Selling Up

Back when I lived with my parents, I had a great time building various projects, which even won me a car. I put a lot of hard work and money into building a rack from scratch, creating a whole-house-audio system from various parts along with the software, and wiring up the house for networking.

Well, the time has come to dismantle many of my projects. My parents are itching to put my old room back to use, and I need to gather as much cash as I can for an exciting excursion to the other side of the world next year. I have felt some tears forming, but I just remind myself what it is in aid of and all of the unknown projects that are yet to come.

I have started listing much of the equipment on eBay. If you’re interested in home automation, want to build your own rack, or you have a professional need for some of the AV equipment then please take a look and bid on things that take your fancy.

More equipment will be added tomorrow – mostly the PCs that I no longer use. This includes 2 rackmounts and an old gaming rig.

Rack blueprints

I’ve had quite a lot of requests now for the plans for the rack. It has always been my intention to share the designs, but they are hand drawn and I don’t currently have the ability to scan them. I am hoping that I can digitise them manually (draw them in something like Inkscape) and upload them to here. As with everything though, it will depend on me sitting down and doing it and not getting distracted by another idea!

Low voltage power supply, ventilation & lighting

One thing that has been lacking since the first build of the rack is ventilation. With both sets of doors closed, the inside can get quite warm, especially when iron is turned on. Not any more though, having just completed the installation of 2 active ventilation zones, lighting and a low voltage power supply system complete with rack-mount control panel.

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Topped off

I’ve finally gotten around to fixing the top to the rack cabinet. It’s made from the door of an old storage-only cabinet, which was actually a fridge/freezer cabinet from Ikea. The top has been cut into the correct proportions for a while, but has just sat cluttering my floor until now.

To allow the many cables to enter the cabinet a notch of approx 8cm square was cut out of one of the panels. These two panels could then be slid together without the need to disconnect any cabling already in place.

Unfortunately I’ve discovered that the top of the cabinet isn’t exactly square – it’s slightly warped, as the photo below shows when the top had been fixed. I’m not happy with this so at some point I’ll have to put some effort into correcting it. Next time I build a rack I’ll make the top and bottom in more of a similar manner, with a known square-angled piece on which to fit the timber supports.

The top currently has no ventilation, but that will change soon thanks to a lovely huge ‘Big Boy’ fan.

My DIY 19″ Rack

The (almost) completed rackThis project started off as being a cheap way to have a 19″ rack in which to mount my growing amount of equipment and future projects. It turned out to not be as cheap as I’d hoped, and it’s taken several months of intermittent work to (almost) complete, but I’m pleased with the results.

There are still a few finishing touches to be done, such as adding the top, adding the lock to the rear, mounting the new bolts to the front door, cutting out the bottom ventilation hole and adding some fans. Future modifications could include adding lighting and environmental monitoring/control.

Below is a photo log showing how it was done.

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