

hmartin

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If I understand correctly, bandwidth will be limited if I use a multiplier,
There is no port multiplier in the ASM1166, it's a native 6 port SATA3 design. The PCIe upstream bandwidth is limited, so you cannot achieve 6Gbps to all 6 devices (even with PCIe Gen 3).

Do you have any issues with your card? Some people complain about ports/disks disappearing and the card needing to be rebooted.
No issues so far.

I'm planning on soldering the original connectors to a regular Molex connector, and then connecting that to my PSU. I believe you did something similar?
Yes, this is what I did. I have the crimp tool for molex connectors, so I crimped them. I'm using the ATX P4 power rail for the backplane too (rewired, of course), since my motherboard is non-ATX and only uses the 12V rail from the 24 pin ATX connector and I wanted to split the load between 12V rails.
 

Guillem

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Nov 13, 2017
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Hey @hmartin how do you power that Fujitsu Mobo with the TFX PSU? These boards as far as I am aware are not standard ATX and use a power connector that only has 12V and they also have like a i2c connection to the PSU when installed on the Fujitsu servers, right?
 

hmartin

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Sep 20, 2017
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Hey @hmartin how do you power that Fujitsu Mobo with the TFX PSU? These boards as far as I am aware are not standard ATX and use a power connector that only has 12V and they also have like a i2c connection to the PSU when installed on the Fujitsu servers, right?
I built an ATX->Fujitsu 12V power adapter. The Fujitsu PSU pinout isn't a state secret or anything.
photo4997253462202886471.jpg
(I would consider selling these if there's any interest)

The I2C connection to the PSUs is not required and as far as I know is only used for workstations with redundant hot-swap PSUs. Since this is an option for the TX140 S2, I opted not to use it and the board works fine.

Just wire a fan tachometer to the PC2009 connector and you're good. iRMC may complain that the PSU fan is "pre-fail" if the RPM is too low, but it's just a warning ;)
iRMC-fans.png
 

Guillem

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Nov 13, 2017
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Great post on the blog, thanks. I was aware that the connector pinout is not any secret, but I also knew that there was a 11VSB rail on the Fujitsu power connector and I did not see any step up on the pictures where you were showing the TFX psu with the Fujitsu Mobo so I thought I may have missed some alternative way to connect it, but based on the picture of the adapter, I assume that converter shrinkwrapped is the step up to provide 11VSB from the ATX 5VSB