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Supermicro 825: converting fixed 3.5" tray to dual 2.5" hot swap?

Discussion in 'Chassis and Enclosures' started by BLinux, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. BLinux

    BLinux Active Member

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    Ok. I think I understand now. Since you're going to remove the backplane, they would just be "open" 3.5" HDD bays. I don't think those 3.5" fixed trays will work, but when I have time later today, I'll go down to my lab and try it on a spare 825 machine to confirm.

    yes, most of those 3.5" trays/adapters are meant for 3.5" floppy bays. at least, I've bought 3 different brands/designs, and they all have the screw hole alignment for floppy bays, not HDD. that doesn't mean, there isn't a product out there that is designed to fit multiple 2.5" SSD/HDD into a 3.5" HDD bay; you just have to look closely because most seem to be designed for the 3.5" floppy bays. i haven't found one yet though...
     
    #21
  2. BLinux

    BLinux Active Member

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    @frogtech just wanted to report back. I tried putting one of the 3.5" fixed trays into a 3.5" hot-swap bay. The dimensions looks like it could slide in, but unfortunately, I could not put the fixed tray into the hot-swap bay. The hot-swap bay has a small cut out near the front where the hot-sway tray latching mechanism inserts itself to push the hard drive securely into the bay. For me to put the fixed tray in there, I would have to cut the sheet metal or bend it out of the way; since I plan to continue using this with the backplane and the hotswap trays, I didn't want to do that. Sorry.
     
    #22
  3. frogtech

    frogtech Active Member

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    Its fine that gives me an idea of wbat to expect. I ordered a tray just to see how i could make it work for me.
     
    #23
  4. frogtech

    frogtech Active Member

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    @BLinux just wanted to report back as well with my findings

    so I got a startech 3.5" rack, with 3 x 7mm drive slots and a fixed tray. to my surprise the front grill of the fixed tray just screws off, didn't have to do any cutting.

    i have a spare drive cage assembly from an 825M that I scrapped a while back (arrives with a sheered off rack ear from shipping) so I used that as my test bed. the bend in the metal for the hot swap tray latching mechanism definitely needed to be bent out of the way, and there were 2 little metal nubs blocking the rear that needed to be bent flush the inside of the bay.

    to my delight the fixed tray slides in with some firm pressure and is kept "secure" with friction inside the bay. it's not the best solution, but I'm able to get the front of the mobile rack flush with the rest of the chassis.

    what I did was I unscrewed the 2 screws on the mobile rack itself, towards the front (these are the screws that keep the housing together), and used those to screw it to the fixed tray in the forward most screw hole position. securing the rack to the tray itself and keeping the rack housing in-tact. the front of it is basically flush with the front edge of the fixed tray and I can slide it back far enough so that the front of the rack is flush with the front of the chassis. the rear of it also doesn't jut out which is nice, it's basically the perfect size. in addition, towards the rear of this hot swap cage assembly thing, there's some bends in the metal that go up which would prevent the fixed tray from sliding too far back anyway.

    the only real downside is that getting the fixed tray out isn't the easiest, or at least, i have to remove it from the chassis so i can push it forward with some pressure, then i can grab it firmly and pull it out. like i said, not elegant but it works well enough for my needs. it allows me to fit 9 x 7mm drives in the front (or more standard drives if i get a 2 x 9mm mobile rack) of a 17 inch deep chassis that supports E-ATX, in addition to 4 other hot swap bays from 2x rear I/O and 1x floppy, 1x slim front io bay.

    not bad!
     
    #24
  5. BLinux

    BLinux Active Member

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    yodapic.jpg
     
    #25
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  6. frogtech

    frogtech Active Member

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    Will post later tonight :D
     
    #26
  7. frogtech

    frogtech Active Member

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    @BLinux

    here we go, pics as promised:

    here's the mobile rack i purchased, startech 3 x 7mm SFF drives.

    https://i.imgur.com/naZkO9B.jpg

    below, i'm using the tip of my screw driver to indicate which screws i was talking about. the screw is removed already, but all this does is hold the chassis of the mobile rack together.

    https://i.imgur.com/ezhETpR.jpg

    i line this hole up with the first HDD hole position on the fixed tray itself, as you see the rack sticks out just a bit which really isn't an issue. this is where I use the screw to secure the rack to both the tray and to maintain, somewhat, the integrity of the rack's chassis.

    https://i.imgur.com/Ptf3xoRg.jpg

    so, as you stated before, screwing 3.5" floppy-form-factor based devices to this fixed rack ends up in some warping/bending of the fixed tray to conform to the dimensions of the rack/non-HDD device. in this case, i used very light pressure and torque when screwing the rack to the tray, i didn't let it get too tight, and i did a "left-right-left-right" approach to screwing it in so that there wasn't any un-even pressure on the left or the right side that would cause bowing. I don't think it's perfect but it's hard to sell, to me it looks mostly un-adulterated as seen from the front and top:

    https://i.imgur.com/EZdvsRE.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/JKnGXal.jpg

    in the two pics below, I'm indicating which metal tabs had to be 'repositioned' to allow this to 'function'. the first is the hot-swap tray latching mechanism and the second is just some random little nub of metal that was sticking out in a 90 degree angle preventing me from sliding this back all the way.

    https://i.imgur.com/T8MuoiN.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/9pgOG7ag.jpg

    the fixed tray requires firm, but gentle pressure to slide in. here's the end result:

    https://i.imgur.com/omn49qC.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/VsF0SrS.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/YhnYEVR.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/dDtWPKy.jpg
     
    #27
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    BLinux likes this.
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