In this post I’m going to share with you some simple but effective console setups that you can use with your equipment. It doesn’t haven’t to be fancy or even expensive to have a setup that will help make your portable work much easier.
The goal for this post is to help provide ideas that can you build a highly effective, inexpensive, and yet simplistic PC based set up for when you need to be portable. Just remember that you can always upgrade later and just keep it simple now.
To get started you want to find a case that you can get started with For myself, I started with a Pelican style case that I used as my base. I knew that this case was just big enough to fit my touchscreen in.
If you have a bin, a plastic tote, or any type of case that should be perfect for your to get started with.
Then, using plywood, I cut a piece that was as big as the case and cut the corners to fit around the wheel wells on the bottom.
If you have any spare sheets of wood lying around that you can cut to fit will work fine. If that’s something you don’t have you can pick this up at a local hardware store if needed.
The Equipment & Setup
Now, that there is a firm base I worked on lining up all of the pieces of equipment to fit on the board. I would recommend doing this before plugging everything in.
Once you have everything laid out you can use velcro to hold off your equipment in place.
This is a unit I have used for a long time and worked very well when I had to do some portable work. This set up helped support all of my equipment and keep everything organized.
To keep the cords organized I use velcro tape but you can also use electrical tape, or even friction tape that you can find at a hardware store.
While it may not be the prettiest set up it is definitely effective and makes for easier setup and tear down.
PC-Based Lighting Console Rack
For the next part of the post, I want to share with you how to build your own lighting console rack.
With this rack, there is more of an investment up front but I really like that I can roll this in and just get started with the work.
Before getting started you want to make a list of everything that you want to take with you in this rack so that you have an idea of how much equipment you plan on taking with you.
Once you have an idea of this then you want to start shopping around for racks. I was able to find my rack on eBay for a very good price. You’ll see a good variety of these online for a fraction of the cost because other people buy these racks and realize it won’t work for them.
Here is a list of items I used in the video tutorial:
Used 8u Rack Case: https://geni.us/I9SE5
Rack Drawer: https://geni.us/a01ZT
Rack Shelf I Recommend: https://geni.us/tiZYr3l
Rack Shelf I Used: https://geni.us/BSFZ
Blank Rack Panel: https://geni.us/8e5TPP2
Used Rack Power Conditioner: https://geni.us/Ll7UXe
The Rack, Drawer, and Shelf
The rack will the be the foundation of the setup so you want to make sure that you get the right sizes for the drawers and the shelf to make sure that everything will fit perfectly.
Once I have the rack set up then I slide in a drawer. In the drawer, I make note of everything that I want to keep in it such as the cables, Midi controllers, etc.
Since most of my equipment isn’t rack mountable so I decided to get a shelf that would fit my rack. Now, you can bolt things into your rack but my suggestion is to put the rack on the back so that the front is facing up. This will help make everything easier to screw in.
Now, should you use a drill? I highly recommend not using a drill because even with the lowest setting it is super easy to strip out the screws. You’re best just using a screwdriver.
Two Types of Shelves
There are a couple of different shelves that you have to choose from. When you look online you may notice a popular brand called, NavePoint, which is what I used in the video.
It is a good rack but if you go with the shelf that is enclosed on all 4 sides it will take up a lot of space on your rack. But there is a different style shelf that just has two sides. While this may not be able to hold as much weight, it does not take as much space as the other rack does.
Bringing it All Together
This make take some configuration and time to figure out what works for you. In the video I did mount the power supply to the top which works out great for my set up.
Behind the drawer I had some space and decided to get a spacer panel to store the power cable so it doesn’t caught or fall out when I’m using it.
Next, is adding your equipment and start wiring everything up. To keep the cables and cords organized I recommend using velcro to keep everything clean and reusable when I want to make changes.
As you set up everything and even use the set up a couple of times you will most likely want to change a few things around and even add to it in the future.
This project doesn’t have to expensive to put together and it can work even if you are on a tight budget. Having this will help make your life easier when you need to work on the fly.