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Cheap, silent and efficent Home File Server

Picture of Cheap, silent and efficent Home File Server
The goal
Replace an aging file server, running a 800MHz P3 processor, with a reliable, cheap and quiet server that does not waste power.  In addition I wanted to add power backup as I have previously been forced to restore a backup after a power outage corrupted the drive.

13/1/13  Update:   This project has been extremely successful.  It has been in operation since it was created, with a 100% uptime and I haven't taken the lid of to "Improve it"   (Very unusual for me and I bet many in the instructables community).

The Concept
Build a Raspberry Pi based server, with a large HDD, power supply and battery backup into a small form factor case.  In addition I want to use recycled or salvage parts where ever possible.

Ingredients
1.  Raspberry Pi.  I got a case, this is not required, but does make mounting easier (Purchased online)
2.  Suitable Case  (local salvage shop)
3.  Either USB Hard drive 
     or Hard Drive & USB to IDE/SATA adapter (local computer store)
4.  DVD ROM (Optional)
5.  Sealed Lead Acid Battery(s)  12,18,24V  3-7Ah  (2x12V, 3.4Ah in shed)
6.  DCDC Inverters - Adjustable
     12V version - 2x Step-Down 3A,  1x Step-Up 2A (Online)
     18-24V Version - 3 x Step-Down 3A (Online)
7.  1x each, USB extension, Ethernet extension, RCA to Phone (Assembled)
7.  Power supply = Battery Voltage x 1.3 + 1,  2A  (from old Laptop, Printer etc.)
Misc.  Various Cables, Electronic components and Screws  (all recovered from the salvage box in the shed) 
 
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Step 1: Time to start stripping

Picture of Time to start stripping
You could select almost anything for a case,  an old CD or DVD player, VCR etc.   In my case,  I selected an old Panasonic CD Player that  I picked up for a couple of dollars from the local salvage store.

The first job is to strip out the bits you are not going to use to provide a blank canvas.
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You should add a little fan, or maybe a water cooling system, or better a liquid helium cooling system!!! You could make it smaller, but it's cool
latexmallard (author) 1 year ago
Just updated the instruct-able summary.
Reliability has been100% since built. if fact its so good I haven't even taken the lid of to "improve" it.
Cooling is not a problem. Still passive, without ventilation holes, and it consistently runs at 11 deg C over room temp.
zoltzerino1 year ago
Really nice build. Doing a similar thing myself, minus the batteries.
latexmallard (author)  zoltzerino1 year ago
Batteries do make it a bit harder, but are cheaper and much more efficient than running an external UPS.
Cool... Thought of using an old low profile "AT" case.
latexmallard (author)  Computothought1 year ago
I thought that too, but I could find one small enough, at the right price. Was also looking at a UPS case, solves all battery mounting issues, external fuses and more. Problem is it still goes so could not justify it.
Cool.
blkhawk1 year ago
Do you think that there is a need for a cooling fan?
latexmallard (author)  blkhawk1 year ago
At only 15 Watts, it should not need active cooling, in the worst case it would only need vent holes. Mine does not have vents, but I'll watch it as we get closer to summer. Maybe something to consider when selecting a donor case.
You can drill some holes at the top of your case and install a fan if you think that it is going to be necessary. You could use step drill bits to make nice round holes on your case.

step drills from grizzly_02
latexmallard (author)  blkhawk1 year ago
I have updated the last step, with thermal images.

Don't want a fan becouse that would create noise and this is a "Silent" server. Stepped drill bits are really cool, but soooo expensive.
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