Questions on the Phillips Strand Lighting 250ML


Hi all,

Some background information: My high school has a Philips Strand Lighting 250ML Lighting Control Console that the school purchased back in 2016. We have a modestly sized system of 82 light fixtures, a mixture of Altman 65Q Fresnels, Strand Century Iris 4's, Strand Century Lekolites, Altman Par 64 Cans, and Strand SL Ellipsoidals. 8 of the Strand SL fixtures have an Apollo Smart Color color scroller attached to them. The dimming system is a Strand CD80SV (with all original electronics and processor). The district is considering upgrading to a Johnson Systems CD3000+SV Processor when our current processor fails or maybe before that. Every light on the system is a halogen fixture, we do not have any LEDs yet. Many of the fixtures are approaching 50 years old (they were used on the school's original stage when the building was built in 1976 and were transferred to the "new" stage built in 2002). The other fixtures are all 20 years old and were installed on the new stage when it was built.

I have a few questions on the Philips Strand 250ML:

1. Is it a good console for modern LED lighting or would it be something we should look to upgrade if the district goes with LEDs in the future? Can it handle LED control or does it not have enough channel capacity for that?

2. What is the best way to patch the color scrollers to the console? Currently each of the 8 are assigned to their own channel and controlled by a fader (different level = different position on the scroller). Is that the best way to do it or is there a way to patch it through the intelligent fixtures menu?

3. Is there any way to avoid having channels on the blackout button? Currently, if we hit blackout, every channel goes to 0%. This is problematic for our color scrolling system, because whenever you bring it to 0%, the scroller goes back to the first frame and it frantically tries to get back to the correct color upon releasing the blackout button.

Any help or advice anyone has would be much appreciated! I may post some more questions later, these are just the ones I could think of on the top of my head. I am a high school student, but was also employed by the school district to repair, upgrade, and manage both our stage lighting and sound systems. I have read much of the manual for the 250ML and the CD80SV rack, so I know our current system very well, but when it comes to LED fixtures I am pretty much useless. Thank you for any help!
Hi @jbogner
I have tried to email Vari-Lite technical support on a different question with no luck and it seems that the phone line is always busy... do you have any recommendations?

We received your email on Friday regarding the CD80SV. One of the team will be in touch regarding this. If you have sent another email that hasn't yet received a reply, please let me know, and I can investigate.
Hi all,

This problem was resolved by patching the color scrollers as intelligent fixtures and controlling them from that menu on the console. When the scrollers were patched as intelligent fixtures, the blackout function no longer controlled the fixtures, letting them stay at the color frame they were last used at. We used a basic two channel fixture file that allowed for the scroll function to be controlled using one channel and the other channel is to control the fan speed. This file could easily be made in Phillips 250ML Fixture Creator Software or can be obtained by asking Vari-Lite.

Regarding LED control, Vari-Lite told us that if we purchase LEDs in the future and they are not already in the fixture library for intelligent control, we can email them and they would most likely be able to make a fixture file for those fixtures as well.

Thank you everyone for your help.
I need an AC adapter for the Philips 250ML lighting board. the original was lost or misplaced during a relocation. New or used is acceptable.
Knowing the voltages, currents, and pin outs could be useful as well.
That's printed on the back of the console, and also available in the QSG / Manual:


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