rack expander
the installation of equipment
so called standard 19inch racks

by Ralph Klimek June-2010
Oh Puleeez!

This metal-work project was inspired by a large network rollout  that I was tasked with.  The equipment was provided by an extremely large high quality network equipment vendor. There was only one problem.  The ethernet switches did not fit in our racks !

There does not seem to be an actual standard for the nineteen inch rack. Why is this? The 19inch rack came from an old world of British telephone exchanges. It was known as the Nineteen Inch Standard Relay Rack.  Then came Metrification. Then came the nework revolution which saw an immediate required for very large quantities of mass  manufactured racks and racking equipment.  But what actually was 19 inches about a Nineteen inch rack.  I challange you to get about with a ruler and find where and what the Nineteen Inches actually is.

There are no standard specifications for NineteenInchedness !

If you must know,  I have measured exactly nineteen inches from the outermost extremity  of the rack mount ears of old equipment manufactured in pre metric days.  Thats it and thats all it is. From Ear to Ear.  It still does not say anything about what the maximum dimensions of the equipment box, nor does it specify  the racks' precises "apature", nor does it tell you where to put the mounting holes!

So, I had to install all this equipment that did not fit into our "standard" racks.  The equipment box size was "standard", the mounting ears were "standard"...everything was standardadised, yet it did not fit!  It was a Harvard MBA's nightmare, reality arriving and telling them that they were wrong !

Could someone please explain the staggered arangment of the rack mounting holes?  It appears that allmost nobody in our department gets it, and I must admit, neither to do I.

Then there is the total insanity of putting mounting ears at the front of the equipment when all the weight is at the back!

rack expander
Its just a screw jack with forks and slots so that it bites into all kinds for racking hardware and will not fall out or turn whilst jacking it with the Nut.

The expander has forks and slots at both ends so that it does not twist during application. This is important as the forces that can be generated by the screw jack can be considerable. This tool will give you about 5mm extra clearance in a lightly utilized rack. It helps if you loosen the screws in the other equipment in the rack.

This very usefull tool was made with the welder of doom.


created page Thu Jul 29 18:30:12 EST 2010