CompHAQ I: The Challenges

The Luggable Mainframe


Challenge: Powering the cluster and network

  • 6 NanoPi Fire3 LTS nodes
    • 1 node uses 2A / 5V
    • 2A x 6nodes = 12A total
    • 12A x 5V = 60W total
  • TP-Link 8-port gigabit switch
    • uses 9V / 0.6A

Challenge: Fitting cluster nodes, network switch(es), and 5v power supply(ies), along with all wiring

  • create a custom 3d-printed sub-chassis and modular rail system
    • will model a custom dovetail-railed backplane
    • each module contains 1 node, which slides into the backplane with rails
  • use a single dual-output power supply (to power cluster nodes + network switch)
  • remove casing on network switch
  • use the tiniest ever ISA-IDE-CF adapter
  • use flat cables
  • use slim fans

Challenge: Serial Connection from old 12v RS-232 to 3.3v raspi serial

Challenge: Local installation of MS-DOS requires local storage

Challenge: Cooling

  • will use individual fans for each node, mounted on the custom module with a neato bracket that i’ll have to design

Challenge: Cluster Terminal UI that fits on compaq screen and is still useful

  • I will probably use tmux + tputs to accomplish this — 640×400 still gives me plenty of screen real estate for a cluster UI

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