Working in a riser

Today at work I had to install a switch in a rack in a riser. The riser goes from top to bottom of the building in question (5 storeys + basement). Access is through an iron door on each floor.

There is a grille to stand on, but it was slightly wobbly and nowhere near as big as the size of the riser, so I had to be careful where I was putting my feet. The building was constructed in the 1920s and the iron grille and brickwork is original.

It’s a long way to the bottom of the basement. While I was working I dropped a bolt. I heard it hit every grille as it went down, and it took about four seconds to reach the bottom.

The riser grille
Looking down the riser
Looking up the riser

This is what I was sent to work on – installing a small new switch in that tiny rack. It’s a Power-over-Ethernet switch to power some new Cisco APs that are going in soon. However, the new switch needed an uplink to the network, provided by…

The patch panel I worked on

… the Cisco switch that was bolted flat to the wall above my head, out of reach. You can see the bundle of cables that join the switch to the patch panel.

In order to reach the switch, I needed to stand on a chair. In order to get a chair to not fall through the grille, I had to go and find some pieces of wood. Yikes.

The switch mounted above

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