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DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

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DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby NL-Frank » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:55 pm

Hi Everyone,

For those having trouble remembering lyrics (like I do) and have restricted free time available, I have the following solution (no electronics, no woodwork, no programming..!)

Ingredients:
- Housing of a Behringer VP1220F floormonitor
- Tronsmart MK 808 II Android TV stick
- Flymouse TSM01 (to interact with the stick, not on stage but during configuration etc.)
- Scythe USB footswitch (2 switches)
- Small USB hub (Tronsmart has one USB you need 2, one for Flymouse RF and one for USB switch).
- LED Monitor (with HDMI)

Use EBookDroid app to display a .pdf file, generated from word for example (anything is possible), rotate it up front (tools enough on the Internet) to get in portrait. Set Ebookdroid to night-mode to get white text and black background. Set Ebookdroid to go backward on "1" (standard code from USB switch) and forward "2" (right footswitch). There is no Android driver available, but this way you don't need it. Install an autostart app to launch Ebookdroid and set Ebookdroid to automatically load your lyrics pdf file.

That's it for the configuration. You can use Dropbox for example to get the lyrics file to the TV stick. If you plug the mains it boots in about 20 secs and shows your lyrics! Remember no harddisk! Just solid state and very robust technology.

I have modified the side interface of the VP1220 to allow for a mains chord and a USB plug (for the footswich). Make sure that the TV-stick is mounted in such a way that the passive air cooling is still possible. The LCD monitor is fixed with Hook and Loop tape (it is not very heavy). I had to remove a small part of the wood, to have it fit (see pictures). You can still use the original protection of the VP1220 for transport or protection on stage when not in use.

I think it looks very professional and for a lot less that the comercially available prompters. There are a lot of other possibilities, remember it can show HD video, has wifi and many available apps!

Maybe it will inspire others as well, I'm looking forward to see other applications!

Links to pictures:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27613462/Stageprompter/Stageprompter%20front.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27613462/Stageprompter/Stageprompter%20internally.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27613462/Stageprompter/Stageprompter%20overview.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27613462/Stageprompter/Stageprompter%20side.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27613462/Stageprompter/Stageprompter%20LCD%20protection.jpg

Let me know if you have any questions.

Regards Frank.
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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby zenguitar » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:20 pm

Hi Frank, and welcome to the forums.

NL-Frank wrote:no electronics, no woodwork, no programming..!

That takes all the fun out of things !!

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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby One Horse Town » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:37 pm

Brilliant. It does look very professional.
I've seen Elton John using something like this which is operated by off-stage crew I assume, which enables a couple of lines to be displayed at a time (large font). I use a piano on stage (with my own hair) and may have a go at this BUT.......
Is the writing big enough to be seen from a couple of metres away?
Can the unit be used in landscape mode?

Thanks
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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby Folderol » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:42 pm

zenguitar wrote:Hi Frank, and welcome to the forums.

NL-Frank wrote:no electronics, no woodwork, no programming..!

That takes all the fun out of things !!

Andy
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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby DGL. » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:59 pm

One Horse Town wrote:Brilliant. It does look very professional.
I've seen Elton John using something like this which is operated by off-stage crew I assume, which enables a couple of lines to be displayed at a time (large font). I use a piano on stage (with my own hair) and may have a go at this BUT.......
Is the writing big enough to be seen from a couple of metres away?
Can the unit be used in landscape mode?

Thanks
i've done this sort of thing by just placing a standard monitor (without stand) on the music rest for my organ (Yamaha HS8) might be an option for piano. Helps to get a monitor with bottom mounted connectors.
As for using the diy system horizontally, if the casing will support it then it is actually a better option as it is a better viewing angle for the display.
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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby NL-Frank » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:29 am

One Horse Town wrote:Brilliant. It does look very professional.
I've seen Elton John using something like this which is operated by off-stage crew I assume, which enables a couple of lines to be displayed at a time (large font). I use a piano on stage (with my own hair) and may have a go at this BUT.......
Is the writing big enough to be seen from a couple of metres away?
Can the unit be used in landscape mode?

Thanks

You can have any size you want, as long as you can make a .pdf file of it. Even one symbol on the 22" screen is possible:-)

Landscape/ protrait both possible, you rotate the .pdf yes/no.

regards, Frank
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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby NL-Frank » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:30 am

zenguitar wrote:Hi Frank, and welcome to the forums.

NL-Frank wrote:no electronics, no woodwork, no programming..!

That takes all the fun out of things !!

Andy

Thanks for the welcome! I have learned so much from this forum I'm happy I can give something to the forum.

I fully agree on the fun-part! I used to built a lot of stuff, now it is the (non) availability of enough spare-time

Regards, Frank
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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby Folderol » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:35 pm

What is the 'spare time' you speak of? Is it something I can buy from Amazon?
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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby 2nSmith » Thu May 15, 2014 8:52 pm

I would like to build your version of the stage prompter but can't get the apps here. Could you Please send me IDIOT PROOF directions on how to hookup the components, and how to get my jpeg lyrics into the system. Thank you 2nSmith

my eMail is cbnborn@yahoo.com
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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby Hickory Switch » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:01 pm

I live in the Durham, NC area and need one of these pretty quickly.....does anyone build these and sell them that I can contact?

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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby IvanSC » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:21 am

OK. Included song files are pretty naff MIDI files. Is there a way to use this with anything OTHER than your MIDI files?

Oops! Just checked out one of the stones files and there ARE wav files in there so it must be possible. How?
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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby Captain Cheese Face » Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:19 pm

Sorry for the necro bump!

Frank, thanks so much for this thread.

I too struggle to be able to recall lyrics properly in my covers band. I can learn an entire set on guitar/keyboards but the lyrics are another matter. I spend hours on each song, reading them, writing them out, using mental images and any other technique I've learned; I feel I've got it committed to memory and am sick of the song. I can sing along to the song without any issue but at band practice and gigs, I'll stumble over one word and lose it. It's almost as if I overthink it.

There're plenty about that criticise the use of lyrics on stage but for me, it's essential for me to relax and enjoy myself. It's not as if I'm staring at it constantly, it only takes a flick of the eyes down to prompt me if I get unsure of the next line.

I'd been using a laptop on the floor with a USB footswitch for a while but had been getting close to buying a Staffords On Stage Stageprompter. Unfortunately, I'm not a pro therefore the £700+ for one made it a bitter pill to swallow. Then I discovered this thread and am now a proud owner of one! I think I spent about £240 all in.

The only differences I made were adding a 240V through socket for my electric fan and a 3 socket USB hub to allow the airmouse to charge up. The whole thing went easily enough (especially considering I'd never seen an Android computer before) with the exception that I couldn't get the footswitch to work. Not exactly the easiest thing to troubleshoot until I connected it to my laptop and figured out the switches produce the letters X & Z (as opposed to the 1 & 2 you mentioned). With that, it works a treat, is sturdy and looks very professional.

A DIY staple gun helped the Velcro to stay put (not on the monitor obviously!) and really does do a good job of keeping it in place but still removable when building it.
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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:59 pm

Hi CCF, and welcome to the SOS Forums!

And thanks for the practical feedback on your prompter - it's always good to hear how a DIY solution works for others


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Re: DIY Stageprompter (No programming, No Electronics, No Woodwork)

Postby NL-Frank » Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:21 am

Dear all,

Great to see that people are actually building this and thanks for the compliments.

I received a question about scrolling, using more songs etc, Hopefully my explanation below adds to the understanding of the concept:

You can have only one PDF file active at a time, so all lyrics should be in one word/pdf file. I use EBOOKdroid, the trick is you configure it to skip one page at a time, so it is not really scrolling line by line (which is possible by the way, it is how you configure EBOOKdroid) but flipping one page of lyrics (some songs need 2 pages). So you flip from song 1, page 1/2, page 2/2, song 2, page 1, song 3,etc.

Essential is that all the lyrics you need for a certain gig are in the *right sequence* and in *one file*!

Hopefully this helps.

Regards, Frank.
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