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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:51 pm 
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tbone7467 wrote:
Is there enough room in the MSS case to store the cable? I dont think i plan to have the monitor connected all the time (But you never know).

My first thought on this was to snake a ribbon cable up the back and store it where I could grab it with the top removed, I vetoed that idea when I realized what havoc that would play with the airflow. If the cable is to be permanently installed this needs to be a consideration.

(Have not convinced myself it is worth the time to do this, but I sure do like having the option..!)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:52 pm 
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tbone7467 wrote:
Is there enough room in the MSS case to store the cable? I dont think i plan to have the monitor connected all the time (But you never know).

My first thought on this was to snake a ribbon cable up the back and store it where I could grab it with the top removed, I vetoed that idea when I realized what havoc that would play with the airflow. If the cable is to be permanently installed this needs to be a consideration.

(Have not convinced myself it is worth the time to do this, but I sure do like having the option..!)

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PC2: Lenovo Laptop, Win XP Home SP3
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:34 pm 
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I successfully built two cables! Pinout looks good. The cable with the PS2 connectors are developer cables, since I intent to install Linux on my Smart Server.

The cable is good for
- Messing with BIOS settings
- Software development and driver debugging

If you do not plan to mess with the BIOS, nor develop anything interesting, then this cable is overkill since you can remote desktop into the SmartServer and see everything that your video cable would see.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:13 pm 
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Unless you plan on having the top of the case open at all times, I don't see how anyone could have a closed box without any protruding cables (whether they be shielded or ribbon) without making modifications to the casing. I'm personally ok with making modification to my case to accommodate the cable but I know this is a personal preferences not shared by everyone.

Why would you want this cable permanently connected when you can remote desktop into your server (assuming you want to keep WHS on the box)?

FYI: The cables were tedious to build. Even with the right tools, expect to spend some time getting (and verifying) all the pinouts.


Last edited by cakalapati on Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:40 pm 
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Damn! I think you put my job to shame.... heatshrink and everything! Which connectors did you buy? Did you end up soldering each crimp too or did you have the correct crimper?

I haven't put mss back together yet but I'm thinking I'll be able to fish my ribbon out where the power plugs in. (Still not going to be easy though)

Failing that I'll go all out and cut a DB-shaped opening right beside it where the kensington connector is.

Aisde: Toying with the idea of getting a Aoyue Hot-Air Station to remove the bios chip and replace it with a socket... I practised SMD/SMT removal/resolder on an old motherboard... didn't work out that well... my butane iron's hot-air tip is far too hot and not detailed enough (and maybe operator skill was lacking too :( ) ... So Failing that I've been looking to find some one or some shop that will do it for me but I'm not having much success... So much for "silicon valley north"... Anyway this is all in prep for bios modding (for added CPU support - foxconn has a very similar board with a very similar bios) which I think I have figured out but I wont test without having a backup bios chip at hand.

PS: you'll have to use the F12 key to pull up the boot menu to boot off of a USB key or CDRom attached to the backplane. Trying to change the boot order permanently in the bios didn't seem to be working - the settings were just ignored. If the bios thing goes well I'll probably try to un-write protect the on-board usb-stick after that and use it as my solaris root/boot


Last edited by ymboc on Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:04 pm 
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Thanks for the compliments.

I got the same connector as you. I did no soldering, only crimping. Specifically, I went and bought a monitor extension cable. That solves half of your problem, assuming you want a shielded cable and not a ribbon cable.

Seeing that you are using a ribbon cable, do you see any drop in video quality? Mine looks good, however I've done no extensive testing.

Man, it was painful to assemble the cable but I thought of the hard work you did figuring out the connections and it puts my work to same. Well done man!

Yes I had the right tools (it really helps).

Keep me posted on whether the ribbon fits through the power connector. It looks like its gonna be a tight fit.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:08 pm 
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Thanks for the "pin 1" clarification. I double checked my connectors and there are absolutely no markings for pin 1. None! I was able to deduce its location based on the images you submitted earlier.

Edit: There is an image of a triangle indicating the location of pin1 on the connector housing facing the heat sink.


Last edited by cakalapati on Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:24 pm 
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Haven't seen any visual artifacts from using a ribbon cable - so long as the cable is short enough shouldn't be an issue... helps that I haven't run any high resolutions or refresh rates though I'm sure.

If you got the same connectors I'm sure they're ID'd... but they're really extremely tiny. The number is located on the tabs that retain the crimps. The triangle showing pin 1 is located just above that tab (and the number).

You can find the same triangle on the header actually but you have to look through the fins of the NB heatsink... its on the very right.

This stuff is extremely hard to photograph - my camera just wont focus that that close a distance (even on macro).

I'm curious what crimper you used... how much was it? Where'd you get it? etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:57 pm 
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I was able to boot off a USB stick plugged into the back of the SmartServer.

During the bootup, you have to press the F12 key and select the "USB-ZIP" option. All the other options (excect for the hard disk) yielded undesirable results.

When the menu comes up, "Hard Disk" is the default (denoted by the "plus" sign), but Floppy is selected. You need to press the down arrow button six times to select "USB-ZIP" and then press enter.

Useful tip to anyone wanting to bypass the normal boot process.


Attachments:
File comment: Notice the USB stick plugged in the back of the Smart Server.
GI0F1961 (Medium).JPG
GI0F1961 (Medium).JPG [ 87.57 KiB | Viewed 14100 times ]
File comment: Hitting F12 will yield the following boot options with "Floppy" as the default selected option.
GI0F1968 (Medium).JPG
GI0F1968 (Medium).JPG [ 33.63 KiB | Viewed 14094 times ]
File comment: Select "USB-ZIP" and away you go. The screenshot demonstrates a Debian bootup.
GI0F1969 (Medium).JPG
GI0F1969 (Medium).JPG [ 88.95 KiB | Viewed 14093 times ]


Last edited by cakalapati on Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:26 pm 
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Unfortunately, I do not know the manufacturer of the particular crimping tool I used. I tried three different crimping tools and this one produced the best results. They run about $15-$20.

I used the AWG 28 slot for the wire-insulator crimp and the AWG 30 slot for the wire crimpt.


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File comment: The crimping tool I used.
GI0F1975 (Medium).JPG
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:00 pm 
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In case anyone wants to built their own cable and wants absolutely positively no ambiguity in the connection, I'm attaching a picture outlining the exact position of pin 1.


Attachments:
pin1.JPG
pin1.JPG [ 69.69 KiB | Viewed 14090 times ]


Last edited by cakalapati on Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:14 pm 
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A word of warning that these machine are defaulted to automatically power down when they get too hot. So if you are experimenting with different cables and the power just goes out, you probably are not being ventilated properly. I'm a little disappointed with how hot these machines can get, given that I am not doing ANY graphic operations (I booted into a Linux shell) and I'm running off a single hard drive with no fans blowing on the board.

Has anyone else suffered from over heating? I hope I'm not the only one.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:49 am 
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... To avoid overheating when using the server outside of the chassis use a spare CPU fan (perhaps from a LE-16x0 kit?) and plug it into the fan header located near the ATX power cable/connector --worked for me.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:18 am 
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Isn't the system designed to cool the CPU from airflow through the case?
IF so then wouldn't it makes sense that it would get hot without any airflow to cool it?
Of course the stock CPU isn't helped by all the thermal paste on it. I couldn't believe what it looked like. The person must have thought they were making a peanut butter sandwich.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:37 pm 
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It's one thing for heat to come off a processor heatsink and have nowhere to go because its in a case with no fans.

It's another thing for heat to come off a processor heatsink and into the open air.

I've build several computers and it seems that fans make a huge difference as soon as that case closes. I've never had to worry about fans when a motherboard/processor was in the open air.

Sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm not....it's just kinda strange that's all.


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