The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

How to contol the work lights.

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by JasonH, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. JasonH

    JasonH Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I've got several scoops over the stage we use for worklights on stage. For the past year the chief custodian has been turning on the lights on the lighting board every morning. Now he is tired of doing that and installed a plug in timer to run the board. Anyone else really not like the sounds of this idea?

    Any other ideas for how I can turn DMX channels 16,23,25,27,32 on at 6am, off at 11:15, on at 2:15 and off at 5:00?
     
  2. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    New York
    What type of board it is. You may be able to program a real time program that will automatically do that. I'm fairly sure that the ETC line will allow you to do that.

    What type of board do you have?
     
  3. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    5,948
    Likes Received:
    225
    Occupation:
    Stagehand/ Production Company Owner
    Location:
    Howell, NJ
    those timers are for lamps not sensitive electronic equipment and some are not grounded (bad idea)
     
  4. JasonH

    JasonH Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    its a strand GSX
    it might be possible via a macro. i'll have to try.
     
  5. JasonH

    JasonH Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    And yes, this timer is not grounded, but neither is the board *lol*
     
  6. ecglstec

    ecglstec Member

    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    You could ask him to not put a timer on the lighting console and explain why it is a bad idea; then show him how to turn them on easily with the console. It may be to your advantage to have a goast light for him. If the space is small enough it should be plenty of light.
     
  7. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Don't you have regular worklights? I have florescent lights lighting up the wings and parts of the stage. The florescent lights are practically indentical to the ones used in classrooms and hallways. They're powered through a circuit controlled by DMX. You should consider getting a DMX memory console with presets to bring up specific lights/dimmers. As it is just about everywhere, it is required to have a light switch by every door. What do you use to light up the house or stage when you enter through a back door? I'll show you a shot of my ETC memory module. It controls all work lights, orchestra fonts, house lights, etc. It will record presets very easily, it's as simple as hitting store/record and it will save every active dimmer brought up by the lighting console (ETC express). One mounted in the SM panel, one sitting in the booth counter. Also the device is linked up to all the wall switches in the auditorium. So say if I were to hit the cat walk button it would cue up the memory console to bring up dimmers 1-12, etc.

    Here is a shot of the unit...
    http://msnusers.com/techphotospeter/picsofmike.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=81

    Rackmounted in the SM panel...
    http://msnusers.com/techphotospeter/picsofmike.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=86
     
  8. JasonH

    JasonH Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I've got the strand "outlook" control system for the house lights (master slider + 9 areas) Its full I cant program them onto there.

    He knows how to turn the console on, he has been doing it for the last two years, he just doesnt want to go upto the booth every morning.

    Now for house lighting i've got 15kw of 75 watt pot lights - the seating is very bright. I've got fluorescent lights around the outer walls of the aud(these also are powered by the generator -- VERY VERY good emergency lighting!) I've also got lots of fluorescent lights over the portion of the stage thats behind the proscenium.

    Now the problem...... the section of stage they use is infront of the proscenium - its a thrust stage. there are no lights above...

    Light switches by the doors? Not quite. house light controls + house fluorescent + backstage flo controls are in the backstage hallway in a lock box.
     
  9. JasonH

    JasonH Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    That unit looks like the ideal solution, but i need one in the price range of a $7.99 plug in timer.

    My idea to date (have not had time to install.... yet) is to setup the dimmer rack to turn on only two dimmers worth of house lights + the scoops and wire a remote panic switch backstage. Its the most realistic solution i've seen so far. I'll have to try it out sometime.

    The next cheapest plan would be to buy a behringer lighting board and run a dmx line into the custodians lunchroom or office (both located under the auditorium - very easy cable run btw :)
     
  10. tjbaudio

    tjbaudio Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    WI
    FIrst off I would like to say that scoops as work lighst are expensive. I would like to see more places go to florecesn lighting. Having said that what dimmer rack do you have? If you have a strand CD80 with the src controle it should have the ability to be programed to do what you want. It should also have contact inputs or 0 to 10v inputs that can be patced to the work lights. Once you get the hang of programing one it is easy to use. I will have a look at the manual for my system when I have the chance to see what options I can find.
     
  11. JasonH

    JasonH Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I've got a CD-80 rack circa 1999
    I'll flip though my manual to see what I can find. The 0 to 10 v inputs are already used for the lecture theatres. Its a needlessly complex system.

    The SWC is already full, I cant program anything else into it.

    Flo work lights would be very nice, but would never be as effective as the scoops in my setup. I've got nowhere to put them.
     
  12. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    In my auditorium we also have work light and orchestra light dimmers. Labeled as WL1, OL1, etc. We have cheap altman fixtures with very long lasting bulbs that are focused to light up the space for when using the other fixtures is not neccesary (rehersal, basic event, seminar, set construction). So say if flip DS Overheads on the console it would pull dimmers WL1-WL8 or whatever which are worklight dimmers on the first electric. What do use to light up your flyspace, grid, etc? Another thing that came to my mind was...When you turn off your console with a specific submaster up (with the grand master up too of course) still up, will the lights assigned to the submaster stay up? With my system when you turn off the console it will actually leave the light up unless the grandmaster is pulled down. I'm not familar with your dimmers, like many. There are small computers in the rack that can bring up dimmers individually.
     
  13. JasonH

    JasonH Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I dont have flyspace or a grid. I've got a thrust stage. I've got whats meant to be a FOH slot with scoops to use as worklights over the thrust.

    Long story short- they were going to put a hydralic orchestra pit in, they couldnt, they filled it in with concrete - i'm stuck with a giant thrust. the stage area behind the proscenium is useless. I have flourecent lights behind the proscenium. There is a giant black hole which is the created by the lack of lights over the stage. I've got no down/back light either, but that is another story. All that I have is one FOH bar.
     
  14. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Haha, I know the feeling. Several years ago my district passed a bond (majority of public voted yes) to build a new high school, new elementary school, and renovate almost all existing bulidings. And of course this meant new auditoriums. The new high school was built first, and my high school spent a year there during renovation. Out of three high schools in my district, mine is the largest and last to be completed. As with every large scale construction project, nothing is ever budgeted correctly. Luckily we did get a hydrolic pit, but they were considering ditching a fly system, scene shop, and real catwalks for stupid ladders. Luckily our department, parents, and administration (principal led theater department way before I was even born, so he was rather helpful) fought the district for it all, we won the battle. Which was pethetic is they tried to save money by building it all in the same space w/o reconstructing or knocking down the ceiling (new flyspace was installed though). But it ended up costing way more to preserve the pethetic ceiling, cough a huge amount try 6 to 7 figures worth. In the end we ended up with a smaller lobby, smaller house, way smaller booth (no wheelchair elevator, we got ramp, no closets, etc), and about a house seating 500; about 100 less than the other two auditoriums. Fortunately we're the only school with a complete ETC lighting system, while the other schools are stuck with strand supervisor dimmers and the god awful LBX. That was another thing we made sure did not happen: getting strand equipment.

    Why don't you just purchase conventional work lights? Your janitors could probably install the stuff, they repair/maintain/install them all around school. It's probably as easy as putting in a work order lol. It will save you a load of money in the long run compared to using those scoops.
     
  15. JasonH

    JasonH Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Whats wrong with the LBX? while we are at it, whats wrong with strand dimmers? The strand stuff is great quality.


    What do you mean by conventional work lights? and where would i put them? I'm really really dont want to have fluorecent fixtures haning over my stage....
     
  16. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    New York
    You would attach the fixtures to the ceiling, above the grid. Both regional theater's I've worked in have work lights like that.
     
  17. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    As far as the LBX goes, after a good seven years of use or so, major problems start to arise. Esepecially simple mechanic things, the faders don't clean themselves, stuff gets easily stuck in there. And there is a major processing flaw, it will crap out doing anything moderately sophisticated after only a few years of use. Many have reported that the console has a problem with parking dimmers, esepecially house lights. The console's processor tends to get confused parking the house lights at a specific intensity, while operating a sophisticated stage design. The LBX is like a time bomb, you may not notice the problems right away, but they slowly arise and bite you in the ass later. Not all had problems, but most have. Ask any strand tech, they have no problem admitting the LBX is a complete and utter failure, it's one of the worst modern day consoles they've ever made. Nothing wrong with strand dimmers, they just aren't as nice as ETC sensor racks. Strand dimmers are a bit lower in quality too, a neighboring school (Supervisor and LBX dimmers) only a few years old since their past renovation already has a few dead dimmers, a few dimmer recepticles are taped off and bad modules have been pulled out. When I worked at the school during the summer, they had to have an electrician come out and fix internal muilticables in the dimmers processing units. Strand dimmers also do not have the helful sensor features. The sensor racks have a system called ETC net which is a CAT5 cable connected up to the dimmers and it will transmit information about the dimmers to the console, it will tell you if any bulb or dimmer is burned out, the temperature of the dimmers, the air circulation status, it can tell you if something is blocking the dimmer's airflow, it will actual tell you the perfect of the air flow that is blocked, there is a wealth of useful information it will notify/alert you.

    As far as worklights, I can't really tell you without pictures of them. Like for example my catwalks light up from those lights that light up bomb shelters. You know the ones with the grills surrounding the bulbs. We also have worklights on our pinrail that are just stardard bulbs in a metal lamp shade hung by a heavy duty cable powered by a a circuit controlled by DMX. There are tons of worklight options to choose from. Many of our work lights are these basic altman fixtures, I have no idea what kind they are but they get used the most and their bulbs never burn out. Next time I'm in, I'll ask my TD about them. I'll let you know.
     
  18. JasonH

    JasonH Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thats wonderful, if you had read the entire thread you would realize I have a thrust stage w/o any overhead lights, no grid, no flyspace, nada. I've got a FOH slot in the ceiling that is directly over the stage, I cant fit any flourecent lights up there, nor will they do any good, the scoops are the worklights - i need a way to control them.
     
  19. JasonH

    JasonH Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    they do, its the "supervisor" part of the "cd-80 supervisor" rack. You run a cable from the rack into a pc's serial port. The also have ethernet versions available. I've only ever use the old serial port/win98 version. The new one is ethernet/win2k/xp. Now, this system does need "supervisor" dimmers, they are not standard.

    I'll post pics of my aud
     
  20. cambo1000

    cambo1000 Member

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Install fluorescence lights everywhere.
    Install switch on the wall.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice