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Upgrades

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Steve Barter, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Steve Barter

    Steve Barter New Member

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    Location:
    Turner, ME
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm pretty new to the Lighting world so I am really trying to wrap my brain around the DMX system and the current set up in my auditorium. We are looking to make some upgrades at a fairly slow pace and I am looking for some guidance and assistance.

    Current setup: (pretty outdated) DMX 512 system installed. Pretty old, I want to say 1996? Manual Light board in the control room - ETC Minstril Lite (back of the auditorium) with fixed wires running to a small room off the back of the stage that houses the Dimmers ETC MX I think. We have a good selection of Lights all with twist lock connectors.

    Intent: I would like to start to incorporate some LED fixtures and run the system from a computer. So my question is 1. Can I use a DMX splitter in the booth to continue to run the current lights and run a new DMX cable out of the splitter to the stage to chain in some new LED fixtures? I was hoping I would have some DMX out ports on the stage but it doesn't look like I do, but I do have conduit run that I can use to get to a panel on the stage. And 2. Can I use a DMX to USB controller to run both the current Dimmer system and add in new LED fixtures.

    Or... am I way off here???
     
  2. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Lighting/Sound/Video installation/repair
    Location:
    Lawton, OK
    Welcome Steve. First off, something installed in 1996 is not "pretty old" in the lighting world, in my opinion. Of course I am pretty old though.
    Second, you probably have an EDI (Electronics Diversified Inc) not ETC, Minstrel Lite console and EDI MX dimmer rack.

    To answer your questions, I would put a DMX splitter in the dimmer room where it is a shorter run to the stage but if you already have spare conduit from the control booth to stage that would make a difference and might prove to be easier. Either way. Yes you can certainly use a DMX to USB controller to run everything but I would encourage you to download trial versions of the many software packages available and decide which one makes the most sense to you. They are certainly not all created equal.
     
  3. Steve Barter

    Steve Barter New Member

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    Yes, sorry... it is EDI not ETC. I was looking at stuff earlier and had ETC on the brain. Thanks, and I'm glad I am on the right track.
     
  4. Matthew Davis

    Matthew Davis New Member

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    Location:
    Brevard, Florida
    I am in a similar boat with pursuing some upgrades. My equipment is a little older from the 70's. Many aspects of technology from years ago still legit today. If you are on a budget don't be afraid to work with a bit of the "older" stuff lol. Break a leg!
     
  5. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Theatre Consultant
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    I'm of the opinion if it uses a floppy disk, replace it. A 40-50 year old stage lighting system probably should be replaced, everything but perhaps some conduit. I don't think we do ourselves, our students or co-workers depending on the setting, nor the industry any good by being a hero and not working hard for good and modern systems. You can probably be sure other disciplines and departments don't.
     

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