14. Final Assembly

During this step, I recommend doing a brief power-on test any time you plug something new into the power system. That way, if the system won’t turn on, you can make a reasonable guess that the troublesome part is likely one you just plugged in.

Step 1. Install the main power switch and hard drive power board

Install the main power switch and hard drive power board, as shown in the following picture. Holes are provided so the hard drive power board cover can be zip tied in place. When installed, it should look something like the image below.

Hard Drive Power Board - Mounting Detail

Step 2. Install ATX Power Supply

  1. Install the ATX power supply in the appropriate compartment at the top of the case, using 4 extra-long power PC case screws. When installed, it should look like mine does in the image below.
    Case Back Side - Power Supply Mounting Detail
  2. Choose a combination of cables that will allow you to route four 4-pin Molex, four 6-pin PCI-E, and 3 SATA power connectors down through the rear cable management to the associated cards that need these connectors. Secure these cables using the provided cable management structures and a large zip tie, as shown in the photo below.
    Routing Power Cables Detail
  3. Coil the ATX connector as necessary and secure it as shown in the photos below. Also secure any unused cables in this area as well. Try to mount them high, to leave enough room for plugging cables into the hard drive power board.
    Binding Unused Cables Detail Wire Management Detail
  4. Plug selected PSU cables into their associated cards. Using zip ties, secure excess cable out of the way. As shown in the image below, coiling some cables may be required to make them fit. Also, stay mindful of the fact that the fan harness still has to fit behind these cables.
    Routing Power Cables Detail
    When you’re finished plugging in cables, the unit should look something like the picture below.
    Case Central Structure - Assembled Left Side Detail

Step 3. Install and Secure Hard Drive Array

Slide the hard drive array in place. Make sure the latches for securing the drives are on top. Once it’s in place, secure it with zip ties and trim them. Two holes are provided at each side of the array for accomplishing this. Installing zip ties in these holes will make it impossible to remove the array without breaking the zip ties (or the array) first.

Step 4. Connect Hard Drives to Pis

This step does not necessarily need to be done until software that’s capable of using the hard drives is installed. As shown in the picture below, I coiled the USB cables so they would fit in the provided space. I think this technique still needs improvement, but it does work to make the cables fit within the case.

Cluster - Left Side Angled

As shown in the above photo, I color coded my hard drive cables. The other end of each cable is marked with the same color code. If a drive should ever fail, this will hopefully help me to more quickly identify which one it is. As such, I recommend color coding your USB cables in a similar manner.

Step 5. Install Fan and Filter Harness

Install the fan and filter harness in its appropriate location. It’s likely it will make contact with some of the underlying cables when it’s installed. It’s fine if it makes contact with them, but not fine if it’s difficult to install as a result. If it’s difficult to install, you will need to bundle the cables more tightly first .

Once it’s mechanically in place, plug all the fan power wires into the hard drive power board. There should be 4 places on the power board for plugging in fans and 6 fans that need to be plugged in, but the two 80 mm fans and one of the 140 mm fans can share one plug.

After the fans are plugged in, use zip ties to secure the cables a little better at their sides. This will prevent them from getting in the way as you’re trying to seal up the case.

Step 6. Install Case Sides

Install the sides back on the case. After, in terms of hardware, your cluster is effectively finished. Now, install some software on your SD cards and plug them into the Pis. To do this, you will need to remove the right side panel and fan/filter harness to access the SD card slots.

The pictures below show what your cluster should look like when it’s finished.

Cluster - Left Side Angled Cluster - Right Side Cluster - Front Side

13. Power Cables 14. Final Assembly 15. Moving Forward

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