Check Out My Rack - ”Node Zero” is the area in the house where all the cables come together. Below is a selection of N0s belonging to our readers. You can see photos and read descriptions of a variety of projects, from a few simple components in a cupboard under the stairs, to huge multi rack installations. Hopefully this page will show you what can be done and inspire you to do your own.
David Balharrie – My Node0 is in two parts of the house. The main part is a sealed rack cabinet in my garage which houses my servers. The second part (Node1) is located in the house and is the central point for patching of cat5. There are further details and more pictures on my web site.
Paul Gale, Silicon Pixel – My Node0 built in a double wardrobe cupboard. Gets quite hot in there with all the kit though. I did add a ceiling extract fan (an in-line bathroom type) that is controlled by an X10 AD10. This means I can turn it on/off as necessary. I currently have it turning on at 08:30 and off when the Comfort alarm is armed to night mode (as the fan is a little noisy). The next upgrade is to fit a quieter fan with a bigger air flow as Node0 still gets very warm in the summer.
Quinten Uijldert – It started off with a small cupboard, but after the garage has been partitioned into two spaces I ditched that and bolted everything to the desk/wall It also answers one of the questions asked a while back about running stuff from the garage. Mine has been operational for a number of years and as long as you keep the gear running, condensation or cold (is actually a bonus!) is not an issue. Only thing to do is when you do switch off (and leave off for a while) stuff is to bring them indoors and let them become room temperature again before you start them (as condensation will have settled then).
Nick Locke – My Node zero is spread out across two walls in the garage, so no single photo could do it justice. This photo shows the CBus wizardry. The top two cabinets contain a single eight channel dimmer and three twelve way relays. The lower cabinet is a recent addition and, following a suggestion from a fellow UKHA regular, contains contactors to further protect the CBus channels that drive the outside security lights. In addition to CBus, I also have a Comfort installation. Further details and more pictures are on my web site, with more being added all the time.
Nigel Giddings – This is my first attempt at a Node 0. I’m currently building a house in N. Kent so I have been able to integrate it in the basic design. Having been a Manager in several Telecoms companies I have seen quite a few Data Centres and have copied most of the ideas from these. Flexibility is very important to me so I have several patch panels and have also used cable routes that can be easily accessed. The other design requirement is that the rest of the house should look as ‘normal’ as possible, so my Node 0 is the only place for me to express myself. Any questions or comments e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Mouser – Node 0 is a custom built cupboard(s)/desk in my office. Other than LCD screens, ceiling mount speakers and Xantech IR eyes we have NO equipment anywhere else in the house that’s visible. The whole idea was that with the doors shut it looked like any other cupboard and was pretty much silent, its built from ½ inch ply and mdf and has been sprayed to match the wall colour in the office, due to the weight of the equipment in the racks the structure is tied to the ceiling and floor joists. To the left and right of the desk we have two full height rack enclosures containing all PC and AV equipment and above the desk contains the wiring patch panels for data, voice, audio and video. Below the desk are the C-Bus consumer units for the lighting. The right hand unit also houses the Comfort alarm install although this is not visible from any of the pictures.
Mark Cox – In node zero we have termination for the 3 CAT5 sockets and coax from each room, and the usual router, switch, cable modem. The bottom right houses a 1-wire hub currently monitoring six room temperatures and providing switching for the heating. The box on the right that looks like a doorbell actually is an wireless doorbell receiver hooked into the 1-wire network. The rest of node 0 stores all those old PC bits and pieces I’ll never need but just can’t throw away (like an ISA SCSI card).
Harry Hendriks – Node 0 is in the upper half of a closable, custom built cupboard in MDF on the first floor. It is fully functional in our newly build home since 2 years. On the left hand side are the incoming (mostly CAT 5) cables from our home (IR-sensors, phone connection, TW 523, Camera’s and other Video connections, security connections and control, smoke detection, anemometer, temperatures, etc.).
They interconnect in a flexible manner to the Node 0 equipment side: the Homevision controller, a laptop PC linked with the WiFi + ADSL home network, a Power distribution board + supply unit + battery, + an I/O board (with relays and allowable windforce detection: 5 Bft), an X10 integrity testmodule, a phone unit and TW523. On top of the controller is an IR + RF relay unit for remote control of the variuous automated functions in the house or vicinity. The laptop is used for the Homevision monitoring software, the always on line Internet weather information data exchange and also as a simple PC-scope for measurements via the PC soundcard.
Philip Rogers-Davis – This is my Node Zero, and it’s located in the loft. I have a number of devices located in a 19” rack. From top to bottom, the order is as follows:
Power strip (6 sockets)
- Linksys 18 Port 10/100 Switch
- 48 Way CAT5 Patch Panel
- Netgear ADSL Router
- Mini Keyboard & Mouse
- 2xUHF Modulators (CCTV Camera 1 & 2)
- Home Security Server (CCTV) for Geovision
In the rack is a room thermostat that is connected to two high speed (but noisy) case fans in the Home Security Server. When it gets a hot up there, the fans kick in and create a high through flow of air through the case, and stop the server from overheating. Overall, it has been worth the effort, and keeps everything much tidier and less prone to ‘accidents’ when in the loft!
From the top, there is:
- 48-port RJ45 patch panel
- Netgear 24 port 10/100 Ethernet Switch
- Netgear DG632 ADSL Modem/Router
- The gap next to the router has variously been filled with a PlayStation 2, wireless audio/video sender, and separate firewall
- Sky + PVR/satellite receiver
- Denon DVD-2910 DVD Player
- Windows XP Media Centre Edition PC/ media server – Denon AVR-2805 receiver
The grey vents conceal 10cm hi-flow fans each with built-in temperature controls. Tucked away is a Keene Electronics IR distribution system so that I can control it all remotely from the front room. Plus an energy-saving socket that turns everything off automatically when the TV is turned off. There has been an X10 system in place for lighting but that is on the blink at the moment.
dunks517 – The rack is made up from a 20u cannibalised cabinet, placed into a void in the home office.
- Onkyo TX-SR605
- Sky HD
- Xbox 360
- Xbox 360 HDDVD Addon
- 40Gb PS3
- Acer iDea 500 HTPC
- 24 port patch panel
- 2Tb of storage containing media library
Hidden behind the blanking plates are a 16 Port Netgear ethernet switch, Netgear ADSL moden & router, HDMI Cat5 Balun attached to Sky HD, Labgear Loftbox – Coax distribution, Keene ir controller, X10 CM12u usb interface. I am considering extending the rack to 40U and adding sliding shelves, a fan/extractor and placing the printer in the rack.
Simon Smith – Many years ago I discovered the Automated Home site, and within it was this Node Zero gallery. The projects in that gallery inspired me to build my own. The opportunity came up when moving into my current home – an old semi-detached house needing a little work. There was a period of several weeks between owning the house and moving in that meant that I could go crazy with installing cables without anything getting in the way.
Read the full story on Simons DIY rack project Here .