HC4 Blade

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HC4 Blade

Post by hominoid »

This design started on the premise that the Odroid-HC4 could make a good cluster node. It already makes a great NAS and having a native SATA interface is a huge plus for other uses. As an efficient low power modern quad-core SBC with a high clock frequency, the HC4 is probably one of the fastest as well. Add in 4GB of memory, the Cortex-A55’s improved security profile(in-order design), it’s minimal component count and cluster friendly PCB layout and it becomes apparent it has a lot to offer besides NAS duty.
    HC4-Blade.gif (2.94 MiB) Viewed 254 times
    • 32mm width x 96.5mm height x 194mm length
    • 1 x 2.5” drive, any thickness
    • Clean direct drive connect, no SATA cable
    • Oled integration
    • IR ports
    • LED view port
    • SATA pre-cut or punch-out openings
    • SATA cable restraints
    The HC4 Blade allows an Odroid-HC4 PCB to be housed with a single 2.5” HD/SSD of any size, in a slim 32mm case. An up(left angle) SATA adapter is used to keep the size as small as possible.
      hc4-blade_open_inset.png (2 MiB) Viewed 254 times
        In my opinion the HC4 is currently one of the best ARM SBC candidates for non-HPC cluster applications. With native SATA interfaces a HC4 Blade cluster fits well with container deployment, distributive file systems, block-chain nodes and reverse proxy setups. Additional cores can also be added for more threads or computational power by the using the included dual node blade(8 cores). They can be deployed as a single blade, desktop cluster or rack mounted.
          hc4_blade.png (1.33 MiB) Viewed 254 times
            Build Notes
            A longer cable will be necessary for the oled. I used some 200mm wires from my breadboard.

            The up or left angle adapter is widely available but be aware that it comes in both up(left angle) and down(right angle) for SATA and SAS. The angle on the adapter is not 90 degrees. All the ones I have seen are this way. The only reason I can think of is to load the connectors to help reduce the effects of vibrations, otherwise it seems it might be a consistent manufacturing issue. There are also short(40mm,60mm,80mm, etc) 22 pin SATA cables available that could work for other configurations.

            Up(left angle) on left, Down(right angle) on right
            hc4_blade_cables.png (1.31 MiB) Viewed 254 times
              HC4-Blade Single Node
              A single diskless node can also be produced for reusing an existing drive enclosure, separately mounted 3.5” HDDs, case conversion or custom enclosure. It measures 28mm thick, 89mm long and 95.6mm tall. The optional cable restraint locks the SATA connector in place so it can not be accidentally removed or disturbed.

              Dual drives require the case to be increased in width and length. The current blade design is 194mm in length and would need to be increased by 20mm for the SATA connector and another 5mm, at a minimum, for cable bend which totals 219mm; beyond my printer capabilities. So if you can print up to 220mm or more, a dual drive blade should be possible. The case is parametric so simply adjust the appropriate metric(drvdepth=105 to drvdepth=130 or more) at the beginning of the source file. To maximize access, if the variable “rear_drv” is enabled, it will place the drive mounting holes as far back in the case as possible based on the “drvdepth” value.

              Code: Select all

              /* user configurable options */
              mode = "model";                         // platter, model, explode, debug
              model = "blade";                        // blade, node, dualnode, cluster, rack, accessories
              top_height = 22;                        // blade=22mm, node & dualnode=18mm(minimum)
              bottom_height = 10;                     // blade=10mm(minimum)
              drvdepth = 105;                         // drive bay depth extension, blade=105mm, node & dualnode=0mm
              drvwidth = 0;                           // drive bay width extension, blade=0mm, node=0mm
              vents = 1;                              // side drive bay vents 0=disable, 1=enable
              oled = 1;                               // hc4 oled holder 0=disable, 1=enable
              ir_ports = 1;                           // openings for ir 0=disable, 1=sides, 2=end(diskless node)
              sata_cutout = 2;                        // sata openings 0=disable, 1=opening, 2=punchout
              sata_up_adapter = 1;                    // use sata up(left angle) adapter for drive location
              sata_cable = 2;                         // sata cable restraint 0=disable, 1=front, 2=back, 3=both
              rear_drv = 0;                           // drive location at far rear 0=disable, 1=enable
              i_rack = 0;                             // integrated rack interconnects 0=disable, 1=enable
              To use the “Explode”ed view mode, for those not familiar with animation in OpenSCAD, after selecting mode “explode” in the source file, select the OpenSCAD menu viewanimate, a new dialog bar will appear below the view port, 16 fps and 60 steps should set it in motion.

              All accessories(stands, cable restraint, rack hardware, etc) are located in the file hc4_blade_acc.stl or by selecting accessories as the model in the source file. Using the case integrated rack interconnects is preferable for strength, to the rack interconnect bracket in the accessory platter. I have not built out a rack so minor issues can be expected.

              Prerequisite – SBC Model Framework

              20210320 version 1.0
              (2.23 MiB) Downloaded 12 times
              These users thanked the author hominoid for the post (total 5):
              tobetter (Mon Mar 22, 2021 10:40 am) • odroid (Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:31 am) • chunna (Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:28 pm) • codewalker (Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:31 pm) • istanbulls (Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:48 pm)

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              Re: HC4 Blade

              Post by mad_ady »

              Again, congratulations on a wonderful design!
              These users thanked the author mad_ady for the post:
              hominoid (Tue Mar 23, 2021 4:20 am)

              Posts: 535
              Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:55 am
              languages_spoken: english
              ODROIDs: C2, C4, XU4, MC1, N1, N2, N2+, HC4
              Location: Lake Superior Basin, USA
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              Re: HC4 Blade

              Post by hominoid »

              I have been running this design passively and when I went to attach a fan the other day I realized the fan hole spacing was incorrect for the needed diagonal fan mount. It's the only issue I have found so I'm not going to do a new release right now. If you need active cooling, correct the current version 1.0 by changing lines 265 and 266 with the following and then regenerate the stl.

              Code: Select all

              translate([21+(43/2),35-5.5,floor_thick-adjust]) cylinder(d=7, h=2);
              translate([21+(43/2),35+34+5.5,floor_thick-adjust]) cylinder(d=7, h=2);

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