The Bad Examples Page...
Things we don't like to see at a final inspection!

The photos you are about to see are real. I've elected to use these photos as an informative method to show what not to do in sound system installations.
 
     
I'm often get asked to come in and look at existing sound systems in clubs, mobiles, churches, schools and arenas. Often these systems are several years old, have had numerous changes and alterations made to them, all sorts of baling wire and binder twine solutions by people with various skill levels. The wiring is often a mess, things are dangling from wires in the rack, and there is equipment placed any old place, including just resting on top of other pieces of equipment. Often it is from these accumulated "repairs" that the system falls over dead.

These photos could be from just such an aged installation, they exhibit all the things that make a techie cringe, and yet this isn't what you think it is. Read on...
 
     
These are photos from a brand new installation, and this was the way I found it when I arrived to commission the new system. These photos show nearly every single incorrect way of implementing the cable management in an equipment rack, the labeling, the equipment fabrication and documentation, the termination, and the cable splicing (Cable Splicing in an equipment rack? Wait a minute....).
 
Note the stick on modules attached haphazardly to the side of the rack in the photo above. Also note that there is a transformer dangling on the connecting wires, with no other support. Note the inappropriate use of a nylon terminal strip free floating in the air behind a transformer mounting panel.
 
     
It is often necessary to custom fabricate equipment to mount various special devices and switching components. Shop drawings should be submitted prior to fabrication to avoid inappropriate custom fabrication, such as this example. This mystery box, sitting loose on top of a piece of equipment, is missing such basics as grommets for wire exits, and features felt pen labeling of all the terminals.
 
This is not the way to mount a terminal strip in an equipment rack, using a skyhook to hang it in free air, and having a small relay attached to the terminal strip too. At least no one will be bothered by the sound of relay actuation, the vibration isolation is superb. Note how close this terminal strip is to the side of the rack where several convenient mounting points would have been available to fasten the strip in place.
 
     
It is such a bad idea to use in-line splices in shielded cables, especially when it would have been very easy to terminate the two cables on the connector on the source equipment. Note the transformer leads that are unterminated are neatly pointed up in the air where they can do no harm by touching nearby surfaces.
 
Just as soon as this contractor calls me to tell me they have corrected this installation, I'll put the after pictures up here so you can see how the story turned out (for the client and the contractor)