Editor’s Note: During its annual convention this fall in San Diego, CEDIA is offering three Rack Building and Wiring Fundamentals Workshops that provide hands-on design and cable management fundamentals. We learn from curriculum developer Ian Bryant about the course, but we also thought that it would be interesting to find out some helpful rack-building tips from veteran manufacturer, Middle Atlantic Products. Here are the top-five tips from Jay Franetovich, application engineer and product manager, for the company.
Middle Atlantic Products’ Jay Franetovich, posing with a very tall rack
1 Always Plan for Expansion.
When loading the rack/enclosure, be sure to leave space, as things will inevitably change during the initial rack build. No one wants to have to rewire a whole rack because you’re adding three more rack spaces of equipment. Be sure to futureproof the rack for any additions as technology changes and the system grows in the years to come.
2 Know the Thermal Properties of the Equipment
Heat is the enemy of technology, causing increased wear and breakdowns. Understanding the type of cooling that is required is a tremendous help in determining the layout of the equipment and the thermal accessories needed for a properly cooled rack.
3 Plan for Proper Cable Management
Cable management is just as important as the thermal management. Ensure that you keep in mind things such as bend radius, signal separation, cable strain, and serviceability.
4 Location, Location, Location
Locations of equipment are important in numerous ways. Have customer-interactive equipment placed at an ergonomic location for accessibility and viewing. High heat-generating equipment should be at the top. Keeping the heavier solutions at the bottom ensures proper weight distribution within the rack for safety.
Vertical lacing bars install between Middle Atlantic rackrail brackets on compatible racks to facilitate cable lacing. Vertical mounting plates are designed to mount small devices and make use of otherwise wasted space.Middle Atlantic offers a range of rackmount lighting and work lights to meet a variety of needs.
5 Be Cognizant of the Environment
Knowing that you have the right hardware required helps ensure a safe install. Understanding how cables enter the rack as well as if there are any acoustical effects such as noise emissions are key considerations when determining what’s appropriate for the rack build.
Jay Franetovich is application engineer and product manager at Middle Atlantic Products.