RE-Reworking My Small System... AGAIN

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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#61
Funny you should mention custom patch panels. I was just working on the patch panel on the back side of my Small System, and realized I need to order a couple of jacks that I don't have in my stock of jacks. Would you mind posting a link to the place that makes the custom patch panels?
I put a Powercon connector on my Patch Panel to replace the Edison (marine style) inlet (mounted in a 2U vented panel) I had back there before. After I got it all wired up and plugged in, I noticed the GROUND light on the CyberPower strip wasn't lit. Pulled my continuity tester out to try to figure out where the disconnect was, and it turned out to be a defective Powercon jack. Put a different Powercon jack in and everything works GREAT.

Now I need to order a 2U hinged rack access panel to replace the old 2U panel that held the marine style inlet. I thought I had one, but I could only find 3U hinged rack doors in my stash.


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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#64
Well... I made a little progress today with the Small System mods, despite a couple of self inflicted stab wounds.Took everything out of the rack and replaced the PDU with a CyberPower rack-mounted power strip. Doubled the number of outlets on the back of the rack. Had to shorten the cord, but instead of cutting it off inside the CyberPower strip itself, I just bought a 3 prong plug, cut the cord, and replaced the plug.

Then I put a Powercon connector on my patch panel and plugged the CyberPower power strip into it. I removed the vented rack panel that held the old marine style inlet, and I ordered a new 2U hinged vented rack door, to provide access to the inside of the rack... something I did not have previously. The only way to get in before was through the 2U door on the top of the rack.

And speaking of the 2U door on the top of the rack, I fixed what had been a slightly annoying mistake I made when Installed that door during my previous reworking project of my Small System. The door has a microphone jack installed on it on the right-hand side, and a USB/Electric Outlet on the left side. When I installed the USB/Electric Outlet, I cut the power cord too short, so the 2U door (which had been the only way to access the connections inside the rack) would not open up completely unless you reached in and unplugged it from the PDU. So today I used the part of the power cord I cut off of the CyberPower power strip (which was too long), to make a longer power cord for the USB/Electric Outlet. Now it opens all the way, AND, I put some cable management devices on the door to keep the power cable out of the way when the door is open (the same way I did it on my Large System).

Finally, I added a couple of 1/4" jacks to the patch panel that I'll connect to the Booth Out jacks on the back of my controller. I wanted to be able to use my monitors without having to run the cables out through the gap between the controller and 2U hinged door just above it. I don't use my monitors very often with my Small System, but I wanted to have that option without it being unsightly.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#65
I've been thinking about it, and thought of a way to use my Floating Facade with my Small System table, and I think it will be quite easy to make. I can make a frame from square aluminum tubing and hang it from the top of the table frame before placing the top on the frame. Here's a conceptual diagram...
1531234758523.png
... The wide tube at the bottom would be slightly longer than the distance between the table legs, which would keep the hanging bracket from swinging underneath the table. The square tubing, U brackets, and U channel are all readily available materials I can buy at the hardware store and it would all screw together with nuts and bolts. The bracket would easily fit in the bag in which I carry the table frame and table top. It doesn't make the table mobile (no wheels), but it would accomplish the objective of using the Floating Facade with my Small System setup.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#66
Why is it, no matter how many cables you have, you NEVER seem to have the right one? I have a TON of cables, but always seem to be buying more. Just ordered a couple of short XLR-to-1/4" patch cables to hook my wireless mics to a mixer. I had one short 1/4 inch cable from the Audio Out jack on the wireless mic system running to the Mic 2 jack on my controller. I want to be able to control the two wireless mics separately, which is why I need to add a mixer. I'll gain some additional benefits from having the mixer, but it also adds a little more complexity and another potential point of failure. I think it's worth the added risk if I get a good quality mixer.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#67
Moving right along... I bought a mixer. I ended up buying the Rolls RM69 Mix Mate 3 like the one I posted earlier in this thread. I seriously considered the LD Systems Zone 622, but ultimately it came down to the known versus the unknown. I appreciate Steve's (@steve149) input as always, and that weighed heavily on my decision. There's features I'm not going to get with the Rolls that I would have liked to get, but I think it gives me 90% of what I wanted. If I'm not completely satisfied, perhaps there will be something better to buy next year. In the meantime, I think this mixer is gonna work out fine. With this purchase made, this project is moving right along.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#68
Now I want to add Bluetooth.... With my mixer choice made (Rolls RM69), I want to add a feature I wanted, but could not find in a 1U mixer... Bluetooth. My Denon DN-410X (in my large system) has Bluetooth built in, which allows me to play music from my tablet as a quick backup, or I can allow a guest to connect and play a track from their smart phone. Whether or not this is a good feature is beside the point... I like it and I want it in my Small System.

So in order to make this happen, I need a Bluetooth receiver that I can attach to my mixer. I have a few little devices I use in my home and Jeep, but they have one serious drawback... they're USB rechargeable, but don't work when the (USB) charging cord is plugged in... they only work (on battery) when the charging cord is disconnected. That is not good enough for DJing IMO. I want one that has (and runs on) a power cord. Also, in looking at some of the options, the (useful) range is all over the place. I don't need a huge range, but 10-15 feet seems reasonable. One last complaint I read about is that some of these devices don't disconnect unless you turn them off. I want to be able to disconnect from one device easily so another can connect.

Anyone have any experience with Bluetooth receivers???... Any RECOMMENDATIONS?
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#69
Ya know those cables I ordered yesterday???... WRONG cables. I thought I was gonna buy the LD Systems Zone 622, and bought the cables for that mixer. Not the right cables for the Rolls RM69. I have the right cables to hook my mics up to the Rolls, but need the cables for the 4 RCA inputs. I have plenty of RCA cables, but not short ones. I hate rolling up long cables inside the rack. 12" and 18" cables work best for internal connections and keep things much neater.


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steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
19,798
27,796
115
Prospect, CT
#71

steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
19,798
27,796
115
Prospect, CT
#73
Ahh... That's more like what I was looking for. Think I'll give it a try. Thanks!




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It's nice since it can be a receiver or a transmitter .. and in transmit mode, it can sync with 2 different BT receivers. It also has the low-latency stuff (aptX, etc.).
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#74
Today I'm working on my wiring diagram today (now that I've settled on a mixer), but I'm also thinking about my backup options for my DJ Computer. Since my ONLY computer in my Small System is a Dell Optiplex 7440 AIO computer, there's no built-in backup for it if something catastrophic was to happen. I've been really fortunate that I've never had any kind of failure with this computer, but it's only a matter of time... could be next week; could be 10 years from now. Ya just never know, but (like all machines) it WILL eventually fail. I've been carrying a laptop and my Allen & Heath ZED-10FX as my backup. Nice little setup, but not really a practical for anything except a temporary music source until my main system can be recovered. The laptop doesn't have any DJ software on it; only a music player application. Without having a connection to a controller and Traktor (or some other DJ software), it's just not a REAL backup (if I had to use it for an entire event).

So with that said... what are others using as their backups??? Again, I intend to have a tablet and Bluetooth for an EMERGENCY, temporary, music player. I could install Traktor on my laptop and plug it into my controller in the event of a computer failure. Certainly, this is the most practical backup solution. But what if the controller fails? I've been carrying my Large System's MC6000MK2, but now that's mounted in my Large System, so I won't be carrying it to events where I'm using my Small System. So I'm thinking about one of these...
1531332813680.png

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FYQFPF...olid=31TUCFD7ZRWDQ&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

... I think this will give me a completely separate system that I can plug into the new mixer, or just connect my speakers to it, and I'd still have my ZED-10 to add microphones. There's probably a ZILLION other options???:laugh:
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#75
Today I'm working on my wiring diagram today (now that I've settled on a mixer)...
I'm not real quick when it comes to doing these diagrams. Usually I use Visio, but I'm just using a drawing program this time. I think I shoulda used Visio. There's several benefits to doing a wiring diagram; one of the benefits is it makes you think about how you're using the connectors on your gear, and it also helps determine which cables and adapters you need. I've already identified four cables I need to order. Even on a little system like this one, there's still a fair amount of complexity, and quite a few wires and cables. Once the diagram is finished (and used as a guide to complete the wiring), I keep a copy in my tool bag to help with troubleshooting if I ever have a problem at an event. I know it won't take long after I've completed the wiring to forget how it's all wired together, so having the diagram refreshes my memory.

Of course, there's far fewer components in this Small System, so it's not as complicated as my large one, but this evolution is going to add some of the features of the Large System that it had been missing. There's one feature of my Large System I'd like to add... networking. My Large System has two computers that share a mouse and keyboard, so they have to be connected to the same LAN. I have a 5 port switch inside the rack. I also have an Ethernet jack on the rear patch panel to which I can connect a cable from my home network (router), or I can plug in a WiFi router (I carry with the system) to provide my own WiFi LAN. I don't have the space in this Small System rack to add an Ethernet switch like I have in my Large System, but I'd like to be able to connect my main Dj computer to a backup computer (probably my laptop). You'd think it would be easy to find a two or three port switch for connecting a couple of computers, but it's not. There's plenty of "splitters" out there, but they ARE NOT hubs or switches. I found one small 3 port switch I think will work (and fit). It's kind of expensive, but the choices are few, so that might be the way to go.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#76
So now we... WAIT! I'm a little impatient, so this part of the project is the most frustrating. The mixer and other items I need are on order. Nothing except a few cables will be here until next week, and the cables won't help much until the mixer arrives. Gonna go to the hardware store today to buy what I need to make the bracket for attaching the Facade to my table. That's not gonna take long to put together though, so by tomorrow I'll be back to waiting again. I have other (non-DJ) related projects to work on, but none that are any fun... Guess I'll have to use those projects to fill my time until my parts arrive.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#77
Why does everything have to be DIFFICULT???:laugh:... I'm trying to find a way to have a backup computer setup with my Small System... With my Small System rack pushed all the way to the edge of the 30"x30" table, you can see there's still no room for my laptop (not to mention the backup ZED-10 mixer)...

1531414826429.png

... So the simplest (logical) solution is; get a wider table top; right??? Not easy.:laugh: I have to carry this thing, so a 36 inch (by 30") top would be my preference. Getting a 30"x42" top... no problem. 30"x48"... no problem. 30"x60"... no problem. 30"x36"... NO OPTION!:laugh: What's the deal???? I have a 48" folding table, but I don't care for it. I keep it in the minivan just in case I need it, so there's always that. However, my Floating Facade is only 36" wide. I made it that size on purpose, because I like the compact DJ booth... mostly for transporting. The facade would not cover a 42" or 48" table. I found a place that makes custom table tops... $331 for an unfinished 30"x36" 3/4 " red oak top... Maybe worth it. I dunno? That's TWICE what I paid for the new mixer... FOR A TABLE TOP!!!:laugh:
 
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steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
19,798
27,796
115
Prospect, CT
#79
Backups don't actually need to be in the rack ....
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#80
Backups don't actually need to be in the rack ....
Yep... I know.:laugh: I want to set the laptop up next to my rack, but I want to have it setup from the outset. Right now, I carry it with me, but I don't set it up. No place to set it up. I rationalized that it would only take a short time to set it up if I needed it. Thankfully, I've never needed it, because a SHORT time (even 5 minutes) isn't that short to a restless audience. Backups are best when they can be activated by the click of a button, like I can do with my Large System.:)