dougo6905
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 25, 2016 6:39 pm

RPi3 cluster. dont want no stinkin cables, PCIe power?

Wed May 25, 2016 7:24 pm

Hello,

I'm lookin to rack mount and cluster a few cabinets full of RPi3s together and powering them through the GPIO ports and loggin into them via WiFi. This means I wouldn't need to have no stinkin wires. I like to do what this youtuber did but I want to do something a lot bigger.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_r3z1jYHAc

My biggest expectation is that over time that I would have RPi3 failures or would need to upgrade a lot of them at once and just want to yank the bad one out (either blink all the LEDs and find the one that isn't blinking, or if I do have connectivity, just blink the faulty system) and hot plug in a new one without having to bring down any other systems in the grid. (it might even be a RPi4 by that time.)

The youtuber didn't have the luxury of WiFi so he had to use network cables, but he did power the boards through the GPIO ports which I like.

I want to take it another step and hot plug Pi3s into a backplane or make a rigid 90 degree 40 pin GPIO to PCI-e adapter and plug them into PCIe slots to get power (This could be dual purposed for either small scale into existing desktops or a large scale PCIe backplane for power). I don't see anything like this, so it might be a nice fritzing project. Before I wasted a lot of time on this project researching the feasibility of this, I just wanted to see if there might be something out there already to jump start me.

paulhothersall
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:55 am

Re: RPi3 cluster. dont want no stinkin cables, PCIe power?

Thu May 26, 2016 3:32 am

Well one option is a bench 5V supply. You can go a ghetto cheap as you want with things like this link (bear in mind the ripple might not be smooth enough or they just plain lie on the specs)

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/output-5 ... 18641.html

Then get some strip board wire a 40 pin header socket ( 1 row 5V, the other GND) and peel an IDE cable apart into pairs with 0.1" sockets on them and shove on pins 4/6

20 pi per socket / cable. 2 x 40 sockets per supply . and 1A is fine for each pi with nothing else plugged in?

Repeat setup for as many devices as you want.

take your pick on how to stack the pi etc. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:786210 is good starting point and very high density. I guess you can unplug in the middle and remove any pi without an issue of powering down any other ones in the stack. and maybe put in a cable routing for the power, and side to side keying between stacked mount to go super super dense.

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bitscope
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Re: RPi3 cluster. dont want no stinkin cables, PCIe power?

Thu May 26, 2016 3:45 am

Doing this is one of the reasons we built BitScope Blade

http://bitscope.com/blade

ejolson
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: RPi3 cluster. dont want no stinkin cables, PCIe power?

Thu May 26, 2016 6:27 am

bitscope wrote:Doing this is one of the reasons we built BitScope Blade

http://bitscope.com/blade
Looks interesting. Does it work with the Pi 3? If so, how is there room for the heat sink.
dougo6905 wrote:The youtuber didn't have the luxury of WiFi so he had to use network cables
I suspect 30 to 60 WiFi transmitters in a rack might not work very well.

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RaTTuS
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Re: RPi3 cluster. dont want no stinkin cables, PCIe power?

Thu May 26, 2016 6:59 am

you may was well route out all the NIC to a small switch on board then uplink that elsewhere
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bitscope
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Re: RPi3 cluster. dont want no stinkin cables, PCIe power?

Thu May 26, 2016 10:26 am

We've got these heatsinks for Pi3:

https://goo.gl/bUzNhh

which fit nicely with Blade. Using these a rack of Pi3s runs at temperatures well below the governor limit. Blades mount vertically in the clusters and racks and convection cooling does it's job nicely. We have room for small fans in the racks if you really want to give them a workout.

The BR04A (1U rack with four Raspberry Pi) includes a 5-port switch and network cabling. Larger racks (like this 20 node cluster)

https://goo.gl/4cZlvI

can use a standard 24 port switch as shown. It looks like this (unboxed) from behind:

https://goo.gl/oKgqMv

and the rack design looks like this:

https://goo.gl/7q1Ojq

More news about all this stuff will be published at element14 and our website in June. Checkout Pimoroni's Bilge Tank soon too.

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Mandrewpi
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:58 am

Re: RPi3 cluster. dont want no stinkin cables, PCIe power?

Thu May 26, 2016 3:38 pm

bitscope wrote:Doing this is one of the reasons we built BitScope Blade

http://bitscope.com/blade
These are pretty neat! I may get a few more pi3s and buy a quad.
A computer is only as smart as its programmer. ;)

I own:
Pi B rev.2, Pi 2 B, Two Pi 3 B, Two Pi 3 b+, Pi 4 2Gb, Pi Zero 1.2, Pi Zero 1.3, Two Pi Zero Ws.
I'm known elsewhere as mandrew1444

pfwnicks
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:29 pm

Re: RPi3 cluster. dont want no stinkin cables, PCIe power?

Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:32 pm

bitscope wrote:We've got these heatsinks for Pi3:

https://goo.gl/bUzNhh

which fit nicely with Blade. Using these a rack of Pi3s runs at temperatures well below the governor limit. Blades mount vertically in the clusters and racks and convection cooling does it's job nicely. We have room for small fans in the racks if you really want to give them a workout.

More news about all this stuff will be published at element14 and our website in June. Checkout Pimoroni's Bilge Tank soon too.
Where did you find those heatsinks? They are much larger than anything I can find!

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