Taming the C6100

NetWise

Active Member
Jun 29, 2012
603
133
43
Edmonton, AB, Canada
20db drop is pretty decent. Any issues with temps on the system? Granted you're only running the 1 node you said. I recently moved from a 24U to a 42U rack and changed the layout, and found heat to be an issue I had to tweak. But sound is also something I'd like to get figured out!
 

Quartzeye

New Member
Jul 29, 2013
16
0
1
Outside the box idea

Hey everyone. Just got my C6100 and love it, except for the noise. I have read all the posts here and I a question that is an out of the box idea.

All these efforts are what I would call "high-tech" solutions. Trying to use the best technology to keep the box cool while minimizing the noise. From what I have read, the C6100 doesn't need the airflow that the original fans produce except under extreme load. Something that I think only a few of us might encounter.

Instead of cooling the air in the C6100 why not use a "low-tech" solution and cool the air outside the C6100? I built a kegerator in my bar outside by the pool and on the hottest days the beer is "COLD". Why not do the same for the c6100? Build a case/rack solution that incorporates the kegerator concept. This solution doesn't work for the "data center" centric mindset but if you want to throw all you servers in a rack in the corner and just have them run then this might work.

What I have is a 2'x4' industrial steel shelf. What I plan to do is use some right-angle steel stock at the local hardware store and build a rack mount inside the shelf. I them plan to use some R4 polystyrene sheets to box the whole thing in. Last thing is to mount 1.3 cubic foot mini freezer with a kegerator thermostat to keep the temperature at a decent ambient range.

There shouldn't be any condensation as my house is usually between 68-75 degrees and if I set the kegerator thermostat to say 70 degrees, I should be good. The whole plan will leave me with a 2x4 box in the corner sealed up so the sound should be greatly reduced. I plan to move the C6100 into it along with 3 other servers that I already have and the switches.

The thing is, I already have most of this stuff from when I built my bar outside so my added cost is low.

Ideas?


Kegerator Idea
Photo Tour of Completed Home Bar Projects

Steel Angle Stock
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Shelving
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Insulation
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Mini freezer
Shop Haier 1.3 cu ft Upright Freezer (White) at Lowes.com

Thermostat
Temperature Controller Thermostat Keg Beer Tap Kegerator Keezer Chest Freezer | eBay
 

Scout255

Member
Feb 12, 2013
58
0
6
I have my doubts that an average fridge / freezer will be able to handle the heat output of a C6100. Most are designed for ambient heat losses, which is why it can take quite a while to cooldown a new fridge / freezer. It may be easier to use a portable AC unit that has a BTU rating that is equal or greater than the heat output of the C6100.

Either way if it works, let us know.
 

BThunderW

Active Member
Jul 8, 2013
237
25
28
Canada, eh?
www.copyerror.com
The C6100 runs a lot quieter than I expected. I had pre-purchased some SuperMicro FAN-0074L4 fans to do this mod, but I might just hold off on it. At this time the noise level is about on par with the DL180 G6. Now, mind you this is after flashing the latest FCB firmware (1.20). The original firmware (1.08) ran the fans at much higher speeds and the server was a lot louder. I'll see how the noise level stacks up when I start running some real world workloads on it.
 

benso37

New Member
Jun 25, 2013
18
0
1
Has anyone had this experience with their unit?

After I powered on my server earlier in the week, I noticed that the green/amber lights were alternating. I logged into the management console and checked the health.

I found this message:
FCB FAN1 Normal 3600 RPM 0 RPM 1500 RPM 0 RPM 25500 RPM 25500 RPM 25500 RPM
FCB FAN2 Lower Critical 0 RPM 0 RPM 1500 RPM 0 RPM 25500 RPM 25500 RPM 25500 RPM
FCB FAN3 Normal 3600 RPM 0 RPM 1500 RPM 0 RPM 25500 RPM 25500 RPM 25500 RPM

I ordered a new fan right away and installed it. The fan (s) now sound 4 times louder so I logged into the management console again but the above message doesn't look like it's changed. It's still reporting that fan 2 is not spinning even though I can see it spinning. Is there a way to reset the above messages? I'm hoping that it will spin down the fan(s). They are currently way too loud. Also, I'm thinking that the new fan might be faulty?
 

idea

Member
May 19, 2011
86
5
8
I have good news and bad news. First I will post the bad news. As a notice to anyone who bought the Supermicro FAN-0074L4's....

IF YOU HAVE FAN-0074L4's
STOP AND READ THIS
THEY MIGHT CAUSE A FIRE!

I bought these fans off eBay and they came in a plastic green hotswap housing/bracket. It looks like this:
(best pic I could find). When you take off the green housing, it reveals a short 4-wire cable that was clamped down by a plastic piece. Because the clamp is so tight it damaged the thin cable, so PLEASE INSPECT EACH CABLE FOR FRAYING OR IT MAY CAUSE A FIRE! I had 4 frayed wires on one fan. I did not inspect it. And I started a fire.

The frayed wires either touched eachother or the chassis. I plugged the server in and BAMN! Now my whole house smells like burning plastic. I can't really blame Supermicro, I doubt they ever expected us to unclamp and remove the plastic housing.

So what was damaged? Surprisingly almost nothing. The fan extension cable melted and left burn marks against anything it was touching. That's it. Nothing else was harmed. I threw the melted cable out, plugged the 4 stock Dell fans back in, and they all spin up just fine. So the fan header, controller, etc was not damaged. And then I connected the Supermicro fan that caused the problem and it spun up just fine as well. Funny, it was smoking 5 minutes before that.

I'm going to repair the cable on each fan. Probably by wrapping them with electrical tape because I don't want to cut/solder/heatshrink them. They are already too short. Do you think I should keep using the fan that shorted out? It spun up again no problems afterwards...

The good news is coming in the next post
 

idea

Member
May 19, 2011
86
5
8
Here is the good news: It was in this post (link) that by Mrlie found there were 5-pin to 4-pin fan cables for sale on eBay (link) and we didn't have to cut/splice anything like PigLover's method requires. I bought a set also and it arrived at my house. Soon after, PigLover pointed out that they wouldn't work, and Mrlie agreed, and that was the last we heard about it.

Well, I finally opened the package yesterday and started playing around. I realized that it could DEFINITELY work. It's just that two wires were backwards at the 5-pin end! So I swapped them, and the fans spun up with no issues!



The cable on the RIGHT is original as I received it. It is Blue/Black/Red/Yellow
The cable in the center is in the process of being fixed. I used a paperclip to push down the tabs, and pulled out the Black and Yellow cables
The cable on the LEFT (tagged with tape) after re-inserting the wires correctly, it is now Blue/YELLOW/Red/BLACK

And there you have it
 
Last edited:

idea

Member
May 19, 2011
86
5
8
One more thing. You know the blue rubber grommets that come with the stock fans? I wanted to reuse them but I found that they were dried/cracking and I couldn't pull them out without breaking them. So I bought new ones on eBay at Flexible Rubber 16PCS XScrew Pin Rivet Mount For Anti Vibration PC Case Fans

I knew they weren't direct replacements but they were cheap enough to try working with them somehow. I'm glad I did, because by clipping off the end, they worked pretty well.



You have to stuff them down with a flathead screwdriver but once you insert all 4, the fan feels very stable and secure.
 

Mrlie

Member
Jan 1, 2011
32
2
8
44
Oslo, Norway
Well, I finally opened the package yesterday and started playing around. I realized that it could DEFINITELY work. It's just that two wires were backwards at the 5-pin end! So I swapped them, and the fans spun up with no issues!
Just checked my cables, and they were set in reverse order to what you ended up with. Gonna swap them around again when I get back from work today.

My server has been sitting offline for the past months, since I first went on summervacation and then work has been keeping me busy. I was actually thinking about selling off the server, instead of just having it sitting here taking up space, and try to recoup some of my money.

If the noice is at acceptable low level with the Supermicro-fans, I might also swap out the cpus for some L5639 also :)
Also thank you for the heads up reguarding the possible short circuit issue - I was pretty carefull when I pulled my fans out of the green fanshroud, but I'll do a quick inspection to make sure nothing is out of order.
 

RimBlock

Active Member
Sep 18, 2011
838
28
28
Singapore
IF YOU HAVE FAN-0074L4's
STOP AND READ THIS
THEY MIGHT CAUSE A FIRE!
Are you sure it was not the extention cable you used to connect the fan an not the actual fan cable ?. I ask as I had a Supermicro chassis that had two rear fans and had to get a fan Y-cable so I could power both of them. I got one from Amazon, connected it and got a nice puff of black smoke come flying out of the back of the server with a stong plastic burning smell. The problem was that the Y-cable was not rated for 12v fans and acted like a fuse and glowed, melted its plastic sleave (smoke and smell) and then melted itself. On getting a better quality cable I had no more issues.

The green shroud for these fans can be a pain to get off especially around the wires but the part that holds the plug just unclips (you have to get the angel right) and then I just use some snips to cut the frame where the cable needs to pass to take the fan out and snip of the clips holding the actual fan in the shroud and slide it out.

I have done a couple more quiet fan kits with units I have sold and once you get the hang of it, it is quite easy to take them out safely. I will see about taking some pictures next time.

My soldering has improved quite a lot as well now I have worked out an easy techneque for that as well :).

RB
 

RimBlock

Active Member
Sep 18, 2011
838
28
28
Singapore
I believe someone got some of these and mentioned the length is a bit short for the fans furthest away fromt he fan control board.

RB
 

idea

Member
May 19, 2011
86
5
8
Are you sure it was not the extention cable you used to connect the fan an not the actual fan cable ?. I ask as I had a Supermicro chassis that had two rear fans and had to get a fan Y-cable so I could power both of them. I got one from Amazon, connected it and got a nice puff of black smoke come flying out of the back of the server with a stong plastic burning smell. The problem was that the Y-cable was not rated for 12v fans and acted like a fuse and glowed, melted its plastic sleave (smoke and smell) and then melted itself. On getting a better quality cable I had no more issues.

The green shroud for these fans can be a pain to get off especially around the wires but the part that holds the plug just unclips (you have to get the angel right) and then I just use some snips to cut the frame where the cable needs to pass to take the fan out and snip of the clips holding the actual fan in the shroud and slide it out.

I have done a couple more quiet fan kits with units I have sold and once you get the hang of it, it is quite easy to take them out safely. I will see about taking some pictures next time.

My soldering has improved quite a lot as well now I have worked out an easy techneque for that as well :).

RB
I would take a pic for you but I'm too lazy, just trust me, it's bad and stupid me didn't give it any attention. The clamp from the fan shroud tore up the sleeve of all 4 wires and exposed the bare wire. The damage was done no matter how careful I was with taking the green shroud off.

Now you have given me another concern. The only component that was damaged was the fan extension cable, which burned and melted just like yours. You might be right. These cheap Chinese fan extensions I bought may not be able to handle the load. But I can't ignore the fact that the other 3 fan extension cables held up just fine. And, I really doubt it was a coincidence that the one fan extension cable that was melted was hooked up to a fan with frayed wires.
 

PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
3,089
1,403
113
Likely the wire gauge for the fan extensions handle the load of the fans (barely...) but couldn't handle the extra current drawn by the short at the frayed wires. The short was at the fan, but the fire was in the undersized extension cable feeding it.