Destroying the Church?

Hughesie

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Aug 26, 2005
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Melbourne, Australia
do what you do with children, if they break it don't buy them a new one or fix it

if you can buy new stuff then buy a lockable chest or rack to keep everything in
how children's is this junior crew?
what is your setup like (can you lock your rack if so check what kind of heat is generated with the rack door closed and if it is an ok level stick a timer on the power for the eq's and when they come in the eq's will work and that won't be able to touch them after they are finished they will turn off

or put in a security system
depends on the money your willing to spend on this
 

Chris15

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The other option you have is rack security covers - they screw over rack mount equipment to stop people fiddling with the settings.
 

soundlight

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NJ & NYC
For the EQ's...put lockable rack panel covers over everything, so that only you can access the controls. For the wireless mics, lock them up in a safe that is bolted to the floor. For the lighting stuff, if the lighting box has a Kensington lock slot on it (which some do), use that and lock it down tight to the table. If not, just use zip ties to attach it through the top of the console table, or attach it to a board in the same manner and screw that to the table.

Just some thoughts. The safe bolted to the floor idea is a suggestion from the student resource officer at our school, because I consulted him when we were buying new wireless gear because we didn't want to have any of it stolen.
 

soundlight

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I don't mean safe like bank safe or gun safe, just a large lockable box that can be bolted down. They like to "walk" otherwise.
 

Eboy87

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Chicago, IL
Why is it that anything electronic likes to grow legs and walk away? Anyway, that's a compleatly seperate topic. Definitly get a locking chest that won't move to keep the sensative gear in. Back in high school, we built matching chests to keep our tools in, the other to keep mics and such. These suckers were too heavy to move, and were kept in the locked booth, and locked scene shop. I know of a few places where I've done shows, the installs had cover plates screwed on over the EQs and compressors. As a guest engineer, I hate that, but in your case, should do the trick, unless someone comes in with a screw driver.

I liked the idea of the Kensington lock for the lighting gear, but I don't have much experience in that department anymore.

Good luck with it. Hope you find a solution, there's nothing worse than finding the piece of gear you need is broken, especially finding out 5 mins. before curtain.

As a random note, I just noticed cupboard was cup board, a place to keep cups. Pardon, it's been one of those kind of days so far.
 
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Van

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Maybe a stearn lecture on the Ten Commandments and a lesson in the Golden Rule ?
 
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mcgart

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Dec 8, 2006
Location
Singapore
I agree with what others have said above. We have similar things happen at the school where I work. The room where we keep all the stuff is supposed to be locked at all times but someone always needs to get in and use the equipment. Mics and cords go missing, equalisers have always been touched and it seems each time i go in there something is broken - not good when we only have a limited budget and we end up having to spend that replacing stuff we already had. So we took some of that money and bought a really sturdy lockable cupboard...anything that isn't needed is locked away in there. We only leave out some of the old mics and the bare basics needed to do anything. Has worked a treat since - nothing gone or broken.
 

nate

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Mar 16, 2004
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Rock Creek, Ohio
take your stuff, lock it up, and tell the other crew that if they wanna use it they have to find someone from your crew to be in charge while they do
 

soundop

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Mar 18, 2006
Well the i hate when people (cough actors cough cough) think the eqipment is replaceable and decid to play catch with a BRAND NEW WIRELESS mic, they were replaced and only techs touch equipment unless its on an actor
 

Chris15

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When you are worried about stuff getting stolen from your church, you have a SERIOUS issue. I can hear the starving children now....
Not sure if I am reading this right...
But if teh intent was to say that you should not need to worry about securing stuff in a church, then I have to disagree. If a small investment can protect equipment then it is worthwhile. If things do walk, then they have to be replaced and that causes money to be unneccessarily spent replacing lost things that should have been spent on other things such as charity. Insurance very rarely covers losses whilst the building is in use.

Apologies if I have misread the statement.
 

u_dakka

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Feb 19, 2004
Just hit them where it hurts. In the wallet. Just keep billing the kids side of things (enough for new gear and a penalty charge) and eventually the leaders will notice that the funds they have are smaller, and will see that it's purely because of the useless tech crew they have there. Thus the tech crew they have will be forced to learn some respect for the gear they are using and the other way which people are operating.

andy
(ps remind them that a crew implies a team - and that would be both the kids lot and the youth crew)
 

soundman1024

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Denver
We had some similar issues at our church, and really there are great lengths you can go to to protect equipment. There are many things that can be done. Here is some of the stuff that we did.

An effective way to lock down wireless mics would be a rack drawer with a lock.

If you have some outboard gear (compressors or what not) you can get racks that have a door that locks. If you get a power distributor with a power switch in that rack, and lock the rack shut the power to the rack is locked too. The console could be plugged into this, thus locking the console off too. Remember if you do this the back needs a door as well, otherwise a power strip could bypass that.

If you have cords that are coming up missing (instrument cables on stage were our biggest problem) you can take the zip ties with the eyelets and put one around the cord and literally screw it down to the floor.

Direct Boxes can be opened up and screwed to the floor as well. We had some of those go missing, and at $150 a pop that just isn't cool. (Maybe your DMX box could be opened up and screwed to the table then closed back up?)

In addition if you want to ensure they don't use any of the technical equipment there are ways to lock the power off. Think about a light switch (a household switch) on the sound booth. In place of the light switch is a keyhole though, and it takes a key to turn power on and off. We have a couple of those at our church, they don't get used anymore, they just get left on. For the most part our problems have been resolved now. I do believe the company that makes that keylock switch is Leviton. They own NSI lighting, and most electrical supply stores carry their products. If you visit an electrical wholesaler they can probably get it to you, it might not be in inventory though.

Before you go spending money though, make it clear what you expect week to week and make sure you say you will start locking things down. It got to the point at our church to where you needed a key to do anything with audio except take a dust cover off. Gaff tape was in a tool box with a pad lock. Mics were in a cabinet with a lock, along with batteries. The sound both was on a key lock. The amps were under the stage on breakers, but that didn't matter if the booth was off. Extension cords were in a file cabinet in a locked room. Racks had doors that locked. Cords were screwed to the floor. Now that things are under control though things don't need to be locked up like Fort Knox. Every once in a while security needs to tighten up for a bit, but it isn't what it was.
One more thing, people will find ways to bypass your security, so try to bypass it yourself, and think resourceful. If you lock the power it is possible for an extension cord to run from another circuit. (saw that one) If you screw cords down they can be unscrewed. (didn't see that one) Making the locks send a message is more important than them getting in the way. Make sure respect goes both ways. If they are respecting the equipment, be more than willing to provide them the means to use it.

It is 4:30am. To bed.
 

ship

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My local community theater company announced today that they were giving classes in all the basic tech areas. Sign up for classes.

Perhaps while stuff needs to be locked up and properly supervised while in use, a training program for not just supervisers but all needs to be done. Classes say in using, proper handling etc. on a microphone class would be a good thing. Budding tech people or at least those that understand how such things work in other than being magic.

Weekend classes or workshops in tech for those that wish if not all that would use the gear.
 
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In place of the light switch is a keyhole though, and it takes a key to turn power on and off. We have a couple of those at our church, they don't get used anymore, they just get left on. For the most part our problems have been resolved now. I do believe the company that makes that keylock switch is Leviton. They own NSI lighting, and most electrical supply stores carry their products. If you visit an electrical wholesaler they can probably get it to you, it might not be in inventory though.
Maybe it would be too much trouble, but if you want to and have someone who knows enough about wiring, you might just be able to use an old car ignition switch (not one of the new ones with multiple settings but one that is a simple binary on/off switch) and attach it to a faceplate and save some money. Though I have no clue about your power needs or if a normal ignition switch will even be able to handle the power you need to run. But it might be something to consider looking into.
 

Chris15

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Maybe it would be too much trouble, but if you want to and have someone who knows enough about wiring, you might just be able to use an old car ignition switch (not one of the new ones with multiple settings but one that is a simple binary on/off switch) and attach it to a faceplate and save some money. Though I have no clue about your power needs or if a normal ignition switch will even be able to handle the power you need to run. But it might be something to consider looking into.
As a first impression response, forget it. Cars ruin on 12Vdc. And these switches trigger relays to do the hard work I think. A similar sort of thing is the key switches you get from electronics type places. Surprisingly, the one in front of me will take 4A at 125V AC or 2A at 240V AC, or 4A at 28V DC. As a concept, you could use these sorts of things it seems, but they would be better and to my mind safer if you used them in a control circuit rather than for the full current switching. They're only good for 550 watts ish and I imagine that they'd need derating for fluoros and such... Electrical wholesalers do have the sort of current and voltage rated products you're after... at least down here they do.
 

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