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Sators Workbox – Production Office Road Case

Sators Workbox in action

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After years on the road, I finally built a production office road case design that I have fallen in love with.  Some have asked me for the schematics and details of how to reproduce it, so here it is and my thought process behind it.  If you end up building one similar or a derivative, post a pic!

Size

Closed – Half pack by quarter pack by 58″h (short enough to fly without having to be tipped *fingers crossed they don’t actually tip it – hasn’t happened yet!*)

Features

  • 2 minute setup – open up clamshell, plug in power, sit down and begin working.
  • Mac Mini, VoIP phone, Printer/Scanner, Cash Counting Machine all stored in the case.
  • Electronics cavity for power, wiring, and components located behind the monitor, accessible by a door on the outside of case.
  • Gigabit networking with POE switches, 3-4 ports on each side with additional ports on top, built in WiFi access point
  • White Board paint on drawer faces (orientated for a left handed person! I use this every day and LOVE it!)
  • Cork Board on right side of Workspace Area
  • Top left is a combo/key lock area for sensitive materials
  • LED lighting – both up/room/accent lighting on top of the case and down lighting for the workspace
  • Synology network hard drive for NAS and TimeMachine backups
  • HDMI output on top for dashboard/statusboard TV (typically second monitor of Mac Mini – shows current GPS positions of runners, weather, digital day sheet, network activity and monitoring of tour wifi/access points), HDMI switcher receives secondary monitor output of Mac Mini, SDI feed from stage/multiviewer, Chromecast, AppleTV
  • Courtesy outlet on left workspace tray for laptops, soldering iron, etc.
  • USB charger with courtesy phone cables for a quick charge for anyone passing by
  • IP based time clock – synced with internet time server for accurate, reliable clock
  • Super deep drawer under workstation area for fan, paper cutter, cables, etc – things typically accessed at start/end of day or rarely throughout.

Photos

Components

Design

The SketchUp file and design was created by me, but lots of thanks to all of my touring friends who provided key insight and ideas along the way.

Download the Google SketchUp File – Drawer sizes differ from actual build, but concepts and rough dimensions are there.

Built in 2014

Since I live in Indianapolis, I decided to give a local company the business – Indy Case.  After making it incorrect the first time around, the second build was perfect and right on par.  They were great to work with and resolved my issues with the incorrect sizing – would use them again!

 

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  • John Weygandt

    I see what you did there… links for each of the Components in the list. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Sators reply on August 5th, 2015:

    I aim to please!

    [Reply]

  • Jason Dermer (Hoffmann)

    Spectacular! The only thing that I would (will be) doing different is swapping the power input to an original power con. For my situation, touring with and/ or providing Meyer and ADR rigs, I’ll know that there is no way that a single lost cable can kill my day. For a lot of peeps, I would say using an Edison (or even stage pin!!!!) power in would be the safest bet.

    [Reply]

    Sators reply on August 14th, 2015:

    Which is why I carry two of those cables. 🙂 It is interesting why the new powercon’s haven’t fully caught on – I’ve definitely seen them around, but they aren’t growing in popularity that quickly…

    Do you think anyone pays attention to this note on the original powercon’s? (the major difference between the new/old): “Attention: The powerCON is a connector without breaking capacity, i.e. the powerCON should not be connected or disconnected under load or live!”

    [Reply]

    Jason Dermer (Hoffmann) reply on August 16th, 2015:

    I doubt many people pay attention to the “not to be connected/ disconnected under load” note. Just plain reality as far as the lack of change to the new “True” series. Think about it. My relatively small company (250ish Meyer and ADR boxes, along with some powered VRX) all use power con. All of our distribution is based around powercon, L21, and Soco. Tens of thousands of dollars in shop time and parts to change it, for very little perceived advantage.

    [Reply]

  • Chris Cristina Green

    I was just pretty much designing a similar case. but I may just need to steal these plans and modify slightly,lol. With my needs a lot of the Venus I do I need it to be able to break down into sections to be carried up/down stairs. a pain in the ass sure that way, but not much different than the multiple cases I have now. but this looks sleeker and in the end better organised.

    [Reply]