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Small stage racks

Paul O

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I'm at the stage where I'm starting to look at adding a small stage rack to my kit to make life easier on theatrical shows.


I do a lot of am-dram shows which have been steadily getting bigger over the years and I've reached the point where a couple of DMX runs from the desk isn't really adequate anymore. So for my next project I'm looking at building a compact stage rack and switching to Artnet/SACN rather than direct DMX.


The rack is likely to either be on stage or lugged up to the fly floor so I'm intending to keep it as small & compact as possible but make it as useful as possible, populating both sides of the rack. So far I'm thinking of trying to fit in the following:


Small PoE network switch

Artnet/SACN interface (probably 4 universe)

2 x DMX splitters (4-way 5pin & 3pin type)

Small power distro - 32A single to several 16A outlets


Is there anything else obvious that I'm missing? I don't want to get a few shows down the line then get to the "I wish I'd thought to include...." point!


Also do you have any tips for minimizing physical size & weight? Or photos or your small stage racks for inspiration?




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I'd agree having 2 seperate racks - 1 for your ArtNet rig then keep your distro separate.


ArtNet can output universes on more than 1 output, so you could have 3 outputs on Uni 1, 2 on Uni 2, 3 on Uni 3 etc. so is a splitter necessary?


You can also get nodes with built in switches, saving a rack unit. For example 2 Chauvet Net X II's would give you 16 configurable outputs, and you can even put DMX in and use it as a standard splitter if you want, and has 2 network ports that you can daisy chain.

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Thanks for your suggestions, I was originally thinking of using an inexpensive DMXKING artnet/sacn interface but I do like the look of the Chauvet NetX unit as it's really flexible.


I have a mix of DMX kit, some on 3pin and 5pin so I may well keep a small splitter in the rack (I have an existing basic Showtec 3pin/5pin splitter which will be fine).


Regarding the power distro side, keeping it separate does make sense and will reduce the size of my data rack so a lightweight 4U case will work well. Using that modular faceplate from Terralec or something similar will keep the other connectors neat & tidy.

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