My NAS Part 01 – Cooking something up

This series of posts will follow along as I build my very own NAS. In this first part I’ll talk about some of the things that happened up to this point.

As clever readers of my blog probably noticed already — I like NAS systems. I was so fond of them, that my first post in 2008 basically said “I’m going to build one”. Now, one year later it’s slowly coming along.

I tested some basic hardware components over the last few weeks and received the case I opted for today. The case itself is a Sharkoon Rebel12 Value Edition, a relatively cheap, big case for ATX boards. It features a large number of 5.25″ bays, so there’s a lot of room for expansion — or is there? Unfortunately Sharkoon had to place steel guides at each bay, normally not a problem if you just want to insert a CD-ROM or DVD drive. But for a SATA backplane module, this easily becomes a lot of hassle.

I ended up cutting the steel guides with a hacksaw since I won’t need them anyway and trying to bend them was a phenomenal waste of time. Now the backplane fits perfectly into the case (just as intended) and I’ve thrown the ol’ hardware from my small fileserver into the new case to test it. I’m quite pleased up to this point, although my hands are incredibly sore now.

There is plenty of room in the case, making the mounting of the mainboard a breeze. The PSU goes in the bottom of the case, a strange decision but makes changing the darn thing very easy, so it is highly appreciated.

The only thing I will probably have to change is the front-panel fan: It blocks 3 bays – way too much. As soon as I receive the Scythe fan I ordered for the back of the machine, I’ll give this a try. The SATA backplanes do have fans as well, so I hope ventilation won’t be that much of a problem.

Next week I’ll mount the second and third backplane into the machine — unfortunately I won’t be able to use them, though. As long as I miss the new mainboard, CPU and SATA controller there’s only two SATA ports onboard. But oh well, the hardware does come from an old machine, so I’m thankful it does work after all that hack and slash I did to the case and it’s hardware.

Pictures will follow!

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Tsukasa

The fool's herald.

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