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REC Video/Sound Jacks from XLR Cable

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by ship, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I have a sound question much less question for once.

    I have a long run of RCA jacked cable to go from the cable box to a TV in monitor mode.

    I just happen to have a two pair mic cable that's really long from work that would be about useless as DMX cable and isn't constructed the same anyway - the braided shield wire isn't tinned. Leads me to believe it's resistance would be greater than I would want to trust out on the road plus it's two individual pair in a jacket.

    Anyway, I connected all four wires (two per color for pins 2 & 3) from each of the channels to the center pin on the RCA jack and the shield wire to the shield jack for both sets of wire making it into dual RCA cable.

    Question is, how good a signal would this give for the TV's video and sound. Wire couldn't have been any larger than 24ga at the best, but it's four of them tied together making it more like 18ga.

    Brand of cable is Canare Cable #L-4E3-2P What ya think work good, or work okay but give problems, work not at all.


    Also I have some scrap BNC cable at work for another long run of video. This stuff just comes back from shows with our gear and it's ours because nobody bothers to put thier name on their gear. Anyway I Radio Shacked some BNC to F or normal cable box jack adaptors and am thinking of making like a 100' to 150' run to another TV with it. The BNC cable is 22ga, type CL2X from Gepco. Any thoughts on signal loss or not to worry it's not far enough away. I don't usually do sound or video so this is all kind of sketchy for me.
     
  2. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hi Ship,
    I'm not too familiar with most video stuff...so thevideo run is a stretch for me to speculate on or advise. My suggestion when it comes to video--just try it and see<g>.

    Well I've been up since 4am, and its after 7pm so I may be a bit fuzzy right about now... But on the RCA cables--the cable itself (the Canare quad star stuff is great cable) will work on most audio signal, but the problem you can run into is in the length and signal strength based on the impedance of the signal (if its high or low impedance). If your signal coming out of your box is high impedance, your signal will degrade itself after about 8-20 feet depending on the impedance and cable, and will not be usable after that. If its low impedance--you should work fine and it should go ok for distance. Difference between the two levels is one is in the 150 ohm or less range, and the other is in the 600ohm range...one can go for about 8-20 feet(Hi)....the other can go about 400 feet(low) before major degrading. You can compensate for the impedance difference by using a DI (Direct Box)--or at least the transformer out of one to change one level into the other. Jensen use to make most of the transformers for this00great products and I'm sure youhave a few crunched old DI's around the shop you can use for parts. Most audio toys give off either a low or high impedance... Guitars are usually high--mic's and such are usually low. Mic's don't need to be changed--guitars and pick-ups usually do. Sounds backwards in thinking...but the higher the impedance the more the cable will pick up external noise and crap that can mess up or be added to the signal...like an antenna.

    Since I know you love spec's and reading such things as I do--here's a favorite link from Whirlwind USA that gives you a great expanation and the formulas about impedance and matching and the do's and don'ts etc when matching signal.

    http://www.whirlwindusa.com/tech03.html

    hope this helps...postback with how it goes.
    I'm off to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep...
    -wolf
     
  3. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Re: Home sterieo/video systems and how to avoid Yorx

    4 AM? The heck, what are you a mutent? If I'm being bad as a night person, I'm just going to bed around 3. Weekends show me typically getting to bed around 7. Given I have to be at work at 8:30 and I now live like a minute away and being late for pro staff is still a winked at thing. 4Am every day! Can't imagine.

    Anyway, Wirlwind. In my world, (a DMX Protocol one at best) seeing that brand on a cable is rason to throw it out without even attempting to see what's wrong with it. But thanks for the knowledge and link, I will look into it for a understanding that unfortunately will probably end up outside my true understanding as with your above post. Understood it on the more broad sense, but it's still not completely sinking in. Sound and video stuff is alien to me. At very least, I dont' have a link to Wirlwind yet so I'll add it to my list of links - thanks.

    I'll read it than try it - it can only fail. I'll also try to find a website with the canary brand and see what it's Imputance is on the model I'm using. Yea, 600 links and all of them are about birds but the last one... It's all like with my NEC SX-S28 speakers that are now mounted on a swivel in my laier that started out as the last of the non-blown up studio theater's sound system. They are powered by a Onkyo TX-8211 reciever both of which I was told at one point or another were good stuff but the first time I finally plugged them in at even half volume to the cable box on Phono than Tape 2/Monitor were well able to blow me away, much less 1/4 volume on the Phono impute. Wonder what is being missed given it's not at at least half volume to run it at a good clip. I'm very technical, but sound is very alien to me and hit or miss or hit and blow out. Yep, reading "Stage Sound" did a lot for my understanding beyond learning how to wire up a 1/4" phono plug. Don't use the info you read, and you loose it is a very real statement.

    In reality, what is the quality of the above equipment? Any good, fair, crap? I like the sound as a car jumps from one speaker to another, but beyond a 1979 Bose/Bang and Olefson system with BeeGees "Fire" playing on it off vinyl, I know nothing about sound but wouldn't mind hearing with my limited hearing left some good stuff in a cost effective way. Still have the B&O BEOMaster 2400 tuner, should I replace the Onkio one with it?

    Kind of understand the high output verses the low output stuff. Any chance for a DOS for Dummies version of it?

    On the kitchen Tv with RCA in the monitor mode, it's probably going to be 75'. With the bedroom tap off the cable box with normal cable jacks, it will probably end up slightly above 100' once I wind it around doors and floor boards. On that at least I'm not as concerned in theory. The better cable for digital video at least in theory would be able to take the load at a longer length me thinks. Alas, however it only seems like good jacks on average cable however thus asking about it.

    It's just after I wrap the RCA XLR cable around the backs of book shelves that it's going to get hairy if it doesn't work since I would not have much use for my light board in the kitchen should I actually install the dimmers and stage lights and as a video signal it doesn't work.
    That mistake of wiring up the monitor would be like my computer's dual monitor system that currently sits on a counter bananced swivel boom arm 26" above the table top. Very cool, just swing the thing out of the way and the desk is completely open and the TV is right under the monitors by design. But it ended way up in mid air by accident And way too high necessiatiing a few hours to take it back apart and install the right stuff on it. Yea, that's a minor modification to it's design in the works, plus it's about two stage weights out of balance. Two 19" monitors on a 36" arm do not equal two 27# stage weights plus some added 1/4" plate totaling like 70 or 80# on a 12" counterbalance even with the computer's brain added to it for ballast to my chigrin. Oops! Like staring up at the ceiling now that I have gotten the monitors off the desk. Good thing I don't need glasses yet. Lots of work left to do in the new place, thus the prep work on the video stuff will save me time I can use elsewhere.

    Perhaps given I have no idea of what a DI is, I'll first run a before insalled test without running the cable behind the library for real. So much for "No Guts, No Glory" based upon your impute. Thanks for trying. It's a lighting company, we only have transformers to step down or up from Euro or to power up low or DC voltage ,or similar applications for it. The only sound or video equipment we have is what we acquire or in the foot switches I used to switch between channels A and B for Clear Com. Jenson to me means a tool company that freqently has good buys on tech tools plus an alien car sterieo company.

    The Ohm ratings help alot however - thanks. I'll look to plug into a 150 or less ohm output if I can. Knew there was something about it but didn't remember the details.

    So if the Canare cable is good stuff, what do you think of it should I see more of it show up in the inventory for lighting use? Official DMX Protocol by the books is crap. Wirlwind and lesser mic cable has prooven to dependibly run a DMX signal on tour. Martin true DMX cable has prooven more problematic than any mic cable especialy with it's stick on non-solder plugs. Granted if I'm buying it, my standards are at least Digital quality for the 3-pin stuff than true DMX for the 5-pin. in case it needs that higher quality signal. We acquire a lot of mic cable throughout the year and I'm not the one testing or sending it out on shows unless it comes back as broken As opposed to tossing out the normal Wirlwind that if I remember right is only twisted non-tinned shield that easily leads to holes in it's shield and oxidation, thus it is easy to detect as a only a 70 ohm cable, the Canary brand was not tinned as normal for at least digital, but was braided which seems to be the norm of digital quality cable since it doesn't also have that foil shield in addition to the braid normal for DMX cable. How do you think it would rate as "found" DMX cable?

    Given I have a really good true RMS multi-meter, and this is something I have not really learned yet - I'm a carpenter by trade remember, can I actually test with it out of symplicity the cable in the inventory to detect the 70ohm verses True DMX 120 ohm stuff? Or do I need to go complex and electronic? Should I convince our electronic god tech person to make me up a electronic computerized "True DMX" cable tester to get rid of the mic cable more easily? Do you think it's worth it?

    For note, our FOH and truss snakes are 20/16pair digital quality Gepcoflex cable. Not the DMX protocol and they run the most advanced of light boards, even power up Hog remotes and Catylist systems that use talk back or it's spare lines for power in lengths of over 400'. Those spare data pins 4&5 come from a second individually wrapped in foil pair that's tied in with the first pair in the shield to the non-certified DMX multi-pin plug. Plus I use non-shielded individual 20ga MTW wires to wire up the output boxes - shileding and DMX what? Thus at very lest, that DMX Protocol is for me a bit more goal than reality. So how would you rate the Canary line for lighting? I note high and low versions of it. How would that relate for DMX? This stuff is only on the fringes of my understanding in the specification verses reality. Yep read the manual on DMX, didn't make sense given the quality of cable in use. We still have some 20 year old rubber Beldon grade cable in stock that's way older than any standards and after a few salt water baths still carries a dependable signal.


    Jo/Jo, you out there, it's also fodder for you to chime in. In this kind of stuff, I would trust and ask your opinion on also as a pro sound guy as well as others out there that are a bit more quiet than us three fish out of water. I bought into the Yorx brand after Boot Camp and it lasted at best a year before it turned to crap. Understanding at least the basics of what to buy and use to wire even a college level place might be good help to others much less me that has some training with tech but little understanding of electronics. But dang were my RCA jack solder connections from XLR good - shrink tube covering the wires not in the hole and all.

    I'm working on repairing DMX cable this week thus the RCA was easy to put into the stack. Next week I drop a three phase sub panel into the tech room for the network server to have a wee bit more clean power. The network administrator added up 5,000 watts should all computers decide to re-charge at the same time thus the three phase 15 amp as opposed to single 20 amp circuit for the computer main brain. Can't believe a set of computers can add up to 5Kw at any point but I'll do it.


    It's all going to be better than the 20 amp circuit that it's currently fed by that blows when my assistant for the day leaves the 15 amp heat gun on too long without turning off the 1HP fan in addition to the rest of the half of the parimiter wall's appliances such as computerrs, lights and other fans. That breaker gets quite a work out at the moment but I don't have time to re-wire an entire building that we are supposted to be moving out of any month now starting about 5 years back now.

    My job chances day to day. I'll also be replacing 277v fluorescent ballasts in the front office next week than go back to my final 40 channel data distro rack mount panel that's been waiting for about a month for me to get to. Love it as long as it is not too complex electronic and stays 9 to 5. Towards the end of next week I guess I'm the only Xenon follow spot tech left in the shop because I have to go on a four day install and tech for the Green Bay Packers Game with some Lycian 1290's and M2's. Hate on-site gigs especially going to Wisconson- too many memories of swamp/Fort McCoy. Second show I had to do this year, it's starting a nasty trend!

    Before I buy the parts, anything special I should consider for dropping a sub-panel to the main computer? I'm already using iso-ground hospital grade receptacles and doing a home run on the ground to the main, plus by demand, each phase is getting it's own neutral. Other things to do, special breakers to get? I would hope there is some kind of power conditioning on the computers but there might not be. Something I can add? Lots of voltage spikes and frequency noise from all the moving lights and strobes powered off the service already but getting too high priced would raise the ire of the big boss. Can you say Metallica's entire lighting package running off the same service as the main computer system much less the poor incandescent exit lights? Next building there is going to be a few changes.
     
  4. TechDirector

    TechDirector Active Member

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    Re: Home sterieo/video systems and how to avoid Yorx

    Just goes to show you how dedicated he his........haha.

    Anyway that site whirlwindusa.com is really great. I learned a lot of stuff on it; even how to spell "impedance". Thanks for posting that website wolf!
     
  5. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hiya...
    well the 4am thing was staff professional week show that I had to do with a remote truck and all sorts of other last minute live sound and light stuff... Had to be up at 4am for 3 days straight to get to work before 5:30am and open up...blah.

    Ship--the canare stuff for DMX--I like it for DMX...but there is something about it that when the signal is split and then rejoined on the paired wires--it seems to mess it up. Not sure why..so I just tend to use individual rather then paired strands. The ProPlex stuff is what I use for DMX in house..and so far I like it. Its a bit stiff, but they have a softer version of it. So far its been great stuff. Have you ever used ProPlex and what do you think of it? I have a ton of it if you want to see a sample... Also--if you are using Whirlwind mic cable for DMX--the impedance of the cable is technically incorrect for DMX use, as I'm sure you know, Has it not given you a ton of problems on long runs? Least I have had some minor probs with mic cable popping into the chain. I HATE the Martin DMX stuff..that is garbage and fails more uses than I can recall. Whirlwind is ok mic cable...canare is better for mic cable IMO...and I have to laugh at the folks who fall for the ZOALLA brand cable--100% silver core cable that is about $8.00 a foot...and some folks buy it--HAH!

    DOH...my apologies--A DI (AKA direct Box) is a box that is used in sound on stage--it converts a high impedance signal like from a guitar pick up or keyboard output to a low impedance level signal that then goes to the desk. Basically they are just a transformer and wire in a little steel box. Pretty simple thing really..but a must have on a show. If ya need some more explanation on th ehigh vs th elow impedance stuff--ask away and I'll do my best to explain. The Whirlwind site does a OK job at it.. While you're over at the lighting forum--jump over to the study hall and they have some good articles that may clear some more stuff up on that for ya.

    The quality of the equipment you have--I am only familiar with the Onkyo---which is home-hi-fi stuff..the NEC stuff sounds like a theater surround style speaker or fill speaker. The B&O stuff is very nice high quality stuff...a bigger improvement over Onkyo. I don't own a home stereo..never got into it..since I play with "big stereos"<g> I just never had the need to go home and do the same. If I wanna listen to a CD--I pop on headphones..if I am at work--I pop it into the system and turn the volume just under earthquake mode and enjoy. for your home stereo stuff--IMO if it works it works and will be fine for home use...just don't try to do a rave with it<g>.


    wolf
     
  6. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Re: Home sterieo/video systems and how to avoid Yorx


    You're welcome.. Heh--ME?? DEDICATED??hahahahaha...well yeah I am. <sigh>

    Actually I had to get up early for a staff event here at my place of bizness..blah. I wouldn't make that kind of early morning thing a routine.


    -wolf
     
  7. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Paired wires. Hate them but not for the same reasons and it's what Pro-cable uses, or what ever TMB calls it. Problem for me is that when you use two wires to carry a signal, all it takes is one of them to break off it's connector in a plug and twist just a bit and it' causes a huge problem with bad signals in the system to try to figure out what's causing the bad signal. Than once marked as bad and it gets back to the shop and tested as part of a large pile of cable that could or is not bad, but such cable is not twisted in just the same way, frequently it will seem as if "operator error" in sending that same bad cable that still works when tested back into service.
    In other words, left up to me, and it is, I tend to avoid the dual wires to any pin. Proplex cable, most of our "before I got there," inventory is that, and the TMB sales reps come out about twice a year to ensure that it stays that way, I don't buy it anymore. I went to one of two or ten other brands without that extra wire but is just as high in quality and cheaper. Given the price, TMB recently came out with a cheaper line of cable - perhaps my leveling with them some time ago on why I'm not buying from them did have an effect. Nothing beats Pro-Plex for abrasion resistance, much less it's ability to witshand a tired IATSE member armed with a utility knife while de-looming it, but in cost effectiveness, much less dependability, I have reservations.

    Most places sware by ProPlex and it holds up well but another thing I don't like about it is that it's outer thermoplastic jacket is only rated at a normal temperature and seems to melt down quite rapidly and faster than any other brand of cable should it touch the back of a lighting instrument, which of course forces the crew people to mark it as bad, as opposed to neoprene or rubber cable that's got the same temperature rating for insulating properties, but does not melt into a blob of plastic on it's outer shell. As the TMB people say, "but the inner conductors are rated at 200 what ever degree C. and will still carry that signal even after it's outer jacket melts down. All I say is that "once the crew running the show notes a melted cable, they take it out of service and so paying more for any one brand, even if technically it still will work is not worth it." Hmm, how to piss off a vendor rep. in one easy step.

    Ever go to their website and see the Data Lynx? It's a product our company invented and makes for them and they have a stranglehold over us on. Welcome to the big business world where even "long standing supplier" contacts don't always have your best interests at hart in the end. To produce it for them, we have to buy the parts making it up such as panel mount DMX connectors from them even if not at as good of a price. When we run short, I can't even stock the electronics department up with my lower priced connectors I get from other places as it would break the contract for them doing a favor for us in marketing it for us. TMB is a good company don't get me wrong but at some point my companies relations became more big business than good for the business.

    On the canare brand, just so happens that this past week I was repairing data cable and ran across one. Based upon your original recomendation, I sent that now fixed cable back into inventory as opposed to the Wirlwind stuff I found in much larger percentage that I gave away or got rid of. It's all just 3-pin XLR so the signal in my standards as long as a braided shield is usually good enough. Heck, my data cable is digital quality multi-pair snake and it runs huge shows and the most modern of lighting equipment just fine. And I mean it does not have a problem feeding data spitters much less the most advanced in lighting gear. As I say, Protocol is a goal not a reality.

    4AM as a gig thing not as a farmer thing, I can see that, so you are not a mutent! Been there, hate that, but feel for ya.

    Mic cable "Has it not given you a ton of problems on long runs?" Ya know, I'm shop staff, I get all the repairs but short of getting calls at all time in the night by crew members dececting a 9v difference in voltage between neutral and ground, or "My Follow Spot isn't working, what's this purple wire that's disconnected supposted to be doing," The heck do I know, much less could I tell you in my jammies! I don't get data cable churps on the Nextel as yet. (I'm going to be really angry if you have jinxed me!) I'm ME as it were not master of data signal. The Moving Light head tech preson gets those calls hopefully. (And most people thought that Nextel going nation wide was a good thing, just wait until you get a churp at midnight from someone in Florida for a stupid question. Can't wait until I get a churp from the stepps of Russia asking what the center pin of a Socopex plug is for and if it's missing will it work?) Anyway, we have 300' spools of data cable that are wound on cable cord wind ups that date from before DMX protocol was invented. Something like Beldon Conquest is in them. I'm sure it is not the 120 ohms from what ever rating of it that is required or "your system will suffer from catastrophic failure" that the USITT DMX Protocol manual sugguests, and I to date have never heard of a problem in using it. I heard more with bitching about making a new found spool into true 5-pin DMX in having to adapt it back down to three pin than any tales of gremlens with a non-rated 3-pin feeder.

    "ZOALLA brand cable" Never heard of it before, my eyes are out for it now! Highschool tech site heck, I'm learning just as much here as esewhere.

    Low imputence things. Comfound it, I can't find my AC transformer for the little TV monitor tba for this RCA cable to be signaled up with. This project just came to a screetching halt, at least until I get to the more mundane tasks of un-packing boxes that are not as sexy as the ones with the Unistrut fittings. I have a 4' high and double wide stack of boxes just with scripts in them that would be easier to unpack!

    At least todays projcet of my revision on the dual monitor on the boom arm project went well, I'm not looking up at the sky any more to see my computer monitors anymore and the extra 50# of ballast in the form of 15 steel plates at 1/4" x 4" x 12" that I swiped from the shop seem to be just enough with the stage weights to balance out the boom arm. Anyone out there that can do the math for me?

    Two stage weights at 27#, plus 15 mild steel plates at 14" from the pivot equal two there abouts 19" moniors 42" out from the center at their widest point, plus the computer's brain a Dell just off center added off on the weight side for ballast on it. How much weight is the plates, much less how much total weight is the boom carrying? Cool to just swing the whole computer operation out of the way but how much overloaded is the 1" Sch 40 pipe carrying in compression and how out of balance might it be? Since it's not huge enough to tell by sitting at an angle it's not appairent, but would swiping three more plates that would fit on the bolts be worth the time to install? The construction is of 1.1/2" box steel 16ga boom arm 54" long with a 3/4" Ply top, plus three more of the plates in balance to mount the pipe and a 14ga 12x16" plate to tie the piviot steel totether. I didn't do well enough in math class to do the figure unless I was paid to figure it out. Yea, sometimes you just have to go total nerd in constructing things when your design does not fit the Ikea norm, but at least my stuff as non-particale board euro trash would hold up to a earth quake much less normal use.

    Anyway, two weeks after I moved in, I almost have only two rooms moved into. Almost seems like college in a way with the rigged bunk bed that I had which sent the upper sleeping bunk up to the ceiling so I could use the draped drafting table and computer area below it without disturbing my room mate in many ways. Don't have a assembled bed as yet, and in college it was fairly rare that I actually cranked down the bed as opposed to sleeping on the sofa.

    For the first time in about 8 years I actually had time to really hook up the sterieo. Something about a 1 minute commute to work that has changed my world into having time to do that kind of thing as opposed to an on average 1.1/2 hour commute. So the Onkyo I bought for a scene shop that I no longer work at is getting a bit more use than just providing soothing music for the cat while I'm at work. Yea, the speakers were one of them things. The B&O... probably is better but I'm not sure with the speakers plus with it's special brand of hook up jacks, it's much more difficult to wire to. Not really sure what to do with it at this point given the other sterieo. It was a huge step for me in throwing out it's tape deck that had only something wrong with it's motor. Anyone want it that would give it a good home? You pay the shipping given it weighs a ton. Vintage 1979 technology!

    No idea on home sound systems. I can see that, I don't even own a CD player that isn't part of a walkman or boom box, much less a DVD player as yet. A note to the kids, buy your toys when mom is paying for them, much easier that way.

    Anyway, thanks for the help.
     
  8. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    here ya go Ship...

    http://www.zaolla.com/

    Audiophile cables...interesting idea..very very pretty to look at...and if you happen to have a ton of $$ to spend--there ya go. I've worked in recording studios--never ever seen one there..and most audio guys I know who heard of these laugh and laugh. Only place I have seen them is on the shelves at stores collecting dust...they are mighty pretty tho..

    -wolf
     
  9. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Checked out the wirlwind site. Cool and almost easy to digest. More of a voltage drop type thing or similar to how that would work on AC cable. No problem, I sort of understand it all now. Or at least your original pointers on it.

    Thanks!
     
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Status report on the video cable questions - much less my move in. The BNC type cable worked well as normal “F” type with the adaptors. My bedroom now has a working TV in it which is tapped off the cable box since otherwise now that I’m out in the burbs, I get no reception.
    Since I’m very TV orientated while home, finally hooking up the TV allowed me to take the time to set up the bed and former Unistrut and pipe supported shop work table that’s now going to be some kind of dresser that’s still under development as with the rest of the room. I don’t believe in buying crap furniture and have not invested the time in building or money yet in good bedroom stuff. Thus I have as always what I build out of steel channel and strut and wood as if in a shop. Wish I was back at the scene shop, how easy it would be to make stuff, but that’s going to have to wait for a while when I buy a house and set up a garage workshop as if a typical home owner. Than I’ll be cursing selling off my table saw a few years back. Yea, I am kind of a misguided individual that would survive without real bedroom furniture. I was just thinking how if the TV goes where I want it, I’m going to have to kind of wall mount it. However since I don’t believe in attaching stuff beyond pictures to a wall, it’s going to have to be supported out of the closet’s shelving Dextron verticles and linen horizontal shelving. Another interesting project similar to my construction crane like boom arm that with counter balance now supports my computer monitors and has 180 degrees of travel. It swings out of the way completely clearing my art antique table that’s a desk. Long story in itself but very cool. Who would have thunk it that a Century 1" sch. 40 boom base could be so useful.

    At least I’ll be sleeping on a bed tonight! Parts storage closet is also set up and it’s about full with about 1/3 of the stuff that needs to go into it. Amazing the progress that can be made with a free weekend, but I still have not found the AC to DC adaptor needed for the kitchen TV. Thus the XLR cable adapted to RCA still is a unknown. Until than when it all works and I don’t have boxes and gack piled up against the walls, I have phone and video cable running all over the floor - but that’s the same with all the other things I have not unpacked yet. Found some 4" polarizing lenses that I didn’t know I had for instance. Same story with the lighting pipe grid. It’s still laying out on the floor waiting to be installed so one has to be careful about walking around in the dark. Installing the dimmers however is going to require careful placement of the cords to pre-configured loaded power and proper lamps. Lamps I have to order as they are not stock. But I just happen to know someone that can get a good deal on them for me - ha. I’ll have to work on getting them cheaper than $17.75 each however. My Ushio rep is coming in next week to suck up, time for a bit of making her work for more of my attention. I’m now at $13.00 each for HPL lamps from them. If they want to lower that, who am I to argue. Now since the Lekos are coming out of the storage, it’s time to find a 6" Fresnel lamp in the 250w range. Too bad there is not any more. Wait a moment, Wiko and Ushio still make the CVX/CVS at 200w that has the same LCL as a BTN lamp. Something else to get custom pricing about. Now that could be cool! The NSI light board has 16 scenes worth of preset. Granted I’m going to have to install a fan on the tech equipment rack, and I’ll have to do some fusing down to ensure I’m not by accident drawing a full 35 amps with lights alone on the Lekos and Fresnels, it could work. Too bad the Lekos can’t have smaller lamps yet. Pole and drape, fixtures on dimmer, now I need some talent on stage and I will have a real home theater. I even have a concept of boarders I’m working on.

    So when it’s done, I’ll have the cable box feeding VCR #1. From there it branches off with RCA to the tuner and kitchen viedo. It also branches off to VCR #2 which feeds a splitter going to the two TVs and eventually TV monitor #4 - gotta have one in the washroom. Until than, there was one major improvement. I found some of my various cord mounted quad receptacles with switches on them from olden days. Gives me a good feeling that I can now just switch off my George Foreman grill rather than hot patching it each time. You know, you would think such an appliance would come with a switch.

    I think I’ll rack mount all the video equipment and install it with my dimmers in one panel. Gonna do it, and one advantage NSI boards have over other control boards, is that the control board does not require anything more than a XLR cord to power it up as a remote. Hate moving, but once I’m there, given some time, moving in is kind of fun.

    TTFN.
     
  11. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Finally an update on my new home and all it’s stage like projects. So much done, so much more to do. Little steps...

    In the back of a drawer, under a stack of papers, I found the missing transformer for the kitchen TV!!! Thought I packed it special to find again given it’s importance, but it’s location has eluded me for weeks. I was about ready to install the 15v light board transformer that’s unnecessary on the TV since all other 12v transformers would not get the TV to run with enough power. And Radio Shack was absolutely useless in such a voltage. TV says, it needs 12 to 15VDC, but a normal 12v transformer jsut makes a almost picture and does not function properly. This is a cool TV, it has Monitor Mode, very useful to jut leave on and control it’s going on and off with remote off the second VCR. I have that required TV in the kitchen that’s on the same channel as the main living room TV. Cooking dinner is so much easier.

    Ever see those cable company commercials about you needing more than one tuner box for sattalight if you want more than one channel on at a time? Nothing will piss me off faster than when they post their own false advertising. Here I was happy at my parent’s house while home from college about 10 years ago, and all I had to do was fish a cable box type cable down the heater vent and tap off the inlet for cable and I was able to get my own channels of cable different from “Murder She Wrote” the parents watched. X-Files all the way. Anyway, modern TV’s are sufficiently programmed for accepting a direct cable signal, it’s only the cable company that’s making it difficult in their monopolies for service when they don’t lest a TV take it’s own signal without a converter box. Na, you don’t need one converter box per TV as they advertise about sattalight TV, “It’s like a sports bar, Sports in every room of the house.” About once a year, I get a consumer watch group letter asking for support against the phone, gas and electric company. I always reply that I will be more than happy to support them once they take on the local cable company in that fighting of un-fair monopoly need for a watch group getting things straightened out and reasonable in price and service. I now on digital cable have about the same amount of channels as I had on normal cable in Chicago, and it was not even the most offered, yet we all pay the same fees.

    Sattalight boxes frequently offer dual control from my understanding of it, cable boxes don’t, much less you can’t program them to change the channel or even use VCR+ that I paid extra for, when you are out. They probably could be programmed, but the cable companies don’t let you use the full capabilities of the boxes. If only I were a lawyer, false advertisement on cable commercials would be easy. So anyway, I got tired of renting two cable boxes to control my system to it’s fullest extent and now run it off one box. Bedroom TV must be tuned into the proper channel in the living room as an extra step when I go to bed - no late night movies to fall asleep with. Hate cable - even supposedly digital cable! Back to home improvements, now I only need to create a road box/rack mount system for all the components of the sterieo/TV/Dimmer pack that are tapped off that one cable box. Acquired a few electronics equipment fans over the years to cool it all, such a case should be an interesting rack of sterieo/TV/Dimmers.

    On the finally finding the proper TV transformer, you would think that someone asking for a transformer for 15v DC TV did not need to know the amperage, It’s 15VDC, the heck about amperage, do you have one in that voltage? Since it was an easy no, once the counter person walked out to the aisle, why did you ask the amperage? Trust you to special order one for me? Ha. I stopped by to Radio Shack on Friday night for kicks and grins since I fully did not expect them to have what I was looking for. No other place will piss me off sooner.

    I can deal with Menards sales associates, or what ever they call them, saying “did you find everything you need” or “can I help you” mechanically and hoping that you don’t need help, or what ever the current mandatary quote as if store policy once they make eye contact with you that they have to ask, but Radio Shack gueeks piss me off with their level of incompetence even more than any home center or place.
    That’s with the exception of Home Depot or any home center - especially those helpful folkes at ACE on wiring. (Ever mention that I was turned down for a job at my local Ace Hardware? Even than when I was just learning but knew my basic carpentry, I knew more about stuff than most sales reps, than much less now that, as if I would not lower myself. Don’t trust your local hardware store people for finding more than hopefully a second box of stuff they were too lazy to stock. They have no idea of what they are doing or talking about. I once worked at both a lumber store proper and Builders Square - long before they went K-Mart in what they stocked and subsequently went out of business. The info about much of what I said while good intentioned, frequently today would have been crap and is the same level of advice offered today. Yet still, I couldn’t get a job at Ace Hardware. Guess as some young person, I just could not be expected to know what the heck I was doing. I have to bite my tongue every time I’m in a home center and hear a sales person giving their very hack advice or trying to sound like they know what they advise.) By the way, for those of you in college for tech, it’s a really good idea to work at least one summer at such a company as a home center/lumber company, if for nothing else than to learn when they tell you crap or to see how it all works from such a supplier. That way you can tell the BS from the I’m worked too hard lines. Very useful when you find yourself shopping there later - and you frequently will. Consider spending one of your 4 to 7 years in college as part of your apprentiship, in looking forward to getting back to boring lectures and loosing the time clock, corporate BS, and idiots that think they are helping people. Defiantly will focus you on staying awake in class - that real world college drop out, know it all hack experience. It will also help you later in life when shopping in places like that and needing to get stuff. “Need help?” can defiantly be a “no!” answer.

    Reason this argument comes up is that I caught a few moments of some newly wed’s show on MTV today. They stopped at Home Depot on the episode today. It caught my interest. What a spoiled bitch of a newly wed wife! In her little dancing/club dress that was much too sexy to belong doing home repairs, much less shopping at a home center, this guy won’t stay with her long unless he keeps her in a club with similar people of a real life personality. Hmm, shopping for carpet cleaner, she had no idea, and was as if a child. On the show I watched, there was the Home Depot sales person saying to the newly wed and well intentioned college grad but new non-tech home owner person with no real training in electrics that with advice from a sales person said, “No, you don’t need an electrician” you can do this yourself, as he handed some home owner grade white receptacles to the customer and said that you could just tap off the set of six wires in the pull box already, to get power for your new receptacle. Wonder what liability Home Depot covers on bad advice for non-skilled customers following it from home improvement experts?


    (Back at Radio Shack,) Gimmie a two amp one already, do you have one of any amperage that will do 15VDC??? That and why does nobody produce a cell phone to normal telephone jack adaptor? Would be really nice to power up the internet by my cell phone that the company pays for in the first 600 hrs per month, than I would not need a phone number at home that I’m yet to know. Granted, now that I’m leashed to the Nextel I am also given churps at all hours of the day and night with wiring questions and problems from all over the country. I’m about one of the few people that does not like the nation wide chirpie phone service. If it were not for the internet, since my crap cable company monopoly has not done high-speed internet yet, the horror of it, I cannot see any reason to pay the phone company any more once I go internet. Sure, that cable company turns off their service just about every morning at 7:45 while I am waking up and getting ready for work, for that promised upgrade, now when is the internet, much less channels I had in Chicago going to get here since I’m paying the same price for them no matter how few channels I actually have. As an electrician, I’m trained to be able to shut off power to the people effected in a manor as timely as possible. In other words, I don’t shut down power to them unless absolutely necessary, for any more time than absolutely needed. What’s with the cable company in m area that they have to shut down the system in doing an upgrade for hours on end when afterwards, nothing has been changed other than I’m paying for a blank cable screen when I want the weather for the day? Need my Cartoon Network, World History Channel and Animal Planet. Not to mention they have decided that on the Silver package I pay for, that it only includes one brand of premium channel, and only East Coast at that, not even West Coast. Pay the same amount, yet get half the service. I miss Animal Cops and other shows.

    Hate moving besides just for cable, 10 weeks later and I’m still looking for things and have stacks of stuff that I’m yet to put away much less rig up. Than of course, if I put away the gear after my last show I provided gear for, “The Bowling Show” - two years ago, I would also be able to find stuff such as 3/8" unistrut nuts I now need and have to sort thru misc. parts buckets for. Kitty litter buckets, have cat, use buckets for spare parts, good deal. They are rectangular or square, much more useful than a round joint compound bucket.

    However, in other long winded words, success on the original data cable questions.
    I can state for sure that even crappy XLR cable with RCA jacks on it for video and sound off a VCR hi-fi will work. That in addition to the BNC jacked cable that “I acquired” with adaptors to normal cable type F plugs on it is also working well. Just need little mirrors like at the last place I lived so I can change the channel on the cable box. What’s the max range of a TV controller anyway? Both TV signal questionable types of cable in 50 to 100' runs work, so it can be assumed that it’s usable elsewhere - even on stage without a problem. Excellent - there must be TV in the kitchen and bedroom, considering I’m now on the very fringe of antenna range to the city, had any of my TV’s had them. Need video in a pinch, grab some data cable. I might even hook up some adaptors for RCA such as I made up this week for 1/4" phone jack to XLR adaptors for use on a G-100 fogger remote. Never know when such things will be necessary. What do you think of running both video and sound RCA jacks off a 5-pin DMX cable? I think it should work given this household experiment, granted I probably don’t want to connect the shield. Should it work, it could be a one or two cable universe given you don’t have hoist sensor cable, dual channel clear com or ETC link cable around. That and the 4-pin scroller cable in both versions. Than there is the 7-pin XLR cable, what’s up with that? Hope I never have to repair it.

    Did I mention a certain amount of frustration between the two types of 6-pin XLR cable types? Just had the Simon and Garfunkle tour going out with hoist sensor cable, and they ruined my little quiet world for me because they needed more cable to make it work. Seems that the Clear Com 6-pin Switchcraft standard cable I made and specifically marked as such could not work with a Switchcraft standard Hoist system - missing a conductor. So they went with ETC link 6-pin cable also, in using the Neutrik standard plugs that are very different in pin orientation and it would not work. The good tech people on the show loomed it into their truss looms anyway. Somehow, I just don’t feel sorry for them having to un-loom than re-loom the cable bundles because they learned and important lesson. So I spent a late night last week converting 6-pin Neutric stadard ETC link cable to Motion Labs Sensor cable using it’s Switchraft standard. Luckily, and by chance there was a mistake in shipping and I had a dozen spare Switchcraft standard 6-pin plugs in stock for two weeks ago weekend fix me up, or the show would have been soldering and looming it’s cable on site. As it was, there was another lost weekend that I could have spent un-packing.

    Next up, the washroom. Adapting other black data or high end data cable is much better when working at minimum budget, than using that 100' of orange normal cable jack wiring I acquired but would much rather not be using. I’ll save it for temporary wiring for a TV on the porch for next summer while watching the Cubs kick the sox rear.. There will be no perminatly installed orange cords nor zip cord in my home, other than in my wall of shame.

    Nothing like a free weekend when I don’t have to spend it doing stuff for work I can’t do during the week. Now if only I could get myself to deal with the stacks and stacks of documents and papers that I want to save for now but don’t have space for. Must be something like three stacks at 30" I have to file, log into the computer or get rid of. Somehow that rule of if you have not used it in the last year, you don’t need it never took hold with me.

    Hung a 10' x 24' flame proofed duvetyne drape that I garbage picked (it was an odd size but looks new to the point it might have had only one use.) It’s on 30' of 1.1/2" RMT and black Sch.40 pipe, cheseborougs, Rota Locks and Kee Klamp fittings I acquired over the years in booms that now surround two of my walls including the picture window. The other walls will house lithographs. All left over from my theater days. You can imagine how much hell it was to move me. Nothing like stage drapes for controlling sound and drafts. Too bad it’s not velour, but that stuff sold like hot cakes when the theater closed down. Would have been just the right height after some idiot cut down the 24' lengths of it that I owned at one point, but it’s gone now and would be long past it’s flame proofing. What kind of idiot would hack apart 24' velour blacks than staple it to a 9'-6" ceiling is a question I still ask. Still pissed about it.

    The pipe is also to hold lights. In the living room, it’s all 1.1/2" pipe for lighting instruments TBA for install. Still have not bought the lesser wattage lamps nor brought home my dimmer pack and light board. But there is going to be something really cool once I program some pre-set scenes into the light board, especially since that NSI board only needs it’s data cable to feed it with power. A floating light board from living room to dining room/office. Get home and just hit pre-set #2. At the moment, only the antique lights are up - those that won’t be used for light. The only light in the living room at the moment is a ghost light proper that came from the theater. The antique lights and my pinspot lamp bar that’s over the front door but is not circuited. Gonna be cool to have shafts of light on the entrance. Add to that 7 of each, 6" Fresnels, and 3.5Q5 Lekos, once I have the proper lamps for them and a 20' diagonal pipe running across the center of the room. Need one more swivel cheseborough for this, but I’m sure I know where I can trade a non-swivel for a swivel without spending any money. Than a 20' pipe. (Each time I use one of the properly spelled terms such as cheseborough here, I’m adding it to spell check, so it’s a good thing.) Those lights plus some 10" scoops for general work day type vacuuming lighting now that I have a drape across all the natural lighting and have not installed the pulleys to lift the drape yet will be needed on say cue 8.

    Once I finish the main living areas, I’ll get to the bedroom. For the moment, it has parts, but not much assembled other than self supporting linen shelving in the huge closet for most of the clothes. Last apartment did not have any closets, so I had to be invent, especially since there was not room for much less I did not have any bedroom furniture other than a bed that I did not hack together. My parents even thru out an antique desk that had been passed down thru the generations while I was in college. One of these days, I need real furniture - especially a sofa. L-Stiff legged cabinets don’t do much for my Art Nouveau tastes. I especially like the lighting fixtures, but at least it’s easy enough given lighting grids to install stage lights. Funny, the 1880's apartment had higher ceilings than the 1970's apartment. Now I have to loose at least a few inches if not a foot or more off all stuff I have no matter how hack.

    In the dining room/office - the room I for the most part live in, it’s all Unistrut grid above the floor to ceiling and cantilever book shelves. Yes you can support from above a ½" plywood 3'x4.5' and full book shelve by two 1.1/2" 16ga box steel bars off another book shelf. Really cool to have over the drafting table for them pulp fiction novels. Not pretty, wish I took the time to sand, router and stain all around, but some of them have been with me since college and are still waiting, they un-finished and stacking have their own style. But I have black paint that eventually I’ll get to applying it to the steel or strut. Some day at least. This room is earthquake proof! All the free standing book shelves are well supported. For the moment, I am using 1 of 4 dimmer channels in the kitchen for two inkies that light my art table/desk. The rest of the lighting for the drafting table/computer desk are still packed. I only found two inkies so far and that’s it for a lot of Unistrut grid. Still have a bunch of low voltage lighting I bought or got as free samples and halogen PAR 38 cans to install for the drafting table and other lighting. I know where they are, they are just buried into the back of a closet.

    One thing I did find and install besides the second inkie, and is glowing at the Osram vendor rep info I was mailed and need to install in my notes is a 18" blacklight fixture. On a whim I installed it between the steel struts on my dual monitor swivel crane assembly. Yea people sell swivel arms for a single monitor, I have a 52" counter-balanced construction crane based swivel arm assembly for two monitors plus the computer tower unit that is counterbalanced 14" off center by two lead 5# dive weights, two 27# steel stage weights and 14 steel plates that measure 1/4"x4"x12". Took my time and effort on this one thing about the home so that it’s all off the drawing table and I can watch the lazy suasion.based TV below the screens while I write. On the black light, final improvement to the boom arm, it’s very cool looking to see that business card and data, especially the yellow in the HSR and HSD cut sheet glow with the light. I have a black light lit desktop. Now all I need is a blacklight readable mouse and keyborad.

    Anyway, that’s the status. I have a stack of lamp notes to update, not to mention more vendor links to add to the website, but at least the apartment is getting somewhere. As with work, wonder what the next day will lead me into doing? Hope it’s the bedroom, but I never know or plan.

    So after much wordage, the above cables I asked about work well. Really cool! Gotta see my place to understand how hack unistrut can actually work in an apartment I guess. But would you expect any less from me?
     
  12. cruiser

    cruiser Active Member

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    Just on the note of transformers haha...

    I got an A&H 48 Channel desk, during a show it blew the transformer just out of general wear and tear and we took the transformer out which was 18v's and whent to the shop that all the electrical stuff comes from here and put it on the desk and said I want one of these... and the kid behind the counter goes "whats is it?" i was like why are you workin here if you dont even know what an 18v transformer is!

    Anyway, they didnt have 18v ones so I got a 16v one for the rest of the show, cuz the 18v wouldnt be in for like another 2weeks or something.

    6weeks later, the 16v is still in there.... and the desk is kicking along fine.. cept when you put some real strong signals through it, doesnt handle it too well and all the leds go off haha... cuz it has individual channel leds aswell you think the desk has gone off again, but it comes back!
    i might change it back to the 18v one now.... its around here somewhere, the desk is goin off for a tour soon anyway better get it done so their tech dont have a heart attack during the show ahhahaha
     
  13. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    Definitely a MUST do... you are underpowering your board and that will cause more wear and tear on your board much more quickly than an 18v input would....
     
  14. cruiser

    cruiser Active Member

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    The head electrical dude at work (head of electrical engineering at pioneer australia) said the desk should be fine on a 16v. But it should be changed back to an 18v when we get a chance.
    The desk has nearly reached the end of its life... its been toured all its life and has a hell of alot of damage, id replace the fader caps but a&h want 5.90 for each one hahaha so i thought not!
     
  15. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I don't know what effects a smaller voltage transformer will have on a light board. It is as if running at 203v for that 19v transformer in feeding the board with power instead of 19v from the 240v service.
    Functions, but as observed, it does not have full abilities as would be expected just as my little 15v TV would start but not function properly on 12v from 120v. What the lesser voltage is doing to the electronics of his light board is out of my understanding however so I would not confirm nor agree with the statement that it's going to suffer a melt down. The light board might have a design voltage rating in it allowing such low voltages to let it operate, probably not that low, but who knows. Works for now, there isn't any major heating in it as I would expect the primary problem, done is good for now.

    Speaking of transformers, I have most of my low voltage lighting up now. Of detail I had forgotten about was the rated wattage of the transformer in addition to it's voltage. Lots of 12v transformers hanging around my place from old walkmans and stuff, but it turns out I only had 3 of them rated with enough wattage to run the 20 to 50w lights. Used a 17 watt transformer for a 20w lamp - on a dimmer, I have one actual Juno Light 50w transformer from the sample kit I got most of my lights from, and I have another sample ballast to another low voltage light system that's rated for 100w. Was powering up a single 20w lamp, much more useful the way I'm doing it. After that, guess I have to go shopping. Too bad because I like the price of free toys, even if I do only have one of each style of fixture.

    Next, I'm thinking about doing the stretched wire rope trick with low voltage lighting in the bedroom. I love the effect and style of it even if it is more of a sold out Ikea type thing everybody has. Say three chains of them in a 16x16' room. Could be interesting. I'm thinking black oxide, 1/16" 1x19 GAC wire rope. I know a IPS, or 1x7 stranding would be better, perhaps even a bronze wire rope would carry the currnet better. Kind of a trade off I guess, because I like the look of black wire rope.

    So much for the 3w/6v lamps idea. Probably too much resistance in the wire rope and it's coating to push that voltage into the line without using say a 7.5v transformer. Perhaps I'll go with a bunch of #882 or #882X lamps at 4.5 to 4.48 watts each and 12.8v, on a 13v transformer if there is such a thing. Should work.

    Too bad the smallest MR type lamp available is 7.5w/12v and probably discontinued. Next smallest is 10w each at 12v. That would become too large of a transformer and too much light being given off, because I'm looking to have about 50w per chain.

    Other projects, amongst other crap left over from my theater days and stage lights TBA, I have about 50' of the best quality of solid core red rope light available. I'm thinking that I will attach it below and behind the drape for kind of a mop board red glow from below the blacks, with perhaps some of it reflecting up above to the top of the drape for some color to the room. Perhaps with the red lowers, I'll do something like a Indigo or Congo Blue wash on the ceiling.

    Speaking of colors, I really have to color correct the 150w Inkies and MR-8 to MR-16 track lights I installed today. Much too amber at 20%. Now that I have more lights up, I'll probably be wise to install some 35w lamps in the inkies also.


    Ah' home lighting design fun. Any of you doing similar things??? It is your lair after all, should say something about you. Or do you leave your work at work/school?
     
  16. cruiser

    cruiser Active Member

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    do birdies (par 16's) around the edge of your lounge room count?

    haha

    what do you do now your not in lighting?
     
  17. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    "what do you do now your not in lighting?"

    This is probably one of the most confusing statements that I have ever heard.

    IT's a design thing. If your birdies fulfill some knid of design statement if not at least being there for their coolness, than it counts as a statement and other than stock room lighting. That tinkering with your spare time off work says that you are not challenged enough at work for your abilities in my opinion. Or that you are at total nerd like me.

    Your statement would more be accurate in asking what I do now that I'm not doing shows. Ah, how I love to decribe a real life day for the job I love. Thanks for the offer.

    Got in 15 minutes late, even though I'm only about 2 or 3 minutes away. I'm salery staff and for the most point, my own boss so I have some freedom unlike the rest of the working stiffs.

    Started by making three 5-Pin DMX terminators for a show. We were out of them. Only like something like a hundred of them that I made in the last 4 years, but we are out of them again, and the show would be leaving the same day.

    Worked on the 30amp three phase to six circuit 20 amp Edison and three circuit 15amp 208v Distribution Panel I was working on all day Friday. Acquired a rusted old panel that controlled a rolling drop, and my goal was to de-rust and convert it into something useful like a small and simple AC distro unit. Lots of time on the wire wheel removing paint and rust, than cutting holes for the 20amp breakers, plus developing guards for individual breakers on the 20amp tied ones that break far too easily. So it's finished now.

    Than I worked on some birdie lamp cap retaining clips. That clip on a PAR 20 that retains the position of the lamp cap and are missing on some of our fixtures. Took a while of bending and heating up the 1/16"x1/2" spring steel to the point that it would bend and fold properly, but out of like 16 attempts, once I grabbed a fixture, I got four to be the proper shape and size that would be a direct replacement for the missing ones. So much for the extra ones. Next time, I'll just buy the things given I can get them.

    Gave some good training and advise to my assistant that was working on data cable all day, than went to my desk and bought $1,500.00 worth of MSD 250/2 and AF-1000SO lamps, than a similar cost in 55gal of DF-50 fog fluid and tie line.

    Next, I did some 1/8" quick link/1/16" black oxide wire rope sundays for some drape samples a sales person needed to band together. While at it, I tried out my small crimp tool for 1/16" to 1/32" wire rope. Did not work as well as I would have thought, so I grabbed my normal crimp tool to finish the job. This was one of them days that I did not really want to start any real projects, just bide my time.

    So I spent some time on a extraction of the adjusting set screw on an old Kliegl C-Clamp for my own lighting equipment. Acquired this clamp with the broken set screw about 5 years ago, it would not extract plus I was a bit off center. Today, I got that set screw out. Might not have been the most judicious use of my time, but in getting that set screw out, it was a good learning experience since for the most part, what I do I have to teach myself in.

    Next, I wire wheeled the rust and cat pee off some stage type D-Ring and Keepers that amongst other things that I did throw out, was something worthwhile to keep. Cat decided to mark his territory in a bucket of stuff at one time and I just found it over the weekend. Cat pee is a very easy way to rust zinc plated steel. So I wire wheeled them back to factory condition and painted them. Good enough. Not a learning experience, but worth the effort. Mind you that I work as salary aka 24 hours a day when needed, for a company that I put in a lot of overtime at, and in fact spent an extra half hour at working on the next project. Plus lots of stuff I acquired over the years but have no use for, I get rid of by donating or tools that I own are used for work such as that wire wheel or the tap and die/extractor set. It's all a wash. Besides, I spend by far much more time working for the bosses on projects ranging from a wiring harness to an antique I.H tractor to retrofitting a toy train's gear to another type of it. I'm there because I am very useful, but it's all as I call it "flux time." I work on stuff as it takes my interest or is necessary and that's fine with them.

    Anyway, I signed out the serial numbers to 8 moving light lamps four MSD 250/2 and four MSR 575/2 going out on a show, It's an easy week, and pulled the rest of the supplies for it. Six DWE, 6 HPL 575w/C, 8 EYC, 6 FDN, and 4 CYX lamps if I remember right. I also pulled for it, one Little DMXter that I had to sign out and test if it was charged, one 100' tape measure, 100' of tie line, 10 roll of electrical tape, two each of black, grey, and white gaffers tape, 1 bag 100pd of 11" black 175# cable tie, and three of each color of spike tape. This was a convention so it did not have a lot of spares and gear. Oh' they also needed two sets of 3" repelling type pulleye, carabeener and 30" rig loop.

    Anyway, after all that, and more advice to tech people, and a phone call from somewhere on the road asking about a 1290 follow spot lamp that was not striking, I went to Ace Hardware to pick up some Naptha, wood glue, 1/16" drill bits and some push contact dimmer switches to replace the bad ones in one of the confrence rooms. While there I also priced out what transformers they had. 88w for about $30.00 and 122w or something like that for $50.00. Yuck.

    Got back to the shop, answered more questions on if we have gear like as opposed to data splitters, just data isolators,. or how to do stuff such as if the lens support on a ETC S-4 fixture would work in a Inkie to support it's rattling lens, and started constructing a work table extension shelf for my assistant's work table. It needed to be 12"x48" at 2.5/8" thick to bolt to the Unistrut frame. Good to be getting back to carpentry once in a while. Good cap off to an easy day also.

    In other words, while not the most difficult or keyed to task days for me, it most likely was typical in just doing what ever takes the interest or need at the time for me, and knocking stuff out that normal tech people that are show orientated do not have time for and are perhaps a little less able to, in getting stuff done. Anything from buying $3K worth of normal re-stock stuff, to carpentry, to metal part fabricating, to wiring a three phase distro panel, to soldering XLR, to advising on 2Kw Xenon follow spot lamps when they won't strike at an other than 45 degree angle to the floor. I also got two sets of fresh price quotes from suppliers on lamps that I need to update my computer with in the morning.

    Tomarrow, I'm so far going to be finishing up the stack or data cable that my assistant was working on today but not getting far in, and teaching her how to fix hoist cable. That's a week long project in itself. That and all the other misc. projects I will be working on.

    Love the randomness and flexibility of my job - especially when the work comes to see me rather than me to travel to it.
     
  18. cruiser

    cruiser Active Member

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    Very interesting, one sentence woulda been fine lol.... but still very interesting, sounds like some of the stuff I do when supervising a hire show. besides download stuff ont he work internet account haha....

    While we're pretty close to the subject of tapes, what exactly does a "gaffer" do on tv shows?
     
  19. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Location:
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    In continuing the line of thought of what you do at home that's creative and similar to what you do on stage, here is another project area:

    The red rope light under the duvetyne drape covering the walls in the living room is installed and on, needs the other set of it installed above the drape to balance it out. A project for another day along with the dimmer pack & stage lights. With the above rope light, my front picture window will have a red glow to it coming from both above and below, that should have it’s own interesting look. From the inside, it kind of gives a look as if on stage when the oleo or mid stage drape is not all the way down and light bleeds thru from the upstage. Kind of an interesting look to it. The pinspot lamp bar hanging above the front door is also just asking to be turned on - (needs circuiting and dimmers) with it’s intense narrow beams of light shining directly down upon those daring enough to enter. Hung, mounted and waiting. I once lit part of an audience with pinspots to great effect, this is all that remains of them after a slight mishap with 3/4s of them. But six pinspots on a 36" bar mounted directly above the front door, what an effective wall of light it will be.

    Today I finished sanding the shelving surrounding 1/2 of my bedroom. They are composed of scrap lumber and materials thus much plaster into holes and bad joints was required to be filled. Now that it's done, you can't really tell what was good and bad jointery. Much less tell that the shelves on the upper parts is composed of 1/2" foam core material. Strong but very light. Luckily the vacuum cleaner (a house warming present from the parents) has a hose nozzle that could be gaff taped to the random orbital sander. So these for the most part floor to ceiling shelves and cabinets are now a flat china read and waiting for the next coating of paint. Any ideas on color and texture that would be unique? Rag rolling, stippling etc? What colors should the cabinet be composed of given the clouds and starlight ceiling below??? As long as it’s not spattering, how would you top the red finish to such cabinets to work with the below?

    Here I have these 45"x10' uncovered soft flat frames just kind of hanging out in the hall way, what kind of place is this?

    So this weeks project, after the kitty Habitrail (it’s a cat adventure area in the works) of shelving and carpeted ramps in the bedroom is done, the next project is some overhead lighting and decoration. I’m making three 1x2 soft flat frames (the horror of it) in a 45"x10' size that I’m covering with some blue/gray/white cloud patterned fabric I found on a discount rack and looks as if painted. From the back, I’m going to pop holes in the fabric and hot glue into place the bulbs to some stretched Christmas light nets that were also on too huge a discount to pass up. The lamps will be run on a dimmer preset at a low setting so there should not be much problems with burn out or too much intensity. The lamps and seam will be masked by a navy blue scrim that will be sewn together and drape to the center and was also on the discount rack and will mask the bulbs.

    Since there is no overhead lighting in the bedroom, the frame will also provide support for some micro music stand like lights which will provide a day time wash over the cloud fabric, when the clear X-Mas bulbs are not on, and general illumination also on a dimmer with preset levels from behind the scrim.

    The entire operation will be hung from the bedroom ceiling and was a total cost of $40.00 in materials. It's a budget thing and very temporary for a few years.

    Just finished the soft flat frames. Aside from installing one end piece with it’s pre-assembled corner blocks onto the face side of the flat, and not buying enough lumber, they worked out well. I installed new corner blocks, than scraped off the old ones on the bad top rail. Because it’s 1x2, In addition to the corner blocks I used scrap lumber corners in the flat’s corners to reinforce the joints of each flat, than installed the corner block. Seems I was a few toggles short - like all the toggles but I did have a bunch of ½" box steel tubing left over from a past closet organizer that was almost the right length. Using the T-Square temporary bracket idea from the study into soft flats, I countersunk them into some scraps of lumber, than screwed and hot glued the 1x2 lumber to the steel to make their total distance longer and edge support them in a similar style to the movable ones. With corner blocks for keystones reinforcing the I-shaped toggles, thy became very strong and intriguing in design. Also to the disadvantage and advantage, I hot glued the entire frames using a minimum of screws all around as long as the corner blocks used were clamped into place. Hot glue I surmise is a fairly decent substitute in making a quick flat, especially if the glue used is the wood hot glue type. It was certainly hard enough to remove the corner blocks that were placed on the face of the flat. For a 1x2 soft flat with extra support for it’s corners, it would seem hot glue if you can work fast and clamp the blocks into place becomes a substitute without the necessity of even nailing or screwing the block to the frame. Luan plywood also cuts very well with a sharp matt knife. Given the 1x2 frame that’s the blocking I used. Once assembled and given I’m not shrinking the fabric to the frame that would warp it, the 1x2 frame when reinforced is very strong even with using the lesser corner block material.

    Very good option for such light duty work that only has to support some X-Mas lights and non-shrunk fabrtic.

    Anyway, in the morning, I’ll sand and install the fabric on the frames, than do the X-Mas lights. Thus what I’m doing this weekend instead of going to LDI as planned. Again, that’s what interesting effects I’m doing at my own house and projects I’m working on, what are you doing? Love the show "Trading Spaces" and "While You are Out" on TLC. Good inspiration and lots of ideas on just doing it. The frames will be installed into the ceiling by nightfall with any luck, I’ll be screwing thru the corner block non-frame area to install them, and given 3/16" corner blocks, that’s enough room to pass the wiring above the fabric for the lighting effect.

    Next project up is the collage that’s been building for a few years now... The wall of shame. I think I about have enough odd and old electrical things to make a 4x8 section of wall of just old wiring, zip cord that’s so old it cracks when bent, lamps with the filament warped so far it touches and bubbles thru the glass, lamps where it has a blow out so amazing only a photo could justify it amongst other things such as like 6 different sizes of stage pin plug and electrical things both old and or very charcoal in being scary. Can’t hang such a thing at work - clients might get the wrong idea so I’ll bring it home.
     
  20. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Location:
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    Hey Ship--totally unrelated but I got to thinking of the stuff we take home from work and do at home.. Well I had a friend take a MAC 500 home for the holidays one year and run it off the control pad and shine snow-flake gobo's out his window. His biggest chore was finding 208v power for it... His neighbor's called the cops cause they saw this HUGE bright light blazing thru his window... heh...public disturbance...


    wolf
     

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