PR CON Tips

Below is a list of essential and recommended kit for everyone to bring.

Essential Kit:

1x 20m CAT 5E lan cable (with standard RJ45 Cable connectors)
. This is very important! No cable - no LAN.
Buy from Misco.co.uk
Buy from Maplins.co.uk (select 20m length)
Cables & Tools - Network CAT5, CAT6 | Ebuyer.com
CablesToGo, Cat5e 350MHz Snagless Patch Cable Orange, 20m | Ebuyer.com
Xenta Cat6 Snagless UTP Patch Cable (Yellow) 30m | Ebuyer.com (30m, but cheaper)
  • Your own keyboard(s), mice, joystick, Headphones (no speakers please), case with all the relevant bits inside, monitor and beer.
  • Some Cable-Ties
  • A Spare Power cable (in case your pc/monitor power cable fails the PAT test)
  • Drinks (sports capped bottles highly recommended) / Cups / Alcohol if you wish (only to be consumed in the designated area and in the designated time period)
  • All relevant software including OS or backup disks in case your hdd goes down (Yes you might have to re-install (with key-codes), games etc. A full game/files list will be published before the event.
  • Optimise your PC, and health check it, dust clean etc. You MUST scan your pc for viruses before bringing it to the event.
  • Wash Kit, Wet Weather Gear, and Protective waterproof cover for PC in case of downpour for the car-venue transfer.
  • Some extra clothes/sleeping bags/blankets because it may get pretty cold in the hall overnight.
  • A set of clothes you don't mind getting dirty


Other recommendations:
  • Any spare parts you have to help out if someone's PC goes down
  • Spare HD's, Spare GFX Card, Spare Mouse / Keyboard (You or someone -will- forget).
  • Cleaning products / cloths (as someone will spill something)
  • Secure any slightly loose gfx cards, etc and tighten screws prior to travel and when you arrive
  • Cry cos your gfx card isn't a 580GTX like Rich's or takes up 3 slots like Darkpowder's does XD
  • Bring a case key or a padlock for your PC - as all PC's have lockable doors.
  • Bring money (for food, possible beer run etc)
  • Bring credit cards, for emergency PC death scenarios
  • Bring food/munchies (you won't be able to take it into the venue during the canteen opening hours as food will be available to buy on site)
  • Bring a PC toolkit to help others or yourself including screwdrivers etc
  • Bring an inflatable chair/beanbag or whatever to sit on in the chill out/beer drinking area!

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Preparing for the LAN - Transporting Kit - Guidance

Clearly this advice isn't a solution to all transportation problems and won't guarantee your or your PC's safety, so clearly use this advice as you wish and with your own risks. Some of this is obvious, and certainly is to experienced lan-goers - but for those for whom LAN-Partys are new here we go...

In summary, it might sound here like a hassle, but it really isn't. It just an example of prior planning preventing pi$$-poor performance.


Transporting Kit via car:

Don't forget your power cables
  • Make sure your PC is as dust free as possible, as you don't want to be cleaning out dust filters in a room full of PC's. Don't breathe it in unless you like ingesting microbes, your own skin and other filth
  • Bring your PC keys, locks etc. They stop lids, cases flapping about but don't leave the keys at home.
  • Ensure your LCD monitor has something over the screen-side of the thing, stopping any accidental knocks when walking it into or out-of the venue.
  • LAN-Party screen protective equipment gear is good, but unnecessary, bubble wrap is plenty good if you are concerned.
  • Make sure your car is secured when loading your kit, especially if it is out of sight even for a moment at your house, all too easy to take something.
  • Normally if you jam your PC alongside your bedding, sleeping bag, bedroll, pillows, fleeces etc you will be fine, with your components all installed.
  • If you are intending to travel over hideously bad terrain, you might want to think about removing your HD's and packing them in the original transport materials they came in, complete with the spacers and packing it would have arrived in the post with.
  • If you are travelling in the car, and there is space on the back seat, and you can stop your PC sliding around, seriously consider sticking it down between the front and the back seats and/or placing LCD screens screen-side toward the back seat cushions.
  • Tighten up retaining screws for GFX cards, heat-sinks and check seating of memory - (with a static strap)
  • Bring tools to ensure you can repeat the exercise after the lan-party if you wish.
  • Don't leave any cables plugged into your workstation while travelling.
  • Water is your enemy, always cover your PC with something waterproof when moving into and out of venue, but not over a hot or even warm PC to avoid condensation.
  • Electricity and static is also your enemy - Switch the PC PSU off at the back before plugging into the venue power.
  • Temperature is also your enemy, so if your PC runs hot, it will be certainly hot in a room full of blisteringly fast PC's. Consider your FAN settings.
  • Power saving is your friend. Saving power reduces heat, wear on your components and the cost of the event, if you have sensible - use your PC power saving facilities sensibly, but not obsessively. It also reduces the load on the power facilities, and the cost to the earth...

Don't forget your keyboard or mouse...
  • Don't pack food, drinks or toothpaste near your PC, trust me - if it can leak or burst it will do.
  • Take care of yourself when lifting or moving your PC, think about how much it weighs, test it first, and consider your route in and out of your house and the venue, so you avoid tripping and binning your rig, or having to try to open the car boot when you have your box in your arms.
  • Bring some spare kit for others in case they have any mishaps or are ignoring my advice in italics.

Don't forget your software


Transporting kit by public transport:

- Take a micro-pc if at all possible, don't bother really if you don't as you won't be able to unload it safely without a dedicated and expensive LAN-Bag, or screen bag.
- Don't lose sight of your equipment, and don't allow anyone else to unload your kit for you, just in case the taxi-driver slams it down on the pavement giving your HD's a nice kicking.

Don't forget your headphones

Drive safely, that way you don't have to explain to the boys in blue why you have a car stacked with battered old PC gear, and do yourself a favour - don't drink and drive.

oh and finally....

Don't forget your power cables!