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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Somewhere in the Hills
    0 Thread(s)

    On-the-road with Presentation Gear

    I am involved in several local and regional civic organizations pertaining to public festivals, history, public rec trails, safety, and other issues.

    There are public and private committee meetings held in different venues; some have presentation facilities, many do not.

    In order to make life simpler, at least one, possibly more, organizations will open discussions about acquiring highly mobile gear to make it possible to make presentations at meetings.

    Here are some examples:

    Projector Cart. -- I have used a semi-mobile example of this. The cart I used (I acquired it for a couple of cooperating organizations) was a kind of rubbery plastic, multi-shelf, on wheels with a plug-in surge strip (you could plug the cart into an extension cord, then plug a projector, laptop and other gear into the cart) and even a pull-out shelf for a laptop. This cart provided an elevated platform to the projector in making presentations to a roomful of people.

    Case for Mobile Projector -- Another civic organization I help has a portable projector (full size, bought as a refurb) used for various presentations. This unit is usually hauled around in a cardboard shipping box. I was of the opinion that Tom Bihn's Camera Insert/Outsert would have been the perfect padded case for equipment like this, but the CIO is no longer available.

    WiFi Connectivity for Presentations -- I originally tried using a previous-generation AppleTV box for this with mixed results. The objective here is to wirelessly connect either a computer or a tablet or smartphone to a projector to give overhead slideshows or video presentations. Problem: some places don't have internet OR some places have overlapping WiFi LAN hotspots that confused the AppleTV, making setup problematic at best. Added problem: Video presentations usually mean sound. In order to give a video with sound, one must also bring along a hailer/portable loudspeaker of some kind as well as the necessary cable gear and adaptors to connect to a laptop's earphone port. (I never tried this from an iPad or smartphone, and would have no idea how to do so.)

    Hailer-loudpseaker -- See previous WiFi Connectivity item's mention of video with sound. A hailer must be able to connect to a microphone for making live voice announcements, as well as somehow connecting to a laptop or tablet/phone device. Such a hailer must be able to plug-into 110v AC power or operate on a battery (preferably rechargeable) and be something that can be carried around outdoors for limited tours on foot. One big problem I've found with some crude, cheap hailers has been either they can't connect to other A/V presentation equipment or the mic is really sensitive and it cuts out if someone talks loud into the built-in mic.

    A few visual samples of what I'm talking about:

    Attachment 18802

    The above image was taken in a small social hall. On the table, a laptop is connected to a projector and a hailer, to make video presentations with sound possible. The tall black box on the right of the white table in a cheap and somewhat portable hailer. (Hailer comes with a shoulder strap and a wireless mic, but the boxy loudspeaker unit is not very easy to carry around.)

    Attachment 18803

    A projector cart, taken years ago, before I had ever heard of Tom Bihn.

    Attachment 18804

    A more recent view of the same cart, from further away, during a spoken segment of a presentation.

    On-the-road with Presentation Gear-nativefoods_hailerr-jpg

    A much nicer professional hailer, with a nicer wired mic, but also much heavier and not something to be carried around.


    It's been quite a few years since I bothered to look at this kind of equipment. So I'm not familiar with the outfits that handle it or what they offer. Please tell me if the marketplace offers the kinds of items to suit my needs:

    Is there a lightweight, durable collapsible projector cart that can set up like the one shown in the images here, that can be quickly and easily collapsed, transported and stored?

    What is the market for carrying bag/case for projectors? How can I configure them?

    I feel burned by AppleTV. Too many glitches. Is there a reliable way to wirelessly connect a laptop, tablet or smartphone to a projector?

    What are our options for good hailers, and how to connect them to a laptop or other device for sound during presentations?
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    0 Thread(s)
    OK I will try to be brief and concise but......

    1-There is no collapsible lightweight cart that I have ever seen that is up to the task.
    I have only tried for 40 years to find such a beast but if they can collapse I have found that they will and when not wanted too!
    Pro AV Carts are widely available though and can be pretty light weight too and the sturdier the better for me,remember you need to get the stuff into the venue too and a good cart can be your best friend with that!
    to name just a few have been making high quality carts forever and these are widely available new and used too.
    Ebay and Craigs List can be your friend here too,I buy brand new carts on Ebay all the time and many on CL too for a fraction of the cost to me even as a dealer.

    2-This one is simple,Pelican Case........Really!
    There are no equals here and if you get one with pick and pluck foam you can easily tailor it to fit your projector and other stuff like a glove.Make sure yours is big enough for the Mics and other small electronics you will also carry.
    OK Storm Case is also good enough and that is why Pelican bought them too.
    SKB cases seem identical but are not in use so do not be fooled,they will break if used like Pelican and the service for the Lifetime Warranty is not great either in my experience.

    Again no reason to buy retail for new prices.

    3-Apple TV is great and is just one tool that is useful for this application,I imagine you need to work with one a lot more until you feel confident in the myriad options and benefits they can provide if you can meet the learning curve to keep one going too.
    There are so many scenarios for wireless and broadband access in a presentation environment to be encountered and overcome that you can really not give up too easily.
    You need to carry at least one way to create your own WiFi in addition to the Apple TV,I carry an Airport Extreme or Express AND a Verizon Jetpack along with an Apple TV AND Raspberry Pi setup as a Media Server on every job and between them all I can usually get reliable WiFi and Broadband going so that the show can go on.
    I also carry a Mac Mini AND a Dell Zino all the time along with Keyboards and Mice for them,sometimes you will need a whole other computer,trust me.

    Anyway I have found that I get bad information in advance about the rooms WiFi and Broadband services and I need to be able to go in cold and set up a system that I know and know will work every time so I have to bring my own to get this.
    With the JetPack I get Broadband and WiFi in the same box and it is always set up just like the ;ast time that I used it,as long as I can get a Verizon signal I know what I can expect.
    If there is no need for Broadband the the Airport will deliver a rock solid WiFi network every time and I am already setup to use it for the Apple TV I carry too,often this is all the Apple TV really needs to work properly away from home.
    It is also worth mentioning that with an Airport,Apple Computer and/or Apple TV I can send Audio Wirelessly to an Airport Express for speakers somewhere else in the room,this can come in pretty handy a lot of times too!

    Many treat Presentations as an evil they must endure,(the smart ones at least) but just like you need to understand the presentation material to be effective you need to understand the gear to make it all work or have someone there that does.

    4-First off in 40 years in the business I have never heard the term Hailer used in this context!? Interesting.
    The subject of Audio for Presentations is often not too simple really and I imagine that your needs will vary from venue to venue as well making it really tough to answer certain questions about the requirements you have as you just won't know very often in advance.
    From your listed needs though it narrows down a lot of you are determined to be mobile while presenting and on battery power?

    -Anchor Audio is the leader for this really,pricey but proven on the road.
    -Galaxy Audio is the 2nd runner up and offers most of what Anchor does but in somewhat cheaper and different forms but is still Pro-Grade and proven.
    -MiPro is a newer Chinese maker that offers a lot for the money and some features that only they have discovered so far.

    These are all Pro Gear and priced accordingly and are designed for daily use on the road and offer enough options ad flexibily to roll with your changing needs as you change Venue.
    They offer Wireless Mic,Battery power,Extension Speakers for bigger rooms if needed,Stand Mounting which is essential to get the Audio projected to the whole room and many other features.

    There are self contained speaker packages like the one you have pictured in the only Pic that I can see but this is not a Pro Setup in any way either.
    These are designed for people to use for parties mainly for music and though one might make a workable solution in a Presentation Environment there is more to this than just the box.
    Those are bigger than you really need probably as being designed for Music they have larger Woofers for Bass which in general are not a good feature for the mostly Vocal needs of Presentation use.
    Also once you get them on a stand for Vocal Projection the Bass falls off anyway making them even more of a waste for the use.
    Every one of these units that I have tried has failed on me in a meeting setting.Also like you say they are not manageable for carrying around unless you sit it on the sturdy pro cart I talk about above and wheel it around on the tour!

    Overall what I always find interesting when selling systems like these is that while the Client is talking to me about giving a better more professional presentation they are also somehow stuck not understanding that the Presentation itself has to be Professional in all respects for the impression to be wholly positive?
    Professional Services are expensive and so is Pro Gear so to the extent that one is willing to really invest in knowing what will work for them they will be satisfied with the results proportionally.

    All of this assumes of course that you truly do need to be mobile with your Audio ?

    If not things get a lot simpler,I mostly rent out a Peavy Messenger System and have never had anyone complain.
    They are simple,Hardwired,Capable,Flexible and Articulate in a small easily carried suitcase format.
    I have done everything from board room and Auditorium meetings to several Impromptu Musical Sound Reinforcement Gigs outdoors where I was the only person there with any gear when a concert just spontaneously occurred!
    I have a feeling that something like this would take care of you 90% of the time along with a few Mics and Mic Stands for the speakers.
    Behringer also makes a copy of the Peavy design which is supposed to be decent.

    I have a few Anchor Megaphone style systems that get used for walking tours like you describe and they work perfectly as this is just what they are designed for.
    I have one with a Wreless Mic too.

    I use the bigger Anchor Explorer style systems if battery operation over larger crowds is called for.If used with an extension speaker I have done huge gigs outdoors even all on battery power!

    I have purchased most of this through CL and Ebay.

    I carry many,many other things from Gaffers Tape to every adapter known to man and several that I have created because they were not and to be successful at presentations this is what works for me.

    Hope this gives yo a start?


    Oh and Please,after all of this time,WHAT IS YOUR NAME?Confused
    Last edited by AVService; 08-26-2017 at 07:23 AM.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Somewhere in the Hills
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    OK I will try to be brief and concise but......

    I have purchased most of this through CL and Ebay.

    I carry many,many other things from Gaffers Tape to every adapter known to man and several that I have created because they were not and to be successful at presentations this is what works for me.

    And Please,after all of this time,WHAT IS YOUR NAME?Confused
    Improptu concerts, eh? "What's your name, little girl, what's your name???"

    One of your clients must be Lynyrd Skynyrd. Wink
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

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