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Getting an Ion

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Dustincoc, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Dustincoc

    Dustincoc Active Member

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    The schools buying an Ion to replace the Express on our main stage that has been moved to the second stage when the Expression that was there died. They're getting the touch screen feature as well although we aren't buying any monitors for it because of their cost. Will any touchscreen monitor work with the board or does it need to be an ETC monitor?
     
  2. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    INTERFACES
    DVI video connector with splitter supports two external DVI
    displays (1280x1024) with optional touch screen control


    This datasheet seems to say that any monitor with DVI connector will work, although I would still check with someone else on the board who has used an Ion, or one of our ETC friends.

    Edit:
    The Ion Manual gives hardware setup instructions on page 22 of the pdf:
    Setting Up the Hardware
    Follow these steps to prepare your Ion for use. [snip]
    Step 2: Connect any monitors to the proper ports on the back of the console. Your monitor
    connection choices are:
    • Single VGA monitor connected to the blue VGA connector.
    • Single DVI monitor connected to the white DVI port (using the “Y” cable).
    • Two DVI monitors connected to the DVI port using the “Y” cable...
    :!: Any monitor attached to the DVI “Y” cable must be a DVI monitor. DVI-VGA
    adaptors will not work with the “Y” cable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  3. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    ETC does not manufacture Monitors of any sort, much less the touch screen kind. You can purchase an approved monitor and use it with the console.

    There is a list of approved monitors somewhere that I will work on tracking down for you, but I can't seem to find it right now.

    By the by, The touchscreen support is standard on the ION. It's not a feature that you have to pay extra for - it comes with every ION.

    Also - In the post about -it should be DVI connector, not CVI. Do be aware, that the two monitors that are currently (or at least were) being used to display your Expression outputs will more than likely not work for the ION. You will need to have at least one of them become a DVI monitor. A DVI to VGA adapter on the cable will not work as the desk only supports DVI signal out of the DVI output.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
     
  4. LightStud

    LightStud Active Member

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    See Lighting solutions for Theatre, Film & Television Studios and Architectural spaces : ETC. Besides the 19", other smaller and less expensive ELO models are supported as well, including, I believe, a 15" for <$400. Contact your dealer, or ETC at 1.800.688-4116.

    You'll find it impossible to operate an Ion without any monitor(s), and the touchscreen option is a huge benefit. Why put a Geo engine in a Corvette?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  5. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    Thanks! It was a typo...
    Is there a such thing as CVI connector? :lol:
     
  6. Techfiend

    Techfiend Member

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    When I was at an Ion demo, this same question came up and the rep said that there were 3 criteria that the monitor had to meet:
    1) DVI connection
    2)1280x1024 resolution
    3) Accutouch (type of driver that the monitor runs on, accutouch is the only drivers that are installed on the Ion)

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Dustincoc

    Dustincoc Active Member

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    I was told the monitors were going to run an extra $1000 each if we got them with the board. We're planning on getting some spare monitors from the IT dept. or using a couple of the CRT's we have laying around from the other old boards and computers.
     
  8. farmerjo1111

    farmerjo1111 Member

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    ETC is now selling our own branded 19" touch screen. The ELO one will still work however if you want a touch screen we recommend the ETC one. Contact your local dealer for more info.
     
  9. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I was going to mention that, but I didn't know if it had been made public yet, and I didn't want to blow the cover if it hadn't.
     
  10. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    Cool. I don't want to bother the local dealers with my curiosity (as I don't plan on purchasing one), but do you know if there's any spec sheets or photos floating around? I didn't see it on ETC's website.
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Did a quick search on Newegg. Found only one monitor that is Accutouch, DVI, and 1280x1024... surprise it's the same ELO 1928L that is listed on the ETC website. Newegg wants $780 including shipping. According to that chart on the ETC website that Lightstud linked to Congo and Jr. can get away with the cheaper touch screens but not Ion.

    Personally I wouldn't worry about the touch screen too much. I have the feeling that if you had the touch screen, you would find the vast majority of your programming is still done at the key pad... it's faster in my opinion. I would focus on getting two monitors instead... looks like it supports one VGA or two if they are DVI. Having the space on screen to look at a lot of information is far more important than having a touch screen.

    The one thing I don't like about my new Strand Classic Palette is that it only supports one monitor. I have placed a second computer on the Shownet network next to the console so I can log it onto the system and use it as a second view screen... it's not the same as having two screens on the same system, but it helps.
     
  12. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    I believe the users that post on the Eos/Ion ETC Users Forums have indicated a preference for touch screens, which make programming faster.

    Steve B.
     
  13. sclausenETC

    sclausenETC Active Member

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    Also, officially speaking, we have tested both Eos/Ion and Congo/Congo jr with the Elo and the ETC touch screen monitors so we can recommend their use. Use of other touch screens may be possible, but we have not tested them nor do we know if their drivers will work well with Eos or Congo software. We do not recommend installing 3rd-party software on our consoles and most touch screens require some kind of driver installation to support calibration of said touch screen.

    There you go...

    Thanks -

    Sarah

    Sarah Clausen
    Controls Product Manager
    ETC, Inc.
     
    bcapstevie and (deleted member) like this.
  14. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Steve, the unwritten subtext to my point was that this is for a school installation. I don't like to play the, "it's only a school" card but the truth is that means most of the operators are going to be just starting out programing and will be focused on learning to do basic functions at the keypad. It also means that a lot of the higher functions that ION is capable of (that you would do faster on the touch screen) will not be used (a lucky school might have half a dozen scrollers that's about it). I'm not an ION user, but I'm assuming that recording conventional cue stacks and subs is still a job done fastest at the key pad. Also touch screen features can usually be just as easily accomplished with a $30 mouse. Given all this above, in my opinion having a touch screen although a great thing to have is not as important having dual monitors... a feature that is very useful to all programmers regardless of their skill or the equipment used.

    In short my opinion is if the school won't cough up the $1000 for a touch screen and second screen. Accept it and say... that's a cool feature it would be nice to have but I can live without. On the other hand the $400-$500 to buy dual DVI screens is something you can't live without and need to fight hard for.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  15. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Hey Gaff

    My point that was neither you nor I have any real experience with Ion and the touch screens and not for a minute is a $30 mouse as fast, thus I am not going to nay say something I have zero experience with.

    I would recommend that Dustin go and ask around the ETC Users Forums for what the folks who have actually used this console think. They may well agree with you that for a college, and given the cost - no. Remember that this is NOT a high school, it's a college and may play at a different level and will have the need.

    In addition, it's often not a big price difference if you end up pricing a package of console, sub wing(s), RRFU, etc... to add on the touch screens. It's often easier to get it now, then have to ask later when you want them and have to justify the expense. My boss usually asks me why I didn't get it the first time.

    SB
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Oh... this is college... that's a whole different issue. Sorry Dustin I forgot where you are at. In that case you really should push for the touch screen. College students: a) are already experienced with basic programming and ready to explore the deeper functions of a console b) need the opportunity to develop advanced skills for their future career c) should hopefully have access to enough intelligent toys to make it really worth while.

    Also do you have much intelligent gear? I think you could honestly argue that console is designed to use the touch screen for operation of intelligent equipment.

    Try arguing for it from an educational point of view that you need it for students to develop their real world skills. Perhaps you can get one out of a different educational equipment budget.

    Another option is to make sure you get a good DVI monitor right now then try to snag the touch screen later in the year by spending someone's use it or loose it money. Every college has use it or loose it issues in June.

    In the end I still say you have to get two monitors somehow. As I've said, I am not an Ion user so I don't know it intimately. However, on my Strand Palette (which is similar to Ion in many ways) I passed on the touch screen in favor of spending that money on other gear (gafftaper's method at work). I can fly through programming with one hand on the keypad and the other on the mouse. But I agree with SB that you should talk with some ETC experts about the best strategy here.
     
  17. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    Your local vendor will probably be more than happy to show you an Ion board as well, and you can experiment and see which method you like better. I'm looking at purchasing an Ion to replace my current console next year, and have already spoken to them about visiting a few local venues to try out the console. Find one with a touch screen, and see if it's an investment you want to make.
     
  18. LightStud

    LightStud Active Member

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    I have to agree with gafftaper: a high school shouldn't be allowed to have a touchscreen and a college should. In fact, I think public high schools should have nothing better than Leviton, EDI, and Lehigh consoles and dimming. Those are MY tax dollars they're spending.
     
  19. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I absolutely disagree. Sure, not everyone in many high schools wants/needs/or will ever know how to use some of the features, but that does not mean that you should buy sub-par gear.
     
  20. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    High schools like mine are shifting to career training models. Many of my students have a strong interest in technical theater post high school, and some of my graduates are already working successfully in the field as college freshmen. A touch screen shouldn't be placed in a higher priority than say, fixing common facility problems or supplying textbooks in an academic classroom, but high end gear is absolutely appropriate in a high school. I'm purchasing moving lights this year for the sole purpose of exposure and training, although I'm sure we can find plenty of uses for them.

    We even had a Grand MA Light for a short amount of time, but that was screwed up and we're down to a Leviton.
     

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