Middle Atlantic In-wall Equipment Rack-Help

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Jason D., Mar 12, 2004.

  1. Jason D.

    Jason D. Agent

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    I am in the process of building my HT and want a in-wall equipment rack. I have been looking at the mid atlantic racks, but don't know what the differences between for example the DWR series and the ERK series...and their website is not very helpful (at least to me). I also need to know what comes standard and what is considered an *option* with each rack. Ideally I would like something similar to what is shown in Todd B.'s HT... http://members.aol.com/todd66ovi/Theater/pic3

    Anyone familar with these and have any suggestions on where to buy? Thanks in advance.

    -Jason
     
  2. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Todd - you need a tripod for long exposures buddy! [​IMG]

    I think that's the Slim 5 series. It's just a basic rack and then to that you add the component shelves and finishing panels. Slick as hell - will be doing the same in my theater. [​IMG]
     
  3. MikeN

    MikeN Agent

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  4. Jason D.

    Jason D. Agent

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    Mike,

    Thank you very much for the pics. I was wondering how it worked. Can you give me some idea of what parts outside the standard Slim-5 rack you purchased. For example, what spacers, shelves, etc. and give me an idea of TOTAL price to have a finished look (I know it will depend somewhat on # of components). Also, did you or can you add fans to it? Thanks again.

    -Jason
     
  5. MikeN

    MikeN Agent

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    Well... shelves and storage are about your biggest expense. I don't have many shelves in mine yet, but the SmartHome site has prices on all the shelf and storage options.

    As far fans, I have 2 fans just like this one. They are loud, but move alot of air, both above and below the fan module. It's quite cool. I just added a dimmer control to them so they aren't running full blast all the time.

    As for other finish out... I have about $30 in mounting and finish out parts (as seen in my pics). That includes some 2x4's, and the trim I used.
     
  6. Jason D.

    Jason D. Agent

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    Mike,

    Do you have or will I need the "Adjustable Rear Rack" to mount heavy components like an amp? If not, what purpose does it serve? The heaviest component I will have will be am amp that will be about 90-95lbs. Also, will I need to get the side panels if mounted in a wall? I do want the rear access pan, but don't know if the rear adjustable rack and the rear access pan are compatable or a either/or...do you know? Also, what shelves did you purchase? Did you get the custom or are you using standard (or standard/utility vented)? Thanks!

    -Jason
     
  7. Darren{Moo}

    Darren{Moo} Extra

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    If you have Microsoft Visio, you can download MA's Racktools software from their site and completely configure any of their racks. It will then print of a bill of materials for your project so you'll know exactly what you need to order to complete the project. It also includes retail pricing for each component if my memory serves correctly.
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Todd's picture shows that each of his components has a custom rack mount kit installed. There's a company that does this, I can't remember what their name is. The totally clean flat front look is achieved, but it ain't cheap.

    In order to mount a 100 lb item you're going to want a rack with a rear rail as well as a front and you'll want it installed on a shelf that attaches to both.

    You can get regular one, two, and three space rack shelves at Parts Express that will work fine for most components.

    I don't have pictures of my Mid-Atlantic in-wall rack handy. Are you sure you want the amplifier face in the living area? Why not just hide it in the back and only have stuff that you need panel controls for your room?
     
  9. Jason D.

    Jason D. Agent

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    Thank you all for the help. I actually purchased the Slim 5, rear access panel, and a couple of 2-space blank plates to get me started....I plan on getting most of my equipment next year at about this time. I did purchase a fan unit on Ebay which will mount in the center of the rack.

    Thanks for the advice Philip, I will add the rear rail when I purchase my eequipment....and yes my setup will be similar to Todd's in that the unit will be flush in the center of the rear wall....and I want all of my equipment in the rack. Thanks again.

    -Jason
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I have all three of my amplifiers in the closet and only the components with front face controls in the living area. My equipment rack is relatively small that way, I think it makes for a really clean look. I guess I should post a picture.
     
  11. Jason D.

    Jason D. Agent

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    Philip...yes please post a pic when you get a chance. I actually just got my Slim 5 rack today. I ordered the 37 space version, so I have a lot of space available for components. I was impressed with how heavy it is. I am taking pictures of my progress on my HT and will post pics when I get a little further along.

    -Jason
     
  12. Davey_T

    Davey_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi, guys. I'm in the process of building my HT (in the drywall stage right now.)

    I purchased rack rails from smarthome, and will be building an MDF enclosure for the rack. Anyhow, I have two questions:

    1. Is Middle Atlantic the only company that makes the custom rackmount shelfs for AV gear?
    2. Where have you found the cheapest price on the custom racks. They are freakin' pricey at Smarthome, and I just wanted to know if "that's the price."

    Thanks!
    Dave
     
  13. Davey_T

    Davey_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Nice spelling. I meant "shelves." (It was a long day at the office.)
     
  14. MikeN

    MikeN Agent

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    Well, there are other options, but Middle Atlantic is good stuff, lots of offerings, and as good or better pricing as others. SmartHome is also one of the more fair suppliers as far as pricing goes.

    Yes.. rack stuff is expensive.... That's why many people just do built in shelving instead. No only do they get you on the rack and the shelving... but then you have to spend more to mount your equipment, or get rack mountable equipment.

    Does it make sense to go rack mount? Not really... but it's cool, you can make it fit REAL well, and you can move things around easier [​IMG]
     
  15. Davey_T

    Davey_T Stunt Coordinator

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    I must say, having seen both photos of in-wall rackmount installations, as well as an installation in person, I REALLY like the clean, finished look.

    I guess I'll start counting those pennies!
     
  16. Jason D.

    Jason D. Agent

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    Dave,

    For the best prices I have found on Middle Atlantic racks look at www.markertek.com ---that's where I got my rack from---better pricing than Smarthome, and very good to do business with. I ordered online, but forgot screws so I called and added them to my online order with no problems--and I got my order in 2 days. I would buy from them again. Good luck.

    -Jason
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    double post.
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    This is where things get wierd. My in-wall rack is not "custom for AV Gear", it's a standard Middle-Atlantic commercial rack. The custom installers who did the structured wiring (Enlightened Homes in Northern Virginia - highly recommended) charged me about $300 for it, very inexpensive, and that included framing and installation (as part of a much larger whole-house structured wiring plan). I plan to eventually trim it with window trim to match the rest of the house.

    Here's a picture of my rack when the house was still was under construction. You can count the "spaces", I think it's like a 20 space rack.

    Here's the rack that's under the stairs. The patch bay at the top is for the house phone, cable, and Cat-5. This holds two of my amplifiers and my cable modem and router.

    Here's the in-wall rack and wet bar in the room on closing day. Notice that it's high enough off the floor to be out of the way of "little hands". :wink: (which I can't say for the liquor in the bar!)

    The shelves I used are Parts Express rack shelves:

    [​IMG]

    I'm using one and two space shelves. I don't have a picture of the equipment in the rack, to be honest the room still needs a lot of work so I'm hesitant to take photos yet. My setup isn't as seamless or clean as getting custom rack mounts for each component, but it's pretty darn cool IMO. Particularly because 100% of the wiring is in-wall and hidden. This is off to the side of my viewing area.

    Also, some equipment manufacturers may have rack mount kits for some of their gear.
     
  19. Davey_T

    Davey_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Jason: They just quoted me a price of $119.95 for a 2- to 5-space custom rack mount. This is the same price as SmartHome.

    What did you pay for your custom racks?

    Philip: Thanks for the info. I'd love to see a picture of the rack with your equipment in it.

    Thanks!
    Dave
     
  20. Jason D.

    Jason D. Agent

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    Dave,

    Sorry, I have not purchased my new HT equipment yet, so I have not ordered any custom shelves. But, when I compared the Slim 5 at Markertek vs other places it was cheaper (by at least $55). I guess their shelves are the same price by what you are saying but like I said...I am not there yet. Heck I am just in early framing stage right now. Let me know if you find them cheaper anywhere.

    -Jason
     

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