HP Blackbird 002

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by mrbean_phillip, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    Doreen (3754) Vic
    For a while now I've been eyeing the recently released HP Blackbird 002. No, not the system, just the case.

    But, as you all know, they're notoriously difficult to come by, at least as an empty case - and, in the Land Down Under, you cannot even buy a complete Blackbird system.

    With the help of a fellow modder, Alex at Computer Choppers, who recently did the Dream Machine mod on one of these, I managed to secure a Blackbird case.

    All the cabling, SATA backplane, internal plastics were there, but it is short the unique outer sidepanels, and a decent front panel assembly for the buttons.

    I have very good hardware particularly suited to this mod - for now I am putting on hold Dark Apple, and using the Asus Z7s motherboard, 2x Xeon 5430 cpus, 8gigs of ram, and the SAS harddrive cage.

    Please see next post for some pics.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    Doreen (3754) Vic
    Well, I basically put the base system together to test all the hardware, and make sure everything works as it should. Loaded Win Vista Ultimate 64bit as the preferred OS.

    Here's a shot of the case, note the missing outer side-covers:

    [​IMG]

    And here's a shot of the front-panel electronics, minus the rather nice HP frontpanel assembly:

    [​IMG]

    The original assembly was modified, but it did not come out well, and will not fit this mod particularly well - I need a new bit here, and would prefer the original plastic - otherwise I need to have one CNC'ed, same as the sidepanels.

    [​IMG]

    and the backside:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. OP
    OP
    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    Doreen (3754) Vic
    Here's a couple of internal shots, please don't mind the cabling/wiring for now, it will all be fixed proper when I'm done - in the following shots, the internal windage trays are not in place, I will mount them once the watercooling is complete.

    Showing the Asus Z7S mobo, with 8-gigs FB-Dimms, and Xeon 5430's mounted - just 2 test coolers on for now - the system will be watercooled, replacing air for the 2x Fuzion v2's out of the Apple mod.

    [​IMG]

    and another one:

    [​IMG]

    In the next shot you can see the Dell Perc 5i mounted, with it's dual 4-channel SAS cables connected:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. OP
    OP
    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    Doreen (3754) Vic
    The only real gripe I had with a very well designed case was a few minor things:

    1) The harddrive slide in trays are hiddeous, cheap plastic things - they could have done a better job here.
    2) Mounting any decent aftermarket radiator is going to be a pain (but I have it covered)
    3) the clips keeping PCI cards in place is also crap quality, and prone to cracking/breaking - Voodoo/HP need to focus on the aspect.

    Other than that, a very well-designed and engineered case.

    Well, fixing the problem in point 1, I decided to remove the stock SATA backplane that came with the Blackbird:

    [​IMG]

    With that done, I fitted the SAS (8x) 2.5" harddrive cage from a HP ML370 T05 server, similar to the one I am using in the Apple CaseMod. the advantage is, well, SAS drives, fast, enterprise reliability, battery-backed wb-cache, etc....plus, I can fit 8, where the original HP design allowed for 5 drives in the Blackbird.

    And, I think it looks much neater than the original design - this is something Voodoo/HP should have done too - the cost of designing a new backplane from scratch vs using the SAS one would not have made a difference to the final pricing.

    Well, here's some pics, please tell me what you think:

    Angled shot:

    [​IMG]

    another one....

    [​IMG]

    and a close-up of the caddy and mounting - the aluminium plate will get the same color as the interior plastics, some or other glossy black....

    [​IMG]
     
  5. OP
    OP
    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    Doreen (3754) Vic
    What's on the agenda next:

    1) Mounting the Feser 240mm X-changer Radiator - busy with a very finicky custom mount for this unit, originally the watercooled Blackbirds makes use of an Asetek unit, custom manufactured for HP by them, and not available for sale to the general public.

    I don't want the crappy stock cooling anyway.

    Have the rad, Tygon 3/8" tubing, pumps, waterblocks, etc....

    2) finalize cabling.

    3) Buy 2x HD 4750 X2's for this rig.

    I am currently using my old, trustworthy 8800Ultra.

    Looking for a sponsor for the gfx cards :)

    Comments welcome.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    Doreen (3754) Vic
    For those that may want to know, this is a pic of the HP SAS cage I used....in case original Blackbird owners want to do something similar...cough-cough Voodoo/HP....

    [​IMG]

    Here's the motherboard I used:

    [​IMG]

    and then, the memory:

    [​IMG]

    and populating the board - 8-gigs of FB-Dimm goodness.....

    [​IMG]
     
  7. 4wardtristan

    4wardtristan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,181
    Location:
    brisbane
    very cool..post a pic or 2 when u have the wc setup
     
  8. OP
    OP
    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    Doreen (3754) Vic
    Yep, will do.

    I have all the wc hardware, need to fit it though - the rad is posing a bit of a challenge, but it won't be long.
     
  9. grubsy

    grubsy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2001
    Messages:
    57
    Been a couple weeks now :)
     
  10. ShaneHm2

    ShaneHm2 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    3,562
    Nice work pvanr indeed.
     
  11. grubsy

    grubsy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2001
    Messages:
    57
    pvanr: I don't suppose you have come across any decent caddies/brackets to mount 2 x 2.5" drives in 1 x 3.5" bay?
     
  12. OP
    OP
    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    Doreen (3754) Vic
    Hey Guys,
    Thanx for the comments - I am hard at work with making a custom radiator mounting/duct out of ABS, making good progress - will post pics on the weekend - just a few finishing touches, then I can spray the ducting matching colors, and finally mount the huge 65mm thick Feser 240mm radiator.

    :)

    Will keep you posted.

    edit: @ Grubsy: Mmm...only those el-cheapo units where 1x 2.5 goes into 1x 3.5 bay - I know what you're after though, and keep my eyes peeled.

    MrBean aka pvanr
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  13. ice_cool

    ice_cool Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,849
    Location:
    Sydney
    Where did u get the sas hot-swap rack? And how much did it set u back?
    Its so sweet I would want one
     
  14. fergusb

    fergusb Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    Sydney
    All looking nice and tasty!
     
  15. OP
    OP
    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    Doreen (3754) Vic
    @ ice_cool: got it of ebay, I think it was either $165 or $265, I will check for the invoice later and confirm.

    I should be able to give you the part-no as well.....

    Thanx for the feedback, guys, appreciated.
     
  16. ice_cool

    ice_cool Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,849
    Location:
    Sydney
    thanks! :thumbup:
     
  17. OP
    OP
    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    Doreen (3754) Vic
    @ ice_cool: Here you are:

    ML370 G5 SAS SFF Drive Cage Kit, product code : 401415-B21 for $265.00 ex. GST

    You do get the 2x 8-way SAS cables with.

    Br,
    Mrbean aka pvanr
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008
  18. Sub.Zer0

    Sub.Zer0 (Banned or Deleted)

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,521
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Awesome work dude! I'm definitely keen to see how this turns out. *subscribed*
     
  19. OP
    OP
    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    Doreen (3754) Vic
    Thanx Mate, busy finalizing the radiator mounting, which is really tricky in this case - pun intended.

    Have a mock-up in abs plastic, busy sanding it down, and prepping for painting. Couple of days, and rad will be mounted, then I can mount the 2x v2Fuzions, and waterpump.

    Have all the black tygon tubing, lying in anguish in my closet :)

    Will keep you posted, nmeed to flash this board to the new 0401 bios today, and update patches on Vista Ultimate 64. This thing is very fast, I have my fourth (and for now, final) SAS 146gig drive installed, setup is now running Raid 10, so need to do the latest patches.

    Overall, a nice machine, that will serve me for the next few years - I will keep upgrading gfx cards to give me good gaming expereince on my 30" Apple LCD, but cpu power will suffice to well into the next 5 years.

    Will update this thread with some additional pictures over the weekend.

    Br,
    pvanr aka mrbean
     
  20. Dodoman

    Dodoman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,363
    Location:
    3145
    Awesome case pvanr :thumbup:
    How much did it end up costing you?
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: