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Thread: Mobile Rack?

  1. #1
    Junior Member DJ Elevate's Avatar
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    Post Mobile Rack?

    Hey guys,

    Well I'm starting to get to that point where I need to figure out the best/most effective way to handle things. I'm eventually going to be adding a wireless mic system and an external mixer, and I already have a rack-mountable DMX controller for lighting. That said, I really want to compartmentalize everything and keep it organized and easy for transport. I'm thinking of building a small mobile rack on wheels that I can hopefully get rack-mountable versions of these things and set it all up in an effective manner so it's all contained in a nice cube of sorts with power strips so that when I'm done for the evening, I can just unplug everything and roll the rack into my vehicle.

    Any recommendations on this front? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Elevate View Post
    Hey guys,

    Well I'm starting to get to that point where I need to figure out the best/most effective way to handle things. I'm eventually going to be adding a wireless mic system and an external mixer, and I already have a rack-mountable DMX controller for lighting. That said, I really want to compartmentalize everything and keep it organized and easy for transport. I'm thinking of building a small mobile rack on wheels that I can hopefully get rack-mountable versions of these things and set it all up in an effective manner so it's all contained in a nice cube of sorts with power strips so that when I'm done for the evening, I can just unplug everything and roll the rack into my vehicle.

    Any recommendations on this front? Thanks!
    Hey Elevate... I have two rack systems... one large one, and a small one. I love mine, and it really does cut down the setup time. With that said, I've been told by DJ's who've been in the business a long time that racks like mine are passť. I'm OK with that, because I'm happy with my rack systems and don't care if they're passť.😄 I put both systems together three years ago, when I first started my mobile DJ business, but I've completely reworked them with better components just this past spring.

    I like having everything pre-wired and ready to go, but there are down sides. Weight is the number one issue. My large rack is a 12U Gator Cases rack, and contains 2 power distributors, a mixer, two rack-mounted computers, a light controller, a wireless microphone system, a keyboard drawer, a hum eliminator, and a storage drawer. I have patch panels and outlets on the back, so everything just plugs in. My controller is in a separate case, and contains mounts for dual 22" monitors. The large rack weighs so much, I can't lift it by myself. I have a ramp I use when loading and unloading.

    My small system contains a rack mounted controller in the top, a power distributor in the rear, and a wireless microphone system and small storage drawer in the front.

    If your gonna build a rack system, especially a large one with multiple components in the signal chain, I highly recommend you diagram everything. If something goes wrong, the diagram will help immensely when you're trouble-shooting. Also, you really need to give some though to how you would deal with a component failure, because you're probably not going to be able to pop a failed component out and replace it in the middle of a gig. I have backup plans to deal with every probable failure, but not every possible failure. Just a few thoughts. Good luck!😊


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  3. #3
    Junior Member DJ Elevate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Bobcat View Post
    Hey Elevate... I have two rack systems... one large one, and a small one. I love mine, and it really does cut down the setup time. With that said, I've been told by DJ's who've been in the business a long time that racks like mine are passť. I'm OK with that, because I'm happy with my rack systems and don't care if they're passť.�� I put both systems together three years ago, when I first started my mobile DJ business, but I've completely reworked them with better components just this past spring.

    I like having everything pre-wired and ready to go, but there are down sides. Weight is the number one issue. My large rack is a 12U Gator Cases rack, and contains 2 power distributors, a mixer, two rack-mounted computers, a light controller, a wireless microphone system, a keyboard drawer, a hum eliminator, and a storage drawer. I have patch panels and outlets on the back, so everything just plugs in. My controller is in a separate case, and contains mounts for dual 22" monitors. The large rack weighs so much, I can't lift it by myself. I have a ramp I use when loading and unloading.

    My small system contains a rack mounted controller in the top, a power distributor in the rear, and a wireless microphone system and small storage drawer in the front.

    If your gonna build a rack system, especially a large one with multiple components in the signal chain, I highly recommend you diagram everything. If something goes wrong, the diagram will help immensely when you're trouble-shooting. Also, you really need to give some though to how you would deal with a component failure, because you're probably not going to be able to pop a failed component out and replace it in the middle of a gig. I have backup plans to deal with every probable failure, but not every possible failure. Just a few thoughts. Good luck!��


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    Solid advice. I'm not looking to do anything huge, and I don't intend to ever VDJ since I'm largely a Traktor guy when mobile gigging, so right now I feel I just want to do something smaller where I'd have an external mixer, a wireless mic receiver either mounted or on a rack shelf, a DMX controller, and one or two power strips (For now). This would just sit to the side of my DJ table where I can access it to change light scenes, set EQ - etc.

  4. #4
    Member DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Elevate View Post
    Solid advice. I'm not looking to do anything huge, and I don't intend to ever VDJ since I'm largely a Traktor guy when mobile gigging, so right now I feel I just want to do something smaller where I'd have an external mixer, a wireless mic receiver either mounted or on a rack shelf, a DMX controller, and one or two power strips (For now). This would just sit to the side of my DJ table where I can access it to change light scenes, set EQ - etc.
    Here's some pics of my racks. First, my small rack system...



    ...Then the front and back of my large rack system...



    ... and finally the Controller case that sits on the table above my large rack system...


  5. #5
    Junior Member DJ Elevate's Avatar
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    Damn - that's quite a beast! I love that all-in-one mobile DJing mini-system! <3

  6. #6
    Member DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Elevate View Post
    Damn - that's quite a beast! I love that all-in-one mobile DJing mini-system! <3
    Thanks... What I like about the small system is the Denon MC6000 MK2 controller and the Dell All In One computer. It folds down to create a lid over the controller. No laptop to carry or set up.😊


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    I doubt you would need a big rack on wheels for that, for maximum portability I'd suggest making it no bigger than it has to be which in this case might be about 8-10u of slant top and 2-4u vertical. And I'm going to suggest that you buy or build a case with hard covers for all surfaces, this protects the gear better and will allow for stacking during transport. I'm also a fan of patch panels, with this everything inside can be permanently connected together and you just bring those things you need regular access to out to the panel.

    Paul O'Brien
    Old Tech Guy
    www.Techott.com

  8. #8
    Junior Member DJ Elevate's Avatar
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    Yeah Paul that Ody pic you put up looks exactly like what I want to do. I need a slant top for wireless DMX controller and external mixer, then probably just a couple RU to store one or two power strips and a wireless mic receiver. It's really just going to be an "accessory box" that I'll bring to bigger/fancier gigs rather than part of my main setup. I'm curious if you can make a patch panel or something on the back of it so that you just connect everything to it instead of feeding cables through the back of it up into the devices - like patch cables you were mentioning.

    EDIT - Oops you said exactly patch panels - yeah that'd be great. Is that something that you have to create/wire/solder yourself?
    Last edited by DJ Elevate; 10-18-2017 at 07:58 PM.

  9. #9
    Member DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Elevate View Post
    Yeah Paul that Ody pic you put up looks exactly like what I want to do. I need a slant top for wireless DMX controller and external mixer, then probably just a couple RU to store one or two power strips and a wireless mic receiver. It's really just going to be an "accessory box" that I'll bring to bigger/fancier gigs rather than part of my main setup. I'm curious if you can make a patch panel or something on the back of it so that you just connect everything to it instead of feeding cables through the back of it up into the devices - like patch cables you were mentioning.

    EDIT - Oops you said exactly patch panels - yeah that'd be great. Is that something that you have to create/wire/solder yourself?
    If you're going to buy one of the racks with something like 10U on the top, and 2U on the front, you really need to be mindful of the dimensions of the gear you mount. The Denon DN-410X that I used in my large rack was actually purchased to replace an old mixer I had in my small rack, but it wouldn't fit because it was too deep, and the connectors were all on the back, instead of the side, so all the cables would have to sit against the bottom of the rack. Not even 90 degree connectors would work, and even if they did, I couldn't have mounted anything in the front 2U.

    Also, I like my patch panels on the rear, but some of those small racks don't have mounting rails in the rear. I bought the rails and mounted them in the back of my rack, giving me 2U in front, and 4U in the back.


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  10. #10
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    Mobile Rack?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Bobcat View Post
    If you're going to buy one of the racks with something like 10U on the top, and 2U on the front, you really need to be mindful of the dimensions of the gear you mount. The Denon DN-410X that I used in my large rack was actually purchased to replace an old mixer I had in my small rack, but it wouldn't fit because it was too deep, and the connectors were all on the back, instead of the side, so all the cables would have to sit against the bottom of the rack. Not even 90 degree connectors would work, and even if they did, I couldn't have mounted anything in the front 2U.

    Also, I like my patch panels on the rear, but some of those small racks don't have mounting rails in the rear. I bought the rails and mounted them in the back of my rack, giving me 2U in front, and 4U in the back.


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    Here's a pic of my rack that houses my wireless mics, driverack, dmx controller, and power center. It's heavy enough that I need to add casters to it.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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