Tales From the Server Room

Introduction: Tales From the Server Room

About: A passionate make of things. I spend my time developing new ideas and looking for ways to improve old ones! I currently have a Kickstarter campaign running. Click the link at the top for more details.

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Forget Laser Printers, this really is a marvel of mechanical engineering. The Sun Microsystems StorEDGE L1000 Tape Library is really quite something. I'll let you watch the YouTube video below and you'll see what I mean!

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Step 1: Setec Astronomy*

Every large company has a room in the back, behind the server room, where the old servers go. It could be likened to the many aircraft boneyards around the world, where old hardware sits, waiting, for someone to come along and tear them to bits.

A few days ago, or was it weeks ago, I can't say which, or where. A server room's back room was cleared out, sent to the scrap collector. Being somewhat of a *sneaky fellow I had a nose around and spotted amongst the archived archives, an interesting box. On it's front was written; Sun Microsystems StoreEDGE L1000. Interesting.

Step 2: Bitter Sweet

I did want to take the whole thing away, lock it in a darkened room with me, and watch it move around, but, due to company policy, and for data protection reasons, it was to be scrapped. So I got my tools out, let out a sigh, and got to work.

Needless to say you really don't want anything to be plugged into the mains power supply if you're going to be dismantling it. Especially if it looks like it has a robot arm from inside a mini nuclear oven tucked inside.

As with the Laser Printer begin where there are screws, undo them until no more can be freed, then rotate the equipment and carry on.

Step 3: Belt Up

The stepper motor which drives the vertical axis is quite a beast.

Step 4: Scrapped

Step 5: Subsystems

Inside are four Quantum DLT 7000 Series SCSI Tape Drives.

I took one apart, just to see what it's insides look like.

Step 6: SCSI Guts

Before we get to the big stuff from the arm lets have a look at the Tape Drive that was stripped in the previous step.

After throwing out the offal I was left with several stepper motors, a fan, and a solenoid.

Copal PN12-60119-01 - Information at CNC Zone, there were two of these motors in the drive.

Airpax S42Mo48S98 - Not much information beyond whats on the label.

QTM1B 8Z04 - Nothing, no idea.

Shinano Kenshi STH-46D017-05 - I can't find anything specific at the moment.

Step 7: The BIG Stuff

Excluding the four Tape Drives, and a big bag of nuts & bolts, there wasn't much inside the Tape Library. The main components are the monstrous main stepper motor, and the tape arm. There is a single stepper which moves the arm horizontally, and a smaller stepper which moves it back and forth. I suspect there is an additional motor inside which flips the head around. I haven't totally pulled it all to bits yet, but I will do when I come to use it.

The vertical drive system is very simplistic, two belts lift the assembly up & down. Two clamps hold the belts to the frame, and a bar runs between the two sides transferring drive between the two. The obvious thing to use this for is a CNC, but I don't like obvious. I have something in mind, but I need to work on the idea some more.

I have kept the front door to the Tape Library; it has a key lock, and Sun Microsystems on it! The three shiny shapes are aluminum dust filters. I'll no doubt find a use for them at some point. The big fan came from underneath the tape drives.

Step 8: Power Ups

Aside from the Tape Library I did swipe a few other items. Namely two server doors with motor drives, and two large power supplies.

I really need to stop taking things to bits, and go make something......

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    2 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Such a shame to see such pretty hardware scrapped.
    Nice to see that you got a chance to pull out the 3d printer hardware first... oh wait, I meant tape drive loading mechanism... yeah. that's what I meant.

    and OH MY the sight of all that ram set my solid state dreams all aquiver.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    "I really need to stop taking things to bits, and go make something......"