Dimmer Troubles


Active Member

Well, we finally seem to have found where the dimmers are located that control the house lights. The problem now is that after looking at it and searching the manual, for the life of my I can't figure out where you can set them to tell them what dimmer number they are.

I was wondering how you all set your dimmer numbers and if it was normally a really easy way to do so. If anyone has worked with a few different tyle of dimmers here is the manual, its pretty short and if you scroll down a page or two it gives pretty good diagrams of the dimmer moduals and the control board (circuit board). For the life of me I can't figure out though how you would do this.


Oh, as another note, we have the medium size dimmer of the three that are show in this manual. And we have opened it up and all that you can easily get at through the door without taking off the entire pannel are the circuit breakers. Not much help there, but the control card is accessable through a bottom pannel. Please take a look if you think you can help at all, and much thanks to anyone that can.

On our ETC Sensor rack, the slots are numbered, not the dimmer modules themselves. It's an interesting numbering scheme since it's a 3-phase rack. It just doesn't go from 1-96 from top to bottom, it goes 1/2 on the A phase (top third of the rack), 3/4 on the B phase (middle third) and 5/6 on the C phase (bottom third), and it repeats with 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, etc. It's that way to keep the phases balanced and not put an excessive load on the neutral. Whatever module you plug into the 1/2 slot, whether it be a 20A dimmer, a relay module, etc, will show up as 1 and 2 on the board. When they wired the new dimmer rack this summer, they wired it dimmer-per-circuit, so each circuit number corresponds to that dimmer number. That can't be changed unless you re-wire the load wires on the rack. The patching is done in the board, channels to dimmers. The dimmer numbers always stay the same.

However, I think there's an option in our control module that allows the dimmer numbers to be set up 1-96 top to bottom, but I don't think it works on the SR48 racks, since it isn't available in a single phase version.

Why would you want to change your dimmer numbers anyway? Can't you just assign to channels in the patch?

Now if you're talking about DMX dimmer numbers, I'm not sure. I didn't look to hard at the docs you gave there, but if you can't find it in there, contact the manufacturer.
Ummm ...

I think we may have a three phase type of dimmer. But when we popped it open the circuits were labeled in an odd way like 7A, 7B, 8A, 8B, but the acctual numbers for the dimmers are like 171, 172, 173, ..., 178 on the board.

We want to change them because of the soft patch. Recently we have been having some trouble with that, specifically the board clearing itself where it did turn out, if whoever suggested it, to be the internal battery and right now we're trying to find a replacement for it. But, the new way its organized so that we can use the submasters, we had to move the house lights to new "numbers" using the soft patch. But, so that we don't have to use a soft patch we just want to perminantly make the numbers everywhere they way they come up because of the patch.

On our portable dimmers "SCRimmer Stiks" made by the same company, they are right on the outside and all you need is a small flat head to change them. However for these they are on the inside and very hard to access or change. I'm starting to think that it may be like your second one where we can't change it and we'll just have to build around it or continue to use the soft patch.

Not exactly. Originally we made changes only in the soft patch because we were not sure if what we were trying to do would work. Not that what we were doing does in fact work, we want to make it perminant by taking the changes made in the soft patch and creating the same changes in the hard patch, making it so that we can use a 1:1 patch.

This just makes it simpler for us bause although I've explained the soft patch and all to a few people most don't want to touch it and its alot easier to understand if its just 1:1 and the hard patch all works the same.

while im downloading the manual, people need to understand patching, i havn't ran into a Light Designer yet who doesn't require the board being repatched. its an important thing to know how to do.
Yes I agree. Patching is a very important thing to know how to do. And I'm pretty sure that everyone I have shown does know how to use the patch and If I asked them too can go through and read it and all that and tell me what I needed to know. However, I'm the only one who actually built it all and can really quickly just look at it and tell if something is wrong.

I think the problem that we are likely to run into with the dimmers is that if we cannot find the place for the house lights and reset them and then we make doubles of those numbers in the 2nd electric, we will start turning on lights when we try and do stuff which would just be crap.

We may still end up using the soft patch for a light here or there, but the going is to make it so that not over 50% of the lights are actually "defined" in there.


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