29 May 2005, 18:52 by mark hoekstra

modding IDE-disks into the Intel SR2300-chassis

At first, I thought I had an IDE-backplane for my Intel SR2300-chassis, it does have a motherboard with IDE-RAID onboard… But when I had arranged all the hardware to make it a complete chassis, I discovered the IDE-backplane I have is probably for the 1U Intel SR1300-chassis and not for this one, at least, it doesn’t fit one bit… I did google if a 2U IDE-backplane exists, but to no avail… So, what does a guy like me do? Indeed, mod it so it takes the hardware you want!

My plan has been to keep the chassis itself completely intact, only add some stuff to make it working all together. I left the SCSI-backplane in place, since it seems it also doubles as a PCB with connectors for the CD-rom and FDD and such, and I didn’t want to lose that. If I’d taken the SCSI-backplane out, this whole operation would’ve been a breeze, but with the backplane in place, it became quite cramped to put IDE-drives in there and get them connected…

Hard to see on this picture, but I used two dummy drive-carriers, took those apart so only the front remains… And such a front is on the front of the IDE-drive… I took rails from an old 486-case, used my Dremel to put them in half to shorten them.

Here you can see it a little bit better, the front also has some kind of rails and with my own rails added, the drive has enough chassis-support (imho)

Here you can see I melted the top of a Molex, so the wires can come out on top, it wouldn’t fit otherwise (or the drives would be hanging out the chassis on the front…

I took a EATX->ATX cable, to make an extension-cable, allowing me to get 5V, 12V and ground to power the Molex-connectors, to be used to power the (ordinary) IDE-drives.

...and stripped the wires… (yes, I need to learn how to focus! (with my camera)).


the finished product :-)

The dummy-fronts I used have no holes in them for aircooling, so I decided to take out the white dummy piece of plastic (of the drive-carriers underneath the IDE-drives), you can see it a little bit in the bottom drive-carrier. With this piece of white plastic taken out, there’s quite some airflow going underneath the IDE-drives, which should be sufficient enough cooling.

The finished chassis with the top taken off (it all fits very well). The IDE-drives are on top with 4 regular hotswap drive-carriers underneath.

...and the wiring-wizardry to make it possible :-)

uhoh! fire in the hole!

(actually, it’s the orange and red boot-leds…)

Yeeha! booting… I also spent quite some time in updating all firmware on the machine, making it current (it gave an error about the microcode of the CPU’s but now it’s all running smooth)... And… making it quiet (well, less noisy…) the machine now knows what hardware is inside and reading it’s sensors and such, making it dim the fans quite a bit…

HyperThreading enabled… 4 CPU’s!!! ;-)

BogoMIPS is bogus, but this makes me smile anyway :-)

...and with the chassis closed and such, it also sees the IDE-drives! Time to download a current Gentoo-iso and get this baby running!



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