DIY data rack

Old 02-01-11, 07:42 PM
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DIY data rack

i have been installing voice and data for many years and always used 19 inch racks well i am building a workbench in my basement and wanted to build a custom rack unit. i am thinking of using wood products instead of steel so it blends in with the bench and such. i have the cat 5e patch panels routers and servers and wanted to build something unique. has any one tryed this, looking for some good ideas any pics and such.
Old 02-01-11, 09:50 PM
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Build the frame out of 1x2's. Cover it and trim it with anything you want. The vertical front inside width of the frame should be 17.5 inches to give you a standard rack width of 19 inches.

Grounding is an issue. Steel racks are always grounded, and they provide a common ground for all of the metal parts and chassis of the gear. Steel racks also provide shielding from RF and other noise sources.
Old 02-06-11, 07:24 AM
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Never tried the custom route, I have an old Chatsworth 19" relay rack in my basement that I got for free (wife's company was dumping it...great rack!). I like your idea and wish you luck.

Just adding a few considerations that you may have already thought of:
1) Access, access, sure to leave accessible space for mounting equipment and wiring. Nothing is more annoying than cramped muscles and skinless knuckles from trying to access wiring ports!

2) Airflow: be sure to leave adequate ventilation space for your equipment. Not sure what routers you're using, but remember that a lot of Cisco gear vents through the sides, not front to back.

3) Emphasizing Rick Johnston's note on grounding/bonding. I got a tingle in my hand leaning across two racks in a lab I used to work in. Their rack row was not bonded together.

Sounds like a great project. Good luck!

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