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Old 14-08-20, 04:06 PM
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Mirrored NAS.

So yeah. Summer is ending, I restored three bikes and I am done with that for this year. I'm tired, it's been hard bloody work and I need something more taxing on the brain rather than the body.

So I need a new NAS. The drives are not the important part right now, as I have two 1tb drives kicking about and that would be more than enough for me. Obviously though I will be giving it more storage than that, but that is the start. What I need is the NAS itself.

I thought about buying a NAS, but a single bay half decent NAS is over £100. Synology have one on sale for £98 IIRC, but I am worried about the limitations of a single drive, and I don't want to put my eggs all in one basket either. So I decided on something that looks more like a server, yet is quite low powered and so on. Bring in the G4 "Mirrored Drive Door" or MDD.



Now trust me to pick this one, because this one is the hardest one to do. That might be why they are not terribly desirable, because modding into one is kinda pro level. Well, you need to be good at maths and measurements. I looked for videos on Youtube, but all I found was RandomgaminginHD (who I sub to because I like his videos and his modesty) but he failed and gave up two years ago.

This may seem weird when you think about it. But, the enormous caveat is that it is BTX.



Note - not my photo, not sure what the numbers are for.

If you are not familiar with BTX I won't blame you. It died a horrible death when Intel tried to reinvent the wheel. In short? it is ATX but mirrored. It usually goes in the case upside down, and the IO and slots are on opposing sides. So no matter which way you rotate it you can't put a BTX board in a ATX case and vise versa. You cannot fit an ATX board in a BTX case.

Now usually you would have to hack out the entire back side of the Mac, and fit the arse end of a PC in there. I am not doing that. I am lucky, because my purpose is a NAS, so as long as the board is inside it won't matter to me. I can set it up with the case open, then remove the monitor and close the case. This makes it much easier for me, though I still expect it to be hard.

So obviously the first thing I will do when it arrives is spend a couple of hours gutting the balls out of it. Everything needs to come out, sans maybe a fan or two. I then needed to find a donor PC with a good spec for a NAS, cue the Dell.



I chose that after a couple of hours of research, mainly based on the board size, shape and layout. I could have easily put an ITX board in, but that hampers me to one PCIE socket. What if I want say, 5gb NIC and a RAID card? yeah, I would be screwed. So the choice was made solely on the board.



It is quite straightforward and if I wanted to I could use a regular PSU. But, I am not. The reason for that is actually very simple and TBH? I did not even spot it until long after my purchases were made. Look back at the G4 pic. In the non door side of the case across the top is a PSU. Now let's look back at the back side of the 7010 SFF.



Let's take a look with it out of the case.



Looks darn similar in size and shape to me. Just one downside, it is not powerful enough to run the whole rig. So, I got this Delta 250w unit for £8.99 delivered.



So it will have two power supplies. One for the board ETC, and one for the drives. Getting them to start at the same time is easy peasy.



That is the back of the unit. I will be chopping it as little as possible (note how it looks like the new Power Mac). I may fit USB sockets etc to the back (and sound) but then I may not lol.

It won't end there though. My Amazon fire stick has been acting up lately (they do it just out of warranty and slow down like balls). I was going to buy the HD cube thing but it is £100. Instead I am going to gut and strip my 8 core Android box and fitting it into the chassis as well so that I can use it to play all of the stuff on the NAS, as well as Netflix etc etc.

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Old 14-08-20, 05:51 PM
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The basic plan. To fit the board into the case like this.



Note, I am crap at drawing what I can see in my head. It just makes sense to me is all. I need it far enough back so I can create a "tunnel" cover (wrap around) from the IO of the board to the back of the case. The red indicates that, but note it won't be flat it will wrap around the whole IO.



Then coming to the back of the case. You can see where I will be putting the IO (red) and the cover plate (grey acryl)



The blue indicates where I may or may not need to cut the case. This is so I can get anything I want to to plug in. Remember, the board will be quite far back from the back of the case (deliberate). The reason I am doing it wrap around is to keep dust out, and so I can flush mount it up to the grey piece meaning there will be no gaps. Like I said, crap at this so you can try...

Here is what will happen in the event I decide to fit a GPU or what not.



I would put any sockets in what used to be the Apple's old IO.

I will be retaining the case's audio sockets though. Might cut up the PCB (or cut them off) and solder onto those so they look stock. The rest I will cut out a rectangle (grey gloss acryl) and epoxy it in so I can fit other sockets to it (HDMI for the Android console and etc).

Oh, seems I got confused on two forums. Basically my Fire Stick has passed its warranty so crashes and crawls etc. They seem to have a detonation date, unless you fork for the £100 box. I am not doing that, I am going to fit my Android 8 core box inside this too and fit a HDMI socket for that to live in here too.
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Old 15-08-20, 04:35 PM
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OK so I have been digging through the flat for modding gear. Have found loads, may as well use it (like RGB fan frames, controller etc). You won't see it but sod it, better to use it than having it lying around. Also found some power buttons etc if I can't mod the MDD front panel.

Basically no one does this mod. It's way harder than buying a kit from Laser Hive, and Laser Hive won't sell you the kit and insist it is done in house. I think this is for two reasons.

1. They have MDD cases for sale.
2. It would probably need to be done on a component basis.

Any way, sod that I wouldn't pay £100 any way.

I also ordered some gear.



Obviously the PSUs I am using are a bit hoopty cable wise, so would need extensive modding (and I am not braiding in excess of 60 pins ta) and secondly I have had a brain wave, and decided to run the board etc from the 300w Delta, and the drives from the 240w Dell PSU. Which is probably Delta or some other half decent brand.

I will be running 6 hard drives. Four 1tb and the 2tb up there. Reason? eggs and baskets. But aside from that I am pretty anal about how I store my , and I like drives for music, films and etc all to be separate. But, as we know putting all of your stuff on one drive has always been a terrible idea any way. And no, they are not NAS specific drives but this won't be a typical NAS.

I am away from here a lot, so it will only run when I am here. There is no point running it 24/7, unless I desperately need some of the DATA here over at mum's. In which case I would shut it down remotely once done. Though tbh? I doubt I would do that any way, given that when I leave I switch everything off. Router, Xboxs etc. I have one kill switch that turns off the entire entertainment system.

As for the modding? well, I am hoping to shroud in the main PSU (for the board etc) and then cut holes and epoxy the male ends into it, so I can just plug the extensions in to that. Much cleaner, much less rat nest.
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Old 16-08-20, 03:13 PM
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Got to thinking today. Realised I had great success with a mining riser before.



I am starting to wonder about cutting the case at all, and maybe just using IO brackets and so on like this guy did.



I like this idea. I was thinking of fitting the board and then "off boarding" the sockets any way. The main reason? I would like to basically use every connector I can from the back of the Mac to keep it looking as original as possible.



The only thing I can see there I wouldn't find a use for is the Firewire port, but I can reconfigure that as a Mic in port any way. Or, if I go with a sound card I may just block the FW port off with some grey acrylic.
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Old 16-08-20, 07:42 PM
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Yup rolling with that idea.





I will do others too like mic in and headphone usb etc in the original locations.
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Old 17-08-20, 02:15 PM
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Forgot one

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Old 17-08-20, 02:24 PM
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Just bought that for £14. It is set up as JBOD, which is what I want to run. Cables are about £7 each, will grab some of those later.

I checked and it runs perfectly on FreeNAS with JBOD, so I will be using FreeNAS now for sure.
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Old 17-08-20, 02:50 PM
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This is a pretty big job! good luck mate pulling it off but it looks like some good progress already.
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Old 17-08-20, 02:51 PM
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Just ordering parts at the mo. Any chassis pics are not mine dude.

The donor arrived at mum's today. The Mac should ship out later in the week, just stocking up on crap now lol.
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Old 18-08-20, 11:54 AM
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SAS cable ordered.



Initially it will get four hdds. Two 1tb and one 2tb. TBH that is about triple what I need storage wise.
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