Migrating from Leviton Structured Media to a Rack

A year after moving into our new house, in 2013, I bought a Leviton 47605-42W SMC Structured Media Enclosure. This was a big mistake. It's 8 years later. I've been scared to deal with the solution, which is to buy a hinged wall rack. The Leviton Structured Media Enclosure is a horrible, horrible idea as I found halfway through my install when it seemed too late to abandon. You are tied into their ecosystem of things that can be mounted on this push-lock fastener system that nobody uses. Things that don't fit within this ecosystem just don't work so my power strip  sits on the bottom of the cabinet and the FiOS router is dangling by Cat6 cables. This is not good, it makes me upset to look at and it is probably leading to long-terml psychological harm. 
 
I finally bought a NavePoint 12U Wall Mount IT Open Frame 19 Inch Rack with Swing Out Hinged Gate and have Saturday planned as D Day for this project. 
 
Now the problem, I had this planned for last year, with kids in Zoom school, something could go wrong and this could take a while to fix. I want to minimize things going wrong, minimize the amount of my time invested, while making the new system as good as possible. My eyes aren't what they used to be so patching down those wires is going to be a headache I'm not looking forward to.
 
I have  2 X 12 (ports) of Tripp Lite Vertical Patch panels that need to be brought into a new patch panel on the new system. My plan is to mount that NavePoint Frame on the concrete wall in my basement directly next to the Leviton Structured Media Enclosure and transfer both of those useless vertical patch panels (the act of forcibly pulling out the patch panel from the bracket usually disconnects a port or too) to a Newyork Cables 24 Port Patch Panel Cat6 Rackmount or Wall Mount - Unshielded RJ45 Patch Panel, Also Compatible with Cat 5/5e Cabling  
 
Do you all have any advice? I don't ever want to have to do this again. My big concern is how squirrelly the hinged door will be to work with? Say I'm punching down cables into that panel, I'm going to open the door to access the back, but is that going to make me go nuts as it swings back and forth? 
 
Once this is done, I plan to hang some ceiling trays in the basement. 
 
I'm thinking of these. They won't break the bank.
 
Again, any thoughts?   
 
 

pete_c

Guru
Here continue to use my Leviton 42" media panel. It is the type with the removable not hinged door.  I have it mounted on a sheet of plywood elevated off of the cement with a couple of 2X4's.  All of the cabling is behind the plywood.
 
Today it still has the Leviton 24 port mini patch panel in it and old telco / alarm panel in it.  A small 24 port fanless managed switch, 8 port managed POE switch, XFinity modem, WaytoCall (X2) and voip box.  APC UPS mounted on the cement wall next to the media panel.  
 
I am still utilizing a 2U multi NIC box for PFSense and considering now moving the box over to the Leviton Media panel side of the basement.
 
Originally did purchase a small wall mounted rack for switches, patch panel et al and never have used it.
 
Well, I’m well on my way. I took the Leviton cabinet off the wall. It helps to use metal snips to free the cables from the enclosure. This allowed me to hang everything temporarily. I bought an Echogear 20U rack since it seemed higher quality than the Navepoint. It’s great to have all this room. For the first time I can see the front of my managed switch. So nice. I have a Tripp Lite rack mount UPS at the bottom of the rack, nice to have that integrated too, 
 
I put a plywood panel on the wall and attached the rack with the optional hinge kit. It seems super solid. 
 
I have to drill a bunch of holes in the joists in my basement and that’s been taking time. It s a LOT easier to punch down on a metal panel mounted in the rack than those little plastic patch panels made by Leviton.
 

sic0048

Senior Member
I have a mixture of everything. I have two 48' cabinets, a 19" rack, as well as a blue board (a piece of plywood mounted to the wall) that I mount things on

In one cabinet I have my alarm system and everything related to it installed.  This works well and it's a good use of the cabinet.  In the other cabinet I have my coaxial equipment and splitters (both for cable and antenna) mounted in as well as some old analog phone distribution that isn't used anymore  This also houses any equipment that uses coaxial connections like my cable modem and HDHomerun tuner.  This also works well and allows me to hide the coaxial splitters which can look really messy.
 
On my blue board I have my network patch blocks mounted as well as my 48 port network switch.  I use to have the switch located in the rack, but then I had to run a bunch of wires from the patch blocks to the switch. Mounting the switch next to the patch blocks made cabling much neater.

On my rack I have a ton of equipment:  three computers (and a KVM switch with monitor, mouse and keyboard), multiple A/V receivers (whole house and home theater), DVD player, SageTV extenders, Cable card tuner, USB UIRT, Digi Edgeport 16 USB to serial converter, and probably some other stuff I am forgetting.

So long story short, don't be afraid to mount/house gear in the best method. It doesn't all have to be the same method.
 

pete_c

Guru
Here similar to Brian's stuff...
 
Always a wall of plywood with Media panels (OmniPro can 1 and 2) and 1 42" panel......and a server section with an open rack...for computers and audio stuff...
 
All of this in the basement of the home.
 
It just works for me here at home.  Very different from what I learned about networking in the 1990's to the 2000's. (all enterprise stuff).
 
And pictures posted are great in helping others here doing similar.  
 
I spent my day drilling joists and pulling the cat 6 out of the janky wire hung installation I did back in 2013. The install is getting there.  Tomorrow I’ll punch down the last of the terminals, flip the patch panel around and do as good a job of dressing the cables as I can. I am sure it will look 1000x better when I’m done. I told my wife today that it dawned on me that the media cabinet’s state was preventing me from doing a good job cleaning up the basement since every time I went down there, my previous failure stared me in the face. Well, the end is near and I feel great about it so far. 

Yes, of course you’ll be seeing before and after pix!
 
Well, I'm done. Good thing I FIRE'd a few years ago since this took five days to finish. I drilled new holes in the joists and pulled through all the cables that were hanging from the ceiling with half-assed ceiling hangers and did a bit of other work that you don't see here.
 
IMG-6823.jpg

Before, Leviton Structured Media enclosure. With this setup, it was virtually impossible to make any changes and extremely frustrating to mount anything. After I swapped out my previous FiOS router, I didn't have the mental strength to figure out some complicated way to tie the new one down.
 
IMG-6863.jpg

After. Here's what's in it: 
ECHOGEAR 20U Open Frame Server Rack with an ECHOGEAR hinge so I can gain access to the back. 
from the bottom:
Tripp Lite SMART1500LCD 1500VA Smart UPS Battery Back Up
Two Synology Diskstations, DS 918+ and the older DS 413+, both connected to the network switch with link aggregation (these were sitting on the wood cabinet next to the enclosure before).
Laptop, behind which is the landline base station, an AT&T TL86109 DECT 6.0 2-line Cordless Phone System (this was just sitting next to the enclosure before).
Room to grow
A 1U shelf I had used for another purpose previously, now holds the FiOS router
Netgear ProSafe GS724T-300 24-port Gigabit Smart Switch (this was in the old enclosure too).
Newyork Cables 24 Port Patch Panel Cat6 | 1U Rackmount or Wall Mount Fast 10-Gigabit Ethernet 568A/B Compatible
Lots and lots of zip ties mean the cables are all tied to the rack and dressed. 
 
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