SGI Onyx 350 - Racking and Stacking

Notes on 19" computer racking and stacking in general and SGI Onyx 350 InfiniteReality 4 specifically

SGI Onyx 350 - Racking and Stacking

Status: 12 August 2021 - Rack re-assembled and all O350 kit and IR4 now racked and powered. L2 Display cabling completed and front door reinstalled. Onyx 350 with InfiniteReality4 now up, running and complete.

The Onyx 350 was the last of SGI's IRIX / MIPS graphics super computers built with SGI's geometry engine graphics pipeline. It uses the modular Chimera architecture, so can be scaled out/in by adding/removing modules. An Onyx 350 is an Origin 350 with added graphics option. It was available in short and tall rack configurations with either V12 (InfinitePerformance) or InfiniteReality (InfiniteReality4) graphics.

The Onyx 350's successor was the Onyx4 UltimateVision systems, with ATI not SGI graphics.

Having collected numerous "vintage" O350 compute hosts and Numalink'ed then into a single system, I had the good fortune to arrange a swap of various SGI modules and parts for an InfiniteReality4 graphics "brick".

The InfiniteReality4 "brick" is a large 18RU unit, so making space required me to re-rack and re-stack the entire system. In doing this I learnt something about:

  • 19" racks (bolts, nuts and screws types),
  • SGI Origin 3000 tall (RU 39) "Hour Glass" rack disassembly and reassembly,
  • SGI O350 specific cabling
  • SGI O350 specific racking parts,
  • PDUs (Power Distribution Units),
  • Alternate power plug standards and
  • Installing into back of rack.

As this is pretty rare setup amougst SGI collectors, I am documenting all the details in case others need to do similar exercise.

Origin / Onyx 3000 Series Tall "Hour Glass" rack

Given that the IR4 is kind of rare and special, I thought it would be nice to put it into similar era SGI rack. The SGI Origin / Onyx 3000 series computers came installed in tall 39RU "Hour Glass" (my name due to their shape) racks. A few of these have appeared over the last year at prices below USD $3000, depending on what was installed. Mine was shipped via sea freight from Canada as an empty rack, with only shelving installed. Perfect for me to install all the O350 kit into.

O3000 Series - "Hour Glass" Rack as Shipped

The rack is very heavy (around 250 kg) and large. As I installed this in basement the rack had to be disassembed. Once in pieces I could gets theses down the stairs and reassemble the rack in situ.

First job was to strip down rack to structural frame by removing the: doors, shelves, sliders, panels and plastics:

O3000 Series "Hour Glass" - Structural Frame

The roof cover consists of two interlocking panels, first the retaining screws should be removed and then just slide apart the panels. The frame is riveted together with 1/4 steel structural rivets. So disassembly requires removal of all the rivets:

O3000 Series "Hour Glass" - Riveted Section Example

And backside of riveted section:

O3000 Series "Hour Glass" - Rivet Backside

Rivet Removal

The rack has over 150 rivets. The quickest way to remove the rivets was by:

  1. Punching Out - the central pin (mandrel) section from front of rivet using a steel punch and hammer, typically five blows (if you cannot punch it out, then drill a bit first...)
  2. Drilling Out - the rivet body (6mm drill), until it starts to spin around in the hole and so you are not able to drill any more, to reduce body thickness
  3. Cold Chisel Off - the remaining front of rivet. In most cases this works with two blows.

With so many rivets this takes some time, I disassembled mine over three sessions.

Rivet Replacement

I found the rivet that most closely matched the orginial was "Huck Magna-Lok" 1/4" (6.4mm) Steel Dome Head 2.0 - 9.5 Grip Range Structural Rivets.

As these are "big" structural rivets you need a rivet tool that is able to pull the rivets with enough force. There are a few alternates including:

  • Huck / Makita BV4500 Rivet Gun
  • Makita DRV250 Rivet Gun
  • FAR K33F Long Lever Manual Rivet Tool

As I wanted to be able to pull the rack apart again, I choose to re-bolt it together rather than fully rivet it back together.

To bolt it back together I used: 1/4" x 28 TPI x 1/2" (Full Thread) UNF Fine Button Head Socket Screw Stainless Steel Bolts and 1/4" x 28 TPI UNF Hex Flange NYLOC nuts.

NOTE #1: As this is an old rack from USA, all the rivets, bolts and nut sizes are imperial. So UNF is part of the "Unified Thread Standard" for Fine thread which has higher strength than UNC (Coarse) threaded bolts / nuts.

Using bolts / nuts for reassembly is very very fiddly as getting access to back side of sections is extremly difficult in many places (and impossible in some).  I used a combination of: thick plastic straw, double sided tape with string / washer to position nut and spanner with blu-tack to hold the nuts in place for bolting. Tighting the bolt then required positioning either spanner, screwdriver or hex key to blindly push nut up against frame to stop it spinning, while tightening the bolt.

The end result:

O3000 Series "Hour Glass" - With Stainless Hex Bolts

The back of one of the few easily accessible open sections in rear of rack:

O3000 Series "Hour Glass" - NYLOC Flanged Nuts

I was able to bolt the rack back together in situ in basement. However there are some closed box sections where the back is inaccessible. The only way to fully re-assemble these sections is by re-riveting. I used manual rivet tool as cost of battery tool was too much for number of rivets remaining.

NOTE #2: Thanks to "Irinikus" on IRIX Network for pointing me in right direction for rivets.

Rack Disassembly & Reassembly

Disassemly and reassembley is a lot of effort, as there are over 150 rivets to remove, optionally replace with bolts/nuts and/or re-rivet.

From pulling it to pieces:

O3000 Series "Hour Glass" - Fully Disassembled

To moving and reassembly in basement. Some example inaccessible box sections, with three holes each are visible in top corners:

O3000 Series "Hour Glass" - Structural Reassembly

Sliders and Rails for InfinteReality4 & O350 Modules

There seems to be a few different variations of rails / slider for the SGI rack:

  • Sliding Rails - for O350 Chassis
  • 2RU Steel Slider - for general use from SGI
  • 4RU Steel Slider - for O3000 Bricks from SGI (not used with O350)
  • 2RU Steel Sliders - from other suppliers.

The distance between rack mounting posts for SGI rack is 2 feet 1 2/4 inches (65.5 cm).

I also mounted Lenovo X3650 Server and HP D3700 Disk Array into the rack.

The Lenovo "snap install" sliding rails installed without any problem.

The HP D3700 rail was to long for the rack. Its rail is designed to go between the mounting posts with no allowance for the rail to go between chassis and mounting posts. So the length cannot be fixed by using an extension "adaptor backet". Instead I used a set of the SGI sliders. Using the SGI slider with the HP D3700 results in the HP box being just a fraction too high in the 2RU slot and it impedes the unit above from sliding.  So I left 1RU gap between it and rest of SGI modules, otherwise the 1RU gap would just be at the top of rack.

To attach rails and sliders you will need to use rack screws/bolts which come in a variety of sizes.

Rack Screws and Nuts

The SGI rack has IBM style unthreaded round mounting holes. There are three holes per 1RU space. Each hole is around 7mm in diameter and can accomodate any of the "standard" rack screw sizes:

  • 10-32 - UTS 3/16" x 32 TPI UNF Screw (Bolt) which is size that most of the SGI racking parts use. To mount equipment into rack you may need to use slide on rack "clip nut".
  • 12-24 - this slighthly larger diameter with 24 TPI UNC thread, so it is courser thread than 10-32. These do not appear to be used for SGI racks.
  • M6 - Metric 6 (as in 6mm) and used with "cage nuts" for square hole mounting posts
  • M5 - Metric 5 (as in 5mm), I used these and 10-32 screws for front of sliding rail mounting
  • 10-24 1/4" - these are UTS course thread (UNC) screw that are used to attach rails to the O350 chassis. This screw type is not used for general racking.

Here are some example SGI rails / sliders and mounting instuctions.

  • General purpose 2RU slider, needs 12 x 10-32 screw. Slots into the mounting slot in mounting post and is secured by screws (3 in each mounting post)
O3000 Series - General Use 2RU Steel Slider
O3000 Series - 2RU Steel Slider Installed
  • O350 sliding rail, needs 8 x mounting screw and 4 x 2 hole backing plates (barnut in SGI speak) to hold rail on mounting post.
O350 Sliding Rails - 3 Sections Outer, Inner and Rail to attach to Chassis

The SGI sliding rail has 3 sections:

  • Outer with mounting "claws" which are held onto mounting post with backing plate (barnut),
  • Inner Sliding section and
  • Rails to screw to O350 chasis (4 x 10-24 1/4 inch on one side and 5 x 1-24 1/4 inch screws on other side)

The lower mounting claws should be in holes two and three of allocated 2RU space. Installing the sliding rail is not easy, as there is no nice "snap in" mechanism. Instead the rail mount has very primitive and sharp "open claw" brackets that need to be attached with seperate bolts and mounting bracket. The rails are held in place by putting the claws between the mounting rail and the bracket (barnut) and tightening the bolts. You can see picture of mounting claw of rail in picture below in "Done" section.

As I did not have the required barnuts, I simply used combination of:

  • M6 bolts and rack nuts for the rear installation,
  • either M5 bolts with rack nuts or 10-32 bolts with clip nuts for front installation  (as front bracket is narrower).

The 10-32 bolt with clip nut is shown here:

Front Sliding Rail with clip-nuts attached

The front mount needs smaller diameter bolts than the rear mount.

O350 Sliding Rail Installed in Front
O350 Sliding Rail Installed in Back

I had rails with two different slider mechanisms,  These are incompatible, with each other, so you need to be carefull not mis-match the rail installed on the O350 chassis.

O350's with differing rails attached

The sliding rail offers little advantage over the "steel slider" and are substantially harder to mount both into rack and onto chassis. As I had five sets of sliding rails and only four of steel sliders I used combination of both. The Numalink Router needs steel slider.

NOTE #3: If you are in USA, you might be able to get "barnuts" from "Jonathan Engineered Solution" who appear to have a compitable item in their "Mounting Bracket" catalog, item SPO-630.

Mounting into Back of Rack

You would think that with 39RU rack that space would not be a problem. But with the IR4 chassis taking up 18RU, that does not leave a lot of space for other stuff.

As the rack is quite deep I got around this by adding another set of mounting posts into the back of the rack for:

  • Top of Rack Switches
  • Remote Power Controllers
  • Video Breakout Box (VBOB)
  • LUCID ADA Audio interface

This is a very simple construction in my case, where I just bolted together the mounting posts from my old rack with some horizontal steel internal bracing (again from old rack) and then slotted it into the back. This is secured with bolts to the rear of the rack (having flattened the steel horizontal brace section to allow the frame to be pulled closer to rear).

Rack Back Mounting Post Frame

The rear mounting frame installed into the back of "Hour Glass" rack and with some kit added:

Back Mounting Frame Installed with Switches and Power Controllers

And the lower section for VBOB and LUCID:

Back Mounting Frame Installed with VBOB and LUCID in lower section

Having back mounting was essential as the x86 servers have over eight ethernet ports each so there is a lot of ethernet cabling that needs to be managed:

Back of Rack Mouting Frame done. cabling is a bit more manageable

NOTE: Sign of evolution is that you can run 10GbE over single twisted pair or optical pair, while "massive" Numalink 3 cables provides 1.6GB/sec uni-directional (around 12.8Gb/sec) or 3.2GB/sec bi-directional. So the "Top of Rack" Netgear 12 port 10GbE switch likely has similar total bandwidth to the 8 port Numalink 3 Router. The lastest current generation of Numalink 8 has around 850 GB/sec peak bandwidth.

Adding Panels and Door Back

Reattaching the side panels:

O3000 Series - Reassembled with Panels Attached

Power for Rack, InfiniteReality4 and L2

When supplied by SGI an Origin 3000 rack will typically have a Power Distribution Unit (PDU).  The PDU is a high amp rate "power board" and in the case of SGI supplied ones come with industrial power plug rather than your typical domestic power plug.

Rack PDU

My rack did not come with any PDU, so I did a search for units with the desired number of plugs that looked like they could be mountable in back of rack. Most the PDU's come as either 19" rack horizontal mount or as virtual mount units.

These did not really have the right form factor to mount in back side of rack. After some searching I found HP PDU (E7682) rated at 30 AMP (way more than I needed), which has 10 power outputs each.

I got two of these (via eBay) as I wanted to distribute power load across multiple outlets. Using a home made mounting bracket they fit nicely into the back corners of rack:

HP E7682 - with 8 x C14 and 2 x C20 Outlets
HP E7682 PDU - Outlet Ratings

Simple bracket to hold the PDU in place in back of rack:

HP PDU - Mounted into back of rack with bracket

The power plug on the HP PDU is IEC 60309 32A Blue variation. I do not need 32A and do not have 32A compatible power supply, so I changed plug to IEC 60309 16A Blue variety which has smaller diameter.

HP PDU - IEC-60309 32A Blue Plug

The installed PDU fits nicely in rear corner between the side of rack and extra rear post:

HP PDU - Installed in rear of rack

Power for G Brick (InfiniteReality4)

According to SGI specifications the G Brick (InfiniteReality4) has equivalent power consumption to the compute boxes and SGI provide clear instructions to have seperate and dedicated power for this.

Like the original SGI PDU the G Brick has a high amp industrial plug. Though unlike the HP units this is not IEC standard, but a "Hubbell" unit.

IR4 / G Brick - with mounting shroud and power plug

The plug is Hubbell HBL2621 (another industrial high ampage type plug):

IR4 - Hubbell HBL2621 Power Plug

Initially I thought I would use a Hubbell HBL2623 to IEC 60309  and then IEC 60309 to Australian domestic power cable to get power to the IR4. Simper approach was to just replace the Hubbell plug with IEC 60309 16A Blue one. This can then be used with adaption/extention cable for Australian 15A plug / power supply. The IR4 should be on seperate power circuit to one that powers the rest of O35o machine, to avoid potential overload.

Australian 15A to IEC 60309 16A Blue (Female) Extension Cable

I also changed the HP PDU as well as IR4 to IEC 60309 Blue 16A plugs. Changing plugs just requires  a screwdriver and being careful to re-wire Earth, Live and Neutral connections correctly. The IEC plugs has advantage of being much more readily available than the Hubbell type:

Hubbell (IR4), IEC 16A Blue (15A Compatible) & IEC 32A Blue (HP PDU)

NOTE #4: My IR4 power cable was colour coded based on US "NEC" AC wiring conventions: Green or Geen/Yellow - Ground, Black - Active/Live, White - Netural. This may vary across IR4 chassis's so be sure to check carefully.

NOTE #5: Australian power is 240V AC with domestic power typically using 10A power sockets and optionally 15A power sockets (and corresponding wiring) and uses convention: Green (old) or Green/Yellow - Ground, Red (old) or Brown - Active/Line/Live, Black (old) or Blue - Neutral. The current convention is aligned with IEC. Again check up for latest information before changing anything.

The result is finally seeing signs of life at last from IR4:

IR4 - Now Running

Power for L2 Controller

The L2 Controller slots nicely into roof of rack. The O350 is an all AC powered setup (ie no SGI Power Bricks), so needs a power adaptor to provide 48V DC to the L2. This is available via D-Link DSA-0421S-50 Adaptor:

D-Link DSA-0421S-50 - Power Adaptor provides 48V for L2

You can create your own L2 compatible plug for this using a HD50 plug and soldering power to pins 1 - 6. The details of plug and wiring are:

Looking face on to female DB50 have: 3 x Rows:

  • Top Row: 17 <- 1 (right to left)
  • Middle Row: 33 <- 18 (right to left)
  • Botton Row: 50 <- 34 (right to left)

PIN ID, is based on stamped numbering on SGI original adaptor.

And measuring SGI original voltage:

  • 48 Volts: PIN 1, 3, 5
  • Ground: PIN 2, 4, 6

So for DIY wiring of plug:

  • PINS 1, 3, 5 - 48V DC
  • PINS 2, 3, 6 - Ground

Here is how I wired up my plug, using female socket to avoid cutting the male plug off the adaptor:

DB50 Wired for L2 Power

NOTE #6: Thank you to Jan-Jaap on IRIX Network for wiring details and HD50 plug

O350 and IR4 Special Cabling

In general setting up a large O350 systems once you have Numalink Router is relatively straight forward and well documented in the SGI documentation.

There are a couple of special cable that are not well documented:

  • L2 Display - the oval shaped box that hangs from the door and
  • IR4 USB Cable - which for some reason is non-standard

NOTE #7: See my other (sprawling) SGI Technical Tips blog for information on Numalink serial number setting.

On Numalink Router the lower four ports support USB via the Numalink cable, while the top four do not. In my setup with seven connected devices you can wire up the system via L2 without the need for extra USB Hub. My O350 has:

  • Numalink Router - L1 USB port connected to L2 Controller USB
  • 4 Hosts - connect via Numalink only (uses the existing Numalink USB connectivity) using lower four ports on Numalink Router
  • 2 Hosts - have L1 USB directly connnected to L2 as they are on upper Numalink ports without USB
  • IR4 L1 connected directly to L2 via special USB cable

That uses all four USB ports on the L2 Controller, so if you need more than this then the only answer is to use extra USB hub.

IR4 USB Cable

The IR4 chassis has USB port, but for some reason this has an DB9 plug rather than a standard USB one. It is an AMP cable. So you will need to either solder your own or source one:

IR4 - Non Standard USB Cable

If you need to build your 0wn here are my measurements via volt/ohm meter.

IR4 - USB-A: Left to Right: 4 GRD, 3 Data +, 2 Data -, 1 Vcc
IR4 - DB-9 Female (USB): Lift to Right (Top): 5 - 1. (Bottom) 9 - 6

Cable Specification:

  • USB-A - Outer Shell (Ground) <-> DB-9 (Female) - Outer Shell
  • USB-A - 4 - Ground <-> DB-9 (Female) - Pin 5
  • USB-A - 3 - Data + <-> DB-9 (Female) - Pin 8
  • USB-A - 2 - Data - <-> DB-9 (Female) - Pin 1
  • USB-A - 1 - Vcc <-> DB-9 (Female) Not Connected

This set of measurements has not been confirmed with actual cable build, so if you do build you own, feedback would be appreciated.

L2 Display Cable

The L2 Display cable is another un-documented item. It turns out that this is just a standard MD50 - MD50 SCSI cable (also known as "micro HD50"). So finding a compatible cable is relatively easy, but finding one long enough to install into rack and connect the door mounted L2 display is not.

L2 Display - Uses MD50 (Micro-HD50) SCSI Cable

To connect the L2 Display to an L2 Controller in top of rack requires a cable that is 10 feet long. Before parallel SCSI became obselete, there appeared to be three standard lengths: 3 feet, 6 feet and 10 feet. Go for the longest one ;-) .

The cable has to run through from display to channel in door, along side and up to the L2 controller, so full 10 feet is needed:

L2 Display Cable - Runs to back of rack

There are channels and slots in the rack door mount, door and handle to allow you to thread the cable through:

L2 Display Cable - Exits via slot in door mount

With left panel re-attached and cable exiting via door slot, it is now possible to put the door back on and run the cable down the side of door, which has special retaining clips:

L2 Display Cable - runs down door and is help by retaining clips
L2 Display Cable - Requires removal of handle to slot through from door channel

Once threaded through the handle slot, the handle can be put back on and L2 Display attached via mounting bracket on the handle:

L2 Display - Mounts to hande via bracket

And the good old L2 Display... all this trouble for an "on" button:

L2 Display - the most complicated "On" button seen on a computer


L2 Installed - Check, PDUs installed - Check, Switching Installed - Check, Numalink Installed - Check, First O350 Chassis Added - Check

Not done yet but getting there ...

O3000 Series "Hour Glass" Rack - Slowly becoming Onyx 350

The L2 installed into roof of rack, illustrates the tightness of fit and reason why using an SGI rack which is specifically designed for the O3000 / O300 / O350 machines has its avantages:

L2 Controller - Squeezes into special mounting slots in roof

I expect that the IR4 unit will be the last thing to go in, as it needs extra muscle to move to basement.

Now restacked with all of original setup bar the Lucid (in back of rack) and VBOB. Machine Numalink'ed and running:

Onyx 350 - InfinitePerformance (V12) Up and Running

Final step is to get this (below) into to that (above) and connect them up. Biggest hurdle is moving the thing...

IR4 Chassis - Blocker to Progress is Weight and Size

I decided to put VBOB into back of rack and use final 2RU slot for another X86_64 server. I also have have a "classic" MacPro I would like squeeze into the back as well. So its going to be crowded in there.

InfiniteReality4 Details

Moving IR4 was a challenge, due to size and weight and COVID restrictions meant being unable to co-opt help. I decided that best approach would be to get "block and tackle" and use this to lift and lower the chassis into basement. To help reduce the weight I pulled all the boards and fan out of the chassis:

IR4 - all boards pulled

The KTOWN2 and GE16-4 board have compression connectors. So they should be installed with location screws first and only then should the compression connector be tighted. When removing boards loosen the compression connector first and then the location screws. The compression hex (7/64 inch) screws are beneath covers:

IR4 - with Compression Hex Screw Cover Install
IR4 - Board Removal Order Warning (to potect compresson connectors)

With the boards and fan removed the chassis is around 60 kg, so is much easer to move about. I went to tool shop and purchased geared winch and rope to get chassis into basement, without risk of dropping it:

IR4 - Is too heavy to safely work with, so I used geared winch to get into basement

Getting closer to the working configuration ...

IR4 - Relocated into Basement

Now with mounting shroud and my collection of IR boards installed: 2 x GE16-4, 2 x DG5-2/TVO, 1 x KTOWN2, 1 x RM11:

IR4 - with 1 full Pipe and 1 needing RM modules (see Shroud bottom interference)

The IR4's rack sliders interfers with mounting shroud. To fix this I did some simple metal work:

IR4 - Shroud Metal Work Fix

The IR4 has KTOWN2 board to support the graphics interface to the compute module connection. These use "compression" connectors, as per SGI Octane.

IR4 - KTOWN2 (030-1593-001 rev H) Interface Board Connects to left XIO Port on O350
IR4 - KTOWN2 Interface Board has two Compression Connectors

The IR4 uses GE16-4 Geometry Engines board. These also have a compression connector.

IR4 - GE16-4 (030-1398-002 Rev B) Geometry Engine Board
IR4 - GE16-4 has single compression connector

The IR4 has seperate Raster Memory / Texture Memory Boards and can take four of these in first Pipe and 2 in the second pipe. I started with single RM11 (now have 2 in operation + 1 spare). These are highly prone to failure. Each board weighs over 2 kg each and I think are the IR4's biggest power consumer:

IR4 - RM11 (013-3126-006 Rev A) Board

The RM11 board has a number of versions: 013-3126-005, 013-3126-006 & 013-3126-007, all are functionally equivalent, but later versions are said to be more reliable and consume lower watts.

To use Discreet Inferno, you need DG5-2/TVO (HD-GVO) display board, if you want to do HD quality video. The "TVO" has TDMS video output for VBOB. I will test to see if this can also drive TDMS monitor:

IR4 - DG5-2 / TVO (030-1511-004 Rev C) support VBOD for video out (or HD-GVO) 

Empty slots should be filled with "baffle" boards:

IR4 - Spacer / Baffle Boards

The blower:

IR4 - Blower Top
IR4 - Blower Bottom

NOTE: Should you first need to "un-rack" your G-Brick before racking it and need to get access to the front of the chassis, there are screws hidden behind the "InfiniteRealityX" logo, which is just a thin magnetic strip. So to get access to screw, just slide fingernail or blade behind the strip to take it off (thanks to recondas on "irix network" for this tip):

IR4 - Magnetic Logo Strip Hides Front Panel Screws

And so onto finishing the rack and moving to powering up IR4

InfiniteReality4 now racked with rest of the O350 kit:

Onyx 350 with Racked InfiniteReality4 Chassis

To power up the IR4 I changed the Hubbell plug to more standard IEC 60309 16A Blue one and connected this to 15A power via extension cable with IEC 60309 Female Socket. So now racked, stacked and powered (see below for hinx / gfxinfo details):

SGI Onyx 350 with InfiniteReality4 and Power

As I need a longer MD50 - MD50 SCSI cable for the L2 display I will delay putting on the door until cable arrives. To install this through the chassis will likely require removing the left side panel again.

The VBOB and LUCID ADA 8824 AD/DA Interface were mounted in the back mounting frame by using small cantilevered shelf mounted in additional back frame and the middle mounting post. I had to take mounting ears off VBOB and it now just sits across the two shelves. Both VBOB and LUCID are reconnected,  with video cabling accessible (see picture above of rear installation).

In preparing to put door back on I popped off all the plastic panels and put them into dishwasher to remove years of accumalated dust. The door is looking much cleaner now:

O3000 "Hour Glass" - close to completed

And with arrival of 10 feet L2 Display cable the final item can be finished. To put the L2 cabling in, meant taking the left panel back off. Then threading the SCSI cable wiring through side of rack. Removing and reassembling the handle. So now I can power up the machine via the "on" button rather than having to telnet into the L2 and powering up from there. A small convenience but puts on nice final touch (literally ;-) ):

Onyx 350 with InfiniteReality4 - Racked and Stacked into O3000 "Hour Glass" Rack

There are a couple small details left

  • the HP D3700 disk array sticks out a bit to far and so the door is ajar slightly. So maybe one last small bit of metal grinding... on the door frame, not the HP!
  • SGI chassis flaps should be all Onyx 350 and are currently of mix of Onyx4, Origin 350 & Onyx 350. This is slowly being addressed.
More Onyx 350'ness and Stone Array for Discreet Inferno

NOTE: Looking for Onyx 350 Chassis Flaps, to finish this machine off.

Links & References:

FAR (Bologna Italy) - K33F Hand Tool for Structural Rivets

Huck Fastenings - Manufactor of Magna-Lok Structural Rivets

SGI Onyx 350 Visualisation System User's Guide - The SGI documentation provides details on screw sizes and rack mounting of O35o modules

SGI Origin 350 User's Guide - Provides SGI documentation on rack mounting O350 modules

Rack Screw, Nut and Hole Sizes - Rackmount Solutions have good summary

Unified Thread Stardard - a standard for defining screw/bolt thread sizes

IEC Domestic Power Plugs/Outlets - are defined by "IEC 60320". The outlets on HP PDU are 8 x IEC-C14 and 2 x IEC-C20 Outlets

IEC Industrial Power Plugs/Outlets - are defined by "IEC 60309". The plug on the HP PDU is IEC-60309 (Blue P+N+E, 6h) plug. The colour of plug is part of standard.

Hubbell HBL2621 - is used by IR4/G Brick and original SGI PDU. The female socket for this is a HBL2623 (so search ebay for this type to get conversion cable)

NEC  Wiring Convention - National Electrical Code provides US standards for wiring. The official version is "owned" by NFPA. A nice summary covering NEC & IEC and various countries wiring conventions is provided here.

L2 Power Wiring - this was first documented by "Jan-Jaap" who runs the Jurasic SGI technical library site. Jan-Jaap also kindly supplied me with one of his spare HD50 plugs to wire, so thank you

SGI Technical Tips - my notes on running and fixing SGI / IRIX machines with strong "Chimera" machine bias

Sister O350 Unit - this is Australian sister unit to my setup and "SGI Enthausiast" (Andrew) provided many helpful tips in getting my setup sorted. I also sourced  the IR4 G Brick from him, so many thanks for that !

Mounting Bracket / Barnut - possible supply from "Jonathan Engineered Solutions", item SPI-630. I submitted an enquiry via Web Form but got no response. Expect quick phone call would do the job ;-)

Numalink - the systems interconnect technology that SGI got from Cray aquisition and now owned by HPE, where it continues to evolve.

SGI Documentation & Datasheets - many of these are locked in servers that require account access. Please download and reshare to avoid loss: Origin 350 Datasheet, Onyx Family Overview Datasheet, InfiniteReality4 Datasheet, Numalink White Paper, Next Generation Graphics Hardware Architecture Presentation & InfiniteReality - A Real-Time Graphics System Paper

Web Archive - Onyx 350 Visualisation System begins (April 2003) and ends (Nov 2005), after which it went to "Remarketed" pages. The last MIPS/SGI built graphics super computer did outlast the Onyx4 (July 2003 - Sept 2005) which was replaced by Itanium/Linux Prism range.

HINV - Onyx 350 with InfiniteReality4

So having put all that effort into getting systems racked, stacked and powered up, it is good to finally have hinv and gfxinfo report. This means this machine is complete for now (I say for now, as it would be nice to have extra extra RM11's and get second graphics pipe running...).

NOTE: Added additional 2 x RM11 in Mar 2023 and have additional RM11 spare, so now full hog 4 x RM11 (gfxinfo reported update accordingly).

IR4 - is here, boot screen.

Here is current gfxinfo report (with 4 x RM11), which is what makes this an Onyx 350 InfiniteReality4 machine rather than just a plain O350:

/usr/gfx/gfxinfo -vv
Graphics board 0 is "KONAD" graphics.
        Managed (":0.0") 1920x1200 
        Display has 2 channels
        4 GEs (of 4), occmask = 0x0f
        4MB external BEF ram, 32bit path
        4 RM11 boards (of 4) 1/1/1/1
        Texture Memory: 1024MB/1024MB/1024MB/1024MB
        Extra-Large pixel depth
        32K cmap
        TVO option detected
        brd: 80f61806 3061c04/3061c04/3061c04/3061c04 f9191002
         ge: 0 14832057 24731057 14231057
        rm0: 05032057 35431057
              4631057 3/3/3/3
              4d31057 3/3/3/3/3/3/3/3
              4938057 5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5
        rm1: 05032057 35431057
              4631057 3/3/3/3
              4d31057 3/3/3/3/3/3/3/3
              4938057 5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5
        rm2: 05032057 35431057
              4631057 3/3/3/3
              4d31057 3/3/3/3/3/3/3/3
              4938057 5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5
        rm3: 05032057 35431057
              4631057 3/3/3/3
              4d31057 3/3/3/3/3/3/3/3
              4938057 5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5
         dg: 05532057
              5838057 1/1/1/1
              5631057 1/1
        GE:   NIC #:      0000.0073.7831 (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   NDR455
              Part #:     030-1398-002
              rev_code:   B
              grp_code:   0x11
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       GE16-4
        KT:   NIC #:      0000.006c.5f9c (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   MTL048
              Part #:     030-1593-001
              rev_code:   H
              grp_code:   0x11
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       KTOWN2
        RM0:  NIC #:      0000.006c.727a (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   NAJ047
              Part #:     030-1651-004
              rev_code:   A
              grp_code:   0x11
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       RM10
        TM0:  NIC #:      0000.006c.7058 (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   NAJ072
              Part #:     030-1650-004
              rev_code:   B
              grp_code:   0x11
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       TM9-1024
        RM1:  NIC #:      0000.0080.47df (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   NGS684
              Part #:     030-1651-004
              rev_code:   C
              grp_code:   0x11
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       RM10
        TM1:  NIC #:      0000.0080.7eae (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   NGS795
              Part #:     030-1650-004
              rev_code:   D
              grp_code:   0x11
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       TM9-1024
        RM2:  NIC #:      0000.0098.6e4b (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   NNW481
              Part #:     030-1651-005
              rev_code:   D
              grp_code:   0x11
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       RM10
        TM2:  NIC #:      0000.0098.01d3 (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   NKY687
              Part #:     030-1650-005
              rev_code:   B
              grp_code:   0x11
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       TM9-1024
        RM3:  NIC #:      0000.0098.8f59 (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   NKZ648
              Part #:     030-1651-004
              rev_code:   C
              grp_code:   0x11
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       RM10
        TM3:  NIC #:      0000.0080.af7d (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   NJC351
              Part #:     030-1650-004
              rev_code:   D
              grp_code:   0x11
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       TM9-1024
        BP:   No NIC serial number available.
        DG:   NIC #:      0000.0097.db2e (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   NSV288
              Part #:     030-1242-001
              rev_code:   K
              grp_code:   0x11
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       DG5-2
        DGOPT:NIC #:      0000.0097.deef (family: 0b)
              Serial #:   NRV947
              Part #:     030-1511-004
              rev_code:   C
              grp_code:   0xff
              capability: "\ff\ff\ff\ff"
              variety:    0xff
              name:       TVO
        Input Sync: Voltage - Video Level; Source - Internal; Genlocked - False
        Channel 0:
         Origin = (0,0)
         Video Output: 1920 pixels, 1200 lines, 59.94Hz (1920x1200_60-u2412m.vfo)
         Video Format Flags:  (none)
         Sync Output(s):
          Composite sync on Green
          Composite TTL sync on Aux 0
         Using Gamma Map 0
         Monitor Type:  Unknown
         Pedestal Enabled
         Channel not blanked
         Gain (all color components) - 1.000000 (nominal)
         Horizontal Phase - 0.00 pixels; range [0.00,2080.00]
         Vertical Phase - 0 lines; range [-2,2]