Saturday
Portable Unifi Rig
Reason for Installation
Unifi network and video surveillance of three panel rooms at a three day convention.
Used Products
×1
×4
×4
×2
×1
×1
Location
San Francisco, CA, USA
Description

I have returned from San Francisco after a very long and tiring weekend at BABSCon, a My Little Pony Fandom Convention. I volunteered at the convention as one of the Co-Leads of Panel Productions. We had three side panel rooms that was separated from the main stage and our sound mixers are controlled via an IP network. Last year we had some super cheap network switches and some routers setup with DD-WRT to run the network. That setup worked fine unless a cable was unplugged or if we needed to change any of the wireless network settings as there was multiple AP’s to give us the wireless coverage that was needed for our setup.

This year, I decided to give Unifi a try at the convention to make my life easier to manage the network. Anyone that has spent time at a hotel venue knows that internet is not cheap ($3k+ a day at 5Mbps per port is quite common). Our plan was to share the internet connection with the main stage folk and use the Mesh AP’s to bounce the signal over to our area; however, the hotel did not have the ports activated in time for what we were needing so we scrapped that idea.

Our three panel rooms were side by side to each other and the air walls had enough of a gap under them so we could run a physical ethernet cable to each room without any issue. Our main room housed a road case that had the desktop computer for that room along with a small Linux box that acted as the NVR for the cameras, the Unifi Controller (more on that later) along with our media streaming server for background music in each room. This room also had an LR AP and the UVC-Pro for surveillance of the equipment.

Our second room had a laptop and an iPad in the back of the room to manage the audio mixer that was in the front under the panelists table. We ended up putting one of the US-8-60W switches under the table so we could have the ethernet cable to the mixer and to the G3 camera that was facing the door to keep an eye on who was walking in and out of the room.

For the third room, it was mostly the same setup where there was a desktop computer in the back of the room with an US-8-150W switch and an LR AP. In the front of the room, we also tossed an US-8-60W under the table for the mixer and the G3 camera.

We ended up putting the US-8-60W switches under the tables in the two rooms for the mixers and the cameras because we did not want to run extra long ethernet cable runs for a temporary event to just connect the cameras. I did have one of the 48V to 24V converters to use with one of the switches and the cameras so we could use the POE on the US-8-60W.

As mentioned, the original plan was to have access to an ethernet jack and share the connection between the main and side panel rooms, because of this, the Unifi controller was hosted offsite with this in mind. As we scrapped the idea of sharing the ethernet port, having the Unifi Controller hosted offsite turned out to be a large issue. I tried to use the routers with DD-WRT from last year to convert the free hotel wifi to a wired connection. With a convention going on with up to 1k+ people connected, the speeds were not very reliable. Cellular was not even an option too as almost all carriers did not get service in the rooms that we were in. I had many emails saying that devices were disconnected from the controller and were back online in such a short period of time. To make matters worse, we could not manage any of the devices with such a bad connection. We ended up installing the Unifi Controller on my linux box that already had the NVR setup and working on it. It took over an hour to download the 64MB Unifi installer over the hotels wifi. Once I got the Controller downloaded and installed, I quickly setup the controller and got enough of a connection to export the site from controller off site. I imported the site on the local system and was quite surprised at how easy it was to move to the new controller. All of the devices showed up and I don’t recall anything having to reboot.

 

A handy feature that the Unifi product line has is the AP Uplinks. We had one ethernet cable that went from the 1st room to the 3rd that had a bad clip and would come unplugged at times. When the ethernet cable would come unplugged, we would normally loose connection until we plugged it back in. The controller was smart enough to know that the AP became isolated and automatically reconfigured itself so we would not loose the other room from our NVR system for long until we had a chance to plug the cable back in.

The cable management may not be the best; however, for a 3 day volunteer event and a portable rig, we unfortunately don’t have the time to make everything look pretty. All of the cables are hidden from public view and would only be seen by very few people.

 

I’ve got another My Little Pony convention that I am volunteering at next month in SeaTac WA and the same Unifi equipment is going with me as it has made my life easier to manage the network.

 

 IMG_20180331_114733110.jpgA panel room with an event going on

 

IMG_20180315_012920588_LL.jpgUpdating firmware and adpoting

 

IMG_20180331_115933373.jpgUSG

 

IMG_20180331_124422640_LL.jpgOne table with the sound mixer and network switch.

 

IMG_20180331_115405801.jpgSomeone has to guard the equipment

 

IMG_20180329_215217955.jpgOur secure way of holding the camera

 

IMG_20180315_004621496.jpgAll equipment ready to be unboxed

 

IMG_20180331_115452620_LL.jpgThe Main network & server road case

 

IMG_20180315_021905888_LL.jpgReady to be used at con

 

IMG_20180401_132713751.jpgBack of one of the rooms

 

IMG_20180325_165402093_LL.jpgMounted network switch

 

IMG_20180331_124345444.jpgOne of the G3 Cameras

 

IMG_20180329_215113705.jpgGetting the correct angle setup. Old roll of tape helps with the angle

 

IMG_20180331_115145918.jpgBack of our 3rd room.

 

IMG_20180331_124505106_LL.jpgAnother room with a desktop, AP, and Switch

 

unifi_clients.PNGList of all devices on the network

 

unifi_controller.PNGUnifi Devices

 

unifi_db.PNGUnifi Dashboard

 

unifi_ports.PNGUnifi Ports

 

unifi_video.PNGView of all three rooms

 

Portable Unifi Rig

by Saturday

I have returned from San Francisco after a very long and tiring weekend at BABSCon, a My Little Pony Fandom Convention. I volunteered at the convention as one of the Co-Leads of Panel Productions. We had three side panel rooms that was separated from the main stage and our sound mixers are controlled via an IP network. Last year we had some super cheap network switches and some routers setup with DD-WRT to run the network. That setup worked fine unless a cable was unplugged or if we needed to change any of the wireless network settings as there was multiple AP’s to give us the wireless coverage that was needed for our setup.

This year, I decided to give Unifi a try at the convention to make my life easier to manage the network. Anyone that has spent time at a hotel venue knows that internet is not cheap ($3k+ a day at 5Mbps per port is quite common). Our plan was to share the internet connection with the main stage folk and use the Mesh AP’s to bounce the signal over to our area; however, the hotel did not have the ports activated in time for what we were needing so we scrapped that idea.

Our three panel rooms were side by side to each other and the air walls had enough of a gap under them so we could run a physical ethernet cable to each room without any issue. Our main room housed a road case that had the desktop computer for that room along with a small Linux box that acted as the NVR for the cameras, the Unifi Controller (more on that later) along with our media streaming server for background music in each room. This room also had an LR AP and the UVC-Pro for surveillance of the equipment.

Our second room had a laptop and an iPad in the back of the room to manage the audio mixer that was in the front under the panelists table. We ended up putting one of the US-8-60W switches under the table so we could have the ethernet cable to the mixer and to the G3 camera that was facing the door to keep an eye on who was walking in and out of the room.

For the third room, it was mostly the same setup where there was a desktop computer in the back of the room with an US-8-150W switch and an LR AP. In the front of the room, we also tossed an US-8-60W under the table for the mixer and the G3 camera.

We ended up putting the US-8-60W switches under the tables in the two rooms for the mixers and the cameras because we did not want to run extra long ethernet cable runs for a temporary event to just connect the cameras. I did have one of the 48V to 24V converters to use with one of the switches and the cameras so we could use the POE on the US-8-60W.

As mentioned, the original plan was to have access to an ethernet jack and share the connection between the main and side panel rooms, because of this, the Unifi controller was hosted offsite with this in mind. As we scrapped the idea of sharing the ethernet port, having the Unifi Controller hosted offsite turned out to be a large issue. I tried to use the routers with DD-WRT from last year to convert the free hotel wifi to a wired connection. With a convention going on with up to 1k+ people connected, the speeds were not very reliable. Cellular was not even an option too as almost all carriers did not get service in the rooms that we were in. I had many emails saying that devices were disconnected from the controller and were back online in such a short period of time. To make matters worse, we could not manage any of the devices with such a bad connection. We ended up installing the Unifi Controller on my linux box that already had the NVR setup and working on it. It took over an hour to download the 64MB Unifi installer over the hotels wifi. Once I got the Controller downloaded and installed, I quickly setup the controller and got enough of a connection to export the site from controller off site. I imported the site on the local system and was quite surprised at how easy it was to move to the new controller. All of the devices showed up and I don’t recall anything having to reboot.

 

A handy feature that the Unifi product line has is the AP Uplinks. We had one ethernet cable that went from the 1st room to the 3rd that had a bad clip and would come unplugged at times. When the ethernet cable would come unplugged, we would normally loose connection until we plugged it back in. The controller was smart enough to know that the AP became isolated and automatically reconfigured itself so we would not loose the other room from our NVR system for long until we had a chance to plug the cable back in.

The cable management may not be the best; however, for a 3 day volunteer event and a portable rig, we unfortunately don’t have the time to make everything look pretty. All of the cables are hidden from public view and would only be seen by very few people.

 

I’ve got another My Little Pony convention that I am volunteering at next month in SeaTac WA and the same Unifi equipment is going with me as it has made my life easier to manage the network.

 

 IMG_20180331_114733110.jpgA panel room with an event going on

 

IMG_20180315_012920588_LL.jpgUpdating firmware and adpoting

 

IMG_20180331_115933373.jpgUSG

 

IMG_20180331_124422640_LL.jpgOne table with the sound mixer and network switch.

 

IMG_20180331_115405801.jpgSomeone has to guard the equipment

 

IMG_20180329_215217955.jpgOur secure way of holding the camera

 

IMG_20180315_004621496.jpgAll equipment ready to be unboxed

 

IMG_20180331_115452620_LL.jpgThe Main network & server road case

 

IMG_20180315_021905888_LL.jpgReady to be used at con

 

IMG_20180401_132713751.jpgBack of one of the rooms

 

IMG_20180325_165402093_LL.jpgMounted network switch

 

IMG_20180331_124345444.jpgOne of the G3 Cameras

 

IMG_20180329_215113705.jpgGetting the correct angle setup. Old roll of tape helps with the angle

 

IMG_20180331_115145918.jpgBack of our 3rd room.

 

IMG_20180331_124505106_LL.jpgAnother room with a desktop, AP, and Switch

 

unifi_clients.PNGList of all devices on the network

 

unifi_controller.PNGUnifi Devices

 

unifi_db.PNGUnifi Dashboard

 

unifi_ports.PNGUnifi Ports

 

unifi_video.PNGView of all three rooms

 

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Comments
by
Monday

How do the members of the church feel being recorded on video the entire time? Have you run into any issues with this?

by
Monday

@esloyer  This isn't a church. It is a hotel convention. 

by
Monday

Sorry, but question still stands. How do members of the convention feel being recorded on video the entire time? Have you run into any issues with this?

by
Monday

@esloyerAs per the convention policy that the attendees agree to when they purchase a badge, there is a section that says that they may be photographed and/or audio/video recorded for private and commercial use.

by
Monday

@3dhomejoe Ahhh ok, that makes sense. Thanks for sharing!