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Lighting at a new high school...

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Thefoxygranpa, May 27, 2009.

  1. Thefoxygranpa

    Thefoxygranpa Active Member

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    Evening CB,

    I will be doing a dance recital at my school districts brand new high school, which has a very nice looking theater! However, just getting in there today I found I have a bit more than I planned :neutral:

    Its running an Express 48/96 board and two sensor racks. Lighting rig is mainly comprised of no name fresnels with 750w lamps, 3 electrics of colorbars with RBGO, and an electric of 12 cyc lights, not sure on the brand/wattage.

    Their FOH catwalk is 9 Colortran 5/50's, I believe three 10°, six 20°. All with 1000w lamps:shock: . Now at the highschool I went we had S4's, all with 575w in them.

    Got their today to find the board is on a 1-1 patch, half of the fresnels were burned out, a row of colorbar was hooked up incorrectly and I was getting half orange half blue on the bar :p. Also, the entire FOH was burned up. I go up to take a look at the lamps and I had to remove the front lens because they had swelled larger than the reflector. And, there are no replacement lamps available in the building.

    It turned out to be a real PITA....but the real reason I posted here is I have a couple quick questions about this lighting rig.

    I have one dimmer that only responds when it is given intensity above 50%. What could be the cause, I remember seeing a similar topic earlier in CB but couldn't find it?

    Also, what lamp would you recommend to put into the 5/50 fixtures? The throw to stage is ~30ft, but it could be less. Also, these are often left on for hours at a time, but I am working to get that to no longer happen.

    -Cheers and thanks!
     
  2. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    By "colorbars" do you mean striplights? (Red,Blue,Green,Amber). Odd to find them in a new high school, but I have always been fond of strip lights when they're patched in correctly.

    As for the dimmer, it is most likely set in a non-dim profile.

    Other causes would be a failed SSR, although very highly unlikely. (especially according to [user]STEVETERRY[/user] ;) )

    Could be that there is a relay module in this space rather than a dimmer module.


    As far as lamping the 5/50's I would recommend the GLA 575w lamp.
     
  3. Thefoxygranpa

    Thefoxygranpa Active Member

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    Ah yes I mean striplights, I couldn't put my tongue on the word earlier.

    I'll take a look into why this one channel is acting up. All other dimmers in the rack work fine, but I'll take a look. As I think of it...one of the sensor racks was blinking, its on the list to check out. Is this anyhting I could have accidently programmed when patching the board?

    Thanks a lot for the lamp recommendation!
     
  4. seanandkate

    seanandkate Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I'm not familiar with the sensor racks, but on my Strand racks, I can set a particular dimmer to non-dim and then set the trigger intensity. That's what it sounds like your dimmer is up to. Find the manual to set the dimmer back to linear fade and you should be back in business.
     
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I'll be a third for your dimmer either being set to non-dim (switched) mode at the rack or perhaps you accidentally patched it that way in the console.

    As for lamps, i like the Thorn HX-755. It is a 750W long life lamp that works really nice.
     
  6. epimetheus

    epimetheus Well-Known Member

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    I think the dimmer being set to non-dim has been mentioned enough.

    It sounds like somebody fubar'ed the theater lighting design at this new school. Did they just install surplus or hand-me-down stuff from another location? I mean why would anybody install an old(er) board and, I imagine, older instruments in a new space?
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Why? Chances are, the gear all came from the space's predecessor, so all they had to do was put it in storage during construction and then install it. Saves lot of money to not buy new gear, and most school systems feel they have better things to spend money on than the theatre.
     
  8. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    It also sounds like the last person to relamp the FOH put their greasy fingers on all the lamps, which is likely what caused them to balloon and probably contributed to their failure.
     
  9. epimetheus

    epimetheus Well-Known Member

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    At least in the area I live, the preceeding space is most likely still used or there is no preceeding space. For example, the high school I went to recently moved to a new campus and one of the junior highs moved into the old building. The vacated junior high became a fifth grade center. The district also just built a fifth high school - no preceeding space to get equipment from.
     
  10. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    As to the non-dim question, go to patch by way of selecting in on the board, and select the dimmer that is switching on at 50%, and see if there is a number six following a /6 under the dimmer number, if so it is in the board non-dim mode, However, this mode usually turns on at any value higher than 0%. It is possible to reprogram those profiles or make new ones of yuor own. If it has any number indicated by/# then there could be problems and there are many members on CB that can talk you through it.
    If it is programmed to be a non-dim in the rack, I'm no help. while my experience is pretty good on several of the Express/Expression/Insight boards, they have always been communicating with EDI, Strand, Teatronics, Lightonics, NSI, Colortran, LMI or many of the Chinese "shoebox" dimmers. In all these many years, I have yet to work with a sensor rack for more than a day or two.
     
  11. MSLD

    MSLD Active Member

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    I have a question! On the 48/96, how do you set a dimmer to "non-dim? could this be safe and useful for haze/fog etc. machines?
     
  12. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Not exactly... The power coming through a dimmer module is still way to "processed" for anything containing electronics, unless it is specifically rated for use on a dimmer. You need a true relay module for everything along the lines of intelligent lighting, fog machines, etc.
     
  13. Thefoxygranpa

    Thefoxygranpa Active Member

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    Sadly none of this was from the previous high school. It was all purchased from the school district, and I'm unaware if it was purchased used. As with all school district installs it was put out to a contractor.

    All the equipment looks in new condition, especially the Express console. Its in perfect condition. The design IMHO is a bit fubar, considering the FOH bar consists of 9 dimmers, in awful locations, not to mention clouds flown that obstruct the entire bar. I'll post up an image when I get in there next week.

    Thanks!
     
  14. tjrobb

    tjrobb Active Member

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    At my high school we had two 8x16 or 8x12 (don't know which) "tubs" that we used for special effects (painted baby blue for some twisted reason), and one very lonely profile 6x9 in perma-storage, no one knows why we still have it. The rest was ETC.

    ETC has archives of (most) of their old manuals at etcconnect dot com. Should be able to find what you need there
     
  15. church

    church Active Member

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    The 5/50s are a serviceable fixture I own thirty of them in addition to S4s, strands and others. The key to getting the best out of them is to clean the lenses and reflectors and make sure they are correctly bench focussed. I have done a side by side blind trials with four different new Osram lamps in them all hung side by side on the same pipe and asked the resident master Electrician in the theatre to do the ranking and they came out in this order starting at the most light output, all lamps provided even distribution: FEL, GLC, GLA and enhanced FLK. I have not tried the Osram GLD lamps. The fixtures were lamped prior to entering the building. These results were different to what I expected but it is what it is. I keep FELs and GLCs for these fixtures and lamp them according to what a client requires or the power available where I will be using them. The FEL did provide noticeably more light than the GLC in this fixture.
     
  16. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Most people use the profile "Full at 1%" (Profile #6 below).
    From http://www.etcconnect.com/docs/docs_downloads/manuals/Express_Two-scene_Preset_v3.1_User_Manual.pdf, pages 40-43.
    Maybe. Depends on whether the machines contain any electronics or switch-mode power supplies. If possible, most electricians prefer to profile the dimmer at the rack, and the console as a secondary "belt and suspenders" approach.
     

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