Tips on Moving Your A/V Equipment

No doubt about it, moving a business, school, or house of worship is a daunting task with so many things to worry about. And because of the high-tech age in which we live, we have even more cables and wires and A/V equipment to deal with. But we can help! Follow our tips for moving your most sensitive electronics equipment and cross one of those worries off your list.

1. Things to look for in your new location:
Before moving your existing equipment to a new location, determine that you have the space and room. Remember that you’re going to need electrical outlets wherever you plan to place your equipment. Also, some electrical outlets may need to be dedicated or grounded. Thermal conditions are something else to consider. Make sure that it’s a controlled environment with low humidity. If you’re using a projector in a room that will have windows, such as a conference room, you must have curtains or shades to prevent glare. Keep in mind that some rooms carry high vibrations from other equipment, such as air handling units, presenting difficulties in mounting projectors and requiring special mountings.

2. Disconnecting:
Be sure you power down all equipment before unplugging the power supplies. You might not remember where all your wires and cables plug back into, so label everything to be safe. It’s important to document every connection. Be cautious when removing and packing cables as they tend to be delicate, especially around the connectors (ends). Something else to consider: sometimes your best bet is to install new cables for your new location and discard the old ones. The reason? Pulling old cables back through the walls destroys the cable. It stretches them, and many times they get caught on internal items in the walls or ceilings.

3. Packing:
Your equipment is expensive and probably extremely sensitive. Screens, for example, need to be handled with great care and caution. If you incorrectly roll and store your screens, you face a great risk of creasing and ruining them. Place projectors in secure boxes with padding; they’re very delicate as well. The slightest bang, drop, or shake can almost guarantee that you'll have to buy a new one. If you plan on packing and storing your equipment for any amount of time, it’s important to keep everything away from moisture. Temperature is not always a factor—it’s the humidity that will cause you grief and ultimately cost you a lot of money in new equipment. Another caveat: don't pack equipment in those styrofoam peanuts. It can be detrimental if small pieces make their way into the equipment.

Be sure to use the “over-under” technique when wrapping up all salvageable cables. As stated earlier, audio and video cables are delicate, so you need to handle them with care. When storing your microphones, be sure to put them in a dry case, keeping them free from moisture and dust. This will prolong the life of your mics, and it’s good practice to do this whenever they’re not in use.

4. Reconnecting and Starting Up:
If you took the time to label and document how things connected, this should be a fairly easy task. It’s crucial that you document everything if you plan on doing this on your own.
Hiding wires makes for a professional look and will prevent accidental tripping or disconnecting. Remember: without proper test equipment, it’s difficult to ensure that you won't have a component failure. Every component should be fully tested prior to turning on the system to avoid major problems and potential equipment damage.

5. Consider hiring an A/V professional:
Never guess! If you don't know exactly what you’re doing, you face the risk of permanently damaging your equipment. Most professionally installed systems are a lot more intricate and sophisticated than your average home system. So just because you can hook up your television to your surround-sound receiver at home, this doesn't necessarily mean you can take on the A/V setup in your office, house of worship, or school. It’s always best to hire a professional. Not only will your equipment be connected and set up properly, but you’ll also have peace of mind knowing there’s one less thing to worry about during this chaotic time.

Do you need a professional A/V company to help you with your move? Call Shanahan toll-free at 800.786.1556.