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I've just purchased a few simple hardware rackmount devices, and a rack case. I've never set anything like this up before. I've been told that the devices' faceplates are screwed to the rack, and no other support is required.

Is this true? Are rack devices only attached by the faceplates, and there's no other support? Some of these devices are kind of heavy and it doesn't seem like enough support to handle the weight, particularly during transport where they bump around.

I want to make sure I'm not missing something.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, almost all rackmount devices are designed to bear their loads on the front plate. Only in very rare circumstances have I seen a piece of rack gear that has not remained rigid while mounted in a rack, and that was only after years of being in one. There are also some rack pieces that have a second set of mounts in the back, but I haven't seen that in a long time.

My Crown power amp, which has got to be 50+ pounds, is only front mounted, as is my Akai S5000, which is about as unwieldy as it gets. You should be fine. Make sure you use four rack screws, and be careful not to overtighten them. You may also want to use rubber or nylon washers, but that's a whole other topic in itself.

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Rackmount gear is almost universally designed to bear all its weight from the front panel, yes. As Zeronyne points out, even fairly heavy gear is fine, as long as it is mounted properly.

I will simply add that I have on rare occasions seen rack gear that had optional mounting hardware for both the back in addition to the front. This is quite uncommon, however, and generally just an added precaution--not required.

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The unit is almost always balanced with the majority of the weight up front, so that it will balance when attached via the front plate. For longer units, or incredibly heavy units, additional mounting may be required, though such a case is quite rare. –  Owen Kelly May 17 '11 at 14:50
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1U Rack mount computer servers will often have mounting rails or other things to support them, but nearly all audio kit or servers that use several U are usually just attached from the front.

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