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Racking high-end gear...
Old 10th November 2002
Lives for gear
Mike Jasper's Avatar
Racking high-end gear...

I went to Jules' Web site to check out his studio, and found a photo of his racked gear all packed snugly together.

I see this a lot, and I'm surprised. I was told by Apogee Digital, for example, to leave one rack space above and below my PSX100, effectively turning my 1U device into a 3U device. Yet, when I go to Apogee Digital's Web site, I again see photos of studios with Apogee devices closely racked to each other.

So what's the real story on this? I have three devices -- a Drawmer 1969, a Buzz Audio MA 2.2 and the Apogee -- that run hot. Leaving the proper (read: company recommended) space for each one, these devices are taking up 8 rack spaces, even though they're only 4U physically.

Am I being too careful? I could really use the extra rack space.

Old 10th November 2002
Lives for gear
Mike Jasper's Avatar
Write after posting, I went to Apogee Digital's Web site and saw a feature about engineer Richard Battaglia. In the photo, his AD8000s were separated by at least 1/2 rack space each. Figures.

That's a problem with my rack. It won't let me space at 1/2-rack increments.

Old 11th November 2002
Lives for gear
drundall's Avatar

Many racks won't let you do 1/2 spaces. I usually leave a space on top of a piece that runs extra hot, but being a gearslut, I always want to fill it!heh
Old 11th November 2002
Capitol Studios Paris
jon's Avatar

I leave 1/2U spaces between the following units:

AD8000s -- you really have to leave some space....I had frequent problems with them when not spaced apart due to overheating.

Eventide H3000 and ORVILLE -- maybe not necessary, but they get pretty hot otherwise.

SDE3000s, Massive Passives, SPX90s, and PCM70s tend to heat up as well, but they have worked fine when racked up without spacing.

Old 11th November 2002
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I should allow more space between some things but I'm kind of cramped on rack space. Like you said, it's a drag to see a 2 RU box turn into a 4 RU. Multiply that by a few pieces and you start to eat up space real quick. The only thing I have that runs really really hot is the Demter VTCL-2a. The DCL-200 gets warm and I should leave the space over it empty but I needed it for my second 1176.
Old 11th November 2002
High End Moderator
mwagener's Avatar
When we built the racks we put fans in the side walls. I try to put all the big "heaters" towards the top so the fans blow right over them from the side. Seems to work quite well. The only units still needing 1RU above are the VIPREs and the Massive Passive. The AD-8000 is in a separate rack and cooled by a little computer fan built into the back wall of that rack and it has a 1RU space below and above. All the "loud" gear (read: fans built in) is in home made iso-racks with folded fan outlets in the back. All the cooling fans have a high power resistor installed, so they run a little slower and quieter. I thought about hooking up the whole rack to the A/C . . . next control room heh
Old 11th November 2002
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
As Michael pointed out... it's all about 'air flow'. In my traveling racks, space is at a premium. If I can get away with the unit(s) not going into 'thermal shutdown', then they're jammed together like commuters on a Tokyo subway... if they do go into thermal shutdown, then they're pulled from the rack, or relocated.

Dealing with heat issues should be the manufacturers' concern, not the users... though the user should keep 'heat issues' in mind when they're building their racks.

As always, YMMV.
Old 11th November 2002
Lives for gear
bassmac's Avatar

Real Gearslutz don't leave space.

Old 11th November 2002
Lives for gear
Mike Jasper's Avatar
Sounds like it's a judgment call on my part. I'm a pretty small operation here, so having something fry would be disastrous.

I guess i'll continue to leave space (and eschew my Gearslutz status:eek: ). Fortunately, I have a pretty big rack (boy, that doesn't sound right) and still have enough expansion space for two more cool-running 1U items.

Still, seeing three empty slots annoys the hell outta me!

Old 11th November 2002
Lives for gear
e-cue's Avatar

Originally posted by Fletcher
Dealing with heat issues should be the manufacturers' concern, not the users... though the user should keep 'heat issues' in mind when they're building their racks.

As always, YMMV.
Good point, as long as it's not a vintage piece.
Old 11th November 2002
Gear Addict

Not everyone's ideal solution, espescially not for travel, but do those open "table top" type racks (about 8 spaces, not much more than the rails) help with air flow and heat dissipation? I was actually thinking of getting one or two of these for boxes that I need access to the back pannel of more often. Any horror stories on durrability?

Old 12th November 2002
Lives for gear

How does JJP keep all that **** cool?

Guess he doesn't worry about it? Probably gets them for free. If one fails, call the co. and get another??
Old 12th November 2002
Lives for gear
hollywood_steve's Avatar

heat flow in racks...

It depends on the gear, but in general I try to leave an empty space for every 4 spaces of gear. And I locate that space immediately above any notably hot pieces, like real tube gear or heavy duty transistor gear.

Power amps are a completely separate issue. I have my Hafler P1000 and P3000 in a four space rack with a one RU vented panel between their faceplates on the front of the rack. The back of the rack has a two RU, two unit fan drawing air in thru the front of the rack and out the back. I can leave both amps on full all day and you can touch the heat sinks and they are barely above room temperature.

In a perfect world, I would do the same for all of my gear, but I don't have the time or cash right now. But keeping gear cool is good preventative maintenance.

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Old 12th November 2002
EveAnna Manley's Avatar

Excessive heat build up is just gonna bake your EL caps up faster so instead of recapping in ten or 15 years, if you don't let some heat escape off a hot anything unit by putting a rack space above it, or getting some air flow happening you might be recapping in 3 to 5 years...
Old 12th November 2002
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
I left a space above my VoxBox and Drawmer 1969. Both at the manufacture's suggestions. As for the look of the empty space, That what Funk Logic is for!

At Electrical Audio (Steve Albini's studio) the a/c runs to the top of the rack. I think the racks may even have their own u
Old 12th November 2002
Lives for gear
C.Lambrechts's Avatar

most of my racks have sliding profiles instead of fixed holes. It's more a hassle to put them in but you save up space in the end ....

instead of leaving a complete unit, or even half a unit free you can put them at 1/4 of a unit for most gear and leave some more for the heat producing ones. It saves me at least 1 unit per rack.
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