Control/Dimming Removing dimmers and replacing with a breaker box, thoughts?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by mtodd2qq, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. mtodd2qq

    mtodd2qq Member

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    Sorry long winded background info. We have a small auditorium built in 1907. at one point some one installed a 12 dimmer Dove pack into the space. We have one DMX 5 pin line from the board from the back of the house ran along the wall to the dimmer for control. From the dimmer we have 12 hardwired lines to our only lighting position, a beam running across the front of house area. House lights are a light switch, work lights are a light switch. Nothing but those 12 positions are on the dimmer.
    Someone before me hung 4 LED Pars along side the traditional instruments, ran a cord from the back wall for power and is controlling them with a show baby.

    The dimmer pack is dying as they do. Our facilities head has done some research and asked me a simple question

    Instead of replacing the dimmer pack, why not put in a breaker box, and replace all the incandescent instruments with LEDs that dont need a dimmer, and then control them with that little orange box up there.

    Anyone have any experience with this or advise they want to offer if they have? Its never going to be a true theatrical space, they wont be doing a renovation anytime soon, they wont be adding additional lighting positions. This seems like a simple solution and a no brainer, which is why it has me worried I am missing something. thanks
     
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  2. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

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    What specifically are the traditional fixtures you have now? Type, make, model, wattage?
    Dove is pretty reasonable at fixing their stuff; it might be worth a phone call or email. The lure of LED is great, but it will cost some money to get acceptable smooth dimming performance.
    What acceptable performance is, is relative. Also, how many channels does your control console have? Most LED fixtures require at least 3 channels each (RGB), some more and some (white light only) less. Maybe provide a bit more specific information?
     
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  3. Rob

    Rob Well-Known Member

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  4. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Provided everything attached to it is up to code as permanent wiring, then you should be ok in doing that with one specific caveat:
    Do not use circuit breakers as switches! There are some that are rated for that, but most are not. If these need to be switched circuits, the switches should be separate from the breaker box. Needless to say, all work should be done by qualified, licensed, and insured personal.
     
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  5. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

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    This might be a good application for ETC's economical Foundry relays so your console's DMX can switch the power on/off to your LED fixtures.
     
  6. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  7. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

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    The posts so far also allow confusion of white light LEDs with color changing fixtures.
     
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  8. Chris Pflieger

    Chris Pflieger Well-Known Member

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  9. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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  10. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Well, before the proliferation of LED sources, I would offer an @STEVETERRY quote (from eleven(!) year ago:
    How well does that philosophy hold up in 2019?
    I don't know anyone (except me?) who would advocate installing a Sensor3 SP6 pack with R20 or ThruPower modules, but... another quote (this one only six years old) :
     
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  11. mtodd2qq

    mtodd2qq Member

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    NOPE not at all. There is not interest in turning this space into anything other then what it is. And I have other spaces on campus worth fighting for. so 12 $ 500 apiece instruments purchased a couple at a time over the years is going to be the plan. Right now my fixtures are some ADJ silver par 64's all front light so the bar isnt very high to go anyway.
     
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  12. mtodd2qq

    mtodd2qq Member

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    I will look into that.
     
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  13. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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  14. mtodd2qq

    mtodd2qq Member

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    Ya but know one is going to kick up the money for that kind of system here. And for just 12 instruments running in a straight line from House left to house right, that is a lot of machine
    What is sad is I have a Sensor + 24 pack that was bought some 10 years ago I guess that was never installed because they cant ( physically cant, its a historic building) the proper power to it. I am going to have to surplus it out because I don't need it anywhere I can get power to it. I would love to install it and then just add R-20's modules. but it ain't happening
     
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  15. mtodd2qq

    mtodd2qq Member

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    this is really helpful thanks.
     
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  16. mtodd2qq

    mtodd2qq Member

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    Sorry, meant nope to this part. (But sufficient numbers of fixtures and most rudimentary infrastructure for a modicum of reliability and medium quality is thousands of dollars. Can you do that?) And the answer is no. not at all. I can swing purchasing a couple of instruments a year as long as their not to high end. The deal here is if I go for a new dimmer pack I have to find the money and facilities wont ever touch it. If we do a breaker box, they would pay for some of it, cost to install it, and service it. Your information on relays is incredibly helpful. that gives me a direction to research so thank you
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  17. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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  18. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

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    There may be an easier way.

    The ETC Color Source Relay will work with your existing Show Baby transmitter. Hardwire the power to breakers and set the relays to turn on when DMX is present. It's pretty automatic relay control. You could then use your Show Baby reciever for show specific or floor gear, stuff that isn't permanently mounted. Also, several receivers reduces the risk of a wireless failure stopping the show.

    This should let you convert slowly, as needed, using annual funds.
     
  19. mtodd2qq

    mtodd2qq Member

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    I am very appreciative of the advise on the relay. It will solve a couple of issues and I should be able two swing it with my personal budget. so thank you
     
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  20. mtodd2qq

    mtodd2qq Member

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    thank you slowly is the goal here. its either that or wait till enough stuff breaks/wears out that the next campus wide meeting is in the dark. which is a rotten idea thank you sir
     
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