Its that time to build a new workstation. My current workstation was built in 2013 and while it has been upgraded with additional RAM, SSD storage, and a newer GPU, is still the same CPU and motherboard (that motherboard which now has a dead audio output and a dead NIC). The CPU is starting to show its age with games and processes using more and more of it, and since GPU prices are insane, I’ll be holding off on that upgrade till later.Continue reading “Desktop Workstation 2”
When I started into the EspDeck project, I had enough parts on hand to build two units. I had two sampler packs of switches and two ESP8266 boards to use. So once I had the gen1 unit built, I started working on generation 2 of the EspDeck. Gen2 has a well designed case that holds the board in place, allows easier plugging in of USB, and a cleaner wiring design.Continue reading “EspDeck Generation 2”
After seeing some posts with EspHome and Zigbee keypads, I realized I wanted to make one too. I wanted the ability to easily trigger more complex actions in home assistant that I don’t have an easy way to fully automate. I decided to make the EspDeck project to provide construction and technical details on building one of these macro pads. EspDeck provides a 9 key macro pad supporting single, double, and hold click actions on every key and can be integrated with home assistant easily through the ESPHome integration or add-on.Continue reading “EspDeck: Home Assistant Macro Pad”
I recently needed to build out a new network. The new network had a box in place that I could use for gear, however that box wasn’t big enough for any rack mount gear. I decided to mount a rack over the top of the box to handle all of the gear and keep it organized. With the new network, also came with a need to expand the number of switch ports I have available. I set it up to drive POE to all the end points so that I could have better centralized power.Continue reading “Network Rack Upgrade”
While using MotionEyeOS on a raspberry pi 3 worked for a while, eventually I began to need a bit more hardware to handle some of the security camera goals I had. For this, since I already had my hand crafted 19in rack, I wanted to find a decent rack mount server for it, preferably SuperMicro.
I ended up finding a Redwood Director RDIR-1G on ebay for a good price. After doing some research, it l found out that it was a SuperMicro box, specifically it was a 5018D-MF. This is a solid little 1U half depth box with an E3 server processor on it. The listing claimed it had 32GB of RAM, however I found out later that it only had 8GB ram. This was still a pretty decent deal and I went with it.
Of course, once it arrived whats the first thing we do, open it up.Continue reading “NVR Build”
I printed out the Raspberry Pi Blade Center found on thingiverse on my Ultimaker 2. This was a relatively easy set of units to print, with a majority of the time needed on it to be spent cleaning up the large number of pi holders. I assembled these with threaded rods and lock nuts. The threaded rods had to be cut to size but in the end, everything was assembled in about a weekend after printing was done. In order to fit RPI 3B+ with the POE hat, I did end up hand modifying some trays, which I don’t have a model for the changes so they can be printed in that form.Continue reading “3D Printed RPI Rack”
In order to organize my lab a bit better, I decided to custom build a server rack. This was to be the same height as my desk and also be usable as more work surface area. I determined that a 15u rack would be the the best size, and it would give me some room to grow as well since i only currently have a few things that can fit in the rack (The Fractal Design Define XL R2 is far too big to fit, so its just the vhost, networking equipment and some RPIs). First off, the design, which ended up being slightly incorrect on sizing of one of the components.Continue reading “Home Built Server Rack”
I started looking at servers for a new vhost for a few months, trying to determine what I would need, and what I could utilize. I was running out of RAM in my NAS to run virtual machines, and I was running into odd times when I wanted to reboot my NAS for updates, but didn’t want to reboot my entire lab. So I came to the decision to build a new server that would host the virtual machines that were less reliant on the NAS (IRC bots, websites, wiki pages, etc) as well as other more RAM intensive systems. The new server was to have a large amount of RAM (>32GB maximum), which would give me plenty of room to play. I plan on leaving some services running on the NAS which has plenty of resources to handle a few extra duties like plex, and backups. The new VHost was also to be all flash, the NAS uses a WD black drive as the virtual machine host drive, which ends up slowing down when running updates on multiple machines. I may also in the future upgrade the NAS to a SSD for its cache drive and VM drive.
Here is what I purchased:
I started my original NAS build with inexpensive quality consumer components, but by now its become a strange chimera of enterprise and consumer gear. The main goals: low power, quiet, high storage density
With the focus, the main decision was on a case, 8 hdd’s were the minimum number of bays, and having a few 5.25″ bays allowed me to use a 5×3 cage to add more hdd bays. From some research, it can also be found that another stack of hdd cages can be added to the case with relative ease, bringing the total number of disks held to ~21.
|Case||Fractal Design Define XL R2|
|CPU||Intel Xeon E3-1245 v2|
|RAM||Gskill Ripjaws X (32GB total)|
|NIC||Intel Pro/1000 VT, Chelsio dual port 10G SFP+|
|Extras||Norco 5 x 3.5″ HDD Cage|