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Author Topic: ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?  (Read 756 times)

Nathan Riddle

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ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?
« on: July 26, 2020, 12:01:49 pm »

Anyone have any suggestions for a ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?

Seems like ETC discontinued it and it was my go-to for small lighting installs.
Had good inductors and relays to to give 3 power modes, etc.

I need about 12ch of dimming/relay power for a venue/client & it needs to be LED compatible.
I'm familiar with the ETC Unison racks (now DRd) but they're quite a bit more expensive.
Lightronics is good bang for the buck, but never scratched the itch for me; bad dimming on LED fixtures (house lights) too; but that's more of an issue with the p38 lamps the client installed (commercial, not theatrical, not my call).

I know of Dove, Leviton, Lightronics, are there any others whom I have missed and should checkout?

http://www.dovesystems.com/rackmount
https://www.leviton.com/en/products/n2408-cd0
http://www.lightronics.com/cuts/ar1202c.pdf
https://www.etcconnect.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=10737460180
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2020, 03:10:21 pm »

Anyone have any suggestions for a ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?

Seems like ETC discontinued it and it was my go-to for small lighting installs.
Had good inductors and relays to to give 3 power modes, etc.

I need about 12ch of dimming/relay power for a venue/client & it needs to be LED compatible.
I'm familiar with the ETC Unison racks (now DRd) but they're quite a bit more expensive.
Lightronics is good bang for the buck, but never scratched the itch for me; bad dimming on LED fixtures (house lights) too; but that's more of an issue with the p38 lamps the client installed (commercial, not theatrical, not my call).

I know of Dove, Leviton, Lightronics, are there any others whom I have missed and should checkout?

http://www.dovesystems.com/rackmount
https://www.leviton.com/en/products/n2408-cd0
http://www.lightronics.com/cuts/ar1202c.pdf
https://www.etcconnect.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=10737460180

Give Kevin at Lightronics tech support a shout on the phone to see if the AR1202 12x2.4kw architectural dimmer processor firmware has been updated for LED. They have been updating the firmware in their controllers to be LED compatible. I think Dove has been doing the same thing. I've installed several of the Leviton/NSI 2404CD wall-mount packs over the years and have had very few issues.
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2020, 09:58:51 am »

Give Kevin at Lightronics tech support a shout on the phone to see if the AR1202 12x2.4kw architectural dimmer processor firmware has been updated for LED. They have been updating the firmware in their controllers to be LED compatible. I think Dove has been doing the same thing. I've installed several of the Leviton/NSI 2404CD wall-mount packs over the years and have had very few issues.

Good thinking. I did notice the LED descriptor in their product listing. Curious if a firmware update can give trailing edge dimming. I do like that they have 600μS rise time.
Probably my best bet, I should ask if they have true relay power switching vs SCR too.

I'll update once I have info.
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Brian Bolly

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Re: ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2020, 03:54:46 pm »

I can't speak for pricing comparisons, but I'd check out Applied and Lex as well.

https://www.appliednn.com/products/architectural-dimming-systems/
https://lexproducts.com/powercontrol

Applied doesn't specifically say anything about LED, but I'd be willing to bet they have something up their sleeve. 

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Nathan Riddle

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Re: ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2020, 04:33:32 pm »

Well both Lightronics (Kevin is great) and Dove (also great conversation) don't have trailing edge (reverse phase) dimming.

Their suggestion is to send them LED lamps for testing prior to buying.

They also don't have relays for the power. But they assure me the waveform is untouched at 100% (relay mode) [I would like to verify with a scope personally].

---

Really, my rationale for a unit with trailing edge dimming is so the client can add whatever lighting they want and it still perform well, and to improve the performance of current gen led lamps.
Currently, I'm not happy with much/any of the dimming characteristics (in the 0-10% dimming department) of most manufactures.

Kevin suggested, Sylvania - 74796 as some of the best dimming to 5% & TCPi.com P38 lamps as well.

---

I might simply suggest a lightronics or DRd option with the cost/benefit analysis for each.
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2020, 07:12:59 pm »

I can't speak for pricing comparisons, but I'd check out Applied and Lex as well.

https://www.appliednn.com/products/architectural-dimming-systems/
https://lexproducts.com/powercontrol

Applied doesn't specifically say anything about LED, but I'd be willing to bet they have something up their sleeve.

Thanks Brian, I'll give them a call tomorrow and see.
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2020, 08:08:51 pm »

Well both Lightronics (Kevin is great) and Dove (also great conversation) don't have trailing edge (reverse phase) dimming.

Their suggestion is to send them LED lamps for testing prior to buying.

They also don't have relays for the power. But they assure me the waveform is untouched at 100% (relay mode) [I would like to verify with a scope personally].

---

Really, my rationale for a unit with trailing edge dimming is so the client can add whatever lighting they want and it still perform well, and to improve the performance of current gen led lamps.
Currently, I'm not happy with much/any of the dimming characteristics (in the 0-10% dimming department) of most manufactures.

Kevin suggested, Sylvania - 74796 as some of the best dimming to 5% & TCPi.com P38 lamps as well.

---

I might simply suggest a lightronics or DRd option with the cost/benefit analysis for each.

I assume you might have spoken with Rich Howe at Dove... a very nice guy. Also don't forget the ETC Foundry series relays and 600 watt dimmers if you are doing just a few circuits. The dimmers do forward and reverse phase dimming and of course 600 watt capacity goes a long way when you're talking LED retrofit lamps. I've used one of the Foundry relays for work light control and it can't be beat for the money. I've had good luck with GE and Ushio 17 and 18 watt LED R and PAR med. screw base lamps on 1970's and 80's era SCR dimming systems. Had to gang several circuits together to load with enough wattage to dim to blackout but other than that, it's working well.
I have found it beneficial to do a test by installing the demo LED lamps on one dimmer circuit to check dimming performance before ordering in quantity.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 12:44:59 pm »

Never put an LED fixture on a dimmer.  Never, ever, no really not ever.
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Erik Jerde

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Re: ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 01:58:03 pm »

Never put an LED fixture on a dimmer.  Never, ever, no really not ever.

The discussion is about dimmable LED lamps not LED fixtures.  There are also LED fixtures specifically designed for retrofit onto dimmers in locations where control signal isnít available.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2020, 03:50:49 am »

The discussion is about dimmable LED lamps not LED fixtures.  There are also LED fixtures specifically designed for retrofit onto dimmers in locations where control signal isnít available.

Quote from: Nathan Riddle
...but never scratched the itch for me; bad dimming on LED fixtures...

That's why I said fixtures...
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Re: ETC Smartpack wall-mount replacement?
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