Jan 292017

Well, I’ve finally dragged this project out and plugged everything in to test the new power modules out.

I’ll be hooking up the laptop and getting the nodes to do something strenuous in a moment, but for now, I have them just idling on the battery, with the battery charger being switched by the charge controller, built around an ATTiny24A and this time, a separate power module rather than it being integrated.

I’ve had it going for a few hours now… and so far, so good. The PSU is getting turned on and off more often than I’d like, but at least the smoke isn’t escaping now. The heatsink for the power modules is warm, but still not at the “burn your fingers off” stage.

That to me suggests the largish heatsink was the right one to use.

Two things I need to probably address though:

  • In spite of the LDOs, the acceptable voltage range of the computers is still rather narrow… I’m not sure if it’s just the IPMI BMC being fussy or if the LDOs need to be knocked down a peg to keep the voltage within limits. Perhaps I should use the same resistor values as I did for the Ethernet switch.
  • The thresholds seem to get reached very quickly which means the timeouts still need lengthening. Addressing the LDO settings should help with this, as it’ll mean I can bump my thresholds higher.

If I can nail those last two issues, then I might be at risk of having the hardware aspect of this project done and having a workable cluster to do the software side of the project. Shock horror!