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Need a remote douser ?

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by Van, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
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    Portland, Or.
    Out of the blue we suddenly have issue with the light comming out of the front of the projector during the final black out of The Clean House . Yesterday,I get a note which says, basically,
    " We can't have this light in the final scene. It's distracting! Fix It Now!" Of Course I reply,
    " If you will remember I brought this up at the very first Production meeting, Projectors don't go black. You said That wouldn't be a problem, if you want it fixed I need $580.00 for a DMX controlled Douser, and it won't be here for a week."
    "No Good you have 'till opening, two days."
    So as I'm fuming my Master Carp/Shop Foreman says to me,"Hey I had a kid at UNLV last year who made a douser out of a CD-ROM drive, I don't know how he did it and it took him two months."
    This starts my wheels turning. Two solder burns, $27.00 in parts at Radio Shack, one pretty much dead 32x CD-ROM drive, and 25' of Cat 5 cable and 6 hours later.....
    I have a working , electronic remote control douser. Now I think I'm going to find a dmx decoder board, see about rigging it into the thing, I think I can give City theatrical a run for their money.
    I'd be happy to share the details/plans with anybody here, but I'm seriously thinking about building a few proto types and marketing them....... With serious discounts to CB members of course.
     
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Ah...if you'd remember, that's been done before! It was even mentioned on the forums here! Anyways, plans and pictures would be most excellent.
     
  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Well I looked for it here and didn't see it. Rats. I may keep going anyway. I'm tenacious that way.
     
  4. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I'll do more research and let you knowabout the DMX decoder. XLR is a good idea. I used cat5 and RJ45's for mine however, because of the smaller foot print for the connector, and I have something like 5 miles of Cat5 wire lying around my office. :mrgreen:
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Great! another thing I can do while sitting around in my huge amounts of free time!.
     
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    [user]van[/user], this one for $155. Or for $39.95, this is probably more your speed.
     
  7. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Hmm...neither of those are technically DMX 512 compliant.
    (I like to argue in the wee hours of the morning)
     
  8. cutlunch

    cutlunch Active Member

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    Van I am interested in the details.
    I remember reading about this somewhere.

    So did you basicaly provide the CD Rom with a 12v only supply, then wire a switch across the eject contacts to open / shut the drawer as required? What did use for the blackout material in the CD Rom paper, foild, wood etc?

    Pictures please, especially how you mounted it on to your projector.

    Thanks
     
  9. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    More importantly, how to get by the few second delay after you hit the eject button.
     
  10. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    While you're arguing with yourself, [user]Van[/user] will have built himself a perfectly usable DMX-operated projector douser, and for much less money and in much less time, than the "DMX Compliant" City Theatrical model (not that there's anything wrong with City Theatrical's version).

    Um, execute the electrics cue a few seconds before one wants the projector to douse?

    Or [user]Van[/user], there's always the Charc solution: just run the projector on a dimmer! He seems to think that a dimmer can control anything: Lycian followspot, strobelight, and goodness knows what else. (DON'T try this in Your Theatre, kids.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  11. cutlunch

    cutlunch Active Member

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    Practice LOL
     
  12. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Actually the beauty of the system I used was that I ripped the entire electronics board out of the CD-ROM. I wired directly to the actuator motor, which is 5 volts. I originially thought, " I can just run the 12volts in, jumper the eject button to a SPST momentary push button." Then I realised that the logic circuits required the 12v and the 5 volt power supplies to be active. So to save time I pulled out an old Zip drive wall wart that I had lying around, pulled the board out of the CD-Rom. mounted a 1/8" mono < T/R> jack to the back side of the drive, which wires directly to the motor. I built the control box with a DPDT Center off Toggle switch, I supplied power to the switch through two seperate SPST momentary contact push buttons < 'cause I couldn't find a DPST Momentary> so you have a selector switch which you set at your stand-by and a "go" switch which you push to activate the device. The 5v power supply plugs in right at the control box in the booth, so you only have to run the cat5 cable out to the douser.
    As far as mounting goes, I used the mounting holes built into the side of the drive, I installed two 1" angle irons using the stock screws. The mount that my projector sits on is a custom one that I made and the base is 3/4 plywood. I was able to screw the angle irons to the fron edge of the mount and have about 1/2" of clearance for the tray to pass in front of the lens. As for the dousing material, I was in a real hurry and I just put gaff across the hole in the middle of the tray then trimmed it down so it didn't interfere with the travel. I know that's cheest but, Hey I only had four hours. In the future I think I might put some 1/8" plexi on instead. Perhaps even be able to use a couple of different shades for cutting down the brightness of a projector for a certain cue. I'll get some pics up ASAP. Clean House opens tonight I go into techs for The Rabbit Hole in one week and only have half the set done and Electrics has the theater all next week, so it might take a couple of days.
     
  13. Raktor

    Raktor Active Member

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    Mine has an RJ-45 port as well, but I've just soldered the cable so it triggers the eject button - so it still has all of its circuitry inside.
     
  14. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I assume you object to the one with the D3M, but what is not compliant about the one with no leads? And to which standard are you referring: USITT DMX512-1986, -1990, or DMX512A?
     
  15. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I love standards, there are so many to choose from. I agree the 3 pin is non Kosher, but I too could not see an issue with the terminal block option.

    And here's another option: http://www.dmxprojects.com/projects_dmx_relay.html
     
  16. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    There is also the DFD GPI OEM board, which can be spec'ed to output 0-10v analog or just be a contact closure.

    I hate to say it, but while 3 pin connectors for DMX are not in the written standard they have become so common who really cares? I mean why bother being picky, I bet we all use some device that uses 3 pin for DMX. Also, most devices with 5 pin connectors don't have al five wired to something, that would just ad to labor costs, and since chances are we will never officially use the last two pins, why bother?
     
  17. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    YES, Alex! The only time I've ever needed all five pins is on a WholeHogII RFU. Get over it people. But I like the MAC2000, and others, which have both 3pin and 5pin, as I use the fixture as an adapter (but not a splitter) all the time. Really handy when one universe is VLs and one is MACs on the same pipe.
     
  18. TechiGoz

    TechiGoz Active Member

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    Not sure if anyone else has seen it, but you can get DMX board and chuck a servo on the end of it, and give it one parameter - TILT - and the the servo will move up and down. On the end, place a long bit of card/mdf or whatever you fancy, and you have a working mechanical, remote arm that you can trigger off you're lighting console!

    Magic!
     
  19. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yeah it the and chuck a servo on the end of it, That most folks usually have a hard time with. For me this was simply a quick and dirty way to throw together a douser. I'd love to go with a servo unit but building the drive unit, and the programing would take a bit more than the average folk usually get into.
     
  20. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Kid at UNLV is a friend of mine (my MFA is from UNLV) and I actually have his instructions on how they made it. I just ended up making one myself took me about 4 hours all told because I knew what I was doing.

    This is a picture of UNLV's...when I take one of ours I'll post it here.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008

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