Vintage Lighting Help with an old model Davis Dimmer

Jim20

Member
Those are some great pictures of vintage lights. If you ever decide to replace the borderlights, let me know. I have been looking for a good set of the vintage Major borderlights. I would love to find a set with the 8 inch centers, but the 6 inch center ones would be cool too!
 

MNicolai

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
Some similar photos from my archive. At the time these were taken circa 2008, the system was woefully antiquated and beyond reasonable repair. Sliders were worn out, handles broken off, students would stick pens or the occasional screwdriver (!) in to work around that. It was a grossly dangerous system by that point. The portable pack was hauled off to the dark underground tunnel of the school and left in some corner. The wall-mounted panel was turned into a junction box for branch circuit wiring and a Unison dimmer rack was installed next to it and fed into that junction panel to transition the rest of the branch circuits.

Nowadays even that wouldn't be worth the expense. Best course of action is gut it, put in a relay panelboard, and upgrade to LED's. If anyone must hold onto their tungsten fixtures, a modern dimmer rack will do instead, but that's a lot of money to pigeon-hole yourself into being stuck with tungsten dimming and I suspect the cost of putting in a Sensor 3 PowerThru system is roughly the same cost of putting in a relay panelboard with some LED fixtures and a little DMX infrastructure (wireless, if need be).

For that matter, putting in a standard non-relay panelboard and getting wireless Colorsource relays with new LED fixtures would likely be more economical than a PowerThru system for current dimming and future relay capability. Not ideal, but much safer if you absolutely can't get more funding than that.



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BTW, if anyone wants to see the most gloriously dangerous use of one of these systems, here are some photos circa 2005 that I will provide without context. Let your imagination run wild.


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RonHebbard

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Premium Member
I bet that Electro Controls, six channel "portable" dimmer weighs in at 100 lbs. Those autoformers were solid copper and iron.

At the age of 13, I started out by running a Davis dimmer and slider patch, very similar to the one pictured above. That, and the Bogen 4 channel PA system next to it, were the bugs that bit. Obviously, the disease is permanent.
@FMEng Was the Bogen an MX60 with two 8027A's for its output stage and 3 GZ34 / 5AR4's for its rectifiers, 2 for its output stage and 1 for the remainder of the amp?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

FMEng

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
@FMEng Was the Bogen an MX60 with two 8027A's for its output stage and 3 GZ34 / 5AR4's for its rectifiers, 2 for its output stage and 1 for the remainder of the amp?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
It was solid state, a CT-60 "Acousta Master," with a four band equalizer and compressor. It was fairly new when I got my hands on it in the 1970s. That thing was used at least 20 years with not so much as a scratchy pot. One weird thing I remember about it was that the mic inputs were XLR male. I guess the idea was that mic cables would all be female to female, so that you'd never have the wrong end.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
It was solid state, a CT-60 "Acousta Master," with a four band equalizer and compressor. It was fairly new when I got my hands on it in the 1970s. That thing was used at least 20 years with not so much as a scratchy pot. One weird thing I remember about it was that the mic inputs were XLR male. I guess the idea was that mic cables would all be female to female, so that you'd never have the wrong end.
The older Bogens, made in Paramus New Jersey were FAR better / durable than the later models assembled in Mexico with inferior components.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 

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