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Help finding AV help online

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by salsa88, May 7, 2008.

  1. salsa88

    salsa88 Member

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    Can anyone help me find some information on AV equipment? I have a good understanding of XLR and DMX but I'm relatively new to BNC connectors and I will also be working with Cat5 & 6 Ethernet cables. Can someone please point me where I can find an in depth guide to installing Cat5,6 and BNC cables, Working with Audio patch bays and how db work? I'm a Lighting guy but I'm despertially trying to learn as much about Audio Visuial as a can.
    thank you, I will also include a description of what I'm working with below.

    I'm working in a venue that does a lot of presentations where I will be setting up projectors, screens, Ethernet, mics and so on throughout the day. It has a main presentation room with floor and wall pockets that each have XLR,DMX,BNC and Ethernet hook ups inside. It all runs into a room with a rack and touch screen controller for the audio. This room can also be divided into 3 smaller rooms, each with its own set of floor/wall pockets with the above configurations inside. Each room also has a set of 6 Channel buttons where you can control mics, CD, radio and other audio from 6 buttons on the wall. Each section of the main room also has a feeder box break out for lighting and other equipment. Now that you have an idea of the venue please help me find more information about the above information.
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Before I read your second paragraph I was going to tell you to get a job in the shop at AVW, DAV, Encore, or one of the hundred other AV houses in Las Vegas.

    But since you already have a job... Unless you were untruthful on your resume and application, those who hired you know that you have limited knowledge in this area and should be willing to train you.

    Otherwise/also, I would look at the brands and model numbers of the rack-mounted equipment, then download the User Manual PDFs, and start reading.

    It sounds like you're in a typical ballroom with either a Crestron or AMX control system. Before diving into the control system, look at each specialty: audio, video, networking, lighting.

    Systems integration and control: things like "room combine" or if you have a button that says "Lecture" which takes the lights to 50%, enables the podium mic, passes VGA from the lecturn to the projector, etc. take a long time to engineer and implement, but are fairly easy to learn how to use.

    There's just not much info available, as so much of it is venue-specific. The original system installer should have left a "User's Manual" for the entire system. See if you can find that. The company also should have supplied a print-out of every User Manual for every different piece of equipment, but those are easily replaced ala PDF, from the manufacturers' websites.
     
  3. salsa88

    salsa88 Member

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    Thanks again for the great info and suggestions. I will look into finding the pdf files for the equipment, Looks like im working with the AMX. The employers are also willing to train me more in depth with the venues setup. The system has a "room combine" along with lighting presets for Full, 75, 50, 25 and 0 percentages. I did not see a "lecture" Soft key on the screen, would be a very useful preset to have available though. I'm trying learn as much on my own so I wont be a pain in anyone’s back.
    Thanks again,
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Do what Derek said then post your questions in the Sound forum here. I'm sure someone will know the answer.
     
  5. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    If the person who programmed the AMX controller knew what they were doing, you should be able to be instructed on almost all functions in under an hour, probably more like a half an hour. It's stupid simple if done right, and AMX really did a good job with their product.

    While I hate them for doing it because the system never gets used and it's way over-done, there's a lecture hall on campus that has an AMX system controlling an M7CL-48 with 2 Cobranet cards (I've only ever seen 12 mics in there tops, and there aren't many playback systems in there to take up the rest!), a Christie HD7Kc projector and a full video switching system, and a Lehigh Dimming architectural dimming and control system. They can take full manual control in the booth when they want it for special events (hardly any), but it's usually just controlled by an AMX controller for the rest of the time, and that works great.
     
  6. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Occupation:
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    There should be system drawings, manuals, user guides, etc. provided. But depending on how and when the system was installed, they may not exist or may have disappeared or may be in a box in some closet somewhere.

    If the control system was at all well programmed, then it should be fairly easy to figure out. I usually consider the user interface of a control system a failure if you have to have a manual to use it, at least in that type of application. Of course, learning how to use a control system is a very different matter than learning how it works or how to program one.

    On the video side, it sounds like you may be starting at a very basic level with learning things such as the different types of common video signals such as composite, S-Video, component, RGB, etc.

    You have a great opportunity coming up. Next month InfoComm, the annual trade show for the AV industry, is being held in Las Vegas next month. There are numerous educational offerings as well as having most of the industry manufacturers in attendance. There is even a rental and staging council meeting. Check out www.infocomm.org for more information, basic show floor attendance is free for members but you can often get free passes from manufacturers as well, for example you might check out AMX to see if they offer passes. InfoComm also offers several good online educational resources and a couple of good reference books, it might be well worth your time to look at those.
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Great advice, Brad. Unfortunately, I'm going to be out of town, otherwise, most of my time would be spent here:
    [​IMG]

    (Copied from this document.)

    Here's your chance to see all the new Lighting and Sound products before LDI.
     
  8. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I have got to get to one of these conventions some time in the near future! I really want to try out an Avo Pearl Tiger. But by the time that I get around to looking for a console, Tigers should be going for a decent price used.
     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I apologize in advance for the hi-jack, but I just have to . . .
    Leopard is way better than Tiger. Hold off for the Avolites Pearl Leopard. (And everyone I've met who knows Hog, GMA, or Maxxyz, hates the Pearl.) "GO When Off Zero"??? What the heck is that all about?
     
  10. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I've linked to the Avo joke page here before...but it's always good for a re-linking. Isn't that like the techie equivalent of a [url="www.internetisseriousbusiness.com]rickroll[/url]?

    Yeah, the Tiger is something like $8500, and a the other consoles that you've listed are significantly above that. Plus, I like rollacue. It makes busking very easy.
     
  11. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Let me try and offer some help on the audio side...

    BNC is Video's problem, unless I'm being fed RF or word clock or running MADI. I would expect that you may encounter the first but probably not the latter two. I have heard them called push and twist connectors before *shudder*. They are almost always crimped on and fit onto coaxial cable. You should use 75 ohm coax for video, MADI and word clock and 50 ohm coax for RF. Some BNC connectors have been known to think the centre pin an optional extra after some period of use, not mentioning any names Shure.

    Cat 6 is a higher spec cable to Cat 5 but otherwise, the two are identical. Not too sure what you want to know about them... One thing to note if you are terminating them is that you need to keep them twisted as far as possible, untwisting leads to reduced performance...

    Before much can be said to help you with your patch bay, we need to know what type it is. If you don't know, pictures help us to help you...

    dB is the symbol for the decibel. Decibels are a ratio of logarithms. They always need a reference to be compared to. 0dB through a piece of equipment is referred to as unity gain and it means that Vin/Vout = 1 = 10^0. 3dB represents a halving (-3dB) or a doubling (+3dB) of electrical power. Note that this does not translate linearly to what you hear. Have a look at Wikipedia under Decibel for a reasonable coverage.

    Given I'm not really aware of what you want to know, I'd prefer to have that clarified before I launch into multi page posts on things you didn't want to know about...
     

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