Background Music System – and a new challenge for me

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  • #41554
    Dave Rice

    I’ve always run my business as a “hands on” consultancy pairing up with others to do larger jobs together. Drilling holes and running cables is not really my thing, but as Steve will tell you I can do it if I absolutely must 😄

    The guy I work with most has been given a job by the MoD he can’t refuse (although he’ll still be self employed) so I’m taking over the running of his business. We’re dropping the little jobs to concentrate on the bigger projects but I’ll still be building PCs and doing day to day support for SMEs.

    The first big project is a two zone background music system / PA for the Legion with ceiling speakers. This is a new one for me and I’ve taken expert advice as well as asking about. I can’t have done too badly as we got the job against two specialist local companies and my £ was in the right area, as was the hardware (100v system). Indeed one of the reasons we got it was the hardware was a lot easier to use.

    The amp has an integral USB/SD/FM audio player and a Bluetooth receiver so anyone can rock up with their phone and supply their own tunes for their party. Their existing radio mics and CD player go into the other inputs. Each input has it’s own Zone 1 and Zone 2 button, depress and it plays in that zone(s).

    My big unknown is getting the ceiling speaker pattern right, but I have used an online design tool. However you never know if the tile in the right place can be used until you get there. It’s amazing what you find in those false ceilings. We found the old aircon still in place in the Legion when we put WiFi in, they went nuts as they’d paid to have it removed!

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  • #42082
    Forumite Points: 3,762

    However you never know if the tile in the right place can be used until you get there.

    I got caught out with something similar on the only ‘real’ installation I ever did.

    The company I worked for at the time had a contract to install a server and set up backups etc. for a medical company. They had an office and a lab in the same single storey rectangular building, with the rear two thirds holding the lab, and the front third holding the office / reception. The router and office computer were in the front right corner of the office, and the server needed to go in the front right of the lab. Sounds easy enough, run the cable up the wall, through the false ceiling and over the partition wall, then down the other side.

    For some reason, whoever had installed the partition wall had taken it right up to the real ceiling and sealed the top too. It had been installed after the company had been there for a while, and they didn’t know why it had been sealed. They’d left about a four inch gap over on the left hand side of the wall for cabling. I ended up climbing along a selection of chairs, tables, and ladders to get the cable into the ceiling, then had my boss on a table in the lab to pull some cable through the hole. We then had to swap sides as I was the smallest, so that I could climb around the unmoveable lab equipment and feed the cable back in the lab side.

    We didn’t think to check if there was anything else in the way, and about half way across the room we hit a beam. No idea why it was there or what it was for, but we had to go around it. What should have taken an hour at most took us a few hours of climbing and swearing >.<

    I can’t remember why we couldn’t drill through the partition wall, but the beam was one of those big steel things, and seemed to be randomly fixed to the ceiling for a metre or two.

    The boss put a new rule in place afterwards to double check cable runs, and not to rely on the customer :D

    Dave Rice
    Forumite Points: 8,306

    Happens a lot. The Legion building has been added to and extended over the years and the cabling gap between to two function rooms is now officially full. As it was once a substantial external wall I’m going to have to get creative if we need to put anything else in!

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