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At Lehigh, I was asked by a fraternity to design a new deejay system to replace their old, ailing equipment. I took this as an opportunity to build them an all-in-one unit incorporating a mixer, amp, and PC that could easily transported between venues. Here is the collection of all the gear I used to accomplish it.

A Denon DN-X500 mixer serves as the heart of the system. It is powered by a Furman M-8X power conditioner. Some rack covers and zip ties were also used. This gear come from Pro Sound and Stage Lighting.

The frat had been using a desktop PC to play music through their old equipment, but some modifications would be necessary to incorporate it into a rack-mountable system. I ordered a 19" PC enclosure from Newegg to house the PC's internals, as well as a rack-mounted keyboard with touchpad in a sliding drawer. To spruce up the PC, some additional RAM, a DVD-RW drive, WiFi card, and a SoundBlaster 7.1 audio card were also ordered. Also, a 17" ASUS LCD monitor was paired with a specialty folding mount from DJRak.

The rack case was ordered online from Road Ready. It features a 10U lower rack and 10U slanted upper rack that are completely covered by removable doors. This will keep the entire system protected during transportation. The 18" JBL subwoofer was a separate addition to the system from a local equipment shop, ESG.

The guts of the old PC, including the power supply, motherboard, and hard drive were farmed to be transplanted into the new case.

Here's a photo of the parts that were stripped and cleaned for the new PC.

The old PC gear was installed in the rack-mount case along with the new WiFi and sound cards.

The PC is booted and reconfigured to use the new hardware. The keyboard and touchpad combination work great!

The old equipment the frat had been using was absolutely trashed. The Numark mixer was covered in beer, and the faders barely moved. The only salvageable item was the Peavy amplifier.

Although heavy, the PV 2000 amp could deliver 1000W x 2 into 4 ohms. This made it ideal for driving their two 8 ohm speakers in parallel on channel 1, and the 4 ohm subwoofer on channel 2.

Here's the case with the equipment installed in the lower rack. From the top, it housed the sliding keyboard tray, power conditioner, PC, and amp.

A photo from the side, showing the keyboard tray opened.

On the slanted rack, the mixer and LCD mount are installed along with some rack covers.

The 4:3 ratio LCD is secured to the DJRak hinge plate using a standard VESA screw pattern.

The hinge allows the LCD to fold flat against the front of the Denon mixer. Fortunately, the left and right of the monitor's bezel rest perfectly on some of the mixer's control knobs. As a result, the screen is not damaged when laid flat during transit.

The mixer, PC, and amp are all wired using cables from Monoprice. Channel's 1, 2, and 3 from the sound card are connected to their corresponding channels on the mixer. The fourth channel on the mixer is connected to a 3.5mm headphone plug for use with an iPod.

With the LCD folded down, the system is packed up for transportation and testing!

After removing the top and front covers, the rig is ready to use! A single power cord supplies the whole system, and all the audio cords are pre-wired.

VirtualDJ decks A and B are configured to run from the PC on channels 1 and 2 of the mixer. Since the PC is WiFi connected, song requests can be searched on the internet on YouTube and played back independently on channel 3.

The system is a big hit at parties! It is easy to transport, painless to operate, and sounds great!


Denon DN-X500 DJ Mixer $386.99
Furman M8X Conditioner $59.99
LITE-ON 20X DVD-RW Drive $19.99
ASUS VB172D 17" LCD Monitor $109.99
Realtek 802.11g WiFi Card $12.99
Creative Sound Blaster 7.1 Audigy SE Sound Card $27.99
512MB DDR SDRAM $14.99
NORCO RPC-430 Black 4U Rackmount Case $64.99
NORCO PIK-230B 1U Rackmount Keyboard+Touchpad $105.99
DJRak Folding LCD Mount $180.00
RRM10U Rack Case $289.99
2x 6ft XLR Female to 1/4" TRS Male $12.74
2x 6ft 1/4" TRS Male to 1/4" Male $9.36
3x 6ft Stereo 3.5mm Plug to Stereo RCA $1.92

Total $1,298.92