AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Bethesda, MD USA
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I would never mount a router inside the box. You're going to cook it. Heat is the enemy of electronic devices. I've got one of those routers (on 3rd one now, due to power brick failures) and then tend to run a bit hot. That and look at the case, the manufacturer didn't go for a more expensive tooling to mold that heavily vented case just for "looks". They did it to help dissipate heat. Get the router out of the box and out in open air.
As for those boxes, meh, I prefer racks and patch panels. Things change over time and those boxes always end up not having enough space. Especially not when it comes to maintaining proper bend radius angles for coax. The only point I may use some in our new remodel is for an on-level distribution point upstairs. I like the idea of having a box upstairs with conduits running out to each room from there. Even with straight runs of wire back to the main rack. A box would give me a point to handle any additions or changes with less trouble than going all the way back to the main rack.
At the very least I'd get a box with vents at the top and bottom of the cover/door. Or have a local metal or custom auto body shop put louvers into it. Give the box a way to allow convection to circulate the air in there.
As for racks under steps or in basements, be SURE you're not exposing the gear to excessive humidity or heat. Heat's bad, for sure, but so is corrosion from moisture, or short circuits due to mold growth. I made the mistake of having a router setup that way in an old house a long time ago. Didn't take more than about 6 months for it to start failing. Any open connectors developed corrosion, and the inside of the box had a nasty white powdery growth on everything. Don't know what it was but didn't care to look much closer. Scratch one router and a lesson learned.
Unless you've got stuff that's specifically designed for harsh conditions you're better off putting it in places that have the same level of comfort as the rest of your home.