Server Room Build Log

Posted on: May 13th, 2012 by Child of the Sunfish

This is a write-up of the construction of my server & games room at my new house.

So this room is basically a study/computer room, but I don’t want it to be just another room so I’ve decided to make a bit of a feature out of it. The room will feature a built-in comms rack, red/blue feature lighting and C-Bus control for the lighting and some other functions. The room will be painted black and the carpet will be a nice charcoal colour. I’ll also update the cornices, floor skirting and architraves to something modern, and replace the door. This will set the precedent for the rest of the house.
I don’t do things in halves, so I have hired a chippy, a plasterer and a painter. I am an A class electrician, a C-Bus approved installer, an ACMA Open Registered (Austel) cabler with endorsements in coax and structured cabling, and I have a bachelors degree in IT so I will be doing the electrics, server configuration and data/tv/phone/surround sound cabling myself. I also have around 7 years in stage lighting, both paid and unpaid, doing rigging, operations and lighting design for plays, live concerts, guest speakers and series’ that are recorded and sold, so I will be doing the coloured feature lighting myself as well.

My main inspiration for this room is my time in stage lighting and some of the interesting setups I have seen in my work as a data technician and electrician, and I wanted something that would reflect my interest in lighting (coloured feature lights), electrical (C-Bus) and IT (comms rack).

I need to incorporate my comms rack, which will host the 20+ cat6 data points in the house, filtered and unfiltered phone lines for a modem, the rack-mounted switch, the surveillance camera DVR, an 8-way HDMI splitter for distributing XBMC to the TV’s in the house, my server, a UPS and an ADSL2+ modem. Later on there will be a multi-room audio matrix switcher and a foxtel box will another 8-way HDMI splitter (future). The comms rack will be built into the wall of the room for that fully integrated look, and the house alarm system will be hidden behind the rack. The surveillance DVR will be connected to the alarm and will be capable of tripping it if the DVR detects that any of the cameras have gone offline.
C-Bus will be installed into the room and will be able to control the blue and red feature lighting of the room, the comms rack and my PC case window lights. There will also be a games mode, a movie mode and of course regular room lighting. The lights will automatically fade up when the door is opened. If I disconnect the PC case to go to a LAN, the PC lights will return to normal on/off switching via the existing switch underneath the case. There will also be picture lights that will light up the 2.6m wide poster of BF3 (it takes up almost the entire wall) that will be professionally framed.

The current setup!

The server room at the very start of the rennovation (after the C-Bus panel has been installed), and some sample cornices