When cleaning out spaces and redesigning spaces how to decided what AV systems to reuse and what ones need new life.
Written By: Kate Couch and Tony Sprando
With spring just around the corner and the days becoming more consistently in the 50s it’s time for most people to do their annual spring cleaning. Whether for your home and personal use or for commercial and business use a good spring cleaning is always a good idea. Getting rid of old things and deciding to get new things and redesign them brings up some questions about AV. Many people will frequently come across a decision to reuse the AV or electrical systems that they have in place or whether they need to get a new one.
The idea to reuse an AV system is normally the client’s idea, however, the AV installer and the AV designer will all have their own input and ideas about this. When working with a budget it’s always a good idea to try to pinch pennies when you can. But pretending something is in good working condition when it’s not it’s just going to cost you more money down the road. The designer and the installer both have this in the back of their mind ( though the designer is going to try to reuse as much as possible where the installer will not spend as much time on that typically) and the nice thing about AV systems is unlike, say, an air conditioning unit, you don’t have to get rid of the entire thing essentially, you can reuse bits and pieces if they’re still good. You might need new screens or new monitors, but your projector is just fine. You might need new sound equipment, but the soundproofing solution is just fine. It’s important that the AV designer and the AV installer work together to reuse as much as possible while not being overly hopeful about the equipment which could cause problems later on.
Our approach at AV Bend is that every job has one thing in common… power. You need power and it needs to be clean. This means clean, with no buzz and a dedicated ground must be established for the AV system. I was asked to do a quote for a church and everything looked straightforward until I ask to look at the electrical panel. They told me “ oh this caught fire once” and it sure looked that way, though it had been repaired. The repair did not include any upgrades or accommodations for audiovisual. On top of that everything shared a common ground. This once easy fix is no longer acceptable. I had to tell them, then I sourced an electrician to get the panel and wiring done the way I needed before I could prepare an AV design and bill of materials list. This cost the customer thousands of dollars before any AV gear was purchased, but in this case, we had to rip out the old so we could build onto a brand new electrical foundation. This luckily doesn’t happen all that often but If I had just put in the system with what they had before it could have been a fire danger or broken the equipment I put in; which would have cost them more in the long run.
The bottom line is that when working with an AV designer, installer, and possibly an electrician deciding what AV system to reuse make sure you have clean power. In addition to clean power a system that’s up-to-date and going to be working with your needs over at least the next couple of years. This way you will avoid the dangers of an outdated or not up to code system.
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