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Cheap 20 Drive NAS Server Project - Need Help - HP DL360p Gen8

Hi everyone,

So I’ve purchased an HP DL360p Gen8 server with 4 x LFF drive bays which I’m fairly happy with, however I wanna expand it on the cheap and when I mean cheap I’m talking about 150 bucks to add 16 x LFF bays :smiley:
And one of the main motivations for this is power consumption, all other options I found use their own power supply and were expensive.

Side note after writing the topic, I had many pictures but as new user it didn’t allow me to use them :frowning:

To achive this what I’ve decided to do was to purchase the following:

  • HPE 24 Bay 3Gb SAS Expander Card (Part nr 468406-B21 or 487738-001). Note: This works, I’ve been using it even though some people say otherwise.
  • HP DL380E 8 Bay LFF Backplane (643704-001)
  • Some extra suff such as SAS cables, etc.

My problem now comes to power the dam 8 Bay Backplane from the server itself, without using any external power supply.
What I plan is to get power from the 10 pin power cable inside the DL360p Gen8, that feeds the backplane. Cutting and soldering or most likely replacing one of the plugs is expected.

10 pin connector: 4 LFF backplane

When I saw that all top pins are yellow and all bottom ones black, I assumed it would be 12v all of them, well I was wrong, I grabbed my multimeter and measured it.

Please note that the pin nr starts at top left, looking at the cable plug with the lock pin on the top, couting 1 to 5 on first row and 6 to 10 on the bottom row.
I’ve placed the COM of the multimeter on a bottom pin and measured the top pins. If this doesn’t make any sense, please help me on how to do it properly.

  1. -12.2 v
  2. -8.9 v
  3. -7.18 v
  4. -12.2 v
  5. -7.18 v
  6. COM
  7. COM
  1. -5 v
  2. -1.7 v
  3. 0 v
  4. -5 v
  5. 0 v
  6. COM
  1. 0 v
  2. 0 v
  3. 0 v
  4. 0 v
  5. 0 v
  6. COM
  1. 0 v
  2. 3.29 v
  3. 5 v
  4. 0 v
  5. 5 v
  6. COM

Something I though it was strange was having most of the voltages inverted, only the last one gave positive values.
After this I kinda learned that cable color seems to mean nothing to HP.

Then I decided to check for conductivity on the 4 LFF backplane connector, this problably is dumb to do but felt to help me on the 8 LFF backplane as I will show next.
The following is the conductivity findings on the 4 LFF backplane power connector, the letters represent matching pins that would make the multimeter beap.

  1. D
  2. A
  3. D
  4. F
  5. A
  6. A
  7. B
  8. C
  9. D
  10. B

My analises from this is that is most likely condensers and other components on the board can affect this I feel.
Also it’s strange that letter F had no match, however looking at the board it seems to have traces that go to the side, to a small connector.
And nr C did some times beap very shortly with the right 2 pins nr 5 and 10.

8 pin connector: 8 LFF backplane

I’ve tried to ask this info on HPE forum where they provided incorrect information and essentially asked me for a support contract.

The first thing I noticed was that this backplane uses a 8 pin connector instead of the 10 pin found in my server, so I needed to figure out what is are the voltage pinout for it.
I found this picture that helped me a great deal:
https:// imgur . com/a/FW4pTcU (remove spaces, I felt this one is important for context)

With the picture and testing conductivity on the connector itself, I found this pinout voltage assumming that the colors match normal ATX standard:

  1. GND
  2. GND
  3. 12 V
  4. GND
  5. 12 V
  6. 5 V
  7. 12 V

On the board itself, the bottom left pin doesn’t seem to be used.
This results look promising, but I don’t have a confirmation on it yet :frowning:

Conclusion:
When I found out the voltages for the 8 pin connector on the 8 bay LFF backplane left me more motivated to continue with this, but after checking the server itself and finding that it’s all over the place I don’t know anymore :frowning:

I come here to you guys, looking for some help, maybe some of you has access to some HP resources with this information.
Or help me kinda reverse engineer this thing.

Thanks,
Ralms.

1 Like

Providing an update to this.

So far I haven’t had anyone that was able to confirm me the voltage values of the connectors.
However leaving the project to the side for the last 2 to 3 weeks I decided to just go for it, try to find as much as I can and give it a go.

So today my first idea that come into my mind was using reference points and just not only continuity between the pins.

In regards to the 10 pin ATX cable connector on my server, the values are the following:

______________----______________
| GND | 3.3v |  5v | GND |  5v |
| 12v |  5v  |  0v | 12v | GND | 

The way I found out was by using the PSU as reference as I know what is 12v and what is GND there. With that I did a continuity test and confirmed GND pins and 12v pins. Finally I used on of the GND pins to confirm the rest, which matches my initial findings.

In regards to the 8pin connector on the SAS backplane, I’m also very close.
This time my idea was to use the SATA power connector as reference, since the pinout is readily available.

Currently this is what I’m 100% sure (this is the connector on the board, not the cable):

____________----___________
|  GND  | GND | 12v | GND |
|  open | 12v | ??  | 12v | 

I will provide another update when I try to connect things and confirm that last pin and see if all this works lol

So, it turns out that even without that pin it works fine.

Providing just the 12v and Gnd, the 8 LFF sas backplane will generate it’s own 5v.

Tested connecting some drives and they were detected fine.
Finally a light at the end of the tunnel :smiley:

There is somethings to work on now, plugs to create, wires to solder, etc and if one day I have permissions to add pictures to this forum I will show the final result :wink: