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Old 18th August 2007, 10:10 PM   #1
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Default Coolermaster Stacker ... slightly modified

My case mod, it's still a work in progress, wiring is all that's left.

Bare case with the module rails cut out. Bit disconcerting to get a brand new case home and start cutting it up, but at least there's no turning back.

Motherboard tray with 12mm marked out where i'm going to cut it out at the top. I needed the clearance for the base of the case.

12mm taken out of the top, 32mm taken off the right side, i made a rail and welded it into place where the right hand side mounts for the board are, then trimmed off the edge.

Back panel before modding, i'm taking 12mm out of the left side to match the top of the trimmed motherboard tray.

Cut and bolted the aluminium frame, the 4 blots maintain strength and alignment.

Trimmed back panel, welds are on the inside out of sight.

Modded motherboard tray, this is concealed inside the case.

Completed rear panel with 12mm taken out to match the m'board tray.

Completed assembly. Colour's metalic blue to contrast the black components.

Original base of the case with the grille removed.

Modded base, it looks crude here, but it gets better.

Mockup of the underneath fans, 6x80mm, 2x40mm.

Frame i fabricated to support the weight, and to protect the fans,


It's made from 30mm right angle steel, boxed on the ends to mount the castors. Fans are only 25mm, so i can put a trolley under it if i want to, fans are always protected.

On to the hard part, 1.5mm plate steel for the cradle i've had a visual image of in my head for 12 months.

3 weeks work in my spare time measuring and cutting these.

Centre rail to support the drives internally, every 2nd one is shorter for a reason.

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Old 18th August 2007, 10:11 PM   #2
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This is why every 2nd centre rail is slightly shorter, the cross braces stop the sides from bowing out, keeping the cradle square. It's only spot welded atm.

Top plate welded to the cdrom supports, these are tied into the front frame rails, the 2 holes are for the top of the cradle.

Semi finished drive cradle, cross braces are to maintain rigidity. Small studs on top poke into the top plate.

Mockup of the fabricated components. Case is upside down.

Completed cradle with 3x120mm fans. There's a lot more work here than what appears obvious. It's reasonably square and rigid.

8x500 gig Samsung sata2 at the bottom, 18x320 gig WD JB. Weighs 20kg.
Finally got that image out of my head Koopz was over and didn't believe it would stay cool, so i jerry rigged a power supply, provides a steady stream of air across the drives.

Components i'm using from mitre 10 to support the weight, they're 12mm threaded bars, i'm assuming for concrete anchors. I'm not using the bright nut in the photo, thought of drilling it to use as a guide, but didn't need to.

Cut the thread on the castors for just the nut, 2nd nut is a 1/2 inch that i tack welded to the castor nut, the shaft sits inside the larger nut, and transfers all the weight from the cradle to the castor. The large washers i welded to the base of the cradle so the shaft doesn't budge.

Better shot of the base with the cradle supports in place, i drilled a hole thru the underneath frame to keep the shafts in place.

Better shot of the shafts. The small stud is spot welded in place and hand filed to match the washers welded to the base of the cradle.

This is the reason i had to move the motherboard tray up 12 mm, for clearance. The bottom of the frame for the rear panel interferes.
Left to right, 8x200 gig Maxtors, 8x200 gig WD, 2x500 gig Samsungs, 36gig IBM scsi 15k boot drive. There's 3mm clearance between the drives, the fans underneath pull air thru the drives from inside the case.

120mm fan i took off one of the supplied case modules.

Small drive cradle screwed to the power supply cage, this will hold 2 of the samsung 500s. I could've left these 2 drives out, but was determined to fill the pci slots.

Controllers i'm using to fill the pci slots, bottom 2 are 3ware 6800 8 ports, 8x200 gig drives each. Middle controller is a 3ware 9500s, 12x500 gig sata, 4th controller is a promise sx6000, top controller is a 3ware 7500 series 12 port, 6 and 12 320 gig drives respectively. I've had a ton of ide drives from a variety of servers i wanted to piss off to one machine, and building this consolidates most of the ide drives into one box, the satas are a recent addition just for this server.

Dual Xeon dell server board (sc1600) from a poweredge server, bought off ebay cheap, dual 3.06ghz cpus (533 mhz bus), 2 gig of ecc ram, 3 independant pci busses. It's an extended atx, so it's large.

This is the civilised shot, before i start wiring the sucker.
It doesnt supply enough 5v (28amps), which i'll get to later.

I'm going to use the original start button elsewhere.


Didn't turn out too bad, it's actually square, not the illusion of being crooked.
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:12 PM   #3
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80mm fan from the top of the case, blowing onto the scsi drive.

Backside of the case where i plan to hide most of the wiring and data cables, i plan to bunch the ide cables into flat straps using thick rubber bands and have one strap per controller poke from beneath the motherboard.

Shot of the bare case.

I havent added the front grilles yet, i'm going to have to fabricate a couple that i'm short.

On the to do list.....
I'm missing some of the ecc ram sticks, i've got them, just have to find them.
Installed the OS this evening, runs sweet with the 15000 rpm scsi drive.
Going to add one controller at a time, the 200s have data on them i have to move to other controllers, i didn't want to wire the whole lot up and find out later it has a fault.
The power supply doesnt supply enough 5v, each drive pulls 0.67 amps, plus the board as well, so i went and bought 3 of these, i'll make a seperate loom to supply certain drives, they're 6amp each, so i figure 2 running 8 drives each should ease the load.
http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView...Max=&SUBCATID=

As i mentioned, i have to make some extra grilles for the front of the machine, apart from that, its wiring, and moving data around. Weighs 53kg, should be 12.3 TB of raid 5 arrays. It's taken 3 months of work, aquiring bits like controllers etc etc has taken 12 months, dont want to know what i've spent on it.
Hope you guys enjoyed the photos, it's been a marathon modding exercise.
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:21 PM   #4
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Insane.

Lots of storage there.

I want it haha.
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:21 PM   #5
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*drools*

i like dude...looks really good....

""Coolermaster Stacker ... slightly modified""

not really slightly modified... more like heavily moddified!!

but again looks crazy good job dude, is it loud like a jet?
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:32 PM   #6
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Mad Mod!

Wouldn't it be easier to just get another regular pc power supply. Or 3? just sharing the load?

Rather than having just dedicated 5v rails, on one psu and the 12v coming from somewhere else?
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:36 PM   #7
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that's a lot of porn. Also its going to be a lot of cabling with all of them being PATA :O
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:38 PM   #8
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that's a lot of porn. Also its going to be a lot of cabling with all of them being PATA :O
i thought that too! IDE cables are gonna be a bitch especially on the bottom hdds with all the bending and stuff..

its a mod which means a challenge...

goota live SATA cables..... make it soo much easier....
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:49 PM   #9
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shit. makes the 16 + 2 drive machine i did a while back look like a toy!
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:55 PM   #10
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Holy mother of god! That is some serious storage crammed into one case... how much does it weigh all up?
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Old 18th August 2007, 11:08 PM   #11
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Totally Crazy Man. You planing to download the internet?

What did you weld the sheet metal with?

You may need to strengthen your floor joist with all that weight. haha.
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Old 18th August 2007, 11:39 PM   #12
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-head explodes-
That is freaking awesome. So impressed.
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Old 18th August 2007, 11:54 PM   #13
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holy bat crap batman
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Old 19th August 2007, 12:08 AM   #14
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Pretty impressive mod.

I could think of other ways to attain that much storage, but it wouldn't be anywhere near as cost effective as this.

Are you going to be raiding any drive sets, or just using the controllers in JBOD mode?

If you are raiding, some benchmarks would be nice, especially a bench of all the drives reading at the same time, with CPU load screenies

Would be interesting to see what kind of load that much HDD activity generates.
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Old 19th August 2007, 12:17 AM   #15
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The whole point of the exercise was i wanted to cram as much into a stacker with a stock looking external appearance. And capacity, 12.3TB should keep me busy, the dual xeons have plenty of grunt for fileserving.
I used a hobby style mig welder, u can buy them for $500 from most tool stores.
One last point i'd like to make is this has been an ongoing project for well before i actually started fabricating stuff from scratch, there's minimal clearances everywhere, everything barely fits, something like this is not for the faint hearted.
I've never seen a case mod along these lines before, and i did spend multiple times measuring and remeasuring, and still screwed up.
Was going to have the large cradle pivot, and swing outside the case, for access to the difficult drives closest to the motherboard, measured everything, fabricated it all, then when i did a mockup, the cradle hit the ram clips :|
So now it's fixed in place, still not a drama, because it's two nuts to release the cradle, and the whole assembly drops 3mm, enough to rotate and ease it out of the case, it weighs 20kgs, and doesn't seem to be a problem.

Anyway, i sent a link to coolermaster, hope they like the mod too :P
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