# Vintage LightingHelp me identify this Light Board

#### Brian Turner

##### Member
I am new at this school. There is very little history on this light board. What is it? Who made it? How do I replace it?
HELP?

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#### derekleffew

##### Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Does it function at all?

I am doing some research on another Texas company Davis Electronics Corporation (DECOR) that manufactured a very early low-cost SCR dimming system. I don't think they were the people making Decor wall dimmers or the ceiling speaker manufacturer. They were in the Austin, TX area and were active in the 1960's. Ken Davis and Ken Miller were the principals and worked with Bill Little to develop this early SCR system which we also had at my college theatre. Because of my teacher's friendship with Bill Little, we got a very early version (1962) which had a few problems like the SCR's being destroyed whenever a lamp shorted out, but later got a vastly improved version. Picture of the early version below.
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##### Well-Known Member
Since this is an analog control system, I would think that the chance of buying any equipment off-the-shelf to replace the console is very slim. I expect the system would need to be evaluated by a local theatrical dealer to find the best course of action.

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RonHebbard

#### BillConnerFASTC

##### Well-Known Member
I suspect for patching 80 dimmers (dimmer per circuit) to 30 control channels.

#### microstar

##### Well-Known Member
Since this is an analog control system, I would think that the chance of buying any equipment off-the-shelf to replace the console is very slim. I expect the system would need to be evaluated by a local theatrical dealer to find the best course of action.
Both Dove Systems and Leprecon still make brand new comparable consoles with analog outputs and basic 2-scene preset capability. Also enhanced models with memory submasters, cue stacks, etc. You can take any DMX console and add an off the shelf DMX to analog converter and get a lot more features, which the OP may or may not actually need.
Soft patching instead of mechanical matrix patching is standard of course. Any modern console will take up far less real estate as well. The DECOR board was probably a product of the '70s, so the school has certainly gotten their money's worth out of it. It is a shame it has been treated so poorly.

#### microstar

##### Well-Known Member
I suspect for patching 80 dimmers (dimmer per circuit) to 30 control channels.
Yes, definitely dimmer to channel patching for a dimmer per circuit system. The local university I retired from came equipped with an Electro-Controls dimmer per circuit system when constructed in 1978. The low-voltage patch was huge, about 6' wide by 3' tall and was a 144x40 matrix. Unfortunately the dimmer per circuit system came with only about half the required dimmers.
It was a lot of fun moving the bolt-in style dimmers around when you needed a different circuit.

#### microstar

##### Well-Known Member
Forgot to add Teatronics to the list of current manufacturers of analog style consoles.

#### BillConnerFASTC

##### Well-Known Member
Both Dove Systems and Leprecon still make brand new comparable consoles with analog outputs and basic 2-scene preset capability. Also enhanced models with memory submasters, cue stacks, etc. You can take any DMX console and add an off the shelf DMX to analog converter and get a lot more features, which the OP may or may not actually need.
Soft patching instead of mechanical matrix patching is standard of course. Any modern console will take up far less real estate as well. The DECOR board was probably a product of the '70s, so the school has certainly gotten their money's worth out of it. It is a shame it has been treated so poorly.
Maybe I'm missing something but it looks like the off the shelf DMX to analog for 80 channels is pricey - like more than some inexpensive consoles. But I also can't tell from web sites if the Dove/Leprecon/Teatronics analog boards actually output 80 channels of 0-10 of if you have to salvage the pin matrix.

RonHebbard

#### derekleffew

##### Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
I suspect for patching 80 dimmers (dimmer per circuit) to 30 control channels.
Very surprised they had DPC dimmer per circuit back them; it just moves the patch panel from one place to another. Most mfgs. didn't go DPC until they could control at least 100 channels.

80 or 96 ch. DMX-analog converters ARE pricey. Woe for an ETC Response 96 box! But when new, it was pricey too, IIRC.

Hey, it just dawned on me that both the OP and Northlight Systems are in Arizona. Hmmm....

@Brian Turner , show us pictures of the dimmer rack !

RonHebbard

#### BillConnerFASTC

##### Well-Known Member
I thought this might be early 1980s which was definitely in the dimmer per circuit era.

If there was little likelihood for more replacement/modernization, say no major investment for 5 might or more years, I'd be tempted to give Steve Short at Litetrol a call about repair/rebuilding existing. It would probably work and look better than new, but still a manual 2 scene of course.

RonHebbard

#### microstar

##### Well-Known Member
I agree it will not be any easy task to figure out what to do, especially if budget-sensitive. A lot depends on how the space is used, what degree of control is required, and who will supervise/operate the system.
It is entirely possible that DECOR may not have used 0-10 control, so that would have to be determined before anything else since a DMX to analog converter is needed to drive the existing dimmers.

A photo of the dimmer rack would sure be interesting to see. (Derek beat me to it!)

I have aTeatronics 36-channel analog 2-scene in great condition in storage that is built like a tank. It has adjustable output up to 13.5vdc. But as Bill points out, the existing matrix patch would have to be utilized as there is no soft-patch on the Teatronics Director series.
It may ultimately makes more sense to use a modern DMX console which also allows for future LED fixtures, but a DMX to analog converter is still necessary unless the entire system is being replaced.
Northlight DMX does offer a plug and play 24-channel converter for $275 or just the pc board DIY version for$100 less. Every one in a while I pick up a Dove 48-channel converter for cheap on eBay. (Derek beat me to it again!)

Correction: The Dove Systems consoles don’t seem to have analog outputs any more as they have discontinued that line, but Leprecon and Teatronics still do and I imagine Teatronics can make nearly any size desired.

Brian, where are you in Arizona? I may be in Sierra Vista in February!
Interesting situation.

##### Well-Known Member
A custom wire harness will have to be made for any new equipment to interface with the old system. I can't imagine spending good money on a replacement and still wind up with an analog console. DMX decoders aren't cheap but seems like the best way to go short of replacing the entire system. I still believe you will want someone local for assistance in making it all work and someone to go to if it doesn't. A local dealer, of course, will want to sell a whole new system so it would be good to find someone who is open to all possibilities.

A picture of the dimmer rack and control connections would be nice. Also, I don't see any control cables in the picture and the console is flush to the wall. Connections on the bottom?

#### Brian Turner

##### Member
WOW; I am so grateful for the responses, information, and suggestions. I will return tomorrow night with more pictures. Above, below and around. I am in the middle of a grant submittal for a replacement package of led lights, console and more. This information is proving vital to my narrative for the grant. @microstar ; I am in Benson 40 minutes north of Sierra Vista. We are the turnoff to go there from I-10. Hoping for the grant which would replace all of this by April/2020. Positive thoughts!! Otherwise; your technical descriptors are valuable to me if that falls through.
Thank you All!

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