DIY 19 inch Plywood Rack

Building a dirt cheap plywood wall-mounted rack with off-the-shelf 4U rack rails

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My house needs a centralized location for data connections including cat 5e/6, HDMI, three channel RCA, unbalanced speaker wire (connector type uncertain), and F-type coaxial. I'm building a simple 4U rack and installing in a centralized location in the basement. All lines will come to one of two patch panels: the first for ethernet, the second for everything else.

As an extra challenge, I'd like to come up with a basic design for this than I can also use for stackable/portable modular synth cases.
  • 1 × Old 1U 24 port cat5e patch panel salvaged from my work (will update brand later)
  • 1 × New 1u 24 port keystone patch panel Monoprice 35421
  • 1 × 1/2in 2ft x 4ft plywood
  • 1 × Hinges so the front can swing open for easy changes - this is a big maybe; also, not sure what kind: piano vs door?
  • 1 × 1 pair 4u rack rails, 11 gauge steel, 10-32 holes (off the shelf) Reliable Hardware Company

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Dan Maloney wrote 12/06/2019 at 16:41 point

I built a rack mount for all my stereo gear so I could take it to college with me. None of the components were rack mount, but I found that I could add little pieces of aluminum angle to the sides of each case that would form rack mount ears. Built a case from plywood with matching aluminum rails to mount everything. Came out great, except for the hum induced by the ground loops formed by attaching all the chassis together. Got around that with wood spacers and nylon screws.

Good times.

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sarandi wrote 12/06/2019 at 17:48 point

Thanks for the ideas. I've seen optional rack mount ears for devices that can be rackable/wall-mount/shelved, but the aluminum angle would certainly be a handy/cheap/easy solution!

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