Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Lagerquist - Behind the Scenes (Installation)

By Patrick Wakefield

When last I blogged....

The patch bays were being punched, equipment had arrived, and Travis and I were itching to begin the installation. The tight schedule in the music building gave us one week to accomplish a huge amount of work - so when Monday morning arrived, we hit the ground running.

Pre-installation Production Room
My mother always told me that the best way to clean a dirty room was to start by picking something up. While this sounds a lot like Forrest Gump, the theory holds true. We began by pulling out the excess cable, one at a time. Over the years, these cables had become a tangled mess of copper wiring: unlabeled, and stubborn. Most of the first day was spent gutting the room. Equipment, furniture, and seemingly miles of cable were removed from the production room. Tearing apart the room was oddly calming, but by the end of the day we were a little worried.
lots and lots of cables!
Going into the project, we knew it was going to be a struggle. We had a rough idea of how long all the work would take, but we hadn't expected so much.. stuff. The technicians who originally installed the cabling - may their lines forever have hum - didn't run the cable too well. By run, I mean lay the cable neatly on it's path towards it's destination. Cables were wrapped around each other, criss-crossing through the ceiling. Travis and I spent a good hour and a half sorting out a bundle of 26 video cables, and that was only a portion of the work to be done. Most of Monday was spent sorting cables, but the organization we achieved payed off in the end.
Air soldering
By Wednesday we had accomplished much more than we expected given our Monday setbacks. Most of the cable had been run, and the equipment rack was taking shape. Mike - our amazing woodworker - arrived and installed the new desk we had designed. The room was starting to look like a production space. We ran cabling from the patch bays across the room and into the desk, managed it nicely to the sides with a disturbing amount of zip-ties, and began connecting all of the equipment together.
Mike installing the new desk
Thursday and Friday were spent wrapping up. While we planned well, there were still things that we hadn't thought about. We tied up loose ends, cleaned the room, and began testing. The scary thing about an installation is that four days in you still don't really know if everything will work or not. We checked all the lines to and from the concert hall, and found that (miraculously) all the lines worked.
Managing cables..
Friday afternoon brought a sigh of relief. We hadn't gotten everything done, but we had accomplished more than we could've hoped. In the space of one week, Travis and I tore apart and reconstructed a production studio. While there was still work to be done, the production room was functional. We packed up our tools, and at 5 PM began a well deserved Winter Break.

It's a work in progress, but it's still beautiful

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