Streacom DA2 ITX, MythTV backend/storage build

Discussion in 'PC Build Logs' started by daehenoc, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    Hey all, leading on from this thread where I found this excellent Streacom DA2 case, I'm going to do a build log of it :) This will take a while, it's not a fast project for me, so sorry to drag it out, but it will keep me off the streets at night!

    I received the DA2 case early this week, shipped up quite speedily (given the postal service issues in Australia right now) from Melbourne to Brisbane. So far, only unboxing photos posted below!

    (Space reserved here for more posts)
     
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    daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    So the box it came in is huge:
    01_delivery.jpg
    There's a lot of air bubbles in it:
    02_airpacking.jpg
    Hooray, here's the actual box with the case in it!
    03_anotherbox.jpg
    Ther's a black box inside the first box...
    04_ablackbox.jpg
    Opening the lid:
    05_blackboxopen.jpg
    Taking the contents out:
    06_stuffinsidethebox.jpg
    Haha, there's a cutout in one end that looks like it's been hacked out by Freddy:
    07_cutout.jpg
     
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    daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    OOOOH, it's so shiny!
    08_shiny.jpg
    It's a good height for what I want:
    09_handsize.jpg
    The rear of the case, showing that little dingleberry that requires the cutout in the foam:
    10_rear.jpg
    Here's one of the sidepanels. The other sidepanel looks exactly the same.
    11_sidepanel.jpg
    And the underside of the case:
    12_underside.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
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    daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    The case is everything I expected, at least on the outside :D I'm waiting for the ITX mobo, RAM and CPU to be delivered, as well as some silver SATA cables, before starting the build. I've got 3x5Tb and 1x4Tb 15mm 2.5" HDDs to magic into the case somewhere, for storage and Time Machine backup :) Stay tuned!
     
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    daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    Alrighty. Because it's a very nice shiny Aluminum case, I want to put shiny things in it. I have an old Thermaltake SFX which will go nicely into this thing, so I'm going to paint it.

    Here's what we start with:
    450w01.jpg 450w02.jpg

    I'll debadge it and keep all the decals intact, in case I want to stick them back on:
    450w03.jpg 450w04.jpg

    Disassembled, finally! It was a bit fiddly:
    450w05.jpg 450w07.jpg 450w08.jpg

    Watch out for this teeny tiny wire!
    450w06.jpg

    OK, we're ready to be cleaned, note to self, don't drink the turps:
    450w09.jpg
     
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    daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    OK, the paint is VERY shiny:
    paint1.jpg paint2.jpg

    ....WOWOWIE:
    450w10.jpg 450w11.jpg

    That's terrifying. I will re-assemble it tomorrow, hooray :)
     
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    daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    Hooray, the silver fans I ordered arrived!
    silverfans.jpg
     
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    daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    So while Bathurst was on today, I spent some more time on this build. The Streacom instruction manual and web site both say that you get lot of flexibility with this case, and you need to plan, and yes, I found that I really planned the heck out of this! I spent more time holding parts in various locations and thinking about how it would all come together, than actual assembly! There's a lot to consider about what goes where, even down to the orientation of the motherboard (you can flip the rear case panel 180 degrees!).

    The first issue I found was that when mounting the motherboard, the rails and the motherboard stands weren't quite high enough, compared to the I/O shield, and I had to use the plastic washers that Streacom supplied, to get the motherboard to the right height. (I think they were supplied for some other reason, but this is what I used them for.)

    Single stand:
    mobostand.jpg

    All four stands:
    mobo-rear.jpg

    Here's what the mobo mounted looks like from the other side:
    topsidenoPSU.jpg
    (Note that I got a silver ThermalTake CPU cooler, haha!)

    I got that PSU mounted in a place where the power cable runs nicely to the rear of the case, and in a location where it will get airflow from the fans: (DON'T FORGET to plug the cable into the PSU before you mount the PSU - I read that twice and still forgot to plug that cable in the first time I screwed on the rails that the PSU is mounted on, duuuh.)
    underside.jpg topside.jpg

    Here's a series of pics showing both sides with the case in an upright position:
    mobosideupright.jpg psusidestraighton.jpg psusideupright.jpg moboundersideupright.jpg

    I'm really happy with how it's coming together! I'll mount 3x 15mm 2.5" 5Tb HDDs in tray to the left of the power supply and on the bottom of the case, they'll be near the rear of the case. It will knobble the PCI-e slot on the motherboard, I won't be able to put an expansion card in there, but I don't plan to. (If I do have to at some point, I will relocate the HDDs.)

    The case comes with panels for the left and right of the case, and one mesh screen for those side panels (why not two mesh screens?!). I'll mount the fans such that the air comes into the case through the mesh and leaves the case through the panel that doesn't have mesh.

    It took so long to get all this thought about, planned, partially mounted, mostly removed, re-planned, re-mounted and thought about some more, that I haven't even gotten around to turning it on yet! There's a bunch of cable tidy work to do, but that will all be done once the HDDs are mounted (oh, I managed to source silver SATA cables), there's an OS on it (Ubuntu, mdraid, LVM, MythTV server) and all the cables are installed!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  9. Elmf

    Elmf Member

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    Looking nice mate! Keep it up.
     
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    daehenoc

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    Being off work for a day means I can do a bit more on this build, hooray! I was having trouble arranging where I will put the HDDs, but I think I've cracked it, based off a DA2 pic on the Streacom site that I came across today. I have been able to mount the PSU in an orientation that I hadn't considered, which gives me the whole base of the unit clear and free to work on, hooray! Here's the pics:
    newpsulocationfromtop.jpg
    newpsulocationrearcoveroff.jpg
    Note the routing of the power extension cable at the bottom right of that last photo, I had to undo all the mobo rail mounts to get enough space to get the cable through there! So now I can mount tons of 2.5" HDDs on the bottom of the case, excellent! It wasn't all plain sailing, I had to do the old "add enough washers" trick to get the PSU mounting tray clear of the panel:
    pileofwashers.jpg
    Ugly AF, but it's all behind the PSU, so what the heck. The washers were required because of those wings that ensure enough space for the power extension cable to plug into the back of the PSU. Tomorrow, maybe install the actual OS, why not?!
     
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    daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    No picture updates today, but I got Ubuntu server 20.04LTS installed and configured, and have planned out migrating the two other PCs onto this one :)
     
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    daehenoc

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    OK, I did this work ages ago, but are only now getting around to posting this update. As soon as I finish posting this update, I'll start on the final stage, installing the Silverstone red sleeved ATX power cables, two case fans and 4Tb 2.5" HDD. Should get around to posting *those* pics sometime in Feb, haha.

    This update shows the installation of 3x 5Tb HDDs used for RAID storage of my MythTV recordings and other media.

    First of all, here's the cable routing for the on/off switch, front panel USB and power light:
    mobocablesrouted.jpg

    Here's the HDDs in their case:

    5TbexternalHDDincase.jpg

    Skipping the albeit hilarious deconstruction process, here they are mounted on the fancy HDD tray:
    extractedandmounted.jpg extractedandmounted2.jpg

    And mounted inside the case:
    HDDmountedincase.jpg HDDmountedincase2.jpg

    Minor problem with existing bloody power cable:
    nogoodpowercable.jpg
    But I think I can fix this!

    Hey look, this PSU lead has the connectors that can be relatively easily deconstructed!
    closeupofpowerplug-end.jpg closeupofpowerplug-middle.jpg powerplugopened.jpg
     
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    daehenoc

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    Need to do some planning with the power leads:
    powerplugplan.jpg cablingplan.jpg

    Then do some BETTER planning with the power leads, because of where I want the power to come in from (the other side, duur):
    nowthecorrectorientatino.jpg

    Construction magic:
    cablesinstalledinplugs.jpg assembled.jpg

    Finally, in the case:
    poweranddatacablingcompleted.jpg poweranddatacablingcompleted2.jpg

    ... hooray! OK, today I did get around to putting in the two case fans and the 4Tb drive that I will use for backup, and I have photos, like I said, I'll post those sometime between now and Feb!
     
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