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Work In Progress - Stuart and Simon's New Cart


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OK.... so Chinhda's new Medium cart  is deeply gorgeous, and really does redefine Cart Porn. I take my hat off to a cart building superstar......

In the meantime - Stuart and I have been discussing for ages, drawing plans, collecting parts, and finally Stuart started cutting metal about 8 weeks ago. He made a new base, designed from scratch, and we have grafted the minirack from our Zuca based cart onto the top of it as a temporary top half. Eventually, when I know what my next recorder and mixer will be - we will build a new top rack to take the new kit.

We now have this....

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This is the new base with the temporary top rack, in its upright mode for standy up mixing.

We thought a lot about how to move the trolley around - one of the things I hate is that many castor wheels (the 'small' wheels) pivot around a vertical pin. This means that dependant on whether you push or pull the trollay, the wheelbase gets shorter or longer. This can make the trolley upend if you are pushing from behind, the wheelbase is shortened, and you hit a bump. SO - we are trying out these funky wheels, they can be wheeled forward and back, and side to side.

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There is a 100AHr EasyLiFe (well, Stuart and I make them) battery in the base.

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There are various different modes for lifting the cart around....

2 person flat carrying mode

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2 person stair lifting mode

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One person wheelbarrow pushing mode

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For off road, we have balloon wheels, it takes about a minute to change all 4

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The working area has all the important bits, mixer, recorder, script, monitors, all close together

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No paprclips on the script holder, the horizontal clips at top of perspex and hinged, and magnetic!!

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Did I mention how you lift the top rack (which can be removed in seconds by pulling two locking pins out). No two person lift here folks - you just push a button......

 Ursta Otis Cart Vid.MOV

 

Stuart has built two bases. mine now has this temporary rack on it, and Stuart is constructing a fantastical top rack for Tim White, which will go on the second of the bases, and will have Tim's Cantar X3 on it.

 

What an absolutely brilliant week for cart porn ;-))

Sleep well amigos - happy trolley/cart dreams.......

Simon B

19inch rack 4U.JPG

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This is one of the wildest looking carts I have ever seen! Love the video "just push the button" and it's fully adjustable. As much as I admire this cart, I have to say that for me, having an adjustable working height on my cart is not something I EVER thought about or ever thought I would want or need. I have always been content to find the perfect chair and organize and design everything around that ideal sitting position. The other thing about this cart is it seems to be more of a support system that is highly tailored for the use of very specific equipment. A simple example would be the appearance that the MIX-12 mixing panel is mounted directly to the sliders (I could be wrong on this) when typically this would be a shelf or surface on sliders to which one could attach ANY mixing panel (that fits).

The small wheels, OMG, never even knew of this sort of wheel that can roll in all directions without itself pivoting as do normal casters --- this is wild!

Edited by Jeff Wexler
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The up and down idea originally came more from the concept of reducing the height, and centre of gravity, for moves and transportation. When we found a mechanism that allowed us to design this way, we realised that we had the facility to keep going up, and to make a cart that could work for a standing or sitting mixer. It is incredible how much more stable the whole cart feels when wheeling around with the top rack in its down position. This is obviously a C of G thing but it should be a lesson for us all.

The mini rack at the top, and the Mix 12 is definitely a temporary situation. Clearly the Mix 12 is bigger than the shelf available to put it on. In fact, it is shoe horned in my millimetres, so much so that as you slide it back in, the rear part has to ride up on some sliders to fit into the space available. It is secure, and no space has been wasted, but it is a temporary top rack until I have decided what is to be my next combo of mixer and recorder. The 4U rack at the bottom is also temporary and may well get replaced when we do the new top rack.

I need to do some tidying up this week, cables etc... and some power distro, in order top make the top look much neater.

Tim White's top rack will look spectacular, and is on the way now. Should be ready in a month or so. I sure he will be posting here soon.

Another advantage so far is that my whole rig is so, so, much lighter than the previous cart.

Jeff, I knew you would like those wheels!!

Enjoy......

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Hi Jeff, Simon's cart certainly looks a little wilder than my version will as he has re-used his existing top section which is narrower than the standard 19" and has made his current kit fit in - rather well. I have always liked the French way of working at a higher cart either standing or using a high directors chair as I do with my lightweight set-up which is a Cantar in a bag on a folding Rastorder. When I became used to this height, it was strange returning to my main cart which was a low, flight case based cart with a standard low folding chair. The problem with a high cart is its instability due to the high c of g when moving it - especially across rough ground. With lighter gear and the Cantar X3 about to become the heart of my system, with a panel rather than a Sonosax ST, I had the opportunity for my new cart to be both my lightweight cart and my main cart. When I first spoke to Stuart about designs, I mentioned that I would like it to have an up and down mechanism to give me a low stowed position and a high work position and I suggested that this could be operated by a rack and pinion with a starting handle on the back. Stuart being Stuart came up with a much more elegant solution using the electric lift mechanism. This was a rather inspired in that it was a structural unit in itself with a 60cm lift and would run from the LiFePo battery that we use. So the adjustable working height is a happy bonus that evolved in the design process. 

My cart will be made for my gear - not any gear - as universality will increase size and weight. But as my top unit will be 19" rack based there will be scope for changes as kit evolves and I have have a couple of 1U slots that will not be used initially but will take some wide tuning range Lectro Venues when they be available. This project has been ticking away in the background for 2 years now and is the first time I have had something like this built for me. I have always done the engineering myself which can lead to a never finished situation (is a cart ever finished?) but this process has been very different in that Stuart is not only a brilliant mechanical and electronic engineer, he is an former boom op and sound mixer who understands every functional request that Simon and I make. I will post some pics when I have a 'finished' cart sometime next month. 

Tim

blackpdf.CAD.jpg

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Absolutely brilliant, the height adjustment alone is a total winner for me. It does indeed very usefully change the center of gravity, very useful for transportation in to buildings etc., and has the huge benefit of being able to consider a smaller vehicle which in itself has many advantages. Plus I'd love to be able to choose sitting down or standing. Revolutionary......

Having now seen this, it's a must have!

As long as it's not too heavy?

 

Edited by pindrop
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I am totally fascinated by these wheels! I'm also very surprised that this is the first I'm hearing of them. For the next few days the things I am going to be thinking about are: working height for sound cart (center of gravity and ergonomics) and, WHEELS!

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Will you have fabric covers made for this cart?  I feel like the gear and cabling is a little more exposed than I'd be comfortable with working outdoors, or on a stage set with a lot of dirt and dust blowing around etc.  Also, will you have a way to protect it if it has to travel on a camera truck or such like (not in your your own vehicle)?  With those fancy wheels it looks like a NASA Rover!  I was cheering during the "up-down" video!

philp

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Pindrop: "as long as it is not too heavy" I reckon my build of the new cart is the lightest 'main' sound cart I have ever seen. The whole structure is built from the Bosch Rexroth system and many of the joints and fittings are designed and custom manufactured by Stuart to make the lightest and most rigid structure that you can imagine. Add to that a 100ah battery that is LiFePo rather than lead gel, the drawers and sliding shelves all aluminium and the fact that the equipment itself is now a lot lighter and you have a really light and compact sound cart with I think, no compromises. But I would say that…..

Tim
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Hi Philip, I think I am heading towards a BBQ cover or similar for overnight. I am thinking about the 'working in a dusty place scenario. I think I have to get sorted with my regular top pod when that becomes a reality and see where we get to.

 

Tim has worked out that his pod shuld fit in a Peli, that the lifting arm comes off and can go in a gun Peli, and that the base, with wheels off (takes moments) can fit in another Peli.....

Jeff - do we get to go into the Hall of carts fame?

Kindest,

 

sb

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I probably ought to check with Stuart, but when we started down the uppy downy route, it was intended to be done with the actuator
 from a hospital bed, as in the motor/mechanism that operates the top third of the mattress, to make it tilt up or down. It is basically a long pipe, with a worm gear inside it driven by a motor at one end, and a slit along one of the long sides where a small metal lug pokes out. As the motor turns the worm gear thingy, the lug moves up or down the pipe. It is probably the most expensive single component of the cart, but is also the 'spine' onto which everything else hangs.

Here is a photo that pretty much shows the mechanism....

front_with_column.thumb.jpg.97fa22812eed

Enjoy, Simon B

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This is brilliant! I have just recently thought about building a cart for a standing position, too, and immediately thought about a two-position cart. So thrilled to see this come to live just now. If you ever think about selling this commercially, let me know, please!

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"Two Position Cart" --- as I said before, never even thought of this, not even at the level of a concept. Most probably because I found it too daunting, mechanically, to accomplish this. I will add that for me, since I am content to use my "One Position Cart", I don't think I need this. In all fairness to the Chinhda cart that inspired this thread, the Chinhda Medium Cart is also a Two Position Cart though this is accomplished solely by physically repositioning the upper box to a higher position for standing operation.

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"Two Position Cart" --- as I said before, never even thought of this....

...... and until recently neither would we expect to see the line producer standing behind a high desk. Standing / high position is good! 

Tim

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Will you have fabric covers made for this cart?  I feel like the gear and cabling is a little more exposed than I'd be comfortable with working outdoors, or on a stage set with a lot of dirt and dust blowing around etc.  Also, will you have a way to protect it if it has to travel on a camera truck or such like (not in your your own vehicle)?  With those fancy wheels it looks like a NASA Rover!  I was cheering during the "up-down" video!

philp

Once this cart is up and running, I will look at covers. I have some light waterproof material that will make a light rain / dust cover and roll up really small and as with my version of the cart the recorder and mixer are just above the battery when stowed, I will be using this whenever we wheel the cart from one stage to another. One of the drawbacks of the flight case based cart that I wanted to get away from was that with everything enclosed, there were a lot of jumper cables from the audio devices to sockets on the flight cases, all of which added a lot of weight. Just the cables that I removed from that system (many were left installed with the panel sockets) weighted 7kg. The Sonosax ST was another 9kg, there was a big PSU and AA charging, all of which I have shed saving (as it sounds more impressive in old money) 40lb. The idea is that this working cart can go almost anywhere and everything else can go on the follow cart or stay in the sound van. Once I have an accessory bracket engineered for the front of the Cantar X3 and I have the six pack and accessories mounted, I will visit KT Systems who are local to me with both cart and recorder and we can put our minds to really well engineered bags and covers. As Simon mentioned, we have had an eye on Peli case sizes when building these carts so that for shipping, the with all the gear installed (and with foam spacers inserted), the top section should drop into a peli possibly onto a mounting bracket with the same two pins that secure the top section on the lift mechanism. Likewise the other two sections can be boxed up in Peli cases. As for travelling the sound gear on the camera truck........ why would you?

Tim

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How do those crazy front wheels sound when they roll? Are they loud? The concept seems good however I have my reservations about them. My experience has been that too many parts leads to a higher chance of failure. Also, what if one of those pieces becomes uneven/scraped/damaged, then will the entire wheel vibrate now that it isn't quite "round" anymore? Again, interesting idea just curious how practical they are on all types of surfaces (blacktop, wood, concrete, gravel, dirt, etc.)

Are there any online videos in which you can hear them rolling on various surfaces? The only one's I'm finding have music playing over them.

 

Edited by Michael Miramontes
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  • 1 month later...

I am still a few weeks away from my new cart being ready but it is all coming along nicely. What is a few weeks when my (shorter) part of this project has been ticking away in the background for a little over 2 years. As we get towards completion, I have finalised the gear that is going to fit in - the Cantar X3 didn't exist when we started this - and more parts have to be designed to mount and power it all. For instance, what started as a simple 1U powering and switching box has become power and audio. It now houses comms to my crew, the hop to video village, feeds to speakers and there is a small gigabit network switch for Dante. It has a range of DC outputs: nominal 12v on 4 pin XLR and Hirose and 8 x 5v outputs on the same ruggedised Amphenol double USB sockets as we have on the X3 all with silent linear regulators and each capable of 3A! No point in skimping at this stage! See the panel below.

But addressing Michaels question about the 'funky' wheels: They are clearly noisier than wheels with rubber tyres over rough concrete and we will have to see how they work out over time. We actually have directly replaceable conventional wheels 'just in case' that were left over from the rolling spiders Stuart previously made. In fact the cart is so light compared with my previous carts that just lifting the small wheels to manoeuvre the cart is no problem at all. Any big moves, I will tip it back and roll it on the big wheels.  

I will update you when I am up and running.

Tim

 

Switchboxbak.jpg

Switchboxfrnt.jpg

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