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Author Topic: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?  (Read 1619 times)

GlennRussell

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Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« on: January 02, 2021, 04:39:27 pm »

Hi All-
     Recently our church went from incandescent lights (which would cook people on stage!) to LED lighting.  :)

Our Setup:
     Main Bar = 6 Chauvet Pro COLORdash Par-Quad 18 RGBA Par -And-
                      4 Chauvet Intimidator Trio's
     Side/Spot = 4 Chauvet DJ EVE E-100Z 100W Warm White Ellipsoidal Spot
     Wash = 6 Chauvet DJ EVE P-130 RGB LED Wash
     DMX Controlled by LightKey
     4 NDI PTZ cameras for streaming.

Our Problem:
     Our problems is with the 4 Intimidator Trio Moving heads.  We really like the ability to point these anywhere where we need light.  This is especially nice for the streaming cameras.  We re-orient them each week based on the stage layout, and then make slight adjustments during the service using LightKey (positional) cues.  We have plenty of light now, and they work great.  But, we have two issues with them:
     1.)  The fans are noticeably loud.  This isn't a problem during the worship time.  But, there are other times during the service where we would really rather not have the fan noise.  I haven't found any moving heads that don't have fans.  (I'm pretty sure our pars, which are just as bright, don't have fans... which is nice.)
     2.)  According to Chauvet support, the Intimidators must be powered down after each use.  In talking with them, I believe this is to prolong their lifespan due to fan wear.  Powering them down each time is a problem because they are on their own circuit on a bar that is 23' in the air.  Also, the power to the bar does not go near our sound/light booth.  Currently we're using a fob/remote switch.  But, it's not reliable and people can forget to turn them off.  It bothers me that I can turn off all the other lights using LightKey, but not these Intimidators which actually need to have their 110v circuit cut.  According to the manual, there is a 'auto' fan setting which 'Sets the fan according to temperature', but I see no results when I use that setting.  The fans come on full when the lights come on, and sound the same until we cut the power.  I've thought about having an electrician come in an install an 8 hour countdown timer (link below).  And, if all else fails, I'll do that.  But before I do....

A crazy/sketchy idea:
    We have a couple of cheap Lixada lights that we are currently replacing the fans in.       
    We have a talented electrical engineer on staff. 
    What if we were to have him install a (40C = 104F) thermostatic switch to both the light and base fans of the Intimidators?  Then, the fans would shut down after we turn the bulbs off.  And, because we reorient the fans so infrequently, I suspect the base fans wouldn't likely even need to come on.
    Yes, I know this would void our warranty.

Are we crazy?  Thanks!
   -Glenn (& Gary)

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000LWIGU8/?coliid=I34TSQ1S9521LQ&colid=JPNOGNUYJRT1&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 04:49:35 pm by GlennRussell »
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2021, 06:10:04 pm »

One common solution is a DMX-controlled AC relay. Install the relay where you have access to the circuit you need to switch off.
Run a DMX line to the relay or use wireless DMX. You can then program your controller to switch the relay on and off. Perhaps program a macro to park the relay on when the console powers up and off on shutdown so people don't even have to think about it.
The simple solution is the ETC Foundry Relay, about $200.
https://www.etcconnect.com/Products/Architectural-Systems/Foundry/Zone-Controllers/Relay-Controllers/Features.aspx

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Scott Hofmann

Jeff Lelko

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2021, 06:53:11 pm »

Hi Glenn, Scott's suggestion of using a DMX relay is also what I'd suggest for solving this problem. 

Regarding the installation of a thermostatic switch in your lights - bad idea.  Not only does this void the warranty of the lights as you already mention, you're now also liable for any faults or insurance claims resulting from the units such as fire.  While I have used equipment beyond its intended purpose including some DIY adjustments this isn't one that I'd personally consider to be acceptable.

There are plenty of "silent" or nearly silent moving lights on the market, but you're not going to find ones worth owning at Chauvet DJ prices.  Hope this helps!
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GlennRussell

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 08:48:56 pm »

Hi Jeff & Scott-
   I was unaware that a DMX relay device existed, but of course, now that you mention it, it makes sense!  That might just do the trick for us.  Thank you very much for your help!  This newbie is very grateful! :-) 
     -Glenn
P.S.  If you have any fan-less moving head names/links, I'd still be interested in those... even if I can only dream.  :-)
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 09:00:19 pm by GlennRussell »
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2021, 09:40:54 pm »

There are and have been silent fixtures available. Itís common in the higher budget items. Rare in the low end though, since a fan costs a lot less than designing equipment that can otherwise get rid of waste heat.
Eg, high end system studio color lights are a 575 watt arc lamp light that is convection cooled and silent unless moving. These were released back in 1998 and sold for the price of a small car...

Messing around with the fans in the devices would not only void the warranty, but also any UL listing.

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Brian Jojade

Daniel Levi

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2021, 01:58:42 am »

Also search for a DMX switch pack, there are quite a few of them cheap in the lower end, primarily designed, I believe, for "dumb" disco lighting.
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2021, 02:29:50 am »

Also search for a DMX switch pack, there are quite a few of them cheap in the lower end, primarily designed, I believe, for "dumb" disco lighting.

You need to be careful here.  Some switch packs or switch/dimmer packs donít have true relay function.  They slide in and out of line voltage or near line voltage and as a result can under power and damage moving lights.  Stick with true relay devices and youíll protect your lighting investment best.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2021, 04:09:05 am »

Hi Glenn, Scott's suggestion of using a DMX relay is also what I'd suggest for solving this problem. 

Regarding the installation of a thermostatic switch in your lights - bad idea.  Not only does this void the warranty of the lights as you already mention, you're now also liable for any faults or insurance claims resulting from the units such as fire.  While I have used equipment beyond its intended purpose including some DIY adjustments this isn't one that I'd personally consider to be acceptable.

There are plenty of "silent" or nearly silent moving lights on the market, but you're not going to find ones worth owning at Chauvet DJ prices.  Hope this helps!

What Jeff said is spot on, just want to add one detail to why cheaper quality light fixtures need to have power 'hard cut' between use.  Cheaper lights use cheaper components, that have fewer thermal cycles before failure.  When asked, Chauvet said this was one of the differences between their DJ and Pro lines, and why with cheaper fixtures - you always want relays to cut power.

For larger systems, IE more than just a couple circuits - look at Lyntec panels.  Their basic 10-circuit 120V panel has a great price per circuit.  Lyntec LCRP-10. 
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Daniel Levi

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2021, 04:18:41 am »

You need to be careful here.  Some switch packs or switch/dimmer packs donít have true relay function.  They slide in and out of line voltage or near line voltage and as a result can under power and damage moving lights.  Stick with true relay devices and youíll protect your lighting investment best.
I understand that, there is a 4 channel showtec product on Thomann that advertises itself as a relay pack.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/showtec_rp_405_mkii_relay_pack.htm
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2021, 11:12:43 am »

Hi Jeff & Scott-
   I was unaware that a DMX relay device existed, but of course, now that you mention it, it makes sense!  That might just do the trick for us.  Thank you very much for your help!  This newbie is very grateful! :-) 
     -Glenn
P.S.  If you have any fan-less moving head names/links, I'd still be interested in those... even if I can only dream.  :-)
Glenn-- I forgot to mention there is a portable version of the ETC Foundry relay, the ETC ColorSource CSR-D, which can be mounted next to the fixtures and has 5-pin XLR DMX jacks and Powercon AC connectors. About $230. This might work better for you.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2021, 05:03:33 am »

P.S.  If you have any fan-less moving head names/links, I'd still be interested in those... even if I can only dream.  :-)

Too many to list unfortunately, but keep in mind that "silent" doesn't necessarily mean fan-less.  Brands such as Martin, Robe, SGM, and Ayrton come to mind when needing very quiet fixtures for a given application. 

To elaborate a little more on why messing with the thermal control of an intelligent light is a bad idea, there's much more to this than just clicking on a fan when a certain temperature is exceeded.  Several items in both the head and the base of a moving light have heat sinks.  These typically include the LED or sometimes the lamp socket as well as components on the power supply, ballast/ignitor, motor drivers, etc.  As Brian mentioned, sometimes there are engineered solutions here to maintain cooling while avoiding the need for high airflow while other times a fan is required to be running continuously when the unit is powered up.  In other words, if the unit was designed to have fans running then keep it that way.  Installing quieter fans is sometimes an options so long as you maintain the same flow rate, but outright removing them won't end well for the fixture and sometimes much worse.  Good luck!
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GlennRussell

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2021, 06:27:39 pm »

I just wanted to say thank you again for all the great advice!
"For the price of a small car"  Ha! 
Right, I was aware of dimmers previously, and I certainly understand why we certainly would not want to use one of those here.  I was glad to learn of the relay/switch packs.
The portable version of the ETC Foundry relay is starting to look close.  The only thing is that everything we run is 3pin DMX.  (Obviously I could use adapters, but just wanted to see if there was a 3 pin solution instead).  Anyone have any experience with the Club Cannon DMX relay?  It's a bit less expensive.  But, I'm wondering if any of you
would know if there were quality issues with that company.  I don't think that LightKey has a profile for it yet, but I'm told they can create one really quickly.  (Which was similar to what I experienced when I was dealing with Chamsys)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HKL92ZQ/?coliid=I2B5S7NMZJR544&colid=JPNOGNUYJRT1&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Thanks again,
   -Glenn
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2021, 07:32:03 pm »

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Brian Jojade

GlennRussell

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2021, 08:06:09 pm »

Good point!  :-)  Thx!
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2021, 08:23:11 pm »

It looks like youíre on the right track here.  Two bits to add...

- Be sure to note the total amperage capacity of the relay unit.  ETCís can switch a full 20A whereas the unit you linked can only switch 10A.  The unit Brian linked is only 5A/channel.  For what youíre doing Iíd want a full 20A circuit for the fixtures, but your desires may be different.

- Make sure that any combination dimmer/relay pack is a true relay pack.  Units that just software-restrict a 0-100 input for switching purposes often donít fully cut power output at 0% (learned that one the painful way).  This is fine for controlling older halogen lights but can cause problems with intelligent fixtures.  I vote for a simple DMX relay here to keep things easy and predictable, but feel free to shop around too.
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GlennRussell

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2021, 07:59:43 am »

@Jeff-
   Too funny... I had just found the 10A limitation of the single channel relay, and was then looking at how much my 4 Intimidator Trio's draw (2A) * 4 = 8A.  But, I'd want a bit more margin than that anyway.
   I too like the idea of a simple DMX relay over something that (also) dims, just so there is no chance we would be able to give "dimmed" power to the heads.
   All good advice.  Thanks again.
       -Glenn
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2021, 09:38:47 am »

That's a single channel unit.  Chauvet has a 4 channel box for less money. Channels can be configured as dimmers or relays.  More channels is more better someday in the future. :)

https://www.amazon.com/CHAUVET-DJ-Lighting-Dimmer-Accessories/dp/B004NNVPEK/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=DMX+relay&qid=1609806585&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-5
If the channels are switchable between a dimmer and a relay, it's a 99.9% certainty it uses a solid state relay as the switching device. Conventional advice is to use only mechanical
relays to switch non-dim power to LED fixtures. The only exception is the ETC Thru-Power module for their dimmer rack, which has both an SSR and a true relay.
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Scott Hofmann

Don T. Williams

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2021, 05:24:19 pm »

There is actually a fairly good reason that some of the packs that have a switchable dimming/relay but still pass a small amount of power when set to relay mode -even if the controler is sending a 0% or off DMX message.  Incandescent lamps can draw a lot of inrush current when the lamp filliment is cold, so a small current (not enough for the lamp to glow brightly) is always flowing to keep the filliment warm enough to reduce the large inrush current.  That's one of the reasons LED fixture manufacturers say to never power LED instruments on dimmer circuits.
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Jerome Malsack

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Brian Jojade

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Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2021, 01:24:14 pm »

how about a google outlet that might support 15 to 20 amp ? 

https://gridconnect.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360038983513-How-much-power-can-the-In-Wall-Outlet-supply-Will-it-power-my-tools-and-heavy-equipment-

Reliability of those sorts of devices is good enough for in home use, but I'd not likely recommend something like that for production use.
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Brian Jojade

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Add thermostatic switch to Chauvet moving head fans?
¬ę Reply #19 on: January 11, 2021, 01:24:14 pm ¬Ľ


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