The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
people with little mobile rack rigs: how do you route your power cables?
Old 28th May 2020
  #1
people with little mobile rack rigs: how do you route your power cables?

so i have a studio flyer 4U rack which i like very much (it does have a rear rackmount, btw) and inside it, i have a furman (short), a tone beast (less short), an antelope D8 SC (mid-sized), and an audient ASP800 (takes up nearly the entire depth of the rack).

inside i have a power supply for a hefty laptop, one for a thunderbolt hub, and the antelope and TB12 both have external power supplies. this last weekend i tried to do some cable management so that it would be more "grab and go" but the way i have things in there now is making things too hot for my liking. however i was trying to reduce the amount of cabling that's coming and going from the rack and make it as self-contained as possible, as it's in a bedroom and cables clutter the corner up pretty quickly since there's no desk.

how do you deal with your external power supplies in your mobile rig?
Old 28th May 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 
tourtelot's Avatar
I do a pretty quick and dirty so that only one AC cable comes out the back of my 2U racks by taking a three "hole" short 16/3 extension cord (Home Depot) and cutting it off to about 3'. I then put a nice heavy duty nylon connector on it and Bob's yer uncle. I secure the orange three hole part in my rack with a nylon cable clamp screwed to the inside of the rack. Works great for three AC powered "things" in on rack.

More than three units in the rack, or in my bigger racks, I mount a Furman 1U AC "conditioner". I am never too sure about the conditioning part but it provides up to 8 AC "holes" (What else do you call 'em?) inside the rack, one AC cable out.

Places like Monoprice sell IEC AC cables of varying lengths (figure-8 AC cables as well) from as short as 6" up to 2-feet or so. I use 6" and 1-footers in the rack and a lot of AC wire clutter is gone.

My racks are clutter-free pieces of art if I do say so myself And I have lots of racks. Not as many as Steve Remote but lots.

D.
Attached Thumbnails
people with little mobile rack rigs: how do you route your power cables?-black-hdx-general-purpose-cords-hd-838-799-64_1000.jpg  
Old 28th May 2020
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
I do a pretty quick and dirty so that only one AC cable comes out the back of my 2U racks by taking a three "hole" short 16/3 extension cord (Home Depot) and cutting it off to about 3'. I then put a nice heavy duty nylon connector on it and Bob's yer uncle. I secure the orange three hole part in my rack with a nylon cable clamp screwed to the inside of the rack. Works great for three AC powered "things" in on rack.

More than three units in the rack, or in my bigger racks, I mount a Furman 1U AC "conditioner". I am never too sure about the conditioning part but it provides up to 8 AC "holes" (What else do you call 'em?) inside the rack, one AC cable out.

Places like Monoprice sell IEC AC cables of varying lengths (figure-8 AC cables as well) from as short as 6" up to 2-feet or so. I use 6" and 1-footers in the rack and a lot of AC wire clutter is gone.

My racks are clutter-free pieces of art if I do say so myself And I have lots of racks. Not as many as Steve Remote but lots.

D.
what do you do with your external power supplies? i have a lot of things that plug into an IEC but then there's a brick and another cable coming out the other side to the unit itself. those bricks get hot. i was thinking maybe i'd try and velcro them to the sides...?not sure if that would kill too much ventilation.
Old 28th May 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
I do a pretty quick and dirty so that only one AC cable comes out the back of my 2U racks by taking a three "hole" short 16/3 extension cord (Home Depot) and cutting it off to about 3'. I then put a nice heavy duty nylon connector on it and Bob's yer uncle. I secure the orange three hole part in my rack with a nylon cable clamp screwed to the inside of the rack. Works great for three AC powered "things" in on rack.

More than three units in the rack, or in my bigger racks, I mount a Furman 1U AC "conditioner". I am never too sure about the conditioning part but it provides up to 8 AC "holes" (What else do you call 'em?) inside the rack, one AC cable out.

Places like Monoprice sell IEC AC cables of varying lengths (figure-8 AC cables as well) from as short as 6" up to 2-feet or so. I use 6" and 1-footers in the rack and a lot of AC wire clutter is gone.

My racks are clutter-free pieces of art if I do say so myself And I have lots of racks. Not as many as Steve Remote but lots.

D.
Here’s a 3 outlet extension cord that’s already 3ft long. No mod needed.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/301132643

There are other short 3 outlet extension cords available from other sources.
Old 28th May 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
 
tourtelot's Avatar
Yep. That'll work fine. I tend to put nylon plugs on mine that glow green if the outlet they are plugged into is wired correctly and red if it is not. Just a POM (peace of mind) thing for me.

The bricks or wall warts each get dealt with as needed. On the ones with detachable figure-8 AC cords, I often just supply a 6" cord and secure the brick to the inside of the rack with auto trim double stick. They never come off and I have never had an issue with heat. On the stupid ones that take up two holes in an AC strip, there are 6" cords with outlet pads. I forget what they are called. But I double stick these to the inside of the rack and then plug in the wall wart. I have been known to pry the wall warts apart and shorten the DC cable to the right length and then glue the wart back together. OCD at its finest. Mostly I just coil the cable in a small loop and tie-rap it.

Found 'em. Dr. Ferd's Wall Wart Remover

D.
Attached Thumbnails
people with little mobile rack rigs: how do you route your power cables?-img_9908.jpg  
Old 28th May 2020
  #6
Gear Nut
Great thread. I'll add a recommendation for Yellow Jacket brand extension cords. They have glowing ends, and the handling behavior is the best I've found.
Not cheap. Heavy gauge if you need it. Last forever if you take care of them.
Around the house the little 25' has to be my most frequently used tool...
Old 28th May 2020
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klimermonk View Post
Great thread. I'll add a recommendation for Yellow Jacket brand extension cords. They have glowing ends, and the handling behavior is the best I've found.
Not cheap. Heavy gauge if you need it. Last forever if you take care of them.
Around the house the little 25' has to be my most frequently used tool...
thanks for the recommendation! i guess what i'm actually after is a...um...reduction cable? but mostly i was just wondering if mounting power bricks to the inside of the rack was a doomed idea, and thought i'd ask the pros what they do.
Old 29th May 2020
  #8
Gear Nut
Doug is miles ahead of me.
I use the Furman units also.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I was looking for a clean and portable solution to carry my Apollo X8 and two Satellite Octos. I built a rig and it's super clean, but I am worried about two things.

1) The Apollo and Satellites have small DC adapters (the Satellites are small rectangles and the X8 is a bit bigger. I wanted to have 1 single power cable, so I purchased one of those Y splitter extenders with 3 ends, and connected the IECs into that Some creative mounting and cable ties, and it's all snug...but a tech support rep at UAD told me to NEVER use one of those splitters for audio gear. I am not sure why this is a problem; can someone confirm? I don't want to just take his opinion as fact (he said it could cause noise, etc). I don't hear anything but I don't want to damage my gear or introduce noise. This is the product I purchased:

3 to 1 outlet splitter

2) I made sure to leave some air space around the vents of the Satellites on the sides, and the X8 which is mounted at the top of the rack, has a bit of air space above, where the holes are....still, I feel the Satellites getting extremely hot. Not sure there is enough air flow with all the cables...and don't want to damage the gear.

So I am thinking this was a bad idea, and I should just go for a 4 space rack, to ensure much better ventilation...and perhaps on the top space get a cheap Furman so that I don't have to use a 3-1 splitter extension, to make sure there's no noise or damage.

Would appreciate any thoughts on this rig build. Thanks!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
tourtelot's Avatar
I can't imagine why that AC splitter would cause any problems other that it is really awkward. It should cause no electrical problems, but the design means a lot of AC cable wrapped up in your rack.

I don't really know the units in your rack but are you using a 3U rack? A 4U rack with a Furman won't help with ventilation, but the Furman and some 1-foot Wart Removers (and some velcro) will clean up the AC mess. I am not convinced that inexpensive AC "conditioners" like the Furman PL8, actually do any conditioning but the rear outlets and some spiffy lamps on the front make them convenient.

I always put a BFT (big f**king transformer) in front of my rig but never a UPS or the like.

As to ventilation, that is really a conversation with the manufacturers of the devices in your rack. I am not personally opposed to bigger racks as long as they are not stuffed and weigh too much. For me, being an old fart, weight is the problem, not bulk. In some of my racks, two Grace m108 live in a 6U rack with a Furman and three perforated 1U panels because that way, the m108s' fans never come on. Since they live on the stage during a recording, that's important.

That and four bucks will buy you a Starbuck, curbside delivery included.

D.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgehognrown View Post
what do you do with your external power supplies? i have a lot of things that plug into an IEC but then there's a brick and another cable coming out the other side to the unit itself. those bricks get hot. i was thinking maybe i'd try and velcro them to the sides...?not sure if that would kill too much ventilation.
I zip-tie or velcro them inside my racks so they don't rattle around. Never stack them... leave as much surface area open as possible. No failures yet!

HB
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
DCtoDaylight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
I zip-tie or velcro them inside my racks so they don't rattle around. Never stack them... leave as much surface area open as possible. No failures yet!

HB
This is my approach too - adhesive velcro strips on the bottoms of the power supplies to stick them to the sidewall of the rack.

I also attached a piece of cable channel (like this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Legrand-...-C50/202264865) to the underside of the top of the rack. It tidies up the internal cabling and helps ensure clear access to the backs of the interfaces in the rack.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
I can't imagine why that AC splitter would cause any problems other that it is really awkward. It should cause no electrical problems, but the design means a lot of AC cable wrapped up in your rack.

I don't really know the units in your rack but are you using a 3U rack? A 4U rack with a Furman won't help with ventilation, but the Furman and some 1-foot Wart Removers (and some velcro) will clean up the AC mess. I am not convinced that inexpensive AC "conditioners" like the Furman PL8, actually do any conditioning but the rear outlets and some spiffy lamps on the front make them convenient.

I always put a BFT (big f**king transformer) in front of my rig but never a UPS or the like.

As to ventilation, that is really a conversation with the manufacturers of the devices in your rack. I am not personally opposed to bigger racks as long as they are not stuffed and weigh too much. For me, being an old fart, weight is the problem, not bulk. In some of my racks, two Grace m108 live in a 6U rack with a Furman and three perforated 1U panels because that way, the m108s' fans never come on. Since they live on the stage during a recording, that's important.

That and four bucks will buy you a Starbuck, curbside delivery included.

D.
i could see it maybe causing a ground loop, but if there's no audible hum i would think it's fine.

who makes the BFT?
Old 1 week ago
  #14
[QUOTE=hedgehognrown;14766165]so i have a studio flyer 4U rack which i like very much (it does have a rear rackmount, btw) and inside it, i have a furman (short), a tone beast (less short), an antelope D8 SC (mid-sized), and an audient ASP800 (takes up nearly the entire depth of the rack).

so as far as order, i have figured out that the ASP and the antelope don't like touching. they get really hot really quick. with that in order, what order would YOU stack them in?
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgehognrown View Post
... with that in order, what order would YOU stack them in?
I had a similar problem with a Apogee Ensemble interface a decade ago. After noticing the heat, I took it from a plain 2-space SKB (housing the Ensemble below a DAV-BG8) into a 4-space SKB RotoRack... Ensemble on the bottom; perforated single space panel in the second space; BG8 in the 3rd space; perforated panel in the 4th, with a small block of wood supporting the rear of the BG8). Good flat surfaces for storing the BG8's D-Sub25 output loom, power cords, and a short cord 4-banger strip (before I started carrying a APC UPS) as well as a couple or four lightweight Mogami 25' cables. Once deployed, plenty of breathing room; in/out weight was manageable, and I could stack a small mixer on top if PA was also required.

Still racked up similarly, though the Ensemble now mostly provides interface at the desk in the ManCave... BG8 and Midas M32R onboards are the "usual" package, unless I want the 4 additional pristine Apogee preamp channels in the Ensemble.

HB
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
I had a similar problem with a Apogee Ensemble interface a decade ago. After noticing the heat, I took it from a plain 2-space SKB (housing the Ensemble below a DAV-BG8) into a 4-space SKB RotoRack... Ensemble on the bottom; perforated single space panel in the second space; BG8 in the 3rd space; perforated panel in the 4th, with a small block of wood supporting the rear of the BG8). Good flat surfaces for storing the BG8's D-Sub25 output loom, power cords, and a short cord 4-banger strip (before I started carrying a APC UPS) as well as a couple or four lightweight Mogami 25' cables. Once deployed, plenty of breathing room; in/out weight was manageable, and I could stack a small mixer on top if PA was also required.

Still racked up similarly, though the Ensemble now mostly provides interface at the desk in the ManCave... BG8 and Midas M32R onboards are the "usual" package, unless I want the 4 additional pristine Apogee preamp channels in the Ensemble.

HB
i would say that although they aren't perforated, the furman and the tone beast are quite shallow, would you suggest putting the audient (hottest of the 4 units) at the bottom or would it get more breathing space elsewhere?
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 

in mobile racks with fixed gear, i cut leads so they easily reach the power strip (and ups in case of redundant psu's): no need for too much weight, cooking the cables, blocking the airflow and the access to the sockets...
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgehognrown View Post
i would say that although they aren't perforated, the furman and the tone beast are quite shallow, would you suggest putting the audient (hottest of the 4 units) at the bottom or would it get more breathing space elsewhere?
I think "air flow" is the most important capability... Heat rises, thus I put the "heater" (Apogee Ensemble) on the bottom with the shorter-length BG8, allowing the heated air to rise and escape through the spacers in front as well as out the rear of the rack.
📝 Reply
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
♾️ Similar Threads
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump