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a little late in on this conversation, but...
I made a video screen out of old canvas, painted white primer on it, and stretched it over 3/4" conduit. -$50 total.
Then I took 2" PVC and made a stand and frame to holdthe screen up with. - $46.00.
look on pastors face when he saw it - priceless.
About 10 years ago our children's Christmas program needed a followspot and stage lights. In my shed (thanks a previous homeowner) I found a 12" diameter pvc tube, and a 600W light bulb. After a trip to a surplus electronic store for a 110v fan, and a trip to a lighting supplier for a light socket I made a follow spot. (I don't necessarily recommend it, but it did sort of work.) I also welded a tripod frame for it to pan and fabricated a yoke for it to tilt. I then welded up an adjustable height tree for the stage lights (4 used par 56's I purchased from my work). We also made a dimmer board using four harware store variety rotary dimmers, each wired to its own outlet, all encased in a wood enclosure. For that year and several after we had a followspot and dimmable stage lights--we thought we were big time!
...but boy did we pay for it in time spent. We got a Whirlwind multin pin (168 pins I think-56 channels total between send and receive). Since we were putting this into an installed wall panel, we had to wire the receiving jack ourselves-soldered, not with inserts!
Then, six months later, we moved...
And did it all again. This time, I picked up a baby panavise (a great budget workstation for for serious soldering projects, with a 360 degree tilt/swivel vise head-highly recommended), and we also wired multiple mini snakes for feeding from the stage box (which also had to be wired), to the ensamble and the instrument sections without needing 20 extra mic cables. I was commonly known as "mister connect-it" for years after our move. I think we went through over 120 connectors, excluding the multipin, for everything-wall panels, snakes, and repairing mic and speaker cables.
Whew-cheap, but good.
Side note-we had a speaker cable fail once just before a wednesday night service-no solder, 10 minutes to service. So I stripped a little bit of extra wire, did a 540 degree wrap around using needle nose pliers, and pulled REALLY tight.
We forgot all about it until 3 years later-we checked all of the connections when we moved, and found one with no solder-just a relly tight crimp job! It worked for that long so well we just forgot about it!
Anyone in the states use a series of books called 'songs of fellowship' for the music? They come with the words for circa 1700 songs in .txt format on cd. A member wanted to use his office projector for the words, so instead of wasting the money on something like easy worship he opened the file in MS word, put it full screen, and used the projector zoom to remove the scrollbars. The really fun bit came when we realised after a few services that he didn't know how to use the CTRL+F function!
I'm sure that everybody is familiar with the following
Gaffa taping the mic to the stand when you realise that someone's gone and taken all the mic. clips.
Plastic boxes instead of roadcases for things like mic leads and power cables anyone?
2 core arctic mains cable obviously doubles as a highly effective speaker cable, don't you think?
Books under the projector to get the angle right...
My final, personal ultimate bodge up solution for those without enough money to buy the proper stuff...BEHRINGER. Enough said.
Does this count?
This is long, but I've been too busy to write this as we went...
For a lot of reasons, some bad, some good, some God, we did the entire install of the sound and video systems in our new Sanctuary ourselves.
32 chanel mixer, a 9 speaker RH cluster up front, two fills under the balc, 70v feeds to 7 other rooms/areas, a Yamaha DME32 processor, a big-ol-stack of Crown amps, 2 4000+lumen projectors throwing 42" from holes hidden in the balcony floor, a projector throwing backwards for the choir, 2 computers (one sound, one video), switchers, scalers, scan converters, EasyWorship, 3 powered floor monitors, 5 wireless mics, dozens of floor jacks for mic and aux to floor monitors, acoustic panels, preview monitors, booth monitor speakers, vid-rf converter feeding a TV in the cry room, Wireless hearing aids (not really needed that much though ), 2 automated systems with 4 chan auto mixers and feedback killers, and a PILE of Custom Designed, Custom Fab'ed Automation Control stuff . Also sustom software for uploading sermons to the web and projector remote control. We also got a panasonic 120gs video camera, a tripod with a bogen 501 head, a 3 light set, a lapel mic and a 2.4ghz wireless video feed. We have wiring for future additions of video stuff including feeds to overflow areas/other parts of the building, etc.
As near as I can tell, we would have paid about $200,000 for this if we had contracted it all out. Also, as near as I can tell, we only paid about $100,000.
"Here's the 'Does this count?' part. How do you define the "Y" in DIY.
- An accoustic engineer spec'ed the room, FOH Array, and acoustic panelswhile the architect was doing the drawings.
- Anthony Coppedge sold us a "remote consulting" package that gave us 80% of the video design.
- A TON of people here helped MASSIVELY with questions, etc.
- The Electrical contractor put one of his electricians and his data/phone guy at my disposal for a lot of hours to hook stuff up, pull wires, etc.
- The Electrical contractor (who was the main contractor for the construction... and a member) did all the purchasing and his purchasing guy is FREAKING AMAZING at getting discounts, etc not the least of which is that we got their discounted prices on the Miles and Miles and Miles of wire!
- A carpenter who worked for the Electrical built custom cabinets
- I was pretty much the lead on the whole AV part of the project, did all the rest of the designs, spec'd parts down to the last connector, drew it all up, spent hundreds of hours installing, tuning, etc.
- A good 20-30 members helped with non-technical stuff like pulling wire, gluing up acoustic panels, etc.
- One member, who is an electronics tech did about 90% of the connector termination working from schedules I wrote up.
- Another member who is also a highly experienced electronics tech built all the power control and automation equipment (the auto systems are a story in themselves)
- Other members including my son and computer pros set up the computers, wrote some of the automation software, etc.
Can I have a nervous breakdown now? Please?
Architect of Light and Shadow
Four years ago we got ambitious and decided to do an Easter Play. Having little to no budget, I modified our track lighting to use as stage lighting but we still needed a follow spot. I took a 1,000,000 candle power QBeam floodlight (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW) and duct taped a 2 foot length of 4 inch OD PVC pipe, painted black, to the front. It gave me about a 3 foot circle of BRIGHT light at 25 feet. We now have proper lighting and a cabaret follow spot but I kinda miss that QBeam follow.
I'm only 20 but I've seen quite a bit of what I like to call ghetto-rigging in my day. My favorite is the event that help with every year called 24GOD it happens in Campbellsville, KY and the reason it's so budget-challanged is because it's totally free to students. It will always be free for students but that makes the whole thing fun!
Anyway, my favorite is 'power box' seenhere. It's powered by a 220 plug that is back stage and run up the side of the sanctuary and then up to the balcony to power all the 120 plugs on the box.
The video is the best part. A 15" powerbook running GRID pro before it was even in alpha (it crashed like once a service and had to be relaunched and reloaded with video every time). Fed into one channel of (Im sure everyone's favorite) the videonics for the motion backgrounds. And some random dell laptop running MediaShout for words fed into another input and chroma keyed over the powerbook feed. Then there were 3 cameras fed into another videonics and into the first mixer carrying the graphics so they could be chroma-ed over the live video as well. The cameras went through the usual assortment of adapters and coax cable - the projector set right next to the video gear and had a long throw lens. The screen was borrowed from a bar as were the FOH speakers, they had a nasty habit of picking up ESPN radio during a response time.
The audio was interesting as well... two systems ran seperatly, the churches house system for vocals from a mixer in the balcony and a cluster in the ceiling. The instruments and media mixed on the floor with two ugly FOH speakers on risers on either side of the stage. The monitors were the best part. Two monitors at each spot (drums, vocals, keys, etc.) one carrying vocals the other instruments. Each chain of 5 monitor speakers was driven by 1 bridged amp! I didn't even notice until halfway through the event and I was so surprised that we didn't blow up we just kept going. Besides it's not like we had another amp just laying around.
and that's just one event!
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