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Author Topic: Color Scroller question  (Read 1151 times)

Brian Strike

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Color Scroller question
« on: March 21, 2009, 08:31:58 pm »

I'm a theatre tech geek with a lot of lighting experience, lighting high school, community theatre, and college theatre spaces.  
I just purchased my first set of a few color scrollers with the appropriate power supply, cables, etc.  They will be arriving via UPS in 2 days.
I realized that I am one DMX cable short and will not be able to send the 4 pin DMX signal from the last scroller unit BACK to the RETURN on the power supply.  
Will the units still operate properly without the return?  Do I need to try to have another 4 pin overnighted to me in order for these to work properly?  I am very close to a show opening and don't want to spend the extra money to have a cable overnighted to me to make these work, as we're on a shoestring budget as it is.  
Thanks!
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John Birchman, CTS

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Re: Color Scroller question
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2009, 08:57:13 pm »

You didn't mention what scrollers and power supply you are using, that would be helpful.  However, most of them are the same.

First, the 4 pin cables are not DMX, they are power and data (the data maybe DMX, but usually is proprietary data to the model of scrollers), for future reference, just call these 4 pin data cables.

For most scrollers you send you 5 pin DMX signal from your console to the power supply, and then a 4 pin data cable to the 1st scroller, and a data cable from the 1st scroller to the 2nd, 2nd to 3rd, etc.

Make sure you are not exceeding the maximum number of scrollers and lenghth of cable to the scrollers from the power supply as recommended by the manufacturer.  

Some units have a return for the 4 pin data cables, in most cases this is not required, especially if your scrollers are close to one another.  This is usually for longer chains of scrollers, and also to offer a redundant path back to the power supply.

If you can let us know what scrollers power supply, we can let you know for sure.

John
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John Birchman, CTS
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JRB Technical
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Brian Strike

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Re: Color Scroller question
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2009, 09:56:10 pm »

Thanks for the reply.
The scrollers are actually European made and are available in the US, but are nowhere near as popular as Apollo scrollers so you may not have heard of them.  They are "Xpress 12" color scrollers, which I got for a fantastic deal.  They seem identical to Chroma-Q scrollers, but I got them a good bit cheaper.  I figure they are perfect for what I need them for, and I was able to afford 3 of them plus the power supply (which can feed up to 8 units) for the price I would have paid for 2 apollo fixtures and an apollo power supply which can only feed up to 3 units.

I checked all the stats before ordering regarding cable run, power supply (I purchased the one which can feed 8 units so I can expand in the upcoming years without buying another power supply), etc.  I am within the standards.  The only thing I was unsure about was the return run for the 4 pin data cable.  

Thanks
Brian
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John Birchman, CTS

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Re: Color Scroller question
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2009, 10:10:51 pm »

Brian:

With a 8 unit power supply, you should be able to drive 4 units with a total cable length of 100-150 feet from power supply to last unit with any issues.  If you get to the point of 6-8 units, then I would start using the return.

Good luck!

John
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John Birchman, CTS
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JRB Technical
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Rob Timmerman

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Re: Color Scroller question
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2009, 10:21:56 pm »

Typically the return cable is to reduce the voltage drop at the end of the run.  The scrollers should be fine with out it, but I wouldn't push the limits of cable length.
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