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alpenwasser

APOLLO (2CPU LGA1366 Server | InWin PP689 | 24 Disks Capacity) - by alpenwasser [COMPL - 2014-MAY-10]

45 posts in this topic

aw--apollo--logo.png


Table of Contents


01. 2013-NOV-13: First Hardware Testing & The Noctua NH-U9DX 1366
02. 2013-NOV-16: Temporary Ghetto Setup, OS Installed
03. 2014-APR-01: Mounting the PSU & Ghetto-testing the LSI Controller
04. 2014-APR-02: The Disk Racks
05. 2014-APR-08: Chipset Cooling & Adventures in Instability
06. 2014-APR-09: Disk Ventilation
07. 2014-APR-11: Fan Unit for Main Compartment Ventilation
08. 2014-APR-12: Storage Topology & Cabling
09. 2014-APR-26: Storage and Networking Performance
10. 2014-MAY-10: Sound Dampening & Final Pics




Wait, What, and Why?

So, yeah, another build. Another server, to be precise. Why? Well, as nice of a
system ZEUS is, it does have two major shortcomings for its use as a server.

When I originally conceived ZEUS, I did not plan on using ZFS (since it was not
yet production-ready on Linux at that point). The plan was to use ZEUS' HDDs as
single disks, backing up the important stuff. In case of a disk failure, the
loss of non-backed up data would have been acceptable, since it's mostly media
files. As long as there's an index of what was on the disk, that data could
easily be reaquired.

But right before ZEUS was done, I found out that ZFS was production-ready on
Linux, having kept a bit of an eye on it since fall 2012 when I dabbled in
FreeBSD and ZFS for the first time. Using FreeBSD on the server was not an
option though since I was nowhere near proficient enough with it to use it for
something that important, so it had to be Linux (that's why I didn't originally
plan on ZFS).

So, I deployed ZFS on ZEUS, and it's been working very nicely so far. However,
that brought with it two major drawbacks: Firstly, I was now missing 5 TB of
space, since I had been tempted by ZFS to use those for redundancy, even for our
media files. Secondly, and more importantly, ZEUS is not an ECC-memory-capable
system. The reason this might be a problem is that when ZFS verifies the data on
the disks, a corrupted bit in your RAM could cause a discrepancy between the
data in memory and the data on disk, in which case ZFS would "correct" the data
on your disk, therefore corrupting it. This is not exactly optimal IMO. How
severe the consequences of this would be in practice is an ongoing debate in
various ZFS threads I've read. Optimists estimate that it would merely corrupt
the file(s) with the concerned corrupt bit(s), pessimists are afraid it might
corrupt your entire pool.


The main focus of this machine will be:

  • room to install more disks over time
  • ECC-RAM capable
  • not ridiculously expensive
  • low-maintenance, high reliability and availability (within reason, it's still
    a home and small business server)

Hardware

The component choices as they stand now:

  • M/B: Supermicro X8DT3-LN4F
  • RAM: 12 GB ECC DDR3-1333 (Hynix)
  • CPUs: 2 x Intel L5630 Quad Cores, 40 W TDP each
  • Cooling: 2 x Noctua NH-UD9X 1366 (yes, air cooling! :o )
  • Cooling: A few nice server double ball bearing San Ace fans will also
    be making an appearance.
  • Case: InWin PP689 (will be modded to fit more HDDs than in stock config)
  • Other: TBD

Modding

Instead of some uber-expensive W/C setup, the main part of actually building
this rig will be in modifying the PP689 for fitting as many HDDs as halfway
reasonable as neatly as possible. I have not yet decided if there will be
painting and/or sleeving and/or a window. A window is unlikely, the rest depends
mostly on how much time I'll have in the next few weeks (this is not a long-term
project, aim is to have it done way before HELIOS).

Also, since costs for this build should not spiral out of control, I will be
trying to reuse as many scrap and spare parts I have laying around as possible.


Teaser

More pics will follow as parts arrive and the build progresses, for now a shot of the
case:

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2013-11-07--01--pp689.jpeg


That's all for now, thanks for stopping by, and so long. :)

Edited by alpenwasser

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First Steps

Hardware Tested

M/B, CPUs and memory have all arrived. The CPUs and M/B seem to be working OK.

One of the memory modules seems to be having a bit of trouble being recognized,

the other five work fine. I'll see if it's really defective or if it's just the

IT gods screwing with me a bit.

The Noctua NH9DX 1366

The Noctua NH-U9DX 1366 is a cooler from Noctua's series specifically made for

Xeon sockets. For those who don't know, LGA1366 sockets have an integrated

backplate, just like LGA2011, which makes them much more convenient than their

desktop counterparts. It's quite a nice and sturdy backplate, too, in fact it's

among the most solid backplates I've come across yet. This does, however,

require a slightly different mounting system. You just have four screws which

you bolt directly into the plate.

Aside from that, the cooler is identical to its desktop counterpart as far as I

know. Why the 92 mm version? For one thing, it was in stock, unlike the 120 mm

version of this cooler. Also, the CPUs only produce 40 W TDP each, so there

really is no need for high-end cooling. And as a bonus, I got supplied some

awesome San Ace fans with my case, which also happen to be 92 mm.

The Noctua fans which come with the cooler are just 3 pin fans (the newer models

of this cooler for LGA2011 come with a PWM fan I think), but the San Ace fans I

got with my case are actually PWM controlled! Since the M/B has a full set of

PWM headers (8, to be exact, how awesome is that!? :D ) I will try the San Ace

fans and see how they play on lower rpm's (they run at 4,800 rpm on full speed

:o ). This does not need to be a super-silent machine since it will be in its

own room, and since I really like the San Ace fans with regards to build quality

(and I'm a total sucker for build quality) I'd love to use them for this. The

Noctuas would admitteldy be better suited, but I'll see how things go with the

SA's first.

The Box

Unlike its shiny desktop counterparts, the NH-U9DX comes in a nice and subtle

(but sturdy) cardbord box with a simple sticker on it. I must admit I like this

box more than the shiny ones. :)

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2013-11-14--01--noctua-box.j

Contents

How it looks packaged...

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2013-11-14--02--noctua-conte

... and out in the open.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2013-11-14--03--noctua-conte

Noctua Pr0n

A few glory shots of the cooler itself...

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2013-11-14--04--noctua-pr0n.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2013-11-14--05--noctua-pr0n.

The San Ace 9G0912P1G09

There is no info about this fan on the web, I'm presuming it's something San Ace

makes specifically for InWin in an OEM deal.

I've hooked it up to a fan controller and got a max reading of 4,800 rpm, and

the Supermicro board turns them down to ~2,200 rpm on idle. They seem to be very

good fans, you can only really hear the sound of the air moving, no bearing or

motor noises so far. Also, they are heavy (~200 g per piece), which is always

nice for a build quality fetishist such as myself. :D

Note: Hooking such a fan up to a desktop board as its power source would not be

advisable, they are rated for 1.1 A and might burn out the circuits on a desktop

board. Server boards usually have better fan power circuitry since they are

desinged with high-performance fans in mind. Just as a side note.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2013-11-14--06--san-ace-92.j

Compared to the Noctua fan which comes with the coolers. I might still go with

the Noctuas, but it's not the plan at the moment.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2013-11-14--07--san-ace-noct

The Noctua NH-U9DX 1366 San Ace Edition

I had to improvise a bit with mounting the San Ace's to the tower. The clips

which you'd use with the Noctua fans rely on the fan having open corners, which

the San Ace's do not. Ah well, nothing a bit of cotton cord can't fix. :D

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2013-11-14--08--noctua-san-a

And the current config in its full glory:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2013-11-14--09--noctua-nh-u9

Side note: The coolers were actually more expensive than the CPUs. :lol:

That's it for now, thanks for stopping by.

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Up and Running, Ghetto Style

Hardware Validation

I've put the system together temporarily to validate the M/B, CPU and memory, so

far all seems good. A minimal Arch Linux setup has been installed and is

successfully running BOINC at the moment. :)

EDIT:

I'm not running BOINC as a hardware validation tool, that's not what it's

designed to do. I have (mostly) validated the hardware and am now just running

BOINC.

Just to clarify. ;)

/EDIT

Gotta love low-power CPUs, core temps after about an hour of running BOINC on

all cores are:

31 C, 31 C, 35 C, 30 C,

32 C, 26 C, 29 C, 31 C

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2013-11-16--02--boinc.jpeg

Feast on the Ghetto-ness!

Yeah... :D

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2013-11-16--01--ghetto-setup

Next Up

I'll need to order some supplies for modding the front part of the case for more

HDDs. Still not sure if I'll paint it. Can't paint it in the apartment, and

temps in my workshop in the basement have dropped significantly since we now

have just a few degrees above freezing outside, so conditions for spray painting

are not optimal at all at the moment.

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Those fans should be pretty stout, sun micro places their rep on dependability.  That is one long case, perfect for it's intended purpose.  I finally got back on the zoo, but I can't seem to post picks yet?  cool deal bro!

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This should be nothing less than Epic..

Thanks, I'm hoping I won't disappoint. ;)

 

that Inwin reminds me a lot of a SUN case we found last winter... Very tasty

Haha, yeah it might not be too far away.

It's really quite an interesting case, might have lots of potential for W/C

as well. Build quality is not quite Caselabs level obviously, but then again

it only costs ~200 USD (well, only is a relative term I suppose ;)).

When you handle it you get the feeling that this is a serious piece of

equipment made by professionals for professionals. And 200 bucks is pretty

decent value I think, considering you get four San Ace server fans (three

92x38s and one 80x38, PWM controlled no less), a cage with four hot swap

3.5" slots (which on its own can run you 100 dollars if you buy something

similar separately) and pretty solid build quality in general.

In fact, the central core of the chassis is so well put together that it

would be an utter pain to take apart and reassemble (one of the things

making me hesitant to do any painting to the insides, there is a ridiculous

amount of rivets holding this thing together), I'm really quite impressed

by it.

Still, I'd love to have black insides. But apart from the time I'd need to

take it apart, have it painted and put it together again (I can't really

paint here at the moment, it's just too cold, so I'd probably have it

powder coated if I could find a place which offers me a decent price on it),

I also need to consider that this machine will be very important for my

dad's work (he'll use it as the main data server, with backups elsewhere),

which is the reason he's paying for most of it.

He's usually very supportive and enthusiastic about my PC endeavors (he's

the one who got me into PCs in the first place as a young kid), but going

through that much effort for something which won't be of any use to him

from a purely functional POV might be pushing it a bit too far.

I'm really not sure yet what to do regarding this. I could also use car wrap,

I already have some experience working with the stuff, and I think it might

be feasible without taking the case apart. Won't look quite as good as a good

paint job, but should still be a vast improvement over a naked interior.

Decisions, decisions... ;)

EDIT:

Those fans should be pretty stout, sun micro places their rep on dependability.  That is one long case, perfect for it's intended purpose.  I finally got back on the zoo, but I can't seem to post picks yet?  cool deal bro!

Yeah, they're really solid, I love them. Would love to own something like

it in 140 mm for HELIOS, but that would run me somewhere between 400 and

600 USD, plus while they are absolutely awesome they are nowhere near as

silent as the Bitfenix Spectre Pros, and HELIOS definitely needs to be

almost inaudible (hence all that radiator surface). But noise levels

for this rig aren't as important (won't be placed in anyone's room), so

I can go for a bit beefier stuff. It's definitely a nice change of pace,

working with some proper server equipment. :D

And yes, the case is indeed very long (even slightly longer than my SMH10).

I would love to do a W/C build in one of these, but one can't have everything

all at once. ;)

Also: Good to have you back! :D

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Mounting the PSU, Testing LSI Controller

Finally, UPDATE TIME! :)

Yeah, it's taking a lot longer to finish this than I'd initially hoped (doesn't

it always with these sort of projects...). But I've been working on it in the last

few weeks and now finally have something to share. :)

PSU Fitting Issue

The PSU slides into this case through an opening from behind, and since the case

isn't really made for normal ATX-sized PSUs (but server PSUs instead, it's a

rather tight fit. To be more specific: The PSU in its stock config does not fit,

the screws for the fan grill and the fan grill itself bump up against the

case. An easy fix though, just needed to remove the fan grill on the PSU.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-01--01--psu-bad-fit.

And voilà:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-01--02--psu-good-fit

Furthermore, since normal server PSUs usually blow air through along their

longitudinal axis, there is no ventilation hole on the case for a fan on the top

of the PSU, which most of today's PSUs have. Not to worry, I still had an old

Aquacomputer rad grill laying around. A bit of dremeling should be able to fix

this problem. Marking for cutting:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-01--03--psu-cutout-m

And with the grill mounted:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-01--04--psu-cutout.j

Bracket Collision

Another issue with mounting a PSU in the case that wasn't intended to be mounted

in this case: The bracket for the PSU does not quite line up correctly with the

power inlet.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-01--05--psu-back-col

The power plug can still be connected, but the PSU sits crooked in the case and

it's a huge pain to mount like this.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-01--06--psu-back-col

Again, a little bit of cutting was required:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-01--07--psu-plug-cut

To give you an idea of how the PSU fits into the case:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-01--08--psu-mounted.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-01--09--psu-mounted.

Needed to hook up some HDDs to test the LSI controller. Looks very ghetto, worked

like a charm. :)

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-01--10--hardware-tes

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-01--11--ghetto-disk-

Next Up...

Manufacturing the drive cages, the so-called pièce de resistance... :D

So long

-aw

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The Disk Racks

A.k.a. the main part of this undertaking. :)

As mentioned elsewhere, one of the two main problem of our current server is

that it only has seven HDD slots, and they're already all filled up. The only

way to get more storage is to install larger disks, which isn't really all that

optimal.

One of the main points of this build was to have more disk slots. The PP689 only

offers four in its stock form, which you can upgrade to a maximum of thirteen

drives. You would need to buy another four-disk enclosure (which btw. I could

not find anywhere to buy), and a five-disk enclosure for the 5.25" bays. Since

13 drives aren't really that many, and since these enclosures aren't exactly

cheap, I decided to go another route.

It took me a while to figure out how to do it, but in the end this is what I

came up with. I had very generous help from one of my neighbours, who has a mill

and a lathe at his disposal, as well as plenty of time (he's a pensioneer :D ).

So off we went:

The Mill

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--01--mill.jpeg

First Steps

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--02--milling.jpeg

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--03--progress.jpe

The Mill can also serve as a drill press. The drill chuck he looks ridiculously

huge when you put a small drill bit into it (he said they didn't have the

smaller model in stock when he needed to buy his, so he went with the large

one). :D

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--04--drill-chuck.

Stumbled upon this when going through my pics. My dog's girlfriend, basically

(she's a labrador and belongs to another one of our neighbours). I was

dogsitting here for an evening a few weeks back. She can be a bit hyperactive at

times, but is a very lovely dog. :)

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--05--sleepy.jpeg

Drilling and Milling

Lots of holes needed to be drilled for the pop rivets that were going to hold it

all together.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--06--drill-drill-

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--07--drill-drill-

Milling out the slots for the screwheads:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--08--mill-mill-mi

Phase I Complete

The side panels of the disk racks completed. Testing with some broken old HDDs

I had laying around to make sure it all fits as it should. It does. :)

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--09--cage-panels.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--10--cage-panels.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--11--cage-panels.

Rail Detail

This is how the construct looks on the side where you slide in the disks. You

can see the pop rives I used to assemble it, the slots which are pictured being

milled above for the screwheads and the screws on the disks. You can also see

the recesses into which the screws mounted on the HDDs lock. The system works

very well.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--12--cage-rail-de

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--13--cage-rail-de

Ventilation

Obviously, 24 HDDs are going to put out some heat, so some ventilation is

required. I'm using six Papst fans for that. The fans will be bolted onto the

panels with some L profiles. Unfortunately, 120 mm fans have 105 mm hole

distance, and HDDs are ~100 mm wide, so it's not possible to mount the fan on

both sides, only two screws can be used. It's not really a problem though, two

screws tightened down nicely give sufficient stability.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--14--fan-rail.jpe

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--15--fan-rail.jpe

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--16--fan-rail.jpe

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--17--fan-rail-det

Mounting Brackets

The panels are mounted to the bottom and top of the case with screws. To have

some leeway in adjusting things, there are slots instead of round holes in some

places.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--18--disk-rack-mo

Top:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--19--disk-rack-mo

Bottom:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--20--disk-rack-mo

Fan Mounting

Since the fan screws need to be tightened rather heavily, the screws exert quite

a bit of pressure on the fan frames. To prevent the fan frames from being

crushed and/or breaking, we made some brass bushings that take the brunt of the

pressure.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--21--fan-bushings

And Mounted

And finally the disk racks are mounted inside the case. :)

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--22--disk-racks.j

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--23--disk-racks.j

Disk Mounting

The Disks just slide into the slots and lock into place in the recesses you can

see above. Since I can't tighten the screws, I'm using Loctite to prevent them

from falling out due to vibration. I tried to get some screws similar to those

Lian Li use for their HDD mounting, but the only ones I could find were so

expensive that they'd have cost me more than 100 USD. So yeah, nope...

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-02--24--disk-screws.

There's still lots to do, but that was by far the most work intensive part of

this build, took us quite a while to get it done. And no, it won't be painted or

anything, the server will stand in a closed room in our appartment anyway. I'd

have loved to make it all pretty and nice, but at the moment I just don't have

the time.

So long, and until next time. :)

-aw

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Wooot, awesome, thanks!

EDIT:

For those who have image displaying issues: It seems that my dynamic image

resizing script puts a bit heavy strain on the server and that I need to do

some optimizations. It's not a traffic issue though, just CPU and RAM utilization.

I'll get on that tomorrow. :)

EDIT 2:

I've reduzed the image sizes so that the server's CPU should have less work

to do, will look for a more permanent solution in the coming days. Need to

do some script-fu.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for stopping by. :)

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Every time I see this build and chassis, I get Jealous!

Hehe, thanks Bill! :)

I'm sure you could make your own (if you had the time, money and inclination). ;)

My neighbour will be very happy to know our work is receiving such a warm welcome,

I'll be sure to let him know.

And yes, I must say I really like this chassis, it has some very nice proportions

IMHO. I'm kinda wanting to buy another one for a water cooling build, that large

front compartment is just screaming at me to put some w/c gear in there. Only

downside is that cable management would be a bit tricky, not at all much room

behind the M/B tray. But if I were to make custom cables that issue could be worked

around I think.

Ah well, first I need to finish this one, then HELIOS, and then I'll be bancrupt

anyway :P.

Plus, I also finally want to do a SFF build. Ah well, can't have everything.

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If space upfront was ample...why NOT show off your nice custom lenght  and sleeved cables... Get some sweet calble-lacing/stitching going or maybe have som cool organisers machined  :lol:

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If space upfront was ample...why NOT show off your nice custom lenght  and sleeved cables... Get some sweet calble-lacing/stitching going or maybe have som cool organisers machined  :lol:

Yes indeed, the possibilities this case would offer are plenty. I really

want to buy another one. :D

Although in this build the cable management will be a bit trickier, all

those SATA cables are going to be a female dog to organize. ;)

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Chipset Cooling, Adventures in Instability
 

 

NOTE: I'm  a text  formatting  neatfreak,  so I'm trying something

new which  requires a  monospace font.  Let  me  know if there are

serious issues with it please. :)

As some may be aware, I  originally had some issues when trying to
get this machine to run  stable. While stress testing with mprime,
it repeatedly and  reproduceably crashed after less  than an hour,
sometimes  even  already  after  a few  minutes. Each  time  after
crashing, it took  me several tries and about 10  to 20 minutes to
get the board to POST again.

After  some  troubleshooting and  running  a  few diagnostics,  it
turned  out that  the 5520  chipset was  running really  hot. It's
temperature threshold  as indicated  by the  system is  95 degrees
Celsius, and when I  was last able to check on  it before a crash,
it had already passed 85 deg C, so I suspected that it was bumping
up against  the threshold, upon  which the board did  an emergency
shutoff and mandated a cooldown period until it would run again.

As an emergency fix,  I took the 80 mm San Ace  fan that came with
the case  and mounted it to  the chipset heatsink with  some waxed
cotton cord, and  voilà somewhere slightly above 70  deg C maximum.
:)

Unfortunately  I forgot  to take  pictures of  that rather  ghetto
setup before dismantling it again  and replacing it with something
more  solid, but  I have  managed to  blow up  some sections  from
another picture  that should at least  give you an idea  of how it
looked.


Some Improvisation

Apologies for the horrid picture quality, as said this is a blowup
from a picture of which this section is only a small part.
(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-03--01--chipset-fan-


A More Permanent Solution

The chipset heatsink is just your run of the mill alu heatsink held
on by a spring clamp with some hooks.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-03--02--chipset-heat


And the naked chipset after cleaning off the TIM. That stuff was a
bitch to get off, it had dried up rather significantly.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-03--03--chipset-nake


Since  the 80  mm  fan is  quite  a bit  larger  than the  chipset
heatsink itself, I needed to either replace the heatsink or modify
it  in  order  to be  able  to  mount  the  fan to  it. I  took  a
rather crude,  but very effective  approach: I took an L  piece of
aluminium,  drilled two  holes across  the heatsink,  cut some  M4
threads on  those two holes  (which worked despite the  holes only
going through the fins and  not being continuous), then bolted the
L piece to the heatsink with two M4 screws. Works like a charm. :)

Don't mind the  unclean alu bits from the drilling  and cutting on
the  heatsink  between the  fins,  it  wasn't really  possible  to
properly clean that off and make the holes as clean as one usually
does.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-03--04--chipset-heat


And from the other side...

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-03--05--chipset-cool


The fan itself is held down by three screws, two in the L piece...

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-03--06--chipset-fan.


... and  one in the corner  of the heatsink itself. The  bent fins
are  from  drilling  and  cutting  the  thread,  they  got  a  bit
structurally  weak  at their  edges  due  to that. Doesn't  impair
functionality, so  not such a big  deal since it won't  be visible
anyway.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-03--07--chipset-fan-


And the whole package:

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-03--08--chipset-fan-


The heatsink unit mounted on the M/B. You need to unmount the fan
to do that. You can again see the bent fins here.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-03--09--chipset-heat


And mounted, with the fan:

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-03--10--chipset-cool



That's it for today, thanks for stopping by. :)


-aw

 

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Disk Ventilation


Although disks  have become  quite frugal  when it  comes to
power consumption these days (at least some of them) and HDD
cooling is not really a  huge issue for most people, packing
24 disks  as closely  together as in  this build  will cause
heat issues without ventilation. There is no need for 3k rpm
Delta fans  though, a  whiff of cool  air breezing  over the
disks should do the job nicely.

For  this purpose,  as you  may have  seen in  some previous
pics, I  have chosen 6  120 mm Papst fans,  specifically the
4412 GLL  model, and am running  them at 7 V. The  fans draw
air in through a vent area,  and it then gets passed through
the M/B compartment and out the back.

Each fan is fixed to a rail  riveted to one of the disk rack
panels with two screws.


You've  seen this  before,  but for  completeness' sake  I'm
adding  the pics  of the  bushings used  to prevent  the fan
frames from being crushed to this update as well:

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-02--21--fan-bushings


I exchanged the  copper screws for some silver  ones, and in
the process  added some  dampening foam between  the mouning
rails and the fan frame.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-10--01--disk-fan-dam


The whole fan panel assembly:

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-10--02--disk-fans.jp


While doing  some test runs,  I noticed that a  rather large
amount of  air was being  expelled through the front  of the
case instead of  going into the M/B compartment  and out the
back (I wasn't  really surprised by this seeing  as how open
the front was). Obviously, this was not optimal. So I took a
1.5 mm panel of alu and bolted it to the front.

Because the existing  front has a few folds in  it, I needed
to do some cutting on the case first.


(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-10--03--front-panel-

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-10--04--front-panel-

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-10--05--cut-preparat

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-10--06--front-panel-


After having  done that, I  turned my attention to  the side
panel, making  an opening for the  ventilation. I thought of
several ways of doing this, but  all of them were a bit more
complicated than I'd  have liked them to  be. Cutting such a
big  hole  with  a  dremel  isn't  really  practical,  so  I
considered doing it  with our jigsaw, but after  doing a few
test cuts I didn't really like  the result as I couldn't get
a  straight enough  cut. And  the cut  needed  to be  clean,
because there's no  space to fit a U channel  over the edge,
and I  don't really like the  idea of covering it  up on the
outside.

Anyway, the guy  just used a nice big angle  grinder for the
cut, and since  he's a metal worker by trade,  it turned out
almost perfectly straight  (not 100%, but it's  still cut by
hand, after  all ;)).  After that, I  painted the  bare edge
with some model paint to not have the blank metal staring at
me.

I thought about painting the mesh, but at the moment I don't
really have the  time, plus I kind of like  the look of this
bare piece of alu, so I've left it as-is.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-10--07--side-panel-v


The mesh  doesn't cover the whole  fan area (nor is  it very
open with those  rather narrow slots), but there  is no need
for high-power ventilation here, so this is not a big deal.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-10--08--side-panel-v

It's fixed to the inside of the panel with some double-sided
adhesive tape.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-10--09--side-panel-v


And in its final config:

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-10--10--side-panel-v


Drive temperatures  hover between 28 deg  C and 35 deg  C at
the moment, ambient is about 23 deg C. :)


Until next time,
-aw



 

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as a fellow many hdd and home server fanatic I´m really loving this build, I´m not loving however the fact that I can´t see the finished product yet, so get a move on! :P

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as a fellow many hdd and home server fanatic I´m really loving this build, I´m not loving however the fact that I can´t see the finished product yet, so get a move on! :P

Hehe, nice to meet somebody who shares my fetish. :D

Thanks for the support, I actually am already working on the next update,

which should arrive in the next few days. :)

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This is, without a doubt, a sexy beast of a build. I can't wait to see how it ends up!

 

https://www.facebook.com/TheModZoo/posts/541646662618477

Thanks, much appreciated! :)

I must say I am indeed rather happy with it. The one ever so slight

regret is that I don't have the time and money to go completely

custom on it (black powdercoat the insides including the disk racks,

make purple sleeved custom cables, which would have gone nicely with

the green PCBs I think), but that's just a reality of life, there is

not always time and money to do what you'd like to do (can't wait

forever until this is done, my dad and I need it for work after all).

In the end I think I will definitely still be very happy with the

result.

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