In this blog, we will explore just how easy it is to effectively integrate small, DC powered devices into your stadium & arena installations, including those that are critical to the visitor experience. Many of the efficiencies we will explore could equally be enjoyed in a touring setup as well.
At first glance, AV setups in Stadium & Arenas appear to revolve around the halftime entertainment, however, look a little closer and you will see a host of AV gear being used behind the scenes for wayfinding, retail, and arena branding. While the “big ticket” gear will normally mount in standard 19” racks, there is also a host of other, smaller, devices in the mix including signage players, signal extension and distribution amplifiers. When discussing the challenges of integrating these small, DC powered devices to the in-house tech; they will tell you about the considerable time, effort, and money they spend to install and service them, and how finding a space-saving, clean and efficient solution for this range of equipment would solve so many headaches.
The holy grail of rack design is to be able to go to site with an exact picture of what kit is mounted where and then to use this drawing as a precise “as built” drawing for later fault finding. However, anyone who has ever seen in the back of a typical rack will testify this is rarely the case for small items of gear. When it comes to designing a rack layout, the large ticket items are simple to plan as they are invariably built to 19” form factors; however, when you go to half rack items and smaller you are faced with some challenges as the rack design phase can become tricky to create accurate layouts or cost estimates at the quoting stage.
Using ONErack removes the headaches and allows your tech to mount small devices to the mounting module rather than having to be a contortionist in the back of the rack! They will not only be happier, but far more efficient, saving you time and money!
Maximizing your rack space
Velcroing or cabling tying are the traditional methods to racking and attaching all your small devices to a rack shelf. This will appear to be a cost-effective solution until you are trying to trace faults, service them, or keep your kit cool to extend the life of the units within a full rack.
A popular option to bring order to a rack is to use a 1RU shelf which can be a good option for halfwidth 1RU devices, however this solution rarely gives high enough density, as many small devices are less than 1RU tall without considering the cable runs for power, network and signal cables.
Using tvONE’s ONErack, you can take advantage of huge efficiencies with up to thirty-two devices within a single rack, not to mention easier cable management and the removal of wall warts from the rack.
Using your “as built” reference documentation from your ONErack installation will pay huge dividends and will significantly lower the cost of ownership of your AV system. It also opens an easy to navigate route for system expansion and upgrades further down the line. If one of your small devices fails, it is easy to navigate to the item without superhuman flexibility. Instead slide out the module in question. Mission critical systems often create spare blades which sit on the shelf ready for an immediate swap out.
For system integrators, this level of service could offer up new revenue streams with hot spare replacement followed by a later repair or replace of the small AV device. Additionally, reduced service call times makes for more competitive managed services and much happier customers.
Stay cool - extending equipment life
Large rack-mounted items such as PC’s, media servers and matrix switchers will undoubtedly have thermal management design at the forefront to avoid over heating but what about the multitude of small devices peppered around your rack? They can often be bathed in the hot air exhaust from the large ticket items. This will vastly reduce their lifespan or cause intermittent failures as it is a fact that every 8ºC (18ºF) above 21ºC (70ºF) reduces long term reliability by 50%.
There are several rack cooling options out there including front, rear, and top exhaust options, but what is missing from these is localized cooling of small items. A failure here will likely cause wider system issues. With ONErack you can tailor the airflow to push or pull the hot air from your rack. Additionally, it can be ran at different speeds and, at a maximum, can clear up to 228 Cubit Feet per Minute or up to 4850 BTU which is more than enough to cater with any set up.
Go beyond single voltage options
Ask any experienced AV user what gives them headaches and DC power problems will always figure in the top three! While, many other AV pain points have been addressed with technological innovation, DC power has remained static in terms of evolution with the humble wall wart and single or dual voltage rack mount power units being your only options until now.
Not all rack mount DC power supplies are born equal, so it is worth asking questions about total power output and the number of voltages you can access. Even some larger power units can have limited outputs, and while adding another unit is an option, this adds to project cost and uses expensive rack space.
Also, check which voltages you can output. While many “AV only” installs only require 5 or 12 volts, a divergence in the marketplace between AV, IT and Broadcast solutions has seen a demand for other voltages including 7.5, 13.5, 18 and 24 volts. Using an “AV only” power supply will only add to your issues.
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