High-end Shoe-box dimmer packs

Scenemaster60

Active Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Heya all,

I need to replace 2 ETA dimmer packs that have died in the last 6 months or so. These are packs from the mid 1990s with both DMX and their protocal for control. The packs themselves have SSRI control and adequate chokes.

I am looking at replacing these with 6 channel packs from either Lightronics or Leprauchan. I'm looking at 6 channel packs because I am not looking at using anything beyond a 750 watt load and I have lots of 20 amp single phase power available.

The Leprachaun packs are the most expensive but boast SCR technology.

The Lightronics packs are more reasonably priced but use triacs.

All state a choked rise time of 350 ms (which is industry standard)

Thoughts?
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Heya all,

I need to replace 2 ETA dimmer packs that have died in the last 6 months or so. These are packs from the mid 1990s with both DMX and their protocal for control. The packs themselves have SSRI control and adequate chokes.

I am looking at replacing these with 6 channel packs from either Lightronics or Leprauchan. I'm looking at 6 channel packs because I am not looking at using anything beyond a 750 watt load and I have lots of 20 amp single phase power available.

The Leprachaun packs are the most expensive but boast SCR technology.

The Lightronics packs are more reasonably priced but use triacs.

All state a choked rise time of 350 ms (which is industry standard)

Thoughts?
@Scenemaster60 Are the six dimmer packs you're considering powered by one or two line cords per pack? Six dimmers per line cord or three dimmers per line cord?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

DaveySimps

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Location
Macomb, MI
I have used the Leprachaun packs many many times. They are built like tanks and are very reliable. Since you are replacing infrastructure that you hope to keep up and running and not have to worry about, I would recommend them.

~Dave
 

microstar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Location
Lawton, OK
You might take a look at the Elation DP-640B. An install I have worked on has had a couple of these loaded up and working hard for many years. They seem to be well-built but I don't know if they use SCRs or Triacs. Roughly half the price of the Leprecon (this is the correct spelling) but also could be half the quality. Just an option.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Definitely 2 line cords. I'm looking at 2 x 20 amp input and then six 750 watt loads going out.
@Scenemaster60 The Leprecon packs from my shop days (in the mid 1990's ) were the Gold Standard. A Broadway LX designer spec'd three of the six dimmer packs into the touring deck we built for a North American tour of 'Sunset Boulevard', these were mid 90's packs with real switches to assign their DMX starting addresses. I've ZERO knowledge of their newer packs with soft addressing set via momentary push buttons. I know for a fact that some 'lesser God' economy packs with nudge button address setting have defaulted to DMX address 001 ( Their default ) due to an extremely brief power glitch during a thunder storm. It's a little disconcerting when all four packs readdress themselves to 001 mid performance while they're clamped to pipes above the patrons' heads and thus only accessible by ladder after the patrons have exited to the lobby.
There were two of the older Leprecon six dimmer packs in the same grid at the same time during the same performance.
NEITHER of the Leprecon packs, with their rotary thumb wheel addressing switches, reset their addresses. Go figure!
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

JD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
I wouldn't worry too much about Triac vs SCR. It always used to be a big thing but modern Triacs take a beating and keep working. The bigger question is what size triac are they using? If it's one of those 16 amp triacs for a 10 amp 1 to 1.2k channel, then it will have low reliability. I have a few Elation units that use a 40 amp triac for 1.2kw. They are not "shoebox" but that is a size I am comfortable with.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
I wouldn't worry too much about Triac vs SCR. It always used to be a big thing but modern Triacs take a beating and keep working. The bigger question is what size triac are they using? If it's one of those 16 amp triacs for a 10 amp 1 to 1.2k channel, then it will have low reliability. I have a few Elation units that use a 40 amp triac for 1.2kw. They are not "shoebox" but that is a size I am comfortable with.
@JD @Scenemaster60 et al. Today's TRIAC's have grownup somewhat akin to today's IGBT's, the IGBT's between the generators and loads on some of today's diesel electric locomotives: If they can power traction motors from a standstill to grunting a lengthy and loaded freight train up a grade, I suspect they can handle most anything we mere theatrical types are likely to throw at them AS LONG AS we're willing to pay manufacturers' enough to install quality, and conservatively rated, devices within their dimmers and solid state relays, etcetera.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

macsound

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Location
San Francisco, CA
Not to be on the other side of the fence than everyone else, but in my corporate use, the Leprechaun ULD dimmer packs were always out for repair or replacement. Some would short DMX, the memory would freak out at a certain % and any other type of random issues.
Some happened straight out of the box, some after years, some were resolved after repair and some we just knew the quirks and lived with them. At my hotel facility we had about 15 packs and 6-8 were always being cycled through.
 

cbrandt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Location
Michigan
I've only ever had one real issue with the Leprecon packs, and they have a solution for that. Our (very long loved) 360s had an intermittent flickering problem. It took a few runs around the building because it was so intermittent, but the newest internals take care of that problem.
 
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