Bunnings Spec Storage System

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by Claymen, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Claymen

    Claymen Member

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    With multiple raid arrays and a total of 12 hdd's to contend with I decided it was time to sort out a better way to keep them cool and put them in a housing.

    I had already bought a 5 drive caddy from addonics but buying a second worked out quite expensive and needed a far bigger case so building a custom unit seemed like a great idea. Time for a trip to bunnings!

    My rought requirements were
    * Support 10 HDD's
    * Good cooling capacity
    * Cheap
    * Easily disconnected to move
    * Did I say cheap already? In this economy have to mention it multiple times!

    But before we get too far ahead I had a few ideas in my mind which I needed to sketch out. With the help of google sketchup this is what I had planned out.

    This is what I quickly came up with.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The idea was to put the drives on their sides and use some thin ally edging to fix them in place. Then using the top 120mm hole put in a decent flowing fan and either let it suck the air through the side vents or add additional fans to help force air through. Then I would run some eSata cables (2) to the case and use a eSata->Sata bracket to then run into my power multipliers. To run all my drives I use a combination of a single PCIe 1x 2port eSata card which connects to a port multiplier on each channel. This gives me 10 ports of SATA300. For reference these are all silicon image and support FIS based routing/switching which means that all drives can be addressed at once so effectively a single SATA2/SATA300 line running 5 drives all at once. I get about 130-150mb/sec off the array as each port multiplier is one RAID5 array using linux software md-raid. (5x750 5x500)

    At anyrate time to head to bunnings and picked up the following
    * 75mm vent covers for airflow into wall cavities.
    * El cheapo galvanised toolbox (550L x 225D x 216H)
    * All purpose bath mat
    * Ally angle line (2m)

    And came to under $40! And the toolbox has handles so it makes for easy movement.

    Time to get to work.

    Bits and tools..
    [​IMG]

    The all important toolbox.
    [​IMG]

    The drive mountings came along quickly got two sets done pretty quickly.
    [​IMG]

    And here they are in use which work really nicely for keeping the drives spaced and cool.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Good shot of the top vent/extraction hole and the end vent holes.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Now there was a bit of work on the vent holes as my holesaw is 60mm and 80mm and using the 80mm meant they wouldn't clip in and hold tight so I used my air die grinder to open the holes up a little more after drilling out with the 60mm. Don't have any shots of that though :( it was fun though with sparks and what not.

    So that was pretty much day one a few weeks ago. Yer yer im slack but needed to get a few more parts in like my eSata connectors from DX.

    This is the final status after brewing beer some beer today and getting some work done on the storage unit. After much filing and making plenty of noise I got the eSata ports mounted.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And a final shot showing the matting somewhat in place and a temp 120mm fan to get the holes drilled and lined up properly. You can also see the vents installed. In addition to this I ran selastic down all the joins and around the vents to seal it as much as possible so that air only comes in where I want it to.
    [​IMG]

    Now whats left to do. I need to get power in and with 10 drives being catered for I have roughly given it 10W per drive so 100W total. The PSU in my file-server has plenty of power so will likely run two of its 12V rails into this box using some 4/8 pin DIN connectors and some reasonably thick wiring. This way it along with the eSata can be disconnected easily. The two port multipliers I will mount to the wall of the box with some plastic mounts to prevent any earthing out and probably get the HDD's in for a test run for space shortly, they easily fit via measuring but want to get a total weight estimate. Other than that it's just fitting and installing then crack a few beers and watch some episodes.

    I will post up when I have another day to get some work done on it. Never know might even paint it.
     
  2. The Sentinel

    The Sentinel Member

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    Is that really enough cooling for that many drives in a sealed box?
     
  3. Chop92per

    Chop92per (Banned or Deleted)

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    well if he connects the hdds to the box it self with metal the box can also act as a giant heat sink

    but still i would use more fans
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Claymen

    Claymen Member

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    More than enough. A single 80mm fan with a low CFM rating was able to keep 5 drives packed into this caddy http://www.addonics.com/products/raid_system/ae4rcs35nsa.asp cool without any problems. Mine is the 5SA model.

    This is 5x750gb in that caddy in an unairconditioned room which is closed up for most of the day.
    [​IMG]

    I also have some other tricks planned to help force the flow through the drives better ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  5. phantom220

    phantom220 Member

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    I would have said that a single 120mm wouldn't have been enough, but I guess you know more than I do haha.

    It'd also seem that people who make monster file servers with 10-12 120mm fans are getting into a bit of overkill.
     
  6. Gua5d1aN

    Gua5d1aN Member

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    should have just dumped a 220mm fan ontop, duct it out onto low floor, even better, duct it to sit under floorboards lol, cold air gallor

    but looks mad man, nice mod
     
  7. jor8

    jor8 Member

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    Hmm...
    This looks really good.
    cant wait to see the finally

    Regs john
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Claymen

    Claymen Member

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    It's about the flow and how you channel it. For example I have another 5x500gb sitting in the lower section of my case (super midi tower) which have a 120mm fan blowing across them. They run hotter than my other drives in the caddy which is enclosed and air is directed through. So I will be adding some extra sheeting to channel the air through the drives rather than allowing it to go over the top of the drives.

    With that all said, heat rises so drives on their sides disipate heat around them rather than simply pumping heat into a hdd above them as they would be in a normal case setup. So there are a few tricks that can be used to help improve temps.

    Here are the 5x500gb in the case with a 120mm fan blowing across them and just mounted to the internal drive bays running down inside.
    [​IMG]

    As you can see they are much more spread out and over time have had slightly higher temps. Also I have my 5x750's now free to air outside the case just standing as they would be in my storage box and they are running about the same temp as they were in the caddy. So I am confident there will be no temp issues, just cold hard storage.
     
  9. archibaw

    archibaw Member

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    Looks good. Great lateral thinking. :thumbup:
     
  10. stebie

    stebie Member

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    I agree. Will be good to see the final product. :)
     
  11. broox

    broox Member

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    I like it :thumbup:
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Claymen

    Claymen Member

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    So I have all my drives (the 5x750 and 5x500) in the rails ready to be put into the box. I've got them sitting next to each other with just a 120mm fan lightly blowing across them and wow what a different. It beats the pants off the caddy.

    The 500's which were free to air in the case so to speak have dropped between 5-10c and the difference between them is now only 3c whereas before the drives spread out across about 8c. So the temps are now much more uniform and clearly shows that sitting them on their sides improves cooling by preventing the lower ones simply heating up the upper ones. My 500's are currently sitting at an average 28c even whilst doing a raid resync and my 750's are sitting at a crazy 23c average. Pretty damn impressive. I can't wait to finish the box get them in there and see how it goes as so far its looking very promising for the temps on them.

    The biggest difference is the noise. The fans in the case can now be turned down to almost nothing or even off (cpu and psu fans still on of course) and yer the single 120mm just lighty blowing across is far far quieter than having it running full pelt before.

    Things are looking good!
     
  13. jor8

    jor8 Member

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    any pics?
    am thinking of doing this aswell

    regs john
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Claymen

    Claymen Member

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    Here is how they sit for testing at the moment.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here is the port multiplier.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Myst

    Myst Member

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    So what are you actually doing with these storage arrays?

    Impressive mod!
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Claymen

    Claymen Member

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    Lots of stuff actually, storage for all my personal stuff like photos, documents etc but also plenty of storage for testing with virtual machines. Quite handy to have a couple complete AD domains with exchange servers for testing against ;)
     
  17. Myst

    Myst Member

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    Excellent you have me interested in external enclosures now also, endless possibilities!
     
  18. )(arg0n

    )(arg0n Member

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    cool a port mutliplier, never heard of one of those for sata drives until i read this log. I was reading about them and it appeared they may not work with some mobo/hdd configurations but apparently there is no real way to tell?

    Either way i enjoy budget builds, nice work. Looking forward to seeing the final photos, if you dont mind where did you purchase the port multipliers from?
     
  19. OP
    OP
    Claymen

    Claymen Member

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    Haha I have had all sorts of idea's. Considered installing its own power supply ;) Use a smallish 200-300W supply for a shuttle PC etc. And if you wanted you could go all out and put in a mATX board then you'd be cooking.

    Get one of the dual atom cpu boards fully integrated, add in the PSU and the drives and BAM el cheapo filer. Throw linux on there with LVM and you can start creating luns doing snapshots and iSCSI share them over the network. The possibilities are endless. Much why I don't really like the standard enclosures around (cost doesn't help either).

    For now im going to probably stick with running power from my existing PSU which from memory is a 650W with enough power on a single 12V rail to run double what I am now but will run both rails to balance it out. Mainly to keep costs down because for now I don't have a need to run yet another system in there lol.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Claymen

    Claymen Member

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    They work with most chipsets, the biggest issue is the FIS routing. Without it performance sux. With it its like a network switch and it all happily hums along :)

    Port multipliers came from Addonics but they are a Silicon Image chipset so I am sure there are other vendors.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009

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