Riva Ver 2, Massive MDF Case [PIC HEAVY]

Discussion in 'Modding' started by rainwulf, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    I got bored and decided to make a new case.

    the old riva is here. http://www.rainwulf.com/articles/article_riva.html
    I wanted to use the guts of that server and make a new server.
    so of i went.
    Step 1, make a new case.
    I decided to use mdf cos its sound insulating and it was laying around.
    I would also have to make a new drive mount system. So i did that first.


    [​IMG]
    Of to the hardware store to get some 12x12x2 mm aluminium angle.
    Nice and long and this stuff is nice to work with. There isnt much you cant make with AL angle.

    [​IMG]
    end view.


    [​IMG]
    Cutting to length. Plan length to hold 20 drives, plus cooling space between drives, plus spare at each end for mounting.

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    File to make all four pieces the same length.

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    all filed and smooth.

    [​IMG]m
    Mark holes and center punch.

    [​IMG]
    all drilled and deburred.


    Right thats the drive rack. next post, the case.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    Now, the case itself.
    MDF. cheap, heavy, dusty when cutting, easy to work with.
    [​IMG]
    A bit of assembly at work. Nothing special about the case, just large rectangles of MDF screwed together

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    i put on non stick slidy feet.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. OP
    OP
    rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    next of, its guts.
    a pc isnt exactly suited to be mounted on a flat bit of wood, so i had to make do.

    [​IMG]
    Plenty of room. That is by the way an eatx board. Huge ass thing. Gives you some scale of this case.
    Also, dual MP1800 powers this, along with 1 gig of DDR.

    [​IMG]
    Now i needed to attatch it to the mdf easily.
    Solution was to drill holes and screw in stand offs. Cheap and quick, and they actually hold in quite well.

    [​IMG]
    all done. Every hole on the motherboard has a standoff, so the board is mounted VERY sturdily.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. OP
    OP
    rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    Now the rest of the bits.
    this thing needs cooling, dual amd athlons along with 17 hard drives needs some fairly decent air flow.
    Now i follow the philosophy of having lots of air moving slowly instead of a small amount of air moving fast, so i went for the mass ventilation approach

    [​IMG]
    i went for the 4 92 mm fans out of a stripped down proliant server. They are fast, and reliable, and will run from 5 volts up to 12.

    [​IMG]
    3 holes. Should be fine.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    now, you have to have holes to let the air IN.
    First row of holes.

    [​IMG]
    second row.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    Now full assembly time.

    [​IMG]
    Power to the system comes into a IEC rf filter combo socket.
    From the back of that one lead goes straight to the main PSU.
    The other one goes down through a digital relay into the small 5/12 volt supply which helps power the drives.
    The main supply does 12 drives, the small supply does the last 5.

    [​IMG]
    This cool little device is essentially a relay, you give it 5 volts and the other two terminals conduct. It uses a triac to do so however, so there is no contacts to arc etc etc. The main supply supplies 5 volts to this, which then turns on the small supply.

    [​IMG]
    More detail on the bottom supply. It powers 5 drives, and is turned on by the main psu.



    The main supply is held in with aluminum brackets.
    You can see the rear psu rail 2 pics above this one.
    [​IMG]
    The psu sits in here firmly.

    I did this for 2 reasons. 1, the main supply is pretty noisy, so hiding it inside the case helps with noise, and also since i had to split the mains into two leads, doing it inside is much less of a problem then doing it externally.


    Here is a pic of the main psu in and locked, the drives in and ide cables router.
    [​IMG]


    And here is the final insides, it was running when i took this pic.
    [​IMG]


    The rear of the case with the hole for the network cable.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    And the front with its keyswitch. There is only 1 green led indicating power on, and its hidden inside down the bottom.



    Still to do, i plan on carpeting the box for durability.
    I also want to put in castors that are driven by a battery, they will extend and retract with the flick of a switch so i can push this thing around.
    ITS HEAVY!!!!

    Other then that, thats about it.
    There is no access for keyboard/monitor etcetc. Its a complete stand alone box.
    Its so reliable i never really have to worry about plugging a monitor into it to make it debug it.

    I have disabled all the back panel IO so i can keep the IRQs for the ide cards.

    There are two promise and two silicon image controllers, each with its own irq, so disabling all devices that dont need to be running gives me irqs to spare.

    In total there are 17 drives.
    1 6 gig OS WD drive. Its running win2k server.
    3 120 gig WD drives
    13 200 gig JB drives.


    Answers to questions i know will be asked.
    :No i dont want to run linux.

    :No, there is no current backup for this system.

    :No, the contents of the drives is no bodies business.

    :No, an MDF case doesnt get any hotter then an Metal Case, if an aluminum case "dissipates heat better" why the hell do they still need fans? A case does helps cooling by directing air flow, i cant run this thing for more then 15 mins without the case side, cos the drives overheat.

    :No, there is no raid. just JBOD.

    :Yes it is very heavy. I have no idea how much it weighs. A lot is my best estimate.

    :No, im not going to use air filters.

    :around 3700 dollars all up. Its taken years to gather the drives. I have added them as i have needed them.

    :No, im not going to use sata. I have no need for it.

    :No its not noisy at all. its quieter then an average pentium 4 with their stupid cooling requirements *grr*

    :Yes. The drives are very adequetedly cooled.

    : 42.

    : NO i DO NOT WANT TO USE SATA.

    : the PCI cards are held in with a metal plate screwed to the base plate. The bottom of the pci plate is bent out and held down with a long piece of aluminium angle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2005
  6. V8R

    V8R Member

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    I love it...
    Thats all :)

    JM
     
  7. strongbad

    strongbad Member

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    got enough harddrives?
     
  8. Subliminal

    Subliminal Member

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    damn you've answered all my questions :D

    good choice in MDF, nice and easy to work with.

    you obviously have plans as far as finishing it off (carpet etc.) but i reckon it would look great in the grey thin type carpet they use on sub boxes (can be bought from places like autobarn) anyway im sure u have plans of you own.

    good job i like it :thumbup:
     
  9. OP
    OP
    rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    what i want to do is have it on castors so i can push the bastard of a thing around.

    i plan on making them electrically rectractable so i can put it in the car and when its sitting still, i can pull the wheels in.
     
  10. Smoken

    Smoken Member

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    I'm thinking ' Traks ' ie; Like a tank - and Remote controled


    Nice work ;)
     
  11. xinzhitan14

    xinzhitan14 Member

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    Woah thats a lot of hdd's, how much space alltogether? imagine picking that thing up , probably break your back . especially the mdf that is quite heavy and the whole lot of HDD's... but good work. :thumbup:
     
  12. Leca

    Leca Member

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    :tongue:

    Thats awesome :thumbup:
     
  13. dinos22

    dinos22 Member

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    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  14. Subliminal

    Subliminal Member

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    lol, just make sure u get the castors you can lock.

    i put non-locking ones on my case and it worries the hell out of me everytime i sit it on the desk lol :lol:
     
  15. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Member

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    Awesome. <sarcasm>What do you need all that space for though?</sarcasm>

    I might consider doing something similar when the budget permits!

    Nicely done.
    -- DJ
     
  16. SteakTheMooCow

    SteakTheMooCow (Taking a Break)

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    2600 GB...
    over 2 TB... thats enough for a small server? :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2005
  17. Angry_Steel

    Angry_Steel Member

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    You might want to do something with those standoffs, glue, metal lags, something, your playing with fire with those tiny little holes and the weight your putting on them. MDF is not the best for screws, especially those little standoffs, given time, movement, humidity, heat, and youll have a motherboard laying on the bottom of your case.

    Also you might consider sealing the MDF so you dont have Formaldehyde being pushed around your room.
     
  18. BasS-InJecTeD

    BasS-InJecTeD Member

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    i agree about the standoff's, in my experience with MDF and making computer cases, those standoff's trick you, since as u said they seem really sturdy... but yeah over time they'll come out unless u hot-glue them in or something.

    just my 2c.

    meanwhile... formaldehyde?!?! what the?! explain >.> (it's in MDF?!)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2005
  19. OP
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    rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    all the panels will be sealed on the inside with primer. On the outside im still deciding wether to go with speaker carpet or black glass or black matt paint.

    The carpet or black matt is what im thinking of.

    Also i have wheels for it now. just gotta turn it of and tip it on its side.

    As for the standoffs in mdf, i never knew they would do that. They are in really tight, and the mb isnt that heavy. however i will take what you guys said and glue them in. Probably using epoxy or pva to seal the mdf around the screw.
     
  20. Angry_Steel

    Angry_Steel Member

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    Yes formaldahyde is used in the glue that they use in the manufacturing process, the concentration is low, and in some glue they dont use it at all, but most MDF has the formaldahyde. That is the reason that you should use some kind of filter mask when you are cutting it. Have to remember that your not cutting wood, your cutting wood powder that has been glued and pressed. Just as a side note you should do the same when you cut particle board and any of the other manmade/quasi wood. In the same breath you should also use a mask with Pressure Treated wood also (Green, Exterior) as it contains copper arsenic. Also, the formaldayde escapes until it has been sealed, granted it is low amounts, but personally I dont feel like being embalmed slowly.

    Im a carpenter, so Ive breathed so much of assorted dust Ive become a taste tester of the worlds woods, and I could really care less, but if your young and dont work with it much, might as well take the precautions.
     

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