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House Light Control

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Clifford, May 18, 2009.

  1. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    In my continuing quest to return incandescent house lights to our theater, I figured I'd try the old "House Light" control system. The only problem is that the controller hasn't been seen since anyone currently here can remember. What we do know, from its receptacle, is that it used what appears to be a DA-15 or DB-25 connector, though I could be mistaken. Everything else in the system is EDI, so I'm assuming this controller would also be theirs. Does anyone know what used to control this?

    I'll get pictures up tomorrow.
     
  2. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    Go up to your dimmer vault, or where ever the dimmers are. There should be some sort of control box there.
     
  3. DimmerDotCom

    DimmerDotCom Active Member

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    EDI is fond of using DB25 style connectors for remote arch stations. If you have a TSC processor then its a TSC stations. But it can be just about anything they make or have made. Send me the job name/location and I can see if EDI can drag up the drawings.

    Take piccies of the racks and SMP's etc. They can provide a clue. If you are up to it, pull the receptical off the wall and see what tyupe of wire its is. Straight 20 guage, alpha 1133c etc. Assuming the isntalling EC did what he was suppose to do :rolleyes:, the wire type can tell me what should be there.

    Maurice Garcia
    www. dimmer.com
     
  4. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    I have an EDI rack and the local high school has one as well, that both have houselight control on a cable as described. On both these units there is a 15 vdc power supply located in the back of the rack just above the multilink. It sends out the 15 volts on two of the wires in the DB connector. The remote units themselves have a small solid state switcher and a circuit board with sliding variable resistors. On that circuit board, there are adjustments to take the 15 vdc to 10 vdc and then the remaining wires are the return of 0-10 analog control and some logic wiring allowing the house control to be taken at several locations. Again in the back of rack where the power supply is located, will be circuit boards that take the 0 -10 analog and make a Pulse width modulated signal that in turn will operate the dimmers in the rack that have been wired for houselights. With EDI, each rack and the number of control stations is customed wired. Somewhere there will be a set of schematics the size of house blueprints. Both racks that I am refering to, are the MK-7 series. IF yours are MK-X then it probably will be quite different. The MK-7 is identifiable by six 4 channel modules running horizontally across each row, with a panel called a multilink, that will have a patch panel all the way across, that uses what appear to be small staples, to determine which dimmers are controlled by 10 analog channels. These channels in some installations are called emergency channels, and in some others are used in a control station so that prepatched dimmers can be controlled by a set of faders mounted for the convenience of not having to use the main console. Very popular in High Schools, so that for a band concert the main board does not have to be accessed. The MK-X has plug in modules, with each module running horizontally the full width of the rack. EDI keeps pretty good records of each install. If you have no luck with EDI or school maintenance finding the documentation you need, let me know and I probably can help you out, with your schools permission.
     
  5. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys. I didn't get any pictures today, but I'll try tomorrow, we've got a long rehearsal.

    We do have an MK-7, we have a manual of sorts for it. Ours doesn't have a patch panel though, it's just a hard-patched system. I don't think we have a TSC processor either, only an MPX server. The rack is just the dimmers, the MPX server and the 3Ø breakers.

    I'll have pictures up tomorrow for your viewing pleasure.
     
  6. DimmerDotCom

    DimmerDotCom Active Member

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    Sound like C series which is virtually the same as their current D series. Analog with take control. For those in Strand land, their version would be MicroControl. 0 to xVDC control, on/off/take control working via pulse to toggle a flip flop.

    Maurice Garcia
    dimmer.com Home Page
     
  7. DimmerDotCom

    DimmerDotCom Active Member

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    EDI just emailed me the drawings in PDF format. You would not believe it. It is C sereis analog as I suspected but it was mounted on the same chassis as the Omega DMX console (if you still have it). Hence, when the Omega disappeared, I guess someone should have pulled the house light controller off of it and mounted into a box. I suspect a D series can be ordered as a portable as a repalcement wired up to the same specs using these drawings.
    I PM'd you also CLiff.

    Maurice Garcia
    dimmer.com Home Page
     
  8. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    Thanks so much! I literally didn't have any time to myself today and I spent all night in the booth, so no pictures. I'm in the building for all of tomorrow and Friday, so I'll make a note to get photos.

    Again, thanks for the help so far and I'll send an email.
     
  9. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    maurice, my dimmer rack was the same way, the house controls were part of an omega. We were a little luckier, in that when the theatre purchased an Express 125 (before my time), someone removed the house controls and placed them in a small cabinet.
    It is all a mute point, as I built my own house dimmer from an old Electro-Control rack and then built my own controllers and a DMX to analog board, so that the house can be controlled either backstage, in the booth or from the console. I then rewired the EDI rack so that the four dimmers that were controling the house, became additional dimmers controlled by the console for stage use.
     
  10. theILLUMINATEDfrog

    theILLUMINATEDfrog Member

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    after you figure out how to control the circuits, you may want to consider compact fluorescent lamps... once 2012 comes around incandescent lamps are pretty much a goner (at least severely limited in permitted use) according to the new-ish energy bill and NEC.

    just a thought.
     
  11. DimmerDotCom

    DimmerDotCom Active Member

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    I thought the "no on tungsten" was for median sockets like you find in residential light fixtures. About as smart an idea as hooking your exit lights to your dimmer rack ... and the inspector not catching it :rolleyes:

    Maurice Garcia
    dimmer.com Home Page
     
  12. theILLUMINATEDfrog

    theILLUMINATEDfrog Member

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    as I understand it, all stores will be required to stop selling your standard incandescents- A lamps, etc. The new law simply states that all lamps have to be something like 60-70 more efficient. There are brands that have incandescents with significantly reduced energy requirements with fairly high output, but they don't quite make the cut at the moment. Also, they're starting with larger wattage consumers, 100W etc, and working their way down. If incandescent technology produces a lamp as efficient as CFLs, those will be permitted. So it's not that incandescents are outlawed, just that retailers will have to choose technology that is 70ish% more efficient with which to stock their shelves.
     
  13. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2009
  14. tjrobb

    tjrobb Active Member

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    Ban on incandescents:
    Nothing (well, REALLY limited) 41-149W (ie, allows 40W/150W), allows 65R30 (the museums had a hand in that), carte blanche exceptions for theatre lamps of the non-edison socket type (and other projection lamps).
    The "really limited" allows them if they have a certain efficiency (lumens per watt).
    As for dimming CFL's- get the best range (100%-1% is available) you can, otherwise when they turn on they will be instantly brighter than any non-CFL's in the house.
     
  15. DimmerDotCom

    DimmerDotCom Active Member

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    Cliffford,

    I sent an email to you regarding the AWOL station based on the drawings I sent you.

    Maurice Garcia
    dimmer.com Home Page
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
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    Don't do it! My compact fluorescent house lights SUCK!!!

    Dim them down... sort of... then BLINK they turn off suddenly.
    Dim them back up at intermission... BLINK and the theater is bathed in faint pink light that takes about three minutes to warm up to full light.

    It's NOT acceptable technology for theater at this point.

    I now have a dozen source four pars with XWFL lenses as my house lights.
     
  17. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    There are florescent ballasts that dim down to 1% of measured light output. The problem with these is that while they do dim down that low, the light meters don't react like the human eye does. When the lights dim down your iris opens up and lets more light in. Thus - the 1% measured becomes about 10% percieved. So when the arc is lost in the tube, that blink off really seems like it is going from 10% to off. A big jump to be sure.
     
  18. VeeDubTDI

    VeeDubTDI Member

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    I wouldn't worry too much about the "incandescent ban" ... LED technology is progressing quickly, and by the time the ban is actually instituted and you run out of your incandescent stock, there will be numerous LED alternatives that will acceptably replace incans. CFLs suck and should not be used... ever. :)
     
  19. renegadeblack

    renegadeblack Active Member

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    LEDs = no! They don't dim properly! Atleast in terms of putting them on an SCR dimmer for houselights! I'm all too familiar!
     

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