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Color Scroller question

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by lighttech11, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. lighttech11

    lighttech11 Member

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    So, I've tried searching for an answer in existing threads, but I have come up with nothing. So forgive me if I am repeating a question.

    I just bought some color scrollers for use in our S4's. They're Chroma-Q Broadways. I have the power supply, cabling, and everything, I just have a question about putting the actual color scrolls in the units. I assumed there would be instructions in the user's manual, but their wasn't anything. I've never worked with Color Scrollers before, so I'm not familiar with the processes.
    Is it a simple process to insert the scroll? Is it self-evident?
    Are there any tips about putting the scroll in? Is it okay to physically turn the motors to get the scroll in, for example?
    Any help or tips would be great.

    Also, another question. For the Chroma Q's, is it absolutely necessary to return the cabling back to the power supply from the last scroller, or can you just put a terminator on the last scroller?

    Thanks!
    =)
     
  2. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    I don't have the same scrollers as you but I can't imagine they are much different, I have forerunners.
    The gel strings are basically taped onto the spools. You can probably find a manual online and probably find a video.
    Don't manually turn the spools when plugged in.
     
  3. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Presumably you ordered the units with, or they came with an M3 mounting plate, which adapts the scroll head to the S4 ellipsoidal (6-1/4" frame sized )fixture. There are assorted plates for different fixtures - PAR64's, S4 Pars, etc..

    And no, you do not always have to loop back (manufacturer dependent). It's generally required if the distance from power supply to the first scroller is long AND you have a lot of scrollers on the PS AND it's a smaller PS. If it's a higher power head not maxed out at medium distances, loop back can sometimes be skipped.

    Steve B.
     
  4. seanandkate

    seanandkate Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I own the chroma-Q Mk.IIs. If the Broadways are similar then loading the gel strings is a royal PITA. Do your gel strings have little metal tabs on each end? If so then I can tell you how to load them, if not, I am sure that we can, but finding the manual can't hurt.

    As for looping the data run, again, if the Broadway model is similar to the MkII the you MUST loop the scroller cable back to the PSU or the scrollers won't function. This is true even if there is only one unit on a PSU.
     
  6. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    I always spec Chroma-Q units. I have sold hundreds upon hundreds of them. A couple of things.

    I don't know off the top of my head how it went, but the last set I installed it took me 20 minutes to put the strings in 8 units. I remember it was super easy and simple. Call the company that sold them to you, tell them you did not get directions, and they should take care of you (at least I would if you were my client). All mine have always come with instructions (and they are really easy).

    I have never looped back a scroller in my life (Chroma-Q or otherwise) and they worked just fine.

    Mike
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Questions for icewolf08, (and other resident regional theatre MEs):
    1. Do you build your own scrolls or buy them?
    2. Do your designers spec a specific string order, or just accept what you have?
    3. Do you give the designers a choice of your in-stock strings?
    4. Wouldn't you rather have two-string, color mixing units? (CXi or MXR, or ideally, ColorFaders.)
     
  8. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I am glad that you have had such good experiences with Chroma-Q scrollers, but IMHO they aren't worth half what they cost. For the same price, the Apollo SmartColor is a far superior unit. From the universal mounting plate, built in gel shield, how you load the strings, to the overall construction. My Chroma-Q Mk. IIs won't function at all without a return loop from the last unit to the PSU, but the Apollo's will.

    1) I buy scrolls. I have thought about making a jig to make my own, but it is tedious and you have to be very exacting if you want the scrollers to index correctly. Also, in the long run it probably would cost the same in man hours as it does to just order strings.

    3) I send every designer a list of our stock strings with our inventory.

    2) I only offer the LDs of musicals the option to build gel strings as those are the shows with the budget for it, but as of this point in my time here I have not had to buy any strings other than what we stock for all our units.

    4) If I was going to do a color mixing device I would go with SeaChangers. IMHO scrollers are one of the worst best inventions, why compound the issue with two strings?
     
  9. lighttech11

    lighttech11 Member

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    The scrolls have little metal tabs on the end.

    Thanks for that pdf. It seems to be the exact thing I'm looking for.
     
  10. seanandkate

    seanandkate Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Very welcome. I seem to remember it saved me the first time I had to change one too . . .
     
  11. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Followup. Care to share the contents of your most-used gelstring?
     
  12. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    No problem Ice.

    To each their own. I think the Apollos are overrated myself. Plus they are almost twice as much as the Chroma-Qs (for me anyway). I just thought I would offer the opposite viewpoint. I love them and I never spec any scroller except ChomaQ and Wybron.

    Mike
     
  13. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Depending upon which authorized dealer the end-user purchases SmartColor scrollers from greatly affects the cost, but that's a given. Also, SmartColor scrollers come complete and ready to hang with:

    Mounting Plate $0
    Apollo Gel Shield $0
    Safety Cable $0
    Theater - RnRoll - Custom strings $0 when 6 units are purchased.
    (Also- the gel strings are installed here at Apollo to save you time in the field.)

    When adding the above items into the final bill, you may find the SmartColor scrollers coming in below the cost of the others. Mileage may vary depending upon dealer chosen...
     
  14. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Here is my Most common Gel String, I have this for every scroller and for my Revolutions:

    Theatrical Scroll

    0|00|Clear
    1|G480|Med. Yellow
    2|G385|Lt. Amber
    3|G340|Lt. Bastard Amber
    4|G335|Coral
    5|G345|Deep Amber
    6|G270|Red-Orange
    7|G195|Nymph Pink
    8|G120|Bright Pink
    9|G970|Special Lavender
    10|G948|African Violet
    11|G720|Lt. Steel Blue
    12|G810|Moon Blue
    13|G850|Blue (primary)
    14|G540|Pale Green
    15|G690|Bluegrass

    I don't know who came up with the colors or if it is some stock string, but people like it.

    See, now I am really intrigued as to where you source gear because usually the people who wind up with the best prices on stuff for me can't beat my local guys on the Apollo gear. For example, BMI quotes me SmartColor 7.5s w/Universal mount at $100 more than my local guys. And the Smart colors ring it within $20-ish of what I have been quoted for the CQ Mk.IIs.

    I like the Wybron gear, but at over 3X the cost of Apollo or CQ and not really any different functionally I can't justify the expense.

    Keith, I love you guys! Wanna make me a deal on the 6 strings that I just sent an order in for through my local guys, GTS? :rolleyes: (same colors as above)
     
  15. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Hi Alex,

    Alright, I'll bite. Are you saying you have just ordered six SmartColor scrollers, or that you would like to order six free gelstrings?

    :confused:
     
  16. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I'll PM you.
     
  17. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I get my mounting plates, safties, and gel strings free with my Chroma-Q's, and the gel shield is minimal cost.

    Again, everyone's mileage may vary.

    Mike
     
  18. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I don't give away my suppliers. Bad for business. But they are guys that I know from the road who have their own production companies. They are still actively designing, so they make nickles and dimes off of gear (luckily for me).

    Mike
     
  19. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    Other than Wybron, the two major manufactures of scrollers are Camelont in Sweden and Spectrum in Canada. I'm not sure which came first or how they do their licenseing agreement, but they have many interchangeable parts including the rolls that the strings are loaded on. These two companies do not market any scrollers under their own name, but provide other companies. The Camelonts are known as Strand Colour call and Rainbow. The Spectrum units are Chroma Q, The older Apollo Q series. Color Ranger and Morpheus. Both manufactures started out with a manual calibrating scroller and then moved to an automatic calibrating unit.
    With the manual calibrating units, they must be connected to DMX with a value of "0" when the gel string in installed. The first frame past the leader is centered and then the spring loaded roller is turned 1 and 1/2 turns, while holding the fixed roller in place, then both rollers are pushed down on to the securing pins. Then operating the DMX control advance the scroll slowly until the last frame is reached, and then there is a small slotted adjustment that is moved until the last frame is reached when the controller is at full. It is then a good idea to advance the string back and forth at top speed a few times, and then check centering of the first and last frame and tightness of the string. Then readjust as necessary. On the manual calibrating units, the leader length and shape are not very critical, and can be secured with gaff tape. The manual units can be identified by the DMX address controls being three switches with the numbers 0-9 around them.
    The auto calibrating units are identified by their having dip switches for DMX addressing. The auto units also are very critical about the shape and length of their leaders. They have a metal tab on the end that is folded back one fold. To install them, just put them in the scroller with the same 1 and 1/2 turns of tension. plug them into DMX and power and they calibrate. If there are several units with the same strings, and they don't track to the same gel at the same DMX setting, you need to play with the tension. They do their calibration by moving the gelstring to both ends and count the rotations. If the tension is wrong or the roller shaft is slightly bent, or the bearings dirty, they will produce a wrong count and will not track correctly.
    I have a total of 26 scrollers from these two manufactures as follows: 6 each Apollo Q6s (auto), 10 Chroma Q (manual) and 1 Chroma Q (auto), 7 each Rainbow (manual) and 2 each Strand Colour Call (manual). I far prefer the older manual units as they never lose their calibration once they are set properly, and don't have to calibrate if there is a power failure. They of course require a DMX console for calibration, which is a minor inconvenience.
    Most all scrollers can use each others power supplies with the exception of the Colorram by wybron and any of the units that don't set the DMX at the scroller but set the DMX at the supply.
    If you have scrollers that require a return line to operate, check and see that you have Plus 24vdc at pin 1 and 4 on both the male and female XLR connectors. The standard Scroller supply has on the female 4pin XLR as follows: pin 1 ground for the 24 vdc and ground for the DMX. pin 2 Minus DMX data. pin 3 pus DMX data. pin 4 Plus 24vdc. On the male connector: Pin 1 is the ground for the 24vdc across pin 2 and 3 is a 120 ohm resistor and pin 4 has the plus 24vdc.
    The Apollo colorSmart scroller is manufactured off shore to Apollos specifications and quality.
    I volunteer at a community theatre where I buy the lighting equipment with the money they pay me as a fee for being the ME, and then give the equipment to the theatre. That is why I have such an array of scrollers. I have purchased them at the lowest prices I can find, and rebuild them from top to bottom. That is also why I prefer Spectrum and Camelonts, as I have become quite familiar with them, and stock some of the parts. I also build my own scroller supplys and cables. Personally.
    If I were buying new scrollers, from what is available on the market, and for a community theatre with a small budget, it would be the Apollo colorsmart. Tha is just one man's opinion.
     
  20. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Must be a ChromaQ thing, as it matches a choice I was given by an LA shop.

    Theatre Color String:
    [​IMG]
    Frame #1 W024 Clear Leader
    Frame #2 G480 Medium Yellow
    Frame #3 G385 Light Amber
    Frame #4 G340 Light Bastard Amber
    Frame #5 G335 Coral
    Frame #6 G345 Deep Amber
    Frame #7 G270 Red Orange
    Frame #8 G195 Nymph Pink
    Frame #9 G120 Bright Pink
    Frame #10 G970 Special Lavender
    Frame #11 G948 African Violet
    Frame #12 G720 Light Steel Blue
    Frame #13 G810 Moon Blue
    Frame #14 G850 Blue (Primary)
    Frame #15 G540 Pale Green
    Frame #16 G690 Bluegrass

    Rock and Roll Color String:
    [​IMG]
    Frame #1 W024 Clear Leader
    Frame #2 G450 Saffron
    Frame #3 G345 Deep Amber
    Frame #4 G355 Amber Flame
    Frame #5 G245 Light Red
    Frame #6 G250 Medium Red XT
    Frame #7 G120 Bright Pink
    Frame #8 G995 Orchid
    Frame #9 G948 African Violet
    Frame #10 G930 Real Congo Blue
    Frame #11 G810 Moon Blue
    Frame #12 G835 Aztec Blue
    Frame #13 G850 Blue (Primary)
    Frame #14 G710 Blue Green
    Frame #15 G690 Bluegrass
    Frame #16 G655 Rich Green
     

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