CFA-633 and 1U: Part 1/3: Dr. Jekyll (!56K)

CF Tech

Part 1/3: Dr. Jekyll

We found a 1U "communications appliance" case that has the CFA-633 as a standard front panel feature. Here is a sequence of photographs that show it off.

This is an overall shot of the outside of the case. There is a drawing to show basic assembly:

Here is the opening for the CFA-633. The case also has the standard LEDs, a power switch and a recessed reset switch:

The back of the case. The large opening on the left is for the power supply. The smaller rectangular opening is for a sub-panel that brings additional RJ-45 jacks to the back panel. The case features lots of cooling vents on three sides:

Here is the inside of the case. At the upper left is a Delta blower, the shock mounted hard drive cages are on the right:

Here is a close-up of the back of the front panel, showing the mounting openings and hardware for the CFA-633:

This shot shows the CFA-633 mounted into the front panel. The screws are supplied as part of the case hardware:

Here is a picture showing the hard drive mounting scheme. It uses small rubberized mounting posts that space the hard drives off the floor of the case for cooling air circulation, and also provide a degree of shock mounting and vibration isolation:

For our test system, we chose one 80GB Western Digital "JB" drive (8MB cache):

Here is a close-up of the Delta BFB1012M blower. The blower brings air in from the front corner of the case, and forces it across the motherboard:

This is a shot of the hard drive mounted in the corner of the case diagonally opposite the blower:

This image shows the motherboard mounted on the standoffs. The case accepts standard "ATX" motherboards, but you do need to make sure the depth of the motherboard is not too great:

This motherboard is a M7VIT-Pro, which is geared more for desktop or gaming applications rather than a communications appliance (more on that choice in another post ;)):

For the processor, we chose an Athlon "Barton" 2800+:

Finding a HSF that would handle the Athlon and still fit in a 1U case was a bit of a challenge. We came up with this solid copper Dynatron DC1U-B01:

Here is a close up of the fin construction and the fan. The fins are "Skiving"--which basically means they were shaved up off the original copper block. This method of construction allows lots of thin fins that have a perfect bond to the base material:

The HSF installed:

For RAM, we chose some Corsair XMS3200:

This is the "AGP Riser". It allows the AGP card to "lay down" so that a full AGP card (or PCI, with a different riser) can be fit into the 1U's 1.75" height:

Here is a shot of a video card mounted in the AGP riser. In an actual "communications appliance" application, there would be no video card, since they are typically "headless" (no keyboard or monitor), instead there would be an additional multi-port network card installed in this position (or slightly over to the PCI slot):

Here is a shot showing all the components loaded. Not much extra room (and it would be even tighter with an additional hard drive), but it does all fit.

Rear view:

All closed up (and we did not have to have anyone standing on the lid):

Here is the front panel once the system is powered up.

In a production environment, a pre-loaded hard drive would be installed. Once the system is delivered to the customer's site and powered up, a utility program would prompt the user to enter the IP address, netmask, and gateway using the CFA-633's buttons and LCD. At that point, all the rest of the configuration can be done through the network interface.

Of course we could not leave well enough alone, so come up to the lab, and see what's on the slab:

Part 2/3: Mr. Hyde . . .

Part 3/3: The Software . . .
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