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Finding The Right Power Supply

Toaster RAID Returns, Better Than Ever
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With the exception of Toaster RAID #1, the systems have all used an external "brick" power supply that is similar to what is used to power laptop PCs. Toaster RAIDs #2 and #3 had modest power requirements: 2.9 V for the CPU and 5/12 V leads for the drives, motherboard, and a small fan. Toaster RAIDs #2 and #3 are powered by a small 12 V supply that connects to a power distribution PCB inside the toaster that measures about 1.5" by 3.0" by 0.5".

Logic Supply, Mini-ITX.com, Polywell, and Mini-Box.com all have Web sites that offer a wealth of information about new compact internal distribution units and I quickly learned that Toaster RAID circa 2009 would need a more robust power supply. The power rating of the CPU alone was 45 W. There would be four instead of two drives, a high-RPM CPU fan, and a smaller fan to cool the Nvidia MCP78s chipset. A helpful technician at Polywell suggested I use a 12 V 110 W power supply with a new "pico PSU" internal power distribution unit. I also had a few 5 V/12 V Y-splitters and a couple of SATA 5 V/12 V HDD power adapters in hand.

This is the internal power distribution unit for the mini-ITX motherboard. It connects directly to the motherboard. A series of Y-connectors is attached to the 5 V/12 V lead to power the rest of the system.

The internal power distribution unit and the external 12 V/120 W power supply

Getting The System To Come Up

First I put Fedora and CentOS on the system. This was to make sure the system came up and the chipset, SATA, Ethernet, and other drivers were available, and that all the board components could be detected. This worked fine so I pulled down OpenFiler and FreeNAS. 

OpenFiler failed to detect the hard drives. FreeNAS installed fine, but failed to detect the Realtek NICs. Some quick Web research indicated that this was a known issue and could be fixed in one of the 32-bit daily builds of FreeNAS, which I downloaded and installed without issue. Using FreeNAS, I set up the system, created a RAID 5 array, and moved a bunch of files from my Mac and notebook to the new server.

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  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , February 4, 2009 5:11 AM
    I thought the idea in fitting a NAS into a toaster is that you plugged the disks through the bread slots!
  • 1 Hide
    NateDawg80126 , February 4, 2009 5:15 AM
    "Is that Patrick Swayze!?" -Moses as he looked across the Red Sea.
  • 3 Hide
    boostercorp , February 4, 2009 8:40 AM
    ytoledano3I thought the idea in fitting a NAS into a toaster is that you plugged the disks through the bread slots!

    yeah it would ve been nice if you could just shove in two hot plug & play drives in there.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 4, 2009 4:28 PM
    gives a whole new meaning to "hot swappable" ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    Astara , February 4, 2009 8:44 PM
    boostercorpyeah it would ve been nice if you could just shove in two hot plug & play drives in there.

    Imagine a backup-product like the various 'one-touch' backup offerings -- but in this case, you just push a drive into the toaster slot -- it begins the backup process, when done, it can eject** the drive. That sounds very sweet.

    **-raise drive, not physically throw it out of the toaster! :-)
  • 1 Hide
    Shadow703793 , February 4, 2009 8:57 PM
    Quote:
    Using the small 2.5" drives, there is easily room for eight to 12 drives.

    Then why not use some of the 640/750GB or 1.5/2TB drives?

    Any ways cool mod.
  • -2 Hide
    ph3412b07 , February 4, 2009 9:26 PM
    ghetto-fab :D 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 5, 2009 10:11 AM
    Here's a better one:
    http://www.embeddedarm.com/software/arm-netbsd-toaster.php
  • 0 Hide
    arkadi , February 5, 2009 10:41 AM
    Grate job, looks perfect mate.
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , February 5, 2009 3:30 PM
    wouldve been cooler to put in a dvd drive in the bread slots.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 9, 2009 4:22 PM
    How's this hold up in a heavy sea? Data corrupt, read errors as you pound to weather could be a problem. Also where's the view of the light show, I wanted to see those led's flashing and shining thru the bread slots. A hollow-graphic hula girl shining a-top the slots would be a motivational feature. Ideas for toaster RAID 2012
  • 0 Hide
    studiopronto , February 17, 2009 7:59 PM
    Maybe you could connect it wirelessly to your network and "hide" it in your kitchen.
  • 0 Hide
    boostercorp , February 18, 2009 6:02 PM
    studioprontoMaybe you could connect it wirelessly to your network and "hide" it in your kitchen.


    hmmm and then your girlfriend get's a craving for some toasted bread ...
    all kinds of crumbs and sh** inside your raid
  • 0 Hide
    annihilator-x- , February 19, 2009 9:55 AM
    Seems like a perfect place to hide all the p0rn, innocent looking toaster.
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , May 22, 2009 12:12 AM
    studioprontoMaybe you could connect it wirelessly to your network and "hide" it in your kitchen.


    Sounds like an amazing way to hide something.
    Possibly make it so 1 of the slots work, and insulate the computer from the heat? Forcing a shutdown if the toaster is actually used. All wireless of course. :) 

    boostercorphmmm and then your girlfriend get's a craving for some toasted bread ...all kinds of crumbs and sh** inside your raid


    Ha. My brother used to put waffles in our VCR, and yet it still lived. A protected compuer would be fine.