Supermicro X10SDV-7TP4F Heatsink Swap

After assembling my new home server, I ran into a bit of a heat issue. The Xeon-D SOC would get quite hot under load (80C), and was a little warmer than desired while idling (40C). Attempting to cool itself off, the motherboard kept the chassis fans spinning fast enough to be annoyingly loud. Since the heatsink installed on the motherboard was designed for 1U compatibility, and the case I’m using is 2U tall, it was not getting the airflow it was designed for.

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Repairing the 24 Pin ATX Power Connector

As part of my new home server build, I picked up a used Super Micro SC216 chassis. This chassis has 24x 2.5″ drive bays in the front, 3x 80mm fans in the mid-plane, 7 half-height expansion slots in the rear, and dual PSUs. While dual PSUs are overkill, the rest of the features should make for a nice Xeon D based storage chassis.

Once the chassis arrived, I noticed that the previous owner had mutilated the 24 pin ATX power cable. The PS-ON, and the GND pin next to it, had been clipped at the connector and spliced together with a crimped pigtail splice. Typically, this is done so that the PSUs are always on when using the chassis as an external JBOD box. Since I would like the soft power button to function properly on the case, this needed to be fixed.

Luckily, I had an 24 pin ATX power cable from a dead PSU. Using that cable as a donor, I replaced the PS-ON and GND pins in the power connector. Then, I made a solder splice between the PS-ON (and GND) in the power distributor and the corresponding replacement in the connector. With the lines reconnected, I was able to power up my test board (an old core 2 duo board). Now the chassis is ready for a Xeon D motherboard.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

How to Add a Custom Breadcrumb Template Tag

Since version 4.4.0, it has been possible to add additional custom template tags to supplement the defaults included in Breadcrumb NavXT. Adding a custom template tag is relatively easy. All one has to do is write a function that hooks into the bcn_template_tags filter and adds the new template tag.

bcn_template_tags has three parameters, two for helping identify the resource the breadcrumb represents, and one for the actual replacement set. Today, we’ll focus on the first parameter, the $replacements array. This associative array has the template tag as the key and the value is the actual value that should replace the tag in breadcrumbs. To add a new template tag, simply add a new key-value pair to the array and return the modified $replacements array.

For example, to add a breadcrumb template tag that inserts the current theme’s directory, one could use the following:

function my_bcn_template_tag($replacements, $type, $id)
    //Add the %template_directory% template tag
    $replacements['%template_directory%'] = get_bloginfo('template_directory');
    //Return our new set of templates and replacements
    return $replacements;
add_filter('bcn_template_tags', 'my_bcn_template_tag', 3, 10);

In the code above, %template_directory% is the breadcrumb template tag being added; its value is retrieved using the get_bloginfo() function. Simple, right?

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Notes on XPS 15 9550 Linux Support

Tired of waiting for a 3D XPoint based SSD to become available, I decided to grab a 512GB Intel SSD 600p for my XPS 15 9550. The intent was to switch over from Windows 10 to Linux on the 9550 while preserving the original SSD should I want to go back.

The actual SSD swap was not too difficult. A Torx T5 and small Phillips screwdriver are needed to remove the back of the 9550 and the m.2 SSD. This being my first NVMe system, I ran into a few gotchas while getting Linux installed. Though, the bulk of the issues are related to Broadcom’s poor Linux support.
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