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Author Topic: GUIDE - Make your own open frame rig.  (Read 117115 times)
macharborguy
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July 19, 2011, 06:28:25 AM
 #21

I was about to ask where the mounting area for the hard drive was, but then I realized you could just plug in a USB Flash Drive and use that as your boot drive with a linux-bitcoin distro.

Or, if it is supported, possibly a USB3 flash drive.  Not sure of actually real world usage, but some of the reviews I have seen possibly put it at least on par with PATA drives (according to Wikipedia, PATA can do up to 133 MegaBytes/sec.  USB3 apparently can do 640 MegaBytes/sec, plenty of room to breath).

Yeah, it could defiantly use a HDD mount. One could be added pretty easily, especially if you can harvest a 3.5" mounting frame from the mini tower case.

I don't bother because I boot my rigs off a 32GB compact flash in a SATA bridge. The system see's it as a 32GB SATA drive.


Nice.  is it sad that the first and only Compact Flash card I have every owned, and still have, is an 8 MegaByte one?

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NetTecture
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July 19, 2011, 09:49:21 AM
 #22

Another alternativei s not to have ANY disc in a rig. I am setting up a larger operation, and we will need to have 2 control servers locally anyway... it is quite trivial to install a ISCSI target on those and then implement a network boot that chains forward to an ISCSI drive per rig. The result are discless rigs. Network performacne is not really tricky also - after booting quite nothing happens on the rigs anyway, in regard to disc.

This seriously also helps in regards to scaling up and getting another 16 computers into the grid Wink

If you are really nice you use a ZFS based host for LUNs.
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July 19, 2011, 08:11:08 PM
 #23

Another alternativei s not to have ANY disc in a rig. I am setting up a larger operation, and we will need to have 2 control servers locally anyway... it is quite trivial to install a ISCSI target on those and then implement a network boot that chains forward to an ISCSI drive per rig. The result are discless rigs. Network performacne is not really tricky also - after booting quite nothing happens on the rigs anyway, in regard to disc.

This seriously also helps in regards to scaling up and getting another 16 computers into the grid Wink

If you are really nice you use a ZFS based host for LUNs.
If I was running more than my three boxes I would definitely think about PXE booting them and running disk less.  It makes all the rigs interchangeable and cheaper.
Sukrim
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July 22, 2011, 03:34:20 PM
 #24

Next step: Building 1-2 of these in a Ikea LACK table for added stackability + 19" compatibility! Smiley

http://wiki.eth-0.nl/index.php/LackRack

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marvinmartian
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July 24, 2011, 04:23:46 PM
 #25

Nice job.  Only minor critique is that you've got the GPUs pretty close together.  Why not space them farther apart to allow more airflow?  You can also angle them differently to catch air from something like a box fan, if you're dedicating a room in your house for tech that is.

"... and the geeks shall inherit the earth."
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July 24, 2011, 09:49:36 PM
 #26

Nice job.  Only minor critique is that you've got the GPUs pretty close together.  Why not space them farther apart to allow more airflow?  You can also angle them differently to catch air from something like a box fan, if you're dedicating a room in your house for tech that is.

The spacing is the standard slot spacing on a motherboard. So it's card, blank slot, card, ect.

All the cards run between 59C and 74C. The 6970's (four of those on the top row) run hotter (in the mid to upper 60's) My 5870's (everything else) all run between  59C and 64C. So they seem to be getting good air flow.

Even when the outside temp's get into the 90F+ range the cards still stay decently cool.

I would space them further, but between leaving space for additional cards, and the limits of the riser lengths, that was the best I could come up with.

The motherboard plates all have the motherboard mounted all the way to the right (facing the PSU and motherboard connectors) which makes the riser cable in slot one a bit short to reach. I modified one of the plates to mount the motherboard further left, and it's a big improvement.

I'm talking to sheet metal shops about getting custom mounting plates made. Two of the design features being added are a standardized PSU mounting area and bracket, and moving the motherboard as close to the PSU as possible. For the power supply mount I'm going to have rails to keep the PSU from walking left/right, a more robust mounting bracket on the PSU face, and an adjustable Velcro strap to hold down the aft end of the supply.
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July 30, 2011, 02:21:29 PM
 #27

Excellent guide, thanks very much!

I've built one out of wood (had it lying around, and it's nice to do some woodwork now and again, it's a nice incongruity against the high technology mounted inside... though probably not ideal if the GPUs catch fire, but neither is the plastic most cases are made from...).

One thing I had a problem with, which you clearly didn't (since your GPUs are all the same) - you can secure each GPU to the front bar with screws, but this leaves the entire weight of the GPU hanging on this flimsy pressed steel bracket, which is often connected to the GPU circuit board only via one small screw and the stand-offs attached to the DVI plugs (!!!). You put a second ally bar at the back of the frame to support the rear of the card, which is required.

However if all your cards are different lengths, as mine are, it can be a little bit more tricky and require trial and error to find a position for a crossbar that will support ALL the cards satisfactorily. This isn't a criticism whatsoever, just an observation for those considering building their own, or buying a ready-made one from you.

Given the aggro I had making the wooden one, I'd happily pay you to build me one, but you're on the other side of the pond and the shipping costs would take a while to pay back!!! Equally, I don't have three identical cards (it's built for 5, only 4 installed but only 3 working Cry right now)...


Interestingly, even in stupidly hot ambient temperatures, with NO case / chassis / logic board fans other than the original CPU cooler and the onboard GPU coolers, the open frame rigs can run bitcoin mining at sensible temperatures (70˚C or below) without any other cooling!!!! I have a single small desk fan (7" plastic clip-on thing) blowing at the back of the cards, just for safety, but compared to being in even an *expensive* 'gamer' case... much, much better.

All I need now is easily openable (to mess with parts, press buttons, etc.) plastic mesh to cover the frame. Inquisitive cats and open computer cases don't mix Wink

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


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marvinmartian
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August 01, 2011, 01:29:28 PM
 #28

All I need now is easily openable (to mess with parts, press buttons, etc.) plastic mesh to cover the frame. Inquisitive cats and open computer cases don't mix Wink

We have two cats with very different personalities.  One (male) is very vocal and ready to be pet / rubbed / played with  24hrs a day.  The other (female) is a bit more elusive and requires more specific coaxing to be cuddly.

Ironically, she LOVES hanging out in the basement now.  Never goes near the rigs but I think likes all the hot/warm/cool air currents created by the machines and fans.  Either that or there's some kind of strange animal EM attraction.

While I'm on the subject, has anyone else noticed an increase in moth population seemingly related to BTC mining?  I do.  They seem to be everywhere, but I notice a slight population increase (eg., 2 to 5) as I get closer to the basement stairs / mining rigs.  There are also many more moths in the basement, hiding in places where the breeze won't blow them around.

I wonder if moths can see parts of the EM spectrum that we can't and love microchips running at high speed / temp.

"... and the geeks shall inherit the earth."
botnet
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August 01, 2011, 08:10:44 PM
 #29

I barrowed from your design and made some improvements
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8ru5Mz9Xqw
marvinmartian
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August 01, 2011, 08:55:10 PM
 #30

I barrowed from your design and made some improvements
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8ru5Mz9Xqw

Nice job, especially on getting the PCI -> PCI x16 adapters working.  I've read many posts about folks having trouble with them.  What MOBO are you using?

Gotta say, I am really liking the wooden rigs.  Who knows, maybe the mild conductivity of the wood helps minimize grounding damage.  I'm not an EE, I'm a SE.

We all gotta start doing SteamPunk Bitcoin Mining Rigs (SBMRs).  Then BTCs will hit the big time.  ;-)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-W1GKJlqg98k/Tgh05cb_wSI/AAAAAAAAACo/F35L1Fwql5c/s1600/bitcoin_mining_pc.jpg

"... and the geeks shall inherit the earth."
catfish
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August 01, 2011, 08:56:32 PM
 #31

All I need now is easily openable (to mess with parts, press buttons, etc.) plastic mesh to cover the frame. Inquisitive cats and open computer cases don't mix Wink

We have two cats with very different personalities.  One (male) is very vocal and ready to be pet / rubbed / played with  24hrs a day.  The other (female) is a bit more elusive and requires more specific coaxing to be cuddly.

Ironically, she LOVES hanging out in the basement now.  Never goes near the rigs but I think likes all the hot/warm/cool air currents created by the machines and fans.  Either that or there's some kind of strange animal EM attraction.

While I'm on the subject, has anyone else noticed an increase in moth population seemingly related to BTC mining?  I do.  They seem to be everywhere, but I notice a slight population increase (eg., 2 to 5) as I get closer to the basement stairs / mining rigs.  There are also many more moths in the basement, hiding in places where the breeze won't blow them around.

I wonder if moths can see parts of the EM spectrum that we can't and love microchips running at high speed / temp.
Our two cats are similar in temperament to how you describe. They are brother and sister - she is a right little madam and he's a cuddly gentle giant (he's a baby still - just over 18 months old - but well over 6 kg and bony as hell... hopefully when he fills out he'll be like his dad, who was around 15 kg).

That said, even Edie is over 5 kg. Firstly, I wouldn't want their characteristically HUGE tails to get caught in the monster fans, but secondly, a playful swipe could easily slap a GPU out of a board, or pull an extender cable out, or (more likely) rip out the ethernet cable and play with it as if it was the tail of some hapless rat.

In some respects it's safer that they're a large breed - small cats could get *into* the open frame rig, I'm not sure Ozymandias would be able to, maybe Edie could. But that open frame rig isn't going anywhere near where the cats can get in *until* I've replaced ALL network connections with USB wireless dongles and meshed-up the wooden frames. I've got a separate cheap 802.11g router specifically for this - bitcoin *mining* doesn't use vast amounts of network bandwidth, and there's no need to waste real money on gigabit switches and routers and running cable everywhere.

I reckon simple 802.11b/g (i.e. 2.4 GHz) on each box hidden inside the box using USB extenders, with the USB dongle poking out the top so the antenna sends signals somewhere sensible. Then a router / range extender with a decent-gain antenna (I've got a load of kit from my WiFi hacking days... ooops Wink ) picks up the mining boxes on a special VLAN and routes out to the internet.

At the moment I'm wasting a gigabit switch I desperately need... may as well do all of this on wireless, no?

My main Bitcoin *client* is on gigabit, of course.


And as to the moths - well I *have* seen a few moths around. But I reckon it's the time of year, and they don't last long with the cats around...

OK - here's a display of execrable carpentry skills Smiley The next one (if there is a next one!) will be MUCH better built... however there's something satisfying about building stuff with wood... not sure that the logic board and components NEED earthing other than through the cables and ground rails (any EEs care to inform me whether I'm being dangerous here?)...




Yes, it's a mess, but it's built to take 5 dual-slot cards, the two single-slot 5770s are due to be replaced with dual-slot 5830s soon. The question remains over the logic board - and whether it actually *works* or not with all PCIe slots used up... but if not, I'll look into the PCI -> PCIe adapters...

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


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pennytrader
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August 02, 2011, 04:27:09 AM
 #32

I barrowed from your design and made some improvements
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8ru5Mz9Xqw

This is the best rig I've ever seen! Great job!

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dishwara
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August 02, 2011, 05:02:45 AM
 #33

Thanks for the wooden case. It gave me idea to use just a wooden reaper on top of slotted angle in the cards back side, so that instead of using some wires or threads to secure cards, i can just buy a wooden reaper of 24 inch x 1 inch x 1 inch & bolt it on top of slotted angle & can screw the cards where ever i want easily.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=33468.msg418401#msg418401
afro25
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August 02, 2011, 02:12:46 PM
 #34

Can i just ask what everyone uses to turn the rigs on when you're using an open frame system?
As far as i'm aware i can't turn my rigs on without a front panel being connected, so would i have to harvest the front panel of one of my computers to build an open frame rig?

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August 02, 2011, 02:50:37 PM
 #35

Can i just ask what everyone uses to turn the rigs on when you're using an open frame system?
As far as i'm aware i can't turn my rigs on without a front panel being connected, so would i have to harvest the front panel of one of my computers to build an open frame rig?

It's usually not too difficult to do if you've got an old case you can cannibalize.  You really only need the power switch.  You can also just pick up a momentary DC switch from RadioShack or such and wire the two leads to the power-button header, as that's all your power button really is.  It boils down to simply tripping the solenoid in your PSU to 'on'.


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dishwara
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August 02, 2011, 04:45:16 PM
 #36

My mother board comes with a switch to power on & reset in mother board itself. MSI Big Bang Marshal.
Also, in bios setup, power management i applied to power on the machine after power restore. So if power cuts & comes back, system automatically starts.
If that doesn't happen then i use screw driver to short the power + & - pins to start the system.
If you don't know about hardware, you can buy a switch & connect it to power + & - & use that to switch on the system.
Better safe than sorry. Avoid screw type method i did, if you don't know about hardware.
cicada
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August 02, 2011, 04:56:14 PM
 #37

My mother board comes with a switch to power on & reset in mother board itself.

I think this is becoming a common feature on newer motherboard, my ASRock mobos also have reset, power, and 'clear cmos' buttons built onto the board.  This is how I turn my rigs on without a case.

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catfish
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August 03, 2011, 01:27:39 AM
 #38

Can i just ask what everyone uses to turn the rigs on when you're using an open frame system?
As far as i'm aware i can't turn my rigs on without a front panel being connected, so would i have to harvest the front panel of one of my computers to build an open frame rig?
We've got a shop called Maplin in the UK that sells random components and technology gadgets (I guess the USA equivalent would be Radio Shack - we used to have Radio Shack here in the UK when I was a kid, long gone now though...) and I simply bought one of their 'motherboard testing packs'.

This is an overpriced plastic packet with a speaker on a three-pin-wide jumper, a red power LED on a two-pin-wide jumper, a green HD activity LED on a two-pin-wide jumper, and two press-button switches on two-pin-wide jumpers labelled 'reset' and 'power on/off'.

Instead of fitting a header to the 'Front Panel' pins on the logic board, one has to attach each individual test jumper. All you need to make the logic board work is the Power On/Off jumper, but when you've got an entire pack for a particular logic board you're using, I always fit the whole lot. Mainly because the system speaker is sometimes used to indicate problems with GPUs etc. and it's worth knowing if the logic board doesn't like a particular GPU...

Apologies - these are hidden in the back corner of my wooden frame rig and not visible in the photos. I'm building a U-section aluminium frame next with some wood (aesthetics matter! These bitcoin rigs are being outnumbered heavily by my 11 Apple Macs and being *seriously* laughed at by fancy aluminium and glass... I'm pursuing the 'low-cost bitcoin miner design Jonathan Ive would come up with'... of course, thinking that *I* could get anywhere *near* Teh Jon's other-worldly industrial design is a massive insult to him, but he gives me inspiration!!!) and I'll have to do something better than a Maplin 'mobo test kit' jumper set... Wink

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


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jpinconline
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August 03, 2011, 08:23:17 AM
 #39

I would also be interested in a kit Grin this is very cool

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dishwara
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August 03, 2011, 08:32:18 AM
 #40

Some power switch links.
http://www.amazon.com/Power-Motherboard-Cable-Switch-Button/dp/B00345WH4A
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=power+switch+for+pc&hl=en&prmd=ivns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1600&bih=809&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=10997433530487650282&sa=X&ei=uAY5To61DabTiAKAkazHDg&ved=0CKABEPMCMAQ4Cg
http://compare.ebay.com/like/160551466715?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&_lwgsi=y
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812201029&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Cables-_-APEVIA+CORP.-_-12201029
http://www.shophde.com/z18.html
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