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Strand MX + Scrollers

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by DHSLXOP, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

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    Hi Everyone...I'm new here but have been reading for a while.
    (I hope I'm using the right terminology here...if I'm not let me know...thanks in advance)
    At my theater, we have a Strand MX 24 control board with a 5 pin DMX output controlling about 30 or so dimmers but has about 20 Strand Lekos and Fresnels actually plugged in. All of the lights are plugged in using stage pin plugs. Due to lack of enough light on the stage, we are looking for par cans (or something similar that can still create a wash) with scrollers attached to be able to create a brighter wash of the stage. Also, please note that the FOH electrical is probably less than 10 feet away from our stage (our theater is more of a multipurpose room and another company has taken the originally rounded stage has extended it out to make it more square at the front...this is in order to have more room on stage) Is it possible to run scrollers with the Strand MX 24? How would I patch in scrollers...and some par cans for the scrollers to go on without destroying the existing structure of the lights (especially since these additional lights will not be a permanent addition to the theater, but only hooked up during specific events) For now, since there is no real budget for a bigger board, I was considering taking channels 23 and 24 on the light board and making 23 be the par cans and 24 be the scrollers.What would I need to use to be able to do this though?
    Basically, I'm asking, how do I go about putting in additional par cans and scrollers into my Strand MX 24 control board?
    Another option I do have however, if I cannot patch both the par cans and the scrollers into the board is to take down some of the existing lekos and use some of them only for specials and replace the rest of the lights with scrollers and par cans. This may be easier to do, since I could just plug the par cans into the stage pin dimmers already in the theater.
    Please help me with this and thanks in advance. If I'm not making sense, please let me know, and I will try to explain more.

    Lastly--Can someone give me some advice on what type of scrollers and par cans I should get...I'm looking for maybe 6 or 8 pars and scrollers...and have a budget of about $3000
    Thanks, :)
    DHSLXOP
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2006
  2. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Yours is a case where I would look at some of the new LED pars that are getting inexpensive, have color mixing capability, don't need a dimmer and use very little power, for your budget you could get quite a few.
    If this is something that makes sense let me know
    Sharyn
     
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  3. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

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    Thank you for your quick post back. Do you happen to know names of any LED pars, where to get them, and how I would go about controlling them?
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Going with scrollers on that console is rather easy. All you need to get is the scroller itself and the power supply for the scroller. As far as patching them, what you are thinking is fine, as long as you do not want individual control of each scroller, it will be all or nothing. When you address them, address each to the same dimmer and then patch that dimmer into the channel you want to control them. You will need to get some DMX cable and some scroller cable (scroller cable is 4 pin). I would highly suggest going with apollo scrollers, and production advantage is usually running a pretty good deal on them.

    http://www.productionadvantageonline.com/scrollers.htm
     
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  5. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

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    Thanks for your post also...just a quick question...would I have to get a DMX splitter of some sort to be able to use both the new dmx line to the scrollers and the existing dmx line to the conventionals?
    Also, if I wanted to get scrollers, does anyone have any brand names and should I go with only par 64s or are par 56s ok for scrollers too?
    Thanks for everyone's help. Control Booth is a great site!
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Pars are great for scrollers, and whatever you have will work just fine. As I said before, I like Apollo scrollers because you get the best bang for your buck, but there are plenty of other great scrollers out there. Find out if your dimmers have a DMX through, if they do not, you will need some type of opto splitter, and they can get rather pricey.
     
  7. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    I have access to some that I am getting from China, they are 4 channel dmx (three pin) controlled, rgb and over all dim, they are silver do not have any gel frame (which IMO is not really needed). In comparison to the American DJ or the Chauvet they are brighter and have more even color. The same ones have been selling on ebay for 139.00 each auction ( 230037377848 )

    Leds are great for saturated colors and tend to be brightest in comparison to a standard par at these colors, in the lighter colors, pars are brighter, but the cost of scrollers, and the noise and the control and the fact that you still need a dimmer etc, IMO makes the Leds work much better especially for washed from relatively close distances, like you mentioned you were working from. So again IMO what you wind up doing is adding more LCD's to your system since you can get more colors etc, and of course the power consumption is way down. With all leds on they do create a white, which is OK but I would tend to use standard fresnels or pars for white.

    Sharyn
     
  8. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

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    Would a splitter like this in addition to some dmx pin converters (do they even make those) be what I would need to split the signal? Or would it be something else?
    Also, do you know any brands of par cans that are good?
    Lastly, are there any other options out there other than scrollers and LED pars that can fit within my budget?
     
  9. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    That is a very good highend unit.

    a lot depends on how you go, if you go with the pars, you then need to have the dimmer channels, and then you can run a dmx line to your electric and daisy chain your scrollers off, you may want to re setup things so that you hae the dimmer channel and the scroller address next in line.

    Personally I don't like scrollers, they tend to be noisy, you have to scroll to the gel you want, and you need to replace gel sets as they wear out, and also in most cases you don't have the gel in the scroller you want to match the rosco you are using etc.

    Led's have a few advantages in that you don't use dimmers you can to a certain degree match a color by storing the settings, and you can go to the color directly, and they are SILENT. Then again, for total light output, lcd;s are not anywhere near a conventional. Again really depends on how you want to use them. I would be amazed if you could do a conventional for 4 plus times the lcd cost without factoring in the dimmer channel cost. I would guess that for 6 pars with scrollers power supply, and the pars and the gels you would be working hard to meet your 3k budget and with led's you would probably get 24 led pars.

    Again it really depends on what you want to do


    Sharyn

    Sharyn
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2006
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  10. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

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    On the Led's, would I be getting a small beam or a large enough beam that if I only purchased say 5 or 6, EDIT:INSTEAD OF SAYING 5 OR 6 LETS SAY 10 and I dimmed all of my conventionals, would I get a powerful wash throughout the full stage, or only a wash downstage? (the stage is less than 20 feet deep)
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2006
  11. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    from about 10 feet the beam width is about 41 inches. The American dj units have a much wider beam at that distance about 7 feet. It is definitely NOT a spot

    Sharyn
     
  12. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

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    Oh ok..thats a lot better than what I was thinking. How would I be able to control them, and would I still be able to run with my cues from my conventionals off the strand board?
     
  13. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    You would power them from straight line voltage (not through dimmers), and you would send a DMX split to them. You would send the DMX to the first fixture and to each following fixture (each has an in and out port, out from the first to the in of the next, and so on). You would use the switches on the back of the unit to tell it what channel to start pulling DMX data on, and then patch the four channels of LED's into your board. You can set all of the LED cans to the same address, and they will all respond to the same three faders of RGB on your board. You can then program them into cues just like conventionals.
     
  14. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

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    That makes sense...but having to control 3 RGB channels will definitely be difficult on my board since I only have 24 faders on the board. Is there a way that if I were to buy another small board, (so have my Strand MX for the conventionals and another board for the LED's) I could connect them together and have one go button between the two? Or would i have to have seperate go's on each board. Does what I'm asking make sense?
     
  15. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Treat yourself and your school to an ETC Smartfade 2496. You should be able to get one for about $1500. And since your parcan order will be about $1490 with ten cans (including shipping), that'd come out just about right.

    EDIT: You can actually download an offline version of the Smartfade from ETC's website and play around with it (after reading the manual a bit). I read the manual for less than 5 minutes, and I can do just about everything now.

    ANOTHER EDIT: If you buy the smartfade, you should be able to sell your MX for about $500 on ebay.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2006
  16. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

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    Where would I be able to purchase these? Is there a webiste or something?

    Thanks for your help
     
  17. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Premier Lighting has the best deal that I can find:
    SmartFade from Premier Lighting

    Make sure to get the 24/96 model, as that will give you 48 faders, and 199 scenes, if I remember correctly.
     
  18. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    And here's the link to the smartfade OLE (Offline Editor). If you download the link that says "Virtual Smartfade v.1.7.0" (or "Virtual Smartfade - Mac" if you have a mac), you should be able to experiment with the console. Make sure to set it to Normal Mode first (rotate the wheel with your mouse until "normal mode" appears, and then hit the "menu" button), and then you can experiment with recording scenes and memories. If you want, I can PM you a simple description of how to program cues so that you can check out the virtual version.

    http://etcconnect.com/product.downloads.asp?ID=20192

    Also make sure to download the SmartFade manual from the same page (oh, and I really, really hope that you have DSL or Cable internet...that'd be a bugger...)
     
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  19. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

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    I tried this and its working well, I think this might be good for our theater. But if I needed to run either Led's or scrollers and par cans (as I've mentioned earlier) would I need a DMX splitter, and if so, do you know any brands or models?
    And also, is there a way to plug a monitor into the SmartFade in order to see the channel levels (like the one that is in the OLE)
     
  20. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    That's the only drawback of this console...it has no VGA out. Consoles with VGA start at about $2500. Does your current MX have a VGA out? I know that it was an option, but not standard with the MX series.
     

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