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Dave

Home Server Rack Re-Do Re-Wire Re-Think

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Dave

My server rack in the basement is a hot mess. I decided to fix it up a bit and am splitting it into a few phases.  I just finished phase one and thought I would show you.

 

Here is the problem. Rack of wiring installed by someone else. Coax and voice wiring are in a sub rack to the side.  I've "borrowed" a few of the voice CAT5e lines to use as Ethernet. My first plan was keep the sub rack and run a cable ladder back and forth but I decided to run a few jumpers up the wall and come in behind the rack instead. That allows me to dump the side rack and leave it as it was when I first saw it.

 

You can see in the photos that I also needed a wire rack on the side to hold some gear.  I used to have a pfSense box and some mining rigs as well.  Goal is to get it all in the 19" rack. One thing that makes it difficult is I have so many little boxes.  

 

HDHomeRun

Ooma VOIP box

Echo Connect - Hooks the VOIP line into Alexas.

Fire TV Recast

Netgear Cable Modem

Synology RT2600ac Router

DS415+

DS218+

 

Then I have the D-Link 24 port switch and somewhere around here I need to put in a POE switch for the Ubiquiti AP's so they will all be on battery backup.  All these little boxes have to go somewhere. 

 

rack1.png

Here is the side rack. At this point the cable coming in is jumpered to my great room where the Synology router and cable modem are.  I did this in order to use the Synology as the wireless AP.  This is the panel I steal CAT5e connections to certain walls too.  Also, the voice system for the house is here.  I have to inject the Ooma box into the house so we can use normal handsets and answering machine.

 

rack2.png

Here is the hot mess.  Speaker wiring mixed with CAT5e. The amp on bottom hooks up to an Echo Dot to do whole home audio with Alexa.

The UPS is on the wire rack as well as the NAS's. The HDHR is at the top which is out of frame.

 

Here is phase one complete.

rack3.jpg

 

I still need to power it all down and get the UPS moved.  The HDHR as well.

 

rack8.jpg

 

Side rack. I ran an extra CAT5e jumper and it's curled up in front. I may have to rethink this as the jumper on the top right is bouncing from gig to 100mbps.  I may have to pull these jumpers all the way back and into the main rack and re-punch them down. My concern would be them reaching.

 

rack3.jpg

 

Here is the new setup.

 

rack4.jpg

 

On the top are all the odd shaped boxes. Conect, Recast, Ooma, then below is Netgear Cable Modem and Synology Router. (More on this below)

 

rack5.jpg

 

Wiring section. Rooms on the left, boxes on the right.

rack6.jpg

 

Speaker wiring.

 

 

rack7.jpg

 

NAS section.

 

Phase 2 will be powering it all back down and fixing up some wiring in the back. Power on one side, data runs on the other.  Move the UPS, move the HDHR.

Also, I may move from the Synology Router to Untangle. If so, I'm going to rack mount a PC and use the Synology router as a spare.

 

I have the Synology wireless on. It's completely surrounded by metal though.  Not far from this rack are two heater/AC units and tons of ducting on all sides.  That's why wi-fi access points in this room are a waste. The only clients are in this actual room.  I have wireless on right now and see if it will work ok with the Ubiquiti system I have on the floors above it.

 

It's not a supermodel but I'm liking it so much better! Suggestions and comments welcome.

 

I used to have a MacBook setup at all times with Ethernet.  That way when I came downstairs I had something to do some console work with.  I may set that back up at some point.

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nrf

did this start out with the "structured wiring" concept? I am overwhelmed looking it over.

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Dave

Not real sure what you are asking. It was clean when we looked at the house but it was a custom job that had never been touched after install.  When we got the house they pulled out all the audio gear and there was a wireless AP sitting on the top of the rack.

 

It was a custom job for the gear that was installed but that gear was a decade old.  There are cameras at each entrance and when the doorbell rang you could walk over to a screen in the kitchen, hit #8 on the phone, and it would duck the music overhead, and show the camera on a screen. You can literally see the front door from the screen area in the kitchen.  I suppose it was pretty cool 15 years ago but a Ring doorbell replaced all of that mess. Same with the audio gear.  I have a small Echo hooked up to it now. Audiophiles wouldn't like it but it is fine for us.

 

Is it structured wiring? I guess so. Just not what I would have done personally.  I never would have put a sub rack on a side wall next to a rack.  I would have just installed a second rack beside it and wired it up.  There was plenty of room to do so.

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nrf

so an early adopter lived there before. cool. my grandfather was an early adopter too. he had intercoms to all the rooms and all the lighting used built-in relays so besides operating them in the room there was a wall near the entryway where any of the lights could also be controlled.

 

my definition of structured wiring was to run wires of each type from every room to a central hub.

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Dave

That would be a yes then. Every room has two cat5e cables, a coax cable, and coaxial video cable. The TV cabinet in the living room and in the basement has giant coil of overkill cables. Some coax RGB cable or something other.  We just use the Ethernet.

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