Title:
Secure Rack-Based Storage Enclosure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A secure rack-based storage enclosure for preventing access to telecommunications equipment includes left and right side panels, top and bottom panels, an open back and front, an interior, and a door pivotally mounted to the front. Rear flanges extend between the top and bottom panels proximate to the back of the enclosure, and the rear flanges cooperate with each of the top and bottom panels to define open notches extending into the interior of the enclosure away from and in communication with the open back of the enclosure. Intermediate flanges extend between the top and bottom panels, and are disposed between the rear flanges and the front of the enclosure. A hinge assembly couples the door to the front panel proximate one of the left and right side panels. An elongate member is pivoted to the other of the left and right side panels opposite the hinge assembly.



Inventors:
Griffith, Robert J. (Goodyear, AZ, US)
Application Number:
14/921872
Publication Date:
02/11/2016
Filing Date:
10/23/2015
Assignee:
GRIFFITH ROBERT J.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
312/324
International Classes:
A47B81/00; A47B96/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HANSEN, JAMES ORVILLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Thomas W. Galvani, P.C. (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. Apparatus comprising: a rigid enclosure including left and right side panels, top and bottom panels, an open back and front, an interior, and a door pivotally mounted to the front; rear flanges extending between the top and bottom panels proximate to the back of the enclosure, the rear flanges cooperate with each of the top and bottom panels to define open notches extending into the interior of the enclosure away from and in communication with the open back of the enclosure; intermediate flanges extending between the top and bottom panels, disposed between the rear flanges and the front of the enclosure; and a plurality of spaced-apart mounting locations formed in the intermediate flanges.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the intermediate flanges are spaced apart from the rear flanges and intermediately between the rear flanges and the front of the enclosure.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein one of the intermediate flanges is carried on the left side panel and another of the intermediate flanges is carried on the right side panel.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the intermediate flanges extend entirely from the top panel to the bottom panel.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a hinge assembly coupling the door to the front panel proximate one of the left and right side panels; and an elongate member pivoted to the other of the left and right side panels opposite the hinge assembly.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, further comprising: a brace formed on the other of the left and right side panels; and the elongate member is mounted for pivotal movement between an open position in which the elongate member is pivoted away from the brace at least aligned with the other of the left and right side panels, and a closed position in which the elongate member is against the brace aligned with the front of the enclosure.

7. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the hinge assembly includes: a first leaf on the one of the left and right side panels; a second leaf on the door; the first leaf is carried integrally on the one of the left and right side panels; and the second leaf is fastened to the door.

8. Apparatus comprising: a rigid enclosure including left and right side panels, top and bottom panels, an open back and front, an interior, and a door pivotally mounted to the front; rear flanges extending between the top and bottom panels proximate to the back of the enclosure, the rear flanges cooperate with each of the top and bottom panels to define open notches extending into the interior of the enclosure away from and in communication with the open back of the enclosure; a hinge assembly coupling the door to the front panel proximate one of the left and right side panels; and an elongate member pivoted to the other of the left and right side panels opposite the hinge assembly.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, further comprising: a brace formed on the other of the left and right side panels; and the elongate member is mounted for pivotal movement between an open position in which the elongate member is pivoted away from the brace at least aligned with the other of the left and right side panels, and a closed position in which the elongate member is against the brace aligned with the front of the enclosure.

10. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the hinge assembly includes: a first leaf on the one of the left and right side panels; a second leaf on the door; the first leaf is carried integrally on the one of the left and right side panels; and the second leaf is fastened to the door.

11. The apparatus of claim 8, further comprising: intermediate flanges extending between the top and bottom panels, disposed between the rear flanges and the front of the enclosure; and a plurality of spaced-apart mounting locations formed in the intermediate flanges.

12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the intermediate flanges are spaced apart from the rear flanges and intermediately between the rear flanges and the front of the enclosure.

13. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein one of the intermediate flanges is carried on the left side panel and another of the intermediate flanges is carried on the right side panel.

14. Apparatus comprising: a rigid enclosure including left and right side panels, top and bottom panels, an open back and front, an interior, and a door pivotally mounted to the front; rear flanges extending between the top and bottom panels proximate to the back of the enclosure, the rear flanges cooperate with each of the top and bottom panels to define open notches extending into the interior of the enclosure away from and in communication with the open back of the enclosure; intermediate flanges extending between the top and bottom panels, disposed between the rear flanges and the front of the enclosure; a hinge assembly coupling the door to the front panel proximate one of the left and right side panels; and an elongate member pivoted to the other of the left and right side panels opposite the hinge assembly.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, further comprising a plurality of spaced-apart mounting locations formed in the intermediate flanges.

16. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the intermediate flanges are spaced apart from the rear flanges and intermediately between the rear flanges and the front of the enclosure.

17. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein one of the intermediate flanges is carried on the left side panel and another of the intermediate flanges is carried on the right side panel.

18. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the intermediate flanges extend entirely from the top panel to the bottom panel.

19. The apparatus of claim 14, further comprising: a brace formed on the other of the left and right side panels; and the elongate member is mounted for pivotal movement between an open position in which the elongate member is pivoted away from the brace at least aligned with the other of the left and right side panels, and a closed position in which the elongate member is against the brace.

20. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the hinge assembly includes: a first leaf on the one of the left and right side panels; a second leaf on the door; the first leaf is carried integrally on the one of the left and right side panels; and the second leaf is fastened to the door.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of and claims the benefit of prior U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/921,176, filed Jun. 18, 2013, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to enclosures, and more particularly to secure enclosures.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Telecommunications equipment is conventionally mounted on a two-post rack which can accommodate a variety of types of telecommunication equipment. A rack is a frame for mounting equipment, and is a convenient, universal, and sturdy assembly on which to do so. A rack typically includes a base and two upwardly-extending metal posts; most but not all are nineteen inches wide and several feet tall. Most racks are unsecured, in that there are no access restrictions to the equipment in the rack. This is because, often, racks are stored behind closed and locked doors, or are located in storage facilities with tens if not hundreds of other racks holding equipment. Security to such facilities is usually tightly maintained through guards, alarms, or other means.

In some cases, however, such external security may not be present, and a secure enclosure for the equipment on the rack may be desired. Housings and lockable doors can be secured to the posts of the rack to build security around the equipment mounted to the rack. However, such housings and doors, while providing security, also make installation and maintenance of equipment in the enclosure more difficult. In large facilities or locations where multiple racks are placed tightly together, access to the enclosure can be made especially difficult if the door to the enclosure cannot be swung entirely open. Technicians often have to angle, tilt, force, and manipulate and maneuver equipment just to get it into an enclosure, even before mounting it within. As such, an improved secure enclosure for a telecommunications rack is needed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A secure rack-based storage enclosure is constructed so as to provide wide access to the front of the enclosure so that telecommunications equipment can be easily install, mounted, and serviced in the enclosure. The enclosure further prevents unauthorized access to the telecommunications equipment, and includes left and right side panels, top and bottom panels, an open back and front, an interior, and a door pivotally mounted to the front. Rear flanges extend between the top and bottom panels proximate to the back of the enclosure, and the rear flanges cooperate with each of the top and bottom panels to define open notches extending into the interior of the enclosure away from and in communication with the open back of the enclosure. The notches receive posts of the rack so that the enclosure can be easily and securely mounted to the rack. Intermediate flanges extend between the top and bottom panels, and are disposed between the rear flanges and the front of the enclosure. The intermediate flanges provide convenient mounting locations for telecommunications equipment mounted in the enclosure, independent of the mounting to the rack. A hinge assembly couples the door to the front panel proximate one of the left and right side panels. An elongate member is pivoted to the other of the left and right side panels opposite the hinge assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring to the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective of an enclosure mounted to a telecommunications rack and including front and back halves;

FIG. 2 is an isolated front perspective view of the front half of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the front half of FIG. 1 applied to the rack;

FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of the back half of FIG. 1 applied to the rack;

FIG. 5 is an isolated, front perspective view of a door which is typically applied to the front half of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an isolated front perspective view of a door which is typically applied to the rear half of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a front perspective of an enclosure system mounted to a telecommunications rack and including front and rear enclosures;

FIG. 8 is an isolated front perspective view of the front enclosure of FIG. 7 shown without a door;

FIG. 9 is a front perspective view of only the front enclosure of FIG. 7 shown with the door and shown applied to the rack;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged perspective view of a hinge on a left side of the front enclosure of FIG. 7;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a right side of the front enclosure of FIG. 7 without the door, showing a stop on the right side in an open position thereof;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a right side of the front enclosure of FIG. 7 without the door, showing the stop on the right side in a closed position thereof; and

FIG. 13 is a section view taken along line 13-13 in FIG. 10, with the door in the closed position thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference now is made to the drawings, in which the same reference characters are used throughout the different figures to designate the same elements. FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of an enclosure system 110 formed from a front enclosure 111 and a back enclosure 112. The enclosure system 110 is suitable for use with a telecommunications rack 100 including a base 101 and opposed left and right posts 102 and 103 extending upwardly from the base 101. The front and back enclosures 111 and 112 are identical and symmetric, and as such, discussion will generally be limited to the front enclosure 111 (or, simply, “the enclosure 111”). Because the front and back enclosures 111 and 112 are identical, the same reference characters used to describe the various structural elements and features of the front enclosure 111 will be used to describe and identify corresponding identical structural elements and features, but will be marked with a prime (“′”) symbol, so as to designate and differentiate them from those of the front enclosure 111.

The enclosure 111 is a rigid enclosure including opposed left and right side panels 113 and 114, opposed top and bottom panels 115 and 116, an open back 120 and an opposed front 121, and a door 122 pivotally mounted to the front 121. The enclosure 111 is solidly built, constructed from sheet metal or another material or combination of materials having the material characteristics of strength, rigidity, durability, and workability. The enclosure 111 is generally rectangular prismatic. The left and right panels 113 and 114 are parallel to each other. The top and bottom panels 115 and 116 are parallel to each other and coextensive, and are transverse with respect to the left and right panels 113 and 114. The back 120 and front 121 are substantially defined by the left, right, top, and bottom panels 113, 114, 115, and 116. Because the top and bottom panels 115 and 116 are coextensive, the back 120 and front 121 are coextensive and parallel to each other and are transverse to the left, right, top, and bottom panels 113, 114, 115, and 116.

Referring to FIG. 8, which shows the enclosure 111 in more detail (but in which the door 122 is not shown), the panels all have depths from the front 121 to the back 120. The left panel 113 has a depth A, and the right panel 114 has a depth A′, which is just less than the depth A of the left panel 113. The left panel 113 extends further forward than the right panel 113, thereby defining a slender extension 117 of the left panel 113 which extends beyond the front 121 of the enclosure 111. The extension 117 extends entirely from the top panel 115 to the bottom panel 116. The top and bottom panels 115 and 116 have equal depths, indicated on the top panel as depth B. The depth B is slightly less than the depth A, but is slightly greater than the depth A′, because of inwardly turned flanges on the left and right panels 113 and 114, as will be explained later.

Still referring to FIG. 8, each of the left, right, top, and bottom panels 113, 114, 115, and 116 is thin-walled, as each is preferably constructed from sheet material or other similar thin, strong material. The panels meet at corners. A top left corner 123 is formed by and between the left panel 113 and the top panel 115. A top right corner 124 is formed by and between the right panel 114 and the top panel 115. A bottom left corner 125 is formed by and between the left panel 113 and the bottom panel 116. A bottom right corner 126 is formed by and between the right panel 114 and the bottom panel 116. Each of the left, right, top, and bottom panels 113, 114, 115, and 116 has an edge at the respective corners 123, 124, 125, and 126. Each of the corners 123, 124, 125, and 126 is a right corner, in that each forms an approximately ninety-degree angle.

Each of the panels 113, 114, 115, and 116 has an inner and an outer face. The inner faces of the panels 113, 114, 115, and 116 cooperate with the back 120 and front 121 to bound and define a rectangular prismatic interior 130. The left panel 113 has an inner face 131 and an opposed outer face 132 (not shown in FIG. 8, but shown in FIGS. 11 and 12). Likewise, the right panel 114 has an inner face 133 (not shown in FIG. 8, but shown in FIGS. 11 and 12) and an opposed outer face 134.

Further, each of the panels 113, 114, 115, and 116 has peripheral edges. Each of the panels 113, 114, 115, and 116 has opposed minor edges which are disposed at the corners. However, each of the panels 113, 114, 115, and 116 also includes opposed major edges. Specifically, the left panel 113 includes a front edge 140, located at the front 121, and an opposed back edge 141, located at the back 120. Similarly, the right panel 114 includes a front edge 142, located at the front 121, and an opposed back edge 143, located at the back 120. The top panel 115 includes a front edge 144, located at the front 121, and an opposed back edge 145, located at the back 120. Similarly, the bottom panel 116 includes a front edge 146, located at the front 121, and an opposed back edge 147, located at the back 120.

Particular structure is formed in and on the enclosure 111 to provide convenient and easy accessibility for mounting the enclosure 111 to the rack 100 and for mounting equipment within the enclosure 111. The structure also allows the enclosure 111 to be mounted to the rack 100 without interfering with mounting equipment in the enclosure 111. Referring to FIGS. 8 and 11, which show opposite perspective views of the enclosure 111, opposed left and right rear flanges 150 and 151 are formed at the back edges 141 and 143 of the left and right rear panels 113 and 114, respectively. The rear flanges 150 and 151 are preferably formed monolithically as integral pieces of the left and right panels 113 and 114, respectively. They may be formed on a sheet metal bender, and define ninety-degree bends at the back 120. In other embodiments, the rear flanges 150 and 151 are welded to the left and right panels 113, respectively. The rear flanges 150 and 151 extend fully from the top panel 115 to the bottom panel 116. The top and bottom panels 115 and 116 each have cutouts at their back edges 145 and 147 proximate to the left and right side panels 113 and 114. The cutouts are rectangular and provide a recess or void into which the rear flanges 150 and 151 are bent.

Together with the cutouts of the top and bottom panels 115 and 116, the rear flanges 150 and 151 define open notches 152 and 153 extending into the interior 130 of the enclosure 111. The open notches 152 and 153 extend entirely from the top panel 115 to the bottom panel 116, and are thus tall, slender voids in the enclosure 111. The open notches 152 and 153 extend into the interior 130 away from the back 120 of the enclosure 111, and are in communication with the back of the enclosure 111. The open notches 152 are 153 are sized to receive the left and right posts 102 and 103 of the rack 100, and are preferably size to receive half of the left post 102 and half of the right post 103. In this way, both the front and rear enclosures 111 and 112 can be fit to and secured to the rack 100.

The left and right rear flanges 150 and 151 extend into the interior 130 and present a front face directed toward the front 121 of the enclosure 111 and a back face directed toward the back 120 of the enclosure 111. Each rear flange 150 and 151 is formed with preferably three mounting holes 154. Each mounting hole 154 is a through-hole formed entirely through the rear flanges 150 and 151 from the front face through to the back face. One of the mounting holes 154 is located proximate to the top panel 115, one of the mounting holes 154 is located proximate to the bottom panel 116, and one of the mounting holes 154 is located generally intermediately therebetween. It is generally unnecessary to have more than three mounting holes 154 in each rear flange. The mounting holes 154 are circular, and provide locations at which the enclosure 111 may be bolted or otherwise fastened to the posts 102 and 103 of the telecommunications rack 100 in the conventional receiving holes on the posts 102 and 103.

Referring still to FIGS. 8, 11, and 12, and also to FIG. 10, a second set of flanges is formed in front of the rear flanges 150 and 151. Opposed left and right intermediate flanges 160 and 161 are formed between the back 120 and front 121 of the enclosure 111. The intermediate flanges 160 and 161 are welded or spot-welded into place on the inner faces 131 and 133 of the left and right panels 113 and 114, respectively. The intermediate flanges 160 and 161 extend entirely from the top panel 115 to the bottom panel 116, and are strong and rigid. The intermediate flanges 160 and 161 provide a second set of flanges, spaced apart from the rear flanges 150 and 151, which are independent from the rear flanges 150 and 151. This allows a technician to mount the enclosure 111 to the post 100 using the rear flanges 150 and 151, and then separately mount equipment to the intermediate flanges 160 and 161. The fasteners used to mount the enclosure 111 to the post 100 thereby do not impede the mounting of any equipment in the enclosure 100 and do not occupy any holes in the intermediate flanges 160 and 161 which are valuable as they define a large, yet still limited, number of mounting locations for the equipment.

The left and right intermediate flanges 160 and 161 extend into the interior 130 and present front faces directed toward the front 121 of the enclosure 111 and back faces directed toward the back 120 of the enclosure 111. Each intermediate flange 150 and 151 is formed with a plurality of mounting holes 162. The mounting holes 162 are spaced continuously apart in groups in a conventional fashion, and in close succession, from the top panel 115 to the bottom panel 116. The mounting holes 162 are spaced apart from each other, center-to-center, by the conventionally well-known distance of one rack unit, or 1 RU, which is one and three-quarters of an inch. The mounting holes 162 are spaced into the interior 130 from the left panel 113 only a short distance, which will be referred to later with respect to the manner in which the door 122 is mounted to the left panel 113 and the clearance provided thereby. Each mounting hole 162 is a through-hole formed entirely through the intermediate flanges 160 and 161 from the front face through to the back face. The mounting holes 162 are square, and provide locations at which equipment may be bolted, snapped, secured with a cage nut, or otherwise fastened to the intermediate flanges 160 and 161 in the enclosure 111.

Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 9, the door 122 is pivoted to the enclosure 111 to swing between an open position and a closed position. FIG. 9 illustrates the door 122 in the open position thereof. The door 122 can be mounted to be either a right-handed swing door or a left-handed swing door; the embodiment shown throughout FIGS. 7-12 is a left-handed swing door. However, one having ordinary skill in the art, based on the disclosure below, will readily appreciate how to modify the enclosure 111 to mount the door 122 to be a right-handed swing door.

The door 122 is a substantially rectangular piece of continuous sheet metal having a top 163, bottom 164, and opposed left and right sides 165 and 166. The top 163 and bottom 164 are coextensive, and the sides 165 and 166 are coextensive. The door 122 corresponds in size and shape to the front 121 of the enclosure 111. The door 122 has an outer face and an opposed inner face, and on the inner face, a pocket 170, a cutout with a cover plate 172, and a grill or vent 172. Additionally, the door 122 includes a handle or latch 173 with which a user can grasp and open the door 122 to obtain access to the interior 130 of the enclosure 111. In some embodiments, the latch 173 is coupled to a locking mechanism for locking the door 122 to the enclosure 111.

The door 122 is pivoted to the enclosure 111 at the front 121 of the left panel 113. A piano hinge 180, shown in FIG. 9 and FIG. 10, couples the left side 165 of the door 122 to the left panel 113. The piano hinge 180 extends entirely from the top 163 of the door 122 to the bottom 164, and entirely from the top panel 115 to the bottom panel 116 along the extension 117 of the left panel 113. The piano hinge 180 consists of two interlocking leafs 181 and 182 coupled to the door 122 and the extension 117 of the left panel 113, respectively. The leaves 181 and 182 meshingly engage along the knuckle 183 and are coupled to each other with a pin (not shown) passing through the knuckle 183.

The piano hinge 180 is specifically designed and selected for use with the enclosure 111 to achieve a unique and desired functionality. The piano hinge 180 has a low profile which allows access to nearly the full width of the enclosure 111 when installing or servicing equipment in the enclosure 111. The knuckle 183 is extremely slim, such that the knuckle has a diameter just slightly larger than the thickness of the leaves 181 and 182, each of which are extremely thin. Further, the leaves 181 and 182 are particularly arranged and coupled to the door 122 and the left panel 113 to achieve a unique and desired functionality. The leaf 181 is fastened to the door 122 with bolts, screws, or other similar fasteners 184, as shown in FIG. 7. The fasteners 184 extend entirely through the leaf 181 and are secured in the door 122, preferably in a perimeter frame of the door 122. The leaf is secured to the door 122 at a left peripheral edge 185 of the door 122, seen best in FIGS. 7, 10, and 13. The leaf 182, in contrast, is welded to the extension 117 of the left panel 113 at the inner face 131. Because the leaf 182 is not fastened to the extension 117 such as with bolts or screws, this forms an extremely low-profile coupling between the hinge 180 and the left panel 113. The knuckle 183, and the leaf 182 welded to the extension 117 of the left panel 113, thus does not extend into the interior 130 at all. Therefore, the knuckle 183 and the leaf 182 are both closer to the left panel 113 than the mounting holes 162, so that a piece of equipment which is to be slid into the interior 130 and mounted to the intermediate flanges 160 and 161 can be almost completely as wide as the front 121, because even such a wide piece of equipment can clear the hinge 180, be passed beyond the front 121, moved into the interior 130, and coupled to the mounting holes 162. In other words, for equipment which has a width corresponding to the distance between mounting holes 162 on opposed left and right intermediate flanges 160 and 161, such equipment will still be narrow enough to fit by the hinge 180 and the right panel 114 without having turn, tilt, or angle the equipment.

An advantage of the unique construction and arrangement of the door 122 and hinge 180 is the access is provides even when multiple enclosures 111 are mounted side by side. Because the extension 117 projects beyond the front 121 of the enclosure 111, and projects beyond the right panel 114, the door 122 of one enclosure 111 can be opened without interference from an enclosure mounted adjacent and in juxtaposition with the outer face 132 of the left panel 113. Because the extension 117 of one enclosure 111 projects beyond the right panel 114 of an adjacent enclosure 111, and because the hinge 180 is mounted and secured to the inner face 131 of the extension 117 and the left peripheral edge 185 of the door 122, the door 122 can be pivoted open and in front of the adjacent enclosure 111 completely, so as to open the entire front 121 of the enclosure 111 to receive a wide piece of telecommunications equipment. The adjacent enclosure 111 does not inhibit full opening of the door 122.

Opposite the piano hinge 180, the enclosure 111 carries other structure specifically designed and selected to achieve a unique and desired functionality. FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate the other side of the enclosure 111, and the door 122 has been removed for clarity of the illustration. A stop 190 is mounted to the right panel 114 for pivotal movement. The stop 190 is a leaf, engaged with another leaf 191, which other leaf 191 is fixed to the inner face 133 of the right panel 114. The stop 190 and leaf 191 thus cooperate to define a hinge having a knuckle through which a pin (not shown) is passed to couple the stop 190 and the leaf 191. The stop 190 is an elongate member extending entirely from the top panel 115 to the bottom panel 116.

The stop 190 pivots between an open position, shown in FIG. 11, and a closed position, shown in FIG. 12. The stop 190 has a low profile which, when in the open position, allows access to nearly the full width of the enclosure 111 when installing or servicing equipment in the enclosure 111. In the open position of the stop 190, the stop 190 is pivoted out away from the front 121 of the enclosure 111 and is aligned with the right panel 114. The open position of the stop 190 is considered a non-interference position of the stop 190 in which it is moved away from blocking the front 121. In the closed position, shown in FIG. 12, the stop 190 is pivoted back toward the front 121 and is aligned just behind the front 121, between the left and right panels 113 and 114. The stop 190 is thus directed from the right panel 114 toward the left panel 113. The stop 190 is recessed slightly into the interior from the front 121, so that the door 122 can be closed against the stop 190. Rearward pivoting of the stop 190 is limited by braces 192 which prevent the stop 190 from swinging more than just behind the front 121. The braces 192 are shown in FIG. 11 as square pieces, but may have other suitable shapes in other embodiments. The braces 192 are secured, such as by welding, at one location, to the right panel 114 and the top panel 115 and, at another location, to the right panel 114 and the bottom panel 116. The braces 192 are thus disposed behind the stop 190 at the top and bottom of the right panel 114. As one having ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate, the braces 192 are preferably disposed at the top and bottom, but may have other shapes and be fixed in other locations just behind the stop 190 so long as they prevent the rearward pivoting of the stop 190 beyond just behind the front 121.

The braces 192 limit rearward pivoting of the stop 190 beyond the closed position. When the stop 190 is in the closed position, the stop 190 prevents further rearward pivoting of the door 122. The stop 190 has a seal member 193 formed on its front surface, as seen in FIG. 12. The seal member 193 is an elastomeric pad, rubber gasket, or like element suitable for forming a fluid impervious seal along its length. Indeed, still referring to FIG. 12, similar seal members 194 and 195 are applied to the front 121 at the top panel 115 and the bottom panel 116, respectively. When the door 122 is in the closed position thereof, the door 122 is in contact with and forms impermeable seals with the seal members 193, 194, and 195. The seal member 193 is disposed inboard with respect to the seal members 194 and 195, such that those seal members 194 extend beyond the seal member 194 and 195, which advantageously provides protection from potential fluid runoff from along the seal member 194.

In operation, the enclosure 111 is useful for securely installing and housing telecommunications equipment. Returning to FIG. 7, the front enclosure 111 is mounted to the front of the rack 100, and the rear enclosure 112 is mounted to back of the rack 100 in flush contact with the front enclosure 111. The notches 152 and 153, and 152′ and 153′, in the front and rear enclosures 111 and 112 receive the left and right posts 102 and 103 in a close-fit engagement. The open backs 120 and 120′ of the front and rear enclosures 111 and 112 are against each other, joining the interiors 130 in communication to form the enclosure system 110. The enclosures 111 and 112 are secured to the posts 102 and 103. The enclosures 111 and 112 are mounted to the posts 102 and 103 along the left and right rear flanges 150 and 151; fasteners extend through the mounting holes 154 and into receiving holes conventionally formed in the posts 102 and 103 of the rack 100. Fasteners through the three mounting holes 154 on each of the left and right rear flanges 150 and 151 provide sufficient binding force to support the enclosure 111 and the equipment mounted therein.

Set off from the rear flanges 150 and 151, the left and right intermediate flanges 160 and 161 are just behind the front 121 of the enclosure 111. The plurality of mounting holes 162 formed through the intermediate flanges 160 and 161 provide numerous locations for mounting equipment in the enclosure 111. The installer need only open the door 122 to the position shown in FIG. 7 and then pivot the stop 190 to the open position thereof, as shown in FIG. 11, to ready the enclosure 111 to receive a wide piece of telecommunications equipment. By opening the door 122 and opening the stop 190, the full width of the enclosure 111 is made available with essentially no encumbrance into the front 121. This means that telecommunications equipment can be registered with the chosen mounting holes 162, aligned with the enclosure 111, and slid directly into the enclosure 111. The telecommunications equipment does not need to be tilted vertically, or oriented angularly and maneuvered into the enclosure 111 as is necessary when installing equipment in other housings. Once the telecommunications equipment is in the interior 130, the equipment is fastened to the mounting holes 162 so that the equipment is secure and supported, the stop 190 is returned to the closed position, and the door 122 is closed and locked. Telecommunications equipment is similarly installed in the rear enclosure 112. To remove equipment from the enclosure 111, the steps described above are essentially reversed, as one having skill in the art will appreciate.

Therefore, shallow pieces of telecommunications equipment may be mounted level with each other in both the front and rear enclosures 111 and 112 in an end-to-end fashion. Further, in some installations, both the front and rear enclosures 111 and 112 may be used to contain a piece of equipment that extends through both. In other words, typically, telecommunications equipment is sufficiently shallow such that it is entirely mounted within one of the front or rear enclosures 111 and 112 without encroaching or extending into the other. However, in some cases, with a deep piece of telecommunications equipment, it may be convenient to use both the front and rear enclosures 111 and 112: the equipment would be mounted on the intermediate flanges 160 and 161 in the front enclosure 111, extend through the open back 120 of the front enclosure 111, through the open back 120′ of the rear enclosure 112, and then be secured to the intermediate flanges 160′ and 161′ in the rear enclosure 112. This installation alternative provides technicians with greater versatility in installing differently-sized telecom equipment.

Another embodiment of an enclosure 10 will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1-6, and which includes front and back halves 11 and 12 as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 4. The front half 11 includes a left side panel 13 and an opposed right side panel 14, each welded to a top panel 20 and an opposed bottom panel 21, all of which cooperate to form an open four-sided box. A door 22 is pivoted to the front half 11 of the enclosure 10, and a door 24 is pivoted to the back half 12. A hinge 23 is spot welded between a front edge of the left side 13 and an inside edge of the door 22 to pivotally couple the door 22 to the front half 11 of the enclosure 10. Seal members 26, such as elastomeric forms, gaskets, or other similar sealing elements, are affixed to front edges of the top and bottom panels 20 and 21. A cover alignment guide 25 is welded to tops of the doors 22 and 24. A lock 30 is mounted to a right side of the door to engage with a lock strike 31 mounted to an inner face of the right side panel 14. A card reader 33 is carried in the front of the door 22.

The back half 12 is identical to the front half 11 other than that the door 24 does not include the lock 30 or the card reader 33, and the back half 11 does not include the strike 31. Instead, the door 24 to the back half 12 is secured by draw latches 36 welded to an inner face of the left side panel 13. Front and back assembled covers are attached to the front and back faces 40 and 41 of an open nineteen inch telecommunications radio rack 42 with rack screws from the inside directly opposite each other. The back half 12 is also secured by the latches 36.

When both halves 11 and 12 are installed and secured, unauthorized access to critical equipment mounted in the previously open telecommunications rack 42 is prevented. However, personnel with proper credentials can open the door 22 to access, operate, install, service, and remove equipment therein. Similarly, the door 24 on the back half 12 can be opened to access equipment cabling from the rear of the enclosure 10. The secure doors 22 and 24 do not exceed the overall width of the rack 42 nor do they interfere with the installation, removal and mounting of equipment in the seventeen and one-half inches clear mounting space.

The main front and back enclosure components (left side, right side, top, and bottom panels 13, 14, 20, and 21) are fabricated (parted and formed) from sheet steel and welded into four-sided open box assemblies. The fabricated sheet steel front and rear doors 22 and 24 are spot welded to the continuous hinges 23 which are in turn spot welded to the front edges of the left side panels 13, thereby allowing the doors 22 an 24 to pivot and swing. The latches 36 in the back half 12 are welded in place, and the entire enclosure 10 is then cleaned, primed, and powder coated with a textured light spatter pattern. The front and back halves 11 and 12 are then applied with the seal members 26, and the front half 12 is fitted with the lock 30, the card reader 33, and, optionally, a viewing window 43, as shown in FIG. 5. In some embodiments, there are options on the type and position of the electronic lock 30. Some locks 30 have key overrides and some do not. A variety of lock types may be used but could diminish the effectiveness of restricted access unless a lesser degree of restriction is required.

The mounting configuration is unique but, in some embodiments, doors 22 and 24 might be mechanically fastened instead of hinged. However, this may limit the functionality and convenience of use of the assembly. In some embodiments, the doors 22 and 24 may be hinged from an alternate position but would not be ideal.

Material construction, size, and shape may vary. Materials other than metal might be used but are easily compromised. The present invention can be made in various sizes to accommodate any practical amount of equipment, i.e., 12 RU, 24 RU, 36 RU and 48 RU. Depth variations could also be considered to accommodate larger equipment if necessary. The enclosure 10 is suitable for use in any field where some level of physical security is desired. Examples would be government, health care, educational facilities, military, regulatory and general industry (electric utilities and power plants). The enclosure has the flexibility to fit any access level requirement from no restriction (using a simple mechanical latch) to full access control protection with multiple forms of authentication.

A preferred embodiment is fully and clearly described above so as to enable one having skill in the art to understand, make, and use the same. Those skilled in the art will recognize that modifications may be made to the described embodiment without departing from the spirit of the invention. To the extent that such modifications do not depart from the spirit of the invention, they are intended to be included within the scope thereof.