Builder screwed me, need server rack recs - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 11-30-2019, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Builder screwed me, need server rack recs

Somehow a non-approved version of plans was given to framers at some point where a change was made in secondary laundry room to show what washer/dryer enclosed with doors would look like.

We said no to that change, but this set was left out there and the room was framed like that. We had them remove that framing to leave washer/dryer open. I did not realize that the architect had also inexplicably reduced size of my network/server closet that is in that laundry room.

End result, now that all structured and security wiring is ran and drywall is done, when I finally catch the error, is the closet is 18" narrower left to right than I had requested.

Final interior dimensions are 4' 5" wide x 3' 5" deep. There are surface mounted boxes left and right side walls for security and structured wiring, so that 4' 5" is more like 3' 9".

There really isn't enough room to fit a standard 36" deep server rack even if it was on casters. I don't really need that anyway. This rack will house patch panels, router (probably pfsense), network switch(es), unRaid server (probably in a 4U case instead of my current cube tower), blue Iris server, automation server, whole house audio amplifiers and matrix. Depending on exact brands of amplifiers, size of chassis for BI and automation servers, I could have 24U to 30U worth of gear. Would like some room for expansion obviously and a spot for small monitor tray would be nice.

Height isn't a problem. 42U rack is fine. Depth is the problem. Most of the rackmount chassis I see that I might use like Rosewill etc are 24" deep. If I did an old refurb server like a R220 or something those are usually 24" too. Maybe I could use shallower rack chassis if needed.

But need rack suggestions as most everything I've seen is 36" deep. I think a 24" deep rack on casters would work, I could spin or pull it out as needed for rear access (really miffed about that as it shouldn't have been necessary). An 18" deep rack would probably also work if I was thoughtful about the gear I buy/build. Open frame 4 post is fine. I'd probably even prefer that to an enclosed rack cabinet to get easier access in a small space.

Any suggestions? I'm not finding 24" deep racks on casters. I suppose I could build a caster base if needed.
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post #2 of 17 Old 11-30-2019, 01:28 PM
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why are you posting here instead of getting an attorney and getting this resolved, getting the build you were supposed to get to begin with? I mean, that's why these companies have insurance.

it sounds like you got screwed and your simply accepting it and now trying to make due. I don't think you should. unless you paid them to do a ***** job like they did, you should sue and get it redone properly.

don't get me wrong, if you want to leave what was done to you as is, that's fine and i'll respect that as it's your choice to do so. I wouldn't touch it until it's legally resolved. the nature of my post is because you didn't say what you were doing about the wrong doings to you, your project and your home. you only appear to be asking for workarounds to what was done as if you have simply accepted it.

best of luck to you.

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post #3 of 17 Old 11-30-2019, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, obviously will have a discussion, meeting with builder on Friday. I'm not happy about it but part of my decision on whether I require ripping out drywall and reframing will be based on whether the closet is usable for intended purpose as is. There are 100 security wires pulled into the side wall that would have to be reframed. I'm not sure if they could be salvaged and pulled into a newly framed wall. Perhaps. If not, the rework would involve stripping already finished drywall elsewhere in the house as needed to re-pull wires. Not to mention the netted blown insulation between floors for sound damping that would have to be removed.

We have a good relationship with our builder. We will discuss whether it is feasible to correct. If it requires really extensive rework, it probably would get into lawsuit territory and regardless of that outcome it would without doubt substantially delay completion of the house.

The closet isn't tiny, but no longer has the "stand inside to work on stuff" room I wanted. If it can still serve its purpose, which is to house adequate gear that won't be changed frequently, that is an important piece of information.

Thus, asking here for suggestions on racks and rack gear that might be workable as is. Your thoughts are definitely appreciated though.
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-30-2019, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like searching for AV rack instead of server rack turns up the shallower options I was looking for. Now to decide whether that is workable or not.
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post #5 of 17 Old 11-30-2019, 03:23 PM
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Things get torn out and re-framed all the time after sheetrock is hung. Moving plumbing is a bigger deal than electrical so look what is close by. Ive never seen house wiring ie security, Lan etc that wasn't a 20ft plus long bundle coming out of the wall, its always excessive. Hopefully they left yours the same.

As long as your W/D will fit after putting the closet back to original specs I wouldn't sweat too much about it.
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-30-2019, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe right. There is a pretty long bundle coming out of wall. Certainly enough to accommodate an 18" move. I'm not sure how to extract from top plate safely during demolition but I guess it could be done. No plumbing to move, washer and dryer in other corner of room so no problem there. Just the security wiring which is mostly 2 conductor, a few cat runs, and an electrical outlet in that wall.
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-02-2019, 12:02 PM
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Hi, I have used these startech adjustable depth racks before. They are very solid once bolted together. And they offer a caster kit!
Comes in various heights up to 42U

https://www.startech.com/Server-Mana...et~4POSTRACK36

https://www.startech.com/Server-Mana...CK~4POSTCASTER
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-02-2019, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, those are pretty much what I've been looking at. The posts are adjustable for depth but I'm guessing the base is fixed in depth, specification page says 39" which is what I've seen a lot of. I don't need the full 36" depth (24" would be plenty) but even the 24" deep racks on casters I've found are 32" or more deep.

I found one cheap AV open rack that's only about 20" deep including base in casters. Reviews all said be careful about putting heavy equipment too high, not particularly stable. And I'd be miffed if I really wanted or needed a 24" deep piece of equipment and couldn't mount it. To house unRaid drives that seems likely.

Discussed with builder, she's getting to work on having the wall moved. Thanks guys for the sanity check.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 08:45 AM
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Isn't the larger issue the size of the rack equipment and then the rack and then the enclosure to put the rack in?

Got a pic of what you are dealing with?
But does sound like moving the wall is the easy path.
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
Thanks, those are pretty much what I've been looking at. The posts are adjustable for depth but I'm guessing the base is fixed in depth, specification page says 39" which is what I've seen a lot of. I don't need the full 36" depth (24" would be plenty) but even the 24" deep racks on casters I've found are 32" or more deep.
I can't get to the room I have one of those racks in right now, but I'm pretty sure the base is adjustable the way the whole thing was by bolting overlapping pieces together. You overlap them depending on how deep you want it.
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 03:50 PM
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Middle Atlantic equipment racks remain, pretty much, the AV standard and have racks as shallow as 20".

I have a 20" deep 19" wide Slim5 rack. It's exactly 19.125" wide and has the one I'm using has an added caster base. This definitely is a model which needs heavier gear at the bottom so that it doesn't tip, but it can be loaded to the top, and any gear that falls out the back side can be supported underneath with lacing bars as necessary.

They have them up to 43RU.

I use a couple of their Slim 5-43-26 model for my main AV system. My one on casters that I referenced is actually too short to match my other gear, but I can't have the 26" depth, so I will get their standard 20" depth version.

Product page: https://www.middleatlantic.com/produ...e/5-43-26.aspx

The caster base is sold separately.

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post #12 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome info guys, thanks. Even with moving the wall a shallower than standard server rack will help with access and maneuverability.
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post #13 of 17 Old 12-04-2019, 06:34 PM
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Middle Atlantic RCS 42U might be a good fit.

Removable sides are key, room on the sides to hide cables (unlike MA Slim series).

I don't know how noisy the fans are.

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post #14 of 17 Old 12-05-2019, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmm... I had assumed I'd go for an open post design and route cables between gear (above/below) when needed. I guess routing down covered sides would work well. Sort of a pain mixing forward facing patch panels and network gear with servers and AV gear that are primarily rear facing conectivity. Ultimately this is tucked into a closet that only I will open and care what it looks like so organization, function, cooling are more important than looks.

Last edited by Bigus; 12-05-2019 at 01:57 PM.
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-05-2019, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
Hmm... I had assumed I'd go for an open post design and route cables between gear (above/below) when needed. I guess routing down covered sides would work well. Sort of a pain mixing forward facing patch panels and network gear with servers and AV gear that are primarily rear facing conectivity. Ultimately this is tucked into a closet that only J will open and care what it looks like so organization, function, cooling are more important than looks.
Just get a nice Luxul AV switch that has of the the network jacks on the back for that clean look. They are pricey, but look great in the rack.
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-05-2019, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FlyOnTheWall View Post
Just get a nice Luxul AV switch that has of the the network jacks on the back for that clean look. They are pricey, but look great in the rack.
Those do look nice. Would have to figure out how to handle the network patch panel. With so many drops, terminating those easily and neatly may drive everything else. Did a quick search, didn't see any patch panels intended to be terminated on the same face as the patch cords. I haven't bothered with a full count yet, probably nearing ~100 cat cables to deal with.
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post #17 of 17 Old 12-09-2019, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, blessing in disguise as it turns out. This closet is in a second laundry room, and we decided to add a sink. Needed the extra counter length outside the closet so I will be leaving the wall as is. Not ideal when I need to make changes but there is enough wire to pull a rack entirely out of the closet if needed. Rack suggestions are going to be very helpful, thanks.
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