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The "Tux Server Project"
or "Roll-Your-Own" Network
Attached Storage Device
By Michael Charrier - Posted on October 4, 2003
Building the Disk Array (2)
I stacked the 6 hard drives together, each separated by a stack
of 3 index cards to determine where to drill the holes for the drives. This
spacing is necessary to prevent the air intake holes from being blocked by
the drive above. The bottom-most hard drive in the stack is not flush with
the bottom of the bracket. 5mm of space is necessary to allow for the screws
that will hold the drive bracket in the Snap Server case. Don't forget to add
the jumpers to every other hard drive to make them slaves!
Mark the position for each hole, drill, mount the hard drives and, 24 screws
later (Hot swap? What's that?), you have a drive array.
Using the holes already in the perpendicular flanges and a
few cable ties, I attached a 60mm fan for cooling the hard drives. The fan
also provides a good air flow in the case.
Next, cut two 18-inch lengths of 2mm 44-conductor ribbon cable
and crimp a 44-pin female connector to one end of each cable (watch your pin
1 placement). Then connect one cable to the bottom-most hard drive, skip the
next one, and connect the second cable to the third drive from the bottom.
Now mark on each cable where the second connector on each should be attached.
Remove the cables and crimp on the second 44-pin female IDE connector.
Test fit the hard drive stack into the Snap Server case and plug the controller/PCI
riser combo into the PCI slot on the motherboard. This allows us to measure
the cable length needed to reach the 44-pin to 40-pin adapters on the SIIG
controller. Cut the 44-conductor ribbon cable to fit plus an extra 1/2-inch
Cut a 6-inch piece of the 44-conductor ribbon cable and repeat the crimping
on procedure for the female connectors as above EXCEPT route the cable downward
Disconnect all three cables from the hard drives. Take
the connector-less end of each cable an use a pair of wire cutters to separate
in the ribbon cables in pairs (1&2, 3&4, etc). The last step is to
attach the 44-pin male connectors to the ribbon cable by flipping each pair
of conductors that you just separated. What you are doing is creating a custom
length, I-Opener IDE cable
Reconnect the cables to the hard drives and to the controller.
Fold the cable for the top two drives under itself then over itself to form
a delta shape. This will allow the 44-pin male connector on the cable fit into
the 44-pin to 40-pin adapter properly for the seondary motherboard IDE channel.
Now, we have our completed drive array!
The seventh drive is attached as the slave device on the motherboard's
primary IDE channel. The primary on the IDE channel is the CD-RW drive (see
below). Unfortunately, the laptop-to-40-pin adapter is hard-wired for master.
There is just enough room between the top of the power supply and the Snap
Server case to fit the hard drive. First, we create a 40-pin IDE cable by crimping
on two 40-pin female connectors. Then we separate each conductor in the ribbon
cable between the two connectors and for 4-inches above the center connector.
A fold to route the cable under the motherboard and out the bottom of the case
then plug the end connector into the primary IDE channel ends this step.
Fortunately, removing the top of the power supply is easy;
all you have to do is remove the three screws on the top. The pieces cut from
the 6-drive bracket are sized perfectly for mounting brackets for the seventh
(boot) drive. Only two holes in the top of the power supply are necessary.