Node 804 modding

So Wendell’s been talking about the “Perfect” server case… I personally think a Node 804 is very darn close, but have people modded the 804 so it can fit stuff it originally wasn’t intended to?

Perhaps a 3D printed front panel? Dremel work to fit full size 5.25’’ bays?

The Wendell 805. I want this please.

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Oh, I actually hadn’t considered vertical 5.25’’ bays like the original Corsair Air 540. That way you can keep the front fan screw holes as they were without much dremeling.

From functional perspective, Node 804 packs in a lot. I meant it has eight 3.5 inch bays plus two more. Personally though I’m not fond of its aesthetics. It looks short and fat but that’s a minor issue.

The bigger problem is that it occupies a larger floor space than necessary. Many people may find that is a huge annoyance and inconvenience. For home use, it’s always much better to minimise floor plan and increases utilization of vertical space (which Jonsbon seems to get it).

Another problem for Fractal Design is its use of flimsy steel sheet. Haven’t seen Node 804 in person. If it’s like any other Fractal, I won’t want to put that many HDDs inside it.

The ideal home storage case that I’ve seen is actually from MODers who convert good old sleeper cases with plenty 5.25 inch bays at front into 3.5 inch slot cages. It’s very functional, and aesthetically so much more pleasing to look at.

I have this case and while I have not measured it I doubt this would fit.

Removing the Front Panel obviously isn’t an issue but the front has space for 4x 120mm fans with a metal wall down the middle to separate the 2 chambers. I’m fairly certain that a 5.25’’ bay is wider then either of the 2 chambers are, so first of all you’d have to take out a sizable portion of the metal wall (which remember is also your motherboard tray).

While that issue might be solvable with a dremel I’m not sure the depth of a 5.25’’ bay would fit with the aforementioned motherboard tray (or rather, mounting holes). And on top of that since you’re cutting through the metal wall the bay would also collide with the drive cages on the other side (assuming you put the bay in the motherboard’s chamber), sort of defeating the purpose of opening up the possibility of more drives.

Unless of course you really just want one drive bay at which point I don’t see the point of doing all the dremel work because the front panel fits a 5.25’’ slot-in drive by default.

I think you’d be better off just 3D-printing 3.5’’ drive bays and putting them in the motherboard’s chamber because there should be enough space to fit both the motherboard and the drives.

I considered 4 vertically oriented 5.25’’ bays (2 for each 240mm on each chamber) and that is much more workable as opposed to trying to do it horizontally. The only dremeling if done right is to eliminate the bar between the two fans in the front fan slots.

I guess that depends how you orient them relative to the front panel, i.e. in parallel or perpendicular.

According to google a 5.25’’ drive should be 146.1 mm wide. The CPU cooler has a clearance up to 160mm (according to Fractal), so theoretically there’s a roughly 14mm different. But keep in mind the outer frame of the case is also relatively thick and if I’m not completely mistaken it is more then those 14mm. Meaning you wouldn’t be able to fit the drive in parallel to the front panel, so you’re in the same spot as mounting the bays horizontally.

So that leaves us with mounting the bays perpendicular to the front panel and that would probably depend on the motherboard being used. The top fan slots are 2x 140mm in the motherboard chamber (and 2x 140mm in the drive chamber if you completely rip out the drive cages), and I’d have to check but I’m pretty sure my mITX board already overlaps the frontal top fan mount, so I don’t see that fitting.

Luckily I have a BD-drive at home so I can roughly check later when I get home if this would even fit in theory.

On a side note I wish I could use the slot-in drive mount but from my research there are none that would be able to rip both 4K blurays and PS3 games, which is what I’m using mine for :weary:

Yeah, you have to get the ones you can flash with the “magic firmware” for MakeMKV direct mode.

I feel like the Node 804 doesnt have enough air flow for the 3.5mm drives even with all front and rear fan spots occupied with NF F12s at 90% speed. My 8 16tb EXOs drives in my Node 804 average 35C-38C and can spike up to 50C even with an ambient room temp of 20C.

When I get around to it I am going to move my NAS in to a Arc Midi R2 I have laying around.

Thanks. I was also considering this case, but I had some concerns about airflow/cooling, since the front fans are just behind the front panel, which doesn’t seem to be of mesh kind.

The goal here is to 3D print a new front panel that either has 5.25’’ support, or an actual mesh front. It’s about mods, not the case as is.

I understand the thread is about modifying the case. I am just saying that in my experience with enterprise drives in the Node 804 I have concerns about airflow and thermals of the drives. And maybe my concerns are unwarranted because Seagate says acceptable temps are 5c to 60c.

That’s not all but yes that’s part of it. Although I bought it at a time when that wasn’t available yet and they were just using the keys or whatever the old method was.

Sorry for only getting back to you for this now, but life happened and I didn’t get time to work on this.

I shot a quick-ish photo:

Keep in mind this is a Mini-ITX board (AsRock Rack C2750D4I), and as you can see it’s already overlapping the board.

I suppose you could put it at the bottom where there’s some space.

From top/front-ish

It’s just barely fitting in width I guess but again, not practical at the top due to the motberboard.

If you’re using a μATX board, you might not even be able to fit it in the bottom depending how the cabling at the bottom right of the board looks like, because the drive is higher then the clearance at the bottom:

(This is an AsRock Rack X470D4U)

I suppose you could still do a vertical mounting of course.

If you need more photos let me know.

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