Basic wall mount racks allow for flexible and efficient use of space with an open frame design that ensures passive cooling for rack-mounted equipment. When selecting a wall-mount network rack that is right for you, it's important to evaluate the height, mounting depth, weight capacity, and rack hole interface to ensure your equipment needs are met in the present and for future growth.
Network Rack Height
1U (or Rack Unit) is equal to 1.75 inches, so a 12U network rack will accommodate equipment with a total height of 21 inches. The dimensions follow the EIA-310 standard. Check out our previous blog on What is EIA-310-D? for more information. Since each rack unit has fixed spacing, round up your rack unit height.
For example, an audio amplifier has a height of 4 inches. Although 4 inches is only 0.5 inch taller than a 3U space, you will have to plan for 4U of space in a rack. Furthermore, if you have two amplifiers that are 4 inches tall, you need 8U of space instead of the 5U of space, if you add up the equipment’s heights. Unless you plan on stacking the amplifiers, you cannot share rack units.
Add up the total height of your equipment and try to make an accurate assessment of the amount of rack space you currently need. NavePoint recommends buying a few rack units more to allow for future growth. Check out NavePoint’s Height Expandable 2-Post Wall Mount Rack for more information!
Network Rack Mounting Depth
To determine the maximum depth you need, measure the depth of your equipment, and add 2 to 3 inches to allow space for cabling. For audio setups with longer connectors like XLR connectors, add 4 inches to allow space for both the connector and cable to bend. NavePoint’s Wallmount Open Frame Rack have 15.6 inches of mounting depth, which should be sufficient for most home/small office network setups.
Network Rack Weight Capacity
Make sure that the capacity of the rack is greater than the total weight of the equipment being mounted. NavePoint recommends buying 10% to 20% extra weight capacity to allow for future growth. Also, check to make sure there are proper studs or drywall thickness on the wall that can support the weight of the rack, and housed equipment, and make sure to use appropriate drywall or wood stud anchors for your setup’s requirements. NavePoint’s Wallmount Open Frame Rack’s rigid welded structures allow the rack to have 200 lbs. of weight capacity, which should be sufficient for most 2-post network setups.
Network Rack Hole Interface
Check out our previous blog post about Rack Holes: Threaded Holes vs Square Rack Holes if you don’t know the difference between threaded holes and square rack holes. Choosing the right rack hole type can save you a lot of time during the initial setup. Counting the hole locations, mounting cage nuts, and popping off cage nuts accidentally when you try to mount your equipment can be exhausting, especially for beginners. NavePoint’s Wallmount Open Frame Rack has threaded holes so you do not have to assemble cage nuts. Some other NavePoint racks come with both options, so you can choose which one is right for you.
Determining the rack’s height, mounting depth, weight capacity, and rack hole interface are the fundamentals when choosing any type of networking racks or cabinets. Basic wall mount racks can be a cost-effective solution suitable for simple setups or for beginners to get their feet wet. If you are ready to learn more about different types of racks and cabinets, check out our previous blog on Types of Racks, Fixtures, and Cable Access Designs, or other blogs such as Advantages of Side Mount Wall Racks, Introduction to Swing Gate Wall Mount Racks, or Introduction to Hinged Wall Mount Cabinets & Racks that describes each rack type in more detail.
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