ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: How do I make the most of some really old gear  (Read 4002 times)

Arjan van Gog

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14
How do I make the most of some really old gear
« on: May 19, 2011, 06:47:47 pm »

Hi,

I recently found out that one of my bandmates has access to some rather old lighting gear. Let's start with the list:

  • 1x Leprecon LM-850 desk
  • 3x Martin DMX->Martin Link converter
  • 4x Martin Roboscan M805
  • 8x Martin RoboColor (original version I think)
  • 1x Martin RoboZap
  • 2x Martin Rainbow 2

Everything is in very good condition and 100% functional, has been used only occassionally (probably less than 10 times) and has always been stored in proper flightcases inside a home.

The question is what to do with this: try to sell some or all of it and get ourselves some LED based scanners and PARs or use it as is. How much might something this be worth if sold as a package or in parts? We're located in Europe btw.

With regard to the question of sell and buy new or use what we have I do have some specific questions regarding this gear:

  • I could find no way to dim the RoboScan using the faders on the LM-850. Can the Roboscans indeed not be dimmed or could this be related to how the desk was programmed by the previous user? All other things like shutter/gobo/color/x/y worked as expected
  • Likewise I could find no fader that would dim the RoboColor fixtures. Not possible?
  • I found the scan movement to be rather jerky when moving the fader manually. Is this a characteristic of the RoboScan, the LM-850 or does it have to do with the DMX->MartinLink conversion?
  • The RoboColor units were housed in a specially made flightcase with all of them pre-wired (daisy chained I suppose). I could control their colors individually but not the shutter. Could the fader that controls the shutter (or lamp on/off) have been programmed to transmit on 4 DMX channels at the same time on this particular desk?

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.

Arjan
« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 09:50:29 am by Arjan van Gog »
Logged

Len Woelfel

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11
    • Chicago Lighting Design
Re: How do I make the most of some really old gear
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 08:20:23 am »

A lot of older Martin products were designed for the dj/club market.  They didn't dim at all.  I don't remember anything about those, so I'm guessing there's no dimmer channel on either the 805 or the Robocolors. 
As for the jerkiness, it's also likely inherent in the fixture.  Some products only had 8-bit movement. 

IIRC, because these use that old Martin protocol, and you need those converter boxes, they can be run with dmx, but incorporating them into a rig with other more current products would be a big challenge.  Cable runs will be tedious, they may cause data interruptions with other lights, and they may not even be as bright as something newer. 

If I were you, I'd just set them all to standalone or whatever and use them during your rehearsals and home parties since they're in good shape.  But taking them out on the street in a working environment might be more trouble than they're worth.
Logged

Tim Weaver

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2325
  • College Station, Texas
    • Daniela Weaver Photography
Re: How do I make the most of some really old gear
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 11:49:46 am »

The Robocolors don't dim. They have a position on the color wheel that is an "off" position and thats all you get. That said, they can be useful lights. Especially for a rock band. Look at youtube to get some programming tips, or just use them for front lighting and let them serve as color washes.

I'm sure the wiggle lights are similar non-dimming fixtures, but I've never used them so IDK.
Logged
Bullwinkle: This is the amplifier, which amplifies the sound. This is the Preamplifier which, of course, amplifies the pree's.

Arjan van Gog

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14
Re: How do I make the most of some really old gear
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 09:40:40 am »

A lot of older Martin products were designed for the dj/club market.  They didn't dim at all.  I don't remember anything about those, so I'm guessing there's no dimmer channel on either the 805 or the Robocolors.

Seems you guys are correct (as to be expected). I couldn't find this information in the manual that I downloaded from the Martin website before I posted my question but I just noticed the 'DMX protocol' document for these products which confirms that they only have lamp on/off, no dimming :(.[/quote]

As for the jerkiness, it's also likely inherent in the fixture.  Some products only had 8-bit movement.

They are 8 bit but I'm wondering if perhaps the desk had something to do with it as well. When moving the fader manually it was especially jerky and I imagine that with desks like these there's a certain movement threshold that must be exceeded before the desk is going to send a DMX value change to prevent hopping back and forth between two adjacent values. So perhaps I was seeing 7 bit movement instead of 8? With programmed sweeps the movement was fluid but they were fairly rapid sweeps so that would have helped them a lot. I'd love to be able to do some fairly slow sweeps.

they may cause data interruptions with other lights

I can deal with the cable runs but data interruptions would be scary. Any particular reason why you think these converter boxes might interfere? They are Martin Link IN, DMX OUT and I'm not sure why such a box would disrupt the DMX signal flow unless they were very poorly designed.

Quote
and they may not even be as bright as something newer.

If budget allowed I would either rent something newer or buy some LED scanners but I don't think that is going to happen, although renting may be an option. I can get 8 RoboScan 812 units for EUR 100 per day from a local renting company. Only trouble is these are still pretty old and still 8 bit but at least they are true DMX and we'll have 8 of them instead of just 4.


Quote from: Tim Weaver
That said, they can be useful lights. Especially for a rock band.

That's encouraging. I did get the impression that they have a fairly narrow beam so I suppose I might want to augment this set with one or two wash lights.
Logged

duane massey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1529
Re: How do I make the most of some really old gear
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 09:17:38 pm »

If the RoboColors are the fixtures that have a "control" or interface box, then they are designed to work together as a four-channel unit. I've worked with these in the past, and they are kinda funky. The Scans are not very smooth units, and I doubt the controller is the culprit.
Keep your expectations reasonable, and use most of the mentioned fixtures for rear effect lighting (with lots of smoke) and they can be quite effective IF you don't have a bunch of 1k pars.
Logged
Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Arjan van Gog

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14
Re: How do I make the most of some really old gear
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 07:22:44 am »

If the RoboColors are the fixtures that have a "control" or interface box

I can't actually see that they do but I'm sure you are right. I thought the flight-case the four of them are housed in was made here locally and that the Martin sticker that's on it had been slapped on by the casebuilder. Upon closer inspection it turns out that this most likely is indeed all Martin-made as is, including the case. The type label ' RoboColor, 4heads' and the fact that there is 1 dipswitch for setting the MartinLink address are both dead giveaways  ::).

Thanks for clearing this up.
Logged

Arjan van Gog

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14
Re: How do I make the most of some really old gear
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 03:29:04 am »

As for the jerkiness, it's also likely inherent in the fixture.  Some products only had 8-bit movement.

I found out why the mirror movement is so horribly choppy: these scanners only respond to a new DMX pan or tilt value if it is at least 5 levels higher (or lower) than the previous value. So effectively these are something like 5.5 bit scanners, not 8 bit. They do respond to all intermediate values but only if you jump to them from at least 5 levels away. Don't know if this has anything to do with the Martin protocol -> DMX conversion but I suspect not.

I tried all sorts of things to try and get them to break out of this hysteresis loop but to no avail. There is simply no way to get these things to move smoothly except if you let them move at full speed by jumping to a much higher or lower DMX value.
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: How do I make the most of some really old gear
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 03:29:04 am »


Pages: [1]   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.071 seconds with 23 queries.