Entries by mediadynamics

Hanging By A Prayer…

There is a surprising amount of gear suspended overhead in commercial environments, especially churches. Speakers, projectors, lights, displays and other gear compete for space on the ceiling. But hanging anything from a ceiling over people is a tricky business due to variables like static load, shock load, support capacity, hardware, safety backups among others.
Recently we replaced a poorly designed set of home made speakers from the ceiling of a church and noticed the following deficiencies. First, in the top-right corner of the photo, a simple piece of steel is held to beams using inadequate wood screws. While this might be sufficient for the weight if the speaker was hanging directly below, but the chain is on an angle, which encourages the screws to pull out.

Next, the hardware store grade chain links are connected to steel cable without the proper shields to keep from wearing through the cable. The cable is secured with bolt on clamps. Speakers are meant to vibrate, and bolts are not immune to loosening from vibration—bad combination.

But the weak link is that the steel cable runs through holes drilled in the speaker cabinets, so the whole extent of the weight is supported by about an inch of plywood. Meanwhile, the projector is suspended with a heavy iron pipe that is screwed into the ceiling beam using small wood screws through a flange that is not approved for overhead suspension since it has no locking method to prevent the pipe from unthreading from the flange.

Of course, there are no backup safety restraints in case the rigging fails. Liability insurance is not a solution! If you are not sure about the gear in your environment, you really need to call us!

Should you avoid Samsung TVs with Bell and Rogers?

We have encountered many reports both online, and with customers who have had difficulty with Samsung TV’s when using Bell Fibe or Rogers Cable. Rogers’ Issue: In Rogers’ case, the screen goes black and delivers the message “This is a 4K UHD channel that requires a HDCP 2.2 compatible 4K TV for display.”  This occurred […]

Churches: a dumping ground for orphaned equipment?

Often, when I get called in to advise a church on what they can do to upgrade or repair problems with a sound or video system, I encounter a variety of equipment.  It can be the cheap products sold by the local music store, intended for “garage bands”, or over the top gear best suited […]

Another Church Heading For The Cliff…

We were recently called by a church that had contracted us to install a new digital audio console, room processor and speaker array.  Unfortunately, it worked too well because it was a couple of years of trouble free operation that led the ministry staff to forget about us. We could have pestered them a bit, […]

And Then There Was Light (sometimes)…

A recent new construction project we came across had a lighting system installed by unqualified individuals, in a way that was sure to cause problems.  In fact, the problems occurred from the moment power was turned on, well before the project was completed.  These individuals had committed the first sin of lighting control—they installed all of […]

Home, Sour Home…

We were called in to finish the network wiring in a construction project involving a beautiful house perched majestically overlooking a Toronto ravine.  The last contractor and electricians had been fired, and drywall was complete.  We could only hope that the raw data cabling was sufficient.  In a new home, the slower Category 5e data cable was […]

The Church Addition That Lacked Vision

A growing church added a new addition for classrooms, youth rooms and a second worship space.  The original thought was that the small sanctuary would typically just be used for teaching, so a very simple audio system with a projector was planned.  Within one month after completion, the plan changed to include a full service […]