Here are some pictures of the final rack installation. It took all of 12 hours to complete; we only ran into one problem – a switching loop due to a cable that was accidentally plugged in when it shouldn’t have been. It was lots of fun dealing with the deficient existing tangled cable installation, but everything is online and operational.
The whole project was a lot of fun, despite it taking a lot longer than I thought it would. Overall it was a success in that it did help clean up the equipment area. I still have to re-cut and replace some of the extra long cabling in the rack, I also have to label some. It’s not as neat as I would like it, but it’s getting there.
Using Windows Vista x64, a US Robotics Dial/Fax modem, and a Verizon FiOS connection, I was able to dial up over the FiOS connection and send a fax. I was also able to call my phone from the modem and speak through the modem’s speaker. This is an interesting feat, as Verizon uses a SIP enabled ONT on the premises to connect to a Nortel switch down the line to offer a ‘voice over fiber’ service. Whatever encapsulation that is being used preserves the ability to send out old-school analog data. Great, now I can send faxes! TO set this up I used a US Robotics external modem with the following settings enabled on the rear DIP switch:
1. DTR override
2. Verbal Result Codes
3. Display Result Codes
4. Echo offline commands
5. Auto-answer off
6. CD Normal
7. Load NVRAM defaults
8. Smart Mode
I then hooked this up to my PC’s serial port. I know, a serial port is a rare commodity on PCs these days – I needed to purchase a PCI card serial port for my GPS. I can attest that this Startech unit works under Vista x64. I used the generic Windows US Robotics 56k driver, put in a phone number, and viola, it all worked. Not that there are many places you can dial up to anymore – but faxing is useful and works flawlessly.
When cable and space management become a priority, a rack infrastructure becomes a tempting solution. We recently purchased a Kendall Howard Knockdown Rack, this product appealed to us because it could be broken down and moved around. We don’t plan on breaking it down and running around with it, but the fact that it can be taken apart is nice because it makes for cheap (read: free) shipping, as opposed to the $300 + shipping charges for pre-build 4 post racks and cabinets. The assembly of the rack took about 40 minutes, the only problem I had was when it was all tightened and assembled, the rack was slightly out of square. No problem though, I just stood it on its bottom (I had been assembling it on its side) and loosened the corner bolts, let it settle, then re-tightened everything. After that it sat square. A nice product that has quality accessories made by the same company. Here are some pictures from the assembly: