A smart little storage server — designed for 24/7-operation in your living room.

Step-by-step Build Instructions

Overview

  1. 1. Preparation
    1. 1.1 Fetch necessary tools
    2. 1.2 Check kit contents
    3. 1.3 Verify that SheevaPlug is working
  2. 2. Mainboard
    1. 2.1 Disassemble SheevaPlug
    2. 2.2 Cut and extend power lines
    3. 2.3 Install mainboard in enclosure
  3. 3. Power
    1. 3.1 Splice and install power cable
    2. 3.2 Hook up mainboard
  4. 4. Cooling
    1. 4.1 Install fan in enclosure
    2. 4.2 Hook up fan
  5. 5. Disk Scaffold
    1. 5.1 Assemble scaffold
    2. 5.2 Attach cables
    3. 5.3 Install scaffold in enclosure
    4. 5.4 Add rubber protectors

1. Preparation

1.1 Fetch necessary tools

Make sure that you have the following tools on hand:

1.2 Check kit contents

Unpack the basic kit, and check that the following parts are there:

Depending on stock left, the kit should also contain most of these:

Finally, the following parts you will have to buy yourself:

1.3 Verify that the SheevaPlug is working

Before we go ahead and void its warranty, let's verify that the SheevaPlug boots up, and that we can connect to it over the serial interface.

Open the SheevaPlug package and unpack everything inside.

Plug the SheevaPlug into a power socket and hook it up to your computer via USB. The small end of the included USB cable goes into the miniUSB port on the side of the SheevaPlug.

Then follow the instructions on plugcomputer.org (for Windows, Linux & Mac) to connect with a suitable terminal program.

The default login is root with password nosoup4u. Once you have logged in successfully, you can power off the plug again with shutdown -P now.

2. Mainboard

2.1 Disassemble SheevaPlug

OK, now let's extract the Evercube mainboard from the SheevaPlug. Make sure the SheevaPlug is not plugged in any more. First, you have to pull out the four litte rubber feet with pliers.

Hidden underneath are screws — go ahead and unscrew them. Now you can separate the two halves of the plastic enclosure. You might have to use some force here, but don't worry, we'll throw away the ugly plastic stuff anyway.

The — amazingly small — SheevaPlug mainboard is connected by an umbilical cord of four wires to the built-in power supply. If you are curious, you can pry open the black plastic cover and pull out the power supply as well.

2.2 Cut and extend power lines

The next step is to cut off the four power wires as close to the power supply as possible, so that the mainboard is free.

We are only going to use two of the wires, so cut off one red and one black wire (but preferably not right next to each other as I did here).

As the remaining two wires are a little short, we will extend them. Carefully strip off about 6mm of insulation from each end with pliers or scissors, and twist the copper strands tight with your fingers.

We will hook them up to the thin double-wire in the kit with Scotchlok clamps — make sure to connect the black wire to the wire with the black strip on the side. Insert two wire ends into each clamp, then press the little yellow plastic part down until it is level with the transparent part.

Now the mainboard is ready to be installed.

2.3 Install mainboard in enclosure

OK, let's open the enclosure by unscrewing the four steel screws that keep the top in place. Be sure to really use a good Phillips #2 screwdriver (labelled "PH2" on the handle or shaft) for this step, not any old screwdriver. The screws are pretty tight and we do not want to wear them out, or leave ugly scratches on the brushed steel surface. You can also apply a little WD-40 or similar to loosen the screws.

There are eight threaded metal standoffs on the bottom of the enclosure — the outer four will hold the disk scaffold, and the other four are for the mainboard. Fasten the mainboard down with four small screws in this orientation:

The power wires should run right behind the corner of the board which is next to the wall.

3. Power Supply

3.1 Splice and install power cable

4. Cooling

5. Disk Scaffold

Done!

When adding disks, start from the right-most slot. Carefully insert the disk, making sure it is correctly aligned with the connector on the backplane before you apply pressure. Fix the disk inside the slot with a plastic wedge (or folded paper).