Originally Posted by video321
Sounds like you have it planned out, but if you can I would look to sit the rack with one side against the wall instead of the back. It will allow you to get to the front and back with minimal or no movement (of course you need the width.)
I'll look into rolling the rack in sideways, it won't make a huge difference once it's setup, it will be on casters and I plan on leaving enough well routed slack to pivot the cabinet for access.
Originally Posted by MrBobb
If you look at a professional rack, there are air spaces on the sides, it's for ventilation and recommended. I would also leave some space on top. Think a "cage" construction and airflow around it.
True, on an open post rack, I think with the amount of space not utilized by the majority of these components (They are not 17.75" wide nor are they the depth of the cabinet) there should be decent air flow. Additionally, if Middle Atlantic sees it as sufficient, I think i'll be all set:
Originally Posted by Neurorad
Check ebay and craigslist, and university surplus departments, for used audio and server racks. You're trying to re-invent the wheel.
It won't be sturdy, without the components inside. And not too sure how much you want to rely on the mounted components for stability.
Pre-built will be sturdier - I don't think the butt joints will prevent it from collapsing sideways. Front and rear rack rails. Much, much easier pre-built. If you can only find 42U racks, buy a hack saw. The rear rack rails make cable management easier. As 39centstamp has previously suggested, a third set of vertical rack rails make cable management even easier - I added a third set to my used server rack.
You might also consider a patch panel for the ethernet cables, but many people skip that. You might want to consider mounting the switch backwards or mounted to the rear rails, so you won't see the cables (if looks are important to you).
Get/make one bigger than you'll need, you'll find other components/devices.
I'm not so much re-inventing the wheel as I'm using a set standard as I am remanufacturering the wheel at lower cost. I'd absolutely pick up a used rack if it were under, equal, or close to the cost of what this will run me.
Rather than a third set of rack rail, I will most likely utilize some flat aluminum to create lacing bars that again, cost a fraction of a marked up piece of bent and punched aluminum.
As for the patch panel, there will be one, but rather than rack mounting in this cabinet, it will be wall mounted at the ends of each cable run. This will allow for patch cables from the panel to the switch, that will facilitate easy disconnect if the rack needs to move farther than the patch cables allow. It will ensure the runs through the home do not terminate to an adjustable point in my basement, but rather a fixed point.
Still have not purchased lumber for this, but I plan to soon. If a 42U Rack shows up on Craigslist (not paying shipping) and is the right price, perhaps I'll pass on building, but so far I'm not interested in $400 prices that continue to surface in my area.