Modern Rack Rails in Classic Racks?

John H. Reinhardt johnhreinhardt at
Thu May 2 00:11:55 CDT 2019

On 4/29/2019 12:19 PM, Zane Healy via cctalk wrote:
> My next question is, what options are there for putting a shelf in a standard rack?  My google-fu seems to be failing me.  I’ve I’m going to put any desktops in the rack, I’ll need a shelf or two, at a minimum.
> Zane
Moving from Ohio to Texas in 2017 I gave away two DEC tall racks (36U?).  Rebuilding here in my converted bedroom office I bought an open 4 post rack off Ebay that lists as 27U but has about 29U of usable space (see link at end of email).  The top was meant to be two thick caps tying the two sides together but I'm putting shelf on top for a Compaq TSZ08 reel to reel tape drive.  I've found that rack shelves are an expensive thing.  My main rack was "only" $200 and most shelves were around $100 each.  Then I found this one at Amazon: <>  for around $45.  It's solid and sturdy. The shelf itself is 26" deep and the supports are adjustable for racks of different depths.   It's fixed and doesn't slide, however.   It may be what you're looking for.  I haven't found anything better for less.  It's made by the same company that made my rack and now I see I could have gotten it cheaper ($6) from Ebay! Doh! 

If you're also looking for something to use to mount your Proliant (If you don't have the HP rails) then these are good:

Full Length adjustable Rack Rails: <>

Partial Length adjustable Rack Rails: <>

They com in single, two and four packs with slight savings the more you buy.  Because of the adjustable nature, they do have some screws which impinge on the roughly 17.5" between the rack rails. I have a few things that fit rather tightly against them but they do flex a bit which allows the item to fit.

I can't run everything at once (I could, I have two 30 circuits feeding them but not for long as the heat...), but I have everything there to boot up when I need them.

In my rack I have (from top down):

   Compaq TZ08 Tape drive (on open shelf at the top level)

   A partial Length rack rail with a Lantronix ETS16PR terminal server

   2U allocated to a 12" deep Cantilever Server Vented Shelve with an Edgerouter Lite Firewall/router and a Raspberry Pi 3 DNS/DHCP/NTP server

   An HPE Aruba 2920-48G 48-port 10/100/1000 switch with 4 10GBE SFP+ ports

   A Raritan Paragon II KVM switch

   HP MSL2024 Tape Library with two LTO4 SCSI tape drives

   PDP-11/53 system in a BA23 chassis

   Compaq Network Storage Router M2402 for FC to SCSI bridging

   HP Storageworks 8/24 SAN switch

   HP P2000 G3 MSA Storage Controller with 12 2TB 3.5" SATA drives

   HP D2700 storage shelf with 252.5"  SAS drives

   HP C3000 Bladeserver Chassis with one BL460c Proliant blade for VMWare hosting and two BL860c I2 Itanium for OpenVMS

  (2) APC 2U high 3000VA SUM3000RMXL2U UPS systems

Rack: <>

John H. Reinhardt

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