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A blog about electrons: from Semiconductors to Integrated Circuit Design, Homelabbing to Programming

A Soundproof, Dustproof Server Rack, Part 3: The Build

This post is intended to serve as a step-by-step guide for anyone who wants to build their own rack. All of the necessary drawings are available as PDFs (black and white with dimensions and color), as is the full Fusion360 project. I have a limited amount of woodworking experience; however, this project was very accessible because there were no advanced techniques or joints, just a lot of cutting, gluing, and fastening. Confidence with powertools is definitely necessary.

A Soundproof, Dustproof Server Rack, Part 2: Airflow Testing

The most frequent comment I saw about Part 1 was concern about airflow. I had always planned on doing some kind of rough testing, but seeing the extra concern, which I already shared, I decided to do something a little more rigorous. The goal is to ensure that in the closed box, the intake baffle provides at least as much air as is drawn in through the intakes of the racked devices. In my case, the biggest is an R720XD, and the rest are insignificant in comparison. The difficulty is that not only does the baffle itself restrict the airflow, but the dust filters do so even more.

A Soundproof, Dustproof Server Rack, Part 1: Design

We recently moved into a new condo with an attic, which gave me the opportunity to relocate my server rack out of the guest bedroom closet and into a room where the fans spinning up won't wake people up. Until now, my homelab has continued to live in its Startech 12U rack, but I quickly discovered two problems caused by the attic being an exterior room: first, it's extremely dusty, and second, it's not insulated. When its about 80°F outside, the temperature in the attic gets up to 100°F, even with proper roof ventilation. This causes my R720XD fans to spin up. To the max. Which I can then hear through the entire house. With all the doors closed.