Control/Dimming Vintage Strand Dimmers and Identification

ThisJustin

Member
Good Day!

I found this forum recently and after going through it I was hoping I could get some help in acquiring some pieces.

I am looking for 3 Strand Dimmers, vintage, preferably in orange, but needs to be dual. These do not have to be functional and only need them for looks. 1 would be sufficient as well as I can always replicate it. Is there a place that may carry these, or somewhere I could track them down?

I am also looking for these other images I am attaching. I am hoping to find a single bank of the dual sliders, but I cannot even identify their brand! Any help there would be amazing! Most I can tell is that they may back-light illuminate.

Thanks in advance!
 

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RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Good Day!

I found this forum recently and after going through it I was hoping I could get some help in acquiring some pieces.

I am looking for 3 Strand Dimmers, vintage, preferably in orange, but needs to be dual. These do not have to be functional and only need them for looks. 1 would be sufficient as well as I can always replicate it. Is there a place that may carry these, or somewhere I could track them down?

I am also looking for these other images I am attaching. I am hoping to find a single bank of the dual sliders, but I cannot even identify their brand! Any help there would be amazing! Most I can tell is that they may back-light illuminate.

Thanks in advance!
Good evening;
You're in BC. I'd begin by asking Sean Johnson at Johnson Systems in Alberta (Not to be confused with Johnson Controls). Sean and company build all manner of Strand compatible replacement panels and modules better than Strand originals.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

ThisJustin

Member
I wanted to thank you Ron for the help! I ended up going down quite a journey and I am getting some of these as I needed. Thank you!

I am still looking for the bank of 3 dimmers there if anyone can help me identify them! Thank you!
 

brucek

Active Member
Would those be Ward Leonard dimmers?
Have you tried opening the panel up to see if there are any labels inside?
 

ThisJustin

Member
Unfortunately that is the ONLY images I have of them, I am trying to see if they will trade/rent them to an individual as they are a film rental company that is not interested in selling the one bank I require.

I looked on google for Ward Leonard dimmers, but I did not see any like this. Only the bigger kind.

Was there many competitors for the Strand dual lever dimmers back in the day?
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Unfortunately that is the ONLY images I have of them, I am trying to see if they will trade/rent them to an individual as they are a film rental company that is not interested in selling the one bank I require.

I looked on google for Ward Leonard dimmers, but I did not see any like this. Only the bigger kind.

Was there many competitors for the Strand dual lever dimmers back in the day?
Clarification: You're showing and speaking of channel control sliders and multiples / colors thereof.
Your dimmers will be in a separate free standing or wall hung rack (and they maybe singles, duals, &/or quad dimmer modules to further confuse things).
Ron Hebbard
 

ThisJustin

Member
Hi Ron, definitely not trying to confuse anything :) I am a complete novice here on identifying this equipment. The bank of 3 dual lever controllers is what I am looking for currently. I am not sure WHAT they controlled, but I would like to identify them and find out :)
 

SteveB

Well-Known Member
The pictures you provided show part of the control desk. Likely a multi-scene analog control unit. The controlled the actual dimmers, which are probably tucked away in a closet/room somewhere. You don't state where this is, theater ?! TV Studio ?. Take more photos including one of the entire control desk. As well search around for the actual dimmers, they might have a manufacturers name on them.

Also, whats the intent, trying to resurect a non-functioning system ?, using on a movie ?, some additional information would be useful .
 

ThisJustin

Member
Hi Steve,

The first 2 pics show the control desk, and thanks to some help here I already have those, all good!

The other panel with the ruler is the one I am talking about. As I mentioned previously, the only place I can find them is from a film rental place that has them for set dressing. I do not have access to them as I am trying to ID them in order to find them for myself.

The intent is for a non-functioning display piece, as mentioned in my first post.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
The other panel with the ruler is the one I am talking about.
Looks to me like those are five (one master and four dual-chennel) modules removed from a larger system. They are meant to be bolted into a console or control desk.

If you don't have to be brand- or historically- accurate, one can sometimes find such systems on ebay. Because of their size & weight, shipping is often more than the items are worth.
 

ThisJustin

Member
Okay I got a few images of that mystery control.
No branding unfortunately, but does it ring any bells?
 

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FMEng

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
I doubt anything like that has been made since the 1960s, so that equipment has been scrapped. When I was in college, the auditorium had a Skirpan dimmer rack with similar controls, and the building dated to the 60s. My guess is that they were Strand in-house fabrications instead of off the shelf. Your fader modules would have been rather expensive components, due to the number of parts, the machined gears, and hand assembly. In the 1970s, linear potentiometers became widely used and inexpensive, for both consumer and industrial electronics. Linear pots soldered onto printed boards killed the market for something exotic like that.

If you really need something that looks like that, you might have to fabricate them yourself. Otherwise, keep watching ebay and Surplus Sales of Nebraska.
 

almorton

Well-Known Member
They may have been repurposed faders from the audio business - BBC sound desks of the 60s and places like abbey road had those quadrant faders, too, IIRC.
 
@ThisJustin - Please excuse me if I appear a bit confused, but the first two pics from your original post are obviously very different from the second two. Are you suggesting that they both come from the same desk?
The first two would appear to be from a Strand JP (Junior Preset) series desk (see attached catalogue page 69) whereas the second two pics look like they may be from a copy of a Strand LP (Luminous Preset) desk (see attached catalogue page 10) ? Both of these were made in the mid to late 60's and are now as rare as rocking horse manure.
 

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ThisJustin

Member
@ThisJustin - Please excuse me if I appear a bit confused, but the first two pics from your original post are obviously very different from the second two. Are you suggesting that they both come from the same desk?
The first two would appear to be from a Strand JP (Junior Preset) series desk (see attached catalogue page 69) whereas the second two pics look like they may be from a copy of a Strand LP (Luminous Preset) desk (see attached catalogue page 10) ? Both of these were made in the mid to late 60's and are now as rare as rocking horse manure.
Hi Richard, In my original post I have 4 pictures. In that post I mention the Strand dimmers, and 2 pictures of an unidentified bank of dimmers. I have identified and am enroute to acquiring those I need from the Strand ones. Rare, but thankfully found a desk I am able to work out getting what I need.

The second set, as mentioned, is a bit of a mystery. The only place I can find them is a UK Prop rental place that will only rent. I opted to rent it for a week to go over it and see what could be identified. Unfortunately there are no markings or designations, but I do not believe it is Strand. The number panel does allow for illumination, as does the control panel it is on.

I know it is a long shot, however, I was hoping maybe someone would recognise the device to find one to purchase or at least narrow it's identity. I have learned more about Light Dimmers than I ever thought possible!

I appreciate the posts in the thread, and I know its odd having some guy come here looking for random stuff, but can't investigate without a few attempts. Worst case, as @FMEng mentioned, I will fabricate myself. I have already 3D modelled all the parts to exacting detail as I can, so I am good, worst case.
 

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