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What does the back of your rack look like?
Old 26th August 2002
  #1
One with big hooves
 
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Talking What does the back of your rack look like?

I'm just about to finish wiring the room and I can't help but wonder what the back of other peoples racks are like. Has everyone taken the time to group all the power cables together and keep them away from audio lines? Or is it a mess that looks like a cabinet of black spaghetti?
Old 26th August 2002
  #2
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Currently a Mess.
I get my Patchbay Wired this week so I will re do it nicely unitl the next bit of rack gear goes in or out.
Old 26th August 2002
  #3
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Kinda like a cabling company threw up back there...try to keep it nice and neat, but with each new toy in or out, throws the whole thing into panic mode...

Not sure, but I think when I was back there yesterday something growled at memadd
Old 26th August 2002
  #4
Don
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Its a mess........ ...
Old 26th August 2002
  #5
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Drumsound's Avatar
The power and audio cables are separated. The power is plugged in, but I'm still finishing the snakes so the audio wiring is nowhere near the power.

The snakes are groups of eight and I think I'm going to add some little hooks to the inside of the racks. Every cable is labeled to match the patchbay number and I have a color code sheet I'm going to tape into the racks as well. Ain't new gear fun!?
Old 26th August 2002
  #6
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Markus Stock's Avatar
 

Behind my racks it's a mess too. Everytime I did all the cabling I had the best intentions of doing it really well, and in beginning it was really well done, but then you add new gear to the racks, wire it to the patchbay, some cable ****s up and you replace it, and a three months later it looks like hell again....I can't help it.

Best,
Old 26th August 2002
  #7
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Remoteness's Avatar
Re: Whats the back of your rack look like?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
I'm just about to finish wiring the room and I can't help but wonder what the back of other peoples racks are like. Has everyone taken the time to group all the power cables together and keep them away from audio lines? Or is it a mess that looks like a cabinet of black spaghetti?
Jay,

The mobile unit's racks are wired neat and power cables are kept away from the audio lines (the best we can that is).

I kept enough service loop so we can just unplug the power cords and pull gear out of the rack when necessary. Some racks also have rear access via service doors.

Some of my portable equipment have interface panels at the rear of the equipment rack. An example would be the DTRS racks. Three DSUB's are wired to 90 pin ELCO/EDAC connectors. One ELCO for input and another for the output. Two connectors interface the 24 track set up. Similar panels are on other racks like my API 3124 mic pre's, XTA DS800's, etc. I even have various patch bays wired into 2 rack space cases with ELCO rear connectors so you can interface a patch bay with ease.
Old 26th August 2002
  #8
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One Thing I cannot understand is why manafactures cannot get together and say all power cables are on the right side or the left. Then you have the ones in the centre, and you are trying to not cross over audio cables how
Old 26th August 2002
  #9
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by davemc
One Thing I cannot understand is why manafactures cannot get together and say all power cables are on the right side or the left. Then you have the ones in the centre, and you are trying to not cross over audio cables how
Remember, crossing over is not a problem. Parallel power cables with mic lines can be a big problem. :eek:


Usually line level stuff is not effected by the racks power cords.
Old 26th August 2002
  #10
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the back of my racks .... when freshly cleaned up look very clean ... everything perfectly wired .... analog / digital / midi / electrical ..... all perfectly seperated ... looking like a street map of Manhatten.

After a couple of months, switching / adding gear in them .... they look like a street map of Rome ..... just after Hannibal entered it ....

Then it is time to rebuild it once again .....

Funny thing is I realy like and enjoy doing it .... I know a lot of people hate it ..... I can spend hours getting it right.
Old 26th August 2002
  #11
Moderator emeritus
 

And then there's the whole issue of external power supplies - cable harnesses come into most of my racks from the cable troughs underneath the floor - where can you put power supplies so that the signal paths don't lay right next to them? Don't get me wrong - I don't MIND having external supplies - I just don't know where to keep them...
Old 26th August 2002
  #12
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I stuck them to the sides of my racks with Velcro tape. It only takes one or two 2-3" pieces to make a line lump stick to the side of a rack. I did the same thing with the power strips. Keeps all the power cables going to one place. I think that those Furman strips and things like that are pretty evil. When you use one of those you get power cables going all over the place and cable management is much harder. Then again, I have two of them in my racks and I can turn all my outboard on with two power switches so there is a benefit. I'm still not sure what to do with the power supply for the Dakings. Right now it's sitting on top of the rack but I might move it to the ground and place it behind the rack.
Old 26th August 2002
  #13
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
I'm still not sure what to do with the power supply for the Dakings. Right now it's sitting on top of the rack but I might move it to the ground and place it behind the rack.
It's the Daking PS that I'm talking about - in one rack, I've got the Daking and the Vintech power supplies, in the next rack over, I've got the Vac Rac power supplies, and in the one next to that, the PS for the Universal Audio 2108. Too big for velcro, I'm afraid, so they're just sitting on the bottom of the racks....

Most of my racks have 1 or 2 power strips, mounted on the left (as you look in from the back). And though I've got rack mount power strips in 4 of my racks, I generally shove all of the AC cords up one side of the box, around the sides of the gear, and the wiring harnesses coming up the other side of the rack. And at least two of the Furman strips are only there so I can plug in the strip that's in the back of the rack, and can turn the whole rack off that way

Most racks have some sort of a hook where I can hang the excess cable, on the opposite side from the electricity. It's still not as elegant as I'd like, though.
Old 26th August 2002
  #14
We had a Neve 1073 pair, Fatso, Dangerous 2 bus and SSL compressor that needed integrating into the racks, they were sitting on top with 'flying leads' for a long time. So my wiring guy (who double as my classical music client) and my ex assistant (now freelance engineer) just did a peachy job rewiring / settling in the new pieces.

Its the back of the 'digital' rack that got the most 'wild'

Now:

Prism converters 16 i/o
Digidesign 888 - 8 i/o + AES & spdif i/o
TC M3000
Eventide DSP 4000
Z-Sys digital de-tangler - router / digital patchbay
Dangerous2 Bus
Fatso
SSL

We threw out the DAT Player finaly, it is no longer holds a permanent place in the racks.

Old 26th August 2002
  #15
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Started out real clean and 5 years later looks like a mess. I'm afraid to fix it because it works. The next time I add something I'm sure it will break and I'll have to face the inevitable.
Old 27th August 2002
  #16
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts
the back of my racks .... when freshly cleaned up look very clean ... everything perfectly wired .... analog / digital / midi / electrical ..... all perfectly seperated ... looking like a street map of Manhatten.

After a couple of months, switching / adding gear in them .... they look like a street map of Rome ..... just after Hannibal entered it ....

Then it is time to rebuild it once again .....

Funny thing is I realy like and enjoy doing it .... I know a lot of people hate it ..... I can spend hours getting it right.
I hear you Chris,

I'm the same way. I love to build and rebuild stuff. Color codes, labels, etc., etc. Spending hours and hours doing it. Updates - keys for improvement.

Simularly, during a session I use oranization when patching the jack field. Keeping every patch cable color coded and separated from each other. Blue patches can be for wet FX's, Black for comp's/lim's, Red for gates, Yellow for busses, Green ones for outside world feeds, etc. On and on...

I also make sure patch cords that go to one area of the jack field or toy don't get tangled up with the other patches made. If you have to pull a patch, (in theory) you're not going to take something else down with it.

In the live recording & broadcast world, you do not have a second chance to get a great sound but you have plenty of chances to screw up.
Old 27th August 2002
  #17
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs


<snip> I'm still not sure what to do with the power supply for the Dakings. Right now it's sitting on top of the rack but I might move it to the ground and place it behind the rack.
Jay,

I know this will not help your situation but, I have four Daking EQ's in a 4U SKB (yeah I know, stop laughing) case. The power supply fits perfectly inside the rear rack lid. I installed it to the lid with four bolts, nuts, washers, lock washers, etc. The PS is wired to the EQ's, all you need to do is take the lid off the case, place it somewhere safe and turn it on. grggt It works freakin' great.
Old 28th August 2002
  #18
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Actually, for the first time in a while my rack wiring is in pretty good order. Just got done rewiring the entire place with Gepco Blue... great stuff. Because of the way my studio is layed out I found it practically impossible to avoid parallel runs of power and audio cables. So far, I'm not hearing any problems... knock on wood
Old 28th August 2002
  #19
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Everything is seperated here, all custom lengths from when i did the install ( so far all maintained)..

perhaps we should start a self-help group.. " Hello, I am steve, and I am obsessed with cable management..

When I ran a live sound co, I once re-wired all my processing racks because I got a bunch of wire form Gepo that was purple, and I really dug the color..
Old 28th August 2002
  #20
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I'm a little embarrassed to show this...

There is a bunch more gear stacked precariously on top of this rack. If any of you 'compulsive organizing' types have some free time, let me know when you wanna stop by.

- jon
Attached Thumbnails
What does the back of your rack look like?-rackof-doom.jpg  
Old 28th August 2002
  #21
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Ouch. Mine is far from perfect but it's neater then that. Looks like you have a patchbay at the top of the rack. That's an easy way to let things get messy. All my patchbays are in a 14-space Quick Lock sidecar. It keeps the cabling off the back of the gear and the strain relief on the cables is better.
Old 28th August 2002
  #22
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The place where I'm set up took a lot longer to finish building out than expected. I had a few projects lined up and those clients stuck it out with me through the construction delays so I scrambled to get everything together when construction was complete. I was loading my gear in on a thursday and the first session was to start on that saturday. Needless to say, I cut a lot of corners. Six weeks after that, I got a new console that did not arrive in the condition described. Actually, it was ****ing filthy and had to be completely dismantled, cleaned, and reassembled. All of that stuff coupled with regular work schedule (that I'm very thankful for) and I have let organizing my racks go by the wayside. Now that I have the console up and running and the new space working the way I want, I'm gonna do just what you have and get an organized patch system set up. It's always something though isn't it? Maybe I'l put up an 'after' pic to redeem myself. Now that I've shown my dirty little secret to the world (or at least to the forum) I feel pressure to rectify the situation

- jon
Old 29th August 2002
  #23
Guest
Guest
Mine look dreadful.
However, call and find out who your local panduit rep is.
Tell him you are building a data center or computer closet and you are needing to see samples of the finger duct.
My guy sent me 2 6 ft. pieces of small sample size 2 inch by 1.5 inch finger duct. I screwed it to the side of my racks and run all my power in it.

Works great.
even if you buy it..

D
Old 29th August 2002
  #24
Jax
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Neil Muncy

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim L
Actually, for the first time in a while my rack wiring is in pretty good order. Just got done rewiring the entire place with Gepco Blue... great stuff. Because of the way my studio is layed out I found it practically impossible to avoid parallel runs of power and audio cables. So far, I'm not hearing any problems... knock on wood
It's a bit of a myth that running audio and power lines next to eachother will cause ground, and/or, EFI/RFI noise problems. Infact, running them as close and parallel to eachother as possible is recommended by Neil Muncy in his AES journals. Neil also tours extensively giving lectures and teaching classes on this and other audio related topics. Check the AES journals.
Old 5th October 2003
  #25
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Mine are pretty damn messy, with some attempts to make things better. Current problems include more gear than rack space, so stuff is on top of the racks, and the need for a different pstchbay setup. The slit plastic tubing can really help, and some has been applied where it could be.
Old 5th October 2003
  #26
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Mine is neat at the moment. Only re racked every thing on Friday So give it a couple of months.
Old 5th October 2003
  #27
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Lessee. I got a few 8 channel snakes that neaten things up a lot. And I have about 20-30 cables that are pretty wild. I would zip tie or velcro everything together but it's pretty dark back there and if I have to move stuff it takes me a long time to figure out what's tethered where. Power cords and audio wiring is mostly seperated. My power cords exit one place in my argosy desk and audio exits in two other places. They run parallel sometimes but when they do they're about 3-5 inches away from each other. Everything's hooked up to the patchbay except mic pre inputs. All my patchbays have breakout panels with XLR jacks and are straight through and normalled. Most stuff is bundled actually and tied. MIDI and all synth cabling lays on the floor but is bundled tightly and neatly.

One thing that would help my wiring a lot is getting short power cords- like 1 foot cords. I use an equitech with power strips attached to hefty extension cords. Equitech tech support said this was aok, and I tested my sockets, and current is still balanced on the power strip outlets. Almost all my power cords are 6+ feet and I have to wrap those up and they dangle everywhere like loosly wound coils and it kinda sucks.



Holy shizma I just found this:

SHORT POWER CORDS FOR TWO BUCKS!
Old 5th October 2003
  #28
Super Moderator
 
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We cut our power cords down to exact size and wire new Edison plugs. Some of our racks have two or three IEC power cords wired to one Edison plug, so we can save space and outlets on the power strip. It works out great. The extra cable with attached connector from the shortening process is thrown in a pile for future use. We turn them into short extentions, etc.
Old 6th October 2003
  #29
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Here are some rear shots of four of our portable racks. They can operate via one 24 pair snake split as 12 inputs / 12 outputs or via two individual snakes depending on the interfacing needs of the gig.

Chassis mounted ELCOs are wired with what I call a "Flip Wilson" wiring scheme. Any rack w/ 12 channels or less gets this installed.
It allows you to use one snake for both ins & outs. If the rack has less the 12 channels, the extra channels show up on the panel as XLR tie lines.
Attached Thumbnails
What does the back of your rack look like?-rearofracks2.jpg  
Old 6th October 2003
  #30
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Beautiful organization, Steve!

I'm taking pictures of my unused Elco snakes and bays and tt cables in case anybody needs some.
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