NODE Mini Server V3 Transforms Raspberry Pi 4 Into a Server or Mini PC

Hardware hacker NODE has had a busy month starting with the announcement of Zero Terminal V3 modular Raspberry Pi Zero W powered handheld PC, and now he’s just showcased NODE Mini Server V3 that transforms a Raspberry Pi 4 into a compact server or mini PC.

The project brings all ports to the same side in a similar fashion as Argon One enclosure through the use of custom adapter boards, but also enable easy integration of USB SSD drives, easier access to the MicroSD card socket, and support for fanless or dual-fan cooling.

With USB Adapter for internal SSD

Besides the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC, NODE Mini Server V3 includes the following components:

  • HDMI
  • USB
    • Pololu USB 2.0 Type-C Connector Breakout
    • USB-C Male Plug Breakout Board
    • Male USB 3.0 Plug (692112030100)
    • Female USB 3.0 Connector (48405-0003)
  • Storage
    • USB3 to mSATA SSD Adapter (Smooth Underside)
    • Male USB 3.0 Plug (692112030100)
    • mSATA Solid State Drive up to 2TB
    • MicroSD SMT socket (Generic)
  • Fan – Optional 1x or 2x 25x7mm 5V Fan (JST XH 2-Pin connector)
  • Cables
    •  10-pin 100mm 1mm Pitch Flex Cable
    •  20pin 50mm 0.5mm Pitch Flex Cable
  • Connectors
    • 2x 10-pin 1mm Pitch Connector – (52271-1079)
    • 20-pin 0.5mm Pitch Connector (52746-2071)
    • 20-pin 0.5 Pitch Connector (20FLZT-SM1-TF)
  • Custom PCBs
    • Top Cover PCB (88x88mm 1.6mm thick)
    • Male USB3 PCB (7x14mm 2mm thick)
    • Female USB3 PCB (19x14mm 1.6mm thick)
    • HDMI-A PCB (21x24mm 1.6mm thick)
    • Micro HDMI PCB (14x18mm 1mm)
    • Micro SD PCB (52.8mm x 49.2mm 0.8mm thick)
  • Screws and bolts
    • 5x M2.5 6mm countersunk screws
    • 4x M2 20mm countersunk screws
    • 4x M2 6mm x 3.5mm brass threaded insert
    • 4x M2.5 10mm screws for securing fans
    • 4x M2.5 hex nuts

As for all NODE project, Mini Server V3 is a DIY project, and you’ll find the project source files and editable PCB files on the project page. In a couple of weeks, he’ll sell devkits with custom PCB’s and all parts to early adopters. The 3D printed case measures 92 x 92 x 26 mm.

Some of the use cases envisioned for the design include the decentralized web, crypto nodes, seed servers, VPN, or a general Linux VPS. The device could also host your own website, serves as a media server, aNAS, or just a mini PC with faster SSD storage.

Via NoteBookCheck

Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.

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9 Comments
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itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
30 days ago

Funny project, but msata seems dead at least in certain parts of the world. I just upgraded my laptop a couple of days ago and there is one type of msata SSD left in the market.

Gérald
29 days ago

Amazon.com got several … but yeah, it looks that there’s no more “new” device coming on the market (biggest one i found was a 1Tb: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K73N7MK/ref=twister_dp_update?_encoding=UTF8&th=1)

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
29 days ago

Wrong side of the pond for Amazon.com to deliver.
I ended up with just installing a 120GB SSD at a moderate 25$ and keep the 1TB HD for mass storage.

tkaiser
tkaiser
29 days ago

The thingy in question is not part of the design so it’s up to you to buy one as the product page describes: ‘These USB3 to mSATA adaptors are easy to find on Ebay etc, but be aware they’re not all the same. You’ll need the one with the smooth underside.’

So maybe you find one with an M.2 socket but beware you need ‘the smooth underside’ (though I would better look for a proper USB-to-SATA bridge chip trying to prevent some of the usual ‘USB3 storage hassles with SBC’ sh*t show…)

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
29 days ago

What’s the point of an ssd via usb? Let’s hope for a new zero exposing pcie.

I probably would prefer the flexibility of an external 2.5″ USB enclosure, but that’s probably just me.

Gérald
29 days ago

“Some of the use cases envisioned for the design include the decentralized web, crypto nodes, seed servers, VPN, or a general Linux VPS.”

Why VPS ? As a reminder, VPS stands for “Virtual Private Server”. Using a rpi, even the 4, to run virtual machine isn’t the best idea i saw 😉
In my opinion, this would instead be a solution to replace a big, x86 machine running several VPS by several Pi instead.
Just my personnal opinion 😉

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
29 days ago

Isn’t a vps just a kind of an instance of apache in a chroot? The virtual means just it’s virtually private, not virtualised…

At least this was the case with vps about 20 years ago.

Gérald
28 days ago

Depends which kind of tech guy you are. For me, containerization is not virtualisation 😉

Willy
Willy
28 days ago

He’s right that 20 years ago this was indeed the case and the standard way to start to talk about virtualization on servers. However terminology has significantly evolved in 2 decades and “virtualization” now definitely covers the operating system and there’s no more room for confusing these technos nowadays.

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