Best methods for mounting components inside an enclosure?

NeverDie

Senior Member
I now have this non-metalic enclosure surface mounted in my pantry:
 
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(http://www.amazon.com/Arlington-EB1212-1-Electronic-Equipment-Non-Metallic/dp/B00AAU5D6Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1401287299&sr=1-1&keywords=arlington+non-metallic+enclosure), and I have two cat6 cables running into it from behind, coming from behind the drywall on the wall it is mounted on.
 
Within it, I want to install a z-troller, a Global Cache Serial2IP module, and a couple of PoE power splitters (one per ethernet cable), which are each the size and roughly the weight of a deck of playing cards.  Also, there will be some short cables connecting things.
 
 What's the preferred way to mount these components inside the enclosure?  Off the top of my head, some mounting options seem to be:
1  Some kind of velcro with a sufficiently strong adhesive.
2.  Maybe these picture hangers (similar to Velcro, but they can peel clean almost like a post-it note:  
 
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(http://www.amazon.com/Command-Medium-Picture-Hanging-Strips-12-Picture/dp/B00I2XSWSY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1401286534&sr=8-2&keywords=picture+hanging+strips+3m),
3.  Zip-ties.
4.  mounting things to a board (again, how?), and then screwing that board to some standoffs that the enclosure provides.
5.  use non-metalic pipe strapping to hold things in place.  This would  look like an ugly hack job, but it would probably work.
6.  ????
 
At the moment, I'm leaning toward the picture hanging strips.  Allegedly, each strip can hold up to 12 pounds--more than enough, as most likely each component weighs less than a pound.  I'm not sure how well the hangers will stick to plastic, so I'd need to test that first if I go that route.  Anyone here tried them for this application before?
 
Suggestions/recommendations?
 

wkearney99

Senior Member
I've used the Command Strips for various stuff and it does manage to stick pretty well.  I've used it on smooth plastic, painted drywall and glass.  I don't know that I'd try it on bare wood.  But I'd be leery of using them for equipment that gets warm.  
 
Speaking of which, with that enclosure how do you envision the items in there getting enough air to keep from getting too hot?  
 
Other products like Velcro for vehicles or tools is probably a better choice by comparison.  Oddball stuff without it's own mounting flanges or screw holes is a tricker mess.  Various schemes exist but for a residential setup that's not going to see a lot of changes most things would be overkill.  For telco boxes that see upgrades and regular service by various techs you want to have better solutions.  But for a box of home gear?  Velcro's a reasonable choice.
 
How many POE splitters and cables?  And where are they getting their power?  Or are you powering them elsewhere and running power TO this box?
 

pete_c

Guru
Other products like Velcro for vehicles or tools is probably a better choice by comparison
 
Noticed with BMW they use cloth rather than tape or velcro or tie wraps old and new.
 

NeverDie

Senior Member
wkearney99 said:
I've used the Command Strips for various stuff and it does manage to stick pretty well.  I've used it on smooth plastic, painted drywall and glass.  I don't know that I'd try it on bare wood.  But I'd be leery of using them for equipment that gets warm.  
 
Speaking of which, with that enclosure how do you envision the items in there getting enough air to keep from getting too hot?  
 
Other products like Velcro for vehicles or tools is probably a better choice by comparison.  Oddball stuff without it's own mounting flanges or screw holes is a tricker mess.  Various schemes exist but for a residential setup that's not going to see a lot of changes most things would be overkill.  For telco boxes that see upgrades and regular service by various techs you want to have better solutions.  But for a box of home gear?  Velcro's a reasonable choice.
 
How many POE splitters and cables?  And where are they getting their power?  Or are you powering them elsewhere and running power TO this box?
 
At the moment, the enclosure has no venting.  I'm hoping the components will run cool enough that it won't need it, but I suppose  won't know for sure until I actually try it.  The advantage of no venting is that it also means no dust.
 
Two PoE power splitters.  One will provide 12 volts, and the other will provide 5 volts.  The power gets injected at the other end of the ethernet cables by an 802.3af ethernet switch.
 

wkearney99

Senior Member
pete_c said:
Noticed with BMW they use cloth rather than tape or velcro or tie wraps old and new.
 
Most likely as a means to reduce squeaks from plastics rubbing together.  Definitely something to be concerned about in a moving vehicle, not so much in a stationary box on the wall at home.  I'd venture it's some sort of fancier textile as plain old cotton or something would have problems holding up with the temperature extremes over the lifetime of the vehicle.
 

NeverDie

Senior Member
Here's a photo of what it presently looks like inside the enclosure.  Two cat6 cables (not yet terminated) entering the enclosure.  The point of Cat6 entry into the enclosure (from the stud cavity behind it) was sealed with spray foam and cut flush to the wall surface to prevent air intrusion and/or fiberglass insulation particles from the stud bay getting inside the enclosure.
 

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NeverDie

Senior Member
Here's a photo of what initially needs to get mounted inside the enclosure.  Each cat6 (not yet terminated) will connect with each TP-Link PoE power splitter.  A short patch cable (not shown) will connect the Global Cache Serial2IP (upper right corner) to one of the TP-Link's.
 
I've tested this configuration with it sitting on a shelf, and it does what it's supposed to.  When I touched the individual devices, they seemed barely warm at all.  That said, after I mount them in the enclosure I suppose I could put a digital thermometer that will latch the maximum temperature measured inside the enclosure also and then run a long load test on the z-troller to test  the temperature effects of a no vented enclosure.  I don't expect temperature will be a problem, but I suppose it's always good to check assumptions.  For now, assume device temperature won't be significant.
 
As you can see, these devices were designed to sit on a shelf, so none came pre-equipped (with mounting brackets or the like) to be screwed into anything.  That's why mounting them vertically in an enclosure presents a challenge.
 
I suppose another option might be somehow (?) attaching cable ties to the enclosure would allow the devices to then be held in position with velcro/geartie:
 
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without the need to attach the cable tie to the device using an adhesive.  For instance,if I put a plywood backerboard behind the enclosure, then the cable ties could be attached to the enclosure and into the plywood using an air powered staple gun.  That approach would take extra work compared to using the picture hangers though.
 
Surely this mounting problem must be fairly common, and so there are some good readymade solutions?  
 
Suggestions/recommendations?
 

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Neurorad

Senior Member
Do any of those devices have keyhole slots on the back?  I would use those.
 
In my own house, I'd use Industrial Velcro, if there wasn't room for a lifting grid/mounting plate/'backplane' (zip tie the devices to the back plate).
 
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That one is made by Channel Vision.
 

pete_c

Guru
Are you referring to cabling ties?
 
Just what is utilized to bundles the wires / cables in a BMW.  There are plastic little cable holders which the cloth is wrapped around with but they are not cable ties.  I have never seen anything like it in any other vehicle domestic or imported.  The little plastic piece runs about a couple of inches and is wrapped together with the bundle of wires.
 

NeverDie

Senior Member
Neurorad said:
Do any of those devices have keyhole slots on the back?  I would use those.
 
Do any of those devices have keyhole slots on the back?  I would use those.
 
 
Good idea, but nope, not even one of them. 
 
The box didn't come with a backplane, although it does have 4 plastic standoffs.  I'd have to fabricate something.
 
I suppose drilling some holes through the back of the enclosure and passing some long gearTies through them might work.  Then one would twist a couple gearTie's to hold a component in place.  It would look a bit strange, but I imagine it would work.
 

NeverDie

Senior Member
pete_c said:
Just what is utilized to bundles the wires / cables in a BMW.  There are plastic little cable holders which the cloth is wrapped around with but they are not cable ties.  I have never seen anything like it in any other vehicle domestic or imported.  The little plastic piece runs about a couple of inches and is wrapped together with the bundle of wires.
 
Sounds interesting, but I'm having trouble visualizing it.
 

pete_c

Guru
Looks like this and is referred to as a loom? 
 
Tinkering found the name/signature of one of the builders / and date inside of a panel one day; never seen that before either.
 
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wkearney99

Senior Member
That's the whole thing, they generally call that mess a wiring harness, or sometimes as a loom.  
 
Fun tangential note, I made a jig to make a whole new harness for an old MGB.  Did the whole thing (cursed Lucas "Prince of Darkness" wiring crap).  Had a friend at Molex supplied me with connectors, cheap.  Did the whole car.  Sold the jig later to another owner to do the same thing. 
 
Second tangential note, my father once commented that while attempting to do a field repair on a radar system in a WW2 bomber he dug in well beyond the Navy's recommend level of repair depth.  At which point he found a note tucked in-between a mounting plate.  It read "If you've taken it this far apart, you're fucked".  I've since found it fun to do likewise when reassembling overly complicated things...
 

NeverDie

Senior Member
Getting back to the topic, it looks like wiremold opted to use straps with its enclosure:
 
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I wish the enclosure I bought had some rails to run straps through.
 
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