NAS/fileserver project—RP64 in 1U ATX/ITX case (comments welcome!)
#1
Hey all! I was going to just ask a couple questions in the forum, but I decided it'd be better to summarize my project here so I can ask related questions in one place, as they come up.

My partner and I are working to replace an aging Sempron box (FreeBSD 10, some IDE drive for boot, 4x2TB SATA spinning rust in RAID Z) with a RockPro64. We've done gradual planning over time since we got the board many months ago, and most recently I've applied my experience setting up Void Linux on the Pinebook Pro by setting up an install on eMMC for the RP64. At this point the basic system is up and running (with an old Pi 1 hooked up as a serial console), and we have a SATA card and 4x2TB SSDs that work; I've yet to set up ZFS, but other than that, the software side is well on its way.

The remaining tasks are in hardware territory. We have a 12U rack that we'd like to slot this thing into, so putting it in a 1U case seems like the cleanest solution, since we can't stuff 4 drives in the NAS case Pine64 sells. A current contender for the case is this model from plink (we have a 3U case from them already, it's fairly nice), plus a 5.25" caddy for the SSDs. This particular model has the benefit of containing an integrated fan controller, which would save some fiddling with controlling them from the RP64 itself. It's hard to tell, but I believe the controller is powered by a molex connector—which is good news for me, since I can easily adapt that from one of the SATA power connectors for free!

I'm as of yet unsure how I would mount the board in the case; that's what I'm most needing help with. I haven't been able to find any reports of people mounting the RP64 on ATX mounts (if you have, please let me know!). I presumably would need some sort of standoffs, or possibly even a whole riser board. The PCIe card is of course not going to fit on its own in 1U, but since it's solid state I have no qualms getting a riser/extension for it and fastening it wherever is convenient (and has good airflow).

There's also the fair question of power delivery. We of course have the 12V 5A power supply, and that should be plenty to handle these SSDs (5V 1.7A apiece), the fans, and the board itself. It's possible I could set up an ATX PSU like some on here have, and have the power situation a bit more organized, but as that would require cable customization (and the purchase of an extra PSU) I'm not inclined to go that route unless there's some other compelling reason to.

I'm looking forward to getting this project off the ground (read: my desk) in the future! Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, advice, etc. Smile
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#2
Hi, how is your interesting project going?

Regarding the mounting of the RP64 board to the ITXATX case: Why not make an adapter plate (metal or 3d printed), screw the RP64 to that and then screw the adapter plate to the case?

Regarding the PCIe card: There are not just static riser cards but also plenty of riser "cables" available, so it should be no problem getting this done.

Another more difficult aspect would be access to ports from the outside. You could attach also extensions here (e.g. for the microSD slot or the USB ports) but it will probably not work with everything. Also connecting the buttons and LEDs could turn out to be a challenge.

One more thing that would be interesting: Which heatsink/fan are you planning to use for the SoC?
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