With single board computers being so affordable and offering better features than before, I decided to use one as the platform for a NAS project that I have been meaning to build for the past couple of years. There are several SBCs available in the market at the moment, but the one I decided to use was the Banana PI because it was the first one I saw that has native SATA support. The Banana Pi can be purchased online for about $35. (For more information on its specs, click this.)

At first I just wanted to create a NAS box with one HDD, but I thought, why just limit it to one? So with some Google-Fu, I decided to research about port multiplier that works with the Banana PI. Sure enough, I found information from other people that were successful with this project. You can check out this site for instructions on how to rebuild the Banian Kernel to support the SATA port multiplier. It also has a link on a pre-made Image that you can use when creating your SD card image.

The port multiplier that seems most compatible with this project is a JMB-321 port multiplier that you can purchase online for around $20.

 

Once you have the Banana PI and the SATA port multiplier, the next thing to purchase is the case and HDD case. Since I decided to use more than one drive, I decided to purchase a 5-bay CD duplicator case. This was perfect as the case has a power supply that I can use to power both the Banana PI and the 3.25 SATA HDD that I was going to use. The case can cost from around $50 to $150 depending on the number of bays.

Next is choosing the HDD case. Here I decided to purchase the Rosewill 3 x 5.25 to 4 x 3.5 Hotswap case. You can purchase this from Amazon for around $55.

In order to make it easier to connect your Custom NAS box to the network, I recommend purchasing an Ethernet panel mount extension. You can also purchase several panel mount extensions for the HDMI, and USB connectors to make your NAS box easier to manage.

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