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[Scratch] Project: Crimson Server Desk Module (Update 14-04-14)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Luciel, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Luciel

    Luciel

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    [Scratch] Project: Crimson Server Desk Module (Update: 14-03-13)

    Hi Guys,

    I´m currently only a couple of days away from finishing APASF (which hasn´t had any updates in months due to work and life in general getting in the way) but that should be done real soon, a lot of more has gone in to it but I´m saving it for one big final update.

    Anyhow enough on that.

    This new project has many "new" things for me.

    1: It´s the first project I actually plan for an extended period of time. APASF, Fallout Cause SP, PS2 Corset, etc where all simply ideas I had in my head and they just developed as I did the projects. On APASF, having such major modifications to the case I realised how important it was that certain things I should plan out ahead to save me trouble later on when certain things didn´t work out the way I would´ve liked them to.

    2: Even though I´ve done quite a few casemods, improved my paint effects skills tenfold and learned a lot, I felt it´s time I did my first scratch build. The reason I had never done one before is merely because I like to have a "canvas" if you will to work on, therefore prefering to do casemods. In this case (no pun intended) however it´s different as the following project is meant for my room, as an extension of my desk and I´ll get in to the details further down the text. That said, I do expect this project to be relatively simply in design, work put in to it and final look, being my first scratch build, I don´t feel comftable overdoing it in design and details as I tend to do with casemods.

    3: It´s the first time I do a project which I intend to use myself rather than just doing it for the fun of it (and having my everyday pc on the side)

    So, a lot of "new" aspects to this project and a lot of potential things that could go wrong but the fact is, this project is essentially an experiment, if I enjoy doing it and would like to improve my skills with wood I wil most definately do more in the future, with the final idea being a wood take on my APASF project on a much larger scale (you would´ve though everyone would be sick of steampunk by now but hey!)

    Right! Now thats all out of the way...

    ...let´s start with a bit about the concept of this project. The idea is simple. In my "mancave" I have one desk that´s long enough for my 3 screens and my PC and next to it, on the left, is an extension "desk" or "module" mostly for aesthetical reasons, it fills up the side of the room nicely and adds more space to store stuff in, place crap on top, etc.and next to it there´s another piece that´s only for storage.

    So, under this "desk-module-thingie" is my bin and my server. It´s one of those servers that we use for media streaming around the house (2 floors with 3 rooms and the lounge with TVs in all of them), downloading over night (our connection is rather crappy at only 3mb, so big downloads happen over night), music streaming and general storage. It´s one of those where we put all the old hard drives that are kind of small for today´s main PCs but still work perfectly and would be a shame not to use them, so for example, there´s a 160Gb in there, a 250, 2x 500 and 1x750Gb.

    Unfortunately lately the server has been failing, a couple of the sata ports don´t work all the time (the HDDs are fine though), the motherboard´s ethernet stopped working a long time ago, so it has an added pci card for that and in summer it gets very hot due to poor ventilation. Yes I could add more fans or even liquid cooling, but you have to understand it´s a pc with all the old hardware inside that only has a sharing purpose so, spending money on upgrades just to extend it´s life a bit doesn´t seem right. It´s an old M2N ASUS Motherboard with an AMD X2 3400+ and in summer, the poor thing suffers (we get up to 45c on a hot summer day in the south of Spain, so the CPU easilly reaches 70-85c). and the hard drives... wow.... yes. I´ve also never liked the fact of having the server on the floor, it gets very dusty, dirty and generally ugly. But I don´t really have space on the desk plus, it´s kind of ugly so don´t really want it up there.

    Here´s a picture of the current desk-module-thingie with the server (and bin, of course) under it.

    [​IMG]

    The concept of the project is to replace this desk-module-thingie unit with one that will match the desk on the right and storage unit on the left as this one does. This new unit will have the same height, width and depth but the actual "box" will be deeper using all the space between the top and the metal legs (which I will be re-using from the current unit in order to match the style of the rest). The surface will have nothing on it as it will be partial glass/acrylic (depending on what seems like the best idea) and 200mm fans with filters in strategic possitions (one above all the hard drives and the other I haven´t decided yet (as in I know where it will go but not what to put under it). The reason for this fans being on top is because there´s no breathing space on either side of the desk nor the back, and I didn´t want them on the front. Within the "desk-module-thingie" will be the server, that is, same hard drives but new hardware, that´s right, I´ve decided to retire this server for good.

    By doing this I hope to integrate the server and by doing so, keeping the same style of furniture within my room and adding a stylish surface with the server in it and solving once and for all, it´s heat issues, dust issues, etc.

    Yes, I know, we´ve all seen a lot of desk mods, and some of them are trully great and amazing, BUT! has anyone ever seen a desk-module-thingie-mod before?! Didn´t think so.

    Let´s start then.

    I went out and bought the screws, drill bit and a new tool for my collection, basically some of the stuff I´ll need to do this.

    [​IMG]

    As I said before, I´ve actually been planning this for a while and checking out loads of projects from several moders out there, to see how they worked the wood, problems they encountered, etc. By doing some research I encountered my first issue. The fact of how expensive good wood is. Don´t get me wrong, I have no trouble paying whatever I need to pay if it means I´ll be happy with the result, be it hardware, tools, materials, you name it. But! being my first wood experience I figured it would be criminal to get good wood and potentially screw it up and have to get more, and essentially not do it justice, so. I took the desk-module-thingie apart and saw that it was made of plywood, which was surprising as I always though plywood was weak and not sturdy yet this thing is rock-solid, so figured, well, I could do it with plywood as long as I can find something as good or better than this. Went down to my local wood warehouse and in deed, I found some stuff that´s actually a lot better, and they even offered to give it a "wood-look" finish, it also happened to be cheap enough so I went for it.

    Now, I have some pictures of the wood itself, which I had them cut to the right sizes (obviously, measured everything up weeks ago in preparation for this) but they are in the camera which I don´t have right now (the first picture I put earlier in this thread is done with my phone and so are the other three you will see before this post is over, so I will add the others later on and everything from then on will be done with the camera I normally use.


    (Future edit: Insert wood pictures here).


    The front openings I can do (and did) myself, for the switches, optical drive, sound card bay unit and fan controller but the top I really needed a CNC machine to do the grooves nicely, which is where the glass/acrylic will fit on and since I needed to do that, might as well get the CNC machine to also do the fan holes (which are quite specific as you will see). So, went back to the wood place and they did have a CNC machine there, sat down with the computer guy (never thought I´d say that in my life), and we went through the CNC program with the measurements and all that. Now. normally I´m against having someone else do a part, no matter how small, of my project, but I don´t think I had no choice here. Anyhow, I´m really happy on how it turned out, so I put all the pieces of the "box" togueter (no legs yet, obviously), without screws, just to see how it would look so I could show a couple of pictures, so here goes.

    First, with the back off:

    [​IMG]

    And with it on:

    [​IMG]

    Now I know it´s obvious I did the front holes myself as they are not perfect, it was weird cutting wood compared to metal which is what I´m used to and I think I may just need to use just a bit of filler in order to get it spotless, but you know, not bad for my first time right?

    There´s another piece of wood within that structure that you don´t notice but I have to tell you about it because it is important. It´s a fake base. It´s where everything will be mounted on and what not. so you may ask, why a second base for that? Simple. between that base and the real base, there´s about 2cm of empty space, the purpose of that is the following. On the fake base all kinds of holes will be done to pass through cables, connections and all sorts of other stuff that will be stored in that space between the fake base and the real base, for the simple reason of Cleanness, no cables, better air flow, looks muchs nicer, specially since you´re going to be able to see the inside from the top.

    Of course this makes it somewhat complicated if I need to change a part, add cables whatever once everything is finished, so, in order to that, easilly, the next item in the list is to cut a square of the true base and mount it back on it´s place in the form of a trapdoor. So, you can´t see it but it´s there for when I need to access cables or do some tinkering from underneath.

    In terms of hardware, the last pieces I needed arrived today:

    [​IMG]

    So the complete list is the following, basic stuff mostly:

    Asus P8B75-M LX Plus
    Intel Dual Core G645 2.9Ghz
    2x Kingston HyperX Blu DDR3 1333 PC3-10666 4GB (1x4GB) CL9
    Liteon IHAS120 CD/DVD SATA
    Asus U3S6 PCI-E which adds 2 more USB3 ports and 2 more SATA 6gbps ports.
    Conceptronic PCI which adds 2 more SATA2 ports and one IDE port (I have one old 500gb IDE hdd that I didn´t want to waste).
    Sharkoon Media Reader 2.5" (for the front).
    Kingston SSDNow V300 60GB for the OS.
    NOX Hummer M 650W 80+
    2x Lamptron Vandal Resistant Switches (red iluminated)
    Lamptron FC9
    A few NZXT sleeved LED cables (again, red ilumination).
    2x Cooler Master 200mm fans (again, red ilumination) which where used to measure exactly the cuts on the top where they will be fitted.

    Sorry but no water cooling in this one for now, might change my mind, depends on what kind of space I have left once I´ve decided where everything´s going to go.

    Aside from that list, I bought a ton of cables and all sorts of bits and pieces a couple of weeks ago, including fan black fan filters which will look perfect in order to make the surface as clean as possible.

    And well, that´s about it for today. I hope I have another update for you guys soon, hopefully next week as I am pretty packed this week and I do want to get APASF done and done.

    Cheers!

    PS: About the name, while it may look like it has to do with the red lighting it will have, it doesn´t really as the desk is mostly black. It´s actually because at my place we call the old server "Crimson" due to it´s red details, the fact it´s in my red room and the fact it gets stupidly hot in summer, almost expecting it to be red hot so I kind of wanted to keep the "pet" name and that´s the why :)
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
    Aleksander and PopcornMachine say thanks.
  2. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Sounds like a cool project. I love it when people create their own chassis'. Subbed. :toast:
  3. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Cheers! I´m actually quite nervous and at the same time excited about it, being my first scratch build and all.

    On a side note, while sorting out my workspace I found a small via itx computer that I had completely forgotten about, it´s quite old, but it´s a 1Ghz with 1gb of DDR ram, I´m thinking I could integrate that as well in to the build plus a small switch and use the via for over-night downloading as it´s power needs are (if I remember correctly) considerably lower than the new server´s hardware.

    Or perhaps ditch that old unit and get something like what you mentioned in another thread:
    GIGABYTE GA-C847N-D Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo Mot...

    The 807 model is a single core at 1.5Ghz vs the 847 (slightly more expensive) being a dual core at 1.1, considering I´d only be using it for downloading, any recomendations?
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
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  4. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    People read my posts! My word haven't gone to waste! :eek: :roll:

    I actually really like the look of that Gigabyte board. It's about as capable as an Atom based machine where the Atom has a bit better video and this has a little more CPU horsepower. Honestly if you're going to download using some form of distributed system like torrents, you'll want the dual core because chunks are checked as they come in. The torrent file contains a checksum for each block so it can verify that it is correct. When you have torrents with small block sizes and fast download speed you can actually put considerable load on the CPU.

    It's one thing going from a dual core to a quad core, but single core to dual, hands down, is usually always a good option. You would also need to find a board that uses the 807 as well. NewEgg and Amazon both have that Gigabyte board. Throw some low voltage memory in it and a small drive then what you have is a pico-psu ready machine.

    Consider how you're going to manage that though. I like Linux so I would recommend something like Ubuntu and using SSH and Samba for most of your needs, something a little more friendly might be in order though. I don't have whole lot of experience with managing remote torrent "servers" if you will.
  5. Luciel

    Luciel

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    I actually really enjoyed that thread, as someone said there a lot of the talked escaped my knowledge but still, very interesting stuff!

    I found a place in Spain (I live there) that sells both the 807 and 847 models for 64€ and 71€ + 5€ for postage (24h delivery) which in total comes to 90 and 104 USD which seems expensive compared to newegg, but, different region, perhaps prices vary, still, definately an attractive price.

    The advantage of using the via board I have is that it comes with a pico psu in its case (not that i´d use the case aniway) as it´s an old car-puter, not sure if that psu would be enough or even compatible with the gigabyte boards, would have to check that but I doubt it, given the massive age difference.

    In terms of management, currently I have W7 installed on the server, I use window´s remote desktop to just login, set up downloads and leave. In terms of sharing, mapped drives, in terms of streaming, the lounge tv has a media center with windows, so again, mapped drives, the other 3 tvs have an xbox 360 which can see the shared network drives, and 2 of these android dongles, again, shared drives. In terms of downloading, well, remember we only have a 3mb connection so high speed multiple downloads requiring cpu power isn´t an issue. As for the downloading itself, I always have 2 things, torrents as you mentioned (specifically utorrent for software) and cuteftp as I make a local daily copy of my webserver, I used to have rsync set up on the web server (as in, not my local server) to just do it automatically but it failed one day and couldn´t figure it out so I just schedule cuteftp which isn´t ideal but meh. In terms of Linux, I use ubuntu everyday on my work computer so I have considered setting it up on the server, really the only reason I put W7 on it was because the other people in my house access it remotely to set up downloads for the night (we have a strict no downloading during the day policy :p) so mostly so I didn´t have to explain to them how ubuntu works and blablabla you know?

    Anyhow, thanks for the recommendations so far! :)
  6. Luciel

    Luciel

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    As it turns out I had some time today to work on this so, update!

    My original idea was to fill the "T" with 6mm glass, however I´ve been recommended by several people in that area not to do so because aparently cutting one single glass piece in this shape would not be very sturdy so instead I went with plexy. I have several bits and pieces of it in the workshop but unfortunately non that are 6mm so instead of having to go out and buy a new 6mm piece, I found some 1mm and 5mm so figured I´d cut those two to size and use it instead (no sense to waste decent material!) Have in mind that the final look will have all those wood-colour parts painted so it will all match.

    Unfortunately I didn´t get my camera back today as I thought I would so, phone pictures again, sorry about that.

    So first I cut the 1mm to size:

    [​IMG]

    And here we go:

    [​IMG]

    There´s some sanding needed for a perfect fit though:

    [​IMG]

    Perfect! it was a pain to do though, 1mm is somewhat fragile and it´s very easy to over-sand the sides.

    I also found that I already had one of these cutting tools so no need for the one I bought, I´ll be taking it back tomorrow as this old one works just fine, plus I am fan of bosch for power tools but they are always so expensive. Anyhow, started on the 5mm piece, this is much easier to work with.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just need to do the round borders now and hopefully I´m done with that by tomorrow. The plan is to aply a smoked effect vynil between both pieces as I´m really liking the smoked look, so I will go out and see if I can find some tomorrow. After that, I will paint the parts of the plexy that sit on the standoffs black as opposed to painting the surface of the standoff black in order to get a perfectly smooth look.

    On a side note, brought up the small via itx pc from the workshop and I´ve started taking it apart and will check if it still works shortly. But it´s definately looking promising! I still have to do some calculations taking in to account the lenght of both motherboards, the psu and the pico psu to make sure I can fit all the backplates properly (i.e. if there´s enough space) in to the back of the desk.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here are the specs:
    http://www.viaembedded.com/en/products/boards/490/1/VB7001.html

    I´ll update when I make the calculations and check if this thing still lives!
  7. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Little update today :)

    This morning I finished the plexy and I have to say, it couldn´t fit any better or tighter. Originally I was debating wether I should screw it or glue it down or simply leave it alone but, considering how tight it fits, it´s not going to vibrate or go anywhere so, it´s perfect, hell it wasn´t easy taking it out again (as I will be painting the wood).

    [​IMG]

    And just so you can see how it could look like minus the paint and filters.

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully I can play around with the VIA mobo this evening and do the calculations I needed to do as yesterday it was pretty much instant K.O, needed to catch up with sleep!

    PS: I also aplied the slight smoked tint vynil to the 5mm plexy on the underside (so it´s between both pieces). The guy from the vynil shop did say that I may encounter issues since plastic contracts and expands with heat and then cold (on/off server) but I may get lucky since the temps aren´t that much and it´s between two pieces. I took the risk as it wasn´t expensive and worst comes to worst, I´ll take the vynil off and aply some smoked lacquer instead. Unfortunately I took no pictures and you don´t see it because the plexy´s top layer protection is still on, no sense taking that off until the end to prevent it from getting dirty.
  8. Luciel

    Luciel

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    So it´s been a full year since my last update, other modding projects, work and life in general got in the way, but I´ve now resumed work on this project. So, did the cut out on the base of the desk for the trapdoor. Remember the desk has 2 floors in order to hide cables between them and the trap door is to be able to access these cables without making a mess or taking stuff apart. I then added the hinges and the locks. It´s unfortunately painfully obvious it´s my first time working with wood (rather than making other materials look like wood), but this won´t be seen unless you go under the desk so it´s one of those "it´ll do" cases I think. Have in mind that the "exposed" wood will be painted so as not to stand out from the rest of the desk (black).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Started assembly of the sides. The back will have to come out again in order to make the cutout for the I/O of the 2 boards inside but I need it to be in for now for the sake of measurements for the other parts.

    [​IMG]

    Started to put the "fake floor" in to place and tested the trap door, all seems well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In order to match the other desk in the room where it´ll be (as I explained in the opening post, this is an "extension"), I can only do the desk so high and so deep, which after measurement, taking the thickness of the wood in to account (even though the fake floor is 1cm thick as oposed to the rest which are 2cm) it only leaves me with 2cm high open space to hide the cables, it´s going to be tight. but the trap door helps a lot for this very reason and will keep the end result nice and tidy.

    On a side note, I´ve also decided to move away from the VIA board, and acquired a Gigabyte GA-C1037UN-EU which still has a very low power footprint (which is the whole point of the second board which gets left on 24h) and comes with an integrated 1.8 dual core celeron which should work much better in hash checking than the VIA 1Ghz single core cpu (plus it was quite cheap, 64€).

    Aniway that´s all for today, should be able to work more on it tomorrow.

    As always, thanks for reading!
  9. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Hi Everyone,

    Small update in terms of work, but, it was very fullfilling.

    I finished mounting the "fake floor" and I think it came out great, I´m so glad I had the idea for it, as it´s going to make my life so much easier keeping things tidy and clean..

    [​IMG]

    Yes, it´s filthy, bare with me, no point cleaning it while I´m still working on it ;) I added the front part (though didn´t mount it as there´s no need for it till much later in the build process) to see if all fits nicely, and it does!

    [​IMG]

    thankfully, measurements where correct and the fake floor goes up as much as it can, leaving 2cm playroom between it and the real base (with trapdoor). But yeah, very close!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It goes without saying, as mentioned in previous updates that all "exposed" wood will be painted in a matching black colour once I´m done. So, I took apart a really old case (from a prefab´d ACER), and cut out what I needed and piled the rest (I keep a couple of old cases always at hand for recycling and scrap metal bits):

    [​IMG]

    And this is what I needed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Of course, this and all other parts will be painted, some of the hardware will be aswell as it is usual of my projects.

    Quick test. Tomorrow (if I have time) I´ll be cutting it down to the exact size of the M-ATX motherboard I´m using, but for now...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next up, I still haven´t decided what possition to put all the drives in (you´d think I would´ve decided that before starting the project but it was pointless as I had a very specific set of measurements to work with, for better or worse due to where this desk module has to go), have in mind it´ll be around 10-14 drives in total. So, I came up with a couple of options. First of, on the left lower side,

    [​IMG]

    I am however worried about vibration since they are only held from one side. I like the concept because since the mounting will be painted black, it could give the impresion the hard drives are "floating" but I am worried about vibration, so an alternative would be:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nowhere near as nice but it wouldn´t vibrate this way. Anyhow, regardless of if they are attached on both sides or not, there´s 2 options in terms of where the other 5-6 drives go, first is on opposite sides (yes I know it´s on top of the mainboard mounting plate but have in mind this will be cut down to size and I´m 100% sure there is space for this:

    [​IMG]

    The other option is simply use the whole left side for the drives, I checked and it still leaves enough space for the second mobo (ITX).

    [​IMG]

    Another thing to take in to consideration is the fact the first option may work better due to ventilation locations, but I´m concerned the hdds under both fans will diminish airflow.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And well, that´s all for today, hopefully some more tomorrow (though I think it´ll be Monday now as not much "free" time tomorrow at all.

    As always, thanks for reading!
    insane 360 says thanks.
  10. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Hi Everyone,

    Another "small" update today, simply didn´t have time for more. So I´ve decided I will split the hard drives between both sides. Why? Because I´ve decided to add a fan at the back for intake and the two 200mm fans on top will do the extracting which are located right on top of the hard drives so the heat out of the hdds (which in this case, realistically is the main source of heat) won´t remain inside. This also means that I have enough space to mount the PSU at the back and not have to route the powercable to a female adaptor at the back. I´ve also cut the mobo tray down to the size I require. So this is the final possition of the HDD mounts.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It took me the better part of 2 hours to throughly clean both hdd mounts and the mobo tray, that acer case was at least 7 years old and it came from someone who used it pretty much every day for work and did not mantain it much at all so you can imagine the amount of grit, dust and general dirtyness these parts had. Water was not enough, I had to give it a 15-20 min vinegar bath (just about enough to loosen the grit but not corrode the metal) followed by scrubbing followed by cotton and alcohol, eventually though, I got them as clean as they where ever going to be and prepped for paint.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Primer on.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And as silly as it sounds, I´m quite proud of this little trick, I mixed (different ratios) glossy black and matt black, to get a kind of metallic shine but keeping the matt look so I could match the desk color as close as possible and here is the result.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see the colour is quite a good match, unfortunately there was only so much I could do with these old metal parts and it´s most definately not the smoothest paintjob I´ve ever done due to the surface,. if they where smooth surfaces I could´ve just grinded them down but the nature of these parts makes it, not impossible, but not really worth the huge fuss it would take to do so, all in all, I think it looks great (on a side note, the shine and reflection makes it look like it´s not a solid coat, but in fact it has 2 coats and I assure you it´s solid, it´s just the reflections you see in the photos).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That´s it in terms of work done today, it may not look like much but it took quite a while between the cleaning, experimenting with the paint mixture ratios and the coats (plus the final clear lacquer coat).

    I´ve been planning the color pattern I´ll be giving the HDDs as well, it´s going to look quite good if I get it right (I´m aware of the risks of painting an HDD, however if you´ve seen any of my other projects you´ll see there´s a way to do it safely so no worries, it´s never caused me any trouble or damaged drives). I´m thinking tomorrow I´ll be cutting the back for the I/O plate and PCI slots for the first mobo, however I´ll have to wait till the ITX mobo gets here (tuesday or wednesday) before I can measure what space I have and depending on that I´ll know where the fan will be located. I´ll also start checking the 20odd drives I have to see which are in perfect condition and decide which to use. Which also means taking apart the current server and adding 2 3tb drives to the VIA ITX to use as server meanwhile, so busy day in deed!

    As always, thanks for reading.
    Aquinus says thanks.
  11. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Looking so good so far. I love machines built into desks and cabinets. Best of luck, I can't wait to see how it turns out. Keep up the great work. :cool:
  12. Arjai

    Arjai

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    Looks good, can not wait to see it in finished form! I am a big fan of these mods/ desks/ cabinets, so forth.
    :lovetpu: BTW, I love your avatar, that show was one of my favorites! LOL.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  13. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Thanks a bunch guys :)

    Arjal, would you believe I´ve never seen it? Many many years ago I saw it somewhere (the actual image I use for the avatar) and though it was funny because it looks (as stupid as it sounds now) like it´s going to eat my post. I was later told it was from a show but I can never remember the name of the show, would you mind naming it so I can look it up? :)

    -----------------------

    Hi Everyone,

    Today´s update is a bit late, this is because today´s update is all about hard drives. I (finally) took the server apart (finally finished copying all its files from its hard drives in to 2x 3Tb drives). I knew a couple of its drives where on their way out and I knew for a fact one was dead (just never got round to taking them out as it wasn´t straight forward, I made the mistake when I first put it togueter to not label which drive was what and tagging the cables for easy id. I also went through my workshop and put togueter all the drives I could find (if they where still there it was because when I left them there they where working, but at least a couple of them had been sitting in storage for years. So all in all it was a VERY good idea to just sit down and test every single HDD. In total it was 21 of them. There´s another 3tb and another (not including one of the 2 3tb drives I used for backing up the server) 750Gb drive, these 2 I use in my day to day PC, the 750 for documents, photos, music, etc and the 3tb for essentially steam, origin, desura and non-platform dependant games. So, in total 21 drives which are avaliable for the server. Out of these 21 I had to choose 11+1 Optical media (6 through mobo ports, 2 through PCI-E card, and 4 [2sata+2ide through another PCI card]) and then another extra drive for the secondary ITX board.

    [​IMG]

    First I used Speedfan (SMART tab) for basic SMART status, straight up, 2 failed (badly). One was actually "OK" according to SMART but, part of the test I was doing to all drives was deleting their partitions (if any) and giving them one sole partition per drive (taking all space avaliable on each drive). 1 of these 2 drives simply would not format. To make sure I tried through diskpart and then again through Ubuntu (as opposed to Windows 7), nothing. The second of those two had the dreaded nasty clicking sound and mobo simply would not even recognise it. So that´s 19 drives left that, according to SMART are "OK" after giving each and everyone of them an "extended test" through Speedfan. I also removed the OCZ 120Gb SSD from the list, because I´m still not sure I want to use that for the ITX OS, though while I write this, I´ve decided I will, no point buying another 60Gb SSD simply so I don´t need to use that 120Gb which I´m not using for anything else aniway.

    [​IMG]

    Secondly, and after stressing all those drives, I tested them through Crystal Mark (Crystaldisk). Out of 19, 4 displayed in yellow (RISK), all 4 had the same reason, max allowed number of unallocated sectors (100+), but in terms of fitness they where OK, but for the sake of elimination, I´m putting them aside (the 4 on the right).

    [​IMG]

    The remaining 15 passed with flying colors (if you´re curious about the green and blue drives, They where used in previous projects, which is the why of their color :). Out of those 15 I chose 10 HDDs, 1 SSD and 1 CD/DVD RW drive, making a total of 10 sata devices and 2 IDE devices. Why they IDE you may ask? Simple, I have 2 500Gb IDE drives that seemed like a waste not to use and found a cheap PCI card that included one IDE port (so, 2 devices with a dual-connector IDE cable) and 2 SATA1 connectors (which while very speed limited, it´s not a big deal, I´ll be using those drives for cold storage). for 13€ (18USD give or take), so here is the final selection.

    [​IMG]

    Have in mind all these will be going on the M-ATX mobo, the extra SSD for the ITX mobo is missing from these pictures. As to why only one drive for the ITX? Simple, the ITX mobo is low power consumption (quite low actually) and is the one I´ll be using for overnight downloading, so all it needs is the one drive, files can then be moved through network to the M-ATX storage.

    The next step is to prep them for customizing, so, stickers off! (Notice the note on the right letting me know which drive is which by mantaining the order).

    [​IMG]

    These drives need some serious cleaning before anything can be done but at this point is was very late (or early depends on how you see AM hours) and did not feel like doing that then. I could however not resist mounting them to see how it will look in place so I added a little note to each drive so I don´t loose the order (to knoe which drive is what) and mounted them. So here goes (note that the extra SSD for the ITX will be located in that empty slot in the rack on the left).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As planned, they are located just underneath the extraction 200mm fans.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As a last note, I was planning on shaving the mounts off so they´d sit straight on the base, but I kind of really like that little inclination, what do you think?

    [​IMG]

    Also, remember I was worried about only attaching the drives on one side (2 screws per drive) due to vibration? Well as it turns out, when the screws are fully on, the drives don´t move/jiggle at all so I´m thinking it´ll be ok. Worst comes to worse, I think instead of adding another mount on top I could simple add 2 metal stripes per mount on top to add further rigidness to the drives without sacrificing aesthetics (I may do that regardless, I´m liking the concept in my head).

    Well, that´s it for today. I know today´s update was just about hard drives and not much visually done (at all) to the actual inside (did you notice the M-ATX mobo is in!? And no, that´s not the heatsink that will be used, it was simply what was on it) but it´s just one of those things that takes a long time if you want to make sure you put in the right drives out of what you have. Anyhow, as always...

    ...thanks for reading!
  14. Arjai

    Arjai

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    12 Oz Mouse.

    As in Twelve Ounce Mouse. Crazy funny and completely destructive!!
    Crunching for Team TPU
  15. Luciel

    Luciel

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    For a weird second there I though you were talking about the 12 drives, and I was like, what the hell is he on about? Then I realised you were naming the show, I need to get to bed....

    ...but thanks! Noted, I need to watch it :)
    Arjai says thanks.
  16. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Hi Everyone,

    Continuing on yesterdays update, today I removed all the grit and dirt from the hard drives and got them ready for paint. Most of them are seagate which do not normally have a breating hole up top and this makes it easier, for WD and other drives that do normally have them, really the safest way is to cover that whole with masking tape, once the rest is painted, paint carefully around it by hand, not as great of a finish but it´ll do the trick. It goes without saying that if you want to do this, you really have to be carefull and cover up all the sensitive bits in a hard drive, including plausible openings.

    [​IMG]

    I started with the paint and while I wait for the first coat to dry I received a package! And here it is, the ITX, secondary board.

    [​IMG]

    After the second coat, the color coat, detailing the WD drives, and lacquer, here is the final result of the hard drives (excluding the 2.5" drives which I haven´t done yet).

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And that´s it for today folks, my feet ache and as always...

    ...thanks for reading!
    Arjai says thanks.
  17. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Hi Everyone,

    So it´s been a couple of work hectic days so I haven´t been able to do anything but today, I had a couple of hours free so I thought I´d do something I thought about. If you remember, in previous posts I was concerned about the vibration the HDDs would have considering they are not attached through one side, and while they do seem pretty solid/stable, I couldn´t help think it just isn´t enough. So I played around with a couple of ideas but none of them quite did it for me until I thought, plexy! So here goes.

    [​IMG]

    Cut out two pieces after measuring it all up and did the mounting holes.

    [​IMG]

    I think I will need to do 2 more smaller pieces for the 2 2.5 hdds on each side, but that´s for another day. Anyhow, screws in.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I like it but.. there´s something missing... I know! A small led would really add to it, have in mind in the following picks, the led is held in by a bit of tape, Obviously this isn´t how it´s going to remain, it´s just for testing ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Love it. The downside of course is that the disipation of heat provided by the fans on top is dimished a bit as now all the hdd heat will leave by the sides since the top is blocked, but I think it´s a decent trade-in. And well that´s all for today, should be able to do a fair bit this weekend (fingers-crossed), and as always...

    ...thanks for reading! (Oh and, happy weekend-ing everyone!)
    Arjai says thanks.
  18. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Hi Everyone,

    First of all, White Rabbits and happy April Fools day to all :)

    I was really looking forward to getting some work done on this over the weekend, unfortunately on Saturday afternoon I burned my left hand, nothing hospital serious but definately meant that I wasn´t going to be doing much if not at all over the weekend in terms of this project. Today however I was tired of "taking it easy" so I did a bit of "easy" work, don´t get to excited however, nothing flashy about this update but things that needed doing :)

    Firstly I recicled another old case for a base and I/O plate mount for the ITX board, this case was from the P4 era, so as you can imagine, it was awfully dirty as well, but did the same as with the previous one and got the parts cleaned up. Unfortunately this case did not have both sections put togueter as the previous one, but nothing I can´t work around.

    [​IMG]

    More leftovers for the scrap metal pile.

    [​IMG]

    Next step was to fix the other mounting to both the surface and back panel of the module.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next step was to mark its surroundings so I can start measuring where to cut (I need to, obviously, take the back panel of the module off in order to cut it).

    [​IMG]

    But I can´t start with that until I get the other mount ready (and a couple of other components that will be featured hopefully in the next update), which meant painting. I also took the opportunity to do the 2.5 drives and the I/O plate for the ITX board. So I took out the mix ratios I wrote down for that special matte/glossy black mixture and got it done.

    [​IMG]

    And that´s all for today folks, as always...

    ...thanks for reading!
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
    Arjai says thanks.
  19. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Very small update today, not so much that I had little time but rather than in order to show these picks, the process takes considerable time. So, first thing´s first, finished the 2.5 drives (2x hdds & 2x SSDs)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Took the back panel off and did the cutouts for both mobos, after that I painted the wood-color bits so they don´t stick out as much, I didn´t have any wood paint at hand so used the paint I normally use, because it is water based the wood sucks it in and doesn´t leave as deep of a colour, but I think the tone difference looks good so going to leave it like that. Didn´t attach it back with screws yet as I still have to do the PSU and a couple of other cutouts so made no sense to screw it back in but, I did put it in possition for a couple of pickies.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It goes without saying that I will be painting the metal parts of those cards so as to match the I/O plate. I didn´t do the X-Fi card in red today, it was like that from another project (it´s also a different tone of red than the one I´m using on this project) and while I like it, I will be doing something else paint wise with it, just thought I´d mount the hardware to see how it looked :)

    And that´s it! More tomorrow and as always...

    ...thanks for reading!
    Arjai says thanks.
  20. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Hi Everyone,

    Today I started painting bits and pieces.

    [​IMG]

    While those dried out I figured I´d get started on the front, while not pictured I had already taken care of paiting the exposed wood colour bits (except where the switches go as those would be completely covered aniway. So, the first and only thing I had ready to be installed is the controller. Being this a server, it only seemed right to use the Lamptron CM615 for remote access (through my main PC) on the same LAN.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Originally I was going to make some mounts for the frontal devices but figured It would just mean more visible screws so instead I opted to use hot glue instead. So went ahead and mounted the lamptron.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nice fit :)

    Now that the painted bits where dry I figured I´d mount them (note the little detail on the X-Fi, same as the HDDs).

    [​IMG].

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Figured I´d put the back in place to see how it looks (note that the screws of the M-ATX mount are not in place on the back, this is because I´m not finished with the back, they are on the ITX mount because if you remember it´s two pieces rather than just one.

    [​IMG]

    Following the theme, I did something special with the PSU :) (Also, photo number 100!)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I decided this is where an 80mm intake fan will be located (may add 2 as it means it will also be ready for a 160mm rad if in the future I want to upgrade to liquid cooling).

    [​IMG]

    And lastly, this will be the possition of an SFX PSU that will power the itx board (obviously, needs to be painted).

    [​IMG].

    You may notice the fan of the ATX PSU is pointed towards the wall. There will be a piece of metal or wood blocking the air spreading to the rest of the case and a mesh aperture on the back panel to allow the air to flow. By doing this, none of the heat created by the PSU stays in the module.

    Anyhow, that´s about it for today and as always...

    ...thanks for reading!
  21. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Hi Everyone,

    Today´s update isn´t much of a work update as such, but rather an update on materials as I haven´t had much time these last few days. Unfortunately my compressor died the other day, it was 6 and a half years old and to be honest it was never very good, I´m convinced it leaked air as it could never hold a full load within the tank, had no pressure control (so it was useless for smaller sprayguns) neither did it have an auto on/off depending on the quantity of air within it´s tank which was a pain in the rear, I bought it when I first started painting and it´s what happens when you buy something without knowing any better.

    So, I went down to the same shop I always go for paint supplies (sure I could´ve provably bought the following cheaper online but it´s a local shop, not part of a chain and they´ve always been extremely good to me, hell if it wasn´t for them existing I wouldn´t know what to do so I like to support them) and got myself a spanking brand new compressor, this time round however with all the bells and whistles.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For the same price I could´ve gotten a 50ltr one, with the same specs all round but it was simply to big for the space I have allocated for it, plus fact is I don´t need it to hold so much air at any given time. So I mounted the wheels on it and placed it where the old one used to live, just outside my "paintbooth". I was going to install the tubing I have from the old one but the fittings where different!

    [​IMG]

    So had to go back to the shop (thankfully, it´s only a 5 min drive from where I live) and get some new fittings, I figured for the price I might as well also get some new tubing (what you also see in the picture are some measuring cups I use for mixing the paint components, I change them once a year or so as they get rather dirty after many paint sessions and it´s increasingly harder to read the measurements on them)...

    [​IMG]

    ...and just as I was about to leave... the owner knows I´ve been keeping an eye on 2 sprayguns they have there (a mini and a detailing one) but I couldn´t really justify the price since I already had some (even though they weren´t exactly expensive) so he mentioned that they are now the last two and they are end of line models so I could have them at cost price if I wanted (love this shop!) so I figured... what the hell...PLUS it is my BIRTHDAY on Sunday the 13th and of course while I was at it I figured I needed some new suplies aniway (I was going to get them next week, but while I was there I figured I´d get the lot as I know when I buy a certain amount of stuff they give me a further discount) so...

    [​IMG]

    And the spanking new sprayguns! (I´m veeeery happy right now!)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    While I was out, a package arrived (love the feeling of coming home to even more goodies).

    [​IMG]

    Cables, cables and more cables, all the cables and extensions I ordered and need for this project.

    [​IMG]

    At one point when I started this project I thought about sleeving but, to be honest I´m not a huge fan of sleeving and just looking at the amount of cables gives me a headache plus the fact is, you´re going to see next to none of them once installed so, figured, no point.

    Anyhow, next thing I decided is I´m going to install a small kvm switch on the back of the module. You see the servers are going to be connected to a TV i have on the wall above where the module will live, so, not just a server, but as I mentioned at the beggining of this project, also a media center and streamer. Don´t really need the KVM as all the files and storage will be on the M-ATX, but I already had it laying about, never really used it much so figured, hell if I ever can´t access the servers remotely at least this way I can see what´s going on without having to move the module to plug a monitor in the back. So, haven´t fitted it on yet nor have I decided it I will get rid of the enclosure it comes with but, just so you get an idea of where it will go:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lastly, but no less important. I was taking some measurements to cut the opening for the 80mm fan. While doing so I realised, as I mentioned in a previous post that I could fit two. I also realised the cpu heatsink that I was going to use for the M-ATX is to tall! So started looking for a smaller one online and though... I can fit 2x 80mm fans... I have spare fittings... I have some tubing... I have a spare basic cpu block... I have a spare small reservoir... hell I´m not going to buy a new heatsink, instead I´ll get a 2x80mm radiator, sure it´s a small but it´s only cooling a very low end 1155 cpu so what the hell and so I did. I bought the only one I could find which wasn´t to expensive (there are not that many 2x80mm models out there), 57€ with shipping, not to bad! It´s an Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 Full Copper 80mm Dual and should arrive at some point next week.

    [​IMG]

    Anyhow, for an update without any actual work progress, it certainly has turned a few things around and... crap I just realised I don´t have any decent 80mm fans laying about...!!

    That´s all for today folks and as always...

    ...thanks for reading!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  22. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Hello Everyone,

    Small update today, it´s been my birthday weekend and well, you shouldn´t use powertools when... not sober so no work this weekend. So, got a couple of hours in of work today, not much though, measuring hole placements and so on. I wasn´t going to show anything until they where all done but I really felt like seeing how it looks.

    Before that however, got the card reader in place, so that´s done.

    [​IMG]

    So, after I did the holes I started getting everything togueter for a mock shot, because of this have in mind the holes exposed wood needs to be painted, nothing is held down by screws so parts might look somewhat out of placement and so on, this is purely so you get an idea of how the cables could look once done, at least on the right side of the module (just one set of hdds and the m-atx mobo).

    As I started, I was so glad I got the idea for the trap door, sooo many cables, and this is only a part of the whole lot!

    [​IMG]

    And here are a few closeups of the lot, enjoy :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And that´s it! Will try to get some work done tomorrow though no promises, a lot of "real-life" work to catch up to from 3 days off.

    And as always...

    ...thanks for reading!
    Arjai says thanks.
  23. Wikoontz

    Wikoontz New Member

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    Looking nice as it is coming together! Are you going to utilize some sort of gasket or frame for the mount points to the case so the lamptron et cetera sit flush to the wood or just use the bare wood as-is?
  24. Luciel

    Luciel

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    Cheers, I originally did think about using a gasket, thing is, being my first time with wood I´ve been unable to get it perfectly straight and clean when it comes to cuts, sure I could´ve gotten someone to do it but I really wanted to do everything myself. However because of this no gasket I tried looked right so I´ve decided to do it bare wood as-is. I´ve already got all 4 parts in the front which you´ll see in my next update and while it´s not perfect, I´ve gotta be honest it turned out better than I thought.
  25. Wikoontz

    Wikoontz New Member

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    Oh, certainly, and I'm excited to see the mounted hardware. I completely understand the pride of a totally-self sort-of project and know the complete build will be far more fulfilling than a purchased product.

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