Black Widow CTS + Touring Frame + Touring Cart

by Nook Schoenfeld
in Product Spotlight
One of the best features of this LED product is that it is IP65-rated on both the front and back sides. One has no fear of doing outdoor shows and experiencing a little foul weather.
One of the best features of this LED product is that it is IP65-rated on both the front and back sides. One has no fear of doing outdoor shows and experiencing a little foul weather.

A Look at Oracle LED Systems’ Tiles, Frames and Carts

As I walked the floor at InfoComm 2017 in Orlando this summer, I was on a quest to search for the best touring package of LED video walls. I was looking for quality in the output, lightness in weight, toughness in fabrication, weather resistance and protective traveling options that make for a quick and efficient load in.

I found a few companies that were offering solid viable carts, packed with expensive, lightweight cabinets (easy to damage products) and I asked myself, ‘Which of these would I choose if I was going to invest my personal money, when venturing into buying a complete system for touring?’

Most video manufacturers do not have specific touring carts or optional quick assembly brackets designed for their products. The people that buy these products often hire outside engineering firms to design and manufacture something that both protects the product and allows for the touring crew to erect an LED wall in a timely manner.

In truth, any good video company with a good touring package should be able to erect a wall measuring 40 by 20 feet (WxH) in an hour if they have the rigging points ahead of time. But unfortunately, this is not the case.

I did a tour last year where a video company had their version of a touring cart for a ground supported video wall. The tour was three weeks long. I saw three video panels damaged by fork lifts missing their designated slots. I noticed these video panels had to be raised out of their carts and then connected once flown. I kept thinking, “There has to be a better way.”

While at InfoComm, Oracle LED Systems, a company out of Los Angeles owned and operated by Isaac Campos, presented all I needed to know to avoid the things I just mentioned. Their Black Widow CTS (Creative Touring Solutions) is just as solid as the Creative Touring Frame that the company custom manufactures to ride in these carts.

Their new marketing and sales director, Joe Lapchick, gave me a walk-through. Joe says he’s “thrilled to be part of the team at Oracle LED,” and adds that “this product line is carefully executed, deliberately assembled and effective on show-site.”

Black Widow CTS screen - rear of screen view

‡‡         The Black Widow CTS LED Panels

The Black Widow CTS line now offers an indoor/outdoor 4.6mm pixel-pitch product as well as indoor/outdoor 5.9mm and 8.9mm LED models said to be 50 percent lighter than traditional panels of the same size.

The panels, as shown at the booth, are slim, with beveled edges for seamless 90° corners, and they feature removable power/data control and LED modules for fast maintenance and repair. These cabinets can be hung frameless if desired, but if you are under time constraints (and who isn’t while on tour?) the CTS frames are the best design I have seen for sale with a specific product.

When hung without the touring frame, they are one of the lightest LED cabinets around. Each replaceable module is 250mm by 500mm (9.84 by 19.65 inches), but for normal touring applications, each cabinet consists of four modules that fit in one 1000mm x 500mm (one meter by half-meter) space. The company does make a single 500mm x 500mm touring frame as well.

At InfoComm, I saw the 5.9mm modules, which come with SMD 2727 black frame LEDs arranged in 3-in-1 SMD cells. The cabinets themselves have a resolution of 84 by 168 pixels. They’re powered by Macroblock MB15051 processors and have a refresh rate between 1,800 and 2,400 Hz.

The Macroblock chip features doubled visual refresh rates, 14-bit color depth, reduced flicker and improved image fidelity. This results in a very high contrast ratio. The LED offer 5000 NITs of brightness.

The panels themselves have a respectable 140° viewing angle from either direction. In terms of power draw, they can pull up to 600 watts per square meter when run at maximum intensity. But the average user would run them at a much lower intensity, drawing and average of closer to 200 watts per square meter.

They can be powered with any voltage from 110-220 volts, and the LEDs have a projected lifespan of 100,000 hours. Each module can easily be swapped out in its frame, as they are held in place by magnets. One can easily remove the control box from the rear as well. The panels are set to be concave or convex curve-able at up to 90°, an extra bonus with this product.

One of the best features of this LED product is that it is indoor/outdoor IP65-rated on both the front and back sides. One should have no fear of outdoor shows and experiencing a little foul weather.

Double Cart

‡‡         The CTS Touring Frames

The design of the frame took two years of recursive adjustments before launch. Kristof Soreyn is renowned for developing innovative video touring solutions for PRG and XL Video. Now operating his own company called Twenty Three, he has been able to manufacture Oracle LED’s load-bearing and wind-load tested touring frame.

The panels lock together easily into the frames with top and bottom clamps, which rest together with male/female bits. The video wall is rigid and totally seamless when erected.

The touring frame is made of aluminum and proves to be as light as it is strong. Oracle LED also went to great lengths to stress-test this product for problematic wind gusts, a real hazard in any outdoor event. They can handle 60 m.p.h. winds with no concern of breaking. The frame also forms a natural ladder for techs to scale as needed for repairs and maintenance.

The Touring Frame’s edges feature unique convex/concave locking for -10°, -5°, 0, +5°, +10° curves, with the ability to complete a full circle with just 36 panels.

I inspected the connections, from wiring to how they are assembled, and everything is beautifully modular. There are no plastic bits that can snap or wear from everyday use — just quality, precision-made connections everywhere.

Double stacked touring carts

‡‡         The Touring Carts

The first thing I notice when looking at the carts designed for transporting these cabinets is that they didn’t spare any expense in the R&D nor the materials. They stack with a forklift, safely coupling together without any need for straps. One can fit 60 of the CTS carts in one 53-foot semi-truck (three wide by two tall by 10 deep).

The tiles are fully protected on every side. I see no way a forklift can inadvertently damage the product. Despite the weight of a full cart, I can easily push it around a smooth floor due to industrial strength casters.

The carts themselves are divided into five sections so the panels do not slam against each other during travel. Each slot contains three of the 500mm by 1000mm dual frames, meaning 15 of these dual panels fit in one cart.

On the side of the cart, there are red heavy-duty aluminum gates that protect the product and keep it from vibrating. These gates are easily lifted out of slots and placed to the sides. This clever design allows the user to connect multiple carts side by side and lift three, six, nine or more frames at once.

The CTS systems have a header system that can be attached to a truss or house pipe with spansets or clamps. The truss lowers down into place above the carts, and each header easily snaps into a locked assemblage and the Black Widow product is lifted as one. Sets of hands guide the top piece back down onto the next row, and the techs repeat the procedure.

 New Touring Frame 2017

At a Glance

Screens, Frames and Carts

Oracle LED Systems has come up with the optimum touring package for people who need lightweight, yet high-quality LED walls that offer a high resolution, an efficient method for assembly and are weather resistant. As a total system, with screens, frames and carts, they save end users the trouble of having to engineer a total touring solution on their own.

CTS + Frame + Cart

PROS: Sleek designed, lightweight cabinets with high resolution models. Outdoor rated. Curve-able. Strong engineering of tiles and carts. Aluminum frames. Well designed to maximize a truck pack. No fragile pieces. Illuminating flight cases saves storage space and shipping weights.

CONS: None


CTS LED Panels

  • Indoor/Outdoor Use (IP65)
  • 4.6, 5.9 & 8.9mm panels
  • Macroblock Processors
  • 1,800-2,400 Hz
  • 14-Bit Color Depth
  • 5,000 NITs brightness

CTS Touring Frames

  • Easily Lockable
  • Wind-Load Tested
  • Lightweight & Strong
  • Convex/Concave Options

CTS Touring Carts

  • Rugged Construction
  • Forklift-Stackable
  • 60 Carts per Semi

MSRP: Contact dealer

Company: Oracle LED Systems