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."
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."