So… that’s no moon… this is a box. Not just a box, but a box on wheels. But not just a box on wheels, it houses our new Peavey 16FX mixing desk. So really it’s our portable sound system box, which I could’ve just said at the beginning.

Anyway, we decided that when we went out to venues it took some time to get our sound system set up and set down, putting various things together etc.

We thought there has got to be a better way to do this. Lightbulb moment
Why not get everything all ready and set up before and simply wheel it all in to place.

So the challenge was set. Build a magic wheel box.

Getting Started

I was chosen as ‘the engineer’ so I started by locating a mixing desk on eBay which we got for a steal! It’s got four pre-auxiliary channels! (Why don’t they make more of these desks for bands it’s so useful!) Once the mixing desk arrived I took measurements of the dimensions and drew up some conceptual sketches.

Materials were purchased and the construction began. The first stage was to build the base and once this was sorted, the sides and back were added so the rack mounting could then be put in for the mixing desk.

The back was custom built so that wires could easily trailed out of the desk but also so that we could access its back with a hinged opening. We used a letterbox fraught excluder. I know…creative.

Getting Practical

The magic wheel box was expected to be heavy with the contents, so some heavy duty spring action handles were fitted for that flight case look, and so that we can lift it into the back of our transportation modules (also known as cars).

As with all sound systems there’s a requirement of a lot of wires, unless you’re loaded with cashola and can afford wireless technology. Anyway, I designed the box to have a drawer to put all sort of stuff in (mostly wires). It’s got a cool push in system so it doesn’t open when being moved.

Our experience at some of the smaller venues was that only one or two plugs were available and the use of mass extensions was expected. I installed a power distribution unit to the back of the magic wheel box, giving us electricity directly from a central point.

To the front of the mixing desk a little shelf was installed for a cup of tea or to put notes etc. It’s actually practical to get access to the sliders but the tea reason is more fitting for us. We like tea.

Some little hinge lids were put on for transport and to protect the desk. Maybe also to rest a cup of tea on when we’re not using it.

A little gap below the console and above the drawer gave room for a little shelf to put in our wireless transmitters for our Shure microphone systems.

Getting Personal

To finish off the box was painted in our signature colour… black. Fun ain’t it.

A 5 meter extension cable was wired through the box to provide the main power to plug into the mains at venues. This then connect all other electrical items and distribution units in the magic wheel box.

To touch up, a nice handle was put in the draw, some steel edging put on the edges to protect the box because it’s bound to get beaten up and we used some fire extinguisher brackets to coil the extension lead cable around when in transport. I know…creative.

And that’s it. All kitted out for gigging at any venue, our custom magic wheel box. It still needs some artwork and stencils on it, but we want to give it a cool name, it’s one of us now. We’ll keep you updated.

Mark