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neb



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Topic # 230437 23-Feb-2018 17:46
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I need to rack-mount a pile of assorted small embedded devices (weather monitoring, stratum 1 clock, ADSB, AIS, assorted devices used for kernel test builds, ethernet serial bridges, and all manner of other stuff) that currently take up about 3m of bench space. Unfortunately no-one makes racks for things the size of a book, and looking at various things that could pressed into service, e.g. steel mesh paper trays, hasn't turned up anything useful, at least not that you can get in NZ. So it looks like the best bet is to roll my own using alu stock. The idea was to build a series of shelves using alu angle and bar stock and put alu mesh over the top for the devices to sit on, as per the incredibly high-tech CAD drawing below:

 

 

 

 

Then I'd assemble a bunch of these shelves into a rack using more alu angle as legs.

 

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is there a better way to build up the shelves? Does someone make ready-made miniature-size equipment racks of this kind?

 


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  Reply # 1963119 23-Feb-2018 18:16
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No dimensions?

What about a 9u rack? With shelves. Either the one with doors or not. I have a wall mounted one 19” wise.

Or plastic cabinet with pull out drawers?




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neb



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  Reply # 1963494 24-Feb-2018 15:24
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davidcole: No dimensions?

What about a 9u rack? With shelves. Either the one with doors or not. I have a wall mounted one 19” wise.

Or plastic cabinet with pull out drawers?

 

 

9U racks range from expensive to eyewateringly expensive, they'd be pretty close to what I'm after but I can build one for $50-100, which isn't anywhere close to what a rack + shelving would cost.

 

 

Plastic won't do, this stuff generates a fair bit of heat, having plastic exposed to it for long periods will warp/crack it.

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  Reply # 1964755 26-Feb-2018 20:30
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Currently also toying with the idea of building it from 2020 t-slot aluminium, mainly because it's readily available to deal with the 3D printer/maker market. It's a bit pricier, but there's a lot less metalworking involved, just bolt it together from a pile of 2020 extrusion. Downside is it looks pretty engineering-shop...

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  Reply # 1964761 26-Feb-2018 20:45
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Racks on trade me can be an alright price how much are you looking to spend so people don't make suggestions that are not in your budget.

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  Reply # 1964768 26-Feb-2018 21:07
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epr: Racks on trade me can be an alright price how much are you looking to spend so people don't make suggestions that are not in your budget.

 

 

For the DIY option I was looking at something max 300mm deep, about 400 wide, and 350-400 high, with three shelves. Looks like I could built it for about $150 in materials if I use 2020, or about $100 if I use basic alu stock. So something roughly in that range.

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  Reply # 1964772 26-Feb-2018 21:13
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This sort of thing?

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/networking-modems/other/auction-1556010431.htm

 

Get them quite a bit cheaper than that sometimes if you're prepared to search TM too.


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  Reply # 1964797 26-Feb-2018 21:22
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Jaycar had them on special a while back for a lot less (just dumping old stock, about $30 for a nice 9U), however they're enclosed, I want an open frame since some of the devices generate a fair bit of heat, and most have blinkenlights that need monitoring. So it was more open shelves than a fully enclosed rack.

neb



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  Reply # 2019820 21-May-2018 14:32
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So it's finished, wanted to post a few photos. Since it's a DIY rather than pre-build I got it pretty much exactly how I wanted it, only problem was the supplier of the perforated steel sheets sent 3mm instead of 1.5mm and it's been stored on a drum or something so it wasn't flat, and the thickness meant I couldn't get it flat. It's most obvious on the bottom one. Rest turned out OK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2019862 21-May-2018 15:03
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neb: and the thickness meant I couldn't get it flat.   

 

Did you try driving over it on the garage floor?  Flattens most things.  You need to do it few times for things wider than the car tyres.





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  Reply # 2019867 21-May-2018 15:09
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Hurts my OCD, which I just diagnosed today.


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  Reply # 2019879 21-May-2018 15:22
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Great job!

 

Would you take orders? :-)


neb



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  Reply # 2019911 21-May-2018 15:43
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MikeAqua:

neb: and the thickness meant I couldn't get it flat.   

 

Did you try driving over it on the garage floor?  Flattens most things.  You need to do it few times for things wider than the car tyres.

 

 

Tried clamping it both flat and later with a slight concave flex on it, but it just sprang back to curved the wrong way afterwards. Eventually I decided I'd just live with it, it's only really bad on the bottom-most plate.

neb



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  Reply # 2019912 21-May-2018 15:44
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gcorgnet:

Would you take orders? :-)

 

 

It was a fair bit of work unfortunately, once you add the labour to the cost it's not terribly economical any more even though the raw materials were relatively cheap. It was fun making it, but not really viable as a commercial proposition.

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