ATEC BLOG:  Rack Mountable Rentals 101

Lately, we've received some questions about renting equipment in 19" racks that range from 12U up to 42U, and the benefits of an ATEC custom rack. Custom built racks are test equipment systems that can provide you with a variety of advantages, all of which are catered to your individual needs and give you full control. Before we dive too far into some of the reasons you should try out a custom built rack, let’s start from the very beginning:

What are they?

A custom built rack is a shelving system that houses varying test units, stacked one on top of the other. They can service a variety of applications, from EMC to RF, to electrical and automotive purposes, and beyond. Housed in a standardized rack, this system of individual units can be connected in one of two ways: series or parallel.

Series – In a series circuit, units are connected one-by-one in a single chain, and power flows from one unit to the next. You can increase maximum voltage, but the current will remain the same.

Parallel – In a parallel system, the units are connected between the same set of electrically common points. Current does not flow in a single linear path, but can take a variety of paths. You can multiply the output maximum current, but the maximum voltage will remain the same.

Whether you opt to have your rack set up as a series or parallel, you’ll enjoy an array of benefits from testing with this system of equipment. Here are just a few perks you can expect.


Compact – Rather than disperse five or so test units across your lab or field site, a custom built rack combines an assortment of test devices into one single pillar, and enables them to operate together. It takes up less space, and allows you to set up for testing quicker. Some load banks are built with wheels, so that you can easily roll the complete unit to any area of the lab with minimal effort.

More Power – With a custom built rack, you can connect individual test equipment devices and run a single test using all of them simultaneously, thus maximizing power output and testing capacity. Test with all of the units at once, in groups or one-at-a-time, to create a greater testing range. The fixed wiring found inside the rack guarantees consistent reproducibility of test pulses, meaning you can build a custom series of tests and reproduce them with confidence.

Customization – A custom built rack gives you the power to cater the test equipment to your needs. ATEC can supply a built rack with the right equipment for your exact specifications. Combine equipment for different test purposes, and run them both from the same controller or DC. It streamlines testing and improves efficiency. Whatever your testing needs – whether you’re operating from the electrical, automotive, or any other industry – you can design a powerful test system.

What Makes ATEC Different

Advanced Test Equipment Rentals carries an extensive inventory of testing devices that you can plug and play into a custom built rack. We have enough equipment on hand that you can find nearly anything you need in stock, and have it shipped to you next-day. Often times, other test equipment providers will offer one master unit and a series of slave units to complement the master. This will still bolster the power of your testing, but ultimately, will only allow you marginal control and flexibility as you’ll have one single master unit to operate testing from. ATEC, however, provides master units exclusively. You can use any master as a slave, but will have the option of better control, test variety, and maximized power and capacity. Customize your rack to meet your specific needs, and ATEC will get it to you, stat.

To learn more about your custom built rack options, or explore what equipment we have available for you, please feel free to email us or call us directly at (800) 404-2832.