Locking rack cases?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Dave Siff, Aug 11, 2000.

  1. Hey, does anyone out there know offhand if there's a rack case on the market that you can lock? I have my amp in a regular old SKB rack right now, and I just busted the vagrant, crackhead bass player in the band we share our space with using my amp without asking. Luckily, he didn't hurt it. But I don't want to haul my rack home every night, and until I can get those guys kicked out, I wish I could lock my rack case. Anybody know?
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I had the same situation once. I left my rack, amp and two cabs at the rehearsal space. I became suspicious that they were being used because the settings would be different. I complained and thought that was enough, but the very next week, the jerks had blown the tweeter in my 2x10 cab! So, not knowing a good way to lock my rack, I removed all cables and adapters each time I left. But it was a chore to connect it all again.

    I still worried that the jerks would use instrument cables to connect my speakers instead of speaker cables, though. And they probably did, because I arrived and found my 15-inch speaker blown! I left the band shortly thereafter. Jerks will always be jerks and they'll find a way to use and abuse what isn't theirs. I even went to the extent of draping a heavy cloth over the amp and speakers a special way. Then I'd arrive and it would be askew, so I knew they'd used my gear. But that was no protection. It was just "evidence."

    I often said SBK should make lockable rack cases. I also wish there were some way to prevent others from using an amp and speaker rig. The only thing I knew is the extremely expensive option of building custom lockable road cases for all the equipment. Maybe SBK is thinking if people want your equipment, they'll just carry away the entire rack, so a lock is little protection.

    Jason Oldsted
  3. Jason, that sucks. I know this guy used my amp because my rack cases were on upside down and I'm too anal to do that myself. He only used my amp, not my cab. But I had my amp set in bridge mode, and I don't know how he hooked it up to his cabinet, or with what kind of cable. I played it the other night and it seems fine. But still.. it's a $1500 amp and this guy has maybe 10 bucks to his name. If I tell him not to use it again, I'm pretty sure he won't. Still, it burns me up.
    If anyone knows of a locking rack case, or a way to rig a lock on a regular rack, I'd still be interested to hear.
  4. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    If I ever caught someone using my rig without permission---well let's just say they'd never find the body!:D

    But seriously, I've had similar experiences. I rigged my rack case with a lock.

    I took cable, similar to the stuff they make bicycle locks from, and loop it through the latches. By toying with the length, I've got it to the point where each end loop meets half-way down the side of the case. Then, I use a MasterLock (TM) to connect the loops. It's tight enough that the latches cannot be turned to open position without removing the lock. Crude, but very effective!

    I know this is a poor description, a picture would help a lot, but I hope you get the general idea. Good luck!!!
  5. ONYX, thanks. That's kinda what I was thinking I might have to do. Well, I have a project for the weekend now!
  6. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    I'm not sure where I saw them, but a company (maybe Master Lock?) makes a lock that simply plugs into a 1/4" jack and locks inside it - without a key, you can't pull it out of the jack. If they can't plug in, they can't use the amp.

    I'll look around and post if I remember where I saw them.
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    To David, here's some possible good news. I was leafing through my American Musical Supply (AMS)Catalog and found not one, but TWO solutions for you! They sell locking security covers and I don't know why I forgot, because I have a buddy who used one. They are plexiglass and can be bought in one, two or three rack space size. With those, you can see your equipment, but no one can use it.

    The other solution is a rack storage vault that fits in the rack. It has a drop down lockable lid fitted with a latch and key lock for $65.00. You can remove all your cables and adapters and lock them in the vault. AMS also has a lockable storage drawer, four rack spaces, for $139.95. Again, you could use that to store your connections, but I still think the best plan would be the plexiglass security covers.

    If you are interested, the number is 1-800-458-4076 or http://www.americanmusical.com. (Disclaimer: I am not afiliated with them in any way and don't stand to gain anything from this info.) Maybe you can find the same items at your local musician's supply. Anyway, I hope that this will be of some service to you.

    It really sucks when people take the liberty to use your equipment without even asking. Music equipment costs so darned much and is so easily damaged. But the jerks who damage it don't even offer to repair it. Well, you know they don't have the money to fix it, anyway. Jason Oldsted
  8. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Most amp heads have the fuses easily accessible. I would suggest that you remove the fuses when you have to leave your gear. You might even replace the line fuse with a much lower current fuse which will open instantly if anyone tries to use it. No one is likely to steal a (they think) blown amp either.
  9. Speedbird

    Speedbird Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2000
    Northern Virginia
    I had the same problem myself. Easiest quick fix is to pull the fuse out of the head. But that won't save your speakers. The real problem is a-holes with no respect... and it always seemes like the ones with nothing to loose are the culprits. The best thing you can do is just get out of the situation. Also, before I did just that and got the hell of of a bad scene I saw the ultimate soultion. Look for an industrial catalogue from a company called GRANGER, it's a big ass 1,500 page thing full of everything. In it I saw these heavy-duty electric switches that were opened/closed by a key! I was going to modify my cabinet with one, I remember they came in many sizes 5-500 amps and could be used on anything (like the a/c line in on a power-amp ect.) Good-luck

  10. Jason..
    Thanks for the tip on AMS! I just checked out their website, and they have a locking, 4-space rack cover for $32.95! I'm ordering one today.
    Thanks to everyone else for their input too.. I really appreciate it.

    [Edited by Dave Siff on 08-14-2000 at 08:31 AM]
  11. Well, I got my locking rack case cover from AMS, but it doesn't fit! It won't clear the rack ears on my amp, so I gotta send it back. I got two 1/4" plugs from a friend, so I'm gonna see if anyone around here can custom-build me a lock so I can lock down the inputs on the amp.
    Any other suggestions are welcomed, thanks.
  12. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Dang, what bad luck! I'm really sorry that didn't work out. I like the idea of taking out fuses, but some amps have fuses that are a bear to get at. Thing I can't understand is why the rack manufacturers don't just make a lid that locks on. I wondered about that because I played in another country and theft was a continuous problem, everything from picks to cables to strings to major gear. Everything had to be locked at all times. That was one of the biggest stresses for me at gigs was worrying about what I would lose, loading in and loading out.

    Jason Oldsted
  13. Well thanks anyway for directing me to AMS, Jason.. it was a good idea. I wonder if I bring my rack to a locksmith, whether they could customize it with small locks.. I'm gonna look into that this weekend.