Hog 500 still viable?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by SteveLynch, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. SteveLynch

    SteveLynch Member

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    Hello All!

    I've been running an event production company for the better part of 25 years. I have a pretty good stable of over 250 fixtures, and I've been running everything on Freestyler DMX and madrix for the last at least 10 years or so. I do a lot of pixel based lighting, a lot of LED par work, and a fair amount of moving head work. (usually no more than 15-20 movers max) Say what you will, but I've gotten really good with it, and there's not much I cannot do with what I'm currently using..

    However, as I get older, and my business is changing, I'd like to move to a platform that does not require such copious amounts of "half-assery, and twiddling" to run a show... It's par for the course for me, but I cannot always be the one to run everything anymore, and I guess I need a little more "solid" solution. I do not need, or want a $10,000 lighting console, so I'm wondering about the viability of an older unit.

    I see a lot of whole Hog, and Hog 500's out there for really low prices, and I even have 2 Grand MA full sized consoles I could pick up for less than a Grand. My question is: is a hardware console a better option for me? I understand DMX pretty well, but have never worked on a console... How is the learning curve for someone wanting to use one for smaller productions like mine? will it be somewhat intuitive coming from a PC based solution?

    It does not make sense for me to spend a huge amount of money on this. When I have a bigger show, I hire a guy with a console. But I'd like something I can screw with and set shows on.

    So with the disclosure that I really have no aspirations of becoming a full time lighting guy, or anything like that, and knowing what I've been comfortably using, would something like an older used hog suit me? Or should I just get a couple cheap chinese 1024 Avolite pearl type consoles and call it a day?

    I'm not a super pro, I always could stand to learn more, and I'm open to any and all reasonable suggestions as to what direction you would go in to get a unit that is more solid, dedicated, and economical, as opposed to future proof, and "the latest and greatest"..

    Thanks so much! I'm all ears.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  2. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    What’s your max cap.

    Remember buying used is buying something that can be a lemon at any second.

    Also props if you can run a decent rig with Madrix, support is almost 0 and the amount of issues is through the roof.

    Dmx and patching varies from console to console depending on what yor cap is. New fixtures will likely not be in the library and/or cheap Chinese pars and bars will also have issues if looking for an older console.

    My suggestion would be a Jands Vista S1 or higher. Paired with a computer you will still have that feel of your computer based programs and the control surface of a real console.

    My Alternate suggestion would be the Hoglet back with Hog4PC is a great start to getting your feet wet. Also now backed by ETC and it’s hard to pass on their level of support.

    Don’t buy the knock off Avos asking for a load of problems and no support. Basically burning money.

    Don’t buy the MA1s they have very little library support now a days for newer fixtures. We have a MA1 lite and it takes 20 mins to boot up and overheats very easily. It was the test bench board in our shop and when I took over it was the first thing to get put away and I switched to an Express because I can turn it on in 30 seconds but I digress.
     
    SteveLynch and RonHebbard like this.
  3. SteveLynch

    SteveLynch Member

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    I use madrix for pixels, I never have any problems... I've never used it for fixtures.. I hear it can be a bear... When I got pissed at them for their "no support", I switched to a free program called Glediator for quite some time, as it did what I needed, and the developer was very responsive.. he's all but gone dark now, so I keep My Madrix handy for the inevitable "open source" hiccups... I'll check out the vista.. I've come across a few. My hangup tends to be in the fact that I never really had anyone teach me anything.. I learned by 100% banging my head against the desk. Then youtube came around, and it helped to fill in the blanks.. I've had several people walk up to me and say "Nice Lights! what kind of console do you work on?" and then walk away in disbelief at the "duct tape and bailing wire" holding my show together. But hey... It's worked for me I guess.. I've always had redundancy, and never had darkness when I triggered a submaster, override button, or cue.. lol
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  4. macsound

    macsound Well-Known Member

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    As much as Jands Vista frustrated me, when I had to learn it, I was on a corporate show with 20 movers, 100 led and 48 conventionals. It was so freaking easy to do simple chases, program faders for looks, have overlaying slow and fast chases. Just so easy and bulletproof.
    However, only get a Jands with an external computer. Don't get the S1 or L5. The computer is built in and garbage. Random freezes for no reason, harddrives mysteriously unplug in transit. Having a PC that you control and know is trustworthy with a warranty or better yet, one + a backup is far better.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  5. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    In terms of PC solutions -- ETC added Hog to their Nomad lineup. If you have a Nomad Puck or Nomad Dongle, you can use it on for ETC Eos series control or Hog4. Pick your poison on start-up. All you need is a DMX interface either USB or networked to spit out to your lighting fixtures.

    From the Eos Facebook group I see a lot of people putting Nomad on Intel NUC's with a couple 23" touchscreens and a DMX interface. Very portable, and you can add a fader wing if you like.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  6. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    I thought you had the option with the bigger consoles to still use a computer. I guess I was wrong.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
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