Jump to content
seeker

"UnConventional" The 22-drive CM-690II Mid-Tower -- [Build-Log] [COMPLETED]

48 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

Hi to All fellow UnRAIDers!  :)

 

I have a slightly modded CM-690II as a desktop-PC and I love it for the looks and the great ventilation.

So no surprise that I have been toying with the possibility to cram 22 drives into a similar case for my first full UnRaid setup.

Would look nice side-by-side by my desk.  :)

 

Been running a 6-drive "test"server for a couple of months now and it's been great.

 

With few weeks of "design" and parts hoarding I feel I'm ready (or mad enough) for the challenge.

 

The parts I have gathered so far:

 

CPU: Pentium G620

Motherboard: AsRock Z77 Pro3

RAM: Kingston Valueram 2x 1GB DDR3

Power Supply: CORSAIR AX850

Case: Cooler Master CM-690II White

Hard Drive Bays: a bunch of Cooler Master HDD-Brackets and cages

Expansion Card: Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 x2

Hard Drives: 10x2TB Seagate LP & WD Green (for starters)

USB Drive: Kingston DataTraveler G2 4GB x2

UnRaid License: UnRaid Pro License x2

 

UnRaid%20Build-2.jpg

 

There's my Desktop computer and the new case I will be hacking into.

Desktop started it's life as a full-white case too as I got it well before CM released the B&W version to the public.

Anyways like the all-white interior and rear much more than the black on the B&W. 

 

 

UnRaid%20Build-1.jpg

 

And here is some of the stuff I'll be stuffing into the case.

Big THANKS to RUUD in the CM-Store.eu for finding me those two 3-drive cages to build onto. 8)

 

 

UnRaid%20Build-3.jpg

 

So this is the rough idea...

Two stacks of 11 drives and 6x140mm fans. (3 stacked at the front and other 3 in between the two HDD-stacks.

Will be removing the 5,25" cage of course and hacking into the case quite a lot too.

 

Hopefully I'll be getting a MB for a test fitting later this week. As you can imagine it will be a quite a tight squeeze.

Have some ideas but have to wait for the MB first to see what's what.

 

Personally I'm very interested to see if I can pull this thing off?  :o

 

Wish me luck!  :P

 

-s.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

I'll be very interested to see how you go with this build. It looks good so far 8) A few points to note:

  • Do you think you will fit a Micro-ATX motherboard in with the drive cages or are you planning on using an ITX motherboard?
  • Have you tried to test fit your AOC-SASLP-MV8's to see if they will squeeze in with the cage in place?
  • You will also need to allow some extra room for the SATA cables as well, particularly considering that the cables on those cards come out from the rear- also towards the cages

As for the CPU, any low end dual core will be fine (Core i3's are a nice choice, although not the cheapest option) and a single 4GB DDR3-1333 would do the trick. You could go for an 8GB kit but even 4GB is overkill for most users.

Share this post


Link to post

I'll be very interested to see how you go with this build. It looks good so far 8) 

 

Thanks! I'm very interested too!  ;)

 

  • Do you think you will fit a Micro-ATX motherboard in with the drive cages or are you planning on using an ITX motherboard?

 

For weeks I tried to find ITX-Board with what I could use my AOC-SASLP-MV8's using Supermicro PCIe x16 to 2xPCIe x8 riser but was unable to find confirmation of compatibility.

So to make things interesting I'm going with Full-ATX instead.  :o

Imagine this...

 

UnRaid%20Build%202-9.jpg

 

in the case ROTATED vertically to the back wall.  ;D

(Got the pakage today so naturally did a quick mockup right away... It seems plausible)

 

As for the CPU, any low end dual core will be fine (Core i3's are a nice choice, although not the cheapest option) and a single 4GB DDR3-1333 would do the trick. You could go for an 8GB kit but even 4GB is overkill for most users.

 

Got Pentium G620 for now. That was the simplest one available for 1155.

 

 

Hopefully I have something to show tomorrow. :)

 

Share this post


Link to post

When you say rotated, do you mean 90 degrees? Would you have the I/O ports facing towards the top of the case (cutting out a space for the shield etc) or the bottom of the case, with cables running to the outside?

Share this post


Link to post

When you say rotated, do you mean 90 degrees? Would you have the I/O ports facing towards the top of the case (cutting out a space for the shield etc) or the bottom of the case, with cables running to the outside?

 

Actually 90 degrees vertically.

The inside width of the case is around 204mm and the MB-width is 194 + the monitor connector.

The IO-ports will be facing towards the left side of the case.

 

I tell you there aren't too many motherboards that have 2xPCIe, are less than 195mm wide and have 6 straight sata-connectors out there! :D

Share this post


Link to post

This will definately be interesting to see how it all turns out, keep the photos coming as you make progress :)

 

Photos coming up as ordered!  ;D

 

 

UnRaid%203-1.jpg

 

5.25" cage removed, front opened up and hole cut to the mb-wall for the sideways MB.

 

 

UnRaid%203-7.jpg

 

Cut out some U-profile to use as a base to hold the MB in place.

 

 

UnRaid%20Build%204-1.jpg

 

Tapped threads and screwed some MB-stands to them.

 

 

UnRaid%203-9.jpg

 

And that's the plan... plenty of room for the SAS and cables.  :D

Might still like to make the cutout a bit bigger?

 

 

UnRaid%203-10.jpg

 

This is how it looks like from behind the MB-wall.

 

 

UnRaid%203-3.jpg

 

Even the VGA-connector fits in  :)

I was a bit worried that I would have to file the VGA-connector down to fit in but at the moment everything seems ok.

 

I'm fully prepaired for any problems that might arise at any moment but really pleased right now how things are fitting together.

Actually the tightest spot might be with the cables hitting the second HDD-stack coming out of the power supply.

 

When I get the MB-standoffs fastened to the case I'll have to start assembling the HDD-stacks.

Really hating the fact that I must make each of them from three different parts.

Would have been so nice to manufacture those cage-walls from one peace of plastic or alum.

Just don't have access to a cross-feed table and ordering those kind of parts done witn a CNC costs way too much.

Atleast I have got parts ready for the first HDD-stack waiting for a good time to start cutting them apart.

 

Here to the end I saved the best picture of the mock-up I got tested today.

That's how it's supposed to look like when it's bolted to the frame.

 

Looking good!  8)

 

UnRaid%203-11.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Very creative mod! I'm frankly astounded that the motherboard fits in the case sideways like that. Keep it up!

Share this post


Link to post

 

Busy friday and weekend too but atleast got something done today.

 

UnRaid%20Build%205-1.jpg

 

Made a cover for the IO-port hole from an old case side panel had lying around and had the MB-stands fixed in place.

(Not all of the fittings are final. Have to get to the hardware store once everything is in place)

 

 

UnRaid%20Build%205-2.jpg

 

Extremely tricky getting everything to line up properly.

Since the fit is so tight I had no possibility to break the case into parts to have easier access to the back-wall.

 

 

UnRaid%20Build%205-4.jpg

 

This is how the back side looks right now. Since I will be seeing the back from under my table have to take that into consideration too.

 

 

UnRaid%20Build%205-5.jpg

 

And there it hangs... waiting for the HDD-stacks to materialize  ::)

 

 

UnRaid%20Build%205-7.jpg

 

So in the end there is 2mm clearance from the VGA-port on the left.

and 5mm clearance to the PCB on the right.

As you can see I had to cut away parts of those triangle struts on the side panels to get them to slide into place.

(from both sides)

 

 

UnRaid%20Build%205-6.jpg

 

Looks nice up there!  ;D

Looks like to be coming a cable managing dream!

 

 

HDD-stacks NEXT... 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Looking good mate, do you have any plans for an I/O shield on the side panel for access to your ports or were you just going to cut out a section?

Share this post


Link to post

Looking good mate, do you have any plans for an I/O shield on the side panel for access to your ports or were you just going to cut out a section?

 

 

Since all I need for a regular basis is a network connection I have a Intel Gigabit NIC waiting to go into the only slot still available at the back.

For this only reason the MB is installed so high. (had to do some dremeling to get it all the way up)

Just ordered some PCI-e x1 extensions so that I can install the NIC at the bottom.

(If the extension anyway affects the network reliability I'll just cut a hole in the side panel for the onboard NIC)  :-\

 

Figured that if I ever need any of those other connections I'll just slide the side panel off.

In cases like these I probably need to get inside the case anyway.  >:(

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Just ordered some PCI-e x1 extensions so that I can install the NIC at the bottom.

 

I think I see what you are doing now, could you post a pic to the PCI-E x1 extension? I'm curious to see these. Also where are you buying it from?

 

Can't wait to see the drive cages ;D

Share this post


Link to post

I think I see what you are doing now, could you post a pic to the PCI-E x1 extension? I'm curious to see these. Also where are you buying it from?

 

Can't wait to see the drive cages ;D

 

It should be something like this...

eg0666-1-pci-riser-card.jpg

 

Don't have them yet... Ordered locally here in Finland and waiting for delivery.

 

Had only 30min today and started destroying the cages I have.

Still need to find few cages more but at the moment got enough to get me started on the first stack.

It's gonna be tedious job to get them done as both stacks will be made from 5 different parts. Lots of cutting and fitting to get them low enough to fit 11 drives each.

Trying very hard to figure out a good way to get them all together.

Having two different types of cages (with different depths) doesn't help.

 

Hopefully have some more time tomorrow to sketch things out.

Have plenty of ideas but no way to figure out which one (if any) really work out.

Just have to get into experimenting.  :D

 

Share this post


Link to post

 

So...

Today it was finally time to get the tools out for real. :)

 

UnRaid%205-5.jpg

 

Forget the dremel and get out the big guns.

 

 

 

UnRaid%205-1.jpg

 

So started up with these cage sides...

 

 

 

UnRaid%205-4.jpg

 

And ended up with a bunch of stuff like these.

 

 

 

UnRaid%205-2.jpg

 

Screwed the first parts to a wood block to get the proper alignment and distances checked out.

 

 

 

UnRaid%205-3.jpg

 

This is the the first of the angled-aluminium pieces to hold everything in place..

Parts still screwed to the wooden block I started to pop-rivet the aluminium angle to the cage-pieces.

 

 

 

UnRaid%205-6.jpgUnRaid%205-8.jpg 

 

After four pieces of aluminium and a whole bunch of pop-rivets this is what I ended up with.

Whaddya know? It works!  8)

 

 

UnRaid%205-7.jpg

 

Three 140mm fans should fit in between the stacks nicely.

 

 

UnRaid%205-9.jpg  UnRaid%205-10.jpg

 

13-Drive stack... Damn! That looks good!  ;D

 

13 not 11? -It was easier to assemble the stack with the top HDD-cage attached.

I have to do some measuring and calculations to determine how tall of a stack I can get into the inside of the case.

 

Next it's probably time to start making the front fan wall?

Unfortunately I probably will not have time to get into it until next week...  :(

 

 

Now if I only could figure out from where I could get two more sets of those CM690 HDD-cages?  ??? 

(Would rather not buy two more complete cases just to get those four pieces out of them)  :-\

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

 

Tiny update to show you that something is happening!  ::)

 

UnRaid%206-1.jpg  UnRaid%206-2.jpg

 

Today I cut some aluminium to use as the fan wall.

I was planning on bolting the fan wall to the front of the case and then attaching the fans on the inside.

After much consideration I decided to bolt the wall to the HDD-stack instead.

This way I get better cooling as the airflow is forced on to the HDD's as it can't escape from the sides.

As an added bonus I get around 10mm extra space as the fans are actually situated partly in front of the case's front frame.

If the space becomes an issue I still have the possibility to cut parts of the case facade to move the fans (around 5mm) further out.  :) 

 

 

UnRaid%206-5.jpg 

 

The fans installed.

(And no... I don't remember to which direction the fans blow. In case they're in reverse... That picture is just a proof of concept!)  :P

 

 

UnRaid%206-6.jpg

 

This case has a quite a decent size but as soon as you stack 12 HDD-cradles into it it starts to look quite small.  ???

Yes! There is 12 HDD-cradles there. The top one can't be slided out at the moment but with a little MORE modding 

it could probably be made fully operational. At least for one (or possibly two) 2.5" HDD/SSD.

 

 

UnRaid%206-7.jpg

 

Here it is easier to se how one would have to cut around 8mm off from the top strut to get 

the cradle to be operational. (for one 2.5")

You could cut a little more and also cut part of the bottom spar off. Then you'd have space to drop the whole stack down a bit.

That way you could get the total 18-19mm more space to fit 12x 3.5" HDD's into one stack.

 

 

UnRaid%206-8.jpg

 

8)

Share this post


Link to post

The way you have the fans now will pull air from the front of the case as an intake, blowing air towards your motherboard, most fans blow towards the "grill."

Share this post


Link to post

The way you have the fans now will pull air from the front of the case as an intake, blowing air towards your motherboard, most fans blow towards the "grill."

 

Front HDD fans should be the intake.. on a data storage server, they should be the only intake to improve airflow...

Share this post


Link to post

I wish I could have found the all white CM690II.  I'm building a new Hackintosh and I ended up getting the black and white one to match my all black CM690II Windows desktop.

Share this post


Link to post

The way you have the fans now will pull air from the front of the case as an intake, blowing air towards your motherboard, most fans blow towards the "grill."

 

Front HDD fans should be the intake.. on a data storage server, they should be the only intake to improve airflow...

 

Sorry I meant most fans blow towards the "sticker side" of the fan itself, not the grill on the case. The way you have them installed is correct.

Share this post


Link to post

I was remembering that the sticker/fangrill was the exhaust side.

At the time was a bit too tired to get it straight into my head.  >:(

 

Thanks for all for clearing that up!  :)

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

Got a few hours clocked again yesterday and today.

 

Yesterday started to fabricate the other HDD-Stack.

At the end had to cannibalize my desktop machine for it's HDD-cage.  :(

On top of that I bought TWO more CM690s to get enough parts for the second stack.  :o

 

Madness!

It seems that I've been diagnosed with UCD-syndrome!  ;D

 

Today was the time to try to figure out how to get those two stacks tied together

and how to fasten them into the case.

 

Took a quick picture of the state the project is in now.

 

UnRaid%207-1.jpg  UnRaid%207-2.jpg

 

Finished stacks attached together with 3 fans sandwitched in between.

Got the fixing points to the case mostly figured out and tomorrow it is the crunch time!

It's time to try for the first time to stuff everything inside the case and see what's what?  :o

 

I'll have to mod the front of the case atleast for a bit to get the stacks as far forward as possible.

That way I'll have more room for the PSU-cables and better air flow to the bottom HDDs.

 

Interresting day ahead tomorrow!  8)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Wow.. this is looking awesome mate, best of luck with all of that cabling!

 

I remember when I first got my PSU & SATA cables connected for my build and was like :o at all the cables.. just pretend you're a brain surgeon and you'll be fine.

 

Edit: Oops, forgot to mention. The idea of putting fans betwen the cages is GENIUS, and I'm not talking pretend apple-store "igenius," it really IS a smart move 8) Just make sure they're facing the same direction as your front fans ;)

Share this post


Link to post

 

 

Wow.. this is looking awesome mate, best of luck with all of that cabling!

 

I remember when I first got my PSU & SATA cables connected for my build and was like :o at all the cables.. just pretend you're a brain surgeon and you'll be fine. 

 

Edit: Oops, forgot to mention. The idea of putting fans between the cages is GENIUS, and I'm not talking pretend apple-store "igenius," it really IS a smart move 8) Just make sure they're facing the same direction as your front fans ;)

 

 

Thanks man!  8)

 

Only got 10 drives at the moment so the cable mess should be tolerable for a while at least.  ;)

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

As always when things start to roll along famously well and at their own pace one of two things happen...

 

One: You hit a wall HARD!  - Hit a snag, break something, don't have something you need...  >:(

or (as with me a moments ago)

Two: You forgot to take pictures!  ;D

 

Luckily in the middle of all the feverish modding I suddenly realized that I promised to keep you all entertained!  :D

Right as I was about to bolt the other HDD-stack in place remembered the camera.

 

So here it is...

  (the fans are facing the right direction!)  :P

 

UnRaid%208-1.jpgUnRaid%208-2.jpg

 

 

I had thought of it many times along the build but had for a moment forgot the fact that the other stack will probably require some cables too.  :P

So first thing today had to cut some more holes into the MB-tray.

Then installed the first stack and bolted it on.

 

Had this insulation sticker stuff lying around so I cut some triangles of it to the corners of the fans to insulate them from the stacks.

As I bolt the other stack in place the insulation keeps the fans nicely sanwitched in their spot.

Hopefully keeping the vibrations to the minimum at the same time.

 

 

 

UnRaid%208-4.jpg

 

And it fits!

Feeling pretty good right now!  :D

 

 

UnRaid%208-3.jpg

 

Now all I have to do is try to contain myself from jumping into installing the hardware to the case right a way.

Still have to do some modding to the front and I don't have any of that rubber molding that goes to the edge of the holes in MB-tray.  :( 

 

Oh an still need to manufacture some kind of bracket to bolt the SAS-cards to the MB?

There is nowhere to fix the brackets as some "GENIUS" ( :P ) has installed the MB standoffs to the back wall of the case.  :D

 

 

Hmmm...

So IF the hardware side of things should fail in some way I can always convert that to a nice 130TB external case then.  :P

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

I think some kind of rail that goes across the card mounts and possibly down to the back of the case ("under the motherboard" side) would work but you'll have to do some test fitting.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.