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Installation

ThinkSIGN EMC’s have some unique features that installers love but often don’t notice immediately. For example, in our 20,16, &10mm signs there are 4mm Hex Socket Crew Head set screws that unlock the modular cabinets and 3mm Hex Socket Crew Head set screws in our 6mm signs. Using a 4mm Allen Wrench to open the 20,16, &10mm Pixel Pitch signs and 3mm Allenc Wrench to open our 6mm Pixel Pitch Signs.

Hex Socket Screw Head

The cabinets can then fold down, and the steel frame can be used to hang the sign to name a few. If you have a 4mm Allen and a Phillips screwdriver, you can replace any component in our signs. Understanding how and why we designed our signs helps you benefit the most from them.

Introduction to our Design​

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Secondary Cabinet

Primary Cabinet

Primary Sign/Primary Cabinet Open

Example of how our signs are built

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Secondary Sign

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Back of sign with Junction Box and Line in

Cabinet: Primary and Secondary cabinets come in different sizes.

 

Module: Houses the LEDs and is attached to the cabinet door/face. Modules are screwed to the cabinet door/face with Phillips screws inside the cabinet.

 

Controller: ThinkSIGN’s proprietary controller. Has one CAT5 LAN connection and (x) amount of outputs for secondary displays.

 

Data Hub: ThinkSIGN’s proprietary card that sends data up to 8 rows of cabinets.

 

AC Hub: Our AC hub is designed to allow AC power to move from left to right inside and from cabinet to cabinet.

 

Power Supply: ThinkSIGN proprietary power supplies utilize Molex attachments for safety and certainty of power.

POE adapter: Found in wirelessly bridged signs. There is a POE adapter for both the receiving radio and the sender.

 

Line IN: ThinkSIGN’s power primary power hub. There is one per 20A circuit.  

 

Junction Box: ThinkSIGN provides you a junction box on the back of each primary cabinet.

Our Cabinets

A Shop drawing will be provided to you for each sign you install. If you cannot locate your shop drawing 99% are found at www.thinksign.com and you can request them from our sales team or tech support. This will explain to you, among other things, the cabinet configuration for the sign you are installing. This will help you determine how to open the cabinets, showing you where the Allen screws are located.

Below there are 2 examples of shop drawings, one with smaller cabinets and one with bigger cabinets. We have highlighted in yellow the cabinets and in red the Allen screw locations. It will be important when you start your install to reference the shop drawing to see the Allen screw location for that particular sign.

Once you unscrew the Allen screws, the sign will then open towards you and layout perpendicular to the sign.

*ThinkSIGN DOES NOT RECOMMEND USING IMPACT TOOLS ON SET SCREWS****

Smaller Cabinets Example (1x5 modules)

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Larger Cabinets Example (2x3 modules)

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Sign Orientation​

  • A double-faced sign will have Primary and Secondary Signs. The message on the Primary Sign should always face oncoming traffic, this ensures your cabling is sufficient for facing the building.

  • Each sign will have a sticker on the side to help you determine which is the Primary. 

    • The whips for the brightness, temperature, and wireless bridge connections should always be located on the lowest right corner of the Primary cabinet (If looking at front of sign). 

Mounting

  • 2” C-Channel steel holds the aluminum modular cabinets together.

  • The steel channel is covered in powder coating. That can be removed for welding applications.

  • The C-channel is behind the entire perimeter of the cabinet array, as well as at seams of cabinets. This ensures rigidity and multiple mounting options.

  • The lifting brackets are removable, for a seamless look. 

  • Mounting brackets are attached at the four corners of each EMC. They are not structural but make wall mounts easy. They can also be removed using an 8cm socket or wrench.

  • Drilling into the aluminum cabinets is prohibited.

  • Drilling cutting, welding to the steel frame is encouraged.

Removable Lifting Bracket for easier moving - 8mm socket

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Removable Mounting Bracket for convenient wall installation - 8mm Allen

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Steel Frame is Highlighted

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Ventilation

 

  • ThinkSIGN cabinets are rear ventilated.

  • Each cabinet has an intake and exhaust and a thermostatically controlled fan. This is means we have more fans than any other solution because ventilation is crucial.

  • Leaving a gap between the EMC and its surroundings of 1.5” at the top and bottom of the EMC is ideal, but equivalent ventilation is OK (Sides or top and bottom). Ventilation just needs to be factored and considered.

Power

 

  • ThinkSIGN EMC’s all run on 120V Single Phase.

  • All power connections are on the left-hand side of each face in the junction box on the back of the sign.

  • Junction boxes are on Primary cabinets.

  • ThinkSIGN will add a Primary cabinet when another 120V 20A breaker is required.

  • 120v is needed for a double-faced sign, use this to connect the primary sign and additional line, ground, neutral to secondary sign.

  • When a sign has two faces and maximum draw is less than 80% of the circuit provided it is ok to share a circuit for both faces

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Grounding

 

  • Earth ground is important to a long life and fewer service calls.

  • ThinkSIGN provides a copper grounding rod with each EMC.

  • ThinKSIGN grounding connections are on the left side on the rear of all cabinets.

  • Connect all cabinets vertically, and lastly, connect the bottom or Primary cabinet to earth ground.

Double-Sided Signs

 

  • Primary and secondary signs should be no more than 40' apart.

  • The CAT 5 cable used to connect the two faces is attached to the rear of the primary sign's primary cabinet.

Communication

 

There are many options and ways to communicate with new displays. 4G is popular, wireless bridges are still employed, as well as a direct connection with CAT5/6, and fiber. A few key points about each.

 

4G (M2M)

4G is popular but comes with a risk of lack of service, and cost. Be sure to check with ThinKSIGN or Verizon Wireless before choosing this solution.

 

  • $1600 for Lifetime (**That is only $1,000 more than wireless radios!)

  • Excellent solution for off-premises and when the sign is not within 1000’ of the office or PC controlling the sign.

  • Easiest installation. The router is installed in the sign. Simply power on, and search for the given IP address.

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4G Router in Sign

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4G Anntenna Mounter on Top

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Wireless Bridges

Wireless Bridges have been the most used method for on-premise signage for over a decade. 

  • ThinkSIGN uses Ubiquiti's latest wireless bridges. 

  • 1500’ reach with a clear line of sight.

  • A clear line of sight is not necessary, however, as long as both Sender and Receiver are powered and both show full signal strength.

  • ID where the controlling computer will be located. If there is a concrete wall, metal building, no window, or multiple walls impede a clear line of sight, instruct the installation team to mount sender radio on the outside of the building.

  • 50’ of CAT5/6 is the maximum distance from radio to POE adapter (Power over Ethernet)

  • All cables for radios will be in the accessories box included with the sign.

Direct Connect

The most consistent, fastest, and reliable method to connect. There are qualifying questions that should be asked.

 

  • Is there a conduit run with Cat5/6 or Fiber to the sign site? Is that desired or possible?

  • Is Cat 5/6 is the sign within 300’? (Cat5/6 data only runs a max of 300’)

  • Is Fiber run?

  • What type of connectors are there?

Quick Connect/Proof of Concept

This is important because too often ThinkSIGN receives a call from a new end-user asking what to do with the two blue boxes. An EMC installation is not complete until the end-user is communicating with their new display.

 

4G Solution

To verify that your 4G is working power on the sign, download our software, and search for a sign with given IP.

 

Wireless Bridges

ThinkSIGN provides installers with a USB to Ethernet with every purchase. This is not intended to be a permanent solution. Network environments can range from simple to complex, and it’s not professional for ThinkSIGN or anyone to make changes to someone else’s network. With that said, you can create a NEW network connection with the USB. 

This is an easy way to complete your installation, prove the communication works, and leave finished. It’s important to tell the customer this is not a permanent solution. They should have their network manager add the sign permanently. They can call our support team for assistance.

 

Be Familiar With:

 

Welcome Packet for the End-User

Installation Best Practices

Installation Guide

Communication: Getting Started

Before leaving the installation please deliver the
Welcome Packet (pictured below) to the end user. 

It will be attached to one of the boxes on the pallet at delivery in a clear sealed envelope.

Support Contact Info:

support@thinksign.com

888-271-6807

 

Recommendations from our technical support team:

 

  • Please call ThinkSIGN Support while on-site to confirm everything is functioning properly and communication is established.

  • Perform a load test. Set a white background from the software. Set brightness to maximum. That load will never be replicated by the end-user and tests the maximum draw. If your circuits can provide that, your power is sufficient. Show SW/background location and Brightness setting location.

  • Please go to https://www.thinksign.com/software-download-form LED Software to install Smart LED Manager Pro on the Windows-based PC running Windows 8 or higher. (There is a thumb drive with the software on it included in Welcome Packet for the end-user as well)

  • Show new end-user our website. They can always download our software from there, as well as watch the software tutorial. https://www.thinksign.com/led-software-tutorial-video

  • After downloading the software, and showing the tutorial, show the end-user the ? in the top right corner of the interface. It has seven "getting started" slides.

Installation Quiz for Certification

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