So you are here because you’ve decided to accept plunge and build a custom audio/video rack for your home theater or pro A/V system, but you’re unsure which rackmount enclosure is right for you along with your particular application. If you have never installed a rackmount system before, then hopefully you will find this straight-forward buyer’s guide great for choosing what type of rack you need, along with advice about the design and installing of your rack system. Over the coming weeks we are going to eventually go over all you need to know to buy your Middle Atlantic rack and get started on your installation. Topics will include RSH custom rackmount shelving, power delivery and protection, cable management, thermal management and some others.
Racks have traditionally come in 19, 23 and 24 inch mounting widths. Today, the 19 inch is the standard for the majority of applications, together with a/V systems. All E&T audio rack have 19 inch wide rackmounts. The 19 inch mount is simply the internal mounting width from rail to rail. Overall width depends on the kind of rack. For bigger heavy-duty rack enclosures that can need to have a thick steel frame to keep larger, heavier equipment, or run cabling down the side you may expect the general width to become around 22-23 inches or maybe more. For a simple system with four to five consumer electronic components, you might need a smaller, slimmer rack with as little as 19.125 inches of width. Remember that the width of the mounting shelf or rack ears on the item of equipment that you are mounting must be suitable for 19 inch wide rackmounts.
Racks are measured and spaced by RMU or “rack mount units” that are always 1.75 inches high. Most often, these are known as by “U” spacing. So for example, a 20U rack may have 20 x 1.75 inch = 35 inches of internal mounting space. Just like the external width, the entire height of the rack is going to be just over the 35, usually not more than a few inches. When you consider your equipment and head to order your shelves, you need to figure out how many rack units you will have to mount your complete system. When mounting equipment into Middle Atlantic RSH custom shelves, the mounting height in the custom shelf will often function as the next space up from where the actual height of the component reaches, unless the next height up is simply a few millimeters.
The Xbox 360 Console has a height of 3.27 inches. The next space up reaches 2U/3.50 in. That isn’t enough space for Middle Atlantic to reduce out the frame in the unit and have enough metal making the rounds the border. In this instance, the Xbox 360 is bumped up to a 3U/5.25 in. shelf, plenty enough to mount the device and also have a decent outer frame towards the faceplate.
On the contrary, the popular Hifi Audio features a height of 2.76 inches. In cases like this there is certainly enough room to allow them to progress up the next available space height – 2U at 3.50 inches. For those who have equipment that isn’t indexed in Middle Atlantic’s component dimensions database, then you’ll have to either ship it to Middle Atlantic for measurement, or submit the specifications yourself. In either case, it is very important to ensure that you will get adequate rack spaces available.
We also strongly recommend that you simply get Middle Atlantic’s handy rack ruler. This little gem saves lot of time and headache by measuring both in inches and rack mount units.
This can be just as essential to consider. In the event you don’t have proper weight capacity for the equipment (ie: frame strength) then you might damage your gear, bend the rack frame or shelving, or by trying to push it to the limits you possibly will not like what you hear down the road down the road if this actually starts to sound rickety as wear from an overweight equipment load occurs as time passes. All of Middle Atlantic’s racks are highly engineered to get appropriate weight capacity ratings. Their Slim 5 series rack is rated for 400 lbs, and it also does hold 400 lbs with perfect ease. Approximately this time the rack will function as described and can stand up to the exam of energy. In the event you swap out some components down the road, replacing some with heavier ones, add another here or there now you’ve got 500 lbs, well which may not go so well. Time to buy a new rack to support your updated system.
We highly recommend that you simply check out several very beneficial and innovative software programs that Middle Atlantic has built which help you easily pre-configure your entire rackmount system beforehand.
This software has been in existence for some time, and they make many upgrades and tweaks to obtain it for the straight-forward state that it is in now. It’s basically a visual layout tool that allows you to plug in your components, and after that drag and drop them into whatever Middle Atlantic rack you decide on. You can move them around and add Middle Atlantic shelves, filler ycqolf cooling panels, power strips etc..up until you have the configuration you would like.
Visio Blocks is actually a new program that runs along the same lines as Rack Tools, but is integrated with Microsoft’s popular Visio® software. They are basically Visio stencils that enable you to quickly pre-configure your complete system. It is a handy tool to get for quickly assembling rackmount system presentations for clients if you are an installer.
So in recap, once you consider where and how you are going to mount your A/V system, make sure that you do sufficient planning in order that A. you can accommodate your audio/video equipment, and B. that you simply think ahead to potential future upgrades and extensions to your system. Choosing a rack with the proper dimensions for height, width and weight capacity to fill your preferences is crucial.
Since you’ve chewed on a number of this info we are going to profile each Shanling TEMPO that Middle Atlantic sells, to get knowledgeable about the many different options they offer and choose which is right for your application.