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Vintage DMX Colortran conversion to analog dimmers

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Bcoole, Jan 13, 2018 at 8:31 AM.

  1. Bcoole

    Bcoole New Member

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    Hello everyone. My name is Brian and I'm a technical director at a high school with an older than dinosaurs spaghetti patch lighting system. We recently picked up a Colortran Compact Elite digital board with remotes and we have analog dimmers. What kind of converter would I need for this system as I believe it may have been left behind after we bought the board at this shutdown sale of a small theater. Any help is appreciated!!!
     
  2. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Call Doug Fleenor Designs. I'm pretty sure they have what you need. You'll need to know what the dimmers are that you patch to - make and model -and how many.
     
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  3. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @Bcoole In addition to DFD, Doug Fleenor Designs, there is also Shaun Johnson at Johnson Systems in Calgary, Alberta, not to be confused with Johnson Controls, a totally different company.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
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  4. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

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    Not nearly enough information to give you a good answer. Can you take a picture of the board and the connectors on the rear panel? Also pictures of the dimmers and any connectors that might be visible or the jack the old control console plugs into to try to figure out what the analog dimmer control voltage is.. Are you sure the Colortran is DMX? I've never heard of the Colortran Compact Elite so would be interested in seeing it.
     
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  5. Amiers

    Amiers Lighting Phoenix 1 Lamp at a Time

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  6. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

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    The Compact Elite looks like part of Colortran's Prestige series.
     
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  7. Bcoole

    Bcoole New Member

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    Thanx people.. I will look into the two companies mentioned.. we are also considering other options.
    Amiers...I so get the joke.. when I started researching this thing.. it kept coming up as vintage..I say FOOOEY.
    but i gotta try for the kids...LOL
     
  8. Bcoole

    Bcoole New Member

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    IMG-1086(1).JPG IMG-1081.JPG IMG-1084.JPG
     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Well they certainly re-used the tooling from the Prestige3000 face panel.

    @Bcoole , be thankful it's not one of these:
    [​IMG]

    Now, post a picture of the dimmer rack, and we'll get you sorted. The challenge is always the analog output connectors, as virtually no installed system uses the DB-25 or Centronics 36 connector(s) found on the larger DMX-analog protocol converter s. Many didn't use any connectors at all. One wire per dimmer, plus a number of neutral/grounds, ran from the analog console to the dimmer rack. But there may be barrier strips at either end to jack into.

    How many dimmers are we talking, anyway? Almost certainly less than 96, so one fine option: DFD DMX96ANL.
    [​IMG]
    Pathway Connectivity and Northlight Systems are viable also.
     
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  10. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I'm going to guess that the console is fairly useless without at least one monochrome, 9-pin monitor. That may cost more than the console is worth. Then, I suggest testing the console with some known to be functional DMX dimmers before spending any more money to interface with your dimmers.
     
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  11. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

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    On Dec. 9 2015 I posted a lengthy article about a 9-pin MDA/CGA to VGA converter that should work on this. Can't seem to find it now.
     
  12. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    UR not loking very godd.
     
  13. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it was my spelling.
     
  14. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    "UR not loking very godd."

    Or your haircut.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018 at 5:42 PM
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  15. Gobokat

    Gobokat Member

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    The other point on this board to keep an eye on - assuming you can get an RGB (EGA/CGA) monitor that works, and you'll need that, from what I remember this series of boards when reset default to CMX as the output as DMX is an optional choice so if everything else fires up be sure to verify that you are actually outputting DMX on those ports.
     

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