Upgraded shipping packaging

I just got my HL15 and it is really nice. I am happy to report mine appears to have been shipped with quite a bit of foam and zero damage. The box however was a bit worse for wear, but is pretty standard for shipping to Hawaii.

New shipping foam!

The only slight nitpick is I got Monday morning welds on my back panel. Not visible from the front and doesn’t affect function. A 98% out of 100%.

Having tried other rack mount hot swap chassis, though, beauty marks are pretty standard. With the HL15, you can get back plane replacements, which doomed my previous case. Being in Hawaii, it’s really hard to get deals on heavy cases and returns are a nightmare. Trying to buy parts for old cases can be hit or miss. Newly manufactured and made in North America is something that I want to support. Really excited to build it out this week.

I previously canceled an order because of shipping damage posts. So I figured I should give credit where credit is due.


Glad your unit arrived ok, but unless you know otherwise, that looks like the same original packaging, not “upgraded”.

Well, I didn’t see the shipping material before, but I thought it was different per this email.

I got my HL15 pretty early. There seems to be quite a bit more foam in here than when I got mine.

OK. it looks like the packing I got with mine in late November.

Hey @Cloudyak,

Thank you for your kind words.

Unfortunately my 45 Home Lab Server arrived today and the box was completely blown open on all sides. I have not even taken the server out of the box but I took lots of pictures on my front porch where fedex left it without requiring a signature which really surprised me. I was at work today and despite following the fedex messages of packages I did not expect todays package that was coming from NJ to be my server. I will be contacting 45 Home Lab in the morning.

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I received my HL15 today, too. The box took a beating like others have reported. the full height of one of the corners of the box was split open and there was some crushing on the other end of the box. I’m excited to say my HL15 was well protected and escaped harm in spite of FedEx’s finest doing their best to destroy what was inside.

I was surprised to find that it was shipped overnight. I can’t imagine what that must have cost. While we home lab hobbyists want all our toys PRONTO, I would have preferred saving a bit of coin on the up front cost of the HL15 by having free ground shipping while given the option of expedited three, two or overnight shipping for an additional cost accordingly.

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As a follow up I called 45 Home Lab this morning and spoke to Vikram. He was very helpful and told me to take the system out of the box as I had taken pictures last night, and look for any scratches. If there were any scratches on the system to email them and they would send me a paid for return packing label and the system would be returned to them and they would send out a new system to me. I had some scares as I pulled the system out of the box when I thought I saw several scratches but was relieved to find them only to be dust. I am searching my house for a VGA cable but I may need to go out for that and I will be able to power the system up. 5 Stars on customer service I have to say. Thank you Vikram!



I was very easily able to discover the IPMI and main system IP addresses using my router (UDM-pro), I also do not have a VGA cable.

Once in IPMI you can use remote management in a browser to get to the main machine. I find it strange that the manual doesn’t suggest this as a viable path and instead pushes folks to find/buy and use VGA.

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I love IPMI, it is what pushed me from desktop parts to surplus server parts. I had set up a whole cart with a monitor to try and manage my server. Using the iKVM in IPMI completely changed the game for me.

I had trouble with my back panel and PCIe cards fitting. After sending an email to info@45homelab.com they are sending me a new back panel. Pretty good customer service so far, good communication and not left hanging.

I had one of the early ASUS AM5 boards that killed their CPU and got gas lit by their support blaming everything on something else. A month later, Gamers Nexus posted videos showing the boards are to blame. I have had some other rough support experiences since the pandemic. So, despite the problems, you can tell they are trying to fix them. I don’t have to RMA the whole system either.

I have already taken panels off and fan swapped, I appreciate the engineering approach. It allowed me to take out the midplane fans to make it easier to fit the motherboard and cable manage. Something you can’t do in other rack mount cases.

It’s not a perfect case, having to twist out the PCIe slot covers and clean up the burs is annoying and my biggest gripe. Having PWM fans would eliminate the need for a fan swap all together. I can see a version 2 on the horizon after these get into enough hands.

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