Replacement Light Board

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
I just graduated from high school and got a paying tech job at the community theatre where I have been volunteering at for about four years. Anyways, they have a 24/48 Colortran Status that they are thinking of replacing. (thank God!)The venue is setup with 192 channels. I think that one of the larger ETC Express's would be a good decision because they are much more user-friendly than the Status, plus, we just need more control. And a monitor or two would be nice... I'm used to the ETC syntax anyway, but I don't expect them to afford the Expression II (which I'm gonna miss from my old high school). Do you think the ETC would be compatable with the colortran ENR Series dimmer racks? Geez, I hope so!!!
 

bdesmond

Active Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Location
Chicago, IL USA
If you're familiar with ETC already, it may be a good buy. The biggest Express console they have is a 144 channel, so, assuming you don't need all 192 dimmers avialable on faders, that would work.

I assume the Colortran rack sare DMX, I couldn't fidn any definite fact when I looked at the spec sheet. Assuming they are (or a conversion is available), the ETC deks will work fine with them. You might need to goof around with dimmer profiles if the board has something like this, as it's probably optimized for their brand of dimmers.
 

SteveB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Before attempting an Express, you need to find out what control signal is in use. The Status (at least mine) can talk both DMX and Colortran's older version called CMX.

On the console, press the setup key a few times until you come to Protocol. If it says DMX, the Express should work (usually). If CMX, then you might want to contact a C-Tran service center for info on whether the dims can be adapted. It's sometimes a cheap modification to the control module.

Litetrol Service, in Hicksville, NY is about the best around at this kind of stuff, especially with advice for the Express/ENR communication.

1800 LITETROL, Steve Short

Note that the 5 flavors of Express are:

- 24/48 2 scene/single scene, with up to 96 channels available via the keypad
- 48/96, with 192 virtual
- 72/144, 240 virtual
- 125 keypad channels
- 250 keypad channels

Steve B.
 

Radman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Location
Franklin, TN
If it is DMX then I would say go Express 48/96. This would be the best choice, mainly because in my experience community theaters are poor, and because it is exactly what you need. You simply push a button and the rest of the channels are available on the faders, if I remember correctly. Plus, unlike other brands, I was told ETC boards runs on Linux and therefore rarely crash! And to top it all off, you can download the offline editor from the downloads section and work on cues etc. at home!
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
You are right about the ETC boards never crashing. My high school had an Expression III and it was very dependable. The Status seems very 'touchy' and sometimes needs the disk to be re-read. Also, I like the fact that the ETC desks use a floppy disk, as the Status (or atleast our '95 model) needs a high-price cartrige.
 

bdesmond

Active Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Location
Chicago, IL USA
Radman said:
If it is DMX then I would say go Express 48/96. This would be the best choice, mainly because in my experience community theaters are poor, and because it is exactly what you need. You simply push a button and the rest of the channels are available on the faders, if I remember correctly. Plus, unlike other brands, I was told ETC boards runs on Linux and therefore rarely crash! And to top it all off, you can download the offline editor from the downloads section and work on cues etc. at home! And I swear I don't work for them! Kinda like that guy on the Wendy's commercials! Except not as bad. :)
I've had no problems with stability on Strand's boards, just because it runs Linux doesn't mean it's bulletproof. Strand also has an offline editor, as do other manufacturers...
 

ETCalltheway

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
ETC

I have NEVER been dissatisfied with ANY ETC console. ETC's software has the best crash record in the industry. Their boards bring the artistry back into lighting instead of tehnicalities.
 

Radman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Location
Franklin, TN
The only problem I've ever had is forgetting to save the show before I turn it off! Arghhhhh! :x Floppy drive is nice because you can download software upgrades free off the internet onto a floppy and stick it in the board to update. Only thing is if you have or want intels, you need the 72/144, cause the 48/96 has max 192 channels!
 

SuperCow

Active Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
A Linux-based machine is substantially more stable than anything else (with the notable exception of Mac OS X, which is based on a UNIX core, which, aside from making it solid as a rock, gives it a CLI which is a gift from the gods, but I won't go on with that rant). Regardless, statistically, 90% of Linux machines have never had a virus.
 

propmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Location
Milwaukee, WI
that because no one writes viruses for linux
 

bdesmond

Active Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Location
Chicago, IL USA
SuperCow said:
A Linux-based machine is substantially more stable than anything else (with the notable exception of Mac OS X, which is based on a UNIX core, which, aside from making it solid as a rock, gives it a CLI which is a gift from the gods, but I won't go on with that rant). Regardless, statistically, 90% of Linux machines have never had a virus.
Not in the mood to have this silly linux windows argument, but, I can vouch that I have had servers running Windows 2000 which have been on for years without a reboot, the same deal for NT4 back in the day. If the boxes are on a secure network which you don't need to patch the second tuesday of every month, you'd be surprised what you can do on the uptime meter.