black box Sun

Question: Which box actually contains the SunFire V100?

Answer: It's the big black one. The original Sun 1 HE case is just the original "donor" shell.

Why? Well, so I found myself the happy owner of a SunFire V100, a nice little UltraSPARC machine. NetBSD runs great on it. Only one drawback: in the original configuration (the 1 HE pizzabox) the damn thing is noisy as hell - the standard problem of this form factor.

So out comes the mainboard and what do I find? Turns out, the mainboard is a FlexATX form factor and all things considered, it is pretty much a PC mainboard that just happens to contain an UltraSPARC-IIe instead of the plain old random x86 one. Hmm ... that opens options.

First however, replace the noisy 1 HE PSU with a normal ATX PSU, which is a lot quieter. Also disconnect the chassis fans and run the mainboard "naked" on a piece of plywood on top of the case. That dropped the noise level a lot.

However, that isn't really all that nice so I looked for a MicroATX case (into which the FlexATX board would fit just fine). I found the Tacens Theca, which is a reasonably sensible case (plain black, no silly windows or tons of blue LEDs or other nonsense) and transplant to board into it. And while I'm recabling, change the original mass storage setup from one to three PATA disks (found a 120 GB and a 250 GB in addition to the original 40 GB one) and add a Samsung DVD writer.

Net result: a SunFire V100 in a bigger MicroATX case which ends up being a lot quieter than the original 1 HE box and happens to have room for more (and different) storage devices. And thanks to both the expanded storage and cgd(4), it earns its electricity as a backup/NTP/DNS server.