How to put up to 8 hard drives in a Quadra 950

Like most of you with Quadra 950s, I have a large bracket to hold any hard drives internal to the case.
http://www.applefritter.com/images/so_much_wasted_space-9289.jpg

These brackets can take up most all of the 10 inches of space you do have. Two crummy drives in 10 inches.
http://www.applefritter.com/images/10_inches_of_poorly_used_space-9290.jpg

This is not going to work for me.

So what am I going to do about it? Rip the suckers out! That’s what!
http://www.applefritter.com/images/original_bracket-9291.jpg

Now this took me two attempts to get this right, so I will be to the point:
Supplies and tools:

  • Safety glasses
  • Sheet metal sheers
  • Fine point marker (Sharpie preferred)
  • Straight edge/ruler (12

Comments

doug-doug the mighty's picture

I need to leave room for the end of the CD bracket and for cabling to the CD.
http://www.applefritter.com/node/9296

I need to leave room for the air to flow in/out at the vents.
http://www.applefritter.com/node/9297

It must be attached to the drive chassis for easy insertion and removal from the case (as was the original drive chassis).
http://www.applefritter.com/node/9300

Cutting should be done with good gloves.
applefritter.com/node/9299

Transfering the template a strip of metal cut from the main sheet.
http://www.applefritter.com/node/9298

doug-doug the mighty's picture

I drafted my original template on a large sheet of tablet paper and then used the punch to transfer points on to my metal. I used the marker and straight edges to draw the template from the punched points. Having transferred the image successfully, I cut it from the mother sheet. Note the warpage. I straightened this out much the same one would a dollar bill for a vending machine by dragging it over the edge of my bench under tension.
http://www.applefritter.com/images/strip_curved_from_cutting-9301.jpg

The end result is seen below.
http://www.applefritter.com/images/flattened_out-9302.jpg

Also note the extra cut outs. These will meet up at the vents on the rear of the Quadra. You may also note some marking on the metal from where the pattern is marked.

Long (many hours) story short, I made six channels in the metal to accommodate the screw holes on the hard drives. the rationale here was that I could mount a drive and slide it from left to right to allow for the maximum adjustability of drives and spacing drive out and drives of various sizes. I really did put too much thought into it (and time).
http://www.applefritter.com/images/bracket_failed_attempt-9303.jpg

I used some handy pieces of marble to help me bend the edges flat and true.
[url]http://www.applefritter.com/images/bracket_failed_attempt_(folding)-9304.jpg[/url]

...and the final product!
[url]http://www.applefritter.com/images/bracket_failed_attempt_(too_long)-9305.jpg[/url]

Here is a picture of a test fitting. It did not come off as smoothly as I wanted it to.
[url]http://www.applefritter.com/images/bracket_failed_attempt_(bad_fit_in_case)-9307.jpg[/url]

davintosh's picture

When you think about keeping the drives cool, keep in mind air flow. There is a reason Apple designed the brackets to have the openings facing the front & back -- so that air would flow from the front of the machine, over the drives, and out the back.

It appears that your drives will stand on edge with the connector ends facing the open side. That design might end up with some dead air pockets between the drives, and might result in some overheating problems.

An alternative might be to cut the top part from one of the existing brackets & use the bottom to attach the drives at the bottom only, mounting the drives standing on edge with the connectors facing the back or front. The heavier metal would be able to provide decent support if attached only to the one side. Or to get more drives on that bracket, fabricate a secondary bracket from heavier metal that attaches to said bottom part of existing bracket to extend front & back, with two rows of drives, connector ends facing the back or front.

Just a thought. I actually had the same idea a long time ago, wanting to put more drives in a 9150 Workgroup Server, which used the same case as the 950, but with a PPC 601 processor. I put a little time into thinking about how to make it happen, but got scared off by the potential issues of heat and of not enough power supply capacity, and ended up stacking a couple of external FWB Sledghammer RAID drive sets. Worked out quite nicely.

Edit: Sorry about the goofy link first time around; I was thinking straight html instead of markup and put quote marks in, and it pointed right back to AF. Oops!)

dankephoto's picture

davintosh wrote:
When you think about keeping the drives cool, keep in mind air flow. There is a reason Apple designed the brackets to have the openings facing the front & back -- so that air would flow from the front of the machine, over the drives, and out the back.

Actually, you've got the right idea, but the details bassackwards.

Air flows from the upper back inlet grill toward the front (through the HD area), then down and under, into the PS and then out the PS's outlet in the case rear.

I do think that piling all those drives crossways will seriously change the entire cooling system. In practical use this may be of no importance, but that depends largely on how much heat that stack of HDs produces. If they're modern efficient (ie: low heat) drives, then it'll probably be OK. If you're using a stack of 10K Cheetahs, then this whole installation ought to last about . . . . what?, maybe 10 minutes before the magic smoke escapes.

dan k

Eudimorphodon's picture

dankephoto wrote:
I do think that piling all those drives crossways will seriously change the entire cooling system. In practical use this may be of no importance, but that depends largely on how much heat that stack of HDs produces. If they're modern efficient (ie: low heat) drives, then it'll probably be OK. If you're using a stack of 10K Cheetahs, then this whole installation ought to last about . . . . what?, maybe 10 minutes before the magic smoke escapes.

I seem to remember he was planning to use various surplus 9GB models. I have yet to see one that doesn't rival a frying pan in terms of thermal output.

Stuffing them in there sideways with no dedicated blowers should have entertaining results.

--Peace

davintosh's picture

Eudimorphodon wrote:
Stuffing them in there sideways with no dedicated blowers should have entertaining results.

Definitely entertaining! If you do it, set up a video camera before firing it up!

MacTrash_1's picture

Now that's what I would call an Easy Bake Quadra !

Maybe a case fan right above the HD's would do the job. Something with a nice grille.

davintosh's picture

It looks like the metal you're using for the bracket is pretty light gauge. For cutting that I think you'd be better off using a nibbler (usually available at home centers for under $5), a drill and a good sharp utility knife. And keep plenty of new blades on hand because they won't stay sharp for very long!

But to get better results making a bracket you ought to use some heavier steel. It'll be a bit more difficult to work, but it'll hold the drives in place much more securely. The light tin you're using will wobble & flex all over. And rather than using metal for your first try, use something that's a little easier to work to build a prototype; like balsa wood or cardboard. When you get things to fit properly with the prototype, use that as a template for cutting the real thing. Not only easier to work, but a lot cheaper if you screw up & have to start from scratch.
--
Dave

I think that D-DTM made a valiant first attempt. I seem to recall that he was careful to point out that this was his "failed attempt." Let's cut him some slack and hope that he will continue to share his experience with us, please.

DDTM:

I am still interested in seeing your finished drive bracket. I realize that you do not build drive brackets for a living and that this project is largely trial & error. If it's any consolation, your "failed attempt", is probably better than anything that I could have done. Smile

doug-doug the mighty's picture

the metal was a light guage aluminum as found in any Home Depot in the section for airducts and the like. I chose it cause it was cheap (around $20), sturdy and thin enough to work with. The other selections available were too thick to too expensive (up to $60) for the same size.

In fact, and I should have mentioned this, I devised my template by cutting a base out of heavy paper (posterboard stock) and trying my template that way, once satisfied, I did a final template as pictured above. Attempt #1 was my first try in metal using the template modeled after the posterboard design.

When I get back home in two weeks (where my files are), I will post more pictures from the first attempt and then post the successful second attempt. In this, I was able to eliminate the warpage and the flimsiness of the bracket by some design changes.

The ventilation thing is still a concern, but I have an idea or two on that. For me the point is kind of moot in that the drives I have are 80 pin drives and I still need a 68 to 80 pin adapter to use them. (That and I recently fried the mobo which I will have to repair before I can boot again). Once I get it up and running and am able to connect all the drives (or replace with 50/68 pin drives), I will work on the cooling.

doug-doug the mighty's picture

The anchor hole did not line up at first.
http://www.applefritter.com/node/9446

The folding was off and drives did not fit well at the extreme end.
http://www.applefritter.com/node/9447

The idea of channels, while flexible, left the bracket too flexible (literally) and warpage left it looking rather shoddy.
http://www.applefritter.com/node/9448

Jon's picture

You could use something like pipe strap or the strips of heavy guage metal they sell to fab the brackets. There isn't much you can get in sheets of heavy guage metal that you can almost match in a 1-2" wide strip for much less cash. I'm thinking 4 strips and some cross bracing and it may be just fine. The metal I've got/seen goes up to 3/16" or 1/4" in thinkness.

doug-doug the mighty's picture

Applying some lessons learned, I stared over from the beginning. This time I opted to drill holes to accommodate several one inch drive as opposed to my channel idea.

It bears noting that I had to repeat some steps from the first attempt, like the flattening out of the strip once cut from the mother sheet. That and many other pictures have been removed to shorten this up a bit, so if you repeat this process, you may want to bear in mind that the metal will curl as part of the cutting process, unless you have professional pressing tools for your cutting.

http://www.applefritter.com/images/a_new_start-9449.jpg
http://www.applefritter.com/images/drilling_holes_in_the_bracket-9450.jpg

doug-doug the mighty's picture

I used an actual drive to help me size the folds when it came time to start bending. note in this photo that the notch for the anchor is already cut but much longer than before. Also note the notch at the bottom. This was a carry over from the first attempt as I found it reduced chances of interfering with the back end (and cabling) of the CD bracket).
http://www.applefritter.com/images/folding_to_fit_drive-9451.jpg
http://www.applefritter.com/images/drive_nestled_into_fold-9452.jpg

Time for a dry fit! Note the back side of the bracket has the ends dent in to make a stop for the drives. While not needed to fit the drives in place, it adds great stability to the bracket.
http://www.applefritter.com/images/checking_progress_on_chassis-9453.jpg

The vent holes are cut and the angle cuts are also made (bottom of picture).
http://www.applefritter.com/images/rear_trimmed_and_ready_to_fold-9454.jpg

doug-doug the mighty's picture

doug-doug the mighty's picture

I still need to use the pop rivets to tack the ends together. I have plenty of room to mount two blowers in the back space (in a push-pull config, to equalize the air pressure and keep strain off the CPU fan.
http://www.applefritter.com/images/room_for_a_fan-9462.jpg

Now to tack the bracket together and mount some drives!
http://www.applefritter.com/images/rear_rivetted_in_place-9463.jpg

doug-doug the mighty's picture

Room for eight ( 8 ) drives. Note that slot number 2 is vacant - a drive will fit there, I just do not have one. Also note that none of the drives are screwed in, I need to run by the hardware store and get some screws with flat heads and a low profile as the final product will be a little snug going into the case and cannot work with normal screws with round heads.
http://www.applefritter.com/images/seven_drives_and_room_for_one_more-9464.jpg

Not pictured here, but worth mention, I had to trim off the top half inch of the braket (the overhanging lip aove the drives in the picture above) as the case door was interfering with the bracket. This little trim makes the bracket fit flush with with the case and allows the door to close perfectly.

doug-doug the mighty's picture

The final product in a Quadra 950.
http://www.applefritter.com/images/final_mounting_with_seven_drives-9465.jpg

Now I just need to add a pair of blowers in the void at the back off the case, but that is another story for another time!

I just have a quick comment for the kiddies that may be tempted to replicate DDTM's project. Although DDTM may very well be a full grown adult, under no circumstances is it a good idea to use Super Glue to mend wounds.

Doug-Doug the Mighty wrote:
Super Glue (in case of cuts from not wearing gloves)

It is always a good idea to wear proper protective gear while operating machinery or working with sharp objects. Should you injure yourself (cut your flesh because you weren't wearing gloves), you should first clean the wound. Once the wound has been cleaned, you should bandage it.

Should you happen to give yourself a deep gash, it may be advisable to seek proper medical attention and have the wound stitched.

NEVER, I repeat, NEVER use Super Glue to mend sliced or cut flesh. Although Super Glue may appear to be a quick and easy bandaid solution, it is important to remember that Super Glue can be toxic if taken internally.

DDTM:

You should be ashamed of yourself for suggesting that people treat their cuts and abrasions with Super Glue. Wink That's just crazy. Wink

My previous post was intended as a joke. Hence the double wink to DDTM.

I promise to preface all future attempts at humour with the words:

This is a joke!

doug-doug the mighty's picture

I was surprised to learn that one of the original purposes of superglue was to be used as a liquid skin sealer by NASA for astronauts.

While some more consumer oriented and contemporary variants do have irritants in them, causing minor pain on open wounds, many brands do not. I have in fact used super glue on some cuts in awkward places where band-aids do not work and with great success (like finger joints). Unfortunately, the brand I currently have at the moment seams to be a kind formuated to not bond skin so well as it easily wears off after a day or so, requiring reapplication if healing has not already started. This is by design from many glue comapnies to protect cunsumers from themselves. The trade off is that it does not bond objects as well.

I suggest the super glue remover in addition to the super glue as a safety precaution to the safety precaution. About two years ago, I saw it in the hardware store and picked it up when I restocked super glue to fix one of my kid's toys. Through a comedy of errors, later that night, the majority of the tube of super glue was expelled onto my left hand, welding three fingers and a thumb in an awkward flex to a small piece of toy and my wedding ring to my hand (which I also always remove to work on electronics - safety hint there). As this was a better super glue, and not expected to wear off in a few days. The super glue remover was put to use and most of it was used. Consequently, the best purchase I ever made was that tube of remover - paid for itself befoer the night was out.

The point is, minor flesh wounds *could* be sealed with super glue, deep gashes need stiches, accidents with super glue need super glue remover.