Tech Gadgets in the Chapel

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
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daddy-o-p40
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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:45 pm

I second the no tech toys in sacrament meeting.
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:57 pm

High on my wish list would be some incandescent lights in the chapel that could be dimmed low enough to see the screen during general conference, but left high enough to be able to take notes.

In our building, even one of the fluorescents provides too much light.

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:49 pm

lajackson wrote:High on my wish list would be some incandescent lights in the chapel that could be dimmed low enough to see the screen during general conference, but left high enough to be able to take notes.

In our building, even one of the fluorescents provides too much light.


At least some facilities management (FM) groups will allow local units to hire professional electrical contractors (at local unit expense) to install additional lighting in buildings. Dimmable recessed incandescent lighting was being considered for the cultural hall in my previous stake.

There is one thing to watch out for when working with dimmers. Some buildings still have incandescent bulbs in the fixtures that were designed for incandescents. A dimmer can replace a switch in many of these situations, and all will be fine. However, if the FM group later relamps the room with compact fluorescents (CFL), then there will be a problem. I have heard conflicting reports about what happens in that case, from the CFLs just don't dim to a possibility of fire. (Yikes!) Dimmable CFLs exist, but they are expensive (US$15-17 per bulb).

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:40 pm

What you want for projection viewing is room lights that beam straight down. The way to visualize it is to think of the screen as a mirror. It reflects all light that reaches it. So you don't want any room lighting to reach it as it creates glare

On the other hand, if you're using those recessed "cans", you probably want some overlapping circles of light so as to avoid dark spots or having some rows trying to write in their own shadow (which will happen of the lighting can is just behind that row.)

Done right, you can have a dark screen even with a bright room. When I throw the right breakers in our chapel, the only light that reaches the screen is the light bouncing off a sea of white shirts. ;)

There are other fixture types that work too, but for aesthetics and retrofitting, recessed cans will be high on the list of choices.

Upgrading/replacing the projector can help too. Newer ones are brighter. Our small little Sony can easily outdo our bigger, older Sharp.

Also, the projector bulbs frequently get dim long before they fail. You may find the bulb is all caked up and should be replaced even though the "lamp" indicator hasn't come on yet. That's what happened to our projector at work. It felt like we were watching a 3 candle power magic lantern show. :p

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:11 am

RussellHltn wrote:Done right, you can have a dark screen even with a bright room. When I throw the right breakers in our chapel, the only light that reaches the screen is the light bouncing off a sea of white shirts. ;)

Maybe you could convince all of the brethren to wear black dress shirts...

Just kidding :D

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:03 am

The time is shortly coming when incandescents, florescents, CFLs, etc. will finally give way to LED lighting. IHOP just signed a contract with Cree to begin retrofitting all of their restaurants with LED lighting. (Story HERE.) It's still a bit pricey, but I foresee as the costs continue to erode, the benefit of much lower energy costs and very long life will finally tip the scales of the higher initial cost.

Yes, it's dimmable too! ;)
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:55 am

To achieve lajackson's goal of television viewing, dimability is less important then controlling where the light is directed. In our chapel, we can have the lights on full yet the screen is dark.

daveinsingapore-p40
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Postby daveinsingapore-p40 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:46 pm

hi gary and rmrichesjnr, both of you hit on a subject that is dear to my heart, I had been traveling for work for a couple of years and had been used to the older style chapels in New Zealand where I come from and this last year I finally settled down in Singapore where we have a new Stake Centre, designed and built according to the latest of technologies.....lol.

Any way it includes these little..'adapter box" which are in fact a 'attenuator' unit, used as gary so rightly puts it...'allow signals from differing sources to be fed to a balanced mic line'....I am in the sound trade business and I find this the most abhorrant idea of all, no matter it is there to be used....untill you loose your little patch box, luckily our new stake centre still has our units...in their little black cases...so no need for us to go out an make some up....lol

Any way my point is on another issue...who is the Sound Design team exactly 'rmrichesjnr', I would like to discuss some stuff with them. In our stake centre...it was opened jan 2007....we have a 4 level building with the street level acting as entrance and lift access and carpark zone, the 2nd level has a recreation hall / meeting house with a high ceiling and with stack away seating and a removable podium and ballistrades....with small stage...the 3rd level has offices around the perimeter and the encroaching ceiling from below in the middle section and the 4th level has the official chapel with two over flow rooms with stackable chairs behind chapel with pews.

Any way my question is this...on the 2nd level where they put the removable podium, and removable balistrade and removable sacrament table, there is a performing stage area. At the rear of this stage against the walls that look so pretty during meetings, there is bars set on winches to carry stage drapes...and just in front of where the podium stands there is a electrically operated front curtain just like you see in old style movie theatres and performing arts theatres....and with all of this we still have no power for stage light FOH, or bars to hang anything and only the balanced mike lines to access the sound system for what ever we want to plug in....thru the little patch boxes....so would some one please put me in touch with the Sound Design and Lighting Design team at SLC....I am a Architect by trade during the week and work in stage light and sound during the weekends..have done so for 40 years...and have seen plans of new chapels to be built in New Zealand as they would pass around the different construction companies I worked for and as they passed by my desk...I would tell the salesmen.....'no need to try and redesign or reschedule this design boys....this church knows how to design things well and does not need to hold cake stall sales to raise funds to build their churches'....lol..yes well would someone give me some answers....and contacts please....thanks...

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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:51 pm

Dave In Singapore, I don't think I fully understand your question, but here's a try at what I think it might be:

I don't have contacts or anything useful at Church headquarters. If I did, I would probably not be allowed to give you the information. In case it might help, here's how sound stuff was done in the US in 2004. For upgrades to existing buildings, a "consultant" from a company called "Sound Design" would come out to the site to scope out the actual building. The consultant would design the upgrade based on general Church-supplied guidelines and rules. The Church would take that specific design and bid it out to contractors to do the installation. One US contractor was General Communications. The contractor would do the installation and rough tuning. Then, the consultant from Sound Design (again, that's a commercial consulting company) would do the fine tuning.

Power for lighting is a general problem. It appears the Church designs the buildings to handle weekly meetings, stake conferences, and some low-intensity theatrical and musical stuff, NOT a big-scale theatrical event. At least in the US, some FM groups can be agreeable to let local units bring in external contractors to do upgrades at local unit expense. Your mileage will likely vary.

Input to and control of the PA systems is likewise designed for religious meetings, some low-intensity musical and theatrical stuff, but nothing big or intense. The PA systems appear to be designed for simplicity of operation. A lot of units appear to lack hard-core techies. At least in 2004 in the US, most new PA systems have had line-level RCA jack inputs to go along with the mike-level inputs. Pretty much, if you want to do anything fancy for sound, you need to bring in outside mixers. If you want to feed into the building PA system, you do that with a line-level or mike-level feed, through the crab box or equivalent.

Did that come close to answering your question?

nwhiatt
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Postby nwhiatt » Tue May 27, 2008 10:17 pm

I love having a Blackberry in Sunday School. I can’t count the number of times that some discussion would have taken 10 min while everyone speculated on the ‘true definition’ of some word or phrase, I just googled or went to dictionary.com! Priceless.


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