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Hardware Thread, Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues?? in Technical; Hi guys, In one of the schools I work in, the IT room is shared with the Before & Afterschool ...
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    Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    Hi guys,

    In one of the schools I work in, the IT room is shared with the Before & Afterschool club. The room is an extension for which the school got funding because it as going to be a before and afterschool club. Since we needed a place to have an IT Suite, it has now become shared. The room is pretty big, but has no windows, just two doors.

    The caretaker put up kitchen worktops with legs all around the room to hold the PCs. The PCs are large towers which are kept underneath the worktop, with a 17" TFT, Keyboard and Mouse at the top. Trouble they have is that the computers contantly get kicked and wires get unplugged, which is obviously no good for reliability. One PC has died already (needs new motherboard). They do have air conditioning in the room which helps and so far heat has not been that much of an issue.

    I have been thinking of a way of moving the PC Towers from under the worktops. My idea (since we can't afford to put them in smaller cases) is to bunch all the PC towers for one wall together in a corner out of the way and use a KVM extension cable like this:

    http://www.pcwb.com/catalogue/item/VIDKM060

    I can use Wake-on-lan so the PCs turn on themselves and use psshutdown to automatically shut them down. Very little access to the actual towers would be needed by the pupils/staff.

    My concern is heat. Would having three sets of 5 PC towers together (side by side) cause heat problems? The air con is only used when someone is in the IT Suite, not all the time.

    I know its diffcult to answer without knowing the logistics, but any advice is useful.

    Thanks,
    CM786

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    UnknownStuntman's Avatar
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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    "Very little access to the actual towers would be needed by the pupils/staff"

    Do your staff/pupils not use usb/flash drives or dare I suggest floppy disks?

    Also headphones or sound to monitor if it has speakers.

    Or do you plan to extend those ports to?

    Just a couple of thought for your plan.

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    Quote Originally Posted by UnknownStuntman
    "Very little access to the actual towers would be needed by the pupils/staff"

    Do your staff/pupils not use usb/flash drives or dare I suggest floppy disks?

    Also headphones or sound to monitor if it has speakers.

    Or do you plan to extend those ports to?

    Just a couple of thought for your plan.
    Damn! You have a point, not sure why I didn't think of that! ops:

    I would also need a audio extension (speakers built-in to monitor, and a USB extension cable, so that each PC is has one USB Port available on the worktop.

    Thats alot of wires for each PC. Anyone know of any cheap place to get cable tidies that accepts Puchase Orders?

    Thanks

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    I bought all my cable tidies on eBay - figured that I could spare the school a fiver!

    What about properly mounting the PCs under the workbench but off of the floor - we have just purchased these and I think we got them for about £50 each including locking bar. We had ours custom-built for the machines we're about to put in our Art/Music dept.

    Ours will be mounted under the benching towards the back, with space for cables etc at the back and the locking bar at the front - so access to the USB ports will be allowed, but the students won't be able to get to the back of the machine nor pull the towers out.

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    Thanks Indie Girl

    With some really "cautious" governors, the budget is very very tight, so unfortunetly £50 x 15 spent on those mountings is no going to happen. Anyway.. kitchen worktops are only 600mm deep and the towers just about fit under them with all the wires plugged in the back, they are usually facing sideways flat against the wall (hence why they get kicked). The caretaker did build some stands for them to get them off the ground, but that wasn't too successful, which I why I'd like to keep them just completely out of the way.

    I have bought my cable tidies from ebay too, but the secretary doesn't like it because of the VAT issues.

    To be honest they need some proper tables, with the correct distance between PC and have the room setup as the main IT suite, but the Before & Afterschool club were their first.

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    600mm worktop geez thats a bad start as it is. If you buy from proper traders on ebay they will do vat receipts and accept cheques etc.. from schools.

    Do you have enough space to put the tower at the back of the worktop side on and the monitors, keyboard and mouse in front of it? I know this will expose wires but you don't have many options.

    Ben

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    Quote Originally Posted by plexer
    Do you have enough space to put the tower at the back of the worktop side on and the monitors, keyboard and mouse in front of it? I know this will expose wires but you don't have many options.

    Ben
    No. (Well yes, but their is hardly any space then for the mouse/keyboard on the worktop.

    I think my wire extension idea is the only decent (cheap!) way of doing it.

    I'll check out ebay for sellers that are proper shops - only problem I have found with them is that they charge almost as much as places like B&Q!

    Thanks for the help everyone.

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    What about a shelf above the monitors and put the machines on that? Will look ugly and make them hard to reach but you are running out of ideas.

    Alternatively, you could turn the machines upside-down and screw them underneath the bench!

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    Nathan has PCs in cupboards at the end of he benches - he's had problems with USB leads not powering over the distance, and has had to buy amplifiers for the furthest machines.

    The final effect looks good, and almost worth the effort! :P [tho' i've just sen pictures]

    He will able to give you details of suppliers for cables etc., i'll give him a prod.

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    /prodded

    I'll stick the pictures either here or somewhere of peoples choosing later...

    Feel free to PM me too.

    Nath.

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_
    What about a shelf above the monitors and put the machines on that? Will look ugly and make them hard to reach but you are running out of ideas.
    Lovely teacher displays that must not be touched will be obscured :P

    You see the IT Suite was an afterthought by the old head.....

    Prod out to Nathan I think! Any pics? I'll send him a PM

    Thanks everyone.

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    I've got PCs under desks in a MFL suite. Faced with a similar issue, I turned the PCs 90 degrees and used steel-wire rope to stop them being turned back around. They can still be kicked, but only on the stell side.

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    Quote Originally Posted by CM786
    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_
    What about a shelf above the monitors and put the machines on that? Will look ugly and make them hard to reach but you are running out of ideas.
    Lovely teacher displays that must not be touched will be obscured :P
    They need to make the decision then... spend some cash or lose the displays.

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    Quote Originally Posted by tarquel
    /prodded

    I'll stick the pictures either here or somewhere of peoples choosing later...

    Feel free to PM me too.

    Nath.
    Thanks mate

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    Re: Unsual IT Suite layout - Heat Issues??

    I have used a strap system thats good cannot remmeber where its from now as its 2 years since i used it but will try and find out, its like a belt that goes around them and was about £30 I think per machine and was good for the job of holding them up, why not bolt them to the underside of the desk lying down, almost like a desktop machine but underneither??

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