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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,


Im in the process of figuring out what Ill need to rack two Middle Atlantic Slim 5 enclosures and I thought Id ask the forum members whether you have any tips. Id be just as interested in learning what not to do as what I should do. Id also be interested in hearing about any racking gadgets that proved to be of value to you.


Im planning on going with two ganged 43 space enclosures allowing a lot of space for future expansion. I plan on putting them on skirted casters (not built-in). Ive attempted to attach a graphic using Rack Tools to show a concept drawing of the racking. I doubt that you'll be able to read the details, but it may give you a feel for where Im heading.


One question I have related to ganging the enclosures. The Middle Atlantic documentation says that they can be ganged with or without the vertical cable chases if door arent added to the enclosures. Any thoughts on the pros and cons of using them?


If Id not mistaken the Slim 5s dont come with top access holes so I wont be able to mount top mounted fans. I was planning on placing a 2-fan panel on the top rear of each enclosure.


An other question relates to the pros and cons of mounting heavy, heat-producing amplifiers high versus low. The drawing shows them mounted high, to avoid venting hot air over the other components, but I have some concerns regarding the advisability of elevating the center of gravity on enclosures that will be rolled on casters. Any thoughts?


In my current home theater I have a home theater PC with monitor and key board hidden in an entertainment center. Id like to duplicate this in a rack. (I was shocked to see that a rack mounted keyboard cost $280.)


The concept drawing shows most of the spare space being occupied by deep utility drawers. I figured that I would store my DVD collection in them in the interim. Then as new components are added if necessary a drawer could be removed. Ultimately, I might have to find an other location for the DVD collection, or rack one or more DVD mega-changers.


Thanks in advance.


Larry
 

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I've got a 43 space rack on castors, and I'd keep my heavy components near the bottom. Having the center of gravity so high would make me nervous. The racks have a bit of "sway" in them (as just about any bolt together item this big would), and having rolled mine around I'm glad I have my AV receiver nearer to the bottom.


-Max
 

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Advice from the trenches. I have used a lot of Slim5 as well as "high end" Stantron racks.


1) Do not use threaded wheels in the colum they provide. These types of wheels end up bending the threaded colum and pinching the wheel against the base. Use the 4 screw hole wheels. Get 1x2 inch at HD and use 10-32 screws and nuts to secure. 1/4-20 is the hole size but the holes don't exactly line up so the 10-32 screws are needed to clear all 4 holes.


2) The cable chase has an additional cosmetic benefit. It puts some space between the racks versus the bare rails bolted together. Note that most higher end racks have a frame around the rails. But the cable chase is no as strong as bolting the rails together, Keep this in mind when dragging the racks around.


Another way I used once is to put a 24in wide Melamine sheet between the racks. This is a stronger joint as uses less space than the cable chase - cheaper too. It does block rack to rack access but you could easily cut big holes in the Melamime sheet. Just trace the rack side frame and cut out the holes. You can get wood grain or white sheets at HD. Black Melamime is available from special places. Or painted plywood with edge moulding. Just don't paint Melamime, it doesn't stick no matter what anyone may tell you.


3) Middle Atlantic makes fan panels that rack mount. Just mount these in the rear at the highest elevation. This will draw out the heat just as good as on the top. Of course don't push the rack against the wall if you do this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys for the excellent advice.


Glimmie, if I follow Max's advice and mount my amplifiers at the bottom of the rack, would you advise mounting the fan panels just over the amps rather than at the top? This way the hottest area of the rack would be immediately ventilated before the hot air traveled upward and over the other components.


Thanks.


Larry
 

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I would think you would be OK if you mounted the fans right above the amps and exhausted the air either out the front or the back. What matters is that you move the hot air away from the components, it doesn't matter which way (unless you have nice equipment room to vent it into).
 
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