IDE Bandelero

My orignal design for my 220gig logical drive was foiled by the crappy linux support for the ServerWorks IDE controller. It would normally be simple to just use a PCI ide controller and skip using the onboard IDE all together. But nothing is ever simple...

First of this has to be an IDE array. I just can't afford the storage size I need in scsi disks; too expense. But ide cables can't be longer than 18". Many companies make them longer relying on drives and controller being over engineered, but I'm not going to exceed the spec.

Well the ide cable run from a pci card to my hard drive mounts in my 4u rackmount case far excedded 18". Since I can't move the card I had to move the drives. The case is 16.625" wide. Each hard drive is 4" wide. It's a tight fit, but they can go in horizontally just over the motherboard.

This is a great location because it get's me close enough to the IDE controller to run cable. And it keeps the drive in line with the cooling fans. It does make getting to the board a little harder, but with any luck I won't be modifying it for a couple of years.

All the parts are from my local hardware store and most of the tools are borrowed. If you look closely at the pictures you'll see that I actually did two different plates. The first one's drill holes were so screwed up I decided to redo it with photcopied harddrive templates and a steel punch.

I probably spent about 12 hours accross two days on it, but it was WELL worth it. I'm finally comfortable with my linux server and that is important to me as it represents a lot of my work and play.