Category: project

Supermicro 815 1U case 2,5″ HDD and RAID card battery holder (#P40)

New year, new hardware. Given space (in general, as well as in this specific case) is limited, old hardware has to go. So it’s about time post this 3D printed thingy, since the related hardware is about to be sold.

Now, the Supermicro 815 case, CSE815, SC815 or whatever prefix is en vogue nowadays, is one of those 1U pizza boxes. Shout-out to Supermicro for using webp images on their website already – but sticking to 261 x 222 px resolution for the full-size file.

Anyway, these come in two dozen varieties plus the EOL ones, and all of them have four 3.5″ HDD hotplug caddies in the front and some 1 to 3 card slots in the back, since it is a tiny case at 1U or 44mm height regardless of the 19″ width. […]


The PCB (Christmas) Tree 2021 update (#P32F1)

Ah yes, the good ol’ PCB tree.
It wasn’t in use for a good part of 2021 due to the fuse burning out, unclear if it was from an accident (some parts are still wobbly) or just slightly specced too low at 1.6A (slow-blow, but 24/7 operation). Since it was placed inside a somewhat difficult to access triangle cavity of PCBs, it took me a while to open it up again and move things outside. Voltage of the DC-DC converter was lowered slightly to around 3.2V and the single fuse was replaced by two individual units placed on the outside, dividing the power rail roughly equal between upper and lower tree (by current, not by physical size) […]


AVM FRITZ!Box 7362 SL to 7520 upgrade + 7530 unlocking (#P39)

Quick reminder/PSA: Router patch week in every parent’s basement starts in a dozen days. Be prepared!

Not actually sure what type of…internet-free telephone service box thing my mom is using in the inherited farm house, but at my place, I needed an upgrade. Until earlier this week, an AVM Fritz Box 7362 SL (the cheapo 1&1 branded one) provided service. Bought that sucker 8 years and a month ago and it’s running just fine – except for the fact that it is considered EoL by AVM. That however is debatable, since on the one hand AVM announced EoM (end of maintenance) and EoS (service) dates for that box type to be June and December of 2019 respectively, but on the other hand nowadays no longer states exact dates for any product and has released FritzOS 7.13 for it just last month. […]


Tiny customizable OpenSCAD CPU shipping boxes (#P38)

Shipping season is here. For no good reason people start terrorizing the logistics companies and I’m probably one of them. Difference being: I need to get rid of stuff, not buy more. I need to ship items.

For quite some time now I’m fond of the idea of OpenSCAD as a STL file generator. While elaborate 3D designs with multiple levels of rounded edges and polynomial madness in three dimensions are better created in graphic tools such as DesignSpark, I don’t find them all that pleasing when making simple geometric shapes that need the occasional modification. […]


Not-so random thoughts on LSI HBAs again (#P34F1)

A couple months ago I scraped on the surface of the topic of LSI debranding/crossflashing. Now’s a good time to visit that again, since I got another branded LSI card that I wanted free of the manufacturers old firmware and the “hey look at meeee, I’m a veeeery special controller” look in any device tree. Yes, we know you’re special, but the annoying kind of special. You’ve likely been the default card in tens of thousands of servers or the only (supported) choice people had when opting for external SAS. […]


Philips 46PFL8008S/12 to 55PFL8008S/12 screen upgrade (#P36)

Back in #P15, two years ago, I replaced the damaged screen of a Philips 46PFL8008S/12 Ambilight TV with a working one from a braindead unit. Classic failure mode of this generation, ideal opportunity for a 2-to-1 repair.
This week I’m going to upgrade the screen from 46″ to 55″. Because I can. And because the wall mount supports the larger unit (which of course I didn’t check beforehand…). And, funnily enough, because I earned ten bucks that way. And because a larger TV is slightly more entertaining in the rare event of watching a movie. […]


Convenient IBM x3650 server PSU power distribution board (#P35)

On the occasion of selling the second PSU from the long dismantled IBM x3650M1 machine (part of the stack shown in #P23), a direct result of eBay getting greedy and increasing their commission from 10% of the item price to 11% including postage (WTF?) plus 35 cents per item, I need to publish this real quick. I still do have access to powerful 12V supplies that can operate my lightbox setup to take photos of the things are usually operating the lightbox, but it would be pretty inconvenient to do so ;)

So here’s another piece of Open Hardware – a custom PSU board for said IBM power supply. […]


Random thoughts on Supermicro Risers, LSI LBAs, power supplies, ZFS and other fun server things (#P34)

With the failed 450W SFX power supply separated into a regular post last week, now’s the time to waffle on about what happened besides that.

Well, Solaris 11.4 (evil developer/home use licensing, so no current service packs) still uses minimal ashift as default instead of a fixed value of 12. ashift is the exponent of the power of 2 that is used as smallest assignable portion of data, so basically sector size. “Old” default is 9, as 2^9 is the well known 512 byte sector size that most old hard disks had as both logical and physical size, and which they reported as such. […]


Supermicro X9SRW-F Ivy Bridge EP compatibility comparison (#P33)

Some canned content for today – back when making the Supermicro 2011 board fit my needs (#P23,#P24), I stumbled upon the Ivy Bridge thing. Technically, the two rack servers that I got should both be compatible with the E5-2600 series (Sandy Bridge EP), as well as E5-2600v2 series (Ivy Bridge EP). The product website states that “BIOS version 3.0 or above is required” for this to work, and both boards run the most recent version (not that there’s so many versions to choose from). Both had a E5-2630L installed, so SB-EP. […]


The PCB (Christmas) Tree (#P32)

Epiphany has already passed and St. Knut’s day is next Wednesday, it’s about time to stop being lazy and get the Christmas tree out of the living room.
Well, yes, but not the usual way. As shown previously, it’s not an ordinary tree. It’s green and it has fancy little lights all around, but it’s also containing significant amounts of lead and it needs a PoE port to operate.

Meet the PCB Tree.

Made from scrap circuit boards, random bits of wire, leaded solder and a couple of Chinese ingredients, it’s a wonderful Christmas abomination that sat the entire last year in my office and received a significant addition in early December 2020. […]