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Author Topic: Help with replacement DMX desk  (Read 2545 times)

DAVID_L_PERRY

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Help with replacement DMX desk
« on: January 04, 2008, 08:49:39 AM »

My existing main lighting is standard Par 56/36 cans, a couple of 500w flash floods and smoke machine.

At the moment I am using a pair of old analogue 0-10v dimmer packs and a pulsar rockdesk:-
http://www.aclighting.com/bargains/photos/large/PU24400.jpg
http://www.laserlighting.co.uk/theatre_graphics/minipack.jpg

I run a separate multicore for the lighting channels and want to reduce my setup time/eqiupment

As the desk and dimmers are getting a little tired now and starting to fault, I am wanting to replace them.  I cant afford to replace my Par cans with LED fixtures at the moment, so the sensible thing would appear to replace the dimmer packs with DMX dimmers and a new controller.  I will be using a small number of LED lamps with one of the bands I work with and ultimately will replace all of my par cans with the same LED lights, but until then its the existing par cans and dimmer packs

I have used DMX lighting with my last band for a few years (7 moving head scanners along with the above par cans) so am not entirely new to DMX (the scanners and controller where owned by another member of the band but I set it up and ran the system).  I already have a dedicated mic line on my multicore for the DMX signal that I used with the scanners.

I want my new desk to have flash buttons for manual running of the lights as well as be able to fully upgrade to add moving head fixtures at a later date as and when....

I was looking at getting the Behringer LC2412 as it has the options I want, but having read a few threads about the desk not being good with moving heads I want to look at other options.

Any body have any other suggestions that would fit the bill, or alternate suggestions (other than replacing the Par cans with LED fixtures)

My needs are very basic at the moment:-
Run 4 channels of dimmer powered Par cans / floods
run a small number of LED par cans
Add moving heads again down the line

Thanks in advance

Dave Perry
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Tom Manchester

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Re: Help with replacement DMX desk
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2008, 11:49:51 AM »

I couldn't be any more pleased with my Elation DMX operator pro. With the exception of the bump buttons it does everything you need. I think I got mine for about $260, which is a steal for everything it does, a great return on investment as well. I have never had any reliability issues.

http://www.elationlighting.com/product.asp?ProductIDNumber=1 224&cat=Controllers%20Distributed%20By%20American%20DJ

The coolest part is the left side of the board is set up to do intelligent lights, and the right is for 8 channels of conventional fixtures. Like 2 boards in one!

FWIW I took this over the similarly priced behringer board and am pleased with my decision.
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-Tom
Electro Sound Systems

Phil LaDue

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Re: Help with replacement DMX desk
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2008, 12:29:20 PM »

Are those dip switches on each channel?

Duane Massey

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Re: Help with replacement DMX desk
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2008, 06:25:23 PM »

Yep, this is a 12x18 matrixed controller; very rare in the states, except maybe on the east coast back in the day...

Pulsar made some truly unique products back in the "disco" days; I still have some clients that still can't live without their touchpanel.
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

David Buckley

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Re: Help with replacement DMX desk
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2008, 05:25:18 PM »

DAVID_L_PERRY wrote on Sat, 05 January 2008 02:49

  I already have a dedicated mic line on my multicore for the DMX signal that I used with the scanners.


You do know you're not supposed to run DMX512 signals down an audio multicore...?


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Phil LaDue

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Re: Help with replacement DMX desk
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2008, 05:28:08 PM »

David Buckley wrote on Sun, 06 January 2008 17:25

DAVID_L_PERRY wrote on Sat, 05 January 2008 02:49

  I already have a dedicated mic line on my multicore for the DMX signal that I used with the scanners.


You do know you're not supposed to run DMX512 signals down an audio multicore...?
Technically, he's not.
(half kidding if you get my drift)

DAVID_L_PERRY

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Re: Help with replacement DMX desk
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2008, 06:29:48 AM »

David Buckley wrote on Sun, 06 January 2008 22:25

DAVID_L_PERRY wrote on Sat, 05 January 2008 02:49

  I already have a dedicated mic line on my multicore for the DMX signal that I used with the scanners.


You do know you're not supposed to run DMX512 signals down an audio multicore...?




No I didn't know this was a problem... Rolling Eyes

I have to say that I have done it this way for about 6 years running the 7 moving head scanners with no problems (that I am aware of at least) other than the occasional head going out of sinc.  

What are the problems with doing this that I need to be aware of ?

Dave
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E. Lee Dickinson

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Re: Help with replacement DMX desk
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2008, 09:46:53 AM »

David, there are two things to worry about:

1, possible crosstalk leading to a high-pitched tone in your audio lines. Not very likely given snakes are balanced runs.

2, your snake is mic cable with a different impedance than proper DMX cable. Long runs can suffer.

We have several thousand feet of DMX cable.... on spools in storage. We use our audio snakes and mic cable for lighting control. Properly terminated, we do still occasionally have problems over long runs. These are solved by dropping an optoisolated splitter/repeater in the chain somewhere. We usually need a few splitters anyway!
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E. Lee Dickinson
Advanced Visual Production Inc.
sound - lighting - video - design
www.avpric.com

DAVID_L_PERRY

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Re: Help with replacement DMX desk
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2008, 09:54:19 AM »

Thanks for that.

My Multicore is only 30m long, never need anything longer for the small bar/club gigs I do.

Having never had any of the problems listed so far, I will continue with this practice, and if I do start getting issues at least I will be aware of the 'what and why'

Dave
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Tony "T" Tissot

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Re: Help with replacement DMX desk
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2008, 04:35:51 PM »

DAVID_L_PERRY wrote on Mon, 07 January 2008 06:54

Thanks for that.

My Multicore is only 30m long, never need anything longer for the small bar/club gigs I do.

Having never had any of the problems listed so far, I will continue with this practice, and if I do start getting issues at least I will be aware of the 'what and why'

Dave


I ran DMX down audio snakes (100 and 150) without problems (either audio or control) for a long time.

I only recently switched to "real" DMX cable. (and only because a labster had a couple of hundred extra feet on offer in the marketplace at a resonable price  Embarassed )

But - the correct way is with DMX cable..
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MNGS
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