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Corebb's Compact "bbServer" Is an Orange Pi 5-Powered Minecraft Box with Infinity Mirror Aesthetics

With a high-performance Orange Pi 5 at its heart, this compact Minecraft server uses CircuitPython for some clever aesthetic touches.

Pseudonymous maker "Corebb" has built a compact, low-power home server with a few nice-to-have bonus features — including a case inspired by infinity mirrors and with a central display for status monitoring.

"For a long time, I wanted to DIY a server that can be turned on 24 hours a day at home," Corebb explains of the project. "What I thought was that the power consumption should be low enough so that my mother would not hit me. Because I want to use it to open a Minecraft server, the performance should be [high], but low power consumption and high performance are inherently contradictory, so I have to choose a chip with a better energy consumption ratio."

This compact yet high-performance server blends functionality with aesthetics in a custom-designed casing. (📹: Corebb)

That requirement pushed Corebb towards Arm processors, and from there to an Orange Pi 5 single-board computer (SBC) — built around the Rockchip RK3588S system-on-chip, offering four Arm Cortex-A76 cores running at up to 2.4GHz and four lower-power Cortex-A55 cores running at up to 1.8GHz. With up to 32GB of RAM, that's plenty of power for running a Minecraft server — but Corebb wasn't done.

"I designed [the] shell in Fusion 360," Corebb explains of the aesthetic side of the project, referring to a custom 3D-printed housing for the Orange Pi 5. "Then I [wanted] to make it a little cooler, so I painted some luminous paint on the words 'bbServer.' I added a heatsink and installed this turbo-fan, [and] to display some information I added a 2.4" OLED screen."

To finish the project, Corebb turned to laser cutting to build a lid for the case which acts as an infinity mirror — reflecting WS2812 addressable RGB LED lighting strips around the case's edge to provide the illusion of an infinitely-receding space inside the tiny desktop chassis.

"I wrote a program to get messages from the Minecraft server," Corebb adds. "I've done some interesting things, like when a player enters it lights up and displays [the player's] ID. [It can also show] the CPU usage, the number of players online, their game ID, and the server's output. And then it will also show some special effects when someone dies in it."

More information is available in Corebb's walkthrough video, while 3D design files and the CircuitPython source code are available on GitHub under an unspecified open source license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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