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Author Topic: Moving lights on a budget  (Read 1079 times)

Jeff Lelko

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Re: Moving lights on a budget
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2018, 04:19:30 pm »

Only thing I'll add is, I am currently sending out one of my Trio's (a Chauvet DJ product) out for warranty.

Interesting.  Did you pop it open?  I donít blame you for wanting to take advantage of warranty though. 
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Lance Hallmark

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Re: Moving lights on a budget
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2018, 01:07:25 pm »

I'll also pop in with a recommendation for Chauvet. I have several Intimidator 250 LEDs that work well in small to medium size rooms. Was down at Chauvet for a Chamsys class a few months ago, they do some pretty extensive testing of their current products, even have a rain & heat room. Did not see a lot of repairs on the shelves, looked like they took care of warranty issues quickly.
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David Allred

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Re: Moving lights on a budget
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2018, 04:10:17 pm »

We are down to 1 mover, which I originally obtained about 5 years ago, the other two probably aren't worth the trouble of fixing as they are cheap generic Chinese lights. Looking for something 60-90w LED in the $300 apiece range, open to buying used. Need 3 of them. Gobos, prisms, some built in FX like pan and tilt reverse would be nice. Any advice or suggestions?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2Pcs-60W-3-Facet-Prism-LED-Spot-Moving-Head-Light-DMX-DJ-Stage-Gobo-Lighting/173412683530?epid=2292528012&hash=item2860338f0a:g:xaEAAOSwA3dYMDSs
These are probably close to what you have now.  A little cheaper though.  Some are offered at a higher price.

I am not vouching, in any way.  I have also seen many comments that many of the Chinese copies have noisy fans.  Like +10db noisier, at least, in the mid 70's.

I am considering some cheap Chinese movers without prisms for very light, non-critical and infrequent use.  I like the prism effect, not at double the cost.
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Len Zenith Jr

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Re: Moving lights on a budget
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2018, 06:51:00 pm »

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2Pcs-60W-3-Facet-Prism-LED-Spot-Moving-Head-Light-DMX-DJ-Stage-Gobo-Lighting/173412683530?epid=2292528012&hash=item2860338f0a:g:xaEAAOSwA3dYMDSs
These are probably close to what you have now.  A little cheaper though.  Some are offered at a higher price.

I am not vouching, in any way. 

I'll vouch for them as I have 4 of them. Stay away! While on the surface they are fantastic units ... until they start bugging out on you. The problem for my units is the wire loom from the head to the base (probably 30-40 wires). They use crap copper that will crack from repeated flexing from the movements. It is a royal pain to disassemble and measure every wire with a dmm to find the break and an even bigger pain to disassemble the whole unit to reroute and solder in a new wire. It came to the point where I would reroute 8 wires at a time so I would have 7 spares for the next time one cracks, usually in about a week or 2.

Unless they started using a better annealed copper with finer strands, they just aren't worth the headache.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Moving lights on a budget
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2018, 07:08:22 pm »

A lot of this comes down to the fact that moving lights are essentially a robot with an oven in the middle of them.  Moving lights mean moving parts, and some are just built better than others.  No matter how you slice it, no-name Chinese lights are a gamble.  Some hold up quite well, others don't...and this can even vary between production runs from the same supplier.  Name brand lights aren't immune to this either, with the exception that you have a warranty and replacement parts available. 

I've had just as many issues with moving lights from Martin and High End as I have from ADJ and Chauvet.  Right now I'm dealing with a few Elation units that need attention.  It's just the nature of the business.  Some lights can go a decade with no TLC - others can hardly make it through a single job without gears jamming and belts popping.  I have yet to numerically quantify that any one brand is truly more reliable than any other - there's just too much variation between the different units...

I do like the poorly-written unit descriptions found on ebay though..."Adopting professional 11/14 channels" and "Shaking and lighting with changing rainbow colors"

The 200w(?) flame effect is even better "Mushroom fire shape, creative a romantic atmosphere"
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duane massey

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Re: Moving lights on a budget
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2018, 03:16:24 pm »

Nothing says "romance" better than a mushroom shape, especially if it's on fire....
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Duane Massey
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Nate Zifra

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Re: Moving lights on a budget
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2018, 02:53:14 pm »

For those following along at home, I received my Trio back from FL warranty center, good as new.  In all, it cost me the initial $40 to ship it down. Quick tests show it's good as new. Unfortunately they didn't give and documentation to say what was wrong with it, and clicking on the ticket number link they emailed me only shows transfers to various individuals who handled it along the way.

For Jeff - I did take it apart before sending in, but there was nothing obvious to my novice eyes as to what was causing the issue.  Nothing looked bent, all cables seated, etc. I think it was a motor issue, as it seemed to be up against some resistance so it could only move so far...
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David Allred

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Re: Moving lights on a budget
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2018, 04:28:04 pm »

I opted out of getting any movers.  Fan noise would be an issue since they would be pretty close to the audience in a lecture environment.  If only DMX could power them down......
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Moving lights on a budget
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2018, 05:04:58 pm »

I opted out of getting any movers.  Fan noise would be an issue since they would be pretty close to the audience in a lecture environment.  If only DMX could power them down......
You wouldn't want that unless you enjoy bulbs/diodes melting sensitive internal parts vital to the fixture's operation.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Moving lights on a budget
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2018, 05:35:35 pm »

For Jeff - I did take it apart before sending in, but there was nothing obvious to my novice eyes as to what was causing the issue.  Nothing looked bent, all cables seated, etc. I think it was a motor issue, as it seemed to be up against some resistance so it could only move so far...

Yeah, it can be hard to tell sometimes.  I've had similar issues caused by things as simple as a loose or cracked pulley.  Motors die too, but I'd hope not with as little use your fixtures have gotten so far!  Either way, glad to hear it's all fixed and back in service!

You wouldn't want that unless you enjoy bulbs/diodes melting sensitive internal parts vital to the fixture's operation.

There are actually quite a number of fanless, silent, and near-silent moving lights on the market.  While certainly not as common nor inexpensive as the DJ/bar/band/club moving lights they're definitely out there.  Many fixtures can also be commanded into a silent "standby" state where they're essentially dormant but retain their calibration so that they can snap back into action at a moment's notice.
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