need to buy cheap console to rent out...

Daveslights

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Oct 25, 2007
I did a search and didn't really see anything on the topic. Basically I have some technobeams and we want to buy a console to rent out with them. It just needs to be fairly easy to use for someone who doesn't know a lot about lighting, but I would also like it to be decent for someone who does know lighting, and under $1000.
I know there is the NSI MLC 16, but I would kind of like something a little better and maybe not a joystick.
 
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mike1023

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Oct 8, 2007
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Milwaukee, WI
If all you are doing is controlling technobeams, go with the technobeam controller. Very easy to use, although not really a good tool for running cues. If you are setting up loops, presets, or a couple basic looks it works great. Manual can be found here:
http://www.technobeam.com/pub/products/Controllers/TechnobeamLCD/Single/Tblcd10.pdf

I did a quick search for this product on yahoo and came up with this.
www.ruehlingassoc.com/usedstore.htm
A fellow member on this board (fxdrew) works for this company. You could prob contact him for more information.

How would you or the renter be using the fixtures???? Theatre, Concert, Architectural????
Might be able to find a Jands Hog 250 or a Status Cue for that budget, these consoles will give you more flexability. If you go with the Status Cue, make sure to read the manual, the way it is setup is very unique.

http://www.gearsource.com/products.cfm/cat/Lighting & Effects|Controls/sort/Price/cpage/10/nper/10/product/Status Cue/pkid/7051.html
http://www.highend.com/pub/products/consoles/StatusCue/Manual/statq.pdf
 
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Daveslights

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Oct 25, 2007
It's for concerts, but I guess potentially anything - including theatre and corporate stuff.

I didn't even think of a jands 250 I'll check that out.
 

gafftaper

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If you could be a little more specific about what you want the console to be able to do you'll get much better responses. How many lights? All conventional lights? Intellingent gear? add as much detail as possible about specific intelligent gear.

There have been several threads about low end consoles so do some searching. NSI has it's fans and sworn enemies around here. Jands products seem to be looked on favorably. What about a Zero88 products?

Don't forget that ETC and Strand both have lower end products. They might be out of your price range but worth taking a look. The new ETC Smartfade and Smartfade ML are both pretty slick and there's also the Strand 100, 200, and 301.
 

JD

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North Wales PA
At the very low end of things are a couple of controllers that actually give you a lot of bang for the buck.

The Chauvet DMX55 ($199) is pretty simple to use and will control 12 sets of lights (16 channels per set) and has 240 programmable scenes.

The Elation DMX Operator Pro ($329) gives you that, plus includes a dedicated section to run standard DMX stage dimmers as well.

Depending on who you are renting to, sometimes simple is better! (I like the Technobeam controller above, but something about having a key switch on a rental board worries me! .... 5 minutes to showtime, "Hey! Who has the key??) ;)
 

Daveslights

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Oct 25, 2007
Are these boards better than the NSI mlc16? I want it to be simple, but not too simple. I've used the mlc16 before and feel like it is simple enough, but I wouldn't mind something with a few more features like movement effects.

This will be mostly for moving lights, and sometimes LED fixtures (par 64), possibly a combination of the two.
 

JD

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North Wales PA
This will be mostly for moving lights, and sometimes LED fixtures (par 64), possibly a combination of the two.
Generally, if you've used a board before and liked it, then at least you know what you are getting. If you like the 16, and it's in your range, then by all means. The one tidbit that stands out in your post is that you may mix in conventional lights. The protocol for scene switching for movers is different than what you would want for stage dimmers. What works well for movers may be awkward for conventional lights. High dollar controllers usually let you mix protocols, but inexpensive controllers rarely do. That may make the Elation unit interesting. (Owners manual- http://www.elationlighting.com/pdffiles/DMX OPERATORPRO.pdf ) They show a list price of $439, but usually dealers mark it down into the $329 range. It has a separate 8 channel section for control of stage dimmers. Still, you may want to do a bit more research. Most of the sites these days have pdf's of the owner's manuals.

EDIT:
Just a small clarification about the protocol bit- With stage dimmers, you generally want a "master" that proportionally dims the channels. This of course would not be something you would want the movers to see as they read specific values for certain tasks. (such as "lamp out after 3 seconds" at a certain value!)
 
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Daveslights

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Oct 25, 2007
anyone ever use a Celco Navigator?

This console isn't really for me. I have software that I use for myself. Just looking to rent this out with some lights.
 

DarSax

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May 3, 2006
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Bethesda MD
Martin Light Jockey? You could either rent out the entire computer, or just the universal USB->DMX dongle. (And since the price of cheap computers/laptops has dropped considerably, it could be a good idea. Gives the renters the choice of saving money by using their own equipment?)

It's good, fairly well-known, and I'd say a solid choice. And if Maxxyz PC came out as Martin was planning on it doing, you could have some serious power/versatility in it.
 

soundlight

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NJ & NYC
I really don't think that a PC console is a good idea here, because someone who just wants to program a few chases doesn't need lightjockey or any other PC console. I think that an easily useable, encoders for parameters, buttons for scenes, etc.

I think that an Elation Magic 260 might be a great idea here, because it has encoders, and you can very, very easily record scenes and chases, which are then instantly accessible in the buttons on the side of the unit. You can also use the encoders for controlling the levels or red, green, and blue individually in an LED parcan. Not the best way to do it, but better than a PC to someone who doesn't know much about lighting.
 

Daveslights

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Oct 25, 2007
I agree, PC control is no good for this application. I use Bluelite X1 by Innovate Show Controls, for myself, and while it is very easy to learn and incredibly flexible, it's not something I would want to send out with a rental.

Thanks, I'll check out the Magic 260
 

soundlight

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The 260 also has two other vital features to a good simple rental console - a tap/sync button, and an audio input. These help with the set-and-forget kinda gigs where people want awesome lighting without having to ride the board the whole time.

If I were to spec this, I'd put it in one of those shallow DJ console racks, with blank panels where the console doesn't fill, and a 3-space rack drawer below with the DMX cables, power cable, and a USB light for the console. I'd put a rackmount panel in the front with 3 and 5 pin DMX out, as well as a power input (so you can hide the power supply in the case), and an audio input. Just leave the console's power switch on, and put a panel-mount switch in to that front rack panel with all of the connections. This way, you can have the whole box with the console, the cables, and the power supply.

Magic 260
Case
 
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avkid

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Soundlight, I agree about the captive system being a good idea.

However, plastic cases are a cumbersome pain in the rear.
Get a real wood or composite ATA Case.
 

Hughesie

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Aug 26, 2005
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Melbourne, Australia
don't get a hog 250, or anything like that (1000 is good though)
they maybe cheap because there used, but trust me, not worth the time i have used one, we have to run it off a UPS just so that it didn't die, any changes in the power source even minute ones would crash it (losing all show data)

bring up a light, DESK DIES
turn on a desk lamp beside the desk, to see your cue sheet better
CRASH!
a bird flaps it's wing in the north pole DOWN IT GOES
 

SerraAva

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Hog 500 would also be good, can be had cheaper then a Hog 1000. You get 8 playback masters instead of 16, 512 channels instead of 1024, and no palette buttons for easy access. Despite that, its a much smaller foot print then a Hog 1000, which can be a blessing.

As far as the Magic 260, it has a few issues with it. First being that the Fade and Speed faders aren't the same time wise. Halfway up on Fade is 15s and Speed is 15m, so it can be very annoying trying to set custom fade and delay times for movers in sync on the fly. Patching is also very annoying on it, because it tries to auto patch everything, even when auto patch is off. Third, it only has 4 aux buttons for conventionals which are on or off. You can program them into scenes or shows, but you can only run a show or a scene at a time, so that can be annoying. I find its just easier to use a small console for conventionals only and the Magic for movers. Forth, to save anything, you have to get Elation's USB stick, a generic one won't work. Fifth, I have found that personalities in the board, if the movement is 16bit, the console doesn't like it, it moves the fixtures on its own. You have to just use a generic channel fixture to fix it, which means no joystick or labels on the screen for the channels. Lastly, naming on it is a very time consuming process, and if you try to record elsewhere, you must rename, names don't copy.

If you can deal with the above, its a great little console. I have used it on a number of occasions with great success. 12 pages of shows and 48 pages of scenes with 24 on each page is great to have at your finger tips. Its great for LED only shows, because you can bouncing between scenes using the fade time for great transitions. Also, be aware the DMX out on the back is 3 pin, not 5 pin and it deals with values 0-255 instead of percents.
 
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Hughesie

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Aug 26, 2005
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i will agree with that, i forgot about the 500, but there aren't any around. if you want quality, go with a strand 300 or something similar

and if you want evidence
have a look at one of my previous posts, don't think i am just bashing jands desks, it just we had 3 from a hire company all followed the path detailed in this thread

http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5809&highlight=jands
 

avkid

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