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PBox Rack Installation

PBox Rack Installation

This is guide details installing the current 17" wide PBox in a standard 19" server rack. The PBox is designed to fit in racks 31" to 42" deep. It can fit in racks as shallow as 28" depending on the design of the rack and cabinet.


The rack mounting hardware consists of three parts plus fasteners:

  1. Front rack ears
  2. Rear rack rails
  3. Rear slotted rack ears for rails

Overview of a typical installation in a 36" rack

overview perspective

1. Remove PBox tray

Before beginning you will want to remove the tray and associated power and ethernet cables. This prevents risk of damage to equipment during installation and makes the PBox much lighter and easier to install.

  1. Unlock the PBox and pull the tray as far out as possible. Caution, the PBox can tip over when the tray is fully open
  2. Pull back the wider part of the telescopic slide to expose the plastic release tabs on both sides (see reference images below)
  3. Press the right release tab down and pull the left release tab up while pulling back on the tray. The tray will released from the slide.
  4. Remove the tray along with the associated power and ethernet cabling from the PBox. Store somewhere until the PBox shell is installed in the rack.

Slide shown with release tab not yet exposed

tray tail tab not exposed

Slide shown with release tab properly exposed


Video showing release tab being exposed

tray tail tab expose gif

2. Install front rack ears on PBox

The front rack ears are pre-installed on the PBox first (before mounting in rack). Front to back position does not need to be exact. Typically the front of the rack ear should be slightly forward of the front of the PBox.

These are installed with two rows of three M6 bolts on each side (12 bolts total). Use a washer between locknut and enclosure inner wall. Fully tighten before proceeding to next steps.

Typical front rack ear installation: green boxes indicate bolt positions

front ear only install

3. Install rack rails on the PBox

The rack rails are pre-installed on PBox second (before mounting in rack). Rails should be installed on the PBox such that they will extend 1-2” past the rear rack ear/rear rack post once installed.

These are installed with two rows of three M6 bolts on each side (12 bolts total). Use a washer between locknut and enclosure inner wall. Fully tighten before proceeding to next steps.

Typical rack rail installation for a 36" rack: green boxes indicate bolt positions

rail only

Typical rack rail installation for a 42" rack: green boxes indicate bolt positions

rail only

4. Install rear slotted rack ears

Install the slotted rack ears on the rear posts of your rack. The rear rack rails are designed to slot into these ears.

IMPORTANT: the slotted ears must be installed in the correct vertical orientation, the triangular reference mark should be below the topmost bolt hole pointing up.

The triangular reference mark also indicates where the rack bolt’s centre should be aligned on a typical 19” rack. Some lateral adjustment may be required after test fit depending on your rack

rear ear back

5. Lift PBox into place using rack rails

The PBox can now be lifted into the rack by sliding the rack rails into the slotted rear rack ears.

IMPORTANT: the rails should align with the slots in the rear ears and slide in smoothly. If not, remove the PBox and adjust the rear ears as required.

rear ear perspective

6. Align and fasten front rack ears

With the rear rails slotted securely, align the front ears such that the PBox is level and secure them to the front rack posts.

IMPORTANT: the rails should protrude 1"-2" past the rear slotted ears once the PBox is installed. If they do not you will need to remove the PBox and adjust the mounting position of the rails on the PBox done in step 2.

View of the front ear alignment with the rack posts

front ear perspective

View of the rear rails protruding past the rear slotted ears

overview right

7. Reinstall the wiring and tray

WARNING: Before you fully close the PBox tray for the first time after rack installation, ensure you know how you will unlock the PBox. It will either need power (is the power cable routed and installed properly?) or you will need access to a backup manual release mechanism.

  1. Pull the slides in the PBox shell all the way out and ensure inner slide bearing are slid all the way forward (see reference image)
  2. Thread the ethernet and power cables through the cable opening at the rear of the PBox
  3. Align the fixed slides on the tray with the slide on the PBox
  4. Gently guide the tray into the PBox ensuring the slides are engaging on both sides. Continue until the slide release tabs are engaged on both sides, usually this requires fulling closing the PBox
tray install bearings
tray install align

Replacement fasteners

If replacement fasteners are required they can be obtained through HeadSpin or directly from the following sources