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80/20® Two-Module Sound Cart

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For awhile I was using a modified baby stroller as a sound cart (seen here) and recently I decided it was time for an upgrade. I liked the idea of a two-module sound cart, much like the RastOrder SU, so I built my own using the 80/20® framing system.




I purchased the Chindha recorder brackets first, then designed the top module around that.





I then built the base module from the measurements of the top module. I made it wide enough so I can add rack rails in the future if I need to.





The top module connects to the base module with four T-knob screws.




I purchased a 3' long steel rod at Home Depot for the rear axle but I did not have the tools to cut and finish it. I contacted Gene Martin at Audio Department in Burbank, CA (www.audiodept.com) and he was able to take my cart to Drew Martin, who finalized the rear axle. He cut the rod, smoothed the edges, and drilled holes for the cotter pins. I am very thankful that Gene Martin and Drew Martin were able to take the time to do that for me.








The basket on the back contains an Anker 60W 6-port USB charger for crew cell phones.





I added waterproof LED strips above and below the control surface table. I used Velcro to attach them to the bars so if I need to make adjustments later, the strips won't be destroyed. This proved beneficial when I needed to remove a bar so I could thread some cable through a slot.






The LED strips are multi-colored so I can make the cart glow red when I am rolling. I added a power switch for the LED strips and placed it next to the Mix12.




For travel, the antenna FlexiMount clamps get flipped and an all-weather grill cover that I purchased at Home Depot is placed over the cart.





Next I will build a smaller base module that is more portable and will allow me to use a Mix8 control surface with the top module. I have already had to take the top module into confined spaces and it has worked out perfectly. The only cables that connect the two modules are the Mix12 cable that connects to the Zaxcom Fusion and a power cable that connects the top module BDS to the Remote Audio Hot Strip on the base module.





The photo at the bottom was taken by Jeff Rosenberg and it shows myself using just the top module in the underground corridors of a sewage treatment plant.



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Thank you all for the kind words.

@Mirror: The top module cost about $300 for the 80/20 parts and the base module was about $800.

@Wandering Ear: Four T-knob screws secure the top module to the base. Each nut has a set screw to keep it in place, which makes it very easy to line up and tighten quickly. The photos below show how it works.





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19 minutes ago, nickreich said:

Beautiful work. What's the dual monitor on a tablet you are running?

That is the Teradek TeraView app. I have a router connected to two Teradek Cubes, which connect to the monitor outputs at video village. My iPad connects to the router and the TeraView app displays the video signal from each Cube. I'll use a Wi-Fi powerline extender if range becomes an issue.

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I'd be curious to see a pic of your Teradek transmitter kit. All the parts that get mounted at video village. 

Camera department isn't concerned about interference?

I like your vertical monitor arrangement. It's nice to have it closer to the board as well.

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I REALLY love the idea that the "glow" of the cart turns from white to red when you roll!!    Can I ask what material you used for the "table tops"--the shelves for fader surface and radios etc?   Rockin' work--I hope it makes your jobs easier and more fun and lasts many years.

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@Philip Perkins: I used the 80/20 ABS haircell panels, which have a smooth side and a textured side. I used Velcro to attach everything to the textured side.

@Derek H: No issues with the camera department because the Cubes are not transmitting wirelessly, just the Wi-Fi router is. The Cubes use Ethernet cables to connect to an Apple AirPort Extreme router in a bag. The router is flipped so the fan is at the top and the two Cubes are attached with Velcro. The other side of the bag holds the power cables. Photos are below.





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14 hours ago, Mirror said:

You are my hero, man. A beautiful cart! Thanks for sharing.

Did you cut the 80/20 yourself or premeasure and have them cut the pieces for you?  Also, who was your source for the 80/20?

I used the 80/20 online store to order everything and they charge $2 per cut. I studied the catalog and then used the online store to search for parts in the 10 Series (1" profile) to see what I could work with. I only had a tape measure and my imagination when I was designing the cart, so I made a bunch of sketches to figure out what I would need. An early sketch of the base module is below. I had other sketches that used circles to map out all of the screws that would be needed. It was all very unscientific but thankfully my measurements were correct and it all worked out.


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10 minutes ago, efksound said:

Impressive cart, Love it ! UUnfortunately we don't have 80/20 here in Spain... Does somebody know if in Europe maybe? 


ITEM aluminum profiles (I think based in Germany) does a full line of aluminum profiles and fittings almost identical to 80/20.

LINK may not be to ITEM directly but to one of the suppliers.


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Thanks for sharing the wireless video setup. Very interesting. How bad is the latency? The power line adapter trick is a great idea to really extend your range though I'd imagine it's not foolproof.

So if you use the power line adapter you would need to deploy a 2nd router correct?

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14 hours ago, Derek H said:

Thanks for sharing the wireless video setup. Very interesting. How bad is the latency? The power line adapter trick is a great idea to really extend your range though I'd imagine it's not foolproof.

So if you use the power line adapter you would need to deploy a 2nd router correct?

The latency is minimal, a few frames or so, and generally it feels like there is almost no latency at all. The powerline extender works surprisingly well and I've used it with about 200 feet of stinger to get the signal around a beach house, which worked perfectly. The extender unit can be set to duplicate the Wi-Fi signal from the router, or it can be set to act as a separate hotspot with a different SSID and password. The encoder unit stays in the bag, connected to the router with an Ethernet cable, and the tranceiver unit gets plugged into an extension cord. As long as the power cable for the bag and the extension cord are on the same power line, usually connected with a cube tap, the Wi-Fi signal gets sent down the line. A photo of the setup is below. My favorite thing about the TeraView app is that I can take screenshots of my boom operators when they happen to be in front of the camera, or screenshots of wide & tight setups for dialogue scenes so I can laugh about them later. Some examples are also below.








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