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piggy back trolley

Page history last edited by Andrew Alder 17 years ago

some lateral thinking...


The idea of a heavy (40Kg or more) self-contained keyboard for the Chapel has a lot going for it... particularly


  • ease of use


  • resistance to theft


  • a good choice of models designed very much for what we have in mind, and to be intuitive for even the most technophobic pianist to use


  • appearance... the Chapel has a very traditional feel to it that is valued by many, and whatever it really sounds like, a keyboard that reminds them of a rock band won't sound as good to the congregation as one that looks like a more traditional instrument


But it's two steps down from the Chapel to the Worship Space floor, and two steps up again to the band area. There's a ramp around the two steps down, but there are a couple of corners to negotiate at the top, and wear and tear on the unit is going to happen moving it regularly that way.


And there's not even a ramp at the other end. Providing one might seem easy, but keep thinking... one as long as the existing ramp down from the chapel will need to be fixed in place, not removable, and it's not obvious where... around the wall behind the existing organ console is the most likely place, obstructing the flower room door and requiring a relocation of the existing organ bass loudspeakers... all far from ideal. A shorter one, whether fixed or removable, will be steeper and have a sharper corner at the top, meaning larger wheels, more brute force required to control it, more danger to both movers and equipment, and still more wear and tear on the unit.


So it's not obvious how to use this unit regularly in the Worship Space. And using it in the 9am and 6:30pm services is a lot of the justification for buying it in the first place.


two steps down, two up... hmmm...


What if we had a flat trolley specially built to take the keyboard on that trip? Have the keyboard on wheels or castors in the Chapel. Wheel it out to the steps on its own wheels. But then have the trolley at the steps, built to fit the steps and receive the keyboard at that level. Some mechanism to secure it, then wheel it (now on the trolley) to the band area, where the trolley fits into the steps there. Wheel the keyboard off to the band area, now on its own wheels again. No change of level required, it wheels all the way on the flat. Just on two sets of wheels not one.


conceptual drawing... not to scale


The trolley would be used for other things I'm sure... e.g. books at the Flea Market, moving chairs around the complex, loading gear in and out at Christmas Eve.


The main problem I see with it is ensuring safe usage. It would be very important for loading the trolley to be a two-person operation, one holding the trolley by the handle as the other pushed the keyboard onto it. If at this stage the trolley moved away from the steps, it is disaster!


Brakes on the main fixed castors would be essential, maybe worked by a spring-loaded trigger at the handle end, similar to some walking frames, but simple foot-operated would be fine IMO. There are also various possible automated systems for stabilising this operation, and although they work very well once developed (supermarket ladders for example, observe them in Turramurra Coles or St Ives Woollies) the R&D to make them reliable is not IMO a good use of time.


even assuming the trolley doesn't happen, at least it might help to focus our thinking on what is a real problem...


But if it did happen, I think I could build it.


it also assumes that we can either get or put castors or glides on the keyboard


(and if glides then we need to carpet the trolley)




  • maybe a low-powered keyboard... one that can be carried not wheeled... will work in the chapel


  • maybe we just need to have two keyboards, one for the Chapel and one for the Worship Space (simplest by far, but probably most expensive - surprise, surprise)


  • maybe we just need to teach all our pianists and organists how to set up a combo amplifier, and how to use it with a portable keyboard


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