[Beowulf] QsNet-1 parts, last call

Michael Brown spambox at emboss.co.nz
Mon Nov 24 17:19:32 PST 2008

Hello all,

As you may remember, I've ended up with a 128-way QsNet1 setup. 
Unfortunately, the house I've been renting has been sold, and the new place 
doesn't have the space to store it all. As a result, I'm going to be 
scrap-metalling the setup on about the 10th of December, give or take a few 
days. So, anyone who's interested in parts will have to get back to me 
before then.

Essentially what you will get is the QM400 (64-bit 66 MHz PCI) cards, the 
cables (about 15m long IIRC), and a QM-401X (16-way) switch card. The cards 
cannot be used as-is, since they expect +/- 24V from the chassis. However, 
by desoldering the DC-DC converter on the card, and connecting up to an 
external +/-3.3V supply, the card appears to operate correctly. I've tested 
it using two Meanwell RS-100-3.3 supplies (one for +3.3, one for -3.3). If 
you want, I can remove the regulator and solder in the other wires. You'll 
have to actually plug the wires into whatever supply you're using - the 
Meanwell RS-100 supplies (for example) have exposed mains voltages on the 
terminals, so for legal reasons I can't connect it all up for you. I can say 
that it all fits quite nicely into the Jaycar 2U rack enclosure, with a 
couple of 12V fans running off a unregulated 12V supply (transformer + 

To put a number on it, I'm saying AU$320 + shipping, for a 16 cards + cables 
+ switch card, though no reasonable offers will be refused since I'd like to 
see it used instead of scrap-metalled. The cost is basically to cover the 
materials + time to package it all up, plus a bit to cover what I would get 
for the copper in the cables. Note that the cables are big and heavy (for 
some reason 1.2 kg/cable rings a bell, but I'll have to check), so if you 
live overseas (I'm in Canberra, Australia) shipping could be a bit. I've 
also got the chassis (2 PSUs, fans, 16 QM-402's, and a clock card) if anyone 
is interested, but it's REALLY big and heavy so you'll have to come and pick 
that up yourself if you're interested.

For reference, QsNet1 has about 350 MB/sec bandwidth and MPI latency of 
somewhere around 4.5 - 5.0 us, depending on the platform (~2 us for the 
lower-level interface). So it's a big step up from ethernet, for example :) 
You need to use a patched Linux kernel (x86, x86-64, and IA64 supported, 
versions 2.6.18 and earlier IIRC) but it's not all that difficult to get set 
up. There's binaries for RHEL, and I got it to build with a bit of coercion 
on Debian Etch (4.0) IA-64.

Sorry about the spam,
Michael Brown 

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