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Control/Dimming I Don't Get It--CD80AE

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by w3st0n21, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    Okay, so my school has a Strand Lightboard M, and a Strand CD80 advanced Electronic dimming system. We are running off of AMX. I can't seem to find the manual anywhere online to tell me how to change the dimmer to DMX. I dont need it to be fixed right away, but eventually I wan to get a new board (I am thinking and ETC Ion, but any other suggestions would be nice) so I need to know how to change the dimmer to be compatable with the boards DMX. Any Help is great!!

    WTC
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    It won't be in the manual. Odds are your dimmers were installed before DMX existed. There are two routes you can go, either the Johnson Systems conversion route or a AMX to DMX converter. Do a search, this issue has been beaten into the ground on more then one occasion.
     
  3. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Amen. Brother Kyle and others have seen a few of these issues over the years within the walls of the ControlBooth. The Johnson Systems conversion route or an AMX to DMX converter is probably the most efficient way to go-

    (And a new ION would be pretty sweet now, wouldn't it?)
     
  4. Darthrob13

    Darthrob13 Active Member

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    Wow....a working Lightboard M.....congratulations.

    To think the "new" manual on Strand Archive is 22 years old.
     
  5. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    well not quite it works when it wants to, thats why im looking at the ion
     
  6. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    im not sure however how much the Ion is, if anyone knows i would love to know, i mean our school is cheap and im sure they would much rather buy textbooks or something. so if its to expensive i will have to find a cheaper one.....:(
     
  7. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    oh ya, i forgot to say, I cant even find the manual for our dimmer in the strand archive. sooo i would like to have it, just for general purposes, not just for the AMX-DMX issue. so if anyone knows where i can get it (an electronic copy) preazze let me know:):)
     
  8. xander

    xander Well-Known Member

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    The ion base price is around $5000 and each wing can run around $1000.

    -Tim
     
  9. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Anywhere from $4800-$5300. Wings run $1200-$1500.

    Mike
     
  10. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    is that the 20 submaster wing or the 40?
     
  11. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    You might look around or ask around for an old ETC Response AMX-DMX converter. I picked up one from Gearsource some months back for not a lot, certainly much less than the Johnson firing card.

    But the Johnson card would probably be a good investment. CD80 racks are bulletproof, and you may as well be able to take in DMX control at the rack.

    BTW, street price on the Ion is, give or take, 6K-8K, depending on what options you get and where you get it from. The bottom end of that is comparable, about, to an Express 250 a few years ago.
     
  12. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    You guys beat me to it. And I'd say you're more correct; I was going off of memory (which, like the old Lightboard/M's, my memory doesn't work as well as it used to either)
     
  13. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    ok, regarding the dimmers...again. I can swear when i was skimming through the manual (the very old paper copy that we keep on top of it) that it said that it would take AMX 192 or DMX 512. I would rather not have to buy a DMX to AMX converter becuase the price of the new board is going to be a lot in the first place. Does ANYONE know how to do this, because if i could do it myself that would save us a lot of moneys.

    Thanks again
    WTC
     
  14. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    OK, update: I read through the manual last period. It DOES take DMX but it only uses three of the pins and you connect the pins to a terminal block inside the rack, so nest task is to find a way for the county to approve it. BTW does etc like donate gear to schools or offer a dicount or anything?
     
  15. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure what the county would have to say about it since it is control wiring there are no NEC codes that effect it.

    ETC will not normally do that no. YOu have to get huge volumes or be a very high profile school to get a deal like that.

    Mike
     
  16. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    A response from a friend of mine from way back, that checks into Controlbooth but doesn't post or join as he should.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Ron Hebbard
    To: Brian Shipinski
    Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 7:37 PM
    Subject: RE: Control Booth Strand CD80AE


    Hello Bri' and welcome to 2009!

    There's a fellow posting on Control Booth regarding having a Strand CD80AE dimmer rack currently running AMX-192 from a Strand Lightboard M and asking how to have his dimmer rack receive DMX-512.
    Several respectable folks have posted advising he look into Johnson Systems' control electronics and / or an AMX>DMX converter.
    Even Kelite and footer have it wrong.

    The info posted is correct for the original Strand CD80 but not for the newer CD80AE (Advanced Electronics).
    As the OP suggests, his CD80AE will work with either AMX-192 or DMX-512.
    As to how you change it, you simply feed it whichever protocol you want and it'll wake up, think for a couple of seconds, and happily respond to whatever you're sending it.
    Of course you have to be sending the correct protocol to the correct input terminals.

    There's a CD80AE rack in my neighbourhood.
    It's old console is an original Strand Mini-Palette, one of the white plastic jobbies with a single mono-chrome monitor built in and which speaks AMX-192 only. A few years back, they purchased an ETC Express which speaks DMX-512 only. Whichever console they power up, the rack recognizes the protocol and goes to work.
    Additionally, they have several 9 button wall stations for routine daily control and these run on yet another protocol which works seamlessly in the background.

    Possibly you could explain this to Kelite, quietly in the background as opposed to challenging him publicly.
    The OP came back later in the thread having read his old paper manual that his school keeps on top of their rack.
    He should heed the manual and don't let anyone take it away from the rack.
    He ought to make a few photocopies of his manual as well.

    One more little tidbit to file away regarding Strand CD80AE racks.
    Strand offered a compact handheld "Rack Programmer", at an exorbitant price, exclusively for storing cues and adjusting internal settings within CD80AE's.
    What Strand didn't make public knowledge is that the rack programmer is absolutely identical to the old LP90 console's focus remote.
    The EXACT same unit with the only change being the plastic overlay labelling the buttons.
    No, it didn't require different internal programming.
    Yes it's EXACTLY the same unit.
    Yes I know this for a fact as I've tried it decades ago, O.K., not quite decades but back in 1991.
    Strand would like you to think the programmer only looks similar but requires special software.
    Nope! Not true.
    Either unit does either job as long as you know which buttons do which functions.
    There! I've put it in writing in an e-mail!!

    From memory, I believe there's a large, old, reputable Strand dealer in your city.
    Any of their techs with 20, or more, years of Strand expertise ought to still remember the CD80AE's and their programmers.

    Maybe someday Control Booth will let me post there again.
    I'm not sure what went wrong, I used to be able to post on Control Booth but not for the past several years.

    Take care Sir!

    Toodleoo!
    Ron
     
    Sparkinium and (deleted member) like this.
  17. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Thank you Ship, for passing along Ron's detailed comments regarding the CD80AE dimmer. I hereby rescind my previous statement and beg for mercy at the feet of the court! :pray:
    Fortunately for WTC this was caught prior to a capital expenditure. And I believe we owe a thank you to Ron Hebbard.

    Ron: had the ability to post on the ControlBooth changed when the site make-over took place? Perhaps we need to chat with Devious Dave about getting your credentials back in hand. Your experience and tact would be most welcomed back to the 'Booth!
     

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