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For the strand geeks

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by TimMiller, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I have two CD-80 road racks. One is gray the other is black. The gray on says SV. The black one does not even say strand on it. The Gray one takes a different style of plug in card than the black one. The soco connectors are also different. Which rack is the most up to date version? The black or the gray. I haven't dug into them very deep to find dates yet.

    Also i strongly recommend NOT CARRYING A CD-80 RACK IN THE BACK OF A PICKUP, EVEN IF IT IS A 1TON DUALLY. It makes for a very scary experience.
     
  2. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    My CD80 Supervisor racks are black, if that helps.
     
  3. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    The supervisor rack is more recent than the other, would be my bet.

    It sounds like you have an original CD-80 with the black one. You should be able to tell that because at the bottom of the rack you will see 3 red LED (one on each power supply card) and then 12? cards with a white handle on them. (the Ramp Cards)
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Yep, the older units are black, the newer CD80's are gray, and the newest C21's are an even lighter grey.
     
  5. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    will the older ramp cards work in the newer CD80. Same slot but i dont know if its a different card. I am looking to find an upgrade kit to upgrade the electronics. I think i'm going to use the older CD-80 rack to get the newer one working. In the older rack i was told it works, but at the last show it was used on it blew the black leg. So i'm going to start pulling it apart and see what happened.
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    They do make a new module that upgrades the CD80's to the CD21 controllers, meaning that you can run shownet right to them and all that good stuff.
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    See this post and follow the links. Johnson Systems makes a good business out of keeping CD-80s, and other "less than current" systems viable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  8. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Are CD80 touring rack modules (cards?) interchangeable with the CD80 supervisor?
     
  9. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I have speced the johnson system for quite a few schools that have CD80's They tell me they want to upgrade their dimmer rack to something new. I tell them slap this in, they rewarranty your entire rack, and the CD80's are the most bullet proof dimmer on the planet.
     
  10. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I don't follow what's so good about the Johnson System retrofit, does that significantly increase the quality of the CD80 supervisor racks?
     
  11. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Sorry your question went unanswered, though I am not sure why you ask. I believe the Dimmer modules are compatible (exact same actually) but the Control modules are not. It's been forever since I've seen a CD-80 touring rack, as "another manufacturer";) has claimed about 95% of that market.


    Your installation is too new to worry about about, [user]Charcoaldabs[/user]. Remember that the CD-80 series dates back to 1978, and invented the use of "analog multiplex" (which later became USITT AMX-192), predating USITT DMX-512 (1986) by 8 years. Many original CD-80 systems are still functioning, whether or not they have been upgraded by Strand or Johnson Systems. And here I was thinking you had C21s. The CD-80s are better in my opinion.
     
  12. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    many people replaced cd80's not because they are bad, but because they feel they are old. The Johnson retrofit replaces all of the electronics in the rack with new electronics and brings the rack up to date. The old CD-80's consisted of quite a few driver boards, a couple of power supplies. Several boards that handled the DMX and AMX inputs and sent control signal to the driver boards. With this you just gut all that old aging stuff out and drop in a new brain. Its like reusing a computer case, who cares what the case looks like its whats inside that matters. The johnson system allows you to print out your patch info, along with providing dmx outs and relay outs. It also networks with other cd80 racks. It would be sweet if they had artnet. but they dont yet.
     
  13. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    Typically no, the dimmer modules between the old CD-80 style and the newer(ish) cd-80 SV racks are not compatible. THere were some pin changes between the two models that make one incompatible with the other.

    There are upgrade kits that you can purchase to upgrade the "brains" of your rack, as Tim mentioned. These were put out because this is what normally failed. The dimmer modules themselves are pretty bulletproof. The old electronics... not so much. You replace those and you essentially get a brand new rack at a fraction of the price.
     
  14. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I have an idea of something to try, but what voltage does the ramp card put out to each module? I'm thinking its 0-10V but i cannot remember.
     
  15. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    I am pretty sure that you are right. but I won't swear to it either... It's been too long since I had my head in one of those racks.
     

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