# Strand CD80 Rack

#### Repeater

##### Member
Hi all, I am deciding on whether to upgrade, or keep a CD80 rack in service for say, another 5 years. It seems to work OK, although I've not checked all of the channels, so it may or may not have a few bad ones. It was installed in 1999. I'm not too familiar with this brand and dimmer rack, so opinions on typical longevity, parts availability, and / or typical problems would be welcome.

Laryn

#### JCBigler

Shaun Johnson's 3000 series; about $6,000.00 including installation in about an hour. Pretty much unbeatable for cost and amount of downtime. Toodleoo! Ron Hebbard #### coldnorth57 ##### Active Member If it works don't mess with it, the CD 80 Rack is bullet proof (the dimmers) the control system is a bit of a problem but as others have siad the Johnson Sytsem upgrade is simple #### BillConnerFASTC ##### Well-Known Member Even if you have to replace the card cage, much less waste and cost than replacing. After all, your only keeping a bunch of very conservatively rated SSR packs - like 50 amps for a 20 amp circuit - a bunch of premium circuit breakers - and a lot of copper and steel and maybe some brass. Unless you really need the AF, there is little to be gained by changing them out (other than commissions and profits for a few), and lots of spare parts out there. Where in western Michigan are you - I'm working on a project near Grand Haven - could stop by. #### RonHebbard ##### Well-Known Member Premium Member Even if you have to replace the card cage, much less waste and cost than replacing. After all, your only keeping a bunch of very conservatively rated SSR packs - like 50 amps for a 20 amp circuit - a bunch of premium circuit breakers - and a lot of copper and steel and maybe some brass. Unless you really need the AF, there is little to be gained by changing them out (other than commissions and profits for a few), and lots of spare parts out there. Where in western Michigan are you - I'm working on a project near Grand Haven - could stop by. Mr. Conner Sir! "Unless you really need the AF" What's an "AF"? BTW; this http://www.michiganbroadcasttowers.com/amateur/nrx.htm will take you to where Laryn spends his time building and maintaining the Holland Amateur Radio Club's 2 meter repeater site. Toodleoo! Ron #### BillConnerFASTC ##### Well-Known Member Advanced Features - that's the ETC name - honestly can't tell you who if anyone has same - but primarily a current transducer (check that bit basically a winding around a conductor) that reports back via the data line some imformation such as load. You could do a lamp check at the console for instance. I always thought they should come up with software that it would email you if a lamp was blown or unplugged. (Maybe it does now.) While very cool, I could never justify the$50 or so per dimmer (\$100 per dual module) as the greatest need.

I'd love to hear of people!e that have and utilize this feature productively.

#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
It doesn't pop you an email, but AF did pop a message on the console screen that you blew a lamp on address XX.

Agree that it was just a bit pricy for what it offered. I can't recall though if you had to run the circuit to 100% before it knew, or if it sensed the load while off.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

#### BillConnerFASTC

##### Well-Known Member
The first time I heard about it was strand product, perhaps just a prototype, but I seem to recall you had to tell it what the connected lad should be, but telling it went along with integrating the schedule (and plot, magic sheet, and other LD paperwork) into the console.

#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
The first time I heard about it was strand product, perhaps just a prototype, but I seem to recall you had to tell it what the connected lad should be, but telling it went along with integrating the schedule (and plot, magic sheet, and other LD paperwork) into the console.
With ETC AF I recall you ran a "snapshot", telling the racks to measure the load. I have no clue if the dimmers had to be at full. It was part of the ETC Link system way back with Express and Expression, which had the link multi-pin XLR connector on the back of the console connecting to the dimmers.

#### JD

##### Well-Known Member
As LED technology marches on, you are going to find yourself putting in more and more non-dim circuits so my own feeling is stick with what you have. It makes sense to do the controller upgrade (Johnson) as this is the only weak area. That will be pocket change compared to changing out the racks. Hard to say where we will be in 5 years with LEDs, but it would be embarrassing to have a shiny new budget-buster dimmer system and only have a few conventionals still in use

#### Beans45601

##### Active Member
It's been said, but the CD80 racks are beasts, no need to do any upgrades, use that money in other places

#### RickR

##### Well-Known Member
LEDs are often a reason to upgrade. Non-dims, relayed or uncontrolled, and dimming LED house lights via reverse phase are common requests in our office.

Some CD80 systems can use a relatively new relay module but many can't.

#### derekleffew

##### Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Hi all, I am deciding on whether to upgrade, or keep a CD80 rack in service for say, another 5 years. ...
A no-brainer. Keep the CD80SV rack.

It seems to work OK, although I've not checked all of the channels, so it may or may not have a few bad ones. ...
If any of the dimmer channels are bad, replacing the SSR is easy and inexpensive. http://www.controlbooth.com/threads/three-dimmers-wont-turn-off.6987/

... It was installed in 1999.
A dimmer rack should easily last twenty years, and there are many on this board who have installations much, much older.

... I'm not too familiar with this brand and dimmer rack, ...
It's arguable (anyone have firm data?) as to whether the CD80 or ETC's Sensor is the most popular dimmer ever made (for North America), but together I'd guess they comprise up to 75% of the market.

... so opinions on typical longevity, parts availability, and / or typical problems would be welcome.
As said above, a processor/control card/CEM upgrade may be tenable at some point, but the modules themselves are bullet-proof. One helpful site: www.savemycd80.com . No doubt you've gots lots better things on which to spend your limited budget.

#### BillConnerFASTC

##### Well-Known Member
I would guess Strand's market share in 1980's was around 75%, about what ETC's became in mid to late 1990's and is still at - but those are guesses. Strand beat out Kleigl and survived Colortran; ETC took over from Strand. I only wonder what it might take to take top spot from ETC someday.