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Old May 18th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #1
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How would I rig this up?

I will be shooting a music video for local hardcore/metal band. When I film the band playing I will have them in a small room with the walls covered completely in red cloth. There will be ambient lighting and what not but I would like something more. I want to place bright work lights at certain angles in the room and cue them manually at certain times. What device would I need to purchase to do this? Keep in mind there is not budget, so the cheaper the better.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #2
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Well I guess the best way to do it is with a couple of dimmer paks, some 5 pin wiring and a XX channel master control board (also called a DMX board).
You set the pins on the dimmer paks and plug into the DMX board and now you have control over the lighting. At least thats what I've always and still use.
Other than that you need to have a couple of people manually operating the lights to turn them off and on via some sort of cue-either vocal or a cue light of some sort.

BTW the first option is anything but inexpensive to buy but you MIGHT possibly be able to rent the gear.

Oh yeah one more way-run the AC from the lights to a plug by someone working at the back of the house and set up an inexpensive household dimmer to each plug. Need to raise or lower the lights just turn the dial. Just make sure the dimmers will handle the lights without burning out or starting a fire.

Don
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:29 AM   #3
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Both, good ideas....thanks!
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Old May 18th, 2007, 12:59 PM   #4
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You can also check Radio Shack. They have a thing that I think is an X-10 based system (home power remote control, basically).

We use one at a TV studio I volunteer at, to control Cyc lights on the stage, about 40 feet away. It's a little box maybe 3x6 inches and has 4 on/off toggle switches. It sends a signal either by RF or through the power lines. I assume through the power lines. And then wherever you want, you plug in these single outlet plugs which have a channel selector on them. Then when you press button #1, the first outlet comes on, #2 the second comes out, etc. The cyc lights are 500 watt halogens and there are 4 plugged into a power strip on each side of the stage, with the receiver thing plugged in between the lights and the power strip.

This is elegant because you can power the lights wherever the outlets are, without running extensions. I assume they make dimmer controllers too. There's maybe a 1 second lag between pressing the button and the receiver responding, otherwise they work great.

After some searching, I couldn't find anything on the Radio Shack site, but I did come across this. This looks like an 8 channel version of what we use, and ours is in white.
http://cgi.ebay.com/X10-PRO-Mini-Con...QQcmdZViewItem

Here's a complete package, based on Insteon, which is a newer version of X10, from what I can tell, and is backwards compatible. Uses RF AND power line signal transmission. Also has programmable dimming up and down. It appears to be 2 dimmers and 2 signal enhancers, so it's only 2 channels. You probably wouldn't need the enhancers, so maybe a different package would be better, but you get the idea. :)

Eric
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Old May 18th, 2007, 01:12 PM   #5
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That looks like just what i need. Thanks!!! I'll be looking around.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 03:50 PM   #6
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Cool, let me know how you make out!

Just remember to observe wattage ratings on these types of things. work lights are generally 500 watts, though sometimes 300 (and sometimes higher than 500).

You can also get computer control software, depending on how elaborate you want to make this. But if you just need some basic on/off stuff, check out X10 and Insteon stuff at Home Depot, Lowes, Radio Shack, etc. You can probably assemble what you need for under $100, and you can use it at home for other stuff if you want. It's cheaper than renting a light board and dimmer packs, and then trying to figure it all out. :)

Eric
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