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Wiring Rack Advice


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#1 PhillyTim

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 08:22 PM

I need a wall-mountable rack for my basement. The rack will hold a CAT6 punchdown block, a keystone punchdown block (for coax), a rack-mountable surge protector, a couple of shelves, and who knows what else going forward.

I had a Mid Atlantic open rack at my old house, and while it was nice, it was very difficult to access the back and add in new connections--thus I've decided a swing-frame rack is required. I don't like the Mid Atlantic Swing Frame rack--in pictures it doesn't look like a great design to me. So, I've arrived at two options:

1) Tripp Lite SRWO12US 12U Wall-Mount Pivoting Open Frame Rack (http://www.tripplite...txtModelID=4744).
Pro's: inexpensive, my previous experience with Tripp Lite products was positive, it's simple and functional

Con's: I'm a little worried that 12 rack units won't be enough (although I could upgrade if and when that time comes), Tripp Lite doesn't seem to offer any wire management solutions for this rack. In particular, they offer no solution for wire strain relief.

2) Chatsworth 11791-718 Standard Swing Gate Rack (http://www.chatswort...ard-swing-gate/), which is a 21U rack.
Pro's: looks to be a very solid rack, has solutions for cable management, (Wall Rack Cable Management Ring Set (CPI P/N 11799-001), a solution for strain relief ("Patch Panel Wire Management Bar (CPI P/N 12176-X01)," which they indicate can provide "the necessary wire management and strain relief required by ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B."), and it has a bit more room for me to grow into.


Con's: Roughly double the cost of the Tripp Lite unit, plus accessories, money that I could use toward automation endeavors, potentially overkill for what I need.


So, I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with either rack, and also if in a small installation (I have probably ~20 CAT6 runs) whether strain relieve is something with which I need to be concerned. I'm not terribly concerned with cable management--but then again perhaps I should be. I didn't worry about either cable management or strain relief that with my previous home's setup (because I didn't know to), and never had a problem--but that could have been blind luck.


Thanks!


Tim


#2 hagak

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:15 PM

I would not put any UPS in a wall mount. They are just too heavy. That 21U you linked to has a load cap of 100 pounds. 1 1500va ups will pretty much eat all that up. If going to a 21 u size why not just get a floor rack? I picked up a 25U APC closed rack on Craigslist for 350.

#3 hagak

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:16 PM

Sorry mis read surge protector for ups. Oops

#4 Work2Play

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 12:49 AM

I've worked with a handful of varieties. I'm not sure I'd go with a center-pivot; I like the ones that swing out from one side, as it makes cable management easier in my opinion.

Here's one that I'd take a close look at given your stated desires - solid frame, opens from one side, etc.

Obviously know the depth of anything that needs to mount and the weight to ensure you're not exceeding it. When mounting, you need to make provisions to ensure that it's mounted to studs or otherwise properly supported to handle the weight.

Wire management isn't that big of a deal if you run the wires right. Basically the key is to make sure they're bundled nicely and anchored well to the side, but in a way that they have sufficient slack to swing the full distance without stressing the punch-downs. This usually means bundling them from the punchdowns back to the hinge side and keeping them loose enough to be able to swing the rack all the way out without snagging - then continue tying them up in such a way as to keep the flexibility, but keep them nicely dressed.

For my needs, I actually went with a Tripp-Lite 12U wall mount full cabinet. It hinges in the back and the front for full access and both sides are removable. Mine is in a slightly visible spot (my closet) so I needed it to look good when closed up. Also, my mounting location didn't line up well with the studs, so I mounted a 1/2" sheet of plywood to the wall across the studs, painted it to match the wall perfectly, then attached the cabinet to that with 8 or so anchors. With the 100lbs in it, I could probably hang off it without it moving; and you don't even see the plywood when looking right at it - it blends in well (there is a closet system all around the rest of the closet anyways).

#5 PhillyTim

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 01:48 PM

Thanks work2play. I love your rack, but mines going in the basement and I just can't justify the extra expense as ther is no need to enclose it (except perhaps dust protection). I've not heard of hubbell racks; how is the quality? It's concerning that it can only hold 75 pounds; the Chatsworth can hold 100 or 150 with an additional bracket they sell, but it's certainly cheaper than the Chatsworth.

#6 Work2Play

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 02:36 AM

It really comes down to your needs. One thing I'll state though, once you drop shelves into any of these swing-out racks, you often kill their ability to swing - the shelves hit the posts. That's one place the full racks might have an advantage - they pivot entirely towards their front or back and the shelf thing is a non issue - but, you're further back and it can be harder to reach the back of the punch panels.

Hubbell IIRC were fine - it's been a while. At the end of the day, you shouldn't be putting much weight on these. A PDU (power strip) doesn't weigh much at all if no batteries are involved, and the cables will be somewhat self supporting and anchored to the frame - you're really not talking much weight at all. Throw a router and modem on there - and you're still low.

#7 Neurorad

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:17 AM

I suggest you check eBay and Craigslist.

#8 PhillyTim

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:44 PM

Well, I already own the shelves (I took them with me from my old house), and fitting them is one pro I neglected to include on the Tripp Lite rack. However, I'm thinking they could actually be mounted to the back of the Chatsworth so that they stay put when the rack swings open. I have checked Craigslist and eBay. Nothing on Craigslist locally last I checked, and on eBay someone does have the Chatsworth model I want but in a 25" deep version, which I think would just look plain silly sticking out that far--and I really don't need that much depth (that's a REALLY deep rack!). I think I'm going to buy the Chatsworth...

#9 Neurorad

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:43 PM

Searchtempest.com allows multiple city search, might want to check that.

#10 Mr Spock

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 10:31 PM

Is a 20u wall mount swing out rack too big? I just bought the 25u version but not installed it yet. I really like the ability to have it swing out from either side. Weight limits my be a bit light for you. Check it out.

http://www.qtii.com/sowr.html


#11 DELInstallations

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:50 AM

25" isn't that deep if you put other items in it besides patch panels and residential grade switches.

If you can forsee a DVR, amps, audio equipment, etc. the extra space helps for physical management, let alone thermal.

#12 PhillyTim

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 09:49 PM

I ordered the Chatsworth 18" deep model. It just seemed to be the best for my needs. Right now I don't think I'll have any equipment on it--but who knows? Thanks everyone for the input!




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