Patchbays that are just a little too small

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Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Text_Edifice » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:29 pm

So - here's the problem. I have a bundle of long frame patchbays that are *just* too narrow to fit a 19" rack. They're ex-ABC so at some stage they must have been slotted into something.

I've thought about using a rack shelf but that won't keep the bays in place when the patch cords are pulled out.

Have also looked for rack conversion kits etc. but nothing obviously looks like it will work.

I think I basically need a pair of washers or similar metal that are wide enough to clamp the bays in place, but can't find any that will site flush against the edge of the rack and still work.

Any creative solutions our there to get these secured in a 19" rack?
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Hookemeister » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:33 pm

Hi Dave,

any chance of some pics and measurements so we know what we're dealing with?

*just* too narrow to fit a 19" rack

Do they have rack ears on them?

They could be old PMG (what Telstra was back in the Jurassic period) patchbays. They were an unusual width and height. I do recall having to make up some custom rack ears for those.

Any creative solutions our there to get these secured in a 19" rack?

Got a feeling 3mm aluminium angle and some drilling is going be the order of the day.

Anyhow feed us with some info and I'm sure we'll come up with a solution.
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Drumstruck » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:35 pm

Hey Dave,

Swamp used to sell slotted rack angles - perhaps rack your bays into them and use a couple of fabricated angles to mount them in your rack.....if there was more need for this sort of thing I could make my fortune.....
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Text_Edifice » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:45 pm

They are slightly misshapen. 450mm wide and 55mm high.

Can't do pics as on my phone.
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Text_Edifice » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:46 pm

They do have ears, by no holes in the ears.
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Hookemeister » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:39 am

Yeah Dave,

sounds like the old PMG bays, they were used in telephone exchanges, pabx switchboards and at the ABC.

Non standard size, they don't have the 1RU spacing. Nothing wrong with them, certainly built to last and you can replace the individual jacks with new Switchcraft replacements if necessary.

If that's what they are then you'll need to take the existing ears off and get some 32x16x3mm aluminium angle to screw them all together.

When you can, post a pic so I can confirm that's what they are and then I'll sketch up a drawing to show how to put them together.

Also how many bays will you be using?
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Text_Edifice » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:41 am

IMG_20150926_214044.jpg


Hope this displays properly.

Using 6 of the suckers. So it may be easier to just build a custom rack for them...
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Hookemeister » Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:12 pm

Hi Dave,

thanks for the photo... that's exactly what I thought they were.

They are slightly misshapen. 450mm wide and 55mm high.

Not sure where your 450mm measurement is so can you let me know the dimensions for 1 & 2 on the drawing below.

PMG Patchbay Dimensions.jpg


Dimension 1 is from one end of the frame, that is the frame that wraps around the bakelite, to the other end.

Dimension 2 is the overall length including the rack ears.

Thanks
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Text_Edifice » Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:43 pm

I measured wrong

1: 435mm
2: 455mm
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Text_Edifice » Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:18 pm

So, by my math I need about 27mm extra on each side. So if I can get some aluminium angle that's about that length (32x25x3mm seems available locally) I'll replace the existing ears with that and drill holes for the racking?
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Kurt » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:26 am

A flat piece of 3mm aluminium screwed to the existing ears?
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby The Tasmanian » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:51 am

Hey Dave,
a few (many) years ago I was faced with this problem, I ended up getting a 3RU steel standard rack shelf , and added flat sections of aluminum on top of the rack ears to narrow the width and new holes drilled for the narrow patchbays.
- it worked really well, and the rack shelf gave me a solid structure to support the whole lot (3 patchbays)
Good luck,
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Text_Edifice » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:21 am

Thanks Chris - I'll take a look at that as a solution.

Kurt - to get the aluminium attached to the existing rack ears would need a drill press I think (or at least a better drill than i own) - they're about 10mm+ thick and steel.
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Text_Edifice » Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:40 pm

Quick update for anyone else out there with a similar problem.

After a bit of prototyping, Kurt's suggestion won out. I got a length of straight aluminium and riveted it on to the existing ears.

I snapped a drill bit getting through the steel but a heavier duty bit solved the problem.

The only real bugger was realising after the first prototype that I should have riveted the aluminium onto the back of the existing rack ears instead of the front.

They look ugly as all getout but work a treat.

Thanks for all your suggestions.
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Kurt » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:16 pm

Doesn't have to look pretty to do the job :-)
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Re: Patchbays that are just a little too small

Postby Text_Edifice » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:34 pm

I think that's my new life motto.
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