Yet another source of 5U cases

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magman
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Yet another source of 5U cases

Post by magman » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:22 pm

I thought folks here might be interested in a pair of 5U cases I've just finished putting together.

Image

Last year I found a supplier on eBay in the UK that was selling some neat looking flat pack steel rack cases in various sizes, apart from 5U unfortunately. In November, I decided to ask the question whether they could make other sizes, which I was pleasantly surprised to find they were willing to do. Roll on to December and they told me the cases were available.

All Metal Parts on eBay UK

The rack cases arrived as flat packs only 2 days after I ordered them on eBay, along with some flat panels and ventilation panels I ordered at the same time. They were very well wrapped in plenty of bubble wrap and cardboard. Here's how one of the flat pack cases arrived:

Image

The rack cases are made from 1.2mm steel and are powder coated in black. All exposed edges are folded as well, so there are no sharp edges to worry about. Assembly was a breeze, with only 8 screws needed to assemble each case. These screw into proper threaded bushes as well, no self tappers here. The racks also came with 20 captive nuts and the associated screws and washers for mounting equipment to the built in rack rails. The racks are 300mm deep, which is a little deep for MOTM modules, but I plan to build some Formant modules that will need the 300mm depth, so I'll stick with this depth for now.

Other little things I like about these cases are that there are dimples on the top and bottom panels that means the cases link with each other. There is also a knockout towards the middle back of the top and bottom panels if you want to link the cases together and pass cables between the cases without having to go externally. I will probably get some thin rubber feet to fit into the bottom dimple so that the cases locate a bit neater and don't mark tables or each other.

For the Power Supply and distribution, I got an Oakley PSU2 and another Dizzy (I already had one in stock already). The Yamaha PA-30 PSU lump for this PSU came from Thomann. Going the PSU2 route means that there are no issues with mains power, cables, earths and transformers in this build. I got similar connectors to the PA-30 to make a link cable between the two chassis. All of these orders were placed and delivered in 2012.

Here's the PSU and Dizzy's assembled and mounted on the 3U aluminium panels:

Image

Last picture is a not very exciting rear view:

Image

Being a bit pedantic, I'm going to order some black M3 screws to finish this build off. I also need to order some more MOTM rails from Bridechamber when he gets them in stock.

Overall I'm very pleased with these results. I can see me building quite a few more of these (another 5 pairs should give me enough space for the modules on my build list). I will probably get a couple of 6U cases as well, for some Formant modules I've got the PCB's for.

Last but no means least, I got the impression that All Metal Parts are quite amenable for slightly more custom builds. For example, they built 10 of these 5U cases in only a few weeks based on my initial request for only a pair. I suspect that narrower cases should also be possible if there was enough demand.

Hope you find this interesting and useful

Regards

Magman
Last edited by magman on Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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nerdware
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Post by nerdware » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:57 pm

Very tasty! If I wasn't using a floor-standing metal rack cab, I might be tempted! Esp at that price. Stick a handle on top and you'd have great portable case.

Thanks.
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Post by Bryan B » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:59 pm

Very cool, and cheap too?
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Post by whitewulfe » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:03 pm

Those are some fairly nice looking metal racks! Out of curiosity, where'd you get the rails to go with?

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magman
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Post by magman » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:54 am

whitewulfe wrote:Those are some fairly nice looking metal racks! Out of curiosity, where'd you get the rails to go with?
I actually picked these rails up secondhand, via these very forums 'For Sale/Trade' thread.

You can also buy them new from Bridechamber, who has taken over the DIY part of the MOTM sales from Paul S in recent months.

Regards

Magman

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Post by iopop » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:02 am

Maybe we can pursue them to make Rails aswell?

Great find btw.

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:31 am

Nice job! :tu: :hyper:

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zeta
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Post by zeta » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:13 am

looks very nice! :love:
i might consider some at a certain point..

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Post by SepticUnderground » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:51 am

Looks really nice yeah :yay:
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Post by werock » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:59 am

Great find - maybe it's time to retire my badly made, ill-fitting temporary wooden case that I've been using for 10 years...

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Post by Synthbuilder » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:49 am

Yep, these look excellent cases.

I've seen some all metal cases before but those never had rails at the back to put the power supply so these ones are brilliant.

They have their own website too:

http://www.allmetalparts.co.uk/

Tony

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magman
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Post by magman » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:57 am

Tony,

I found that the postage is cheaper if you buy from eBay rather from their site directly (about £10 on this order alone), otherwise I would have bought from their direct site.

I would also have prefered to buy directly, to support the company a little more whilst avoiding topping up eBay's coffers. I might mention this discrepany to them, as they will potentially save eBay fees in the future.

Regards

Magman

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Post by Synthbuilder » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:21 am

magman wrote:I found that the postage is cheaper if you buy from eBay rather from their site directly (about £10 on this order alone)...
Interesting. I hadn't spotted that. You'd think it would be the other way around.

Tony

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Post by werock » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:07 pm

Just found another alternative on the 'bay.

10U Beech cabinet, £69

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10u-UNIT-RACK ... _735wt_956

They seem to have various rack sizes and styles, most of them are in MDF, which is OK if you want to paint it I suppose.

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magman
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Post by magman » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:48 pm

This firm also does custom work on request (at least they have in the past).

For example they made me a 12U 300mm deep MDF cabinet (primed in white, as I was planning to paint it myself) in June 2010 at a total cost of £55 including carriage. This included aluminium rack rails to the front side as well.

Turnaround from order to delivery was a little over a week.

Regards

Magman

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Post by The Hamburglar » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:01 pm

werock wrote:Just found another alternative on the 'bay.

10U Beech cabinet, £69

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10u-UNIT-RACK ... _735wt_956

They seem to have various rack sizes and styles, most of them are in MDF, which is OK if you want to paint it I suppose.
Wish they shipped in the US / I knew a good alternative.

Would love something like this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2U-PC-MONITOR ... _610wt_953

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Post by CF3 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:57 pm

nerdware wrote: Stick a handle on top and you'd have great portable case.
Indeed. Would be super slick looking with a QCR8(or 2 w/ 10u :mrgreen: ) for Dotcom modules. :tu: nice find.

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How hard was it to drill

Post by bloke_zero » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:35 am

Looks great - a very neat job. Was it relatively easy to drill the mounting holes or was it a bench drill job?

Great find - thanks for sharing!

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magman
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Re: How hard was it to drill

Post by magman » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:21 pm

bloke_zero wrote:Looks great - a very neat job. Was it relatively easy to drill the mounting holes or was it a bench drill job?

Great find - thanks for sharing!
Well, because I've got a bench drill, I used it, but it could all have been completed relatively easily with a normal power drill. The secret is to get a good step drill for the larger holes (transformer input and connection to 2nd rack.

The only time consuming part was the rectangular hole for the power switch, which I drilled out initially but finished by filing by hand. But you can get circular versions of these power switches nowadays, so it could all be built using a drill if you wanted.

Regards

Magman

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Post by Paradigm X » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:59 am

magman wrote:Tony,

I found that the postage is cheaper if you buy from eBay rather from their site directly (about £10 on this order alone), otherwise I would have bought from their direct site.

I would also have prefered to buy directly, to support the company a little more whilst avoiding topping up eBay's coffers. I might mention this discrepany to them, as they will potentially save eBay fees in the future.

Regards

Magman
I wonder if theyve fixed; its now about a fiverer cheaper for two 5u racks on their site than eBay.

cheers for headsup

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Post by galaktyk » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:40 pm

Fantastic new home for the toys.

Thanks for the post, was searching long time for such cases

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magman
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Post by magman » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:49 pm

Paradigm X wrote:I wonder if theyve fixed; its now about a fiverer cheaper for two 5u racks on their site than eBay.

cheers for headsup
I was talking to the owner last week and I mentioned the postage difference to eBay, so I suspect he's updated his website. I'd much rather give him the money directly anyway, rather than adding to eBay's profits.

I'm currently looking into whether I can get a case design with integral module mounting rails in the top and bottom panels, but this is likely to be a longer term project. You would also need to have different top and bottom panels for MOTM and .Com, which is a little bit awkward.

If anything gets sorted out, I'll of course let folks here know.

Regards

Magman

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Post by sdracer77 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:26 am

Awesome looking case Magman love the black finish hope to invest in a couple of them soon

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Post by sam » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:38 am

Thanks for sharing the info, i'm buying several of those cases and not only for my Oakley modular.

I initially planned to built a wooden case but this will help.
Finally i think the oak shelves i bought will made a nice enclosure and it will be easier to build and ground.

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Post by CF3 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:37 pm

I really like these cases. They will ship to the US, BUT at a huge cost that makes it ridiculous. Anybody know of a North American alternative to these awesome racks? I've done an exhaustive search online and found nothing... :hmm:

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