Non-dmx rope light chasers

cvanp

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Oct 19, 2007
Does anyone have experience with any non-DMX rope light chasers? Any suggestions or tips?

Thanks!
 

icewolf08

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Lititz, PA
Does anyone have experience with any non-DMX rope light chasers? Any suggestions or tips?
Thanks!
What kind of info are you looking for? I have done a lot of work with multi circuit rope light.
 

cvanp

Active Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Oh I should have clarified - I'm looking for specific models or brands. I see a lot of American DJ stuff out there but I haven't heard great things about them and I want something that will last the show and be a useful resource for the future.

Sorry for the ambiguous question!
 
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icewolf08

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The thing to do is go to a place that sells rope light. There are many many brands available. You can just google it. You might look someplace like here or here. You can get rope light with different colors on different circuits or one color chasing, lots of choices, and probably most cheaper than ADJ gear. Places that see xmas stuff usually have good selections, like here.

Probably the easiest to work with is the 3 wire variety, but you can get other varieties as well. Make sure you get 120v, it will be easiest to wire to dimmers and such. You can look into LED rope light, but it is more expensive.
 

cvanp

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Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Well the rope light is already on the way (thanks to BillESC!) so that aspect is taken care of, I just need to find a chase unit that will work with it.

This might be an instance of me doing it wrong.

It's certainly possible, that happens frequently.
 

cvanp

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Oct 19, 2007
Well the rope light is already on the way (thanks to BillESC!) so that aspect is taken care of, I just need to find a chase unit that will work with it.
This might be an instance of me doing it wrong.
It's certainly possible, that happens frequently.
OK they are VEI red rope lights, 4 circuit. 110w. I think I need a VEI controller but I can't find one for 110V lights, only 240V (which I do not have obviously).

Any suggestions?
 

derekleffew

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Aug 21, 2007
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Las Vegas, NV, USA
You have these, except in red, right? Is the male connector on the rope a 6pin Molex? Just build yourself a 4ckt break-out and plug them into 4 dimmers, then write whatever chase you want...wait, are you the Lehigh guy? Yes, you are, but hopefully a good university will still admit you.:oops:

How about this? It says "rated at 240W." Watts, not volts. Your ropelight is 110Volts, not watts. Five 12' strings maximum. Put this at top center of the proscenium, and use unseen ropelights or 10' extensions to come back to your controller, either DSL or DSR. I hate having a chase only in one direction.
 

cvanp

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Oct 19, 2007
Yeah, I have those in red. It's a 6 pin Molex. I am the Lehigh guy. Ugh.

Thanks for the advice. Do you have any suggestions as to where I could find some molex extension cables longer than the standard 12"? If worse comes to worse we could have some made (there's a guy in our school with the IT department who makes us cables) but it would be significantly easier to just go ahead and buy them premade.

Thanks again.
 

icewolf08

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OK they are VEI red rope lights, 4 circuit. 110w. I think I need a VEI controller but I can't find one for 110V lights, only 240V (which I do not have obviously).
Any suggestions?
First of, shame on BillESC for selling you the rope light without a controller ;) (or maybe you should have asked for one when you bought the ropelight?)

Second, it really helps to do some research before you buy things, even from friends. I wouldn't have purchased rope light that needs a controller as there is plenty that is readily available that you can plug right into a dimmer and run from your light board, but you did, so I suppose cest la vie.

If you plugged in "VEI Ropelight" into google you would have found your controller though. Try MCM Electronics, they have two: here and here.

I suppose there is also some saving grace in a less expensive solution. Pick up one of these, cut off one end, and wire up some stage pin connectors, then hook right up to your dimmers. Simpler, cheaper, and allows you to run the effects you want as opposed to only what the controller can do.

Should you wish to do further research, VEI is Visual Effects Inc. They supply their own ropelight (the 4 circuit multi-color stuff) and also Duralight ropelight.
 

cvanp

Active Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
First of, shame on BillESC for selling you the rope light without a controller ;) (or maybe you should have asked for one when you bought the ropelight?)
I wasn't initially planning on the chase effect. One of my actors (yay them) was insistent on doing the chase after I purchased them.

I wouldn't have purchased rope light that needs a controller as there is plenty that is readily available that you can plug right into a dimmer and run from your light board
We have trouble plugging even regular lights into dimmers, not to mention the fact that we're limited in terms of number of (working) plugs. I wanted them to go right into a wall outlet. It's more reliable and easier for our situation.

Thanks again for all your help in this matter. It's greatly appreciated everyone!
 

len

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Oct 23, 2004
Location
Chicagoland
This is one of those situations where you should just go back to the source. If Bill sold it, he can give you chapter and verse on what you need to control it.
 

JackMVHS

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Dec 26, 2008
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Second, it really helps to do some research before you buy things, even from friends. I wouldn't have purchased rope light that needs a controller as there is plenty that is readily available that you can plug right into a dimmer and run from your light board, but you did, so I suppose cest la vie.
I just came across this thread, and yes I realize it's over a month old now, but I have a question for icewolf.

Where can you buy rope light that can be just plugged into a dimmer and "chased" or who makes it? Also, how would you go about programming this on the light board? Just a bunch of cues with one circuit on at a time and then repeated over and over? BTW I also have a Lehigh, but a Millennium, hoping to get an Element next year :)

Thanks!
 

icewolf08

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Lititz, PA
I have bought a lot of Rope light from Novelty Lights as they are located in Denver, CO, and thus shipping to me in SAlt Lake City is cheap and fast. They usually give me a good deal now that I have ordered thousands of C7 lamps and strings and lots of rolls of rope light. There are plenty of other places that sell rope light, and there are probably some who are cheaper than Novelty Lights. Most of the ropelight is the same, so it doesn't really matter who you buy it from.

To do chasing rope light you have to buy ropelight that is either marketed as "chasing" or multi-circuit. The most common in two circuit ropelight, which works, but looks more like a back and forth flash as it is only 2 circuits. It does depend on how you use it though, as some shapes and configurations will end up looking more like a chase than others. If you can afford to, and can find it, a three or four circuit ropelight will give a better chase effect.

As I work mostly with two circuit rope light, it requires two dimmers for the effect. I use a bunch of the supplied parts:
Connector Kit:

Extension Kit:
Then, I take the power cords and swap connectors and wire up the second circuit. I can't tell you on CB how to do the wiring, but if you know basic wiring, it will make sense when you have the parts in hand. If you don't know basic wiring then you should get someone who does to help you.

One thing I will say though, keep track of your neutrals! I have spent many hours troubleshooting ropelight because of neutral issues!