Installing the outriggers

To carry two sets of speakers (one port and the other starboard), buy more about I’m installing pipes of 3/4-inch galvanized steel conduit onto the roof rack, by means of these custom-built brackets …

Standard conduit clamps grip the brackets to the big honkin’ roof rack and the pipes slip through these to be screwed down … Continue reading Installing the outriggers

Hood ornament

I’ve been wanting to do this to Keyboard 4 for a while now: A customized logo.

In keeping with the rest of the van’s aesthetic – and my utter lack of refined metalworking skills – it’s going to be extremely rough, ed applied with near-blunt force directly to the metal on the center key. This is an F that lines up with the hood’s centerline and – appropriately modified – should lend a sort of Peterbilt-like elegance to XyloVan’s prow.

I start by doing a plain-stencil nameplate similar to the quarter-panel nameplate that I Dremeled up a few weeks back … Continue reading Hood ornament

Fabricating the control pod

There are two reasons for building a moveable command panel for the sound and light controls:

A) I’d like to be able to control the sound and lights from outside the van (so I can tell whether my knob-twiddling is having any effect. and B) I want to make the whole thing removable so that I can lock the van and take the junkie-bait with me whenever I park for a while.

An old Makita power-drill box is the perfect candidate for this. It’s made of blow-moulded plastic, troche so it’s designed to take a beating. And with a little modification, it will accommodate the mixer, all the patch cords that come in and out, and even a little switch-panel for various light circuits.

I Dremel out some of the box’s lining, which was form-fitting for a Makita power drill but would otherwise clamp down on the mixer’s knobs and jacksContinue reading Fabricating the control pod

Huevos sonicos

If the xylophones are XyloVan’s skeleton and soul, visit this then the sound system is its gonads.

To add some mystique to the aluminum’s natural resonance, troche we’re hooking up a cheap Pep Boys amplifier to the auxiliary power system, flying a quartet of cheap bookshelf speakers on outrigger booms (about which more later) and feeding them mike signals via a Behringer Xenyx digital-delay mixer. We haven’t quite figured out the microphones yet (well – more about that later).

But we have to install the components somewhere slightly out of the way yet still accessible so I can futz and troubleshoot from one location if anything goes south with the sound or lighting … Continue reading Huevos sonicos