Mounting a 12u wall mounted rack and 10G networking in garage

VirtualBacon

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Aug 21, 2017
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Hopefully this is the right part of the forum. I posted this on /r/homelab but it got removed for not being related to homelabs. As usual overmoderation is rampant over there. I want to share this as I was looking for ideas on how to mount it, and I didn't really find any good full guides or posts where someone had done it outside of a commercial environment with no issues. In reality nothing will go right and it will all be a mess, like in my garage... Here is all the details

I have a rack in my house, but I also wanted to mount an AP and several PoE cameras on the garage. The garage is detached, and running cables to it via a small breezeway is very tough. I opted to do 1 run of fiber over there and have a switch, instead of running multiple runs of cat6. This also removes a potential path of lightning since I have some antennas mounted and connected back to the network for ADSB flight tracking

First I bought 30m of OM3 from Fiberstore, and a Cisco WS-C2960S-48LPD-L which has 2 x 10G SFP+ ports, and 48 PoE+ ports. The switch uses around 30w of power idle, so its not too bad for the very low purchase price

First I ran the fiber from my rack, back to my garage via some conduit I had already installed for the AT&T Fiber which terminates on the back of my garage, and runs through the house


Fiber from the main rack



Into the wall (I will neaten this up later...)



And here it comes in the garage





I got the switch configured, and hooked up a spare APC SMT1000RM2u UPS I had



I left it here and monitored temperatures for a week and everything looked fine. On to mounting the rack

I ripped off the old wood veneer(?) that was on the wall to get a look at the studs in the location I wanted to mount. Sadly the studs were 24" on center, not 16" on center which is what the rack mounting brackets were designed for. There was also a very loose stud right next to a normal one, along with some crappy power. he sheathing was also eaten up by rats (Or something) at the bottom, it looks like its been like this a while





I went ahead and ripped out the old sheathing as well as installing a new 2x4 stud 16" across from the good one. This would give me the space to mount the rack. I also screwed the loose stud to the one next to it. I installed protector plates for the electrical too. I used stud brackets and outdoor rated nails, and used a 3 inch outdoor screw in the top and bottom for added strength









I used pressure treated lumber as there were some studs in the garage that had some damage from wood destroying insects

I drilled holes in the top plate and in the sheathing to run cable through



I also run some 12/2 for a new dedicated 20a circuit





I mounted some plywood to the studs, and installed a 2 gang nylon box for the receptacles



I installed 2 x 20a duplex receptacles



I had these screws to mount the rack, but they were not suitable for the PT wood. I ended up getting the same type but in in the outdoor variety



I got a metal plate for the receptacles, looks much better now



I installed protector plates on the top holes, and then drilled some holes for cables to come into the rack. The brush plates were $6 at home depot, so I got 2 x 44c dryer receptacle covers and used those



Got the rack mounted to the studs. Its very strong, I can do pullups on it no problem







I pulled the fiber through, I ended up having to get another 30m of fiber because of where I placed the rack in the garage




Sadly I could not use the bottom 1u as the brackets from the rack take up the space. So I mounted the rails for the UPS 1u higher



They needed rear support, so I just screwed them into the plywood



It wasn't inline with the stud, but it was still very strong







I made sure the rack was extended enough to have enough room behind the UPS



I mounted the switch





Hopefully these images help someone!
 
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Your name or

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I mounted the switch

here...

I had to mount some Gear under the Rooftop and had quite the same Problem as you. Our Local Fire inspector agreed to install a Network think there in a full closed "Box" he sayed. So I but there a 20HE Network Rack from that Company:
(Nope I dont use there Shop I got a cheaper Source.)
So in any case some of the get get wild and start to produce Smoke (hopefully) the Fire get contains!
I want put a "Network", Bus,... Remote Monitoring Smoke Detector there.
If the PSU get wild in your Case well... It could Burn your House down. What will the Insurance say...? I guess: "and have a nice Day!"
 

VirtualBacon

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I'm not too concerned. I suspect the fire inspector you had knew zilch about networking gear, saw a rack of equipment and just assumed it might catch on fire for some reason. You can see the same reaction on here when people have bundles of cables behind a TV, and someone points out its a fire risk. Its not, but for some reason people perceive it as a risk

The risk of regular network gear actually catching on fire is extremely low, much lower than all the cheap chinese stuff people run all the time like crappy power bricks etc. If we use the logic this should go in a metal box for safety, where does it end? At what point is everything in my home supposed to be in a metal box? Not only that, but I doubt a metal rack with a plastic front would really do much to stop a fire. If we are concerned about a PSU self combusting, putting it inside a hot metal box would actually make things worse, as its much more likely to happen in a hot environment

Mounting a network rack doesn't require permits, and doesn't require a visit from the fire inspector, so there is zero reason the home insurance would deny the claim. Perhaps in your locallity there are more strict rules?

Its worth noting that on the other side of the garage sits 40 gallons of gasoline, 80 gallons of liquid chlorine, and 20 gallons of muriatic acid. None of those items raised any eyebrows, and they are all orders of magnitude more deadly in a fire than a network rack
 
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BlueLineSwinger

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I can't imagine how that rack of network equipment is any more dangerous than any other typical home electronics. For example, a wood cabinet full of AV gear with a TV sitting on top.

Though the way that electrical cable is thrown up between the joists and rafters probably isn't really up to code. And some drywall could help act as a fire barrier for the structure.
 

VirtualBacon

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Aug 21, 2017
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I can't imagine how that rack of network equipment is any more dangerous than any other typical home electronics. For example, a wood cabinet full of AV gear with a TV sitting on top.

Though the way that electrical cable is thrown up between the joists and rafters probably isn't really up to code. And some drywall could help act as a fire barrier for the structure.
The white romex at the top 100% is not to code (Although, maybe it is? No idea) as its temporary. I ran that for some exterior lights before I removed the drop ceiling in this garage, and I could not get up there

Now its all stapled and mounted properly
 

Your name or

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:rolleyes: There are some People who just unse the Metric System like 97% off all Country in the World.
a wood cabinet full of AV gear with a TV sitting on top.
Well that must be design in a Way to prevent it from catching Fire quick. The Material must be choose to prevent that.
And some drywall
Well quite nobody use that here. Quite all Walls are Brick Walls with maybe 25cm thickness.
Mounting a network rack doesn't require permits, and doesn't require a visit from the fire inspector, so there is zero reason the home insurance would deny the claim. Perhaps in your locallity there are more strict rules?
Well the Chimney sweep is a Fire Inspector to. Its Mandatory to sweep atleast once per Year the Chimney. If you build anything next to a Fireplace, Chimney, Chimney Maintenance/ Cleaning Door,... you should ask the Chimney sweep if he permit it if not and he checks the Chimney and see that you can get in Trouble and even the Police get called and you must leave the House until that think is in the original shape.
So I decide to get that Metal Network Rack to put everything in.
I dont know how it is where you life but here the home insurance will send someone to "inspect" the incident. If the found anything who the home insurance maybe think that was against there rules to deny the claim. For example the hole Kitchen get on Fire and the "inspector" found out that the Venthole from the Fridge was covered by a something the deny the Claim...
Other example a Door was lockable with 2 Rotation from the Key. The Homeowne just turned them one and the brake into the House. What does he get? Nothing because the Door wasnt locked correct.
Lawyers are damn expencive and paying the Fee for the Court are much more expensive so good luck the sure the Insurance...
 

Markess

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May 19, 2018
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The white romex at the top 100% is not to code (Although, maybe it is? No idea) as its temporary. I ran that for some exterior lights before I removed the drop ceiling in this garage, and I could not get up there
As I recall, code (most code?) allows Romex as you've used it as long as there's no unsupported/unsecured stretches longer than 18" and there's nail protection at the throughpoints of the studs (which you provided). I recall that the length restriction used to be a problem with 24" on center construction (mostly roofing joists) when I was young and a lot of those situations required conduit, but that was a while ago, so things may have changed.

How hot does your garage get? I'd never put gear in my garage as its too darn hot there most of the year!
 

VirtualBacon

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As I recall, code (most code?) allows Romex as you've used it as long as there's no unsupported/unsecured stretches longer than 18" and there's nail protection at the throughpoints of the studs (which you provided). I recall that the length restriction used to be a problem with 24" on center construction (mostly roofing joists) when I was young and a lot of those situations required conduit, but that was a while ago, so things may have changed.

How hot does your garage get? I'd never put gear in my garage as its too darn hot there most of the year!
It gets very, very hot. However, the max operating temperature for stuff is a lot higher than I have expected. So far its made it through some very hot days with no complaints at all. The fans can spin up all they want since its in a garage, seems fine