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Sturdy Rackmounts (not)

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Mark Castle
Advisor

Sturdy Rackmounts (not)

HP, you make wonderful switches, we've been using them since the dawn of time... why oh why have you never decided to put decent rackmount ears onto your 1U switches? They really let you down. Surely it would be a simple task to

a) Hold the ears onto the switch with bigger, sturdier screws.
b) Actually make some rackmount ears that can be held to the rack with more than 1 screw either side (anything is better than trying to hold is on with 1 screw then jam a second one in to the half moon screw hole and hope that will hold it up a bit too.

We're getting tired of having to make sure there is always a server directly under the switches holding them up.

Sorry.. that's been winding me up for years and years. Please look at revising the rackmount system on your switches.
7 REPLIES
Les Ligetfalvy
Esteemed Contributor
Solution

Re: Sturdy Rackmounts (not)

The screw in the half moon screw hole at the bottom is the one that does the most holding. Just put a large flat washer under the head. In fact those half moon screw holes make it easy to mount the switches. You can pre-install the screws and hook the ears over them instead of trying to hold the switch with one hand and screw with the other.

There exist short wedge-like shelves that can be put on the rear rails of the rack to help hold things up.
Mark Castle
Advisor

Re: Sturdy Rackmounts (not)

Hi Les,

Thanks for your advice, but we've tried that already... after a while, even when screwing the screws in with washers and big power screw drivers, the bigger switches (26xx and 28xx's) always sag still. After a few weeks even with tightening they are almost always sagging at a guess, 5% maybe 10% or maybe more if the screws were not practically welded on. I'd prefer the racks themselves to bend if the kit is heavy, rather than the switches.

You also have to put the screws into through the rackmount ears really tight, and more often than not you ruin the slots on the head of the screws by doing so. It becomes infuriating at times.

I've not used many Cisco 1U switches but the ones i have used have not suffered from the these problems.

Re: Shelves... yep sure one can use shelves, but that shouldn't really be necessary and defeats the object of rackmount kit IMHO.

Again, thankyou for taking the time to reply though :-)
Les Ligetfalvy
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Sturdy Rackmounts (not)

Mark,
Don't get me wrong, I am not defending HP. I agree that there is room for improvement.

In case you were not clear on what I meant by wedge style shelves, see:
http://www.hubbellcatalog.com/hubbellpremise/datasheet.asp?PN=MCCCWS19HD&FAM=Cabinets

Depending on what else you have in the rack, if there is nothing to support the back of a heavy full-length 1U device, that shelf can be mounted on the rear rails and not waste any rack capacity. Sometimes I will squander 1U of space and install a full-length shelf to make it easy to slide a heavy unit in and out for quick and easy one-handed servicing. For that reason alone, I would never mount a heavy full-length 1U unit by just the front ears.

As for the screws that come with HP switches, I have never found a rack that matches that coarse pitch of thread. Waddup widdat?
seymour999
Frequent Advisor

Re: Sturdy Rackmounts (not)

Dunno whether this will help you with your second point, Mark, but...

Try using stainless machine screws and cup washers. Commonly #10-32 x 1/2", Phillips head - some racks and cabinets take other sizes, such as #10-24.

The screws don't mung up the mounting ears because the washers spread the load. And stainless screws are stronger and last longer than the white metal-like junk that some (other) mfrs supply.

Preston Gallwas
Valued Contributor

Re: Sturdy Rackmounts (not)

I thought we had the same problem until we looked at the way we were racking them. The ears work best reversed, with the "L" set back 2 inches or whaver, away from the front of the 2600 switches

This was the only way we could mount 26xx POE series switches because we broke some screws trying a front load only.

After deploying nearly 250 2600 series switches, I feel confident that our standard operating procedure of the reverse mount (that is, for the ear) should be for everyone -- we don't have a single switch sagging and they've been hanging nearly 7 months now.
Mark Castle
Advisor

Re: Sturdy Rackmounts (not)

Hi,

Evan: Thanks, will try them. We already use washers though so as not to chew the rackmounts up too much.

Preston: Thanks, i am sure that will help others, but alas it's not possible for us given the size of servers we use as if we were to do that the doors on the racks wouldn't shut.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to post though. :-)
Mark Castle
Advisor

Re: Sturdy Rackmounts (not)

Wow.. did HP Listen.. recently installed a couple of 2626s and 2650s and both types of switches came with much improved rackmount ears... nice one HP :-)

Now if only they could alter the design of the switches slightly to allow of sturdier screws to affix the ears to the switch... lets hope so.

Cheers - Mark