Question about Colortran ENR 96 rack

JimP0771

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Location
Upstate NY
Hi all

I am back. I have not posted on here in a long time. Life has been busy for me. I have a question I am sure was answered on here but I am not sure where in the forum it was answered. Sorry if I am repeating a quest. I have a Colortran ENR 96 dimmer rack. The system has a Status 24/48 board. Now do any of you know if a board that uses DMX protocol will work with this rack. Here is the reason I ask we had a person rent our theater years ago and were using the lighting system. Me as technical director I was asked to come in and be in the build as they were using the system. The owner of the building always likes me there when the lighting system is being used cause I was the one the purchased the system from a local high school and had it installed in our theater so I am basically the only one that knows how to program the board. The lighting person who was with the group that was renting our theater brought an ETC board in and plugged it in to our ENR 96 dimmer rack and it worked. When I plugging an bord the uses DMX 512 protocal all three of the lights on the control mods just blink over and over again. However when I plug back in the Status 24/48 board back in the system works as normal.

How would these people using our theater be able to plug a digital ETC board into our Colortran ENR 96 dimmer rack and it work when I can not get a DMX 512 board to work?

Thanks
 

microstar

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Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Location
Lawton, OK
The ENR rack will accept Colortran CMX as well as standard DMX protocols.The ETC used DMX. That being said, there are a few idiosyncrasies.
To reliably get the control modules to switch from CMX to DMX, you need to have the console's DMX plugged in and the console turned on, then push the reset buttons on the control modules. Also, if the DMX rate is too high, there will be flickering problems. Set the DMX rate to "low" if the console has that option.
Using these guidelines, I've used a variety of DMX consoles with ENR racks.
 

JimP0771

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Location
Upstate NY
The ENR rack will accept Colortran CMX as well as standard DMX protocols.The ETC used DMX. That being said, there are a few idiosyncrasies.
To reliably get the control modules to switch from CMX to DMX, you need to have the console's DMX plugged in and the console turned on, then push the reset buttons on the control modules. Also, if the DMX rate is too high, there will be flickering problems. Set the DMX rate to "low" if the console has that option.
Using these guidelines, I've used a variety of DMX consoles with ENR racks.
So what you are telling me is I need to put the board in to DMX mode while the dimmer rack is on and than press the reset buttons on the control mods and that should work? That is how I am understanding. Please correct me if I am wrong. thanks
 

JimP0771

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Location
Upstate NY
Yes, that is correct. The rack will then stay in DMX mode unless you plug a Colortran CMX console in, when it would switch back to CMX.
You would also need to do the reset button routine if the rack lost power for some reason, resetting itself back to CMX. That's my understanding anyway.
I believe the Status 24/48 has a menu item that lets you select DMX instead of CMX output.
That status 24/48 does let you do DMX. I have put it in that mode while having it plugged into the Colortran ENR 96 rack but like I said the control lights just blink like I described before. If I were to press that reset button at that point would that make it work than? I am going in to clean out the rack and make sure everything is working tomorrow actually so I will play with it. Now if I were to do that do I have to reprogram the board in both modes. I do not have time for that. I have the board programed in CMX the way I want it so if it is going to reset the board than no I will not be playing with that.

Thanks
 

microstar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Location
Lawton, OK
I really doubt pushing the reset button on the rack control modules will hurt anything and it certainly might help. It definitely won't hurt your lighting console. as it is just resetting the electronics in the dimmer rack. Changing from DMX to CMX or vice-versa has absolutely no effect on your light cues as all you are doing is changing the output protocol.
If you are worried, I would wait until a show has closed! That said, I am unable to travel to upstate NY to help you if something goes wrong.
 

EdSavoie

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Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Location
Windsor, ON, Canada
Hitting reset on an ENR rack just reboots the computer, which then searches and auto-detects what protocol is being used, and latches to it.

Unless you've got one of the weird ENR racks that uses dip switches to determine which protocol. But you probably don't.
 

JimP0771

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Location
Upstate NY
I really doubt pushing the reset button on the rack control modules will hurt anything and it certainly might help. It definitely won't hurt your lighting console. as it is just resetting the electronics in the dimmer rack. Changing from DMX to CMX or vice-versa has absolutely no effect on your light cues as all you are doing is changing the output protocol.
If you are worried, I would wait until a show has closed! That said, I am unable to travel to upstate NY to help you if something goes wrong.
Hi that is ok. I don't need any help. But thanks for the offer that was super nice of you though. I am going to leave it on CMX. I am not how much longer this system is going to be used. There is talk about upgrading the system there to an ETC system mand doing away with the Lee Colortran ENR96 how I plan on keeping the dimmer rack and Light board in my storage unit just incase someone is looking for a system or if by chance I get back to doing theater. So thanks anyways.
 

JimP0771

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Location
Upstate NY
Anyone know how many of these ENR96 dimmer racks are actually in use today? I would not think many of them sense there is a lot more new technology that is out. I know the ENR96 dimmer rack that the theater I volunteer at has came from my high school and was installed in my high school in the late 80's and was used up to 2011 when they did an overall renovation of the autorium and now have an ETC system. But do many theaters use the Lee Colortran ENR96 dimmer racks today?
 

Les

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Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
Anyone know how many of these ENR96 dimmer racks are actually in use today? I would not think many of them sense there is a lot more new technology that is out. I know the ENR96 dimmer rack that the theater I volunteer at has came from my high school and was installed in my high school in the late 80's and was used up to 2011 when they did an overall renovation of the autorium and now have an ETC system. But do many theaters use the Lee Colortran ENR96 dimmer racks today?
My theatre runs one ENR 96 rack. The original 1995 install had two ENR racks, but in 2014 we removed one rack and replaced it with a Sensor rack of the same size, as well as added a 24ch Echo panel for LED expansion. The long term plan is to increase our LED usage and eventually phase out the remaining ENR rack.
 
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JimP0771

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Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Location
Upstate NY
Does anyone know if I took the Colortran ENR 96 rack had an electrician Wire a extension cord to the main power lugs and than plug in the extension cord in to a regular 120 power plug like the one we have in our houses would the rack work? The reason I ask is the theater I volunteer at for the lighting has sold and the new owner wants the system removed due to the fact that he is not using it and has installed an all new digital LED system. So I thought that I would take the ENR96 rack and the patch strip and hook the patch strip to the side of the rack and than be able to plug the rack in to a regular 120 outlet. That I could than use it anywhere. I would put casters on the bottom of it as well. Just a thought I am sure that is not a safe thing to do but if it would work and not cause a fire or death than I would do it. Thanks

Please Don't think that I am going to do something like this in general. I don't do anything stupid. I was just asking as a thought and would have everything done safely.
 
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BillConnerFASTC

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Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
Iirc ENR and Sensor were designed by same person. When Sensor first came out, some referred to it as the metal ENR. Upgrading/rebuilding electronics bay makes sense but replacing the dimmers not much. Practically same components.

And why buy new dimmer racks today?
 

derekleffew

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Las Vegas, NV, USA
Does anyone know if I took the Colortran ENR 96 rack had an electrician Wire a extension cord to the main power lugs and than plug in the extension cord in to a regular 120 power plug like the one we have in our houses would the rack work? ... So I thought that I would take the ENR96 rack and the patch strip and hook the patch strip to the side of the rack and than be able to plug the rack in to a regular 120 outlet. That I could than use it anywhere. I would put casters on the bottom of it as well. Just a thought I am sure that is not a safe thing to do but if it would work and not cause a fire or death than I would do it. Thanks

Please Don't think that I am going to do something like this in general. I don't do anything stupid. I was just asking as a thought and would have everything done safely.
Let's hope I'm misunderstanding your intentions. You want to power a 96x2.4kw dimmer rack from an "extension cord" with a 15A Edison plug "like the one we have in our houses"? Aside from violating all sorts of NEC rules, how many and of what total additive wattage of fixtures do you intend to control? Hint: your answer better be "less than 1800w."
 

JimP0771

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Location
Upstate NY
Let's hope I'm misunderstanding your intentions. You want to power a 96x2.4kw dimmer rack from an "extension cord" with a 15A Edison plug "like the one we have in our houses"? Aside from violating all sorts of NEC rules, how many and of what total additive wattage of fixtures do you intend to control? Hint: your answer better be "less than 1800w."

Hi don't worry I am not going to do it. It was just a thought. I just asked a friend who is a certified licence electrician and he said " Are you crazy that is the stupidest thing I have ever here and the most dangerous of things I have ever herd" I told him I was just a thought in my mind and that I actually do not plan on doing it. However that is why I was just asking. So I am NOT doing that in any way what so ever.
 

FMEng

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Tacoma, WA
Does anyone know if I took the Colortran ENR 96 rack had an electrician Wire a extension cord to the main power lugs and than plug in the extension cord in to a regular 120 power plug like the one we have in our houses would the rack work? The reason I ask is the theater I volunteer at for the lighting has sold and the new owner wants the system removed due to the fact that he is not using it and has installed an all new digital LED system. So I thought that I would take the ENR96 rack and the patch strip and hook the patch strip to the side of the rack and than be able to plug the rack in to a regular 120 outlet. That I could than use it anywhere. I would put casters on the bottom of it as well. Just a thought I am sure that is not a safe thing to do but if it would work and not cause a fire or death than I would do it. Thanks

Please Don't think that I am going to do something like this in general. I don't do anything stupid. I was just asking as a thought and would have everything done safely.
The rack is probably built to run on 120/208V, three-phase power, which is generally found in large, commercial buildings. A few dimming racks were made to run on 120/240V, single phase. There might be some racks that are field convertible between single and three phase, but you would need the factory documentation on how to do it. Assuming your rack could operate on single phase, an electrician could wire a special receptacle from a residential service panel to get 120/240V, but the available current would limit how much load you could put on the rack. With very limited power to the rack, you would have the functionality of a $200 shoe-box sized dimmer in a six foot tall, several hundred pound rack.

If the Colortran console can be set to output DMX, buy yourself a 4-6 channel shoe box dimmer and you will have a practical system that can be powered from common outlets, doesn't take a bunch of space, and doesn't make noise. Or better yet, get some LED wash lights that you can control from the console without any dimmers at all. The Chinese knock offs are very affordable.