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I thought I'd share this (I'm probably gonna post picks of my rack in the "show us your rack" thread, but this really goes beyond that). I don't have any really early pictures of demo (I took them, but I think directly in text messages and those are long gone now), but you'll get the point.


I started with a fairly large closet in center of my house. in July of 2011, I had my A/C replaced and they refused to put it in the Attic again, so it went into this closet. I had plans on removing the closet to open up the living room, or opening the other side and making a little Den for the kids, etc. but the A/C had to go somewhere. Once that was done, I pretty much knew I was going to tear down the dry wall and put in my whole house audio/video distribution system in there as well as a rack for my living room/home theater. I am currently running only the living room out of it, but every chance I get, I run more wires. Work has just been crazy and we now have a baby on the way, so other things have taken over. This was started in September of last year, and by the end o this post(s) it will be up to where it is today. On with the pictures (it might take me a few posts to get them all in!!).


First I removed the drywall. It was fun. It caused a big mess. My Girlfriend thought I was bat crap crazy! She puts up with it though. After that I had to relocate some studs to make room for the SMC enclosures and the Rack passthrough. I don't have pictures of these steps. I was more interested in getting it done than documenting it at the time



At the point I have pictures, you can see the wholes I drilled in the top plate for the SMCs (none of my interior walls in my house are load bearing, so I didn't have an issue doing this). You can see I doubled the studs up. I was planning on putting wire shelving back into the closet, and the extra space between the SMCs would allow me to put the vertical supports in. I opted not to do this because the rack is on wheels and it would hinder me moving it easily.



Here you can see the SMCs installed. I went with 3. One is for network, one is for audio/video, and the last is just for whatever else and a pass through to the patch panels below it. I used PVC that extends about 24" into the attic so that even through the insulation, I can easily pass wires down. One of them, however was just under a ceiling joist, so I just stopped it short of the joist (as I said, no load bearing walls, so the joists don't actually sit on the walls. there is about 1-2" between them. It's very odd looking when there is no drywall up).





IN this picture you can see the 2 power blocks for the first 2 SMCs. EAch one has 6 outles on it for plugging stuff into. I don't think I'll need 6 in each, but better to do it now than regret it later. These will be wired to reverse outlets in the recessed outlet boxes below them (more on this later).



Here is a shot looking from the outside in (from the living room). I couldn't remove all the drywall in the closet because the A/C Unit was already installed and I didn't want to have to try and re-install drywall around it (it's about 3-4" away from the walls).



Here is the rack. It came in earlier than I needed it, but I was anxious, so I started putting stuff on it. This if far from the last iteration of it's layout.



Here is inside the first (network) SMC. I'm using leviton SMCs. I've used them before and like them. They have some good products and I really like these new punch and twist ones. My only issue is they are wider than their old style and I"m scared I won't have room to run all the wires I hneed to run (each of those panels is 24 ports).



Under the 3rd SMC, I installed 3 8-gang low votage rings (They fit exactly between 16" on center studs). These will hold either pass-through ports (brush style) or Quickport panels that go to the rack. 8 was probably overkill, but I wanted to make sure that once drywall was up, I was done.



Here is my first 'receccesed' outlet box. This is for the wirless router that will sit on the wall above it. It has 1 enclosed outlet electrical box and 1 LV ring. It is recessed to that the plugs don't stick out.



Because my GF had a 3y/o, I was constanly putting back up pieces of drywall I saved to keep him out. He thought that room was a jungle gym and would jump around and swing. I'm not a party pooper, but I didn't want the little guy to get hurt. She didn't live with me yet, so this was only on the weekends (this project was part of many that I did to prepare the house for her and her kids, including a new 9x11 master bath, a new 12'x24' shed for my crap, new tile floors, and new trim throughout the house).






Here's a shot of the most of the outlet boxes installed. I installed a total of:
  • 4 4-gang recessed electrical boxes around the bottom (more on this later),
  • 1 4-gang at the top near the router (for reverse outlets run to the 4 boxes around the bottom to go to a battery backup that will go here).
  • 1 2-gang for the router (1 LV, one regular),
  • 1 2-gang recessed box near the A/C (mainly because the A/C had pump).
  • 2 2-gang recessed boxes on the other side of the rack that go to the TV, Subs, and the back porch TV
I ran all the electrical myself except the lines from the breaker box. I already had 1 20amp circuit in the room (that I had installed just before the A/C was installed just for this purpose), and I had an electrician pull a second 20a circuit during this part of the job.



Here is one of the lower outlet boxes all wired up. There are 3 outlets, and 1 inlet on the two under the SMCs with power in them. They are color coded for a very specific reason.
  • Black - 1st 20a Circuit
  • Gray - 2nd 20a Circuit
  • Colored outlet - Goes to color coordinated power inlet under the UPS (near the router. It's an APC Structured wiriing battery backup)
  • Colored Inlet - Goes to the SMC directly above it (These didn't need to be color coded, but I had already painted them, so just used them)
(For the one under the 3rd SMC, there are 2 black outlets for the 1st 20a Circuit and 2 gray outlets for the 2nd 20a circuit. The one under the router towards the floor is wired just like the SMC ones above, but instead of a power inlet, has 2 Cat6 and 1 RG6 run to it just in case I ever need them there. I doubt I will)



Here's a shot of me wiring up the boxes (ok, I'm not in the pic, but all my tools are. I was alone in the house when I did this)



And here is one with all the outlets wired and the boxes covered to protect them from the Drywall guys that will be coming eventually (I decided to hire this out due to all the cuts around the outlets).



Here is a great shot of the cutout for the Rack. I am using a tripp-lite rack on casters so I can roll it out of the way. I am doing this because I have a development server that I will face backwards, but will be towards the bottom under the opening. It should maximize my usable rack space. To the left you can see the 2 dangling power lines for the 2 circuits. These will be run into the 2-gang box to the left of the opening, and then run under the rack opening to the other side for all the other boxes.



Here is the start of the LV wiring within the closet itself. I ran it around the wall (which in hindsight was probably a bad idea. I should've run it up and over and back down). The LV over the 4-gang box on the left is for a 2-gang LV recessed box that will go directly above it. That box is not installed because it will be located directly behind, but slightly below the battery backup. Since it won't be attached to a stud, I just ran wires there. The drywall guys will leave a whole for me.



At the bottom of this SMC, you can see all the lines running out the bottom and to the left. There is a space about 3" wide next to that stud before you get to the corner stud (I wish I had gotten a picture of it). The wires run there then up that "channel" and back over. Like I said, I should have run it up the ceiling and then back down from the attic.



Here's a shot looking into the closet from the hallway. I removed even more drywall so that I could minimize having to match texture.



Here's from the other side. The bound up cables are the ones that go to the battery backup.



Here is that channel I was talking about. If one of those cables goes bad, I'm sol. I can't replace them. Oh well. Lessons learned!



Here is the back of the SMCs. I drilled 2" holes between them to run cables between them. I used a ton of those metal plates to keep the drywall guys from screwing into my wires.



Here you can see how the electrical is run under the rack opening. I'll have to "unwire" it to get the rack in (it's too tall to fit through a doorway).



Here's a picture looking from the hallway into the closet. Those recessed boxes maximize space. The backs of them rest up against the drywall on the opposite side on a standard 2x4 stud wall.



Here's a couple of more pics of the box for the wireless router. You can see how the LV is wired and the color coded outlet (that goes to the power inlet in the box next to it). I used black cat6 ports for data, and the blue one is to signify it's the raw signal from the modem.




Here is the rack in place! The drywall guys hated me, but I had no choice. It had to go in before drywall. It's ok though because the Tile guys hated me even more!! they had to tile half the floor, let it dry, grout it, then move the rack and do the other side. IT was worth it though.




The drywall guys came and did their stuff! They were mexican and I'm sure they were cussing me out in spanish, but they did a most amazing job in there.



Here is the rack opening all drywalled out. I'm glad I measured carefully. The rack barely fits between the two bump outs I made without pulling any paint off.



And here you can see the bump outs I just talked about. This way when the rack is pushed in, the walls go back a little past the front of th rack. It allows me to give the appearance of an installed rack, but I can pull it back if I need to, I also plan on framing in the front to cover any gaps, but haven't gotten there yet.



Here is the rack pushed into place. I don't have the MA faceplates or blanks at this point, but it did feel good to see it in place.



Another angle. Once again, the openings will all be filled in eventually/



Here is the inside of the closet with the rack pushed into place. the SMCs all have extender rings (to give more internal space) and locking doors on them. The third one is inaccessible with the rack in place, but it shouldn't hold anything vital. The first 2 SMCs are all full accessible with the rack in place. There will/is enough slack in the lines going to the rack so that it can be fully moved out of the way and pushed to in front of the A/C on the other side.



Here is a pic of the outlets after the trim is installed on them. I like that they're recessed and the plugs don't stick out. I know it was overkill for a small space, but as I keep saying. Better to do it now than regret it later. It also allows me to plug in something without draping power cables all around the closet, which was one of my goals.



Here is the space for the router and battery backup. You can finally see the other 2-gang box installed. It's for all the cat6 and rg6 that go to the BBU (network protection, telephone protection, cable protection).



And fast forward some, and here is the closet as it is today. I wish I had taken more pictures of the wiring phase of the house, but the attic was hot, and I was not wanting to be up there more than I had to.


This is the rack as it wired today with custom length cables made by me (except power and HDMI, which were measured and purchased to be as close as possible. For the most part they were dead on).



Here's the back of the 4u MA drawer, the APC battery backup and my local dev server/NAS (with almost 20TB of storage I think)



And now to the rack specifics. It's tight in the closet now (With all the drywall up), so it's hard to get good pictures, but I tried.


Here is the 24 port switch that is dedicated to the rack. Way more ports than I'll need, but it was rack mountable and I got a great deal on it.You can also see the lacing rods i used for the back of the AV receiver (I used 3, one 'upper', one 'mid', and one 'lower).



Here is the actual back of the receiver. Instead of running the wires to the shelf then over and back up. I just used lacing rods on the back, ran them over then through the rack the Receiver. At one point I had some quick port patch panels up there, but removed them and ran straight from the wall to the receiver. Under the receiver is my HTPC that I use for all my TV watching (the GF uses the Roku for some dumb reason). Due to the limited number of cables, I did run them to the shelf, over then directly into the HTPC. IT's IR reciever is also mounted right under the shelf with a IR emiter strapped to it.



Here is the Wirless printer, Cable box, Roku and PS3 bluetooth Harmony adapter. (not a great pic as the last 3 are on a shelf directly below the printer. they also nee to have their cables cleaned up a bit as I just got my Harmony 900)



Here is the back of the 4u drawer again and the top of my dev server. it has 20 hot swappable drive bays (16 hooked up to a 3ware card, the other 4 to the MBs sata connectors).



And here is the battery backup for the server. I plan on getting a rack mountable one, but at this point it works and I already had it, so it's free.



And finally, the part that is most important. Here is the rack from the living room. I plan on framing it out, so you wont' see the numbers on the tripp-lite rack and it will also help with some of the light bleed when someone goes into the closet. It looks pretty sweet as is though and everyone loves and is in awe when they see it. My next step after the framing of it out is to add a hinged panel to hide it away. It looks cool and all, but I put it there to be stealthy, but look good when you open it.




Here is the battery backup and the router. you really can't see the 2-gang recessed box behind the battery backup, and to some degree, I wish I hadn't placed it behind the battery backup (hard to get the cables to plug in). Its a lessong learned though and hopefully those cables aren't swapped out very often at all. I also ordered 2' and 3' power cables from monoprice to go from the battery backup to the inverse power plugs. they work pretty nicely. I wish they made a 2.5' version though so I could take the loops out of 2 of them. The wireless range though is great being up so high and the BBU doesn't seem to hinder it's signal (a concern of mine).



This is inside SMC 1 (Networking and Telephone). I haven't yet terminated the wires from any locations I've run yet, but I plan on doing it soon. For now I have some of levisons 12port angled quickport inserts for the ports coming to/from the BBU and router ports on the wall.



Here is SMC2 (Audio/Video distro). as of right now, I'm only running the living room on it, but I'm about to do the Kids room and my master bedroom when I get time. I was using a monoprice cat6 -> hdmi wall plate adapter to get to the living room, but while running wires to my new master bath, I somehowe fried them (and 1 of my hdmi ports on my receiver. Thank goodness it has 2!). I am now using a 60' redmere cable with great success. I don't even have the sparkles on the PS3 that I had with the monoprice adapters



Here is SMC 3. It's just a passthrough at the point, but my original intention was to use it for the whole house audio (if I ever get to it).



And here are the 3 8-gang patch panels. I really think that 3 was overkill, but I wasn't sure at the time. I'm just gonna install blanks (they are here waiting) to tidy it up. You can also see 2 more 2-gang recessed outlets in the corner. The bottom one feeds my TV and one of my subs in the living room (so they can plug into the APC HT battery backup) and the top one goes to the other sub in the living room and the out inlet goes to the back porch for my TV there (not installed yet)



Here is a closeup of the cable management for the receiver. I tried to get a good picture, but it's all black on black in a very confined space.



Here is the HTPC cable management. a few USB cables (IR Emitter and wireless keyboard charger/dongle), HDMI, power, and ethernet.



Here is the back of the APC s20BLK HT battery backup. There is a lot of stuff goign to this. Some of it is just small stuff like the IR repeater and some other small things. I want to reduce this by putting in a tripp-lite vertical outlet strip on the right side of the rack. They have a 2 circuit one with black and grey outlets that match my scheme great and would provide power the height of the rack for things that don't need battery backup.



Here is the back of the PS3. It and the Wii are pretty well hidden behind stuff, but I still tried to make it look pretty.



And finally, here is my rolling shelf that I got off amazon. IT can easily fit through the door (so I can take it out if I need to), it provides even more storage and it looks pretty nice. My only problem is it blocks the printers paper feed tray. Oh well, you can't win them all!





I hope you all enjoyed this. It took me a long time to get to this point, and I plan on updating this thread as I continue my process. The A/V distribution will be hopfully coming soon as I start to add some TVs to the house. I'm right now trying to get past the lowest common denominator for 7.1 surround sound. If I can get past that, I'll fly through it.


Please feel free to make suggestions and/or ask questions.


P.S. Sorry i posted this when I was half done. I accidentally hit submit instead of previous once (I kept losing track of what picture I was on.....LOL)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Just gonna bump this up some cause I added more pictures to the post and I accidentally hit "submit" instead of "preview" one of the times I was checking my progress.


Hope you all enjoy. I can't wait to hear some comments
 

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Nice job! My comments, for anyone else looking to do similar things, is that the structured wiring panels are a compromise used for those of us that don't have an unfinished utility space (aka basement / furnace room / etc.) or, in this case, a dedicated closet. The panels are recessed with doors so they don't intrude (physically or aesthetically) into the finished closet.


With a dedicated or unfinished space (which this closet certainly qualifies as!) bulk entry plates for the cables, and wall-mounted plywood sheets (painted if so desired) would save a whole bunch of work and extra connections to enter/exit the panels. Then a wall-mounted patch panel for cat6 lines, surface mounted coax splitters/amps/switches, and various other gear becomes simple.


Regardless, I'm jealous of the space! I went with a simple panel in my house, centrally located in what could be a bedroom. Doing it over, I would have located all that gear into a semi-dedicated closet (I have one in my game room, which would have been more appropriate - and was bigger, too). Moving it out of a bedroom closet gets rid of the aesthetic concerns for most folks, and then a wall mounted panel would have been easy.


Jeff


PS - And we'll start poking you soon if you don't get the trim strips on that rack...
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23249791


Nice job! My comments, for anyone else looking to do similar things, is that the structured wiring panels are a compromise used for those of us that don't have an unfinished utility space (aka basement / furnace room / etc.) or, in this case, a dedicated closet. The panels are recessed with doors so they don't intrude (physically or aesthetically) into the finished closet.


With a dedicated or unfinished space (which this closet certainly qualifies as!) bulk entry plates for the cables, and wall-mounted plywood sheets (painted if so desired) would save a whole bunch of work and extra connections to enter/exit the panels. Then a wall-mounted patch panel for cat6 lines, surface mounted coax splitters/amps/switches, and various other gear becomes simple.


Regardless, I'm jealous of the space! I went with a simple panel in my house, centrally located in what could be a bedroom. Doing it over, I would have located all that gear into a semi-dedicated closet (I have one in my game room, which would have been more appropriate - and was bigger, too). Moving it out of a bedroom closet gets rid of the aesthetic concerns for most folks, and then a wall mounted panel would have been easy.


Jeff


PS - And we'll start poking you soon if you don't get the trim strips on that rack...

Since the closet is also a utlitiy closet (storage, vacuum, etc), and I wanted it to look nice. There was also the GF acceptance factor here. She liked that it's all put away out of site (Except the rack).


Another benefit to it is that I can easily cut off certain rooms TVs physically and lock the SMCs up so kids can't re-hook them up. I did what I did for very specific reasons. I agree that in a dedicated space, you can forgo most of this. I also needed to utilize the space between the studs so that when you move the rack in and out, it doesn't hit any equipment. It would suck to pull the rack out and rip a modem off the wall. Either way, thanks for the coompliments. It took a lot of work, but it turned out great. I just have to add some baseboards and some door trim and it will look like a finished closet. The closet looks big, but if you were to step into it with everything it in, it really closes in on you now...LOL.


Thanks for the compliments though. EVERYONE who sees the inside of the closet asks me how much to do it at their house...LOL (and it's not even done yet!)


P.S. Oh, and the trim strips are actually installed, but the rails are a lot "thicker" on the Tripp-lite racks than the MA racks, so the trim strips only cover the screws, not the whole rail. That is why I will be actually putting framing in the opening (with "groves" for the trim strips on the top and bottom) so that when you push it into place, it looks finished and you don't see those stupid white markings.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Meili  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23249847


Since the closet is also a utlitiy closet (storage, vacuum, etc), and I wanted it to look nice. There was also the GF acceptance factor here. She liked that it's all put away out of site (Except the rack).

Probably splitting hairs, there... It certainly is a utility closet!



What did you do for venting?
Quote:
Another benefit to it is that I can easily cut off certain rooms TVs physically and lock the SMCs up so kids can't re-hook them up. I did what I did for very specific reasons.

Well, that's an interesting use case!
Quote:
P.S. Oh, and the trim strips are actually installed, but the rails are a lot "thicker" on the Tripp-lite racks than the MA racks, so the trim strips only cover the screws, not the whole rail. That is why I will be actually putting framing in the opening (with "groves" for the trim strips on the top and bottom) so that when you push it into place, it looks finished and you don't see those stupid white markings.

Ha! I didn't zoom into the pictures, so I thought the white U markings were the screws showing. I guess that's another vote for MA rack products for these applications!


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23250469


Probably splitting hairs, there... It certainly is a utility closet!
Yeah I am. I just like those SMCs. I don't really know why....LOL.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23250469


What did you do for venting?
Currently, I didn't. The A/C is in there and the "air return" isn't hooked directly up to the A/C. It pulls from a vent in the door (I added a second vent in the wall next to the door so I can remove the vent in the door. I also plan on adding a secondary vent in the foyer side right next tot he A/c). In these vents I will put el cheapo air filters to keep as much of the dog hair out (I have a great pyreneese). This is something the door vent doesn't currently do because it doesn't accept an air filter.


Because the a/c pulls air through the closet, It pulls the hot air from the closet out. It's not the best system, but so far so good. I will eventually add a vent with fans above the closet door with a thermostat and I've even considered adding a vent into the closet (something the installer recommended if heat became an issue).
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23250469


Well, that's an interesting use case!
yup.....if kids still used land lines, it's another good use for it, but it's all cell phones now. At least it will still work for the TV. I can also block their laptops and stuff from the internet through the router. Or if I'm feeling extra mean, just facebook and the like

Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23250469


Ha! I didn't zoom into the pictures, so I thought the white U markings were the screws showing. I guess that's another vote for MA rack products for these applications!

I went with the tripp-lite for the strength, portability (casters), height, and cost. For $400 I got a rack that I can grow with (it gets deeper if I want to make it so, but it's currently set at 28" deep, it's also 47U). Looking now, I see I could've probably gone slim 5 without an issue and put it on casters as well. My only concern is the 26" depth. I wanted at least 28" for my server because it faces into the actual closet and I needed space between the wall and the back of the server for cables and air flow (it has 9 fans in it). I could re-measure, and I might upgrade/switch some day. I do like that the MA racks offer a bit more versatility in the wire management department, though I didn't do too bad with what I had. I ever made my own front to back lacing bars out of slotted aluminum from HD (painted black to match the rack). My only issue would be the width of the rack, but I'm thinking probably just another layer of drywall on each side might just be enough to make the slim 5 fit nice and snug.


And to be honest, everything except the rack itself and 2 cheap shelves are MA (lacing bars and all). I learned my lesson on the shelves which is why the third is MA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23250469


Jeff

Frank :p
 

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I really appreciate the detailed write-up. Thanks a bunch for doing that.


Nice job. I know that was a ton of work, and planning.
 

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There were many a nights with graph paper trying to make sure everything fit so I could access as much as possible. I really wish I had taken more pictures, but I'm more of a doer than a "stop and take pictures at every step" kinda person (though I often wish I was the latter).


Anywho, thanks for the compliment. I plan on adding to this as I do the finishing touches. It was a lot of hard work, but reading over threads here at avs forum really helped me out (especially with the rack cable management). I thought I'd give back. That's why if anyone has questions or wants more detailed pictures of my setup, I'm glad to do it. Anything to help people out.


I'm also open to any suggestions on modifications to the system
I have yet to get an hdmi matrix, but that will probably be happening at some point in the next year (I hope).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Meili  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23249847


EVERYONE who sees the inside of the closet asks me how much to do it at their house...LOL (and it's not even done yet!)
I bet! You did a good job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Meili  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23250598


And to be honest, everything except the rack itself and 2 cheap shelves are MA (lacing bars and all). I learned my lesson on the shelves which is why the third is MA.
Did the cheap shelves fall apart or something?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23250771

I really appreciate the detailed write-up. Thanks a bunch for doing that.


Nice job. I know that was a ton of work, and planning.
Ditto. I like words with my pictures.
 

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Oppiz, the non MA shelves just had fitment issues and were of lesser quality. They are OK, but the MA stuff is just great and it works. Didn't help that the first two came in slightly bent up (box was fine). They straightened out OK, but still.
 

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Great write up and nice trick on the slotted aluminum for the lacing bars, I had the same idea for my cable management. Also I went with the APC AP7830 for my vertical outlet solution if you're interested. It's rated for 20A and you'd have to install a twist lock outlet for the power cord. Actually I only went with that one because I got a great deal on it, but was looking at this one previously. I have a question about your rack, did it come with the casters or did you purchase them? Mine does not have casters or leveling feet, both of which I want to install.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec4  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23262700


Great write up and nice trick on the slotted aluminum for the lacing bars, I had the same idea for my cable management. Also I went with the APC AP7830 for my vertical outlet solution if you're interested. It's rated for 20A and you'd have to install a twist lock outlet for the power cord. Actually I only went with that one because I got a great deal on it, but was looking at this one previously. I have a question about your rack, did it come with the casters or did you purchase them? Mine does not have casters or leveling feet, both of which I want to install.

I like the Tripp-lite vertical PDUs because they have "buttons" on them that go into slots on the rack. I don't necessarily need them though. I may check out craig's list before I actually purchase anything and just go with what I can find (for cheap). We do have baby on the way now and I have to watch my spending (not a concern when I started the project...LOL). The one you linked to, is that one that is currently in my cart for me to buy (I'm considering the dual circuit one, but not sure I really need that at this point in time)


About the casters, I think it was a kit for that specific rack, but to be honest, I think most if not all casters have the same spacing for the holes. I actually see that MA has some soft wheel casters for their racks that I may buy and try and put on mine (easier on the floor than the hard plastic type that I have now). It'll require me to jack up the rack somehow, but I could do it. the casters make moving the rack out of the way a lot easier, but it is heavy, so moving it around isn't actually that easy. I'm looking to get some rack ears (for anything) with handles and just install them on the back side so I have something to grab on to when I move it around (the finger slot raceway on the left side makes it hard to grab that rail for moving it around). I actually thought I had some lying around, but can't find them

Quote:
Originally Posted by nola504  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23262887


Awesome write up...it was very interesting to read though.

Thanks
I've been meaning to do it . I really wish I had take more pictures (though I do have a lot up there already). I can't wait to get back to it and add to it as I finish the project up.
 

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Wow. That's pretty impressive. I have to ask though, why not just put the rack behind a few inches behind a closet door so that it's totally stealth? And why is so much backed up? I can see TiVos, PCs, and central networking gear, but the rest seems kind of overkill for that once in a blue moon that the power goes out... Or does your area have really crappy power?
 

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UPS don't have to just provide standby power. They're also great at making sure your equipment doesn't suffer from brownouts or transients. So it's not just about total loss of power. We lose power around here way too often, so we've got an automatic generator. But there's a 30 second interval between loss of power and when the generators kicks in. The UPSes handle that.


That and fiber gear typically has it's own backup, provided by the telco. One more battery to babysit...
 

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Discussion Starter #17

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23276301


Wow. That's pretty impressive.
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23276301


I have to ask though, why not just put the rack behind a few inches behind a closet door so that it's totally stealth?

The hinged panel is just as good (basically the same thing), but it won't go down to the floor and you won't see the back of my Dev server. That closet is also more than big enough to hold the rack, so putting the rack just behind the closet door would have made it difficult to get into it (You can walk around in it). If you mean on the living room side, it was just plain cheaper to do it the way I did instead of adding the expense of a door and it looks cleaner this way. Baiscally the way it is now was free because I did all the framing, and I can't honestly say that dry-walling the opening would have added up to the cost of a door (and trim, etc)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23276301


And why is so much backed up? I can see TiVos, PCs, and central networking gear, but the rest seems kind of overkill for that once in a blue moon that the power goes out... Or does your area have really crappy power?

Actually what you see is (from top to bottom living room side):
  1. Marantz 7002sr receiver
  2. HTPC
  3. PS3
  4. Wii
  5. (drawer)
  6. APC HT power conditioner/battery backup (for all the HT stuff, including the TV and subs in the living room)

And inside (top to bottom)
  1. 24port ethernet switch
  2. Epson Printer/scanner/copier
  3. Roku/Cable box (non DVR)
  4. Dev server
  5. Dev server battery backup/power conditioner

Besides the above, I would like to add more (Hence all the blank space on the front). I just haven't added it yet. Besides that. I run a web development company on the side and the server, while also holding my movies, music, and some tv shows, is my development server for my company. So I like to keep that up for as long as possible. We don't lose power a lot, but when we do, I like to keep stuff up for as long as possible. Take the Structured media backup (on the wall) for instance. I work from home, and my workstation is on battery backup, but if the power goes out and I don't have my router up, I can't work. That little battery backup will give me almost an hour of internet access with no power (my workstation also happens to be a laptop, so it can stay on that long, I probably will lose my 3 monitors though). The one for my dev server keeps it up. I prefer not to lose any data to it being shut down improperly.


The HT one, while it does in fact act as a battery backup (mainly for the HTPC), it also cleans the power going to the equipment. I haven't paid a ton of money for the stuff I have, but I'd like to keep it alive for as long as I can. power around here isn't really that bad, but there was a reason that Dell for the longest time wouldn't offer Accidental Damage Protection in Florida (I believe the lightning capital of he US). Even whole home surge protection isn't enough to protect you all the time, so I tend to keep at least an AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator) on equipment that I don't damaged by surge. That particular unit was overkill, but I liked it's looks, network manageability, and features, so I splurged.


I also keep 2 circuits in that room. One for networking/server and one for HT (to keep them separate, I don't want a tripped circuit on the HT taking my server/network down). I have been vary careful to keep the two different types of equipment to their own circuits (even in the rack). I know it's overkill, but the server is my partly my lively hood (it brought me in an extra 50k last year alone), so I tend to make sure it's up when I need it. Doesn't hurt that I can watch/listen to media streamed through it while i work.
 

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I meant another door, not the entrance door. So people would just think it was a closet. Gotcha. Clean over total stealth. Guess I have New England with our woodwork and colonial style doors too engrained in my head.



Ok, so you're basically using UPS'es as power conditioners for the A/V side? Do most people down there have whole home surge protection in addition to surge protectors at the end-use locations? Up here, whole-home is unheard of, and a lot of people use really bad surge protectors or sometimes don't use them at all. I try to keep everything surge protected...
 

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Unheard of doesn't make it unnecessary. You'd be surprised how many pieces of equipment fail because of low voltage and other transient problems. Total loss of power or severe spikes are probably not the biggest causes of problems. Stuff like chronically low voltage that makes a power supply have to work too hard to rectify it up to the desired levels tends to make it run a lot hotter and consequently make it likely to die earlier. Whole house surge suppression would be of no help there. So a UPS acting as a line voltage stabilizer can really help.


That and if you keep it connected to a PC and track the values with graphs it makes for a powerful bit of evidence to get the utility company to fix their issues.


As for woodwork, yeah, traditional styles can make for interesting issues with modern gear. I've had to beat back our architect's tendency to keep trying to add trim everywhere.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99  /t/1470115/my-home-theater-rack-and-equipment-room#post_23281200


Unheard of doesn't make it unnecessary. You'd be surprised how many pieces of equipment fail because of low voltage and other transient problems. Total loss of power or severe spikes are probably not the biggest causes of problems. Stuff like chronically low voltage that makes a power supply have to work too hard to rectify it up to the desired levels tends to make it run a lot hotter and consequently make it likely to die earlier. Whole house surge suppression would be of no help there. So a UPS acting as a line voltage stabilizer can really help.


That and if you keep it connected to a PC and track the values with graphs it makes for a powerful bit of evidence to get the utility company to fix their issues.


As for woodwork, yeah, traditional styles can make for interesting issues with modern gear. I've had to beat back our architect's tendency to keep trying to add trim everywhere.

It's not practical to put a whole-home UPS in, but I would agree that a whole-home surge protector should be part of the electric code everywhere, as it seems like a really low cost protection, as long as it doesn't cause people to stop using local surge protection.


Yeah, we tend to have bulkier woodwork with the colonial style up here. I like cleaner, simpler myself, but with traditional inspiration. We have a ton of faux Colonial styled buildings from the '80s and early '90s that I think are kind of ugly, but to each their own I guess. I was in MI last week, and it was interesting to see how different the style is out there. Much more brick, tall roofs (snow and ice), simpler on the trim, but often with more roof lines and bumpouts and stuff. But really, a ton of brick.
 
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