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Mixing analog effects with DMX


sjc2323

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If I want to be able to use standard PAR can lights and some effects lights (like an oil wheel or a trance wheel) that I currently own PLUS I want to leave room to eventually get some intelligent DMX lights later....what type of controller should I look into buying to be able to control all of this? Will a DMX-512 controller be able to control standard DMX and standard PAR lights? Does anyone know of any packages that will get me intelligent lights and a controller for cheap?

 

Also, what is a dimmer pack used for? How does this differ from a basic power pack? Sorry for the newbie questions....Thanks for all the help!

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Originally posted by sjc2323

If I want to be able to use standard PAR can lights and some effects lights (like an oil wheel or a trance wheel) that I currently own PLUS I want to leave room to eventually get some intelligent DMX lights later....what type of controller should I look into buying to be able to control all of this? Will a DMX-512 controller be able to control standard DMX and standard PAR lights? Does anyone know of any packages that will get me intelligent lights and a controller for cheap?


Also, what is a dimmer pack used for? How does this differ from a basic power pack? Sorry for the newbie questions....Thanks for all the help!

 

What sort of control would you want with a oil wheel? on and off via dmx would keep cutting the lamp out.

 

You need to work out what all the options for external control your others fittings have and then there might be something available to you. Until then...

 

A dimmer is literally that. It's provides 0Volts up to the maximum voltage of the lamps in circuit depending on where the fader (either on the dimmer or via DMX or analogue) is set. It is the power for the lamps.

 

If you are looking at DMX controllers, you need to know what you are planning on controlling. Programming a pile of moving lights, some projector switching on and off from a programmer with small LCD screen could require glasses and lots of coffee... :D

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Originally posted by Rimmer

A dimmer is literally that. It's provides 0Volts up to the maximum voltage of the lamps in circuit depending on where the fader (either on the dimmer or via DMX or analogue) is set. It is the power for the lamps.

 

 

Not to put too fine a point on it (and I'm sure you already know this), but Triac dimmers don't actually control the voltage, they control the power factor. Sometimes that really matters, depending on what you're doing.

 

Terry D.

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Originally posted by MrKnobs



Not to put too fine a point on it (and I'm sure you already know this), but Triac dimmers don't actually control the voltage, they control the power factor. Sometimes that really matters, depending on what you're doing.


Terry D.

 

Indeed. I did already know that Terry. I always used to wonder how the current requirement didn't rise as voltage lowered until I started teching for a lighting company and found outmore about the triac and the chopping of the signal.

 

How come you know so much about this lighting stuff... Mr. K??

 

 

:D

 

 

 

 

Rimmer

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Originally posted by Rimmer



How come you know so much about this lighting stuff... Mr. K??

 

I've designed a built a few light dimmers and controllers in my day, back when I used to work with Mike G. who posts here. :)

 

He knows a lot more about it than I do, though. I'm lurking here because I've been thinking about getting back in the game since my band is starting to play some larger places.

 

Terry D.

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Originally posted by MrKnobs



I've designed a built a few light dimmers and controllers in my day, back when I used to work with Mike G. who posts here.
:)

He knows a lot more about it than I do, though. I'm lurking here because I've been thinking about getting back in the game since
my band
is starting to play some larger places.


Terry D.

 

You probably know me better from the Recording forum as I have a back history as a sound engineer. I am however more of a lighting tech and have been for around 13 years..

 

I could fix a dimmer, but couldn't build one. Well done to you.. ;)

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Originally posted by Rimmer

I could fix a dimmer, but couldn't build one. Well done to you..
;)

 

I put myself through college working in a TV repair shop, then later fixing amps in a music store. I also took EE classes at Texas A&M where Mike G. now teaches. :)

 

Designing a dimmer circuit couldn't be simpler. Practically nothing in one other than a triac and a diac to trigger it. I used my EE knowledge to design a "D" flip flop counter for sequencing and put together a 555 timer circuit to clock it. I inserted reed relays in the gate path of the triacs, and controlled them with low voltage transistor circuits buffering the flip flop.

 

That was a very long time ago. I have that box and it still works. I didn't do it to learn electronics, I did it because a single professionally made dimmer pack cost more than all the parts in my very versatile home made light controller. Poverty is the mother of invention.

 

Terry D.

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