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Author Topic: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack  (Read 1422 times)

Daniel Levi

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Re: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2019, 02:03:02 pm »

Yes at school we had a small two scene strand desk and associated dimmers that got replaced with a small Zero88 desk when we got arts college status. But we had the smaller rack mount dimmers with 2 BS546 sockets per channel (looking online an ACT6 looks right), the local prison officers club also had a very small strand system with just one or two dimmer units and a single preset dimmer on a long cable.

More interesting, though, is that our local theatre (Weymouth Pavilion) has on display it's original/old strand vertical lighting controller, a Strand PR.
www.theatrecrafts.com/pages/home/venues/uk-weymouth-pavilion-theatre/
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2019, 04:07:17 pm »

Yes at school we had a small two scene strand desk and associated dimmers that got replaced with a small Zero88 desk when we got arts college status. But we had the smaller rack mount dimmers with 2 BS546 sockets per channel (looking online an ACT6 looks right), the local prison officers club also had a very small strand system with just one or two dimmer units and a single preset dimmer on a long cable.

More interesting, though, is that our local theatre (Weymouth Pavilion) has on display it's original/old strand vertical lighting controller, a Strand PR.
www.theatrecrafts.com/pages/home/venues/uk-weymouth-pavilion-theatre/

That's very cool.  I love vintage lighting gear (to look at it not to move it or use it anymore!)

The middle school I went to (would have been about 1976) also had a high school and a nice auditorium.  I use to tag along with the techs and I remember the system but can't remember the vendor.

The dimmer cabinet was blue, either a 6' or a 7' cabinet.  It had long sliders and you pulled a clip up and slid it to which board channel you wanted the dimmer assigned.  The board was also blue, and a two scene preset, the dimmers had little bakelite handles on them. 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
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Daniel Levi

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Re: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2019, 04:45:05 pm »

That's very cool.  I love vintage lighting gear (to look at it not to move it or use it anymore!)



One thing I will say is that there is no "Do Not Touch" sign so touch it I have  ;D
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John Fruits

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Re: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2019, 09:06:21 am »

The dimmer cabinet was blue, either a 6' or a 7' cabinet.  It had long sliders and you pulled a clip up and slid it to which board channel you wanted the dimmer assigned.  The board was also blue, and a two scene preset, the dimmers had little bakelite handles on them.
Depending on when it was installed it was either Ariel Davis or Electro-Controls.
https://www.controlbooth.com/wiki/Ariel-Davis-Manufacturing-Company
https://www.controlbooth.com/wiki/Electro-Controls
They also made over the stage battens which had their own proprietary version of Unistrut channel and clips for hanging the lights rather than a pipe and c-clamps.
They also made a unique portable autotransformer dimmer pack.  It had 6 circuits which were controlled by linear sliders. 
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2019, 01:44:04 pm »

Depending on when it was installed it was either Ariel Davis or Electro-Controls.
https://www.controlbooth.com/wiki/Ariel-Davis-Manufacturing-Company
https://www.controlbooth.com/wiki/Electro-Controls
They also made over the stage battens which had their own proprietary version of Unistrut channel and clips for hanging the lights rather than a pipe and c-clamps.
They also made a unique portable autotransformer dimmer pack.  It had 6 circuits which were controlled by linear sliders.
Thanks John, that is much older and larger.  This was a remote dimmer controller located in the booth.  It was somewhere between 8-12 chanels and also a 2 scene IIRC

The dimmers were on stage right wing, it was a blue rack als, IIRC and it had a clip that spanned a plastic track.  These had the controller "handle" numbers on them for lack of a better word..  You would pull the plastic clip and assign the physical dimmer channel to the controller channel up in the booth.

Does that make any sense?

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Jeff Lelko

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Re: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2019, 11:06:10 pm »

That's very cool.  I love vintage lighting gear (to look at it not to move it or use it anymore!)

I hear ya!  As an aside, I actually collect and maintain quite a few vintage lighting fixtures.  They rarely go out on jobs for a number of reasons but they’re fun to play with and marvel at how far technology has come in the past few decades!
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Ron Hebbard

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Re: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2019, 01:38:08 am »

We've had a 96 x 2.4k channel CD80 dimmer at the hotel since 1990. It's been in use almost nightly until the last 3 years. Now it's once or twice a week but gets heavy use when we have dance competitions. And it's AMX so we have a converter in line as well.

I'm seriously considering the Johnson Systems upgrade for it. It swaps out all the electronics and would be DMX which would save me a failure point as the converter is at least 25 years old.

https://www.johnsonsystems.com/strand_cd_3000.htm

My thought is that the dimmer modules will probably outlast me and then some. After 30 years, they all still work. It's the electronics that concern me.

Has anyone had any experience with this retrofit? It sounds like it's just what I need.
Since only 1990; it's barely past it's break-in. 
Seriously:  Keep the dimmer modules, clean, well ventilated and don't drop any on your toes; your foot will break before a module. 
CD80 AMX 48 slot 96 x 2.4 K rack FAILURE POINTS: 
A; Fan bearings (1st they get noisy, 2nd they seize leading to rack overheating and thermostats hidden in the top of the rack shutting 'er down rather than letting 'er die in a blaze of glory.) 
B; Electronics modules within the control cage. 
Johnson Card Cage replacement is the way to go: 
Switch OFF and Lock-out ALL power to the rack. 

Un-bolt and Un-plug the entire original Card Cage, fans and all. 
Vacuum out any / all residual dust. 
Position Johnson Systems replacement Card Cage in front of rack. 
Plug your existing plugs into the rear of the new Johnson Systems Cage. 
Insert into rack, taking care not to damage any / all interconnecting cables. 
Insert and tighten bolts.
 
Switch on electricity and run worry-free for another two decades. 
Your new Johnson unit includes Mag-Lev Fans:  Bearing failure is a NON ISSUE. 
Keep 'er clean 'n keep 'er cool. 
As a previous poster already stated:  Johnson Systems builds Strand better than Strand did (and you already know how long your Strand has lasted.) 
Strand Poster Boy since 1967 when I met a British built Strand [designed for touring] 8 plate resistance board.  (Yes resistance; No, not auto-transformers) 
Toodleoo! 
Ron (I'll crawl back into my cave now.) Hebbard
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 01:42:51 am by Ron Hebbard »
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John L Nobile

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Re: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2019, 10:51:57 am »

Since only 1990; it's barely past it's break-in. 
 
Switch on electricity and run worry-free for another two decades. 
Your new Johnson unit includes Mag-Lev Fans:  Bearing failure is a NON ISSUE. 


There's 3 points that will help me sleep better at night. Thanks

I'm having a real LD do the install. The problem now is getting money. It usually takes complete failure and a group asking for a refund before management here approves of any stage gear purchases.

I've emailed my recommendations, pricing and warnings/concerns to everyone involved.
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Steven Cohen

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Re: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2019, 12:59:11 pm »

Scott,

I worked with a similar dimming system that you described in the early 80's but the system was installed in the 70's. The dimmers had a red load lights on the front about the size of a dime. The patching console was exactly what you described, with white tabs about 2 inches wide that you pull out to assign channels. You only hot patched one time as the resulting spark would guarantee you would never do that again. I remember the greenish/blue dimmer packs had handles and were about the size of a toaster. I think they were 6KW.

The system was made by Capron Lighting & Sound.
https://www.capron.net/

That's very cool.  I love vintage lighting gear (to look at it not to move it or use it anymore!)

The middle school I went to (would have been about 1976) also had a high school and a nice auditorium.  I use to tag along with the techs and I remember the system but can't remember the vendor.

The dimmer cabinet was blue, either a 6' or a 7' cabinet.  It had long sliders and you pulled a clip up and slid it to which board channel you wanted the dimmer assigned.  The board was also blue, and a two scene preset, the dimmers had little bakelite handles on them.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 01:11:22 pm by Steven Cohen »
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John L Nobile

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Re: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2019, 02:36:10 pm »

Upgrade is shipped and scheduled to arrive on Friday. I have someone coming up Monday to install it. I think I could do it myself but he's had a few CD80's apart so I'd feel better if he did it.

We had a performer that wouldn't go on if the dimmer noise wasn't fixed. Luckily he was solo and their LD brought his own LED package and was only using 7 of my lights. He was able to hang a few LED's to light the performer and all was good.

And that's what it took to get the upgrade approved. A performer who refused to go on to a sold out room of 900 people. And that's how things get down around here. And probably other venues as well.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Upgrade Strand CD80 rack
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2019, 02:36:10 pm »


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