Benno Media Center Server Rack

Materials: Benno Media Cabinet

Description: Anticipating the arrival of our adopted son, I had foolishly decided that I wanted to get 2 desktop computers, a house automation server, home theater pc, AV receiver, PS3, gigabit switch, VOIP phone, and the network radio in our living room out of the open so that he wouldn’t be able to mess with them. Instead of having a large server rack in a cabinet in the corner of our living room, I decided to come up with something that would match the aesthetics of our Ikea furnished home.

I used discontinued Benno cabinets because they were the deepest ones and even then I had to use short depth server cases. My friend welded some square tubing together to form the frame and I attached some rack rails to the front of it.

After rackmounting everything, I cut a large hole in the bottom of each cabinet and under each rack and placed an AC duct filter to passively draw air into the cabinet. I put insulation tape around and a strong magnetic latch on each door so that it would be airtight and quiet. In the back of the cabinet, I installed 6 120mm fans that are connected to a thermostat to will turn on and pull the cool air through the filter and through the devices and out of the cabinet.

I spent the extra money on the very quiet but efficient Scythe fans so that fan noise is minimized. I then used some painted cable covers to lead the wiring to the speakers, the tv, and to our desks that are located around the room.

Fast forward almost 2 years, of course our son has no problems turning on and watching his shows on the HTPC or on Netflix; or getting his Skylanders up and going on the PS3.

~ Johnny Hwang, Pomona