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Anyone using Teatronics dimmers?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by bwhiteford, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. bwhiteford

    bwhiteford Member

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    Location:
    Brookeville, MD
    Hey guys,
    We're using old Teatronics dimmers at our school, and we've done an amount of repairs on them to keep them running. Things seem to be stabilized now, but I thought i'd ask to see if anyone else out there was using them. Our rack is an 80's MD288.
     
  2. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    The MD288s are good .. the high school I design at has an MD288 half-rack and the university I went to had a pair of MD288s. There's not much in them to break since the firing cards do the demux and PWM in the same Z80 chip. No ramp cards or other stuff.

    I've got some old Genesises at the church that are, in fact, in right now. They're long in the tooth (power cubes dated 1986), but even then they work well, they're workhorses.
     
  3. RTDesigns

    RTDesigns Member

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    Be glad your high school has dimmers.......ours were all non-dims, uh the name brand was squareD breakers. If we were doing any type of drama or touring stuff, we had to go through the trouble of renting from the local theatre that had some packs and a board we could use.
     
  4. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    MASTER ELECTRICIAN
    Location:
    Winter Haven, FL
    I was given a MD288 rack by a theatre that had replace it with three ETC sensor racks. The folks that had the Teatronics rack had what they said were quite a few problems and that it had caught fire at one time. When I got the rack home in my garage and disassembled it, I discovered that all of the problems were because of one procedure. While the rack has the capability of 288 dimmers in modules of 4 dimmers to a module, They didn't have that many dimmers, but had that many circuits in the theatre. They would move the modules from slot to slot for different shows. This was their way of hard patching circuits to dimmers. The rail guides that hold the modules are pop riveted to the sides. The rivets on the side supports of the cabinet have plenty of space to grab hold. The ones on the center sections do not have very much space to grab. The problem is that when the modules are removed and reinserted many times, they eventually shear off the rivets. When this happens the rails will drop down and the modules won't connect properly. In the worst case scenerio, the module will short the power "in" connectors creating quite a pyro show. There is nothing wrong with Teatronics racks in electrical design, the problem is in the mechanical design.
    Don't remove modules any more often than necessary, and tighten the heatsink screws on the power components of the triggering circuit cards from time to time, and the racks should last forever. If you have less than enough modules to fill the rack, start at the top and fill the rows accross as you work down. This is because each vertical row is on a different phase, and the phases need to be balanced. Set the start addresses on the second and third card so that they start where the privious dimmer count ends in the column to the left. I ended up with a lot of great dimmers for nothing except a little simple repair work.
     
  5. bwhiteford

    bwhiteford Member

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    Location:
    Brookeville, MD
    Guys, thanks for your great posts. Dramatech, that's really interesting about your MD288 rack, i'm going to check on ours and make sure those rivets are still nice and tight. We have the same amount of circuits as dimmers, so I'm guessing that they haven't been moved in and out too many times.

    Who would have thought there's still this many MD288's around!
     
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
  7. Teatronics

    Teatronics Member

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    There are 2 versions of the Teatronics MD288 rack. The original MD288 and the current MD288E. The MD288E has improved mechanical and electrical upgrades. There are many MD racks still operating. Teatronics services ALL aspects and vintages of Teatronics MD racks, dimmer packs and control consoles.
     
  8. llecount

    llecount Member

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    Location:
    Hays Kansas
    My old high school's auditorium has some Teatronics Genesis 1224's.. 3 to be exact. They've had their fair share of problems over the years, and 2 of them are having issues to this day. But they still work great for the few times a year its used.
     

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