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Strand Support

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by icewolf08, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    So, I was talking with my local Strand dealer today and he mentioned that Strand was only going to support the 300 and 500 series consoles through 2010. I was wondering if anyone else has heard about this. In any event it certainly gives me a good argument for our business department to start budgeting money for new consoles....
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Interesting, Alex. Leads credence to a rumor I heard about a show here looking to buy parts or consoles for a 550i (I think) that's less than 5 years old.

    Are you considering/wanting a Light Palette, EOS, or something else [grandMA, grandMA, grandMA...]?
     
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I am most familiar with ETC and Strand consoles, though I am not opposed to something new. I think the grandMA would most likely be overkill for our space, but it is on the table. Of the newer consoles I have only had a chance to demo EOS, but I should be getting an LP demo in January. I would love to swing a grandMA demo too. The advantage to going the ETC route is that there is great ETC support here in Salt Lake City, given that the LDS complex is like ETC's proving ground. So we will see. I am sure that my 520 and 530 will last through 2010, so I have plenty of time to research and demo.
     
  4. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    It has smaller siblings!
    The GrandMa light might be more your speed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I am familiar with the many iterations of the grandMA, but, as I said, we are probably a couple years out from needing new consoles. I was just interested to find out if anyone else had heard of this development from Strand and what peoples thoughts on the matter were.
     
  6. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    The fact that a company stops supporting a product means very little in the information age.

    For instance, I repair musical gear on occasion and recently had a 1980's Fender amp that hasn't been supported for at least 15 years.

    I e-mailed and then called Fender to inquire about a peculiar type of potentiometer shroud that is no longer used.
    Ten minutes later I had a lead on the part and some replacement knobs.

    There are people out there who will be able to help you for years to come.
    If not directly, indirectly at least.
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Which is all good if the problem is hardware, but if the console dumps it's brain, like one of mine did last year, you could be hosed. The HD in one of my consoles died, and though I could pop in a new HD and even install the Strand OS, I couldn't operate on the network, and there were other things that didn't work right. Also, it is getting very hard to find the right version of DOS to install. That and there are many proprietary parts in these consoles, I doubt that anyone but strand makes the PCBs that the console keys sit on. Chances are, the parts for your amp's potentiometer are fairly common and not completely proprietary, much the same as it is possible to get the same stepper motors that are using in many moving lights from electronics shops.
     
  8. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Alex, great post above. Why don't you, as a service, list all the parts or software that owners of these aging consoles might want to have on hand, or start to think about obtaining? ...ala the show in Las Vegas I mentioned, and I can think of three others. (Not to hoard or anything) but, for example, is there such a thing as an "Emergency Recovery Disk" CD or floppy, one could/should have in the event of a hard drive failure? I recall about 12 years ago the MTBF of a hard drive was three years of continuous use, so I immediately bought hard drives and cloned them for most computers used for the Pirate Show; some already had in place SCSI online back-ups. Does your 520 act as a back-up to the 530 or are they in two different spaces? One these desks, is the hard drive used just for storage or must it be there for the desk to operate?
     
  9. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Actually the 530 runs backup to the 520. These consoles were some of the first in the production run. They were demo consoles before the theatre bought them, and the 520 has a higher channel count than the 530. I will work on a "restore" list.
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    True, but unlike Fender, Strand has a reputation for completely abandoning products that they no longer support. It could be far more difficult to find unused parts for Strand.
     
  11. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    The real problem is that a console is supposed to have a lifespan of about 10 - 12 years. So if you bought a 500 series console a couple years ago and they stop supporting it now, that gives you 1/4 of the consoles life span that you have gotten out of your investment. Now when you spend 3 - 6 grand on a console, not such a big deal. But the 500 series was a 20-30K console. That's a lot of cash that you just caused your customer to throw away....
     
  12. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    By 2010 my 500s will be about 10 years old if not slightly older. They lived as demo consoles before the theatre bought them in 2000, so they will have had a good life.
     
  13. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    Thats great for you. But what about the people who just bought a 500 series a couple of years ago...?
     
  14. silvrwolf

    silvrwolf Member

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    I called strand in LA last month looking for 300 series parts and they said the parts are out of production now. Any parts available are limited to whats sitting around at the strand dealers stock rooms. After the parts are gone thats it for repairing these suckers.
    Hopefully strand will realize that the ability to obtain replacement parts is import. Maybe they will start making parts again, if not I would suspect a third party might create generic parts, thats of course if there was a demand for them.
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Sadly, that has not been the way Strand has done business in the past. I have a friend with a theater full of older Strand ellipsoidals that he can't get parts for. So his inventory is slowly eating itself.
     
  16. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Not gonna happen.
    The closest you will probably get is Strand releasing architects specs.
    You could then contract a specialty electronic components fabrication shop.
    This would absolutely not be cost effective.

    Life goes on, and products just as people have to go sooner or later.
    Get a good gerontologist and it will live a good long time.
    (I know some people if you ever need a recommendation)
     
  17. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Na, its kinda like owning a VW bug or a 1986 honda accord, buy two and use one for parts.
     
  18. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    In a little defense of Strand here, the parts they are talking about are not necessarily something that was designed for them (i.e. Pentium 2 chips that the 300 series ran off of), but something that the computer industry as a whole has discontinued. It's not like they can make people make them again either. Now, did they do a good enough job in stocking parts? Probably not, but at the time it was probably a choice of A) do we make payroll or B) do we stock spare parts... Easy choice to make.

    Now that they have the deep pockets behind them, it will be interesting to see if they behave differently.
     
  19. fredthe

    fredthe Active Member

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    My understanding from Strand (when they said they would provide a Light Palette Classic instead of the 520 that was originaly bid for our theater renovation) was that they could no longer get components for the 500s, because they were not RoHM compliant. In addition, as part of the Genlyte deal, they closed and sold off the plant where the boards were made.

    Presumably they have enough parts to service the boards for a while, but they can't make more.
     
  20. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Again I just want to bring up that there's a reason for the old saying, "Don't Get Strand-ed".

    On the other hand (as has been well covered here on CB) my theater's been "Strand-ed" up the wazzu and back down again. Hopefully it won't be a horrible mistake.
     

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