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Author Topic: Thinking of going rack-mounted  (Read 6673 times)
N3CSA
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Posts: 25




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« on: December 16, 2011, 06:42:03 PM »

My limited space is becoming more crowded.  I am really considering moving my rigs to a rack mount.

Anyone have suggestions where to get a good, sturdy and decent-priced rack?  Of course, being a ham, my first thought is to build my own.
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NA4IT
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2011, 07:26:07 PM »

If you wish to build your own, it can be "made to fit" what you want. If you take a look at places like Guitar Center or Musician's Friend, or All Pro Sound online, you can find "rack rail", "rack screws", and "rack shelves" for reasonable prices. I would recommend using all of those, and especially get a rack shelf before you build it, so you can get your side to side spacing right. The rack rails save a lot of pain trying to make your own, all you need to be do it mount them at exactly the same height on both sides. The rack screws are made especially for the rack rails and equipment you would mount, as rack rail is already tapped for the screws, eliminating the needs for nuts on the back. Another thing, plan for ventilation. Maybe leave it open on the back, or put a mesh panel or two in it, and even some fans if needed.

Here is a page describing rack dimensions. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rack_unit) The music stores commonly carry the 19" wide stuff (which will mount equipment up to about 17-1/2" wide). 23" wide stuff is more of the commercial flavor, and more expensive. One thing to remember on rack shelves, if the equipment is heavy, by a shelf that is taller, i.e. 3 RU compared to 1RU. The sides will reach further back, and be more robust.

Good thing about building your own, is you can build it out of metal, wood, etc. You can make it look like a piece of furniture, put doors on it, etc.

Hope the info helps.

de NA4IT
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 07:29:02 PM by NA4IT » Logged
N5VTU
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Posts: 358




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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2011, 07:58:35 PM »

I use these rack adapters for my rigs.

http://www.novexcomm.com/

For the enclosure itself, many commercial options are available (pricey) or you can build your own cabinet using standard rack rails spaced at 19".

Good Luck,
N5VTU
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KG4NEL
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Posts: 373




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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2011, 08:45:47 PM »

My limited space is becoming more crowded.  I am really considering moving my rigs to a rack mount.

Anyone have suggestions where to get a good, sturdy and decent-priced rack?  Of course, being a ham, my first thought is to build my own.

When I was in commercial A/V, Middle Atlantic was pretty much the "go-to" for rack hardware. They even make "skeleton" style racks that have no side panels, to go into existing furniture.

If you do build your own, I'd install both front and rear rack rails. Having a set of rails in the back comes in very handy for mounting heavy equipment - you don't want all that weight to be a cantilever on a front-mounted shelf alone.

It's a personal choice, but I'd much, much prefer to use threaded rack rail. The ones with unthreaded holes and cage nuts are a PITA, in my opinion...
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 08:49:14 PM by KG4NEL » Logged
W7ETA
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2011, 12:36:02 PM »

I seem to remember Lowes selling a very narrow, sturdy, modular book case?
73
Bob
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K9KJM
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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2011, 10:26:57 PM »

Old equipment racks are available for a song at most ham swapfests, And/or contact some of the "old timer" hams in the area and tell them you are looking.......

When you find one, Be sure to install a set of caster wheels under it for easy movement before you fill it with equipment!
With the caster wheels, It is a simple matter to just pull the entire rack out away from the wall to access the cables etc in the back of it!  Works great.
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MAGNUM257
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Posts: 159




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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 01:43:17 PM »

My limited space is becoming more crowded.  I am really considering moving my rigs to a rack mount.

Anyone have suggestions where to get a good, sturdy and decent-priced rack?  Of course, being a ham, my first thought is to build my own.
Check Craigslist, sometimes you can find a free one, or a very cheap one...

http://baltimore.craigslist.org/sys/2728591921.html

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KC0UKR
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2011, 05:57:21 PM »

I am in the A/V Business and also suggest Middle Atlantic although they are not inexpensive.
I also like Lowell but the cheapest I have found seem to be these?

http://www.skywalker.com/Categories/Racks.aspx

They are a distributor,everything is Chinese and they will pretty much sell and ship to anyone.

The racks are OK but cheap too. Just like most Hams!

Ed
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