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Author Topic: 4x Behringer Dimmers / power question?  (Read 6652 times)

Shane Presley

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4x Behringer Dimmers / power question?
« on: November 22, 2010, 09:14:43 am »

I just wanted to see if there are any other behirnger dimmer users out there that have experienced issues.  I know these things are not workhorses, but I thought I'd get better performance than this Rolling Eyes . I used my 4 x LD6020 rack this past sat - it was a Dog show, 4 bars of 6 par 64 1000watt bulbs (one bar , one dimmer). They were solid on about 2 hours on 50% - then they started going crazy.  I had to bump the fader to about 60%, but the lights shot to 100% on.  They would also slightly flicker.  I was sending them camlock power through a pass through on an ETC sensor rack. 75 feet of #2 cable, 3 phase. The ETC was behaving properly.  I switched the behringer dimmer to manual, and it was doing the same thing, so that ruled out DMX.  The minute I turned one channel breaker on, the dimmer would buzz... they normally don't buzz... I shut the whole rack down since they were "sorta done" with that ring...

The 3 phase 100 amp main in the distro panel in the bottom of the dimmer rack was warmish, but the dimmer breakers themselves (3phase 30's) were not.  Any thoughts on what the problem might be.

Alan Hamilton

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Re: 4x Behringer Dimmers / power question?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 09:08:49 pm »

Lack of airflow in the rack causing the dimmers to overheat maybe? Voltage starved for some reason? Both?

The fact that all 4 dimmers were doing it tends to make me believe there was some external trigger of some sort, not a dimmer failure. I don't see 4 dimmers all experiencing the same failure mode at the same time.

There are some internal fuses in those dimmers... I had one once where they were factory installed in the wrong slots which allowed the dimmer to power on but appear brain dead with a scrambled readout. I'm not sure what would happen if you had a situation that would pop just one/two of those fuses. ...or what would cause them to blow.

If the dimmers didn't self correct on some known good power and cabling I'd open and check those internal fuses if I was you.
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Duane Massey

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Re: 4x Behringer Dimmers / power question?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2010, 09:15:08 pm »

Well, let's see...it says "Behringer" on it, and you were running it at full maximum power....I'm shocked that you had a problem Rolling Eyes

Actually Elation, ADJ, even NSI would not be on my list of dimmer packs to max out, but I would (and do) use them on less demanding applications, normally running them at 60% of the maximum rated load.
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Duane Massey
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Shane Presley

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Re: 4x Behringer Dimmers / power question?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2010, 08:15:37 am »

Shane Presley wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 09:14

 They were solid on about 2 hours on 50% - then they started going crazy.  


Hi Duane - what I meant by solid on - was that they were on constantly at 50% for 2 hours, until they started acting crazy....so I wasn't tasking the dimmer or maxing out...

these dimmers have been fine for the task I normally put them to ( rock n roll dimming)... and I agree they are not sensor rack, or other quality dimmer, but I was hoping they would be up to the task.

The culprit in question...(the top four are powered by the motion labs distro with 3phase twist lock 30's).. the top one is not powered, becuase I didn't need it...

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Duane Massey

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Re: 4x Behringer Dimmers / power question?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2010, 10:06:18 am »

Shane, I am certainly not a gear snob, and I own and use gear from everyone from Behringer to High End. I've just not had had very good luck with the lower$$ dimmers unless I loaded them fairly conservatively IF I needed to leave them constantly on, even at 50-60% brightness. For intermittent use I would be less concerned unless you were constantly flashing 1k per channel. Even then it might work perfectly for you, but I tend to be very conservative about power in both lighting and sound.
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Silas Pradetto

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Re: 4x Behringer Dimmers / power question?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 10:37:38 am »

Shane, how are you wiring these?

I used to own some and could somewhat create the situation you describe. Inside the pack, there are 6 power connections, one for each channel. The channel dimming control circuitry is arranged in pairs, however. So the dimming control on channel 1 works for channels 1 and 2. It turns out, those pairs of channels have to be on the same phase to work properly.

I originally tried to wire mine for single phase operation with channels 1-3 on one leg and channels 4-6 on another. All I got was a flickering, misbehaving mess on the middle channels. After I divided the channels into groups of channels 1-2 and 3-6 things worked properly. I just ended up wiring each pack opposite--switching legs back and forth so the load stayed even.

If you're wiring them normal 3-phase, with channels 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6 grouped as such, then you should be fine, and I have no idea what's wrong.

Edit: maybe something in the control circuitry overheated?
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Shane Presley

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Re: 4x Behringer Dimmers / power question?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2010, 02:18:48 pm »

Hey silas - yeah they are set for three phase, and I'm pretty sure I would have gone with the following scheme.  First lug red, next lug black, next lug blue...

I'm pretty anal about having everything match, so every dimmer would of been wired the same way.  The other thing, is I was demanding the same amount of output on every channel, at the same time (entire bar of 6 on at once).

I was using channels 1 - 23 for the ETC dimmer I had, and 4 x behringer dimmer set to CH24 only, so all channels would fire when using ch 24 on the console... This should negate the un-even loading theory would it not ?

I'm baffled too, and I don't get to use it alot, becuase I don't see three phase power alot here.  
Oh well all this might be mute in about 6 months when LED technology catches up and makes a decent Amber/white 3 watt par, and I can leave this crap at the shop...  Very Happy


Silas Pradetto

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Re: 4x Behringer Dimmers / power question?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2010, 02:35:46 pm »

Shane Presley wrote on Tue, 30 November 2010 14:18

Hey silas - yeah they are set for three phase, and I'm pretty sure I would have gone with the following scheme.  First lug red, next lug black, next lug blue...

I'm pretty anal about having everything match, so every dimmer would of been wired the same way.  The other thing, is I was demanding the same amount of output on every channel, at the same time (entire bar of 6 on at once).

I was using channels 1 - 23 for the ETC dimmer I had, and 4 x behringer dimmer set to CH24 only, so all channels would fire when using ch 24 on the console... This should negate the un-even loading theory would it not ?

I'm baffled too, and I don't get to use it alot, becuase I don't see three phase power alot here.  
Oh well all this might be mute in about 6 months when LED technology catches up and makes a decent Amber/white 3 watt par, and I can leave this crap at the shop...  Very Happy





No. What I was experiencing was flicker when the control circuitry was powered from a separate phase than the actual dimmer circuitry. DMX/manual control wouldn't matter. Exactly the same thing as you, I could manually put everything on 100% on the pack and it would sit there flickering away.

Given that the control circuitry in those packs seems kind of sensitive, I'm leaning toward the overheating side of things. It's not like Behringer would ever overbuild anything...

Just make sure you keep those channel pairs together. IIRC, there are jumpers in there that easily fall out and disappear, etc.
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Shane Presley

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Re: 4x Behringer Dimmers / power question?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2010, 03:49:16 pm »

I tend to believe that it was from over-heating ( even though the packs fan output was cool. The filter exhhaust areas were dusty but not chocked. I'm going to give them a cleaning, and going over when I get the chance...  Thanks for everyone inputs to date - I know behringer product is often in question, I thought that I a had a decent product from them that would work.. I'm going to re-evaluate their use... Any got a used 24 ch ETC for sale ?

Alan Hamilton

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Re: 4x Behringer Dimmers / power question?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2010, 05:27:46 pm »

I wonder if tight-packing them in the rack contributed to an overheating issue? Also, what is the back of the rack like (filled with rack panels or ventilated in some way)?

The one thing that pulls me away from blaming the dimmers is that (as I read it) all 4 started acting up at once. Even with overheating I'd expect them to not react similarly at the same moment. It wouldn't surprise me to see them all have the same failure mode when overheated, but I wouldn't expect them all to have that happen at once.

I know it's always easy to blame "Behringer" or "Nady" or "ADJ" or whatever just because of reputation but sometimes that's just sloppy troubleshooting.

I'd still be looking for an external trigger.

Is 2ga 75' cable and 100A 3P enough for 24,000W? ...Especially if it's a constant load? Would you potentially be overloading the neutral?

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