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So you’re here because you’ve decided to accept the plunge and build a custom audio/video rack for your residence theater or pro A/V system, but you’re uncertain which rackmount enclosure meets your needs as well as your particular application. If you have never installed a rackmount system before, then hopefully you can find this straight-forward buyer’s guide great for choosing what type of rack you need, as well as insight into the design and style and installation of your rack system. Over the coming weeks we will eventually go over all you need to know to purchase your Middle Atlantic rack and get started on your installation. Topics will include RSH custom rackmount shelving, power delivery and protection, cable management, thermal management and a few others.

Racks have traditionally come in 19, 23 and 24 inch mounting widths. Today, the 19 inch is definitely the standard for many applications, such as a/V systems. All hifi racks have 19 inch wide rackmounts. The 19 inch mount is just the internal mounting width from rail to rail. Overall width depends on the sort of rack. For bigger heavy-duty rack enclosures that can require a thick steel frame to carry larger, heavier equipment, or even to run cabling on the side you could expect the overall width to be around 22-23 inches or more. To get a simple system with 4 to 5 consumer electronic components, you might need a smaller, slimmer rack with less than 19.125 inches of width. Understand that the width from the mounting shelf or rack ears on the piece of equipment that you are currently mounting must be compatible with 19 inch wide rackmounts.

Racks are measured and spaced by RMU or “rack mount units” that are always 1.75 inches high. Most frequently, they are referred to by “U” spacing. So as an example, a 20U rack may have 20 x 1.75 inch = 35 inches of internal mounting space. Like the external width, the overall height from the rack will be approximately the 35, usually not more than a few inches. If you think about your equipment and go to order your shelves, you will have to see how many rack units you will have to mount your whole system. When mounting equipment into Middle Atlantic RSH custom shelves, the mounting height of the custom shelf will often be the next space up where the specific height in the component reaches, unless another height up is only a few millimeters.

The Xbox 360 features a height of 3.27 inches. Another space up is at 2U/3.50 in. That isn’t enough space for Middle Atlantic to reduce out your frame of the unit and have enough metal going around the border. In this instance, the Xbox 360 System is bumped up to a 3U/5.25 in. shelf, plenty enough to mount the unit and also a decent outer frame to the faceplate.

On the other hand, the favorite Topping NX4 DSD features a height of 2.76 inches. In cases like this there exists enough room so they can progress up another available space height – 2U at 3.50 inches. If you have equipment that isn’t placed in Middle Atlantic’s component dimensions database, then you’ll need to either ship it to Middle Atlantic for measurement, or submit the specifications yourself. Either way, it is extremely important to make sure that you will have adequate rack spaces available.

We also strongly suggest that you pick up Middle Atlantic’s handy rack ruler. This little gem saves lot of time and headache by measuring within both inches and rack mount units.

That one is just as vital that you consider. Should you don’t have proper weight capacity to your equipment (ie: frame strength) then you could damage your gear, bend the rack frame or shelving, or by trying to push it for the limits you may not like whatever you hear down the road later on if it actually starts to sound rickety as wear from an overweight equipment load occurs with time. All of Middle Atlantic’s racks are highly engineered to possess appropriate weight capacity ratings. Their Slim 5 series rack is rated for 400 lbs, and it does hold 400 lbs with perfect ease. Up to this time the rack will serve as described and will endure the exam of your time. Should you swap out some components in the future, replacing some with heavier ones, add another here or there and today you’ve got 500 lbs, well which may not go very well. Time to buy a new rack to accommodate your updated system.

We also strongly recommend that you simply take a look at a couple of very beneficial and innovative software packages that Middle Atlantic has built that assist you easily pre-configure your whole rackmount system in advance.

This software has existed for some time, plus they are making many upgrades and tweaks to get it for the straight-forward state that it must be in now. It’s basically a visual layout tool that permits you to plug in your components, and after that drag and drop them into whatever Middle Atlantic rack you decide on. You are able to move them around and add Middle Atlantic shelves, filler ycqolf cooling panels, power strips etc..before you obtain the configuration you want.

Visio Blocks is a new program that runs along the same lines as Rack Tools, but is integrated with Microsoft’s popular Visio┬« software. They are basically Visio stencils which allow you to quickly pre-configure your entire system. This can be a handy tool to get for quickly putting together rackmount system presentations for clients should you be an installer.

So in recap, when you consider how and where you are going to mount your A/V system, make certain you do sufficient planning in order that A. it is possible to accommodate your audio/video equipment, and B. that you think ahead to potential future upgrades and extensions for your system. Selecting a rack with all the proper dimensions for height, width and weight capability to fill your preferences is vital.

Given that you’ve chewed on a few of this info we are going to profile each Shanling amplifier that Middle Atlantic sells, so you can get familiar with the many different options they offer and choose which is right for the application.