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Control/Dimming 2'x4' LED Panel Control - ETC Foundry or Echo

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by wahlwesle, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. wahlwesle

    wahlwesle Member

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    I am new to this forum and new to lighting in general, but I have done some research to try and educate myself before asking questions. I have been the sound guy at our church for quite some time, and have the fortunate opportunity to look at ways to improve the lighting in our sanctuary.

    The sanctuary is currently lit by 21 2'x4' non-dimmable florescent troffers. The age of the current troffers and ballasts have led to constant problems with lights flickering and not working. The ceiling is 18' tall, so changing bulbs and ballasts by ladder is a pain; hence the desire to switch to LED lights of some sort. I recommended that we investigate using 0-10v dimmable LED panels to improve ambiance during holiday programs and such. Dimming to 0% is not necessary. If we can get something to dim to 10-20% without issues it would be acceptable.

    I wanted to provide the ability to control the lights with a DMX theatrical controller to future proof the system if we ever decide to upgrade our stage lighting or add some color washing, but maintain a simple entry station control for everyday use. I have received a proposal from a rep at Full Compass (I have not received much when going directly to ETC) which included the use of an ETC Foundry Mini Panel and a Doug Fleenor Design wall station. This seems like a good proposal for our budget (~$1,000 for the controller) and needs, but I wanted to get some feedback since there was very little information on the Foundry system other than ETC's website.

    I also noticed their Echo system. It wasn't immediately clear to me the benefits, if any, of this system over the proposed Foundry and DFD combination. Has anyone had any experience with either of these control systems for the application I am describing? I have seen other posts where people have wanted to do something similar with control, but referring to LED panels was not apart of any of those discussions.
     
  2. MaxMtl514

    MaxMtl514 Member

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    HI.

    I would totally go with a native 0-10V dimmable LED panel. Don't let anybody try to sell you retrofit LED tubes... They have a mind of it's own when it comes to dimming.

    The ETC foundry solutions(s) (mini panels or zones controllers) are a very good solution. You could also use the DMX source of your choice with a Pathway 1004 Demultiplexer (DMX to 0-10V card).

    Best.
     
    Rob likes this.
  3. jfleenor

    jfleenor Active Member

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    Hi! I'm Janell, and Doug Fleenor is my dad.

    If you ever have questions about the PRESET10 family, please feel free to give us a call at (805) 481-9599.

    While I don't have much input on the ETC Foundry, they do make some darn good products, and definitely stand behind their gear.

    Our Preset family of wall stations (and portable options) are extremely well received in the church community. One of the main reasons for this is that the PRESET10-A will sit on the DMX line and "listen", and if it sees any DMX signal coming from upstream (the console), it will back off and let the console take control. Once DMX is "lost" or turned off at the console, the PRESET10-A will then take control again. This is especially helpful when you have someone manning the lights during service, or a special event... but also want to be able to control them during the week without having just anybody messing with your important, and expensive, console.
     
  4. wahlwesle

    wahlwesle Member

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    This seems to be what I found when researching available lamps. We have the opportunity to re-purpose the old troffers in other areas of the building as well, so the LED panel is a win for installation and price.

    This was exactly what I was looking for and is what was quoted to me in the proposal. I was reluctant at first due to the price, but after reading about the product it seems to be good value.
     
    jfleenor likes this.
  5. wahlwesle

    wahlwesle Member

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    This is surely a newbie question, but can someone explain how the Foundry relay works when the DMX signal tells the lamps to dim to 0, or in other words turn off? Will the led drivers still be receiving 120V power, or will the relay open the circuit causing power to cease to the drivers?

    If this is the case, is there a way to "program" the relay to provide power at a specific control voltage to avoid inconsistent low end cutoff?
     
  6. MaxMtl514

    MaxMtl514 Member

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    At 0 DMX value (and/or 0V), if your LED panels can only dim down to 30%, you can tell the Foundry relay to open the 120V circuit (through programming)... Same applies for the Foundry 0-10V Zone controller & Foundry Mini Panels...
     
  7. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    When any fixture uses line voltage and low voltage control, the actual dimming is done inside the fixture. It always gets full line voltage.

    DEPENDING ON THE FIXTURE,
    it may dim to 0 without needing a relay. However relays will kill any 'vampire' load for the electronics that can add up during the week and even reduce the fixture life. Check the fixture details carefully!

    I'd have to design and price both systems, but my thought is that the Echo system would cost a bit more to have matching features. I have used the P10 family and some Echo stuff. I found them very both practical and functional. Echo is very flexible in design and has many parts that can do many things, but you are asking for very little, whether you go DMX fixtures or 0-10.

    Either way is good solid gear and support.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  8. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Don't overlook the wiring issues. So many ways to do what you want. Would be helpful to know how these are switched and circuited and look at loads. Those numbers will better inform you on what controls to use.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  9. wahlwesle

    wahlwesle Member

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    After reading the manual on the Mini Panel, I did not notice any mention of this ability. Are you saying that the panel can be programmed to do this, or will it have to be done through some other means?

    Since the Mini Panel is a relay panel with 0-10v control capability, I assume that the relay will open, cutting off power to the fixture, when dimmed to 0. This was the basis for my previous question about how the Mini Panel relays work.

    Below is my not-so-professional wiring diagram on the way the fixtures are wired today. Over time, some of them were eliminated or moved to different grid locations due to the addition of projectors.
    Slide1.JPG

    This is my proposed wiring diagram. I did not draw voltage and control lines separately, but hopefully this gives you the idea of what I wanted to do. Based on the panels I have looked at, I expect them to draw approximately 50 watt full on. This would result in just over 1kW of load. The Mini Panel is rated for 20A, so this should be doable. If I am wrong or if there is a better way, please correct me.
    Slide2.JPG
     
  10. MaxMtl514

    MaxMtl514 Member

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    wahlwesle likes this.
  11. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I believe you should use a Foundry Relay, not the Foundry Mini Panel, based on load. Cheaper and easier to install as well. Like $225 vs $650 or $850 using Full Compass prices.

    Otherwise I concur with your diagram. Don't forget the low voltage.

    Back to your first post, you could use Echo. Pure Echo end to end might be a little less expensive, and provide some other features that might or might not be useful, but my instinct is that if you want to control these through a console, it's probably simpler to stick with the DFD device.

    Just another thought. Depending on the LED panel, you could use (two) of the Foundry Phase Adaptive Dimmer Controllers. Hard to predict without testing (which ETC may have done or be willing to do) but could be better, worse, or the same dimming. Two of these would be 2 X 250 but not require any low voltage wiring to each fixture. Was someone paying an electrician, I'm sure this would be a savings over running a pair of #16s or similar to each new fixture.

    Good luck! Tell us what happens.
     
  12. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

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    Yes the Mini Panel does that automatically, as do most 0-10 lighting devices like the other brands mentioned. Separate relays and 0-10 converter or DMX fixtures would have separate addresses. A combined relay and converter make life simpler.

    My key point is that for some DMX fixtures the Mini Panel would not be necessary at all. The relay can be nice anyway, but it all depends on the exact fixture and your usage pattern. Dimming quality tends to vary greatly based on the control method. 0-10 and DMX can nominally perform equally, many 0-10 drivers will not dim to off, thus the relay. It's all about the vampire load.

    Do be careful with installation costs. Labor can easily exceed equipment costs, sometimes by a few multiples. Scaffolding, confined spaces, drilling, patching & painting can add up quite quickly!
     
  13. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

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    I don't think your revised diagram can be used for DMX distribution to the fixtures as drawn. The green circuit is OK because it is daisy-chained properly. DMX fixtures just have a DMX input and output and you show the top row of fixtures on the red circuit having one input and two outputs.
     
  14. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    He's only showing power and not the 0-10 for dimming and fixtures are not DMX.
     
    wahlwesle likes this.
  15. jfleenor

    jfleenor Active Member

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    To clarify, the PRESET10 should be between the console and the fixtures. It would then have the ability to control any DMX fixtures that are further down the line.

    If you're new to DMX systems, we have two papers on our website that might help answer a few questions about how the protocol works. The direct links are below, and can be found on our website here: http://www.dfd.com/info.html

    http://www.dfd.com/pdf/HANDOUT.PDF (a PDF)
    and
    http://www.dfd.com/primer.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  16. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    True if the fixtures took DMX but that is not the case here. The fixtures are 0-10, and get their 0-10 from the ETC Foundry Relay or MiniPanel, so the PRESET10 would go between console and ETC Foundry device, which besides switching power also does the DMX to 0-10 conversion.

    and you seem to have done a good job of research and self education.
     
    wahlwesle, MaxMtl514 and jfleenor like this.
  17. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Well, it'll *still* be between the console and the fixtures... there's just another thing in between...
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  18. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I think you may need to check the definition of between. If you snack in the afternoon after lunch, are you snacking between breakfast and bedtime?
     
  19. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely you are. Breakfast is at 9am; bedtime is at midnight; snack is between those, at 2pm.

    IOW: huh?
     
    RonHebbard likes this.

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