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Control/Dimming 1.2k or 2.4k?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Charc, Aug 10, 2008.

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(Read Post First) What would you prefer, at the same cost?

  1. More 1.2k

    17 vote(s)
    68.0%
  2. Less 2.4k

    8 vote(s)
    32.0%
  1. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I know we had this discussion in regards to installed racks, and the answer was that 2.4ks don't cost that much extra over 1.2ks, so they're advisable, and quite standard.

    From my searching around it looks like the dimmer pack market is split between 1.2k and 2.4k. Looking at SmartPack prices on Production Advantage, it appears that 12x1.2k and 6x2.4k are pretty equivalent in cost.

    In regards to Dimmer Packs, what would you prefer?

    At the same cost:

    Less 2.4k / More 1.2k

    Edit:
    And please post and outline some of your thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  2. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    The justification for 2.4k is that you can toss three 750's on one, or four 575's. However, the only <brothel> 3-fer block I own is a relic that was built before the days of a ground wires. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for my two-fers to ship, but all-in-all, I'd prefer more control over more dimmers than less control over fewer circuits. If you've got a board that can handle that many channels, there's nothing you can do with 12 dimmers you couldn't do with 6, but that rule does not apply vise versa. That said, my vote goes for 12x1.2k rather than 6x2.4k
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2008
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Agreed, unless one regularly uses 2K Fresnels or 1500W CycFloods. Point of interest is that 2.4K dimmers are at their noisiest, mechanically and electrically, when loaded with 1000W.
     
  4. STEVETERRY

    STEVETERRY Well-Known Member

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    In case anyone missed it, ...<edit by DL: see below for link to PDF>..., the 2005 survey which reports the connected load for more than 100,000 dimmers in the US and Europe. This should give an idea of what people are using.

    What's Connected?


    ST
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2008
  5. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    My thinking exactly. And since I never use anything more than a 575 on a channel, more channels is worth more to me than more power per channel.
     
  6. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    +1 for more control.
     
  7. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Big proponent of DPC so my vote goes for 1.2 as well. There will always be a need for larger, but even back in the 80s I was using DPC. In those days of analog systems, we used diode pin matrix blocks for output patching at the board. (see below) If one lamp got knocked out of position, you could shut it down from the board without loosing anything else. Same thing these days with software. You can assign any number of lamps to a dimmer, but you can't divide control on a larger dimmer. I had some 2.4s and 3.6s which I used on ACLs, but that was all.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    So we're all in agreement here... Except those three people that voted 2.4k.

    Why didn't I make this a public poll, so we could see who voted for 2.4k?

    Oh well. Can the three 2.4k-ers please give their side of the story?
     
  9. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Certainly more circuits of control are an advantage, and as the ETC Dimmer Survey showed, the typical loads, mostly thanks to the trend the past 15 years towards 575w lamps, supports 1.2kw circuits.

    We now have to get the NEC (in the US) to change applicable codes that currently require a 20 amp minimum branch circuit, among all the other things.

    I would also like to see quad 1.2kw dimmers in the same module spacing. I know LMI used to do that, it was a very sweet rack design.

    Steve B.
     
  10. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Have to agree with the others here... We have many channels that are together that I would love to see split to give me more control. It's so aggravating to think, "Well, I can put this special here and this special here... Oh, wait, I can't do that!!! They're on the same circut and thus makes two separate specials into one."

    I think I would prefer the 2.4k's in a permanent install where the circuits can be planned out extensively beforehand and then once the system is in place it won't be touched except for changing the lamps... I'm thinking a church setting or maybe a space that would be used for small concerts where the light is only for re-enforcement and not for "mood" settings. Fewer channels to control means a (possible) smaller board (and more likely easier and cheaper.)
     
  11. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Beloved <choke, cough> Electro Controls was the first, IIRC. Kliegl followed, but oddly, neither Strand/Century nor Colortran. Even, I think Teatronics, had a 24x1.2 pack, in the same form factor as a 12x2.4 CD-80/D192.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2008
  12. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Maybe that as a standard, and then the ability to swap in/out modules when you when you need 2.4k dimmers. The 48 dimmer ETC Unison install I just did, if we didn't already have the rack and dimmers for a retrofit, it would've been great to be able to have like x amount of 1.2k, and then a few 2.4k's that I could move around wherever I needed them.

    On the other hand. It is a school, and that encourages people less electrically-inclined to poke around in live racks, not aware to power down before servicing. I retract my earlier statement it would be a good idea for this application, but it's still food for thought.

    I also don't know how price-effective it really is to have those differences. If you still had the hardwiring to move 2.4k's around, I don't know what price difference you're really looking at by getting some of this and some of that versus all 2.4k.

    It's funny, because the supplier tried to shaft me in the design phase. "Yea, well you really don't need all of those D20's. If you want, we can exchange your (6y old) 24 D20's, for maybe 16 new D15's? I paused while questioning in my mind how many years I would serve for shoving his my foot up his butt, then asked him for what purpose I would ever want to consider doing that, and we quickly progressed elsewhere in our design meeting. My electrician and I talked afterwards, and he was stunned that they would even consider offering such a stupid idea.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2008
  13. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    The theory behind going to 1.2kw's., is twice the number of dimmers in a rack, which can be a huge savings in real estate required, as I consider how we had to place 2 racks on our 3rd floor, 2 on the 2nd floor, etc...

    Plus the savings in wire sizes, going to #14 instead of #10 for long runs in a permanent install, smaller conduits and/or more wires in a conduit, etc..

    Keeping the module size the same, so as to be able to swap from a dual 1.2 to a dual 2.4 defeats any cost savings, as everything needs to be sized for the larger breaker of the 2.4. In truth, the manufacturer is only going to change the breaker to a 10 amp, just like they now only make a 15 amp dimmer by putting in a different breaker. Everything else - choke and SSR is the same as a 20 amp, thus the supplier wasn't saving you anything.

    Steve B.
     
  14. Darthrob13

    Darthrob13 Active Member

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    We seem to be getting muddled here. Are we talking about multi-dimmer packs or installed mainline racks?

    If it's a pack, then more dimmers/less power per would be the way to go. As mentioned this gives the greatest flexibility.

    If we're talking about mainline install's the options are almost endless. Why not add 50% more dimmers to the standard size rack by loading half with Quads? Why not use one of the sinewave technology dimmers if noise is an issue? Why not IGBT?

    And there was a 24x 1.2kw CD-80 pack....does that count?
     
  15. STEVETERRY

    STEVETERRY Well-Known Member

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    This is not a simple problem. It would be if one could use all 1.2kW dimmers. About the only penalty would be wiring them with 14AWG wire minimum (in the US).

    But, we're going need some 2.4kW dimmers, right? Cyc lights, strip lights, big fresnels, etc. Now, in a hard-wired dimmer-per-circuit system, where are we going to put them and how many at each location? If we choose at installation time, we're likely to get it wrong. Even if the quantities are right, how are we going to get the distribution to each hanging position right without knowing the application for a particular show?

    This dilemma, coupled with the fact that the premium for 2.4kW over 1.2 kW is almost nil with SCR dimmers, is precisely why the market has not moved to 1.2kW.

    Now, with Sine Wave dimmers, the premium is huge--which makes 1.2kW all the more desirable. Yet, we still have to solve the problem of selective deployment of the few 2.4kW circuit we still need--in a clever way.

    It's easy with a soft multi-cable distribution system, but less easy with a hard-wired system.

    ST
     
  16. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    The pole almost has to be subdivided into fixed and portable applications. Steve is right about trying to predict where the 2.4k loads would be. One other factor is that it is hard to make an absolute call on this as there will always be need for higher capacity dimmers in specific applications. Given 48 fixtures at 1k, and the option of 24 2k dimmers or 48 1k dimmers, then the answer becomes clear, but in the real world things get murky.
     
  17. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I really like 2.4k for touring situations, because then reather than using 48 1.2k dimmers to run 8 par bars, i can use 24 2.4k dimmers and twofer them in the patch. (FOR YOU NEW GUYS, THIS IS WHY US OLD SCHOOL GUYS LIKE PATCH BAYS, YOU CANNOT DO THIS ON A SOFT PATCH !!!!! ****HINT HINT LIGHTRONICS****
     
  18. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    *Gulp* Are we going back to hard patch?

    Although I've always liked the idea...
     
  19. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I just got rid of a 40ch Electro Controls slidepatch. That was a dangerous piece of garbage. If a handle broke off the only way to move anything was sticking something into the patchbay, a terribly dangerous idea.

    What if in a hard-wire install, everything was wired to accept 2.4k, but the dimmers were primarily 1.2k, but with some 2.4k that could be moved around as needed? Flexibility problem solved, hmm?
     
  20. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Nope. You'd only really save the money in copper, and conduit space. There isn't much difference between 1.2k and 2.4k ("normal" dimmer) in price.
     

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