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April 28, 2009

Cold Aisle Containment and Rack Filler Panels

I met the president of Polargy, Cary Frame, today at a Server Technology event. Polargy makes cold and hot aisle containment products. Their polycarbonate and extruded aluminum panels look a bit nicer than other solutions I've come across. Polargy typically uses vinyl curtains for end of aisle containment.

Polargy also represents other manufacturers' product lines such as UpSite HotLok blanking panels and PlenaForm PlenaFill blanking panels. I've used the HotLok panels for some time and they're well engineered, stack for easy storage, and snap fit for easy installation. Unfortunately they cost over $5 per 1U panel which is a little pricey to fill a rack if it's only half used. Enter Plenafill to the rescue. Plenafill panels are made of ULV94-0 flame retardant polypropylene in perforated die cut 27U size sheets. There are several types of plastic rivets for attaching the sheets to square hole, round hole, or threaded rack rails. These should work well for sealing large openings in partially filled racks. Plenafill panels are about half the cost of the UpSite HotLok panels.

Posted by cary at 4:33 PM

April 20, 2009

Seven Woods Audio SST-206

There were several photos of a new Seven Woods Audio SST-201 at Music Messe. I received a reply from Chris Moore today with more details, along with a photo.

The SST-201 is a Euro rack module that essentially incorporates the room program from the SST-206 (and only that program, not the original SST-282 or -206 algorithms.

It has stereo in and out on mono 3.5mm connectors, and six parameters under user control - and under CV control. With no CV plugs inserted, it responds to simple pot setting. When a plug is inserted in say the HF decay jack, control shifts to the input connector and the panel pot (the pot simply scales from 0 to 100% the control voltage. The module goes into a sort of learn mode when a CV source is active, seeking to learn the CV range of the source. After learning the range of max - min, the module scales itself and compensates for the full range whether 0 - 5V, -2.5 to +2.5, etc.

Every attempt at reducing glitching as the parameters are swept will be taken.

A hidden DIP switch allows for Input and output sensitivities ranging from +/- 1.25V input and output level down to +/-10V sensitivity in 3 6dB steps.

Status: I am still working with rev 0 PCB and will be making some changes before proceeding with the first batch. Estimate is 2 months to first, limited run of 25 pieces. US dealer is Analogue Haven.

The price will be approximately $995 USD MSRP.

He mentioned that Analogue Haven will be the exclusive US dealer.

I used the 201's bigger brother SST-206 on a youtube video featuring the Oberheim Two Voice. The sound of the 206 is well suited for use with synthesizers. I hope the sole room program in the 201 will be adequate.

Posted by cary at 5:40 PM

April 10, 2009

ServerTech Powerstrips With Per Outlet Sensing

Server Technology has released a new series of power strips with per outlet sensing capability. Unlike previous generations of power strips which only measure voltage and current at the input to the power strip, the new ServerTech POPS strips measure current, voltage, watts, volt amps, and power factor for each and every outlet. This product will allow IT managers to get a better handle on power consumption of loads within a rack without resorting to using multiple Watts Up Power Meters.

I hope this capability will encourage the decommissioning of older inefficient servers (can you say Intel Netburst?) and charge back of resources to product and application owners.

The power strips are currently available in several configurations including single phase, three phase, and a new three phase 415V unit. Pricing should be about 30% more than existing fully managed products but the visibility into power usage offers value that more than offsets the additional cost.

Posted by cary at 10:55 AM