… and things got a bit out of hand.
Building a LackRack is some sort of rite of passage for sysadmins, I think, and I am, after all a sys- and network admin first and a programmer second. Initially the idea was just to have the switch, and the second table was just to make it look like a respectable piece of furniture instead of a €5 Ikea table (as per this picture I posted a month ago), but then I figured a power strip would be useful, and in the process of locating a Belgian supplier I found more things I wanted.
I did add the power strip; I added two, in fact. Here’s the front one:
It’s sunken not to protect plugs or even to help support the 4U drawer above it (which needs the support; it’s solid steel and weighs 17 kg), but because the power cable is to the side and there was no other way to mount it. Still, it was the only power strip available, and we make do.
(Notice that it also has Schuko sockets rather than the more sensible CEE 7/5. Fortunately everything I wanted to use it for has either CEE 7/7 plugs or Europlugs.)
Here’s the view from the back, showing the second power strip:
Note the connector plates with which I expertly affixed the top table to the bottom. There’s four such plates because that’s all I could find in our basement. On the front legs they’re on the side, for looks.
The dorsal power strip faces inward, because there’s no reason for it not to. It holds everything that needs to have power 24/7, including the front power strip, the switch, my electric toothbrush, and the laptop on the shelf under the switch.
The frontal power strip is meant to be switched off at night, because I have a lot of things that have too many bright lights to keep them on in my bedroom, including my Wii, the inductive charger for the Wii remote, and the Roomba, for which there’s just enough space underneath.
That’s the switch’s power cable, plugged into the dorsal strip. The duct tape shows it’s professional.
Here’s the whole thing from the side:
Ignore the dust and the fingerprints.
The shelf doesn’t look too stable, which may be a problem. The table legs are hollow at the point where it’s attached, and it’s not particularly light-weight, being entirely steelen as well. Still, it seems to be holding. I’ll add some sort of reinforcing bracket if I find one.
It slides out, too!
And here’s what the whole thing looks like when it’s running:
Again, ignore the dust and general grime. My room needs cleaning and will get it tomorrow. Also ignore the quality of the connector attachment on the leftmost cable. I didn’t do it, though I will redo it, also tomorrow.
The point of the laptop is to have a shell server (as I’m apparently graduating this year, which means I won’t have access to the one I’ve been using for the past half-decade anymore) and, as soon as the new hard drive arrives, a backup server. I was initially going to get a proper rack-mounted server instead, but my old laptop still works, so why not use it?
The total cost of this is €568.81 (€289.90 for the switch, €45.98 for the cable and connectors (admittedly I have 98 meters and 44 connectors left, which is what the drawer is for), €222.95 for the shelf, drawer, and power strips (including automatic discount and shipping; LackRack or not, 19-inch equipment isn’t cheap), and €9.98 for the tables), plus whatever the old laptop and the handful of screws I found in the basement cost. I’d say it’s worth it.
Haskell is less impressed.
(If you’re in Belgium and want to do something like this, I recommend both Tones, where I got the switch, the cable, and the connectors (not to mention my Thinkpad and my mom’s inexplicable iPad), and Flightcase-brico.be, where I got the other things. The former has free shipping for orders over €200 and the latter is much faster than you’d expect. Be aware that the latter lists prices without BTW, and BTW is 21% on everything. You don’t need a credit card for either one.)