Raspberry Pi’s line of low-cost single-board computers may not be the only game in town, but their $35 price tags, high level of community support, and small size make them ideal for DIY projects… like building your own server for decentralized web applications.

The NODE Mini Server V2 is, as the name suggests, an update to an earlier DIY server. But it’s a pretty nifty looking device that packs a Raspberry Pi 3, a 2.5 inch hard drive, and other components inside a tiny 3D-printed case.

It’s not the simplest DIY project I’ve ever seen, but there’s something kind of soothing about watching the build process, which start at about 4:50 in the video below.

Basically the Raspberry Pi is housed between top and bottom custom printed circuit boards (PCBs) that make up the top and bottom of the case, although you’ll also need a bunch of other components — you can find the complete list at NODE’s website.

There are some air vents on the top and back of the case, and cut-outs that leave the USB, Ethernet, and SD card slots accessible. Speaking of the ports, they’re actually been separated from the Raspberry Pi itself to help with cooling and reduce the profile of overall size of the NODE Mini Server.

A fan is also placed on the opposite side of the NODE Mini Server V2. You can optionally wire it to the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins for more advanced functionality.

Since the designs for the case and printed circuit boards used in the NODE Mini Server are open source, you can modify them for custom cooling solutions or to make room for your own custom PCBs. And if you’d like to use something more powerful than a Raspberry Pi, the system can also be modified to work with an Asus Tinker Board or another single-board computer.


via MiniMachines

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6 replies on “NODE Mini Server V2 is a DIY Raspberry Pi-based server”

  1. How in the world is this called a server?
    I made a comment once, and only one company stepped up, creating a 10 core, 20 thread pi, but the price was rather expensive ($145 or something).
    That’s what I call a server.

    1. Hot take: a server doesn’t have to be some crazy, specced-out machine.

      If people have been able to convert a Commodore 64 into a web server, then I could happily call a Pi one.

    2. Moody’s comment is hardly a hot take. The definition of a server is any computer that serves files or services to client machines. The majority of server instances on AWS are probably not much more powerful than a Pi. I routinely fire up EC2 instances with less RAM than a pi and only one core. They do plenty.

      If you’re running a popular or resource-intensive enough service to merit using some crazy 20 thread franken-Pi, you should probably not be using a Raspberry Pi at all. But if you need a personal server and don’t feel the need to show everyone how big your member is, a stock Pi will do quite a lot.

  2. This device looks almost like it could fit inside a standard 3.5″ slot. It doesn’t have that mounting holes for that, but it looks like it could easily be redesigned to fit.
    And if that happened, and if it could be made to run off SATA power and you had a spare PSU, you could cram several of these things into a computer case alongside an ordinary motherboard, or into one of those 5″ hard drive enclosures.
    It could be a neat experiment to see how a few of these syncing to each other would compare to a RAID, particularly when it comes to speed of data recovery.

    1. Probably not too well. IO latency on ethernet is much higher than on SATA. You could theoretically do it, but it would be like reinventing the wheel…using sausages….maybe if you’re just mirroring…but forget about data striping with error correction.

  3. Reminds me of my linkstation with optware. I transitioned past NAS when my server became my desktop.
    This NODE thing is more art than technology.

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