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

Control/Dimming Newbie looking for replacement help

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Frank, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Frank

    Frank Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Maine
    I work with a community theater group that uses Dove equipment, vintage 1993. The dimmer pack is a model DM1212SUG and the controller is model CMTS12. The system is obviously getting old and we're having small failures from time to time. I'm writing a grant request to an organization hoping they'll support our wish to upgrade to something newer and more reliable. We also need new lights; most of ours are of the same vintage or older.

    Our stage is small so scene changes are modest and most of the time the lighting design is pretty simple. All our lights currently use Edison plugs from the back of the dimmer pack and it'd be easiest to leave that intact. Can anyone offer any suggestions for a new light board? I've been reading older threads along similar lines but quite honestly I can get confused by some of the terminology. Our lighting guy is a high school kid and he's also worked on newer more sophisticated systems with soft patching, etc. and I think he can handle any of the new stuff.

    We're currently limited to 9600 watts input (240VAC X 40A) but I'm also trying to get that upgraded to 60A.

    Any/all ideas or comments appreciated!

    thanks,
     
  2. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,309
    Likes Received:
    344
    Location:
    Kilmarnock, VA
    Any idea of what your budget will be? It will be helpful in making realistic suggestions.
     
  3. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    43
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    Also, you say everything is simplistic, but do you intend to keep it that way? Are you looking to expand? Or just find a more modernized version of what you have now?

    If you're confused by some of the terminology, check out our wiki page to learn what those terms mean. Also, if you're reading something and don't know what it means, be sure to post a question and someone will be more than happy to help you out. We exist as an educational website, so we want to help you learn.
     
  4. Frank

    Frank Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Maine
    Budget is a tough call - we're probably going to ask for $5K for lights and controls. I think we have about 20 lights at this time and try to replace half with simple instruments (could we do this for $1000-1500?) then that would leave $3.5-4K for controls.

    Things would probably stay simple but with more capability we might do more...

    ??
     
  5. CBR372

    CBR372 Active Member

    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Hmmm pretty small budget for any major upgrades, but you could easily get at least 10 new Source four JRs for just over 2k so finding the fixtures in your price range is reasonable if you buy used. The trouble comes with the board. Depending on your control protocol (DMX-512 or what not) the control boards can get really expensive. You could probably find some older cheap boards for that price but that wouldn't be much of an upgrade. You just might be able to find an older ETC express board for that price tho... Good Luck!
     
  6. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,309
    Likes Received:
    344
    Location:
    Kilmarnock, VA
    Frank,

    What is the layout of the facility? What are the lighting positions? And throw distances?

    The more we know the better we can come up with a plan.
     
  7. Frank

    Frank Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Maine
    Hi there,

    Sorry I haven't responded quickly, been away for a few days w/o access to the forum.

    The stage is small, about 24' * 24' and there's generally about 16-18' from the edge of the stage to light (upstage). There's two horizontal bars about 18' in the air (centred) about 25' or so from the edge of the stage. Each bar is holding six instruments at this time.

    I'll try to find a pic to post.

    thx
     
  8. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Somewhere far far away, Vic, Aus
    You could use a MUX (A anolouge to DMX) adapter on your older dimmers, thus controling everything with DMX, we have dimmers that were made in the late 70's, and dispite a few small problems in the past, still work without a hitch. As for control you want a board that has a cue stack, but is simple enough for a complete beginer to pick up in a few minates, somthing like a Zero 88 Jester has a cue stack but also operates in preset mode, meaning you bring up the lights you want then you have a master fader to bring them all down. I don't know how much you know about stuff like this but chances are, as your desk is semi old, that it woud be preset. The Jester also operates in Program & Run mode, meaning that you bring up the lights you like, hit record and its recorded, then if you want to play it back, switch it to run mode, and hit go. It's really simple.

    As for fixtures, from what you have described, you just want cheap (ish) conventional lights, the three main types of conventional lights (or fixtures as people call them) are PAR's, basicly metal cans with lights in them, Fresnels (AKA PC's), that are lights with one lens, they are therefor focusable, and are usefull for anything that isn't too far away, thats where Profiles come in, Such as the Source 4 that was talked about earlier, they are for when you need to light from further away from the stage.

    Try contacting your local hire companies, asking them if they have any old stock, we found Fresnels with bulbs for $30 (Aussie dollars) thats roughly $20-25 US each. Bargin. PARs should aslo be cheap, and are usefull for color and wash. Hope this helped, I think I coverd pretty much everything, appologies for my attrocious spelling. I'm dyslexic (had to Google how to spell that) so spelling is not my thing. Wow, I wrote a lot, still not by Ship's standards.
    Cheers
    Nick
    PS. PM me for any more help, I get lonely :(
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,499
    Likes Received:
    2,481
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    What is the power situation? We can't upgrade much without more power.
     
  10. Frank

    Frank Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Maine
    Thanks for the information folks. I'm slowly learning. Yes the present controller has two sets of preset sliders (X and Y) with fader (to move between them) and master slider.

    No news on the power yet, but I can't see any reason why it can't be increased 50% at least. We need to have a licensed electrician do the load analysis though but I'm hoping this will work out.

    I'm going to take a couple of pics and post them. Have been busy as we just opened "Laughter On The 23rd Floor" and I'm the set builder, as well as acting in this one.

    thanks again
     
  11. Frank

    Frank Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Maine
    Here's some pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Frank

    Frank Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Maine
    What do you folks think of package deals, such as: Dove Systems 12 Channel System (Dove Systems System 12)

    The Zero 88 Jester looks like an interesting controller but the trouble we've been having is with the dimmer pack. Is there across-the-board compability with these components or does each vendor use their own control protocol?

    Thanks again for all your valuable advice and experience.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  13. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,067
    Likes Received:
    669
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    There are plenty of small dimmer packs that are available, and you probably should replace what you have. Both major manufacturers Strand and ETC make dimming products that can be controlled by any modern console that outputs DMX. So you could pick up something like the ETC Smartpack or the Strand ProPack and hook it up to any new console. So you could get your Zero 88 Jester or any other console that you like and use it with these dimmers. There are also other people who make dimmers and probably make them cheaper, but if you can afford to purchase for one of the major manufacturers you will probably get better performance, life, and support.
     

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