Jul 012018

Yet another infrequent update. During the last several months I got the remaining parts I needed to run eight Pis in a cluster. The only thing I was missing was a case. Today I re-purposed a cigar box and stuffed everything into it. I still need to do some cable-minding which may result in some soldering to made everything look nice. One last thing I need to do is to configure just one of the Pis to be an Ethernet-to-WiFi router for the other seven.

Eight-node Pi 3 Cluster.

Completed and housed in a cigar box.

Oct 142017
A 5-node Raspberry Pi 3 cluster.

A 5-node Raspberry Pi 3 cluster.

Here’s my latest project. I realize I’m late getting on the bandwagon. I heard of the Raspberry Pi ahead of it’s initial introduction way back in February of 2012 but it didn’t pique my interest back then. This past summer, when my interest in SETI@home was again stirred up, I began looking into building a cheap computing cluster. I had long considered buying a set of cheap laptops for the project but none ever hit a reasonable price point for me. In particular, I always considered buying a bunch of Dell Latitude C400 units as I already had one that has been running almost non-stop since I bought it used in 2006. Unfortunately, a complete, working unit never was cheap enough for me.

With the news of the Pi 3 release, I started seeing articles of people building BOINC clusters with them. In particular, I found this YouTube video and it’s sequel, both by KF7IJZ which really illustrated how easy a Pi 3 cluster is to build. So I set about building one for myself.

I’m glad I decided on the Pis rather than the C400. With the two of them running side-by-side, I can see that the Pi is beating the C400 by quite a bit just by looking at the RAC. I’m up to five nodes right now but I intend to eventually have eight nodes and secure it all in some kind of case.