Author Archives: Damien Gardner - Page 2

Network Cabling

Power is back on, and we’re over most of the damage, so time to get back into the PiCloud!  It’s time to sort out network cabling.  This took some doing, as I had to dismantle the chassis at the rear.  But now it’s sorted 🙂


Power Out!

Ugh!  We just had an EPIC storm, and currently have no power other than what I have in all the deep cycle batteries in all the UPS’s etc.  But I’ve been a bit lax since we shifted into this house.  Settling into becoming a Family man and all that.  Used to be I had a go bag, plenty of spare fuel, auto-start genny. The works.  This has caught me out fairly hardcore.  Mobile network is down, as EVERYONE is trying to use it as noone has a hard-line phone anymore – they’re all DECT handsets whose base stations don’t work when there’s no power.  Plus I give it 24hr and we’ll have NO mobile network anyway..

So we need power to the comms gear.  When my old work moved out of their old office into a new one, I scored a bunch of DC UPS’s.  Little APC 40V jobbies with 24v daughter cards.  The Mikrotik router will take 24v happily, but the TPLink DSL modem? Not so much. It wants 5v.

IMG_3150IMG_3152 Yep, that works nicely 🙂


Yeah! Internal work done!

So today I put four circuit breakers in – three for the three rails to Pi’s, and one for the rail supplying the Arduino, relay driver board, and the Relays themselves.


And then it was time to properly mount the Arduino, and make sure the relay driver was insulated ok 😉 (Yes, I used cardboard :-p )


It looks pretty darned sweet though!

IMG_3111P4060773 P4060774P4060775

Now it’s time to put the Pi’s on their Perspex carrier boards.IMG_3112IMG_3115

And the moment of awesomeness.   SIXTEEN Pi’s MOUNTED AND INSTALLED!IMG_3116 IMG_3117 IMG_3118

Yep, that is beautiful!   Hmm, need to sort out network cabling now I guess..

Cabling almost done!

Yep, I was right. That’s a LOT of ribbon cable!  It should sit fairly cleanly though 🙂


It’s also a LOT of normal hookup wire.


Finally fitting it all into the chassis.  It actually fits VERY nicely!IMG_3096IMG_3099

Yes, I plait my cables.  Always have (You should see my rack cabling :-p), always will 🙂IMG_3100IMG_3101

Module 1 wired!  And time for Module 2


Oh, you know how I said the wire on the ATX extender didn’t look thick enough? Yeah, it wasn’t!  Melted the first time I fired it up!  Had to pull all wires from the socket, and run new cable from each pin.  That was the load of JUST the relays. (So ~2 A)


Trial run of the full 48 Relays

Starting to feel the pain of how much wiring there is just in the Relay Driver board.  Wishing I’d had the forethought to simply get a Board printed up in china 🙂P3290758P3290759

Dismantled an ATX extender to get myself an ATX socket to power the relays from 🙂 The wire seems a little thing.. But if it’ll power a motherboard with multiple PCI cards etc, it should be fine?


Started cutting the Ribbon cable for the Pi power cables.  Man, there is going to be SO much of this!


Power inputs for the Relay boards.  So much wiring!


And for some fun – here’s a full on, reboot, off test of all 48 relays!