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T1000 board as a basis for silent workstation.

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T1000 board as a basis for silent workstation.

Karel Gardas
Hello,

recent thread on the mailing list provoked me to send a question I'm
tinkering with for quite some time now. Do any of you guys have any
experience with T1000 board? I'm specifically interesting in its power
connector. Is that really ATX 24 pin power? If so, perhaps this board
may be used as a basis for silent workstation? Well, if GPU cards are
no-go for whatever reasons (unsupported by firmware?) for this, than
at least for silent server setup suitable to be run in ordinary office
environment without a need for proper noise insulated server room...

I do have really nice T2000 next to my desk, but when run, this thing
annoys me a lot. 62 dBA. I'm using ears protector like for chainsaw,
but still few hours of debugging on this and my head is going in
circles...

Thanks!
Karel

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Re: T1000 board as a basis for silent workstation.

Paolo Aglialoro
Just a thought about technical feasibility of the whole operation: if such
loud fan cooling is needed, this means there's a lot of heat generated. So,
heat will be ur no 1 enemy.

U could go liquid cooling over the CPU, but what about the rest of the
board? And what about the missing fans? Will the system turn on/run/boot?

And, btw, just stick with original PSU, it's been DESIGNED for that board.

One last remark: this machine features neither USB nor optical drive
(although the creator of opensxce claims he could boot by directly
attaching a sata DVD, I never succeeded in getting openbsd/solaris CD boot
this way on my T1000), so it's either a netinstall box or you gotta rework
the HD on some other sparc64 hw before (at least some bootloader plus
bsd.rd on it). And before this also update OBP to latest possible
version....

Now you know all that is waiting for you... Good luck
Il 16/lug/2015 23:43, "Karel Gardas" <[hidden email]> ha scritto:

Hello,

recent thread on the mailing list provoked me to send a question I'm
tinkering with for quite some time now. Do any of you guys have any
experience with T1000 board? I'm specifically interesting in its power
connector. Is that really ATX 24 pin power? If so, perhaps this board
may be used as a basis for silent workstation? Well, if GPU cards are
no-go for whatever reasons (unsupported by firmware?) for this, than
at least for silent server setup suitable to be run in ordinary office
environment without a need for proper noise insulated server room...

I do have really nice T2000 next to my desk, but when run, this thing
annoys me a lot. 62 dBA. I'm using ears protector like for chainsaw,
but still few hours of debugging on this and my head is going in
circles...

Thanks!
Karel
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Re: T1000 board as a basis for silent workstation.

Karel Gardas
On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 12:15 AM, Paolo Aglialoro <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Just a thought about technical feasibility of the whole operation: if such
> loud fan cooling is needed, this means there's a lot of heat generated. So,
> heat will be ur no 1 enemy.

The heat produced is a side effect of consumed electricity. You do
have T1000 so you can measure how much it consumes, but I would guess
to be around 200W max. CPU is around 70-80W. So those are two 100W
light-bulbs or just middle-range PC. Do you need to produce that much
noise for cooling PC? IMHO not, the problem is with the size of the
fan, you need much bigger fans rotating much slowly yet pushing same
or more air. There will be a need to have kind of wind tunel around
CPU and perhaps also dimms. Drives should be ok like the remaining of
the board. Just a bit of moving air should be enough here. The size of
fan is also the reason behind the need to completely replace PSU.
You are probably right that the box will not boot or it'll switch off
shortly after power up due to missing fans. I think there exist some
trick(s) how to convince the board that the "atttached" fan are ok and
rotating at appropriate speed. I guess those are PWM fans, so this
should do the job: http://www.techidiots.net/notes/fake-fan-sensor --
if those are not PWM, then the trick will be different, but still
possible IMHO.

> U could go liquid cooling over the CPU, but what about the rest of the
> board? And what about the missing fans? Will the system turn on/run/boot?
>
> And, btw, just stick with original PSU, it's been DESIGNED for that board.

That's the question. Is it really designed for the board? Or is it
just rebranded ATX PSU for 1U case?

> One last remark: this machine features neither USB nor optical drive

No USB? Hmm, that means no keyboard nor mouse so no workstation but
still possible silent server.

> (although the creator of opensxce claims he could boot by directly
> attaching a sata DVD, I never succeeded in getting openbsd/solaris CD boot
> this way on my T1000), so it's either a netinstall box or you gotta rework
> the HD on some other sparc64 hw before (at least some bootloader plus
> bsd.rd on it). And before this also update OBP to latest possible
> version....

Netinstall should not be problem here.

Thanks for the comments!
Karel

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Re: T1000 board as a basis for silent workstation.

Abel Abraham Camarillo Ojeda-2
On Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 5:54 PM, Karel Gardas <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 12:15 AM, Paolo Aglialoro <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Just a thought about technical feasibility of the whole operation: if such
>> loud fan cooling is needed, this means there's a lot of heat generated. So,
>> heat will be ur no 1 enemy.
>
> The heat produced is a side effect of consumed electricity. You do
> have T1000 so you can measure how much it consumes, but I would guess
> to be around 200W max. CPU is around 70-80W. So those are two 100W
> light-bulbs or just middle-range PC. Do you need to produce that much
> noise for cooling PC? IMHO not, the problem is with the size of the
> fan, you need much bigger fans rotating much slowly yet pushing same
> or more air. There will be a need to have kind of wind tunel around
> CPU and perhaps also dimms. Drives should be ok like the remaining of
> the board. Just a bit of moving air should be enough here. The size of
> fan is also the reason behind the need to completely replace PSU.
> You are probably right that the box will not boot or it'll switch off
> shortly after power up due to missing fans. I think there exist some
> trick(s) how to convince the board that the "atttached" fan are ok and
> rotating at appropriate speed. I guess those are PWM fans, so this
> should do the job: http://www.techidiots.net/notes/fake-fan-sensor --
> if those are not PWM, then the trick will be different, but still
> possible IMHO.

The PSU of the T1000 uses '4-connector' fan, as far as I know - and I know
very little after trying to hack into this PSU to make it's fan do less noise -
the fourth connector is used for 'sending rotating speed', so I tried to
make it do a lot less noise by under voltaging it, like all other fans in the
T1000 (3 pin fans) but the PSU and the System Controller detects that
the fan isn't rotating at the speed it told it to do and after three tries
the PSU shuts down and _bricks_ itself, giving you a nice message in SC
telling you to 'PSU: fan problem, replace FPU' - or something like that...

>> U could go liquid cooling over the CPU, but what about the rest of the
>> board? And what about the missing fans? Will the system turn on/run/boot?
>>
>> And, btw, just stick with original PSU, it's been DESIGNED for that board.
>
> That's the question. Is it really designed for the board? Or is it
> just rebranded ATX PSU for 1U case?
>

I fix the heating problem by opening the case, putting a piece of paper in
the chassis sensor and dedicating a 40cm diameter standing fan to cool
my T1000... - having its integrated (except PSU) fans undervoltaged

>> One last remark: this machine features neither USB nor optical drive
>
> No USB? Hmm, that means no keyboard nor mouse so no workstation but
> still possible silent server.
>

You use serial to admin it...

>> (although the creator of opensxce claims he could boot by directly
>> attaching a sata DVD, I never succeeded in getting openbsd/solaris CD boot
>> this way on my T1000), so it's either a netinstall box or you gotta rework
>> the HD on some other sparc64 hw before (at least some bootloader plus
>> bsd.rd on it). And before this also update OBP to latest possible
>> version....
>
> Netinstall should not be problem here.
>
> Thanks for the comments!
> Karel
>

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Re: T1000 board as a basis for silent workstation.

Karel Gardas
On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 7:07 AM, Abel Abraham Camarillo Ojeda
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> The PSU of the T1000 uses '4-connector' fan, as far as I know - and I know
> very little after trying to hack into this PSU to make it's fan do less noise -
> the fourth connector is used for 'sending rotating speed', so I tried to
> make it do a lot less noise by under voltaging it, like all other fans in the
> T1000 (3 pin fans) but the PSU and the System Controller detects that
> the fan isn't rotating at the speed it told it to do and after three tries
> the PSU shuts down and _bricks_ itself, giving you a nice message in SC
> telling you to 'PSU: fan problem, replace FPU' - or something like that...

This looks optimistic. So SC is meassuring only PSU's fan speed and
not front fans speeds? Have you tried to completely unconnect front
fans and see what happen?
On the other hand it looks like PSU may be more complex. but well,
even standard ATX PSU communicates its fan speed to the board so the
chance is still here.

> I fix the heating problem by opening the case, putting a piece of paper in
> the chassis sensor and dedicating a 40cm diameter standing fan to cool
> my T1000... - having its integrated (except PSU) fans undervoltaged

So how your modified T1000 sounds then? What exactly have you used to
undervolt front fans? Diodes? To what voltage you got by it still to
have fans rotating?

>>> One last remark: this machine features neither USB nor optical drive
>>
>> No USB? Hmm, that means no keyboard nor mouse so no workstation but
>> still possible silent server.
>>
>
> You use serial to admin it...

Yes, that was just a remark about possible workstation usage and by
workstation I mean also with GPU/keyboard/mouse so have SPARC doing
whole firefox/thunderbird/X work. I can still use remote X access
indeed.

Thanks a lot for your information!
Karel

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Re: T1000 board as a basis for silent workstation.

Abel Abraham Camarillo Ojeda-2
On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 1:41 AM, Karel Gardas <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 7:07 AM, Abel Abraham Camarillo Ojeda
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> The PSU of the T1000 uses '4-connector' fan, as far as I know - and I know
>> very little after trying to hack into this PSU to make it's fan do less noise -
>> the fourth connector is used for 'sending rotating speed', so I tried to
>> make it do a lot less noise by under voltaging it, like all other fans in the
>> T1000 (3 pin fans) but the PSU and the System Controller detects that
>> the fan isn't rotating at the speed it told it to do and after three tries
>> the PSU shuts down and _bricks_ itself, giving you a nice message in SC
>> telling you to 'PSU: fan problem, replace FPU' - or something like that...
>
> This looks optimistic. So SC is meassuring only PSU's fan speed and
> not front fans speeds? Have you tried to completely unconnect front
> fans and see what happen?

SC measures the speed of all four front fans (use #showenviron),
as far as I know - too busy to check right now - it doesn't display
the speed of the PSU fan; if you shutdown a fan you get a warning on SC
but nothing else - as far as I recall...

> On the other hand it looks like PSU may be more complex. but well,
> even standard ATX PSU communicates its fan speed to the board so the
> chance is still here.
>

I can't confirm this.

>> I fix the heating problem by opening the case, putting a piece of paper in
>> the chassis sensor and dedicating a 40cm diameter standing fan to cool
>> my T1000... - having its integrated (except PSU) fans undervoltaged
>
> So how your modified T1000 sounds then? What exactly have you used to
> undervolt front fans? Diodes? To what voltage you got by it still to
> have fans rotating?

It sounds less like a vacuum cleaner and more as a hair drier in 'low' mode...
I used an serial array of rectifier diodes, the model I used might not
be the best
one for the task but it was what I had available in my city - and
I don't know a lot about electronics...

1N4004: http://www.diodes.com/datasheets/ds28002.pdf


I can't confirm the voltage they are operating right now - I lost those notes
and I'm too lazy to check; but I recall that I use like 10 of those serially for
each fan...

>>>> One last remark: this machine features neither USB nor optical drive
>>>
>>> No USB? Hmm, that means no keyboard nor mouse so no workstation but
>>> still possible silent server.
>>>
>>
>> You use serial to admin it...
>
> Yes, that was just a remark about possible workstation usage and by
> workstation I mean also with GPU/keyboard/mouse so have SPARC doing
> whole firefox/thunderbird/X work. I can still use remote X access
> indeed.
>
> Thanks a lot for your information!
> Karel

you're welcome!

Saludos~

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Re: T1000 board as a basis for silent workstation.

L.R. D.S.
In reply to this post by Paolo Aglialoro
> U could go liquid cooling over the CPU, but what about the rest of the
> board? And what about the missing fans? Will the system turn on/run/boot?


I don't know how feasible it is, but some people are using paraffin oil to
submerge the board. Since the fan would not be needed anymore, you have less
energy usage and completely quiet cooling.
Also, I think you can compile OpenBoot and do undervolting.


> One last remark: this machine features neither USB nor optical drive


There are hubs too, like PCI > USB.

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Re: T1000 board as a basis for silent workstation.

Paolo Aglialoro
On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 6:06 PM, L.R. D.S. <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> > One last remark: this machine features neither USB nor optical drive
>
>
> There are hubs too, like PCI > USB.
>

Interesting! Did you find some that are recognized by the firmware? Also
for booting?
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