I'm going make a computer to hang on the wall

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by doubledave, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. doubledave

    doubledave New Member

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    It's a project I'm starting on.
    I'll mount the motherboard, power supply, CD drive, and 9 hard drives to a sheet of Lexan. (kinda like plexiglass).
    [​IMG]

    Each hard drive will have its own access light and a label to indicate which drive letter each drive is and what I am using that drive for. (it won't be a 9 drive RAID array, although 8 of the drives will be plugged into a PCI RocketRAID 8 drive RAID controller)

    I wanted to take the covers off each drive and mount behind the lexan sheet so you can see them all working, but this particular model drive uses a permanent magnet inside the cover to control the coil that moves the head. The drives won't work with the cover off. I put the cover back on and the drive isn't ruined.
    [​IMG]

    Since I can't make the drives work with the cover off, I'll do the next best thing. I'll put a "drivelight" on each one. It's a circuit I made that is a circle of LEDs that instead of just flashing, when the drive is accessed, the next LED over lights up. Here is a picture of one of the already completed drivelights.
    [​IMG]

    I am preparing a customized Windows XP installation CD that will allow me to install XP with the "Windows" directory on the primary / C: drive, "Program Files" on a different drive, "Documents and Settings" on another, and after the installation, I will move the swap file to yet another drive, the folers \Windows\Temp and \Documents and Settings\(user)\Local Settings\Temp to another separate drive. That's 5 drives so far. The other 4 may end up being put in a RAID level 5 array and I'll put other stuff on that array. I think having the different directories on different drives would be cooler than a big RAID array, so that I can see which directory is being accessed at any given moment rather than see all drives being accessed all at once, although that would still be kinda cool.
     
  2. DAN513

    DAN513 OT Supporter

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    if you want to see the drives spin, you can look at the western digital raptor x, they have plexi on the top, but half the MTBF than the completely covered models.
     
  3. doubledave

    doubledave New Member

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    I could possibly go with a Raptor X. (I have one in my other computer; it look pretty cool but I have to look under my desk to see it)

    As it turns out, the hard drives I already have won't work with the RAID card I ordered. It does detect all the drives, but after I set up a RAID array and reboot, it doesn't show that any RAID arrays are set up.

    Or I could go with another entirely different hard drive model that I can remove the cover of and seal it to the plexiglass with silicone. That will probably be much less reliable than a WD Raptor X with the see-through window.
     
  4. t8thgr8

    t8thgr8 evry day im hustlin'

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    wait, do those lights shine in a clockwise succession? Like one pulse after another?
     
  5. Anti-social

    Anti-social We deal in lead

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  6. BladedThesis

    BladedThesis New Member

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    I'll be honest; I'm going to copy you and do this, this is a great idea.
     
  7. White Stormy

    White Stormy Take that, subspace!

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    nice

    in for video of drive access LED ring

    and in for more pics
     
  8. Anti-social

    Anti-social We deal in lead

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    .
     
  9. Mycophiles

    Mycophiles OT Supporter

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  10. EkriirkE

    EkriirkE Zika Xenu OT Supporter

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  11. CyberBullets

    CyberBullets I reach to the sky, and call out your name. If I c

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    This is gonna pick you up MAD POON when chicks come over. Their clothes will just fall to the floor as soon as they see this!
     
  12. Ameter

    Ameter Active Member

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    pretty cool. In for final result
     
  13. Phat_J

    Phat_J OT Supporter

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    cool idea.
     
  14. never_enough

    never_enough New Member

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    anymore progress?
     
  15. DatacomGuy

    DatacomGuy is moving to Canada

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  16. mobbarley

    mobbarley Active Member

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    why not limit the speed of the outer circle so that the light appears to spin quickly rather than jumping from one point to another?

    what are you using for the interrupt? the hdd light? do you have an individual one for each drive?
     
  17. Vendetta

    Vendetta New Member

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    this interests me, somewhat more than the massive jailbait thread elsewhere.
     
  18. doubledave

    doubledave New Member

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    Exactly. The light in the middle is just the standard hard drive LED and the lights in the circle light up in clockwise succession each time the hard drive indicator light pulses. It usually seems to skip around a bunch because it pulses a bunch of times quicker than the eye can see, then pauses.

    It looks more like it is skipping around in the video than it really looks like due to the framerate of the camera I was using (the camera records in 24 FPS)

    I'll have more pictures later. I have some drivelights to build.

    I have the computer working on multiple drives. I'm ready to mount them to the plexiglass. They are all hanging out of a computer case right now.
     
  19. doubledave

    doubledave New Member

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    I'm trying to make this not look like spam, but I hope you order your drivelights from www.drivelights.com. Help out a fellow offtopic member.;)
     
  20. doubledave

    doubledave New Member

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    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]I can't get the Windows directory small enough to fit on one of these 800MB drives, so I'm using a 20GB drive for C: to contain the boot files and Windows directories.

    Here is the Windows XP disk management console view of all those drives:
    [/FONT][/FONT]
    [​IMG]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]C: is the 20GB, D:, E:, G:, and H: are individual 800MB drives, each masters on the RocketRAID card. There are 4 more 800MB drives on the RocketRAID card, all connected as slaves. 3 of them are in a RAID level 5 setup (Drive letter F: ) and the last one is a hot spare that will be automatically be put into use if any of the 3 RAID 5 drives fails.

    Ironically, I'm pretty sure the 3 drive RAID array (F: ) is the slowest drive letter on the computer due to the XOR processing that the computer's slow 475MHz CPU with no L2 cache whatsoever, has to perform. More expensive RAID cards offload that processing onto the RAID card to speed things up.

    Here's a picture of the current setup before I begin mounting it to the sheet of plexiglass:
    [​IMG]

    I haven't added the drivelights yet, but I'm pretty sure one is going onto each of the 9 hard drives.
    [/FONT][/FONT]
     
  21. EkriirkE

    EkriirkE Zika Xenu OT Supporter

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    Oh, so these are 2.5" laptop drives?
     
  22. doubledave

    doubledave New Member

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    Yup, 2.5" laptop drives.
    I had to buy 9 desktop to laptop IDE adapters.
    But, that made it easy to connect the drivelights. Each 3.5" to 2.5" adapter has +5v, GND, and pin 39 has the activity signal to send to each drivelight. I did find that the activity signal is for both master and slave of the whole IDE cable (2 drives) and not for the individual drives. So I'll be putting one drivelight per pair of drives, not per drive.


    I updated the video page. The 2nd video on this page: http://www.drivelights.com/flasher_vid.html is the drivelight I just installed on the 3.5" to 2.5" IDE adapter. I'll be making at least 4 more of these for this project.

    [​IMG]
    Its running Windows XP SP3, yet using less than 75MB of RAM and has 18 processes running, even with the RAID software loaded. :cool:

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]It is thanks to my new customized Windows XP installation CD that I made with lots of unnecessary services turned off. It is also how I got my "program files" and "documents and settings" folders moved to separate drives from the "Windows" folder drive.[/FONT][/FONT]
    I'm using nlite to customize the windows installation CD. http://www.nliteos.com/
     
  23. EkriirkE

    EkriirkE Zika Xenu OT Supporter

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    You should only allow the outer LEDs to be lit after X seconds of activity, maybe even just thrown in a cap+transistor+diode in the power line of the leds so the last-lit light will fade out as no activity as been made
     
  24. sleev

    sleev It's sleep, life, and death It's speed, coke, and

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  25. EkriirkE

    EkriirkE Zika Xenu OT Supporter

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    is that the monitor hanging on the left?
     

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