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Old 10-31-2016, 01:36 PM   #1
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Default Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

Ok, call me sentimental, but of all the computer-related stuff I've built over the years, this one was my absolute favorite without a doubt!

Now for the super cool story!!

In 2002, amid the VP6 failures that lead to the birth of this site, I needed a replacement server for the ailing VP6's that were limping along, hosting maybe 2-dozen sites I had contracts to host at the time. Back in that day, my "datacenter" consisted of a T1 line into my apartment I had just recently moved into in Rolla, MO about 8 months prior.... I needed something with girth/expandability, but racks were simply out of my budget at the time...I was pretty broke at the time, just starting a small hosting business.

I recapped the VP6's, which bought me a little time, but I still needed servers with a little more power, as the hosting business was picking up...badcaps foundation was laid! ...at the time, a subdomain off another domain name I owned hosted off one of the recapped VP6's, and recapping writeups I created that were mirrored over at vp6-board.com. I sold my second car I had at that time so I could build this system without going into debt, bargain hunted for months for internals, and then came the case dilemma...

Finding the balance between what I could afford and what was feasible was a very narrow window...until a day I stumbled upon a case dealer known as casedepot.com, and there she was. 16 bays capable of holding 2 complete systems, the ultimate multiple motherboard server case! It was their model known as "1620A" IIRC, but carried no name brand with 2x dual redundant Zippy (EMACSS) 400W PSU's. Judging from the drive rails it uses, its appears to have been OEM'd by Enlight. At the end of the day, it was 2x Intel SHG2 motherboards with 2.0GHz/400FSB socket603 processors, 3gb RAM per system. I also anted up for the ZCR controller, which converted the onboard SCSI into a RAID controller with 4x 150gb in a 300GB RAID10 per system....this was a beast at the time!! Shortly after this system was commissioned in January 2003, badcaps.net domain was registered that following April and this was badcaps.net's first official server!!

In early 2006, I partnered with a guy and we went in on a couple racks in a real datacenter, and I sold this server to an outfit in Atlanta, GA. It more than paid for itself at this point, and I sold it to them for twice what it cost me to build....so I was happy to see it go!! I reduced the HDD's to 2x 150GB in a RAID1 per system and kept a couple of the extra bay coolers. ...and I never really thought about it much since. I sold out all my interest in the hosting business in 2009, as it was all I could do to keep ahead of the repair end of BCN.

Fast forward to the present.... Mikey (Stretch0069) came by here for a visit a couple months ago, and he asked about that server...and I told him the cliffs notes of the above story... A couple weeks after Mikey's visit, I get a message about something unrelated from a good inside contact I have at the Atlanta-based business that bought this machine. I recalled the conversation I had with Mikey, and it jogged my memory....and I asked about the machine.... He tells me the server quit working about a year ago (2015), and they replaced it with new stuff.... He also said they had cleaned out their IT room and this server along with a bunch of other stuff was going to the recycler soon. He was kind enough to offer it back @ the cost of shipping it before they sent it away. I told him hell yes!! Talk about timing...and here we are!!

Fedex just delivered it via freight truck:





Cut out of the packaging and wheeled inside. The lock cylinder on the front door is broken, but present....I'll have to see if a locksmith can repair it. It came with the original keys, but ironically enough, I still had a key for it.







They added a NIC to each system and up'd each system's memory to 6gb. One of the heatsink fans are broken...



That was as I remembered...



They cycled some HDD's, there's now a pair of 300gb SCSI drives for each system. Not sure how they're configured.



I haven't any idea what I'll actually do with this yet, haven't even tried firing it up....but after 9 years, a long-lost friend & Badcaps.net's original server has come home!!



I think of where I was in life when this was designed & built in 2002, the use I got from it, and then it was sold in 2006....and then 9 years later to come home again....life is funny sometimes.
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Old 10-31-2016, 02:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

nice... should create a museum corner in your office and put it there for display and to be enshrined. and when ppl come by to visit, they can see and pay their respects to that lil bit of history. bcn museum shrine 4tw!

Last edited by ChaosLegionnaire; 10-31-2016 at 02:30 PM..
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

I took it out to the garage and blasted it with the air hose, brought it back in and fired it up.

System 1 posted, one HDD clicked, the other HDD is dead.

System 2 posted, booted up to some version of Debian.

As I promised, I DOD wiped the drives that were accessible. I ran memtest and other diagnostics, the system cores appear stable. That's as far as I got with it.
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
I took it out to the garage and blasted it with the air hose, brought it back in and fired it up.

System 1 posted, one HDD clicked, the other HDD is dead.

System 2 posted, booted up to some version of Debian.

As I promised, I DOD wiped the drives that were accessible. I ran memtest and other diagnostics, the system cores appear stable. That's as far as I got with it.
Reminds me of computer dumbies that bring a PC to me, soo typical of Vermont and New Hampshire!

When the HDD fails or gets corrupted, they act like the motherboard is bad!

That's how I got PCs in the past!
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

Just an update:

Both systems passed system core testing (CPU, RAM, Motherboard). Sys-A had HDD's with bad sectors, Sys-B had 2 dead HDD's. On the pallet was also a rackmount NAS with 8x 2TB WD Greens. All were good, as I DBAN's them all as I was asked to do.

I pondered a couple days as to what practical use I could get from this old relic....and a really cool NAS came to mind...as a NAS/media server doesn't require much CPU power or RAM. Fill all the 5.25 full height bays with these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817994152
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

a full poly mod and then put it back to work!
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

Yeah. We all get the good feeling of an old friend. Im looking for a SunBlade 1000 (or 2000) myself. I still got the fibre-channel HDD. Not sure if it is the OS drive or the data/ISV drive. Im hoping for the later of the two.
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kc8adu View Post
a full poly mod and then put it back to work!
It is mostly poly, only a couple lytics on these boards....but yes, they will be replaced. I wish I had a fast enough of a connection here, I'd set it back up as this site's server if I did.....this relic is more than powerful enough to run this site. Plenty of life in it still!
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

Wifi?
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Old 11-04-2016, 07:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

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Wifi?
No....DSL in a rural area and being on the outer fringe of the node....its not the fastest... Fine for browsing...but useless for anyting server-related.
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

gonna fix up that mag trinitron?
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

Nice.

And I thought the one X5DAL-TG2 of mine was old history.... IIRC it was the forum's first server's board?
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kc8adu View Post
gonna fix up that mag trinitron?
It works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
Nice.

And I thought the one X5DAL-TG2 of mine was old history.... IIRC it was the forum's first server's board?
Those came a little later. they were the upgrade to the 400FSB to 533FSB and were sent to the datacenter in rack cases during that migration, and were BCN's first servers from a 'real' datacenter. I had 3 of those. I used one as my main rig, one as a server, and one as a hotspare. I still have one, you got one, and I sold the other one....once upon a time, the server one and the hotspare were on the same shelf, so not sure which one you got...but I think it was the server one. The hotspare never got used for anything beyond testing. The one I still have is the one I used as a main rig way back when....I think... 10~12 years goes by, some of these finer points start to get a little foggy.
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Old 11-07-2016, 04:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

Scored 3x of the Icy Dock SAS hotswap cage dirt cheap on ebay. I need 3 more, so I'll keep my eyes peeled....this is a low priority project, so I'll bargain hunt.

Box shot...



Out of the boxes...



Anyone have any use for a 16-bay rackmount NAS?

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Old 11-11-2016, 12:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

That's awesome TC!
Good to see an old friend come back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
No....DSL in a rural area and being on the outer fringe of the node....its not the fastest... Fine for browsing...but useless for anyting server-related.
Maybe used it as a redundant data back-up of BCN then. That way, even if anything ever happens to BCN, none of the info and pictures will be lost.

Maybe also good to have if the internet goes off and you feel like reading some old posts on BCN.
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Old 11-18-2016, 08:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

I started disassembling this case today. When it first got here, I noticed there was an extra power supply module inside the HDD side of the case....I wondered why, and then curiosity got the better of me and I contacted my inside source at the company that I sold this system to. He told me that around 2010 or so one of the modules had incinerated itself. They had such a hard time locating a replacement that when they did, they ordered a spare, just incase....and I'll get back to this subject in a few minutes.

So anyway....the case apart.







I replaced the heatsinks & fans. The fans were very out of balance, worn, and noisy! I scored NOS 4x OEM Intel full copper on fleabay.



The removable trays. These trays are on ball bearing drawer tracks in the case, which allow them to open like a drawer or be removed...great design IMO. Modern tool boxes don't even have drawers of this good quality!



Testing afterward, just to make sure I didn't kill it.



Trays reassembled.


Now for the PSU story! Three of them were flunky ass dirty, one was moderately dirty, and one was new in box.





PSU module disassembled.



These are so nasty that I bathed them in the sink with simple green and then blasted them with the air hose to chase the water out.



Then I see it.....the modules from SYS-B loaded with CapXon.....none of them appeared bad in the two modules from SYS-B.


...but then I get to SYS-A's modules, the system that had the one self destruct back in 2010....the surviving module, low & behold, bloated CrapXons...so its obvious what caused the destruction of the other module, even though I didn't get to autopsy it....its pretty self-explanatory.





This is the replacement module, they wised up and used UCC KZH instead of those shitty CrapXon's....





So here's the stopping point for now.... The hotwash cleaned PSU's are ready for recapping...atleast 3 of them anyway...



That's all for now.
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Old 11-19-2016, 10:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

All that hardware should keep you busy in case you have nothing to do. Love the story about the formation of bad caps. It attest to the fact the American Dream is still alive.
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:40 PM   #18
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

Not trying to bring politics into the mix, but hopefully Trump can bring that American dream back. It's just sad that more than 90% of household goods are China-made.

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Old 11-19-2016, 12:53 PM   #19
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

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Not trying to bring politics into the mix, but hopefully Trump can bring that American dream back. It's just sad that more than 90% of household goods are China-made.

Dont get your hopes up, they are all the same. Same agenda same game, just different characters. All corrupt.
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Old 11-19-2016, 02:37 PM   #20
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Default Re: Some True BCN History - Homecoming of a long lost friend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TechGeek View Post
Not trying to bring politics into the mix, but hopefully Trump can bring that American dream back. It's just sad that more than 90% of household goods are China-made.

The problem is people want cheap. They generally don't care where it comes from.
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