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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:25 am 
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Hi,

How's this project going? I'm eagerly awaiting more photos and stories. ;-)


Regards,
@ndy


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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:37 am 
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I'm sorry I've been away for so long... work, travel, other misc nonsense got in the way.

This project has not been progressing as rapidly as I would have liked, but I have made some progress.

Basically, I am assembling the internals now. I am developing a multi-shelf rack which will house 4xPandaboard ARM systems. This will also have an internal switch, KVM and USB ports out front (worked into one of the drive blanks). Of course, a supply and numerous other items are being integrated as well. I will try and post some pictures of the in-progress work.

Thank you for your interest in my project!

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:34 pm 
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Hi,

sgifanatic wrote:
Basically, I am assembling the internals now. I am developing a multi-shelf rack which will house 4xPandaboard ARM systems. This will also have an internal switch, KVM and USB ports out front (worked into one of the drive blanks). Of course, a supply and numerous other items are being integrated as well. I will try and post some pictures of the in-progress work.

Thank you for your interest in my project!


Good work! I'm glad it's not stalled completely. I'm looking forward to the pictures.

:-)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:19 pm 
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Sorry for the poor quality, but here is some more progress. Back cover partially done with power supply mounted. Cut outs for HDMI and other connectors will need to be CNC'd later.

With 4 ARM based Pandaboards, we will have an 8-head system with HDMI outputs!

Image

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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:11 pm 
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sgifanatic wrote:
Here is a MIPS based board with an LVDS interface for video. They claim the 2.4 kernel supports video devices. Down-side is max res 800x600 and proc runs at 500Mhz. I'll keep looking to see if there is in fact an embedded board with video that could be a realistic candidate.

http://www.alchemydevices.ru/MIPS-board ... nglish.htm



This is an interesting board. It will make a nice project. Even though it isn't over the top but it is a good starting point.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:07 am 
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melchez wrote:
sgifanatic wrote:
Here is a MIPS based board with an LVDS interface for video. They claim the 2.4 kernel supports video devices. Down-side is max res 800x600 and proc runs at 500Mhz. I'll keep looking to see if there is in fact an embedded board with video that could be a realistic candidate.

http://www.alchemydevices.ru/MIPS-board ... nglish.htm



This is an interesting board. It will make a nice project. Even though it isn't over the top but it is a good starting point.


Thanks.

These are the boards I am going with.

http://pandaboard.org/

4 of them to begin with. Will give me an 8-head system with 4 wifi interfaces, 1 Gbps uplink and 8 ARM cores. Switching will all be internal and the interconnect between boards will run 1Gbps ethernet.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:07 pm 
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If I'm not wrong - panda boards seem to have wifi antennas onboard - your case is all-metal - I think you know what that will do to your reception :-)

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:54 am 
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You are correct. But I can interface external antennas. There is an antenna connector on the pandaboard. Multi WiFi could make this a pretty cool security and streaming box.

More work has happened since the last time I posted pics. Will post soon.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:53 am 
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Ok, here are some camera phone pics. Just to clarify for those who are looking at these images without having gone through the thread - this case has been built out of aluminum (faceplate) and sheet metal (back) from scratch, in Lahore, Pakistan. This is not an SGI Indigo plastic case, or a hacked/modified form of it. It was created from the ground up.

Now, for those who are up to speed with the thread: a lot of work has been done inside, and the entire case is fully complete. A mount for the PSU has been added, an internal tower allows 4 Pandaboards to be mounted, the backplate has been built completely custom with inset CNC cut openings for dual HDMI outs from each of the Pandaboards, the smaller backplate for the PSU has also been CNC cut. The front panel has a laser cut opening on the top left for a small colour LCD which will be controllable from one of the Pandaboards. The door hinges open and shut and a locking mechanism has been added also. What used to be the drive/tape bay is now going to have filler plates with USB ports CNC cut (those are done - but being painted).

I think within the next week or two I'll have the entire project wrapped up. It's been quite a journey!

Your comments welcome!!

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Looking good! Would love to see some pics of the internal structures you mentioned.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:33 pm 
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Very nice, now you have no choice but to write an emulator of Iris Indigo for those pandaboards :P

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:03 am 
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Hahaha :-) Yes, perhaps you're right.

I will post more pics tomorrow or day after. I had brass offsets machined that screw into each other which come together to form the pandaboard tower. I wasn't satisfied. Then I had them polished. And they look awesome now. I want the inside of this thing to look beautiful. It's ending up being a true labour of love :-)

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:18 am 
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That "tomorrow" took a while coming, but here are more pictures of the innards, as well as one of the entire system powered up and running. You will see 4 system boards all connected via an internal switch. I've tried to keep cabling as neat as possible. The only thing missing now is the USB controlled LCD display that will be embedded behind the cutout on the top-left corner of the front panel, i.e. where the SGI logo was on the original Indigo faceplate. In the second image below you will see there is nothing installed there at the moment.

Notice that I've used the HDD blank plates to wire up USB ports to the front. Each system board has one USB coming out front. All HDMI (8 heads) ports can be accessed via the rear - you can get a sense of that in some of the older images I've posted above. One slightly modded ATX PSU powers all the boards and has plenty of juice to spare.

For nekochanners joining us just now, this is not a modded Indigo plastic case - please see previous pages for build photos - this is a cast aluminium faceplate with a custom-built case and backplate.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:09 am 
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So you went with the four Pandaboard ES stack? Is that Linux in the shot with the monitor? What's the software setup like?

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:39 am 
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Yes, 4 Pandaboards. Ubuntu 11.04 ARM version is running on all 4 boards. This thing will support 8 heads off the 4 boards, though I haven't actually connected it up to 8 displays yet! The software load balancer I outlined in my initial concept posts about this project has not been done yet. That will probably take a while to do and is a project in its own right. However, once that is done, I should have the ability to run any Linux app and have it automatically distributed to the least loaded node, with display redirection to the "master" Pandaboard connected to the console.

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