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Author Topic: Dimmers?  (Read 4820 times)

Chris Griffith

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Dimmers?
« on: July 10, 2009, 09:52:00 am »

Sorry for all the posts on here lately.  I'm in the middle of a DIY build and thanks to advice from here its going great!  

What is the easiest most economical way to install dimmers in my new studio?  I need it for 3 rooms (control room, tracking room and lounge).  I record a lot of heavy rock and cheap dimmers wreak havoc with distorted guitars.

Are variacs the only way to go?   Is there anything that I can install in a standard electrical box?  
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Ethan Winer

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2009, 01:17:04 pm »

Variable transformers are indeed the best type. Much more here:

Hum and Buzz

--Ethan

martindale

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2009, 07:29:11 pm »

Ethan's info is great, but raises larger question, do you have a "technical electric service." Lighting and equipment power need to be separated, but how this is implemented is a much larger topic. Often I suggest instead of dimmers at all, can you get by with lighting options?---several light circuits without dimmers, but that give you different moods and satisfy all the lighting needs (lots of light tracks on to find the screw on the floor,  down to one lamp shining on the back wall for "cozy").  Several separate switches running to several light tracks or cans is easy; high quality dimmers that don't send trash back down the line are expensive, heavy and more difficult to install. Sure, I use them when possible. But In any case, find out more about separating lighting, air cond and equipment electric at the incoming service.  This is not a luxury, but a necessity in even the smallest studio.
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franman

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2009, 12:51:59 pm »

right on mark... some proper implementation of the electrical system is just as important as hooking up your gear correctly..  sooooo many people ignore this important aspect of their DIY studio project.

Do some reading, and follow Mark's advice.

FM
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Chris Griffith

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2009, 03:38:40 pm »

Any ideas for better power in general?  I have a friend who's an electrician and also builds and mods guitar amps that can do anything I ask him for.  

Are you saying get a separate supply from the electric company for studio power or is it something that can be done at the breaker box?  

Any suggestions about where to look for more information on studio power?
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tom eaton

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2009, 07:46:45 pm »

Ian Visible

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2009, 10:30:54 am »

Quote:

What is the easiest most economical way to install dimmers in my new studio?


I keep reading that as 'drummers'.

Really need to get my eyes tested.

Sorry!

martindale

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2009, 03:57:45 pm »

Everything Tom's link says; plus maybe some more points. The specifics in Tom's link might need some explaining....more than suitable for Forum. You could contact me; Fran; Thomas; etc.
No, not drummers....that's a topic in itself.
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Thomas Jouanjean

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2009, 07:01:48 am »

Never had more than small-easy-to-fix problems with Dimmers. We use good quality ones, that's all. They are located in the big fuse box for CR. For Live room, there is a fuse box with dimmers in the LR itself. We often have 1 fuse for 2 plugs as a rule of thumb too. So that a defective amps doesn't make too many systems go offline for ex.

All lighting, Airco, etc are on separate circuits. Though in the end it's all coming from the same mains. The only reason why I would consider a UPS for a CPU would be to allow a backup in case something goes wrong.

Good earthing is not a luxury, it's mandatory. And planning proper gear earthing is important too, to avoid loops etc. XLR going from one rack to another have the ground wire on one end cut off for ex. Same with  Console <> PB <> gear... And so on.

IMHO basically the 'secret' is a good electrician that knows what really matters and does not give in to fancy, useless & expensive systems.

In Europe, Halogens & all incandescent bulbs are being phased out within the next 18 months and won't ever be available again. It's all low watt / LED stuff from now on. So Dimmers and other systems will change soon too. How it will affect things in real life, I don't know yet.

What's for sure now is that it's going to get darker in there. LED are still a long way from Halogens & Co in terms of quality of light.
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franman

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2009, 03:12:14 pm »

martindale wrote on Mon, 20 July 2009 15:57

Everything Tom's link says; plus maybe some more points. The specifics in Tom's link might need some explaining....more than suitable for Forum. You could contact me; Fran; Thomas; etc.
No, not drummers....that's a topic in itself.


Drummers, I shit them!! Dimmers.. hmmm... (light bulb goes off).. yes, use good ones!! Electrical installation and grounding... well.. that's worth another entire website!! for sure.
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ustompsteve

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2009, 05:07:40 pm »

Lutron sells a lamp debuzzing coil.

http://www.lutron.com/applicationnotes/360484.pdf

I used that and put the lighting on it's own circuit. So far so good for me.

--Steve
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Chris Griffith

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2009, 07:20:39 pm »

I can't find the lamp debuzzing coil on there site other then mention to it in their pdf's.  Is this a special order piece or can I find them at my nearest lowes/home depot?
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ustompsteve

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2009, 06:13:05 am »

I ordered it thru a local electrical supply house. It's not something they stock at Home Depot or Lowes.

The part numbers are in the PDF

LDC-10-TCP  is for 600-1200W
LDC-16-TCP is for 1201-1920W

You can find a local electrical supply house under the "Where to Buy" link on their site.

--steve
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0dbfs

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2009, 11:04:26 am »

I used a $20 dimmer-switch from home depot on a dedicated light circuit with two paralleled home-depot style 8' tracks and about six incandescent light fixtures driving about 10x 40W bulbs...

No light-bulb or circuit noise experienced yet.

The halogen lamps will make noise in this setup though.

I can probably find the part numbers if anyone is interested. PM for details.

Cheers,
j
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Jonathan Burtner
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tom eaton

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Re: Dimmers?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2009, 12:00:12 am »

Has no one else done the half wave rectifier trick?  Ultra easy, allows full or half light, no hum, buzz or nasties.  

http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_3/chpt_3/4.html

I replaced all the cheap dimmers in my live room with this idea and also use a ton of "mood" lights when needed.  I pretty much only use 50 watt lamps, just more of them.  I have to say I love incandescent light.

t
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