Proper Cable Labeling
As audio and video techs I’m sure many of us have spent far too much of our time tracing cables!! Often that is the only way to truly verify whether cables are plugged in correctly when you are having a signal flow issue. One way we at Lambda AV have tried to eliminate or greatly reduce tracing cables is a relatively simple process… Labeling the cables! Labeling the cables and having accurate documentation on where every cable is actually going can save you lots of time in your troubleshooting and in any future redesign projects!
As you can see in these pictures, we use a combination of labels and color-coded heat shrink to identify each cable and what connection they have. Check through your list and make sure each is connected where it is supposed to be.
Labeling along with good documentation, as you can see here can help you trace a cable in seconds instead of minutes or hours!
Spotlighting Symetrix Prism
Let’s talk about Symetrix! We certainly love their products and are happy with the great integration and capabilities they bring to our system designs. So, what’s so great about Symetrix? Let’s take a quick look at one of the products we are big fans of and use a lot!
The Prism has a mirid of flexible IO combinations. The smallest being a 4x4 up to 16x16, providing a wide scale of case use, perfect for any install. Dante is also a huge part of Symetrix and with Prism’s equipped with the Dante protocol the Prism is enabled with ultra-reliable multi-channel audio networking over IP. This makes it the fastest way to implement, control, and maintain a system of networked DSPs and accessories.
New Building Up and Running!
It truly is a great feeling when the time comes for the first event for one of our customers after an install. It is the culmination of weeks, months, and sometimes even years of planning and work; not just for Lambda, but for the group themselves.
Cross and Crown Church has worked with us for many years now and has been faithfully planning, saving, and dreaming about what this day might look like. On January 1st, 2023, we got to see that vision come to life. A well finished project is what we got to see for Cross and Crown (C&C). It is our firm belief that technology should not distract and should instead contribute to upholding the primary mission of the organization and its events. With C&C we got to see some serious fun and excitement as the church settled in to their first Sunday and look forward to future day to day events. Let’s look at how this build came together and how it fit C&C and their vision for the future.
In building C&C design, technology selection was a key piece. The church had communicated a desire for new systems and flexibility but did not want a system that felt overbearing and in need of skilled operators or one that was over the top in look and feel. They didn’t want a system that would take over the look of the church but blended with them. In each request, we were careful to select technology that would uphold these goals.
When the US Air Force Academy Hockey and Basketball games were picked up for broadcasting to cable tv, they knew they had to up their audio game and called Lambda AV. AFA hockey and basketball have been historically fun attractions for those local to the Colorado Springs area and with the success of the Avalanche in the Stanley cup even more attention was gained by local teams. Altitude Sports wanted to pick them up for distribution and while Adam and Brian at AFA had all the video gear needed to broadcast, they were lacking proper audio.
Simple, Effective Cable Pull
The phone began to ring and when I, Ryan, looked the caller ID read WJFW-TV in Rhinelander Wisconsin. I assumed it would be a scam call but answered anyway. On the other end, Marty and Walt from WJFW-TV were calling to discuss a previous article we wrote on an early PTZ camera design. The system they owned was a similar version to what we wrote about many years ago. When they saw how much we liked the system, they wanted to ask how we got it to work so well. I laughed, “We didn’t!"
First Steps on Site
Just a few weeks ago Lambda started a full AV install on a new building project! Over the last year we have worked to build designs, CAD, procure equipment, and test and program it all to work together in our design. Finally, all the behind-the-scenes work is done, and the install is in full swing! So, what are the first steps for Lambda when we come on a new site?
AVL Networking Concept
When I (Ryan) was in high school, I took a series of courses from D20 as part of their tech pathway. These courses were all about becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate. These classes offered basic understanding of how to setup, design, and configure computer networks. Fast forward to post college with a degree in Broadcast Video Production that I never thought I would use, but today basically all our Audio, Video, and Lighting systems use networks and use them in advanced ways.
When it comes to networking today, the simple “dumb” switches, or switches straight out of the box, simply aren’t enough for demanding, time critical, AVL (Audio, Video, Lighting) events and systems. So much data is moving around in these systems that it is absolutely critical to have switches configured correctly for the protocol or service being used. In this case, Dante audio requires large loads of audio specific timing and multicast settings to make sure audio is delivered on time and the clock is never dropped.
A local D20 Elementary school approached us at the beginning of summer looking for a solution to improve their gym speaker system for the coming school year. At this point, nothing had failed yet, but the system was getting very old and was not well designed for how they now use the gym space. The gym, for the school, is where they hold assemblies, do theater productions, as well as have their normal PE/gym classes throughout the week. It was in desperate need of a redesign so the system could meet these needs.
All of the Lambda Staff contribute to the Blog. If you have any questions about the info we provide, please don't hesitate to ask!
Check out our resources page for FREE checklists and tools we mention in articles! We are here to help you improve and maintain your Audio Visual Systems!