Counting down to the Venue…
Bob and I spent the afternoon pulling ropes through conduit and pulling lengths of cable for the new console. Unlike our current analog console, the Venue’s inputs are all located in racks on stage. The stage racks are connected by BNC cables to the Venue’s brain at FOH. The advantage to this is all the digital conversion happens on stage so that you don’t lose any quality from long cable runs. Plus you don’t have to run as much cable. Each stage rack can house up to 48 inputs and runs off of 2 BNC cables. The racks also feature redundant snake connectors so we need 8 cables for the 2 stage racks we’re installing. We’ll have 48 inputs on one and 16 on the other with room for expansion to up to a total of 96 in the future if we need to.
Late in the afternoon Larry, another of our FOH engineers, showed up to help pull the cables through the conduits. Initially we were afraid we’d need to take the snake cables up the back wall of the stage, over to and above the catwalks, and then back down which we figured would get us pretty close to the 500′ limit for the Venue cables. But thanks to that conduit we found last week, the runs weren’t that much over 250′. We ran close to 300′ just to be safe. We pulled 8 cables and a spare just in case, and we have enough cable left over should we need to pull another spare.
The pulls were a lot easier than some of the speaker cable runs, but getting through the pipe to FOH wasn’t easy since the pipe is shared by a couple of our camera cables. I am a little concerned now that it’s going to be tough getting the old analog FOH snake down to the new FOH location. Larry seems to think we’ll just need to clip the ends and re-terminate them at the new FOH. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
The Venue should be getting delivered tomorrow. Once we get the ends terminated, it shouldn’t be too hard to get the board up and running to start learning things. Next week Art will start building the new FOH booth. My goal is to have the board up and running during a service at least a week before the rest of the system goes in so that the transition will be a bit smoother. I’ll try and get some pictures of the board tomorrow