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Production Sound Mixer Cart/Workstation


indiefilm
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I am designing a “vertical” Production Sound Mixer Cart for commercial sale and am looking for input/wishlist of features/accessories wanted i.e. “flight ready” etc. I already have a design in mind but want input to not be biased by revealing it at this stage. The discussion could either be here online or could be offline.  I am more of a video person than audio so going at this from a easily customizable design. I’m thinking outside the box so let your imagination run wild cause if anyone can do it, I can. I was a structural engineer in an earlier life and frankly am not impressed with what is on the market. Pos or neg  feedback about specific features of carts on the market now would also be helpful. For starters, wondering if mixers with heavy equipment on a roll out shelf experience concerns of the cart tipping forward?I am designing a “vertical” Production Sound Mixer Cart for commercial sale and am looking for input into wishlist of features/accessories wanted i.e. “flight ready” etc. I already have a design in mind but want input to not be biased by revealing it at this stage. The discussion could either be here online or could be offline.  I am more of a video person than audio so going at this from a easily customizable design. Thinking outside the box so let your imagination run wild cause if anyone can do it, I can. I was a structural engineer in an earlier life and frankly am not impressed with what is on the market. Pos or neg  feedback about specific features of carts on the market now would also be helpful. For starters, wondering if mixers with heavy equipment on a roll out shelf experience concerns about the cart tipping forward?

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If I were in the market (I work in radio, and though sometimes we do small OB gigs, it doesn't really warrant a custom cart. We have a sound cart though) I would like :

 

- a rack width frame, but it should be "open" so that you could attach bars with rack holes to shelves, I hope you understand what I mean. I'd like to be able to put rack width gear on one  section of the cart and have the cart be without bars on one section.

 

- to be able to completely close it up and lock it. 

 

- to be able to change the positions of shelves and drawers easily, without too many tools.

 

- a patchbay on the back, to avoid pulling cables in and out and through the frame.

 

- I'm pretty tall. So I'd like a tall cart where you could either sit or stand, so that's why modularity and changeability is key. 

 

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4 hours ago, Olle Sjostrom said:

- I'm pretty tall. So I'd like a tall cart where you could either sit or stand, so that's why modularity and changeability is key. 

 

Being able to change the height at a flip of a level like with those standing / sitting desks would be nice. 

 

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13 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Being able to change the height at a flip of a level like with those standing / sitting desks would be nice. 

 

+1

Gas strut would do it. Wouldn't need to be the whole cart either. Eg just the monitors, recorder, surface. Batteries, RX, Storage could stay low for stability.

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Chinhda employed a clever approach to this engineering challenge on his Small and Medium carts. He is no longer able to build any new carts, of course, but I can share his simple design with the group.

 

The smaller carts employed a sub-frame to hold the recorder and mixer. Battery power, accessories, boom pole holders and the like were on the main frame but the module with the recorder was detachable so it might be used in an insert car or similar application.

 

Chinhda designed a mechanism to hang and secure that sub-frame so it might be attached at either of two preselected (and adjustable} heights. The sub-frame had two frame rails of his own construction that ran across the back of the sub-frame. You can get a sense of this in the image of the sub-frame mounted high (ChCart_SubFrameHigh.jpg). There is a blue frame piece at the top of the sub-frame. It's made from a right-angle extrusion and the metal is about a quarter-inch thick. A matching frame piece is attached to about the mid-section of the sub-frame. Those frame pieces can be hung on hooks attached to the 80/20 frame of the cart. Whether the sub-frame is hung on the lower or upper frame piece determines the working height of the equipment. A second set of hooks, similar to the hanging hooks but mounted pointing down, could then be slid down to engage another frame rail and tightened, thus locking the sub-frame into position.

 

Raising or lowering the sub-frame is a job best handled by two people. However, it can be easily accomplished in under two minutes.

 

If there is real interest in this bit of engineering, I'll stop by the shop to see if I can photograph some of the hooks and other hardware.

 

David

 

 

 

ChCart_SubFrameHIgh.jpeg

ChCart-SubFrame.jpeg

ChCart-SubFrameLow.jpeg

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The lift mechanism is in fact the vertical column you can see at the back of the cart, in the centre between the base part and the moving pod. It is the mechanism used in a hospital bed to raise and lower the pillow end of the bed. On a hospital bed it would be horizontal, and hid under the mattress. In our case it is vertical. Within that column there is a vertical screw thread, with a motor at the bottom. The motor turns the thread, and as the thread turns a metal lug rides up and down the thread. The top pod is attached to the metal lug with a couple of aircraft type metal pins. It really is quite simple.

 

Not in the video, but I am able to do a pretty quick wheel change to large balloon wheels, for off road or sandy situations. It works really well, and gives the crew plenty of laughing opportunities.....

 

Now.... someone build a better version 😉

 

Enjoy, Simon B

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bash said:

The lift mechanism is in fact the vertical column you can see at the back of the cart, in the centre between the base part and the moving pod. It is the mechanism used in a hospital bed to raise and lower the pillow end of the bed. On a hospital bed it would be horizontal, and hid under the mattress. In our case it is vertical. Within that column there is a vertical screw thread, with a motor at the bottom. The motor turns the thread, and as the thread turns a metal lug rides up and down the thread. The top pod is attached to the metal lug with a couple of aircraft type metal pins. It really is quite simple.

 

Not in the video, but I am able to do a pretty quick wheel change to large balloon wheels, for off road or sandy situations. It works really well, and gives the crew plenty of laughing opportunities.....

 

Now.... someone build a better version 😉

 

Enjoy, Simon B

 

 

How much does it weigh without gear, approximately?

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23 hours ago, drpro said:

Thanks Simon.  Did you have to buy the whole bed or were you able to buy a replacement lift from a manufacture?

David

We just bought the column - the manufacturer make them as a thing, and the bed manufacturers buy them in. sb

20 hours ago, indiefilm said:

How much does it weigh without gear, approximately?

 

Obviously it isnt light.... but by the same token, it is not heavy by cart standards. I cant tell you the weight, but the next time I have the cart stripped of kit (could be in the New Year, I am due a big tidy up) - I'll weight the naked cart for you 😉 sb

18 hours ago, Olle Sjostrom said:

And how much power does it draw?

Very little - a low few amps when raising or lowering, and it is a rare day that we go up and down all day. sb

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I was so jealous of Simon‘s cart that I attempted to also build a rising cart. I posted this some time ago. The cart was made of two abs rack cases where the top could rise two a standing position. It worked ok, but the rising mechanism was VERY loud and slow. Took nearly a minute up or down. Plus the entire cart was much too wide. 
 

So I completely rebuilt it. I have nowhere near the skills of Stewart, in fact I have no particular cart building skills. So here is my pedestrian version to Simon‘s Maserati. 
The rising time is still quite long, but it works and I absolutely love working standing up. 
In my case the rising engine is from a TV lift. This was the lightest and cheapest part I could find. Attached to it are all kinds of things found in my local DIY store, but basically a strong wire pulls the case up, which is sitting on two rails and four sleds (if that’s the word). 

All of it is mounted to a simple aluminium hand truck. 
 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6u9n9q3aa3pcvs5/IMG_9319.MOV?dl=0

 

(can’t get the video to upload properly, so here’s a link to my dropbox)

 

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On 12/10/2019 at 9:37 PM, David Waelder said:

Chinhda employed a clever approach to this engineering challenge on his Small and Medium carts. He is no longer able to build any new carts, of course, but I can share his simple design with the group.

 

The smaller carts employed a sub-frame to hold the recorder and mixer. Battery power, accessories, boom pole holders and the like were on the main frame but the module with the recorder was detachable so it might be used in an insert car or similar application.

 

Chinhda designed a mechanism to hang and secure that sub-frame so it might be attached at either of two preselected (and adjustable} heights. The sub-frame had two frame rails of his own construction that ran across the back of the sub-frame. You can get a sense of this in the image of the sub-frame mounted high (ChCart_SubFrameHigh.jpg). There is a blue frame piece at the top of the sub-frame. It's made from a right-angle extrusion and the metal is about a quarter-inch thick. A matching frame piece is attached to about the mid-section of the sub-frame. Those frame pieces can be hung on hooks attached to the 80/20 frame of the cart. Whether the sub-frame is hung on the lower or upper frame piece determines the working height of the equipment. A second set of hooks, similar to the hanging hooks but mounted pointing down, could then be slid down to engage another frame rail and tightened, thus locking the sub-frame into position.

 

Raising or lowering the sub-frame is a job best handled by two people. However, it can be easily accomplished in under two minutes.

 

If there is real interest in this bit of engineering, I'll stop by the shop to see if I can photograph some of the hooks and other hardware.

 

David

 

 

 

ChCart_SubFrameHIgh.jpeg

ChCart-SubFrame.jpeg

ChCart-SubFrameLow.jpeg

Thanks David. I had forgotten seeing this over the top cart online a while back. It is so complex I am not sure I could learn anything from it without hands on experience. I rewatched his Trew Audio YT video and didn’t really get anything out of it. Camera was on autofocus and no closeups of any details that interested me. Frankly I would be more likely to learn something useful to me from the nuts and bolts of how they put it together than the ”fancy” features. Do you know which 80/20 series it uses mostly?

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On 12/7/2019 at 10:11 PM, indiefilm said:

I am designing a “vertical” Production Sound Mixer Cart for commercial sale and am looking for input/wishlist of features/accessories wanted i.e. “flight ready” etc. I already have a design in mind but want input to not be biased by revealing it at this stage. The discussion could either be here online or could be offline.  I am more of a video person than audio so going at this from a easily customizable design. I’m thinking outside the box so let your imagination run wild cause if anyone can do it, I can. I was a structural engineer in an earlier life and frankly am not impressed with what is on the market. Pos or neg  feedback about specific features of carts on the market now would also be helpful. For starters, wondering if mixers with heavy equipment on a roll out shelf experience concerns of the cart tipping forward?I am designing a “vertical” Production Sound Mixer Cart for commercial sale and am looking for input into wishlist of features/accessories wanted i.e. “flight ready” etc. I already have a design in mind but want input to not be biased by revealing it at this stage. The discussion could either be here online or could be offline.  I am more of a video person than audio so going at this from a easily customizable design. Thinking outside the box so let your imagination run wild cause if anyone can do it, I can. I was a structural engineer in an earlier life and frankly am not impressed with what is on the market. Pos or neg  feedback about specific features of carts on the market now would also be helpful. For starters, wondering if mixers with heavy equipment on a roll out shelf experience concerns about the cart tipping forward?

So is it really true that even on unlevel ground outdoors that nobody has any concerns about their sound cart tipping over?

17 hours ago, Constantin said:

I was so jealous of Simon‘s cart that I attempted to also build a rising cart. I posted this some time ago. The cart was made of two abs rack cases where the top could rise two a standing position. It worked ok, but the rising mechanism was VERY loud and slow. Took nearly a minute up or down. Plus the entire cart was much too wide. 
 

So I completely rebuilt it. I have nowhere near the skills of Stewart, in fact I have no particular cart building skills. So here is my pedestrian version to Simon‘s Maserati. 
The rising time is still quite long, but it works and I absolutely love working standing up. 
In my case the rising engine is from a TV lift. This was the lightest and cheapest part I could find. Attached to it are all kinds of things found in my local DIY store, but basically a strong wire pulls the case up, which is sitting on two rails and four sleds (if that’s the word). 

All of it is mounted to a simple aluminium hand truck. 
 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6u9n9q3aa3pcvs5/IMG_9319.MOV?dl=0

 

(can’t get the video to upload properly, so here’s a link to my dropbox)

 


which TV lift did you use? I was already thinking using that too if I decide to have that feature as electrically powered 

On 12/8/2019 at 7:25 AM, Olle Sjostrom said:

 

- a rack width frame, but it should be "open" so that you could attach bars with rack holes to shelves, I hope you understand what I mean. I'd like to be able to put rack width gear on one  section of the cart and have the cart be without bars on one section.

 

Not clear on your specific needs. I might accomplish it in a different way than you anticipate too so that muddies my understanding of your needs too. How wide is the widest gear you want to put in the “open” part?

 

On 12/8/2019 at 7:25 AM, Olle Sjostrom said:

 

 

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