We got standard 19-inch server racks and have the requirement to rack KVMs on the top U level.

A common issue we got is that due to the build of the server rack (little "roof" on the top) when you pull the KVM out of the rack and open the screen, it is unable to open to the maximum (it's at about 80 degrees)

To better understand I made this awesome picture:
alt text

Black: server rack viewed from the side
Red: KVM rails
Blue: KVM

As you can see you can't fully expand the screen, you kinda have to duck down to see the image on the screen properly.

We can't change the server rack, and we prefer not to order KVM with custom made rails for reasons that are too long to explain here. I am wondering if there's a way to use a 3rd party device that will act like a rail extension and will allow us to pull the KVM even further.

Many thanks for your advice!!

  • 1
    Who would have to duck down to see the monitor at the top U?? Are these half-height racks or has Yao Ming taken up systems administration? – Wesley Feb 8 '10 at 18:42
  • How tall is the rack? If you've got a full-height rack, it should work out about right: you have to look up to see the screen, and hold your hands above your head to reach the keyboard. :) – Ward - Reinstate Monica Feb 8 '10 at 18:43
  • Hello dudes :) Yup they're half side racks (not sure exactly how tall) but if the screen doesn't stay at at least 90 degrees you'll have to bend down, and since we'll be shipping them to tall handsome americans it's a problem. ;p – ToastMan Feb 8 '10 at 19:00
  • No new solutions to offer beyond what's already been posted, but oh boy that's a bad rack design! What half-baked company makes those things, and is there any value to that little "roof"? – voretaq7 Feb 8 '10 at 19:31

How about physically mounting the KVM further along on their actual fitted rails - you'd have to drill at least four new holes for the screws to go through and there's a chance you might not be able to close the front door but it would allow you to open it up a little extra?

  • Interesting, I will check it out and update. – ToastMan Feb 8 '10 at 19:06
  • I remember at least one KVM tray I worked with you could slide the monitor mount a little so I'd look into that too. – voretaq7 Feb 8 '10 at 19:35
  • I will confirm as soon as I get access to the KVM :-} – ToastMan Feb 8 '10 at 21:54

Is that little extension of the top of the rack structural? Grab a jigsaw, stick in a metal-cutting blade and slice it off. :)

More seriously, if it's a short enough rack that you need the screen tipped up (>90 degrees), why not just mount the KVM in the rack and put a little LCD monitor and keyboard on top of the rack.

  • +1, easiest solution. – Maximus Minimus Feb 8 '10 at 18:56
  • I wish I could slice that sucker off. What's the deal with the roof anyways, or was designed for outdoors use?? That's not an option for us because it's for a product that is going to be sold to customers, and it has to look pretty and smell nice :/ – ToastMan Feb 8 '10 at 19:04
  • What about popping a small monitor on top then? (That's actually the one I meant) – Maximus Minimus Feb 8 '10 at 21:03

Ghetto solution: Get a sheet metal punch, or some hardcore tin snips or a CNC laser if you can get fancy (and maneuver the rack into the CNC machine... it owuld have to be a very unusual one I admit) and cut the annoying lip off. You can file it down and put some pretty plastic edging on it to make it look nicer.

  • I wish I could castrate the bastard, but it's not an option, it has to look nice for customers (it's not for usual admin use) – ToastMan Feb 8 '10 at 19:07

Well it's obvious that whomever mandated the requirement that the KVM be mounted in the top U is a pointy haired boss. It seems to me that aside from all the wonderfully creative and fine engineering examples posted as answers, that changing the requirement as to the KVM's mounting position is the easiest solution.

  • P.S. That is an awesome picture! ;) – joeqwerty Feb 8 '10 at 19:03
  • It's a stupid 'requirement", but it makes sense if your racks are only half-racks (coming from a 6'2 admin who doesn't want to kneel to type :-) – voretaq7 Feb 8 '10 at 19:32
  • I agree with you actually, grab a chair if you have to use it :p but shakeel o'neil here disagrees. :p – ToastMan Feb 8 '10 at 21:19

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