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Author Topic: Portable Church equipment questions  (Read 312 times)

Fred Dorado

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Portable Church equipment questions
« on: February 26, 2019, 12:36:30 pm »

Now that I got the big stuff out of the way, I need to start looking at portable accessories.

Internet - What kind of access point for internet do you use? I am thinking it would be good to have a network for the sound board and computer with internet. Does anyone do that?


Priority is portability, sturdy and fast setup

I am open to using some of those mic/music stand combos if they work well


Mic Stands - probably need 5, at least 3 with booms. fold up, carry bag etc. I know I could buy guitar center ones, and that's ok, but want to make sure it's something sturdy

Music Stands - probably need 5-7. Are there any good portable ones or just stay with old Manhasset? We already have those, so would save some money. But bulky and hard to transport. I just looked up the Harmony, which might work, but pricey.



Power-
Main rack - rack mount power strip with protection, inputs on back and front and at least 15' cord
Other - 25-50' cables with room for multiple wall warts.

The room will be using has multiple circuits, but all different walls and all 15 amp plugs. We won't have major power needs. but multiple circuits is nice.

I would be opposed to have everything power go back to the rack, like some of the touring guys, but probably pricey and more than we need.


other things I need to think of?


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brian maddox

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Re: Portable Church equipment questions
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2019, 02:23:32 pm »

Now that I got the big stuff out of the way, I need to start looking at portable accessories.

Internet - What kind of access point for internet do you use? I am thinking it would be good to have a network for the sound board and computer with internet. Does anyone do that?


Priority is portability, sturdy and fast setup

I am open to using some of those mic/music stand combos if they work well


Mic Stands - probably need 5, at least 3 with booms. fold up, carry bag etc. I know I could buy guitar center ones, and that's ok, but want to make sure it's something sturdy

Music Stands - probably need 5-7. Are there any good portable ones or just stay with old Manhasset? We already have those, so would save some money. But bulky and hard to transport. I just looked up the Harmony, which might work, but pricey.



Power-
Main rack - rack mount power strip with protection, inputs on back and front and at least 15' cord
Other - 25-50' cables with room for multiple wall warts.

The room will be using has multiple circuits, but all different walls and all 15 amp plugs. We won't have major power needs. but multiple circuits is nice.

I would be opposed to have everything power go back to the rack, like some of the touring guys, but probably pricey and more than we need.


other things I need to think of?

My thoughts are generalized rather than the more specific question regarding what WAPs or stands or whatever.  I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts.

My primary advice would be to look for ways to reduce Every Last second of setup/teardown time as you can.  i cannot emphasize this enough.  Portable church can be grueling and every second you save means maybe one more week before that volunteer gets burned out, throws up their hands and quits.

So that in mind here's a couple thoughts.

1.  Loom EVERYTHING you can.  If there is a collection of wires that always goes from point A to point B, connect them together and CLEARLY label them so that someone who has never done it before can figure it out.

2.  If you can pre-connect something, do so.  You mention a rack or two.  If you can connect EVERYTHING that needs to be connected in that rack, including the cables that leave that rack and go elsewhere that's a win.  Then all the cable gets coiled up and rides inside the rack.  Label the side in the rack DO NOT REMOVE!!!! and then superglue it and cable tie it in and then you'll only have some helpful volunteer disconnect it ONCE every 6 months rather than every other week.

3.  If you've got abundant wall power, make a scheme for how this all plugs in and then make you cables the right length to fit that.  Even if they are orange home depot specials, cut them to length and LABEL them.  If the school will let you, label the outlets to match the cables to make it even more obvious what goes where.

4.  When you're packaging your stuff, think in terms of where it is going to GO versus what it does.  Sometimes it makes more sense to have a box/bag with the mic stand, music stand, and associated cabling for the guitar position in it rather than having all the stands in one bag and all the cables in one bag.  There's obviously a practical limit to this, but you get the idea.

5.  Wheels.  Think of how far you have to move things and try to come up with ways to move it so that nothing needs to be carried.  Creative stacking is you friend.

6.  Literally every SECOND you can save with streamlining things will pay off.  You have NO IDEA how long you're going to be doing this.  My current church's downtown campus operated as a portable campus for 21 YEARS.  For the last 12 years they have loaded in/out TWICE every Sunday.  They're finally getting a building this Summer. 

7.  As much as is possible, train your music team to setup and teardown as much as they reasonably can.  The church campus i just referenced kept from losing their minds by doing just that.  Their tech/audio guy literally never had to GO on stage as ALL of the stage setup was done by that week's music team.  Takes time to get there, but it's worth it.

8.  Idiot Proof EVERYTHING as much as you can.  There are going to be a LOT of different people helping out.  And they are likely going to be in a rush.  Keep it simple and try to make anything that needs to be connected/disconnected as robust as humanly possible.

Hope some of that is helpful and not redundant to things you've already addressed.  Good luck with the adventure.  :)
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brian maddox
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Fred Dorado

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Re: Portable Church equipment questions
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2019, 06:27:41 pm »

Thank you so much. I copied this and am printing it out to read over and over again. I have a few things I have been trying to do.

Nothing over 60lbs - though 1 rack probably will be - the hardest part for this is speakers/subs. I really want a small columns like the DB Technologies ES1203, not not sure output if we grow.

the 1 heavier rack will have wheels, but everything else I am trying to make light and able to be carried in a bag with handle

I am trying to buy cables to bundle like you suggest. Didn't think about leaving plugged in, but so much better.

I am a little worried about power. main rack will go right next to plug and won't draw much power, but then need to get power to mains and instruments.

Do I use a completely separate cable and connection or run everything back to the rack and have a fancy power distro

My thoughts are generalized rather than the more specific question regarding what WAPs or stands or whatever.  I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts.

My primary advice would be to look for ways to reduce Every Last second of setup/teardown time as you can.  i cannot emphasize this enough.  Portable church can be grueling and every second you save means maybe one more week before that volunteer gets burned out, throws up their hands and quits.

So that in mind here's a couple thoughts.

1.  Loom EVERYTHING you can.  If there is a collection of wires that always goes from point A to point B, connect them together and CLEARLY label them so that someone who has never done it before can figure it out.

2.  If you can pre-connect something, do so.  You mention a rack or two.  If you can connect EVERYTHING that needs to be connected in that rack, including the cables that leave that rack and go elsewhere that's a win.  Then all the cable gets coiled up and rides inside the rack.  Label the side in the rack DO NOT REMOVE!!!! and then superglue it and cable tie it in and then you'll only have some helpful volunteer disconnect it ONCE every 6 months rather than every other week.

3.  If you've got abundant wall power, make a scheme for how this all plugs in and then make you cables the right length to fit that.  Even if they are orange home depot specials, cut them to length and LABEL them.  If the school will let you, label the outlets to match the cables to make it even more obvious what goes where.

4.  When you're packaging your stuff, think in terms of where it is going to GO versus what it does.  Sometimes it makes more sense to have a box/bag with the mic stand, music stand, and associated cabling for the guitar position in it rather than having all the stands in one bag and all the cables in one bag.  There's obviously a practical limit to this, but you get the idea.

5.  Wheels.  Think of how far you have to move things and try to come up with ways to move it so that nothing needs to be carried.  Creative stacking is you friend.

6.  Literally every SECOND you can save with streamlining things will pay off.  You have NO IDEA how long you're going to be doing this.  My current church's downtown campus operated as a portable campus for 21 YEARS.  For the last 12 years they have loaded in/out TWICE every Sunday.  They're finally getting a building this Summer. 

7.  As much as is possible, train your music team to setup and teardown as much as they reasonably can.  The church campus i just referenced kept from losing their minds by doing just that.  Their tech/audio guy literally never had to GO on stage as ALL of the stage setup was done by that week's music team.  Takes time to get there, but it's worth it.

8.  Idiot Proof EVERYTHING as much as you can.  There are going to be a LOT of different people helping out.  And they are likely going to be in a rush.  Keep it simple and try to make anything that needs to be connected/disconnected as robust as humanly possible.

Hope some of that is helpful and not redundant to things you've already addressed.  Good luck with the adventure.  :)
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Rob Spence

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Re: Portable Church equipment questions
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 06:50:18 pm »

My opinion is to, in general, not connect the sound system to the internet. I would want to isolate the production network from any church user network. I sure donít want to take a chance on church members possibly interfering (unintentionally or maliciously) with the production.
WIFI is bad enough with all the congregation having phones and tablets. Perhaps a firewall router between the two networks so production gear can be updated? I load updates on my laptop, disconnect from the internet WiFi and connect to the production WiFi to do updates. Many devices want it on a usb stick anyway.

Anyway, be wary of the outside world doing harm to your production. There really are people out there wanting to muck things up.



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Fred Dorado

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Re: Portable Church equipment questions
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 07:29:30 pm »

I totally understand, but I think we may need two things.

Musicians to be able to use app for in ears.

Presentation computer for service in case need to download anything. We can do it before we go over, but what if we forgot something and were already setup.  We use Proclaim.

We would not make it public, just for a few in band and tech and presentation computer


My opinion is to, in general, not connect the sound system to the internet. I would want to isolate the production network from any church user network. I sure donít want to take a chance on church members possibly interfering (unintentionally or maliciously) with the production.
WIFI is bad enough with all the congregation having phones and tablets. Perhaps a firewall router between the two networks so production gear can be updated? I load updates on my laptop, disconnect from the internet WiFi and connect to the production WiFi to do updates. Many devices want it on a usb stick anyway.

Anyway, be wary of the outside world doing harm to your production. There really are people out there wanting to muck things up.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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brian maddox

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Re: Portable Church equipment questions
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 09:23:03 pm »

...
Nothing over 60lbs - though 1 rack probably will be - the hardest part for this is speakers/subs. I really want a small columns like the DB Technologies ES1203, not not sure output if we grow.

If you think that you will be doing Sundays in this room for a while, i'd plan on a PA as if it were full.  Which one to get is whole different complicated question.  :)

the 1 heavier rack will have wheels, but everything else I am trying to make light and able to be carried in a bag with handle

I'm not sure what the path into this room is like, but bigger better wheels are ALWAYS worth the money.  If you've got a flat path to load-in and you use good wheels, weight becomes much less of an issue than you might think.  Also, think of efficiency at every point in the process.  40 things that can all be hand carried is great, but that's 20 people trips minimum just to get the stuff in the room.  If i can package that into 8 things on wheels thats 12 less trips and my people can start setting up that much more quickly.

I am trying to buy cables to bundle like you suggest. Didn't think about leaving plugged in, but so much better.

Some of the exact lengths and types of these cables will depend on what your PA and setup ultimately looks like.  You might want to get a few setups under your belt before you get too customized with your cable looms.  But once it's nailed down, i'm a big fan of taking the time to make what you need.  So if you need an 11' edison and 3-13.5' DMX and a 20' Cat5e in a loom, build exactly that.  otherwise you end up with extra that has to go somewhere and be bundled and it won't lay right and and and...

I am a little worried about power. main rack will go right next to plug and won't draw much power, but then need to get power to mains and instruments.

Do I use a completely separate cable and connection or run everything back to the rack and have a fancy power distro

I wouldn't be too worried about having enough power.  The only things you're likely to have that will draw significant amounts are maybe lights and/or a video projector.  If i were doing this, i'd make a drawing of the room with all the outlets drawn on it and then put my gear into place on the drawing and figure out the best way to plug all that gear into the nearest outlets keeping in mind that i may need to spread the load out a little bit.  Then i'd figure out the lengths i needed for cables and make/buy what i need.

Oh, and all a "fancy distro" really is is a robust power strip.  There's no other magic going on in there.  Try to avoid cheap plastic power strips, especially if they have breakers built in, and use at least 14 gauge wire everywhere and you'll likely be fine. 

Lastly, if you print this out as well, at least put it on the back of the first post so you aren't wasting paper.  :)
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brian maddox
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'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

       ....for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup...'

Fred Dorado

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Re: Portable Church equipment questions
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2019, 12:21:47 am »

this was our Easter service. They setup before I got there, but from now on will will probably setup with drums right in center and bowl around that. Projector is built in.

Plug below screen is where I would place main rack and then connect everyone from there. Wireless mics in the rack. wired in ears etc. I single rack power supply with a 10-15ft cord would be more than enough

I see electric guitar with wire bundle of mic, headphone ext and line, same with keys. the rest are in ears and wireless mic or in ears and line for instrument.

The local large sound provider is going to help connect and label the rack and do some training on the new board.

Power is 2 outlets below the screen. 8 outlets to rear right of sound board and another 2 straight across where that trophy case is.

right now prepping for once a month service. Mostly just sound. If we go permanent we will have to up our game with drapes and not sure what else.

looking at the room we had 275 for Easter and I think we might be able to do 325-350, but not sure, would need to see it setup again.

for speakers I think the issue is not volume, but freq. I want to run everything through the house, so something that can handle low end without adding subs would be great.

I heard the Evolves in small room and liked, had decent low end. Seen reviews and watched videos on the DB ES1203 and think they would cover the room no problem, but not sure how they would handle bass guitar, drums keys.

For Easter we had a guest drummer with acoustic, but normally we run electric. We don't have a bass yet, but someone in the wings.

Our path to the room is easy, flat floor, hardest part is single doors that don't stay open, but it goes from parking lot with handicap ramps down a hallway to open room





If you think that you will be doing Sundays in this room for a while, i'd plan on a PA as if it were full.  Which one to get is whole different complicated question.  :)

I'm not sure what the path into this room is like, but bigger better wheels are ALWAYS worth the money.  If you've got a flat path to load-in and you use good wheels, weight becomes much less of an issue than you might think.  Also, think of efficiency at every point in the process.  40 things that can all be hand carried is great, but that's 20 people trips minimum just to get the stuff in the room.  If i can package that into 8 things on wheels thats 12 less trips and my people can start setting up that much more quickly.

Some of the exact lengths and types of these cables will depend on what your PA and setup ultimately looks like.  You might want to get a few setups under your belt before you get too customized with your cable looms.  But once it's nailed down, i'm a big fan of taking the time to make what you need.  So if you need an 11' edison and 3-13.5' DMX and a 20' Cat5e in a loom, build exactly that.  otherwise you end up with extra that has to go somewhere and be bundled and it won't lay right and and and...

I wouldn't be too worried about having enough power.  The only things you're likely to have that will draw significant amounts are maybe lights and/or a video projector.  If i were doing this, i'd make a drawing of the room with all the outlets drawn on it and then put my gear into place on the drawing and figure out the best way to plug all that gear into the nearest outlets keeping in mind that i may need to spread the load out a little bit.  Then i'd figure out the lengths i needed for cables and make/buy what i need.

Oh, and all a "fancy distro" really is is a robust power strip.  There's no other magic going on in there.  Try to avoid cheap plastic power strips, especially if they have breakers built in, and use at least 14 gauge wire everywhere and you'll likely be fine. 

Lastly, if you print this out as well, at least put it on the back of the first post so you aren't wasting paper.  :)
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