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Author Topic: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?  (Read 792 times)

John Schalk

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Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« on: May 12, 2021, 05:57:37 pm »

I'm putting together two new amp racks and I'd like your advice on which type of blank panel I should install in the unused rack space.  I've read that Powersoft amps are designed to be racked directly on top of each other, so that kind of argues for a solid panel.  But it's an amp rack, so the more airflow the better, right?  FWIW the back of the rack will be totally open, and since there are only ever going to be two amps in each 3 space rack, it may not make that much difference, but I'd thought I'd seek the wisdom of the tribe.  So, how do you vote; solid or vented?
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2021, 06:04:03 pm »

I'm putting together two new amp racks and I'd like your advice on which type of blank panel I should install in the unused rack space.  I've read that Powersoft amps are designed to be racked directly on top of each other, so that kind of argues for a solid panel.  But it's an amp rack, so the more airflow the better, right?  FWIW the back of the rack will be totally open, and since there are only ever going to be two amps in each 3 space rack, it may not make that much difference, but I'd thought I'd seek the wisdom of the tribe.  So, how do you vote; solid or vented?
If the amps draw from one end and vent from the other, I would go with a solid panel, so that they don't re-circulate vented air. If they vent through the sides whilst drawing from one end or the other, a vented panel might allow more hot air to escape from the rack.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2021, 06:28:12 pm »

I'm putting together two new amp racks and I'd like your advice on which type of blank panel I should install in the unused rack space.  I've read that Powersoft amps are designed to be racked directly on top of each other, so that kind of argues for a solid panel.  But it's an amp rack, so the more airflow the better, right?  FWIW the back of the rack will be totally open, and since there are only ever going to be two amps in each 3 space rack, it may not make that much difference, but I'd thought I'd seek the wisdom of the tribe.  So, how do you vote; solid or vented?

Where possible, think of the rack as a chimney.  Even though counter-intuitive, solid panels are almost always the best.  This is why install racks are often solid, with openings at the bottom, and fans on the very top; this also doesn't use up any RU spaces.  For racks that are used outdoors (IE, most production racks) you may want to use rear rack rails, put a vent panel on the bottom rear, and vent or fan panel top rear. 
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Steve-White

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2021, 09:23:54 pm »

Most amps are front to back cooling.  As Caleb noted, fans fans fans.  All my amp racks have fans, because there are controllers that live in there with them and racks when improperly ventilated can collect heat - especially outside in direct sun.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2021, 06:33:48 am »

For an open back rack, with those amps, solid panel.
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John Schalk

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2021, 09:54:25 am »

For an open back rack, with those amps, solid panel.
Solid panels are the only vote getter so far, which makes the decision pretty easy for me!  I think I have one laying around already, so I'll get one more on order and then I can finish up this project and move on to the next thing on my list which is getting in some practice using Room Eq Wizard to tune my monitors.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2021, 12:02:25 pm »

I think I would put the panel between the amps.  It will give more room for air to circulate.
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Robert Healey

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2021, 12:03:36 pm »

I'm putting together two new amp racks and I'd like your advice on which type of blank panel I should install in the unused rack space.  I've read that Powersoft amps are designed to be racked directly on top of each other, so that kind of argues for a solid panel.  But it's an amp rack, so the more airflow the better, right?  FWIW the back of the rack will be totally open, and since there are only ever going to be two amps in each 3 space rack, it may not make that much difference, but I'd thought I'd seek the wisdom of the tribe.  So, how do you vote; solid or vented?

This white paper from Middle Atlantic is targeted at installs but has excellent information about thermal management in racks:

https://www.legrandav.com/resources/white_papers_guides_and_ebooks/thermal-management-white-paper
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Steve Crump

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2021, 12:17:03 pm »

I'm putting together two new amp racks and I'd like your advice on which type of blank panel I should install in the unused rack space.  I've read that Powersoft amps are designed to be racked directly on top of each other, so that kind of argues for a solid panel.  But it's an amp rack, so the more airflow the better, right?  FWIW the back of the rack will be totally open, and since there are only ever going to be two amps in each 3 space rack, it may not make that much difference, but I'd thought I'd seek the wisdom of the tribe.  So, how do you vote; solid or vented?


Powersoft has always been extremely helpful. I would just asked them the same question, they designed those amps. I would be interested in their thoughts also.

support.audio@powersoft.it
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Chris Hindle

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2021, 12:23:13 pm »


Powersoft has always been extremely helpful. I would just asked them the same question, they designed those amps. I would be interested in their thoughts also.

support.audio@powersoft.it
That's the sort of information that SHOULD be in the RTFM.....
Chris.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2021, 12:38:57 pm »

Vented racks would be useful for devices that use passive cooling, eg effects racks or wireless racks, where there are no fans within the devices.

For devices that have directional cooling, paying attention to where the air is flowing is an important consideration.

QSC amps use the mentality that they will pull air from inside the rack and send it out the front as to not heat the internals of the rack enclosure. Others use the mentality that they pull cool air from outside of the rack and send it inside, assuming that you have proper ventilation designed to release the hot air out the backside of the rack.

Some equipment pulls air from the left side of the rack and exhausts on the right side, and vice versa.

Essentially, what it boils down to is that there's no one standard that everyone uses.  When building racks, this all needs to be taken into consideration on how to best assemble things so that stuff stays properly cooled.  This may mean separating devices that use different cooling flows so that they play together nicely with their partners.

In the case of your matching amps, more airflow is definitely better, but to be effective, that airflow needs to go THROUGH the amps, not through that open space. A solid cover helps guarantee that the airflow goes in the amps and out the back and doesn't end up recirculating through the space and go back into the amp.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2021, 12:49:32 pm »

I think I would put the panel between the amps.  It will give more room for air to circulate.
Then you have to support the rear of the upper amp.
I built racks with Powersoft amps, 3 stacked, and they ran cool under full load.
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Helge A Bentsen

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2021, 01:31:29 pm »

That's the sort of information that SHOULD be in the RTFM.....
Chris.

It is.

Powersoft recommends 1U spacing after four tight packed K-series amps. They are slightly larger than 1U, so if you mount more than 4 tight packed, they don't align properly with the rack mounts.

4 amps tight packed - 1U space - Next 4 amps - 1U and so on.

If you have less than 4 amps, no spacing is needed.
Also, be aware that a few models from Powersoft will overheat if you try to run them without covers, the airflow through the amp is disrupted if you take the covers off. I found that out with one I bench tested, it overheated without load.

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John Schalk

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2021, 11:35:42 pm »

Powersoft recommends 1U spacing after four tight packed K-series amps. They are slightly larger than 1U, so if you mount more than 4 tight packed, they don't align properly with the rack mounts.

4 amps tight packed - 1U space - Next 4 amps - 1U and so on.

If you have less than 4 amps, no spacing is needed.
Thanks Helge.  Based on that, and the other advice in this thread, I will install solid blank panels in the top spaces of my racks.

FWIW I can't move one amp up to leave a space between them because of the spacing in the rack.  I actually tested that out and I could not operate the Neutrik connectors on the top amp because there wasn't enough space to get a finger in to operate the lock.  For that reason I purchased 3 space racks with the intention of leaving the top space unused to leave room to make the connections to the amps easy.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2021, 05:43:06 pm »

For that reason I purchased 3 space racks with the intention of leaving the top space unused to leave room to make the connections to the amps easy.

And if you want to get really fancy and make it even easier to access connectors, re-tool the rack rails so that you have a half space on top and half on bottom, centering the amps within the case.  Then you just need a half blank above and below.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Blank Amp Rack Panel - Solid or Vented?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2021, 05:43:06 pm »


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