The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Dimmable Foot Pedal For spot

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by McAfee, Dec 7, 2018 at 9:25 AM.

  1. McAfee

    McAfee Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    PA
    hey all! im looking for a foot pedal that spot op's can use to smothly turn on and off their spot hands free, ive seen many foot pedals with an outlet on them had has a hard on/off and i was wondering if anyone has seen any that dim? tia!
     
  2. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    Likes Received:
    888
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'd instead be teaching them how to adeptly use the provided controls, mechanical dowsing, or electronic dimming if provided. If they move on to use ANY other FS they will likely never come across a foot pedal and will need to get good at the built in controls.

    Not that the idea isn't intriguing.
     
    Les and RonHebbard like this.
  3. McAfee

    McAfee Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    PA
    thank you for the insight! our problem is when the spots turn off and on it never looks nice, the only controls we have access to are the shutter, an iris, and just turning of the spot i have tryed all of these and they just never seem to be consistent or look good. My next step was to either get them on dimmers and be controlled along with all the other lights, the problem with that is in my current space that is rather pricy to get them onto dimmers. we have tryed just hooking up a dimmable light switch to them but its too hard to fade on and keep it steady/on the subject. thank you!
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  4. Lextech

    Lextech Active Member

    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Virginia
    May I ask what spots you are using?
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  5. McAfee

    McAfee Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    PA
    "PHOEBUS ULTRA QUARTZ II FOLLOWSPOT"
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  6. jonliles

    jonliles Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    Marietta, Georgia, United States
    The fan in that follow spot will not like being put on a dimmer.
     
    Dionysus and RonHebbard like this.
  7. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    Likes Received:
    888
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    What many folks have done is re-wire the fixture. The lamp is a 360w ENX/FLE ?, isolate it from the fan(s), run the fans on dedicated power and either A) Have lamp power from a dimmer circuit then off the control desk, submaster ?, cued ?. or B) Buy a single 600w or 1000w in-line dimmer and place the dimmer where the operator can access it easily.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...gBk39JNuGt2T2RoCZm4QAvD_BwE&lsft=BI:514&smp=Y
     
    Dionysus and RonHebbard like this.
  8. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    1,168
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    @McAfee @SteveB As Steve posted: Rewire to power the fans directly from your nearest non-dimmed receptacle, Rather than attempting to use any of the small dimmers intended for use in homes, find a Variac autotransformer dimmer, one you can sit on the catwalk next to you or wherever's convenient to reach. The Variac's weight will keep it sitting there with its large rotary actuating knob on top and its comparatively stiff and SMOOTH operation will rapidly become your friend. For real finesse, you can add 3/8" diameter self-adhesive rubber feet on top of the Variac immediately outside of the knob's periphery where your operators will learn to feel them while they're actuating their dimmers. Use the self-adhesive bumpers to mark any intermediate levels you want to return to for specific scenes. If / when you're running three spots for a production such as 'Chorus Line', having the ability for all 3 spots to have one or two intermediate reference marks for times when zero and full just aren't enough is a definite plus. The advantages of using the self-adhesive foot / bumpers over masking tape and Sharpies is your operators will learn to feel their reference settings by touch without ever having to take their eyes off their picks. If / when your lighting designer or director insists on changing her / his intermediate settings, peel off the bumper, discard and apply a new bumper. I've seen people attempt to peel and reuse the same bumper but their adhesive is designed to work well ONCE when applied to a CLEAN, DRY location. The small bumpers are typically found 12 on a backing card for a dollar. Attempting to re-use in this application is false economy. I've employed this method for 3 spot operators sitting cross-legged on cushions to dim Source 4's from 1st FOH cove positions for two or three amateur productions of 'Chorus Line' and found larger, appreciably over-rated, variacs to be the smoothest for the amateur operators to actuate without ever having to look to find them or inadvertently moving the actuator when reaching to re-grasp it.
    From running carbon Supers many times in our local IA road house, I knew better than to attempt amateur productions of 'Chorus Line' with any fewer than the three spots the original productions were designed for. Chorus Line's a three spot show. (Period)
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 2:40 PM
  9. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    318
    Occupation:
    Lighting/Sound/Video installation/repair
    Location:
    Lawton, OK
    Since the ENX is an 82 volt lamp fed by a transformer in the fixture, you would have to make sure whatever dimming you apply takes into account the transformer. With an autotransformer dimmer, it should be no problem. With electronic dimming, there could be issues depending on the design of the dimmer.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  10. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    Likes Received:
    888
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks for that, missed the 88v status.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  11. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,506
    Likes Received:
    2,925
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    The spec sheet says "iris and douser." Are they not separate?
    Or, put a piece of Blackwrap in colorframe#1 and use that to fade in/out. Call it a day.
     
    What Rigger? and RonHebbard like this.
  12. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    1,168
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    @McAfee and @derekleffew Far too many end users never realize their "Shutter" is in actuality their DOUSER and capable of being smoothly opened or closed to provide 30 to 40 second SMOOTH fades to and from fully open and closed or any intermediate intensities in between. I appreciate you KNOW this @derekleffew but perhaps @McAfee has yet to discern this? Perhaps @derekleffew you ought to explain that your Blackwrap colorframe can execute 30 to 40 second SMOOTH fades as well and needn't always be actuated in increments measured in fractions of seconds.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
  13. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    Likes Received:
    888
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Interesting as the shutters I’ve seen on an FS are actual shutters, I.E. vertical choppers used for when a spot is at full flood and you want to cut off the bottom of the stage at the pit or wherever (and the top at wherever). Definitely NOT the dowser nor used as such
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  14. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    1,168
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    @SteveB Exactly as you state: Carbon spots for example typically had three similar handles: Closest to your arc was the Dowser / Douser (Dependent upon your spelling) intentionally out of focus, next your shutters as you describe and in focus followed by your iris furthest from the heat of your arc and normally crisply in focus. Much further forward came your "trombone" (Optical zoom lenses) which you normally operated approximately 80 to 85% forward for the most optically efficient operation and pushed all the way forward if / when needing to hold a tight, bright shoulders up / head shot. Controls varied from two of the three on Strong's Troupers with their identical carbon rods and AC arcs through all three on Strong's legendary Super Troupers and Gladiators with their dissimilar lengths and diameters of rods for their DC arcs and other arcs of previous eras such as Genarco's which predate me.
    For those playing along at home:
    Alternating current arcs, arcs applying non rectified AC to their carbons, used two identical rods, same diameter, length and composition of carbon.
    DC arcs. those applying rectified AC to their arcs used two dissimilar rods of differing lengths, diameters and carbon composition.
    From memory: The positive rod was longer, larger in diameter with a harder centre surrounded by a softer, faster burning, shell to reduce its tendency to burn into a deep crater. As the end of the positive rod was effectively the point source being reflected out the lens by the reflector, you wanted the end of the positive rod to be the brightest source of light and DID NOT want its brightest point to be shadowed deep within a crater.
    The negative rod was shorter, narrower in diameter and manufactured of softer carbon in its centre surrounded by slower burning carbon with the intent being for the rods inner core to burn away avoiding its natural tendency to extend to a long, narrow, point burrowing its way into the centre of the positive rod prior to snapping off and leaving you with a gap that was suddenly too wide to maintain an arc.
    Then along came xenon and enclosed metal arcs and overnight ANYONE could call themselves "expert" spot operators.
    @derekleffew are my memories kinda in the ballpark?
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018 at 6:35 PM
  15. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,506
    Likes Received:
    2,925
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Strong's manuals call it the "Horizontal Masking Control," so @SteveB wins that one.

    "Pull back and strip!" Anyone? Anyone? Mueller?

    The carbon-arc Trouper did not have a douser. Supers always did.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  16. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    1,168
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    @derekleffew In post eleven you posted: "The spec sheet says "iris and douser." Are they not separate?" I understood you to be referring to @McAfee 's Phoebus Ultra 'Dark' at that point. Supers had dousers, choppers and irises as did Strong's even larger Gladiators. Never mind Mueller, what about the poor chief of staff?
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
  17. macsound

    macsound Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Oh god, memories of the ultra dark. Can't believe how useless those behemoth's were. I knew one theatre that bought them just because their FS position was built 3 feet too high, so there was a 2' tall I beam halfway up the "window", so they needed a FS with the shortest possible stand in order to shoot under the I beam.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice