HL15 backplane specs

So I’m not fully set on exactly what I’m doing. I have these:


And I was able to fit everything in on the one test board I did but I have a feeling I’ll snip off the molex ends of the highpoint cables and combine each of the 4 molex leads from a single fanout into just one. But I plan on taking assembly one row at a time.

A wild pile of sas cables appear.

I’ve been constantly refining the bracket. Heres some failures from the pile.

Finally landed on the final iteration that meets my needs.

Download here

I ended up settling on the 15+6mm stand offs. Anything taller was not a option for closing the lid. Anything shorter made it felt uncomfortable to squish the cables under.

The plate’s overall thickness is 3.25mm which I primarily needed make it rigid and it helped me meet my gap requirements with the stand offs(6mm). Closed the channels for installing the cables, inserting them into the opening at a angle is not a problem. Added in the middle row screw holes. All those things contributed to reaching the rigidity I was trying to achieve with the material I’m using.

Added a channel to reclaim some space for cable management on the side and some slits to run velcro ties through. It looks pretty clean already with the sas cables running through it (hiding the slack under the cable squish). Next step is to clean up the power. I think I’ll go 2 to 1. Wanted to try and do 4 to 1 but I don’t think I can fit that many wires into a molex crimp.

Some bonus photos.

Testing with a previous version of the bracket. The spacing is bang on for the sas cables. The drives inserted without having to aim the drives. All the credit goes to @yingste for the original drawing and figuring out all the measurements.

Yes the lid closes, I think its about 3-4mm clearance.


Planning my runs…

@yingste Have you thought about what to do with the last 3 sas cables off the last run? Shame we can’t find the single 1 run 45drives used.

I wonder if its safe to snip them off… Or maybe I’ll modify the plate for dense (2.x2.5) drives for the last runs.

Also, I stumbled upon this old assembly guide for the old pods. It has helped me in figuring out my chassis and how the old retrofit kit was put together. https://knowledgebase.45drives.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Assembly_instructions_for_the_Storinator_4.0_pods.pdf

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Awesome job. Even with the new .8mm baseplate I have and the stock standoffs I still don’t have anywhere near as much space above the drives. As an update on that I can say that .8mm 304 stainless steel was rigid enough once bolted down. I also went ahead and tried snipping off the molex ends and terminating all 5 drives in a set into a single connector. It works well enough but was very time consuming so I only was able to get a single row done so far.


For affixing the cables to the board I’ve settled on the following blind rivets. They don’t appear to pull everything in super tight but they also don’t end up cracking the ends like the earlier rivets I tried that were much stronger and has a much shorter profile than some bolt combos I tried. I wanted to stay with non-conductive material because I noticed that at least on my drives there are exposed pins right above one of the bolts and I want to avoid shorting those out


It also looks like I’ll have to get rid of the original power supply that came in my unit with the right angle molex ends. The current design just doesn’t have room for that connection. Luckily I should be fine with a single power supply and that should end up reclaiming some space I can use for cable managing the sas cable ends. Its a shame they only came in 1m length because that is too long for even the rear most runs.

And for the spare sas end on each row I was trying to save it. If by some chance I have a cable die in the coming years the hope was I could just swap in one of the 3 spares.

I’ll run just one row for the next little bit to make sure I don’t have any issues. If nothing comes up within the next week I’ll start on the other two rows. Hopefully it is a little less time consuming since I have a plan for how I’m dealing with the molex ends now. Here’s a picture with everything mounted. I haven’t done any real cable managing at this point though but I plan on doing that in the sections where @blitz has his molex leads tied up.

Edit: I’m also running 4 sas fanouts per row so I have one spare connector per row instead of 3 at the very end. Not sure if it will matter but the hope was it will help with serviceability

Not completely done but everything has been assembled. Every slot has been power tested to work. Haven’t tried data on every port yet but I have spot checked each bank. As expected cable routing was the biggest difficulty. I wish the Highpoint cables came in different lengths. I still need to determine where the sas expanders will get mounted permanently but for now system is powered up and has a number of drives in it.

Congrats on reaching the final stretch! Looks good. Yea I agree. The biggest challenge in all this is the cable management.
I’m still waiting on molex/eps parts from aliexpress so I can make my custom power cables. Looks like it’ll be 2-3 more weeks until I can resume.
I also have the tough decision of picking cpu/mobo etc.

One of the parcels came in earlier than expected. I was able to make progress on my custom cables.

I also picked out fans for my build. Went with the ultimate 120mm fans. Phanteks T30s. (added something special to the front of them, will reveal in future post)
Also the fan cable management bracket from the HL15 fits the spacing on my many many years old storage pod. I had no doubts, but its nice to note that the early engineering that they put into the design is still seen from past to present.

Totally off topic, my rgb controller came in. +10 to cooling performance