# Help fixing NSI dimmer

#### 6ftstudios

Hey all,

I'm working on fixing on an NSI dimmer (DDS 6000+). There is an end of a fuse stuck in the fuse holder (which is also broken). It looks like I'm going to have to replace the fuse holder. Does anyone know where I could get my hand on this part? The NSI dealers that I've talked to can't get the parts and there is no way I'm sending it in to get serviced for $120+ and two weeks in shop. I need it in 2 weeks. The dimmer is 3-5 years old. Thanks. - D #### soundlight ##### Well-Known Member If you're versed in electrical repairs, just get a new fuse holder at radio shack. If they don't have it, or if there is no radio shack near you, you should be able to get one online, including next day shipping, for under twenty bucks. #### gafftaper ##### Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia uh oh... NSI repair question. Here you go Van I'll set you up with a nice slow pitch to knock out of the park: Hey Van, how would you fix an NSI dimmer? #### Van ##### CBMod CB Mods Premium Member Yeah what Soundlight said, Thomas and Betts should have holdersif your local radio shack doesn't be sure if do the work that the fuse holder you use is rated for the necessary current. If you can't find a surface mount fuse holder <I'm assuming that's what is in there stock.> you can use a wired one, But it must be rated much higher < not the fuse the holder itself> and you must keep the leads absolutely as short as possible. #### gafftaper ##### Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia Yeah what Soundlight said, Thomas and Betts should have holdersif your local radio shack doesn't be sure if do the work that the fuse holder you use is rated for the necessary current. If you can't find a surface mount fuse holder <I'm assuming that's what is in there stock.> you can use a wired one, But it must be rated much higher < not the fuse the holder itself> and you must keep the leads absolutely as short as possible. Van you let me down, knowing your love for NSI I was looking for an answer more like: "With a Plasma cutter" or "Drop it from the grid". #### Van ##### CBMod CB Mods Premium Member Look at the post times, If I had seen yours first I'd have said something like, " It's an NSI Dimmer .... Why Bother ?" I had a lovely spring day and spent allday out in the yard it cured my ITS, so I thought I'd be nice. #### soundlight ##### Well-Known Member <hijack>OK. Enough NSI bashing. Really. It's kinda getting old here. Some people can't afford the luxuries that you have at your immediate disposal, this you have to understand. Sure, you may live the ETC or Strand life now, but what about in high school? Or was your high school lucky enough to get away with a full complement of ETC or strand.? Seriously. NSI stuff is really not all that bad. Their hybrid ML/conventional console w/the 7 encoder wheels is actually pretty sweet if you have never touched a congo or eos or maxxyz or grandMA. When you don't have the money for ETC or Strand, it looks like a good option. As I always say, I love rolling in the big bucks, working with moving lights, source fours, ETC dimming, distribution, and control, and all that fun stuff, but it's almost just as exciting to create something awesome from almost nothing. while most people use a full complement of source fours or shakespeares or lekos or whatever for sidelighting, pipe ends, etc, I worked from only four pars on each side with a sixty dollar cheapo no-name brand dimmer pack that works just fine, takes DMX, passes DMX through, and spits out dimming to my parcans by way of a single 20A circuit. That was in high school, of course, and I love working with the good stuff in college, but everyone's gotta start somewhere, and usually wherever you start, someone's gotta keep the place up on a yearly budget that's less than the production budget for a single production at a college. I've been building my high school's tech theater program up from almost nothing, with a paltry sum to work with every year, and am continuing to do this throughout college, because I really care about the facility. No it isn't top-of-the-line, but it works for four shows a year and the regular presentations in the auditorium. I'm really not trying to get all pissed at any one person, but the NSI bashing thing is kinda just . If it doesn't answer the question, why do it? Replacing a fuse holder is very easy, and I was already doing it (to code, mind you) when I was in tenth grade. I know that someone is going to say that I'm over-reacting, but I don't think that I am.</hijack> #### Van ##### CBMod CB Mods Premium Member <Hijack>You like NSI, Great. I have used NSI for years, I hate them. Running a lighting rental warehouse will do that to you, after enough calls in the middle of the night form pissed off bar bands asking you to come down and fix their lights. Looks like difference of opinion. You may not like it, but in my opinion your constant backing and promoting of NSI Tends to Irk me as well. In another thread you continued to sing it praises, that's great, Personally I will not recomend a product that I know to be inferior when there other just as affordable better options. You mentioned in your hijack that they make great consoles, I agree some of their consoles are an excellent alternative to the much higher priced options out there. I don't belive you've ever seen me make a statement about NSI consoles, it's thier dimmers I have absolutely no use for. So we can agree to disagree. < hijack> Wait a minute what do you mean "Replacing a fuse holder is very easy, and I was already doing it (to code, mind you) when I was in tenth grade." ? Were you a licensed Limited Maintenance Electrician in the tenth grade ? #### soundlight ##### Well-Known Member Nope, but one was watching me the whole time to make sure that I didn't screw up. #### gafftaper ##### Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia <Hijack Continues...> Hey Soundlight, I thought you had answered the question well enough. I knew Van was online and I knew what he thinks about NSI so I thought I'd try to make a joke out of it. I fully agree with you in that some of us on this board are gear snobs. There is a definite attitude of, "if it isn't ETC, Strand, Martin, High End etc... it's crap". At the same time, most of the people who use this board are probably getting buy with whatever the state, school district, church, or community theater could afford 10..15.. 20+ years ago. As we've discussed in another thread there are people who would love to just have enough money for some used scoops, so they don't have to use halogen work lights. I know what it's like, when I first started teaching I walked in and found 20 instruments in a store room as there wasn't enough money to buy lamps for them.The gear snob attitude isn't helping anyone. Although, I think Van's been pretty clear that in this case it's not about being a gear snob, it's about a specific product he's had a lot of bad experiences with. Sorry, if I ticked you off with trying to make an NSI joke. Like I said, you already answered the question, I knew what Van would say about NSI, and I was just trying to be funny. You'll note I've actually been on your side in the other thread as a happy NSI user. At the same time given Van's background, it sounds like he's got a pretty solid reasons for not trusting their dimmers. Now boys let's stop the bickering about replacing the fuse, shake hands, and move on. Last edited: #### BillESC ##### Well-Known Member 6ft, Call me on Monday, I can get you the correct part before the end of the week. #### Charc ##### Well-Known Member <hijack> When I agreed to the TOS it didn't say I had to know anything, right? Er, joking aside. For my edification, to supplement my education, what is an NSI dimmer? </hijack> #### gafftaper ##### Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia <hijack> When I agreed to the TOS it didn't say I had to know anything, right? Er, joking aside. For my edification, to supplement my education, what is an NSI dimmer? </hijack> NSI is a line of equipment owned by Levitron, they make dimmers and control boards. A lot of their equipment is very portable and common for things like DJ setups and small bands. However they also make some permanent dimmer racks and even have a console that can handle basic moving lights. They are cheap. You can get a simple system with like 24 1.2k dimmers and a VERY SIMPLE control board for around$3,000 or so. That's REALLY CHEAP. Because of this they are being purchased a lot by schools and churches and others with very limited budget.

The question that has been debated in this thread and others is if NSI is a reliable product for the money. Some feel it gives you the most bang for your buck, others feel it's not worth spending your money on and there are other low end products out there that are better.

#### SHARYNF

##### Well-Known Member
I know NSI gets a bad rap, but IMO things have dramatically improved over the recent months

If you call 1 800 478 5772 select NSI and then select SUPPORT not parts, You might get an answering machine, leave your name and number they are good about getting back to you.

They have these parts in stock and they usually will ship it out to you right away no charge, I suggest you ask for a few of them.

This is a problem with this sort of fuse holder, it uses a ceramic fuse, and when it blows from over current draw, it breaks and fuses *(sorry)* to the holder.

You need to take the top screws off and the bottom screw off the aluminum head sink on the side you are needing to replace. there are a series of wires that are connected to the side board,5 if I remember. I suggest you label them so you can get them back in the correct order, and then there is usually a multipin connector. there is no alignment pin in the multi pin so watch how it is connected. The fuse is soldered in two places from the underside of the pc card, and has an alignment pin in the front, you just need to de solder it and then re solder in the new fuse holder. It is pretty robust connection and pc trace so it can take a bit of heat to get a good solder joing. This is a very comon problem with these units, Usually someone thinks that it is 2400 watts per connection and decided to plug in two fel's or something like that and it blows the fuse, and then you cannot get the fuse out. Typically it has a 12 amp fuse, I know a lot of them also have 15 amp fuses, which if you think of it is pretty large amp rating for a tiny ceramic fuse at 120 volts.

I use a lot of these, and for me that work well, many times people get the wrong load rating for them and think that just because they have 2 edisons per input that they can some how distribute the load differently. If lyou have the two wire version, I recommend keeping the load under 1000 watts on each channel, and if you have the single power, keep it under 2000 watts total. Overloading is a common problem.

The other thing is that NSI uses for MPX and DMX the idea that you simply set the dimmer number NOT the dmx address that you are starting at, and this trips people up all the time, SO for instance if you set the dip switches to 2 then your dmx channels are going to be 5 6 7 8. This is the source of a lot of I cannot get it to work since nowhere on the dimmer does it say that and when they are moded for DMX it does not say that either. NSI uses this system on its DDS version of the rack dimmers also.

Hope this helps
Sharyn

#### TorontoAlchemy

##### Member
I had this exact same problem with this model of NSI (fuse holder breaking off/blown fuse melted inside). I contacted NSI via phone and they sent me replacements at no cost. Didn't even charge me for shipping.
Simon

#### 6ftstudios

##### Member
quick update - contacted leviton Wednesday. They're shipping the parts. now I just have to make the time to sit down and take it apart.

yay

- D

#### Edrick

##### Well-Known Member
Premium Member
so i guess this explains why our house lights go on at random times and the panel back stage froze cause leviton nsi sucks . barbizon told us that too when we went to pickup some board lights for our mixing board. they had said if they were to do it they would have done it right with ETC. i actually picked up a ETC catalog when i went there today to pick up some caution cable gaffers tape and glow tape.

on another note i might do some work for them over the summer basic stuff like putting ends on cables and stuff possibly on jobs. the guy that i talked to said they're always looking for people to do stuff like that and being that im graduating this year and want to get into that kind of stuff that's a good place to start out.

#### astrotechie

##### Member
so i guess this explains why our house lights go on at random times and the panel back stage froze cause leviton nsi sucks .

Don't blame the equipment. In our case we can blame the "electricians" that are the lowest bidder.

#### icewolf08

##### CBMod
CB Mods

Don't blame the equipment. In our case we can blame the "electricians" that are the lowest bidder.

You know that when an institution sends out a bid that whoever sends it out, be it the architect, someone from the institution, the contractor, etc., they specify the equipment that is to be bid on. So, if the bid for your equipment was sent to Barbizon they would have bid on the same NSI system. This is of course besides the fact that after the bid comes in, it has to be approved by whoever is in charge of the project before the equipment gets purchased. Thus if the person in charge thought that the lowest bidder was supplying an inferior product they could go with a different bid. The guys a Barbizon may tell you that they would have done it "right" by using different equipment, but just because it says a big brand name doesn't make it any better.

Dimmers fail sometimes, even big name brands.

#### Edrick

##### Well-Known Member
Premium Member
if the way i understand it from what i was told, they put the design part out to bid. barbizon tried to design our theater system but was outbid by another lighting company. thus if barbizon would have won the bid then we would have had a etc system.