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Old 1st August 2013, 09:53 PM   #1
J Hoff is offline J Hoff  United States
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Default Building the Ultimate Mobile DJ/Keys/PA rig!

Building the Ultimate Mobile DJ/Keys/PA rig!

-5 or 6' long, 4', high, 2' wide table for dj equip. keyboards, midi controllers, etc;
-laptop stand, audio/midi interface, drop-in racks for fx units;
-small mixer for eq/vocals/spkr control
-AND, THE BEST PART-
---The cabinet itself will be a group of coupled compact folded horn subs, multiple sets of full-range, front-loaded mids, & high-dispersion tweeter arrays, separately amped/x-over controlled, for a
CRAZY-LOUD, low-power Mobile PA/DJ/Keyboard Station.

It's lower power requirements will enable me to run it on a series of 12 volt power-sports batteries (or similar) for 4 or 5 hours, with the option of adding batteries for led lighting circuits, low-power smoke machine, even LAZERS!!

OR split it in 2, raise the speaker stands, & play a 4-6 pc band at the campground!!

- onboard battery charger when AC power's available;
- also charges off small 800watt 2-cycle generator;
- optionally building a folding stationary bike mounted to Delco alternator for emergency charging (trust me, lol, you don't want to pedal against an alternator unless there's been significant gearing engineered to help).
- Solar charging's being explored, but to bring costs to within reason, I may have to learn to build the photovoltaic panels, or some kind of piezo-electric dance floor (capturing people-power). Hmmmmm...

**Future addition of a micro-controller (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc running Android or other OS) or rack-mount pc opens it up wide: FULL lighting control- (think light-show synced to 1 or 2 dancers, using Kinect, Wiimote, etc: the lights follow the dance!! WHAT??
--Add a 3g or 4g hotspot & a couple servo's? Now you have full A/V control from the back of the crowd, the dance floor or at home from your phone, tablet, or computer!!

The ULTIMATE NEW YEAR'S PARTY---
-----One person with multiple systems could coordinate a multi-venue show, controlling lighting remotely, maintaining midi-clocking for beatmatching between systems, cameras enable wireless video transfer for live display, I could go on and on and on and on....

**Larger-scale versions would allow stage platforms to be purpose-built as folded horn subs for EXTREME BASS from a ridiculously small amount of electricity**

Anybody wanna help?? (Lol, I know, sounds CRAZY!!) Msg me!
If I can source (or build) the right parts, I can finalize the design. I'll need to do 3d renderings, provide tons of test data, & build the prototype, then maybe I can get a Kickstarter or other crowd-funding campaigns going! (There's gotta be some people out there that could use something like this!!)

Wish me luck!
Jake Hoffman
hoffman_ent@yahoo.com
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Old 2nd August 2013, 03:31 PM   #2
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Good luck with that!
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Old 2nd August 2013, 03:37 PM   #3
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What sort of power do you reckon is minimum for an effective smoke machine outdoors. 5000-8000W continuous?
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Old 2nd August 2013, 06:56 PM   #4
wg_ski is offline wg_ski  United States
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It seems like everybody wants something with the output of the Cluster****s stack, fits in a Camry, sets up in 15 minutes and is powered by a couple of gel-cells. It's not about the money, it's about physics. You might want to start with a couple of SS15's, either the Jbell or BFM Otops, and a couple of 300-watt-ish class D amplifiers (Crown XLS, PV IPR, etc). See how far that goes and decide if you really need more vs. how hard that's going to be to power. Then see if there's any power left over to run the smoke and mirrors.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 07:58 PM   #5
J Hoff is offline J Hoff  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturnus View Post
What sort of power do you reckon is minimum for an effective smoke machine outdoors. 5000-8000W continuous?
Obviously with a small system such as this, there will be limitations. With the generator running, I could run a 700-800 watt smoke machine, I'd just have to control dispersion to maximise efficiency for a small crowd, or build a viable, low-power alternative. (Reinventing the wheel IS an option here, as most PA/Dj gear was designed with access to virtually limitless power. Redesigning low-power circuits to accomplish the same end-result using established electrical methods would enable more/better on-location sound/lighting options).
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Old 2nd August 2013, 09:42 PM   #6
J Hoff is offline J Hoff  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wg_ski View Post
...everybody wants something with the output of the Cluster****s stack, fits in a Camry, sets up in 15 minutes and is powered by a couple of gel-cells.
I know not this Cluster****s stack you speak of... but as with everything, there's compromise.

The factors most common to live sound are (in no particular order):

1. Size (weight, portability, ease of transport/setup)
2. Gain before Distortion (headroom, loudness, clean spl)
3. Freq. response from 20Hz to 20KHz.
4. Cost

Choose your sacrifices- but with a shaken faith in the current climate, (no pun intended), I think it's about time to rely on unlimited power a little less, so I propose a 5th factor:

5. Power requirements-

---I came to a standstill on this project a few months ago when I ran up against power-hungry components, so I stopped to study electricity. (Bought a small generator, now building 2 more: 1 human-powered; 1 Computer-controlled 2 stroke belt driven 12V charging system, with Auto-ignition/cutoff based on battery voltage, variable output for smart-charging battery banks, servo-controlled throttle for stable, consistent RPMs for specific applications, & additional pulley/s for utilizing mechanical power of 3.8hp motor for water pumps (showers, filtration,irrigation, fire suppression), compressors for refrigeration/cooling, hydraulic pumps, etc.). Oh, & with sensors & a hotspot, remote monitoring/interaction through app or web interface.

---So portable, intelligent power is possible, but still uses fossil fuels. What's the answer then? Alternative energy's available, but costly/bulky to harness larger amounts, but smaller amounts are cheap & easily within range if one was to "redesign the wheel": our current power structure's built around having constant un-interruptable 120-240V AC power, so everything's designed with power constraints being a minor issue.

---The only way I can see us overcoming our reliance on this system (that may or may not be viable as population drastically outgrows infrastructure in the next few decades) is to reduce our power consumption, right down to the transformers & diodes, to be as electrically efficient as we are striving to be environmentally.

---So starts my experiment: to reduce power consumption in a very real-world setting, live sound reproduction. Using new, existing, vintage, or forgotten components, theories, designs, & ideas, I hope to bring the power requirements down to the point that, with greater understanding of capacitance/storage, I can design the proper battery packs to handle the output/time.

----Once that's resolved, we can explore alt. energy as VIABLE, needing MUCH LESS of it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wg_ski View Post
It's not about the money, it's about physics.
**Absolutely right: can't break the laws of physics, but maybe I can bend 'em a little- it's all about fundamental/resonant frequencies, isn't?**

Quote:
Originally Posted by wg_ski View Post
...smoke and mirrors.
---Too true, it's all bullsh**t & hyperbole til you build something. What's on your workbench?
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Old 2nd August 2013, 10:22 PM   #7
wg_ski is offline wg_ski  United States
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Quote:
---So starts my experiment: to reduce power consumption in a very real-world setting, live sound reproduction. Using new, existing, vintage, or forgotten components, theories, designs, & ideas, I hope to bring the power requirements down to the point that, with greater understanding of capacitance/storage, I can design the proper battery packs to handle the output/time.

Two words. Efficient speakers. What you want is a system like they used at Woodstock, driven by four 250W Class D amplifiers (instead of tubes).

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of diesel fuel to get the speakers from your warehouse to the gig. Horn speakers (including subs) can be made about 50% efficient - but a 50Hz-capable cabinet at full efficiency is about the size of a refrigerator. Those old principles were not forgotten, they were just abandoned.
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Old 3rd August 2013, 08:58 PM   #8
J Hoff is offline J Hoff  United States
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Then maybe I'll just use a refrigerator! lol Hmmmmmm....
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Old 4th August 2013, 06:26 PM   #9
J Hoff is offline J Hoff  United States
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Thanks wg_ski, actually I just got back from meeting an 82yo guy that's been building/using PA/DJ/Radio gear since the 1940's! He's got some incredible vintage, low-power tube stuff, but I'm at a stand-still till I learn about **impedance-matching speakers for greater efficiency**.

Anybody know much about these old 16/32 Ohm speakers/cabinets? Just picked up a Frankenstein'ed old Shure Vocal Master (VA300-s) speaker for $25. 6 AlNiCo drivers (rated for 100w together), originally arrayed in a 5' tall vertical box for vocal projection w/o feedback, there was 2x10" full-range woofers (1 has blown voice-coil), & 4x8" mid-range drivers. It's been repackaged into guitar-style cabinet, with 2 Radioshack 3-way selectable passive crossovers. Need to play with crossover points, they are: 800Hz/1600Hz Low-Pass, 800-5KHz OR 1600-7KHz mid-range band-pass, and 5K/7K/Hz High-Pass filters.
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Old 7th August 2013, 10:39 AM   #10
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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There are smoke machines that burn fuel (butane, propane). That's a much more efficient use of energy.

A generator could be lighter and cheaper than a bunch of deep-cycle batteries... and you won't be SOL if the party runs longer or lasts an extra day. And batteries require TLC like a living thing; over-discharge them, or ignore them for a couple of seasons and they may die.
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