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Rack Mount PC - extra depth in rack needed

Discussion in 'Recording' started by pmolsonmus, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member


    here's the scoop. I've been working with PT and a G4 and am completely satisfied w/ the results, but have to use a PC at school for a lab class that I'm teaching. I got a great deal on a rack mount PC, flat screen, and all the bells and whistles that DIGI requires (designated audio hard drive, etc...) for under $1200 but....

    The company that built it for me ( in order to keep costs down) used a rack that fits in a traditional rack, but is about 2" too deep to close off the back side of the rack. This is fine and will keep it cooler but I would like to be able to protect it when I take it out for remote gigs.

    The depth of the Rack Mount PC is about 20". Anyone know of any racks that are that deep and would protect a computer?

  2. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Phil, what you really need is a rack designed for servers not audio gear. They will have the depth you require and most come with wheels and lockable doors. The bad part is most 4 to 7 feet high and are made of heavy sheet steel (very heavy). They are also pretty expensive, way more than audio racks. There used to be a few smaller ones out there that would fit your needs, I will see if I can find them again.

    Your other option (since you're a teacher) would be to buy some rack rail and get your schools metal shop to weld a frame and the wood shop to build a cabinet around it (for extra credit of course). You could then cover the outside with tolex or carpet (I'll put a link below). I have built several custom racks in the past and am about to begin to build my studio desk with racks under both sides. A well built custom rack is cheaper and way stronger than most you can buy.

    Here's the link for Tolex and Carpet:

    Good luck and I'll get back to you on commercial racks.
  3. michaeltk

    michaeltk Guest

    It's not too difficult to build your own server rack. You don't need to weld anything. I just bought 3/4" plywood from Home Depot, and some racks from an online vendor. I don't even own a table saw; I just used a regular saw and an electric drill. You just have to be very careful with measurements.

    3/4" plywood may have been overkill, but the box is as sturdy as can be.
  4. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Your right, you don't have to weld anything for some applications but for others it helps. One of my racks holds a Crown and (2) Mackie 1200 power amps. The Mackies have rack lugs front and rear to support the rear of the amp. I welded rails front to back on all four corners and slid the cage into a 3/4" dovetailed plywood box. It may seem like overkill but this thing has seen around 12 years of hard service and is as tight as the day I built it. Most of my racks are built the same as yours except dovetailed but this one had to be extra sturdy.

    I figured the school might be tough on it and with wood and metal shops onsite Phil could get an extra nice rack and the students could build a cool project. But an easier design would work just as well.
  5. michaeltk

    michaeltk Guest

    Very impressive. Compared to your rack, mine is a timid schoolgirl.
  6. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Thanks all,

    I'll let you know how it turns out. I was hoping not to have to go back in the woodshop because I've got a few billion things going on (it being the holidays and all, and I'm a choral director) but I'll get down there again.

    I was just hoping to take the democratic approach and throw money at the problem... :wink:

  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member


    I totally understand - money should be able to solve all of our problems! :lol:

    Anyway, check out this link - it is for a server type PC case which is only 17.7 inches in depth. If you are willing to take your PC apart (this seems daunting to those who have not done this before, but it is truly quite easy) and put it back together in this case, then you have an affordable, good looking solution. BTW, the power supply in these units suck, so I would spend an extra $50 and get a good, quiet power supply.




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