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replacement board for an Expression 3

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Ravenbar, Mar 16, 2019 at 8:12 PM.

  1. Ravenbar

    Ravenbar Member

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    Location:
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    The school I light the spring musical for is looking to upgrade there lighting system. I've got a fair idea what I'd recommend for their system upgrade but unsure of what board I'd like.

    I'm fairly out of the loop as far as up to date equipment.

    I originally learned on an ETC Express 24/40, and a little on an Expression 1. The School has an Expression 3. Currently rig is primarily conventional fixtures, although we'd like to update. Currently have 120 dimmers(about 10 dedicated to a unison house light system). I'd like to see them keep the 96 dimmer rack and upgrade the 24 rack to a 48 or 96(even if it electrically means dropping to 1.2k dimmers).

    I'm only there a couple months a year, during the spring musical. They understand little beyond submaster.

    My idea is that the board needs to be verbally similar to the ETC expression 3 so there isn't a giant learning curve for everyone, and that it needs many, many submasters/faders.

    I graduated college college in 2008, just as EOS was coming on the scene and the Express/Expression line was being discontinued.
     
  2. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    There's not much reason to continue putting money into new dimmers. Everything is going LED and if you're putting in new power distribution I would account for more relays rather than more dimmers. Dimmers may handle the fixtures they have today but very few venues moving forward will be buying into tungsten fixtures.

    With that many circuits you're probably looking at in the neighborhood of the Ion XE. I wouldn't fit it out with "many, many submasters/faders" because it's not an efficient way to program modern consoles. Throw a touch screen on it and give the students a magic sheet function to play with. Between the comments here and in the other thread about DMX distribution, you may want to look at ETC's wireless Colorsource relays that transmit DMX and flip power on/off to the fixtures. Might save you from having to pull some new DMX cabling.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  3. Ravenbar

    Ravenbar Member

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    They don't "program" the board. Student's don't use the system. 1 teacher doe and they have no lighting experience. Tghe past director, who mentors them, grew up with 2 scene preset consoles and they fight any attempt to do things different. I've actually had to go for a walk, resisting the urge to walk away from the job, when I've spent 2+ days programming the show, and it gets thrown out in favor of running it o submasters, as it immediately fixes what they see is wrong, and in addition is more flexible as far as students missing their mark/cue.

    The 2008-era install we're currently using included (2) relay circuits, and they're mostly used for over audience effects(i.e. Jellyfish for "The Little Mermaid"). Last year I parked a couple dimmers at full, as they were being used to power toys(A couple Chauvet USB Abyss fixtures and a couple cheap RGB Pars.) Controls were via an antique Colortran Status 24/48. That's the era the people I'm working with understand.
    such. Every year, I personally pick up some sort of low budget toy, so that 1. I get the experience, and 2. they see what's possible.

    Basically, I'm slowly adding in DMX controlled toys and but their main way of thinking revolves around conventional fixtures. There is also a distrust of what they don't understand, and DMX fixtures falls into that category.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 8:50 PM

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