From LittleFe

Jump to: navigation, search


These instructions assume you have a complete LittleFe v4 kit, including tools, a USB keyboard and mouse, and a monitor or projector.


Description of Components



There are six identical Intel Pine Trail-525 mainboards which hold the CPU, memory and electrical connections. Each mainboard has dual cores and an NVIDIA ION2 chipset, supporting shared memory, distributed memory, and GPGPU programming models. The diagram below should help indicate what is meant by statements like "lower left corner."

Head Node
You will customize one of the mainboards to become a head node, with which you interact as a user. The customization will involve integrating the hard drive, the WiFi card, and the Bluetooth adaptor. You will use the bluetooth adaptor to associate the keyboard and mouse to the head node.
Compute Node
The other five mainboards collectively perform the necessary parallel computations.
Hard Drive
The hard drive is a 2.5" SATA disk, typically used with laptops. The SATA socket is on the lower left corner of the board. There is a power cable and a SATA data cable to connect the hard drive to the head node's mainboard.
The WiFi PCI-E card provides the method for connecting LittleFe wirelessly to the Internet. You will insert the WiFi mini PCI-E adapter into the head node mainboard PCI-E slot, which you will secure with a retainer strip. The WiFi antenna is two small copper squares you will attach to the right on the head node mainboard plate. You will connect the two antenna to the PCI-E card via two wires.



There are four kinds of metal plates. The frame is formed from three large plates: two end plates and one U-shaped middle plate.

EAPF Plate
The EAPF plate is the end plate with an EAPF sticker attached to the outside of the plate. The power supply will be attached to it.
Intel Plate
The Intel plate is the end plate with the "Intel Inside" sticker attached to the outside of the plate.
Middle Plate
The middle plate is a U-shaped plate. The top side is the side with five holes. The bottom of the plate has three holes. Place the angles of the U-shape so they face you. You are looking at the inside of the middle plate. You will be adding guides and ledges to the middle plate and the Intel plate to house the mainboards.
Mainboard Plate
There are six mainboard plates. Each mainboard is attached to a mainboard plate. Every mainboard plate has ten holes. The hard drive holes are the four that almost form a square in the middle of the plate. The mainboard mounting holes are the four trapazoidaly shaped holes enclosing hard drive holes. The plate is oriented up when the slanted portion of the trapazoid is on top. The LED angle mount holes are the remaining two holes along the top edge.


Bars and Strip

There are three kinds of metal bars and one plastic strip.

Guide Rail
The four guide rails each have three holes on the six slotted face, and two holes on side face. The slotted end of a guide rail is the end with a slot nearest to it; the hole end of a guide rail is the end with a hole closest to it.
Side Bar
The four side bars each have 4 holes on the broad face. At first glance they appear symmetric, but they are not. The EAPF end of the side bar is the end with the shortest distance to the first hole; the Intel end is the end with the larger distance to the first hole.
Support Ledge
The two support ledges each have three holes symmetrically placed on the slim side. These will be mounted so that the bottom of the mainboard plates rests on them.
Retainer strip
There is one flat retainer strip that is used to hold the WiFi PCI-E in place. It is roughly 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide and has a single hole on one end.
Mainboard Retainer
The mainboard retainer uses two screws to hold all six mainboards into the frame. It is designed for easy removal since mainboards are regularly removed to show students components when teaching using LittleFe.



There are two different diameters of screws used: the smaller diameter #6-32 ones and the larger diameter #10-32 ones. Nuts are included to match these different screws. There are also white cable clamps and black retaining clips.

There are actually three different kinds of screws. There are #6-32 diameter nylock nuts, #10-32 diameter nylock nuts, and two #10-32 flat (non-nylock) nuts. Nylock binds more effectively than lock washers, but requires more friction at the screw head to attach. The screws used to mount the network switch to the middle plate do not have enough friction and so require flat nuts. Nylock nuts are used wherever possible.
#6-32 screws
There are two lengths of #6-32 screws: the angle mount screws (0.375 ") and the disk drive screws (0.75 "). The nylock nuts of this diameter help to securely fasten the screws for the angle mounts. The 0.75" screws for the disk drive will go straight into the drive and so do not have matching nuts.
#10-32 screws
There are three kinds of #10-32 screws: the standard screw (0.5 ") used almost everywhere, the guide rail screw (1 ") also used to attach the middle plate to the frame, and the support ledge screw (1.5 "). There are 35 nylock nuts to secure the screws when they pass through metal, and 10 lock washers for when you are screwing into metal, as with the end plates you will screw into side bars.
Clamps and Clips
The five white cable clamps are used inside LittleFe to manage Ethernet and power cables. The four black retaining clips are used inside the Pelican Case to mount the two shock cords used to secure LittleFe for travel.



There are two screwdrivers, two nut drivers, and one box wrench

There is a #2 (standard size) and a #0 (smaller) screwdriver
Nut Driver
There is a 3/8" and a 5/16" nut driver.
Box wrench
There is a 3/8" end and box wrench



Wireline Network
The network switch is used to connect all Little nodes in a private Ethernet network. One black Ethernet cable will be used to connect the head node to the switch, and five red Ethernet cables to connect the compute nodes to the switch
Power Supply
You will mount the Meanwell PB-360P-12 power supply to the inside of the EAPF plate. The line power cable is the standard power cable to bring 110 or 220 VAC from the room to the power supply. The low voltage wiring harness distributes 12VDC to the mainboards and the network switch.

The Power LEDs are the six LEDs with the same color. The Disk Activity LED is the one uniquely colored LED. Each LED comes with an attached mounting clip that is released by gently squeezing the two flanges of the clip.
The pelican case is used to store LittleFe. You will be glueing packing foam in the lid as the top shock absorber, as well as the protect the Ethernet cables so they can remain in place during shipping. You will also be glueing packing foam in the floor of the pelican case as a shock absorber.


Unpack and Inventory

Unpack Kit
Unpack your kit and carefully set the parts on your worktable.
Save Packaging
In case any of the pieces need to be returned, save the packaging for several days after you complete assembly and test.
Inventory Parts
In order to make sure all the bits and pieces are there, including the tools you will need, take an inventory of your kit using the parts list available here.


Add Components to Plates

EAPF Plate and Intel Plate

Attach Handles
Attach a handle to each of the plates. Each handle mounts with two #10-32 x 0.5" screws and nylock nuts.


Middle Plate and Intel Plate

Install the Four Guide Rails
You will be using #10-32 x 1" screws to attach two guide rails to the inside face of the Intel plate and two to the outside face of the middle plate. Use #10-32 nyloc nuts on the guide rail side. One guide rail attaches along the top edge of a plate, the other attaches midway down, parallel with the top edge of the plate. The middle plate guide rails have the slotted end on the right. The EAPF plate guide rails have the slotted end on the left.
Install Support Ledges to Plates
Attach a support ledge at the bottom of each plate, parallel to the guide rails. Each support ledge mounts with three #10-32 x 1.25" screws and nylock nuts.
Glue Support Ledge Pad on Support Ledges
Center pad on the support ledge. Slide it so it is 1/2 inch from the short end of the support ledge. Glue it to this spot.


Middle Plate

Low Voltage Cable Management
Place a white cable clamp around the six power cables. Drape the barrel connector end of the power cables from the inside of the U of the middle plate over the top. Unscrew the middle screw of the middle plate support ledge, reattaching it to secure the power cable clamp to the middle plate.
Low Voltage Cables Mounted under Network Switch
Hold the network switch so it covers the power cables, acting as a cable guide. The status lights should be facing up, and the Ethernet ports should be facing down. Attach the network switch with two screws coming from the other side of the middle plate. The switch mounts with two #10-32 x 0.5" screws, lock washers, and plain nuts.
Ethernet Cable Management
Insert the black Ethernet cable into the rightmost slot of the network switch, which is next to the power socket. Insert the five other Ethernet cables in the five slots next to the black cable. Place a cable clamp through the three rightmost Ethernet cables and another through the three remaining Ethernet cables. Unscrew the one end of the middle guide rail of the middle plate, using the screw to attach the nearest Ethernet cable clamp. Repeat the process with the other end of the middle guide rail, attaching the other Ethernet cable clamp.


EAPF End Plate

Mount Power Supply
You will be attaching the power supply to the non-stickered side of the EAPF end plate. The power supply terminals should be on the left as you face the non-stickered side of the end plate. Attach the power supply with four #10-32 x 0.5" screws, with the nut on the power supply side.


Assemble Frame

Make Frame by Connecting Side Bars to End Plates
The four side bars look to be symmetric but they are not. The short end has a a hole closer to the end than the long end. You will be screwing the short ends to the EAPF end plate and the long end to the Intel Inside end plate. Notice that each plate has two pairs of holes in each of the four corners. Place lock washers on the #10-32 x 0.5" screws and loosely tighten all 16 screws through the end plate into the side bars. Now tighten all 16 screws with Philips screwdriver.


Connect Middle Plate to Frame
Place middle plate in the middle of the frame so the top of the U faces the EAPF end plate. Move the middle plate towards the EAPF end plate until the holes in the uprights of the U align with the first set of holes in the middle of the side bars. A cross check is to note that a mainboard endplate will just fit through a set of guide bar slots. Attach the middle plate by loosely hand tightening four #10-32 x 1" screws with the nylock nuts touching the middle plate. Tighten the four screws.
Connect Power Supply Cables
Place a cable clamp around the power supply cables near the hole in the bottom side bar by the power supply terminal. Use a screw to connect the cable clamp inside the side bar with the nut touching the cable clamp. Loosely hand tighten the nut. Bend the eyelet into a right angle so you can connect it to the power supply. Screw the power cable eyelet connect to totally black cables to the minus terminal on the power supply. Screw the power cable eyelet connect to the black cables with a white stripe to the plus terminal. Tighten the cable clamp against the side bar.
Mount the Feet Pads
Turn the completed frame over so the bottom is facing up. You will be placing a feet pad on each end the side bars (on what used to be the bottom of the bottom side bars). Remove the adhesive backing for the feet pad and firmly press them down. Gently turn the frame over and set it down on the feet pads. Leave it alone for a half hour so that the weight of the frame finishes the cementing process.


Add Components to Mainboard Plates

Head Node Mainboard

LED Angle Mount with Five Holes
Choose any mainboard mounting plate. Orient the plate so the LED angle mount holes are at the upper right. Align the LED angle mount on your side of the plate. Put #6-32 x 0.375" flathead screws through the two holes and tighten the nylock nuts that touch the back side of the mounting plate.
Power Switch, Power LED, and Disk Activity LED
Take a power switch, unscrew the top hex nut. Insert the switch from under the LED angle mount using the hole closest to the frame and tighten the top hex nut from the top of the mounting plate to secure the switch. Remove the clip from the disk activity LED and snap the clip into the top of the mounting hole next to the switch. Push the LED into the clip from under the hole and snap it into place. Repeat this process with a power LED using the remaining hole.
WiFi Antenna
Insert the mounting plate into one of the set of four guide rail slots. You are going to be mounting the two square copper antenna against the mounting plate below the LED angle mount along the right side of the mounting plate. Align one of the pair of square copper antennas and place it so the antenna cable is in its upper left corner, the bottom of the antenna is even with the top of the middle guide rail and the right edge of the antenna is 1/8-1/4" to the right of the left edge of the middle guide rail. Now remove the backing from the two-sided tape and use it to place it in the spot you previously located. Repeat with the second antenna directly below the first one, except orient the cable to be in the lower left corner and the top of the antenna with the bottom of the middle guide rail.


Head Node Mainboard Plate

Disk Drive to Mainboard Plate
Remove the head node mainboard plate from the frame. Orient the plate as before so the LED angle mount is at the upper right corner on your side of the mainboard plate to which it is mounted. Place the disk drive on the other side of the mounting plate with four M3 nylon washers in-between the drive and the plate, the cable connectors should face down. Start the four M3 x 5mm screws and then tighten all of them. 
Switch, LED, and Disk Drive Cables Connected to Head Node Mainboard
Place the head node mainboard plate on the table so the top is away from you. Choose any one of the mainboards. Lay it on top of the mainboard plate so the connecting sockets face away from you. Run the Switch, LED and drive cables under the mainboard so they exit at the bottom of the mainboard. Insert the black switch cable in the socket directly above the lower left screw.. Insert the power LED, the twisted pair blue cable, directly above it. Insert the disk activity LED, the twisted pair green cable, to the left of the power LED.
WiFi PCI-E Adapter
The PCI-E slot is in the middle of the left side of the board. Carefully insert the WiFi PCI-E adapter into the PCI-E slot. Align the WiFi retainer strip so it barely covers the lower right corner of the WiFi PCI-E adapter and the hole in its other end aligns with a corresponding hole close to the center of the board. Gently screw the WiFi retainer strip into place. Run the antenna cables so they exit from under the left side of the mainboard. The end of the antenna cables are narrow cylinders. Gently insert the black cable into the bottom hole on the right side of the WIFi card. Gently insert the white cable into the top hole on the right side of the WIFi card.
Mount Mainboard
At the four mainboard mounting points, carefully place eight white spacers (two stacked per hole) between the mounting plate and the mainboard. Place a #6-32 x 0.75" screw through the mainboard, though the spacer and through the mounting plate. Loosely hand tighten a nylock nut from the other side of the mounting plate. When all four are in-place you can tighten them.


Compute Node Mainboards

Heads Up
You will be repeating these steps for all five worker node mainboards. These steps are a subset of the steps you just completed with the head node mainboard. Thus the moves will be very familiar.
LED Angle Mount with Four Holes
These mounts are symmetric. Chose a mounting plate and orient it as above. Mount the LED angle mount in the same manner.
Power Switch and Power LED
Mount these in exactly the same manner as above. The only difference is there is no disk activity LED or disk drive cable to connect.


Compute Node Mainboard Plates

Switch and LED cables Connected to compute Node Mainboard
Perform exactly the same steps as above except there is no disk activity cable or disk drive cable to manipulate.
Mount Mainboard
Perform exactly the same steps as above.
There are two fans that will be mounted on mainboard plates, which will be placed in positions 1 and 3. For reference, the head node is placed in position 0. Use a glue gun to secure the fan to the mainboard plate as shown below. Make sure the sticker on the fan faces the mainboard, which will make sure the air goes in the direction you want.


Insert Mainboards into Frame

Install Mainboards
Slide the five compute node mainboards into the frame, starting with the slot closest to the the frame. Slide the head node mainboard into the remaining slot.
Secure Mainboards
Screw the mainboard retainer into the top guide on the Intel Inside End Plate using two #10-32 x 0.5" screws.
Ethernet Jumpers
Plug the black Ethernet into the head node mainboard and the remaining Ethernet cables into the compute node mainboards.


Prepare Pelican Case

Cut Foam
Follow the cutting guide to cut two top pieces and two bottom pieces of foam. The top foam will protect the Ethernet cable and allows them to be installed permanently. The foam also acts as a shock absorber to minimize shipping trauma.
Install Foam
Place LittleFe in the center of the case with the sticker sides of LittleFe facing the side of the case. Glue the top foam strips to the inside cover of the pelican case so they will cover the side plates when the case is closed. Glue the other foam pieces to the front bottom and rear bottom of the pelican case, making sure the notches in the foam align with the corners of the case. It will take approximately two hours for the glue to dry.
Install Shock Cords
Secure a shock cord to each side of the pelican case by centering two black retaining clips on each cord, and then screwing the clips into the side of the pelican case using #10-32 x 0.5" screws and nylock nuts.


Next Steps

Congratulations! You are now ready to proceed to the BIOS configuration and finally software installation. See the main page for those instructions.

Personal tools